Selective Justice Consolidates Corruption


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Selective Justice Consolidates Corruption in Nigeria



Franklyne Ogbunwezeh



culled from

December 13, 2005

In 13th century Venice of Shakespeare’s imagination, a famous phrase escaped the lips of a notorious man. This phrase went out to the entire world, attending discussion circles and debating salons. It irrigated many ideological universes. We owe this Shakespearean creature an indebtedness we can never retire. In fact, with due apologies to Winston Churchill, I crave to say that never in the field of literary thought, was so much, owed by so many to so single a phrase.

“A Daniel Come to Judgement” was famous not for its truth, but for its notoriety. It escaped the lips of a vengeance-ravaged landowner bent on securing a pound of flesh from his grand enemy, tormentor and nemesis. Shylock was a man on a mission. Shylock nursed a grudge. He was being eaten alive by the fires of vendetta.

Circumstance gave him opportunity. It pushed Antonio, like a sitting duck into his crosshairs. Seduced by the love for his friend, Antonio gambled and lost. He placed a bet on fate; using his most precious commodity. He advanced his life as collateral to secure a loan to fund his friend’s enterprise. When tempest wrecked the ships at sea, it sealed his fate. Shylock’s pound of flesh fell due. Justice in its majesty panders neither to the whims of vengeance nor aids the cause of revenge. But it respects the deed of contract. Shylock must have his pound of flesh.

In justice, Shylock reserves the right to a pound of Antonio’s flesh. The contract gave him rights to it. The law respects that. Equity should not aid a man who gambled away his life. His course of action was stupid. And Equity must not underwrite the costs of stupidity. When it does, stupidity proliferates.

Save for vengeance, which blinded Shylock from factoring pints of blood into the equation, Antonio would have paid with his life, and rightly so. Justice never panders to vengeance. Among its symbols is the measuring scale, which balances the deed against the recompense. Justice abhors vengeance because in vendetta, the aggrieved becomes the judge, the jury and the executioner of the recompense. This perverts the cause of justice. Law giving, interpretation and execution should never inhere in one man. It creates a tyrant out of him; no matter how good willed he feigns to be.

That Shylock acclaimed the appearance of justice is indicative of one thing. Justice is so august, that even a wicked man recognizes and acknowledges it once he encounters it. When the judge granted him the right to execute his deed and obtain his pound of flesh. He had cause to acclaim justice. Once the common law obliged him, the court must grant it. Shylock was granted his deed. That was justice. But for the moderations of Equity, which appealed to his heart to no avail, before letting him fry in the unforeseen oils of his lust for vengeance, Antonio would have yielded a pound of his flesh to the fiery furnace of Shylock’s vengeance.

“A Daniel comes to judgement” re-echoes across time in praise of justice. This supports the legal wisdom that justice must not only be done, but must be seen to have been done. Justice must be done even for the wicked. Because even a wicked man recognizes justice, whenever it appears, just like Shylock did recognize him.

It is imperative for judges to do justice even at the supreme cost to their good pleasures. They are well provided for by Equity in limiting the influence of their private pleasures in the course of their duty. This is why it is a ethical as well as a demand of equity, that a judge should never sit in on a case, where he has the least semblance of an interest. A judge, like Caesar’s wife should be above. This is because according to Pubilius Cyrus “when guilt rejoices, it indicts the judge.”

Tafa Balogun knows in his conscience if he has any, (which is seriously in question: Attributing this man with a conscience is like accusing evil of goodwill) that he did not get justice, though he escaped the recompense for his crimes. In the case of “The State v. Tafa Balogun,” justice was dressed down in public and mocked with supreme derision. This man, who committed a crime equivalent to an incestuous rape of one’s daughter, was instead of receiving the stiffest rebuke reserved for such misdeeds, granted a government sponsored sabbatical, to replenish his lewd appetites and “bounce back” for more opportunities to go back to his specialty. After all a dog will always go back to its vomits, while no amount of bath, will prevent a pig from obeying the gravitational pull of its genetic blueprints, in going back to the mire.

