The Impeachment Moves: Hand of Esau, Voice of Jacob


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The Impeachment Moves: Hand of Esau, Voice of Jacob




Seyi Oduyela



October 7, 2006 



It all started with the former Bayelsa State Governor, Diepreye Alayemesegha. Members of his State House of Assembly were arrested and threatened with prosecution if they did not effect the impeachment of their benefactor. It worked, and with the support of Jonathan Goodluck, who had benefited immensely from Alayemeseigha, the Governor who escaped mysteriously from his London house arrest, was removed and immediately arrested by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). While I am not in support of looting of treasury, and the gangsterism of some of the State governors, I think the government of Obasanjo and his agents should be sincere, open and straight in their fight against corruption.


From recent events and the activities of the Ribadu-led EFCC, it is becoming increasingly difficult to see any sense of objectivity and transparency in their anti-corruption crusade.


Most of the people arrested and investigated so far are people who have lost favor with President Obasanjo. In spite of the case against Olabode George over his running of the Nigeria Ports Authority, Obasanjo rejected the report submitted by the EFCC. But I have a document on some of the phony contracts awarded by the Ports Authority to the tune of 1.7 Billion naira within a period of 10 months, while the actual cost of the contract was 344million naira. Bode George is seen walking free on the street of Lagos and still parading himself as People Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain.


Ribadu came to the United States; few days after the National Assembly threw the Obasanjo bill on constitution amendment out, and denied the allegation of bribery against some National Assembly men over the third term bid. According to him, his men checked all banks and could not ascertain the movement of money from any bank in Nigeria. But it is surprising to hear Mr. Ribadu on the Nigeriavillagesquare radio during the interview saying they only checked banks. I have it on authority that the money was not from banks but directly from the mints to the governors who then disbursed it in the various liaison offices in Abuja. Some Governors even shortchanged their National Assembly men. The governor of Kebbi did not pay at all. Who is fooling who?


Another classical example of the rot in the Nigerian system which is daily being sustained by those in authority, even when there are laws to protect the polity in place, was the passage last July, of a N5.4 billion supplementary budget by the Ondo State government to cover expenses not included in the 2005 budget. 

What is wrong in a government passing appropriation bills? Nothing. Is it not the duty of government to appropriate funds for projects through the instrumentality of the legislative arm? It is.

These are honest questions that somebody not looking deep enough may ask and an uncritical mind would not bother after getting positive answers. 

But to the discerning who knows how our rulers capitalize on our collective amnesia and apathy towards their greed and penchant to deny the populace of a right to good living, a further probe of the matter will reveal questionable issues.

Firstly, the bill was passed seven clear months after the implementation of the current 2006 Appropriation Law by the State government took effect.

Secondly, the whole thing was done to escape the glare of the public. The bill was passed on a Friday, which ordinarily is not a sitting day of the Assembly therefore; both the public and press gallery were cleared of non-legislators who had made it their habit to watch the proceedings of the parliament.


Governor Olusegun Agagu is one of the scared cows. He enjoys the President’s protection as one of his boys and also because Agagu is a member of the National Association of Seadogs, in which some members of the EFCC belong. There have been cases of harassments leveled against Governor Agagu. But why would some Governors be target and some enjoy prefential treatment?


It is clear that the reason for the removal of these Governors goes beyond the corruption war. Some of them are being removed because they are threats to some kingmakers’ candidate for the 2007 race. Just recently, it was reported that the wife of the Bayelsa State Governor, Dr. Jonathan Goodluck was mentioned in a money laundering scandal. For over a month now, we have not heard anything from the EFCC.


Just as Lamidi Adedibu did in Ibadan, Chief Afe Babalola is fast becoming a strong force to reckon with in Ekiti state. Governor Ayo Fayose’s undoing now is that he allegedly threatened Chief Afe Babalola, the President’s friend. And Obasanjo takes it personal if you offend his friend. It was the same Afe Babalola who saw to the removal of Professor Jelili Omotola as the Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos. As the Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos, he transformed the University. To help indigent students, Omotola introduced work study. Omotola empowered both Lecturers and students and since his removal no Vice Chancellor has ever measured to Omotola’s leadership style.  It as  The same Afe Babalola who defended President Obasanjo when Olu Falae challenged the PDP victory in the 1999 Presidential election. Mr. Akin Olujinmi joined Obasanjo’s government as a nominee of Afe Babalola.


After a four-hour detention in Lagos, Ekiti Members of the Assembly now realized they have to impeach their Governor! It is obvious that they were been instructed to do so.  While it is good that corrupt leaders are being exposed, is there any justification in shielding co-conspirators because they were ready to give their Benefactors up? These Assembly men collected funds for their constituencies’ development and they did not do anything for their people, but they can go free with all their loots as long as they impeach their target to remove the immunity.


Just as Ayo Fayose is packing to leave the Government House, the following Governors should be ready for the same battle: Boni Haruna of Adamawa , Orji Kalu of Abia, George Akume of Benue, Kure of Niger, James Ibori of Delta and Lucky Igbinedion of Edo States. Funny enough all these men are members of the same party, the ruling and the biggest party, PDP.



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