Dedicated to Nigeria's socio-political issues
October 3, 2007 - December 2, 2007
The Rifeness and Arithmetics of Fraud and Corruption in Nigeria
Mobolaji E. Aluko, PhD
Burtonsville, MD, USA
February 14, 2006
It is sometimes disheartening the news that comes out of our country. It is not that these things occur that is worrying, but the impunity and frequency with which they occur.
And one is torn between applauding that at least we are hearing that they are occurring, and wincing that they are occurring in the highest of places and virtually all within the "biggest political party in Africa" the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Adedibu Arithmetic of Legislative Rascality
Suppose there are X solid people in your nefarious camp, and you need them to make 2/3rd of the people required to pass an illegal issue "according to the Constitution." If the total number of people who should be voting is Y, then provided X constitutes a majority (that is, more than X >= Y/2 +1) or sometimes just a quorum, often Y/3 - then the nefarious camp can simply suspend AT LEAST (Y - 3/2X) of their members, and then X would just be EXACTLY 2/3rd of the remaining un-suspended people !
Voila ! The constitution would have been "obeyed."
If the ACTUAL number of people suspended is S, then the excess [S-(Y-3/2x)] is a mathematical measure of the scale of legislative rascality.
Thus in Bayelsa where there were 24 assembly men, with 15 solid assembly men in support of impeachment of Governor Alamieyeseigha, they needed just to suspend 2 people to be sure but they ended up suspending four legislators to make assurance doubly sure, even though they did eventually get 16 legislators to make that suspension unnecessary. In Oyo State, with 18 people out of the 32 in the anti-Ladoja/pro-Adedibu camp, they needed to suspend exactly 5 of the remaining 14 members of the state assembly to get their two-thirds and they did just that to impeach Governor Ladoja. In Ekiti State, to impeach the Ado Local Government chairman Taye Fasubaa, 8 out of 13 councilors were solidly in support of impeachment, so they needed to suspend only 1 councilor to do their deed but ended up suspending 5 councilors, so that the impeachment of Fasubaa was "unanimous."
You be the judge which was the most egregious Bayelsa, Oyo or Ekiti States - which include two South-Western states which have surely been dragged screaming and kicking into the "mainstream" of PDP's Nigerian politics! To help the mathematically challenged, it is Oyo (0), Bayelsa (2) and Ekiti (4) in that order of excess suspensions. On the order hand, one could argue that the order is Ekiti, Bayelsa and Oyo in order of egregiousness, because Oyo needed exactly those suspensions THE MOST to carry out its dastardly deed !
One more thing: Had Chief Richard Akinjide known of this "trick" in 1979, instead of all the "12 .1/3 is 2/3 rd of 19" palaver that we had in that year's presidential elections that ushered Shagari into power over Awolowo, Zik, Aminu Kano and Waziri Ibrahim, all he needed to do was advise General Obasanjo to "suspend" one state excise it from Nigeria temporarily and then 12 would have been exactly 2/3 of 18, and there would have been no problem. [By the way, without much surprise and to show consistency, Chief Akinjide is reported to support the Adedibu arithmetic.]
Only in Nigeria can such brigandage pass muster.
The Tafa Balogun Arithmetic of Fraud Punishment
After 6 months of hospital imprisonment for being found with N17 billion of public funds in various private and dud-company bank accounts, former Inspector-General of Police Tafa Balogun - IG of Police o ! - is out of prison. He will soon "bounce back" as he promised.
To what heights, inquiring minds want to know.
But six months for N17 billion ? That means that if fair is fair, for stealing N17 million, you should be imprisoned for four-and-a-half hours; for stealing N17,000 you should be jailed for only sixteen seconds - and so on.
I shake my head.
Accessory after the fact of electoral rigging or Father Confessor ?
Twice now, president Obasanjo has acted as Father Confessor to two sets of people: to Uba/Ngige (both of the PDP) when Uba confessed that he helped rig Ngige into the governorship of Anambra State in 2003; and again (allegedly) Rafiu Tinubu (former Head of Service of Lagos State; AD member) that he did the same for AD Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu's re-election effort in Lagos State.
