Presidential Pardon: Nail In Coffin For EFCC By Tayo Oke, Ph.D

By Tayo Oke, Ph.D

Just when we thought we had seen the worst example of a brazen act of corruption in Nigeria, then, we are treated to an even more gargantuan act: Presidential pardon for convicted state looters. This has happened to our faces, in broad day light, and life goes on; the moon has not crashed in on Nigeria. It is, quickly, business as usual; never mind the hue and cry of a few outside the realm of Presidential powers. The happenings in our country truly defy superlatives and hyperboles; they defy logic and rational analysis at the best of times.

The lugubrious medical doctor, Doyin Okupe; the bulldog on Jonathan’s lawn (aka spokesperson on “public affairs”)was doing the media rounds soon after the pronouncement, casting fire and brimstones on the head of those voicing reasonable concerns about the moral health of the Nigerian state at the sight of this most heartrending of occurrences involving public corruption in our country. Referring to the pardon granted the former governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyseigha, Okupe decried: “He has been convicted, jailed and had his property confiscated. What else do people want of him?” Well, let me inform the Presidency of what people really want of him:  They want the stench of corruption he brought on himself through his conviction and jail sentence to remain.  A Presidential pardon of the kind shown by Jonathan cleanses him of this stench; it robs the whole country of its collective decency and justice.  Is anyone listening at the Presidency?

Of a more immediate impact is what the Presidential pardon does for the body charged with fighting corruption in official places namely; the EFCC. When an organisation like this devotes human and material resources into tracking down corrupt officials, spend years trying to bring them to justice, and when they finally succeed, they have the rug pulled underneath them by the person at the helm of affairs at the very top. How demoralising can this be for the men and women inside the EFCC, sweating it out with corrupt leaders day-in day-out? These men and women labour under death threats most of the times while they and their families have to put up with major disruptions to their lives as a result of the unenviable task with which they have been charged. On top of all that, they go through relentless criticisms in the press for not doing a better job of catching, prosecuting and convicting enough high-powered Politian-robbers in our midst. I have to say, I am one of those critics.  In one of my earlier write ups: “EFCC’s growing crisis of confidence”, PUNCH June 12, 2012, in which I said that the appointment of the current Chairman of the organisation, Ibrahim Lamorde, did not represent good use of his considerable talents, also that he lacked the “force of personality” to drive things through at the organisation.  Well, I am now prepared to eat humble pie on that. No amount of ‘force of personality’ can override the corrupt will of the Presidency in Nigeria.  EFCC lives at the behest of the Presidency and if the overwhelming forces of the state apparatus are bent on giving the likes of Alamieyseigha a clean bill of health in the face of local and international condemnation, then, there is nothing the head of the EFCC can do other than try and rebuild the shattered morale of his staff.  It does, however, make their job impossible. There is no amount of ruthless efficiency on the part of EFCC that is capable of overrunning the Presidential brick wall around their political “benefactors” even when they have been convicted and jailed.  

For Jonathan, therefore, his will to rehabilitate one of his own; his kith and kin, from political oblivion outweighs his will to stand up and be counted as a foremost anti-corruption President. It reminds one of US President Franklin D Roosevelt (1933-1945)’s sarcastic reference to the brutal, corrupt and right-wing dictator, Nicaraguan President, Anastasio Somoza (1937-1956): “He may be a son of a bitch, but he is our son of a bitch”.  Is Alamieyseigha Jonathan’s inverted son of the soil? It appears so.  Perhaps what is more frustrating is the damning acquiescence of the few high-calibre ministers in Jonathan’s cabinet.  Wasn’t it the British philosopher, Edmund Burke who said that the only condition necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (and women) to do nothing?  Granted that individual ministers could not have prevailed on the President to pull back from this ill-advised act, but doing nothing precisely makes them complicit in the wrong committed by the Presidency.