Tafa Balogun was a man well endowed; but unfortunately, with an inert conscience. That was why this bloated halfwit was psyching himself of his “bounce- back”. The 2nd thief at Golgotha crucified alongside The Christ pulled off a more intelligent job. He knew that justice was done him. He was in receipt of the recompense for his crimes, although the man crucified amidst them was innocence himself. He never asked for justice because he knew that that was what got him martyred at Golgotha. He never boasted of a bounce-back. He had some conscience. Instead, he asked for mercy. And because he asked for mercy, paradise was granted him. This guy was so intelligent that he stole a free-ride at the head of the angelic convoy, which escorted Christ triumphantly into paradise. If Tafa had asked for mercy of Nigerians, we would have found it in our hearts to forgive his criminal indiscretions. But he was unremorseful and full of boasts. He could attain this level of moral inertia, simply because he is a hardened, irredeemable crook, who has doused himself in the inerasable dyes of roguery.

Justice could only be tempered with mercy, when the offender shows sufficient remorse for his actions. But it did not obtain in this case. This crook was glorying in his crimes. He equally never pleaded the defence of innocence, because he was as guilty as guilt. This means that given the opportunity, he would repeat his impunity without qualms of conscience.

It was such a pity that our learned Justice was supremely ignorant of the fact that Justice and mercy are not mutually exclusive, as to let Tafa Balogun off the hook, slapping his wrists only. Granted that the thief at Golgatha got paradise, it never prevented justice from being served. The Christ still had to pay his debts. The Christ did not get down from the cross, or walk away from paying the price for the crimes of people like the thief, who was granted paradise. Even in the hallowed halls of mercy, that Golgatha represented; justice was still served and served to the fullest extent possible. Christ’s spread of his hands was a message addressed to his Father, which read: May your justice be appeased forever o! Lord”-Because: I have paid for it in full with my life’s blood-Your justice is served, Lord, So let your mercy flow like the waters of heaven”. It was equally a sacrament; a sign; a symbol of the fact that justice must be done, not minding whose ox is gored in the process. Since God in his infinite mercy and wisdom did spare his son from the arrows of justice, why must we spare crooks from justice. It is not mercy, when our justice system grants thieves the leeway to profit from their crimes. It is false mercy, which destroys justice and makes the society a friend of crooks; thereby rewarding crime and banishing goodness and social felicity from its firmament. This is one of the major reasons why corruption has pitched a tent in Nigeria; transforming our land into a paradise swindlers and gangsters.

Equally as justice goes, King David, as the Conquering Sovereign of the Jews, had a lewd cause to allow power seduce him into usurping the wife of his soldier. He did not stop there. He needed so many other crimes, like getting a soldier drunk, and forcing him to be out of his duty post at the time his country needed him most; and finally setting up his murder; to cover the one crime of adultery he committed. But even in his guilt he never sought to obstruct the cause of justice. When the weight of his crimes was unveiled before him in parables, he sought justice for the man who committed this dastard act, without knowing that he needed only to look in the mirror to see that man. Nathan spared him that embarrassment. He showed him the man that was David, as the criminal par excellence in this case. Immediately he realised that his game has woken the wraths of heaven, he grovelled for mercy. He never boasted of a bounce-back. He knew that in justice he deserves not to live. The 51st Psalm; a masterpiece in contrition, was written with Davidic tears, which flowed freely, when he realised that mercy saved his ass for that day. He asked for mercy. He was granted that. But justice had to be appeased. The son conceived of that adultery had to die in appeasement to justice. No one should be allowed to profit from his crimes. Not even David. That will canonize crime and make it lucrative.

But in Tafa Balogun’s case, the Nigerian judiciary against all canons of natural justice, equity and good conscience, allowed a brazen thief, not only to profit from his crimes, but offered him a pulpit, upon which he stood and told Nigerians, with the certainty and fearlessness, which only a lifetime of crime can guarantee, that he will bounce back.

