I can afford to take the risk of concluding that the majority of Nigerians would like to see brought to justice, and swiftly so, the people who brought Nigeria to her knees through the looting of our commonwealth.
Many Nigerians are afraid that some, if not most of these looters, may flee the country after May 29, 2015, before investigations are commenced/concluded. The purpose of this article is to advocate that the President elect, Mohamadu Buhari, should start the blitzkrieg against corruption immediately after concluding his swearing-in ceremony at Eagle Square on May 29, 2015.
Based on readily available public information, there is no better way and place to start that fight than the arrest Allison Deziani Madueke and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala before the end of day on May 29, 2015. Both women are currently serving as minister for Petroleum and Finance respectively. They both represent some of the biggest fishes, yes fishes, in the pond.
These two individuals are not the most corrupt members of the now infamous Goodluck Jonathan led presidency—and it will take a very long time before the full extent of the damage done to our economy can be fully established, if at all possible! However, in the case of Deziani and Okonjo-Iweala, the information gleaned from the several House of Representatives investigations into the 10 Billion Naira NNPC plane maintenance contracts, and oil subsidy payments that were not budgeted for provide the incoming President with enough information to order their immediate arrests and have them charged with the appropriate offences the same day. The new president should demonstrate his commitment to the rule of law and the time limit requirement for charging arrested persons with offences known to law and having such persons presented before a court of law by ensuring that both women appear in the court on Monday June 1, 2015 to enter pleas and apply for bail. (May 29, 2015 being a Friday). Like many other Nigerians, I believe that both women are surely guilty of more heinous offenses than the ones mentioned above. However, arresting and charging them will send a clear and unambiguous message about the ferocity of the incoming President’s war against corruption, yield valuable information into the more complicated investigations and encourage others to step forward and make voluntary disclosures, thereby reducing the time and resources needed for the fight against corruption.
The President-Elect can then offer leniency on the basis of voluntary disclosures, have a hiatus of a few days and wait to see if there will be takers of the offer. The majority of Nigerian politicians are cowards and trust me, seeing the powerful Deziani and Okonjo-Iweala charged before the court, they will be lining up to confess. This approach will be cheaper, point you to previously unknown and maybe otherwise never possible to find stolen resources. I believe it will also yield more of the stolen resources. This topic will be fleshed out in full in another article.
For me, calling for the arrest and trial of Okonjo-Iweala is personal anguish for me but the nation’s interest must be the over-riding consideration. It is anguish for me because at the tail end of Obasanjo’s presidency she was one of those I sincerely considered worthy of becoming the President or Vice President at the very minimum. How she allowed herself to be sucked into the bowels of Goodluck Jonathan’s rampaging corruption whale is an examination that would have commenced inside her head by now.
Let PDP supporters call me what they want and I am not a member of APC. The party I support is the one I believe has the interest of Nigeria at heart. I believe Mohamadu Buhari of APC does at this point in time. Nigerians, including me are eager to see these corrupt and arrogant politicians from all parties who bestrode our political landscape in the recent past like Colossus, feeding fat on our collective inheritance brought to justice and swiftly so. The stoppage or reduction of corruption and the recovery of our stolen resources is critical the efforts to build a sustainable society in which we all have a reasonable chance of achieving our legitimate aspirations.