One befuddling issue is that President Obasanjo seems oblivious to the perception arising from disclosing these news items to the public, and one is frightened about his sense of judgement of propriety in general.
Furthermore, Obasanjo is a Baptist; Uba is Anglican; Ngige is Catholic; and Rafiu Tinubu is a Muslim. Clearly, corrupt tendencies cut across all religions. Secondly, confession also cuts across all religions, but it is only the Catholics that one knows has confession to a priest as an acceptable ritual without immediate earthly legal consequences.
So this is the first time I have heard of cross-religious confession.
Definitely, therefore, the non-Catholic President Obasanjo could NOT have been acting merely as a Father Confessor to these people and we are left with no option but to consider him an accessory after an illegal fact, for he did not report to INEC after hearing what he told the world that he heard from Uba and Rafiu Tinubu.
One more thing: since the gubernatorial election in Lagos occurred on the same day as the presidential election as it occurred throughout the nation how could the rigging have occurred ONLY for Governor Tinubu and NOT for President Obasanjo ?
Again inquiring minds want to know.
Dariye's Own Confession
Love him or hate him, Governor Joshua Dariye is a fighter from that self-confessed dog-eating ethnic group of Mushere in Plateau State with close meat connoisseur-neighbors among the Angas and the Beroms. Having jumped bail in London, and survived six months of suspension as governor due to allegations of financial fraud, he has made sure that no arithmetic rascality can be perpetrated in his state assembly, where he ensures that the majority ROUTINELY adjourns SINE DIE which is "French" for indefinitely and leaves town pronto when he sees that his State Assembly is under too much intense pressure to impeach him.
After patiently hoping that the EFCC at the prodding of the Obasanjo PDP administration would leave him alone or at least make a deal with him he took the Samson option a few days ago to announce that the "Devil made me do it and he may bring us all down together". This time the "Devil" was the PDP party who asked him, in aid of the 2003 elections, probably the most expensive elections in Nigeria's history, to disburse N100 million to South-West PDP, N100 million to the North-East PDP, N66 million to the Obasanjo Campaign Organization, N10 million to Plateau Senator Ibrahim Mantu and N80 million to the Ministry of Finance (as "bribe" ?) before being finally given N800 million for Plateau State, being the REST of the N1.16 billion due to the state from the Ecological Fund.
He has threatened to eat up the "EFCC dogs" if they come to his state again to bark at him.
Yes, Dariye is therefore guilty as charged for misappropriating and/or assisting in the misappropriation of his state funds. If he had RESISTED and CRIED out, then at least the world would have known.
Under normal circumstances, the "Devil" cannot be arrested by mortals, so the defence of 'the Devil made me do it" is not tenable. But when individuals and corporate entities like the PDP can be apprehended, they should be.
One question: why Plateau State, probably the state, after my Ekiti State, with the least revenue allocation from the federal government ? One has this feeling that ALL PDP states were asked to do what Dariye did and maybe ANPP states too (to ANPP presidential coffers) but no AD states, since it had no presidential candidate in 2003?
Looters all ?
One is torn between commending the EFCC for the good work it has done so far, and the feeling one gets that it either turns a blind eye to some corruption in the country, or else actually behaves like a party apparatus as it did with this Dariye disclosure when it stated so boldly that it could only trace the N100 million given to the South-West PDP (despite Bode George's disavowal, that only one Yomi Edu "claimed" it for himself), and that that has since been returned anyway, just as that of the Obasanjo Campaign Organization has been returned through Atiku. His political camp, always fighting for its life, has vigorously denied being intimately involved.
So is that it ? Returned and all the matter is now laid to rest ? A family affair again ?
You can do better than that, EFCC, or is our trust in you really misplaced ?
In the week when a straight-arrow like Dr. Bekololari Ransome-Kuti leaves us Nigerians behind on this side of the veil to join immortality, to talk about the level of corruption and fraud in public service in our country is truly disheartening. Again, one is torn between hailing the fact that these news items are known at all and wondering the level of impunity with which they occur.
But we must not lose hope: there may yet be light at the end of the tunnel.
One just hopes that that light is not that of a lantern being carried at the end of a bayonet.
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