Nigeria remains a cesspool of corruption much thanks to thieves like Tafa Balogun. He belongs to a class of social vampires, who are monumental personifications of avarice. These men have been pall-bearers and undertakers of our progress. Tafa is a thief of mean-spirited mendacity. He is so sleazily ambitious; more gluttonous than sensible. Tafa is so disgustingly corrupt that he broke new grounds in the configurations and differential calculus of corrupt practices. He represents a botched-up hybrid between elementary buffoonery and galloping avarice. He overreached himself in posting a world-class display of kleptomania. Balogun so much debased himself that from henceforth, all generations of Nigerians will call him a thief. The name Tafa Balogun will from henceforth be equivalent to that of Judas Iscariot. No woman from henceforth will ever allow her child to bear this inglorious name.

Tafa Balogun, a former Inspector General of the Nigerian Police Force, was charged to court on a 92 count charge of corrupt enrichment, stealing and embezzlement of public funds, which amounts to brazenly defrauding Nigeria to the tune of over 10billion naira. His exposure and arrest were liberally garnished with theatrics. He consulted all the tricks in the book to stall his trial. When at last he got to trial, the trial judge was given a rope to hang himself in shame at his corruptibility. Being found guilty of the crimes; instead of the full weight of the law taking its course to appease justice, justice was terribly mangled in deference to some mercenary considerations, by Justice Binta Nyako.

A brazen thief got 6 months for stealing 103 million dollars, while the Anajemba conglomerate of fraudsters who defrauded a Brazilian bank of 242million Dollars got 37 years imprisonment. So Justice Binta Nyako has by this miscarriage of justice told every Nigeria who had the means to steal as much as he can; that the more you steal and the more impunity you consult in doing so, the lesser the sentence due you. Against the backdrop of the crime committed and the sentence delivered by Justice Binta Nyako, one wonders why she did not go ahead to canonized Tafa Balogun a saint. Two things force themselves upon our consideration, as we encounter this gross miscarriage of justice. It is either that Binta Nyako did not write this judgement herself; that is to say, some principalities and wicked powers in high places wrote that script for her, or that she is a monumental nincompoop, who auctions justice to the highest bidder for a fee. And when that suffices as the case, then she has ended up committing the worse crime of allowing a criminal to rejoice over millions of other law abiding citizens. And to that end, had really bludgeoned justice.

Let’s see why her crime is so dastard!

Justice is mangled when crimes go unpunished. The heavens weep whenever crime profits from its indiscretions. Crime is made lucrative whenever the criminal is allowed to enjoy his loot in peace and quiet, while his victims are made to look like fools. Whenever crimes are praised, or wherever criminal behaviour is dressed in the cloaks of euphemism, or hidden under legal technicalities to exonerate a crook, the bar of justice is bended.

When injustice is appeased, ethical chaos is enabled. It may not be immediately perceptible. But the dykes and levees guarding social conduct have been dangerously eroded, breached, and compromised. This as the passage of time would show, is to the extent that any storm or wave of opportunity, will sweep away social morality in tsunamic overkill. The Third Estate of the Realm exercises functional oversight as the watchdog of justice, in every commonweal. When it fails in this duty, the society loses confidence in this last resort of the common man. And a social jungle is enabled. “Homo homini-lupus”- becomes not only a distant possibility, but a frightening actuality, as men transform themselves into wolves to their fellow men. The strong are then licensed to decapitate and feed upon the weak, and like Thomas Hobbess frighteningly and picturesquely painted it, the hope of advancement in the sciences, arts or humanities disappears. Development flies with the winds. Fear rules. And the lives of men become nasty, brutish and short. This is the kind of social circumstance, which Binta Nyako and her likes have shamelessly allowed themselves to be used in creating, in Nigeria.

Binta Nyako has set a very dangerous precedent. She has rewarded crime. And any country that rewards thieves has canonized thievery as a norm of social conduct, and has lost every moral right to legislate against thievery or to punish petty thieves. When Robber barons are feted, petty thieves should not be punished. That is justice. What is good for the goose should never be converted into gravy unaffordable to the gander. When young men deprived of hope by the social structure created by thieves like Tafa Balogun, in order to stave off hunger and social irrelevance, steal some few hundreds of naira, they are clamped into maximum security prisons as crooks. But if a heavy-weight embezzles billions of naira, his community rewards him with a chieftaincy title. Cheerleaders sprout out of every rotten social fissure to sing his praises. The law is bended to accommodate his farts, which are socially toxic. Legislations are even enacted to legitimize his caprices. The society becomes depraved so much so that the powerless now aspire to become crookedly powerful, and the innocent aspire to a life of crime, to underwrite the irrelevance their lives have become as well as grant them a ladder to life of unearned privilege, abundantly rendered attractive by the opulent display of obscene wealth.