We have yet to witness a public official in Nigeria willing to put their career on the line for principle. Did it not occur to any of the high-ranking ministers especially the ones holding economic briefs, including the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and foreign affairs ministry that extending a Presidential pardon to a person like Alamieyseigha is palpably wrong? Is there nothing these ministers would not swallow for the sake of hanging on to office?  Can one not imagine what a resignation by, say, Jonathan’s minister of finance, or foreign affairs, or even Central Bank of Nigeria governor over the pardon could have done to the administration and the cause of justice in Nigeria? Is standing up for public morality something only practiced in foreign land; in Western countries to the exclusion of Africa?  Even more audacious and earth-shattering event would it have been for the Chairman of EFCC to tender his resignation on principle or, is that day-dreaming?  If this is not the moment for gallant leadership from one of these figures, then, when would there ever be one? Is there nothing that could be so wrong; so morally offensive to these men and women in high office that would ever cause them to walk?

The attraction, allure and trappings of office are the ultimate aphrodisiacs for men and women in power and high office in Nigeria. They are pampered; showered with the kind of perks their counterparts in the West can only dream of. They wake up to their bowl of cereals, fresh milk and sliced bread; their retinue of maids, domestic servants and gatemen running at their beck and call, their police orderlies with their clacking walkie-talkies being seized of their boss’s personal security and route planning for their convoy of vehicles, their bullet-proof SUVs in tainted glasses, the blaring of sirens clearing off nonentities off the road to ensure the boss’s smooth passage to the all important ministerial briefings etc. This is peppered by sumptuous lunches, brunches, and dinners in between meetings and conferences through the rest of the day. These people are ensconced in a cocoon; a bubble that shields them from the reality of life around them. They live in a vacuum with no moral compass. After all, it is their turn to eat, why allow any pangs of guilt to interrupt that? They and the administration they serve are not only rotten from the core; they are rotten to the core!

Tayo Oke is an expert in international capital markets law, financial regulation and anti-money laundering legislation is also a director at OKEASSOCIATES INTERNATIONAL.  Contact:


The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

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Alams enjoy yr pardon --never mind them

@MY FRIEND DERI! Do people enroll in vocational schools to upgrade their reasoning faculties or learn a trade-see how far your limited thoughts on national issues can go? Want to show off your PHD-Pull him dowm-degree-Look here Deri has never and will never shy away from the battle of IDEAS-with pick and pay writers like u! Here is the thing though-Alams was the only governor Ribadu impeached-after using the police to arrest lawmakers in Bayelsa state-the only governor to be tried and jailed 4 Obj. Cause Alams said No to his 3rd term agenda-yet a man who claims to have a PHD-cannot examine issues from a rationale point of view-Alams is corrupt so why must he be pardoned-are the pardons meant for Popes or to unconvict sinners? Is a Alams a murderer-Eeven members of BH were handed over to Emirs and sultans who pardoned dem. USA presido-Frankling Roosevelt granted 0ver 3,000 pardons-Woodrow Wilson 2,480 George Washington 16, Jonah 5-animals

AM BESIDE MYSELF GIGGLING WITH A MISCHEVIOUS SMIRK ON MY FACE!!! am sitting here giggling, smiling and sometimes with a mischievious smirk on my face. other times i have this ear to ear grin on my bonny light shinny face. i wonder why? anybody wants to know why? the frustration been expressed here is CLASSIC! surely UNPARALLELED!! simply THRILLING. just BOMBASTIC!!!
imagine your inside walls are lined with tasty tongue cells and your blood is saturated with the best tasty, super-mouth watering, and exotic-fruit topped hot fudge. this, you feel in every fiber of your beign as your blood flows through your tongue-cell lined insides. YES!!! you would be ticking too at this one decision by the president and how it is driving people MAD!!! many more of such decisions to come. cannot wait for 2012.