The metaphysic underlying this fact is so obvious. Injustice is the superlative atrocity. This corrosive indiscretion destroys virtue and casts the good in the mould of felons. It evaporates the waters of social felicity, leaving behind the crystals of vice as coagulated sediments of social disease. Not only that, it whitewashes the sepulchral rottenness of viciousness in an attempt to canonize it; every miscarriage of justice inflicts innocence a grievous blow, and blurs the line between virtue and vice, with a chameleonic nebulousness that nullifies the platforms of both; mixing them to brew a monstrous hybrid of ethical uncertainty, which enables evil to flourish at the detriment of goodness.

The stench of injustice is so malodorous that no deodorant can abide its potency, or dream of ameliorating it. This is why the robes of all the good judges who ever lived, according to Henry Ward Beecher, would not be large enough to cover the iniquity of one corrupt judge. No man can judge unjustly without injuring eternity. And no perverse judgement can ever escape history’s wrath and opprobrium. This is why the Sun of justice apportioned woes as the inheritance of those who would betray justice. Injustice will be the recompense of those who trade in it. It will not only be their heritage, but will also metamorphose into a legacy for their posterity. I hope that Binta Nyako has got some children. Dele Giwa is forever right. The evil or injustice done by man to his fellows, for whatever reasons, be they pecuniary, timorous, pusillanimous, or mercenary considerations; will never go unpunished; If not now, certainly later; if not to the subject directly, certainly to his predicates in posterity; if not avenged by man, certainly by God. Evil is its own nemesis. Injustice is a boomerang. It certainly comes back to its origin. Since Binta Nyako has released a piece of monstrously cruel thief off his rightful recompense, then she should be ready to bear it herself. One wonders how proud this judge would be to be a Nigerian under conditions of social torpsy turvydom, which judgements such as hers` amply breeds.

In a state where injustice reigns in the affairs of men or their institutions, a cognitive dissonance is enabled, that will essay to install an ethical confusion, which disposes the society to commence feeding off itself and its offspring unto self-destruction. In a social structure where a thief who steals a piece of yam to forestall gastronomic emergency goes to the gallows for obeying self preservation-the most primeval instinct and most ancient of laws-trying to arrest the extinction of his personal history, which un-assuaged hunger abundantly represents; while a man who stole billions of dollars and pillaged the commonweal- in allegiance to his greed- receives a judicial slap on the wrist; a pathological social imbalance is created.

With Tafa Balogun walking off the wrath of his greed, justice was thrown to the dogs. The Nigerian judiciary has raped justice. Crime and criminal impunity has now been licensed. Nigerians are now told that if you want to be a monkey, you better be a gorilla, because at the superlative level of impunity, instead of being condemned, you are revered and feted, with feathers added to your cap. With Tafa’s charade, judicial impunity reached an all time high.

With this judgement the judge, who masks as learned, by the name of Justice Binta Nyako, proved herself not to be an outstandingly bright personality, but an irritating compromised of justice, subsisting as a diseased indictment on the high office of the Bench. That Mr. Tafa Balogun was not locked up and the keys thrown away, is an indictment on the character of Justice Binta Nyako. This judge must therefore tell Nigerians how much she was paid to betray justice with a kiss of false considerations. She must tell us how much she received to mis-carry justice. Men and women who committed lesser crimes of passion have languished in Nigerian maximum security prisons for ages. But this monumental thief, who ruined the reputation of an institution and salted away millions of Dollars kept in his charge, barely got his sleeves slapped.

That men, who pilfer to stave off gastronomic emergencies, are locked away for what seems like forever, while hardcore thieves like Tafa Balogun are just given some 6 months holiday; an infinitesimal sentence, for a prodigious crime, signals that something is gravely wrong with a legal system that abides this depth of injustice. It is convulsive. A crook was granted a podium, upon which to spite at the stupidity of Nigerians. He took the opportunity, looked ordinary Nigerians in the face, stuck up his middle finger, and in the “fuck you” fashion, told Nigerians that he will bounce back. Believe me; this thief will one day join the presidential race in Nigeria. He will serve less than 6 months in jail. Lie low for the next government to come into power; then purchase a state pardon for himself with the state funds he stole. After all, another high level and hardcore crook, who forged and lied his way to the top seat of Nigeria’s lower house of legislation, on a certificate he neither acquired nor worked for, in a university which he never attended, by the name of Salisu Buhari, who should be doing some serious hard time in prison for forgery and perjury has been pardoned and heads a board appointed by the Federal government of Obasanjo, most ironically on matters relating to education. This is rottenness in excelsis. A man, who dishonoured and raped the honours of education and achievement, was appointed to head an education committee. It is like handing a paedophile the custody of the child he abused. What about Chris Ubah? This was a thug, who raped democracy with his congenital fraudulence; kidnapping a sitting governor, rigging elections and falsifying results of same in such an audacious and brazen manner. Yet, he is granted a seat a trustee of the ruling party. That is justice and honour Nigerian style.

Why Tafa Balogun should spend the rest of his terrible life in jail, is obvious to even a blind Nigerian. It is not rocket science. Lets take a closer look at this rotund buffoon, who is avarice personified. I don’t give a hoot about niceties here. I owe no one apologies here. I am going to dish out my anger as raw as it is in print. I am going to give no quarters and I expect none. These guys sacrificing Nigeria’s future to their avarice are so mean. The can do anything to protect members of their gang. This is why Chris Ubah is not in jail for raping democracy. Obasanjo still touts him as a defender of democracy. This is why the Killers of Bola Ige are still apparitions. The list is inexhaustible.

Justice Binta Nyako has proved herself a mentally challenged nincompoop. The idiots that are our political leaders in Nigeria have nothing more to offer us. They have proved how rotten they are. What kind of insult have these fools not heaped on ordinary suffering Nigerians, with the stench of their impunity? For this stupid justice or whatever she chooses to call herself has shown us how spineless she could be, in letting an extraordinary crook to get off the hook. Tafa Balogun was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment for stealing 103 million Dollars. Many Nigerians are dying of hunger and lack of drugs to treat their illness, and one man cornered and salted away over 10billion naira, and all he got in the bargain is 6 months in jail. When we allow this to stand, she we not go and apologize to those who have been executed all over Nigeria for stealing, because none of them have ever stolen to the degree that this man did, with the kind of impunity and plunder which he consulted.

As a public officer, Tafa Balogun is a particularly nasty piece of work. This guy was not only an eminent thief, he was an audacious scoundrel. This bloated buffoon, who endowed with phenomenal avarice, stole himself into disrepute. He stole not only 10.3 billion naira ($103 million Dollars), from the police funds, which he managed as a trustee; he stole futures, eviscerated dreams, disembowelled aspirations, sabotaged plans and embezzled the welfare of the officers and men of the Nigerian police force. His shamefaced and brazen thievery ransacks every expectation. He was a thief armed with impunity. With 103 million Dollars, to pilfer, he was unmasked for the fraud he is. His greed is unparalleled. He worships greed. And since greed is a bottomless pit that can never be filled, all her worshippers are condemned to drink the waters of insatiability. Tafa Balogun drank this water. And for his punishment, he is eternally condemned to insatiability. Crimes inspired by avarice are lewd ones. Let’s see why it is lewd.

Greed is insatiable. All who worship her will always consume themselves in the heat of their own unwisdom. When the orchestra of greed plays, it plays a symphony of galloping selfishness. Greed is a lewd worship of the self: It is eminent idolatry. It is the crude deification of the self above every other reality. A greedy man is forever an infant fixated at the Freudian oral/anal phase of psychosexual development. This is the stage of primal selfishness, where only the ego and its desires exist. Psychological development decrees the transcending of this stage, as imperative for an integral existence. But the greedy man is fossilized at this level; existing in the singular Black hole of his solipsism and egomania. To this end, he subconsciously assumes that he is the centre of the universe, and that everything must bow and bend the knee at his desires. Greed is a thirst which no amount of holding can assuage. It is like the legendary Caspian Sea: the more you drink from it, the thirstier you become. This is why Oliver Twist will always ask for more. The greedy blinds himself to the fact that once a given desire is assuaged, others pop up in its place to harass his avaricious existence. An avaricious man had sold himself short to the manipulative finger of unbridled acquisitive tendency. Everything must become his. Against this backdrop, anyone in whom the desire to acquire ranks higher than the desire to create, according to Bertrand Russell, is a metaphor of misery; a prisoner in the miry pits of destructive desires. The irony of it all is that the excessive impulse to grab all in sight leads to wretchedness and endless pain. The greedy can never realise the wisdom inherent in the solomonic words: “Vanity of vanity, all is vanity! or the truth in Job’s categorical lamentation: “Naked did I come into the world, and naked will I leave it!

Greedy men are miserable creatures. They are condemned to lust after non-essentials to fill the abyss of their emptiness. They are tragic characters primed to self-destruct. The tragedy of it revolves around their inability to realise that greed is insatiable. It is their failure to recognize the fact that greed is an unfathomable pit, which no amount of acquisition can stifle. This is because greed represents vaulting acquisitive tendency, which in turn betrays an inferiority complex and a very deep neurotic imbalance. This complex ceaselessly haunts the subconscious of avaricious men. It is a dysfunctional baggage to carry. To this end, avaricious men are condemned to eternally crave to have more to fill the gaping and yawning abyss of their wretchedness and insecurities; instead of being more or creating more.

Greed’s playground is the ephemeral and the transitory. Greed contained in itself the seeds of its own destruction. That is why it is evil. Tafa Balogun knew this. But yet, he consented and elected to succumb to it. This man’s crime is a dastard one. He is a dog who ate the bones consigned to his custody for safety. He was an officer of the law, who have sent his men after many a greedy man, to apprehend and prosecute their avarice. His men have hunted down criminals who steered foul of the law. This was an enforcer of the law who instructed his men to shoot and kill robbers on sight, in a primitive advertisement of crude might. Little did we know that his crookedness and roguery defies all logic and reason; little did we know that our chief law officer is a decorated crook. This was the thief that was selected to occupy the podium with men of achievement and distinction like Chinua Achebe, when the Obasanjo government organized, like all things related to that government, a charade of a national merit award. But most fortunately for merit, Achebe declined to dignify a charade with his august presence. That Tafa Balogun was not only nominated for a national merit award, but went ahead to scale the hurdles to be short-listed for that award is an indictment of due process in Nigeria. Due process has acquitted itself terribly in Nigeria. How can we trust a merit award or any other recognition issued by the Nigerian government, when even a thief could steal his way to that. How could we ever trust the democratic pretences of Obasasnjo’s government and his PDP gangsters, when thieves, embezzlers, and baronial kidnappers like Chris Ubah, Tony Anenih and other accidents and apparitions like Ahmadu Ali (Ali must go) are on the board of trustees of this ideologically-anaemic contraption that pretends to be a political party? How could we ever trust Obasanjo pretences to be fighting corruption, when men guilty of corruption are crowned with government-sponsored sabbaticals?

Nigeria is a dangerously funny place. Crooks have exchanged prison cells that should be their abode and playgrounds for high-government offices. Nigeria is now a democratization of thievery. Every politician and his cronies are now cannibalizing the state as much as they can. This is why Tafa Balogun could have protectors in high places, who croon for his release.

Corruption is king in Nigeria because we have elected through an indefinable alchemy, to bend the knees in worship of the golden calf of impunity. This is why we murder a petty deviant who stole a piece of bread to ward off hunger; make a human barbecue off the pickpocket caught in the act, sending him on a painful journey to heaven or to hell, with a necklace of burning tyres round his neck , simply for the crime of trying to survive in a superlatively inclement, man-constructed environment; remain ever ready to rain a flood of stones that dwarfs the Noachian deluge, in intensity at the hapless adulteress or harlot, who services our collective sexual insecurities for a fee. This is also why we entertain no patience or understanding for the plight of a man, who scavenges for food or begs to eke out an existence. And the buffoonery and diseased irony of it all, is that these same Nigerians whose hypocrisy is so just as to discountenance petty thievery, are the very same people who throng the arena and amphitheatres of celebration, with sickening pomp and criminal pageantry, to crown a robber-baron with chieftaincy titles and unearned doctorate degrees; thereby blessing their crimes and baptising their indiscretions. This is why Chris Ubah, Alamesiegha and other Nigerian thieves have thousands of supporters, or more appropriately hangers-on.

Corruption will forever rule Nigeria inasmuch as ours remain the backyard of injustice. Corruption will always duck at our hypocrisies in battling it, inasmuch as we continue to construct injustice across the land. Corruption is an act which rises as an affront to natural justice and good conscience. Injustice is the fertilizer for corruption. Obasanjo should first concentrate the attention of his government in tackling social injustice, which corruption is but a mere symptom.

That Tafa Balogun escaped justice was not an accident. It was an act of meticulous design. Tafa at the height of his self-inflicted tribulations threatened to open his mouth and squeal on his masters and his web of accomplices, which span across the ruling government and the highest offices in the land, if his torments were not stayed. He knew that he was not the only high thief in government. He had it on excellent authority that those casting stones on him have all their fingers in the same pot where he dipped. They have been collectively dipping their fingers there, since Obasanjo came to power. Why then should they construct a scapegoat out of him? Why not retire him together with his spoil, so that he could resurrect in another political dispensation as a political godfather or an elder statesman to say the least; since what it takes to qualify as an elder statesman, is to steal in one political dispensation and project the power of this stolen wealth into a new one? Like every dangerous thief, Tafa was sleeping with his eyes open all these while. He had gathered a few aces up his sleeve. He knew the major players, the holdings and the wealth they were able to cream off the Nigerian people. He knew, just like J. Edgar Hoover knew, that this information will come in handy in the days of trouble. Knowing that if he fails to act, that the Obasanjo`s government will hang him by the scrotum, just like it hanged out Osuji and Wabara to dry, to prove to the world that they are fighting corruption. He then played the ace he had up his sleeve for long. He threatened to sing like a canary, if the mastiffs baying for his blood were not leashed.

This cabal of unrefined thieves holding Nigeria to a ransom knew that their game was in danger of being over, if an intimate member of their college rats on them. They sought ways of shutting him up. Tafa dying in custody would be one hand too many for this nest of killers accused in some quarters of dispatching many high-level opponents, like Bola Ige, Marshall Harry and Amino sari Dikkibo. So, they organized a smokescreen of a judicial trial using the presidential attack dog EFCC, to give that charade a semblance of legality. They walked Tafa Balogun through a sham trial and got him virtually off the hook: A six months government sponsored sabbatical!

Although Tafa Balogun is a despicable human being, he is still a human being. It would be wonderful for him to live and receive the right recompense for his crimes. But I am afraid for his life. Wole Soyinka rightly classified the PDP as a nest of killers. And for Tafa to threaten a nest of killers is an invitation to commit suicide. Nigerians may wake up one day to the news that Tafa Balogun died in prison custody. When this happens, I hope that Nigerian will know the reason why he was whacked as well as those who ordered the hit.

Before then, justice commands a revisiting of the Tafa Balogun’s case. This man has not received his recompense. He knows it. Justice will keep on weeping and crying out to heaven, until justice is not only done, but also seen to have been done. Franklyne Ogbunwezeh was born in Nigeria and currently lives in Germany. He also attended seminary in Italy for 4 years. Mr. Ogbunwezeh is currently working on a Ph.D. in Social Ethics and Economics. His book "The Tragedy of a Tribe: The Grand Conspiracy Against Ndigbo and the Igbo Quest for Integration in Nigeria" was published in 2004. "Shots at Immortality: Immortalizing Igbo Excellence" and "The Scandal of Poverty in Africa: Reinventing a Role for Social Ethics in Confronting the Socio-economic and Political Challenges of Africa of the Third Millennium" will be published in 2005. Additionally, Mr. Ogbunwezeh published dozens of articles in newspapers, magazines, internet sites and trade journals



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