@akpos1: this one pass Jonathan's Port-harcourt Degree (PhD)

@akpos1 fool

Is your moron Jonathan PhD (Port-harcourt Degree) a Yoruba man ?
Does Ngozi Iweala not append Dr. to her name ?
Don't bite more than you can chew, Otuoke Chimpanzee.
While Ken Saro Wiwa was being betrayed left-right-centre by fellow Ijaws, it was Yorubas protesting in the West.
When your moron Jonathan was being molested by a woman Turai Yaradua, it was a Yoruba man, Pastor Tunde Bakare protesting in Abuja.
It was a Yoruba man, OBJ Ota baboon, who carried your baby Jonathan all over the country in 2011 campaigning.
It was a Yoruba attack dog, Doyin Okupe, moron Jonathan called on when his PR ship was sinking.

Fool, 2015 would soon be here. You have alienated the North and abused the West and don't trust the SE, so we shall see how many votes cross-dresser Alamseighia, terrorists Asari and Tompolo and foolish apkos1 and Deri can give Jonathan.

I can't help but laugh each time I see these idiots add PhD to

My friend Fela sing say, man dey laugh na because man no fit cry. May Fela Truly rest in peace. Very much unlike his brother Thief Sege - a man whose sins the Devil finds repulsive...he will surely rest in pieces when he passes on....anyway, bak to the appendage --PhD.Recall Major Mukoro of the heroic well deserving coup of April 22, 1990 had a PhD in criminology. A well respected expert in imperial & brutish US,Canada etc. He is now a Prof. Unv hear say e dey make noise. When he writes, he simply calls himself Mukoro. But a Yoruba man will rant & carry loudspeaker. Small time them go hang the degree for neck...But why will the Oduduwa Republic citizens always append PhD to their names? Why? ....The answer is simple...that same reason why the Oba of Illorin is still hiding in the Offa forests since 1779 while an alien Emir sits on the throne. Shame!Long live the United SS&SE Republic

gej is a xtian wt hrt of love

who is a saint.

Jealousy at work!!

My 'friend' Deri, you represent the worst coming from Nigeria. I did not know the extent irresponsible and incompetent governance could throw up pathetic response from fellow Nigerians who consider themselves intellectually inadequate to contribute meaningfully to national issues. If you are jealous about the writers PhD, why not try even enrolling in a vocational school to upgrade your reasoning. The task of cleaning up Nigeria is really huge considering that you Deri have been given access to the internet with a lot of SS oil cash and a mandate to defend a Jonathan that has gone berserk with power, yet your response here gives a picture of someone who is angry with himself, unfulfilled and insecure in your job of defending incompetence with inadequate mental capacity and knowledge. I can imagine how jittery you are at the thought of a new Nigeria. God have mercy on you and your paymasters!

Deri....I am deeply sorry for you.

You have no more of a claim to the south south as many of us indigenes. But your mindset is so warped i am troubled. I feel sorry for the children that call you daddy if you have any.

What kind of kids would you raise? A few more Alams i guess. Please call a spade a spade. Your oil? What of the rest of us? You do not represent the south south so shut your dim wit! No one says there haven't been worst cases from other zones, but when a country makes some gains in fighting corruption, it is not for any man to blatantly throw us 20 years back. Even if he were my mothers child, i would disown him. Its called principle! You obviously have none you paid agent. The speed at which you get unto to every news posted on this subject is impressive. You are earning your money, but remember, one day is for the thief. May God cause you to regret every single word you have typed against the suffering children of this country especially the SS.


Dr Doyin Okupe is a pathological liar. There was never a time the convicted Alamieseigha became crucial to the Amnesty Programme. Citing examples from America and other climes to justify this treasonable crime by GEJ is frivolous and grotesque. Nigerians should be ready to send this FOOL back to the creeks in poverty stricken Ijaw land from where he came. It is indeed a tragedy of monumental proportions that these thieves and their sycophants are calling the shots in a great country like Nigeria. the struggle has just started and believe you me, from 2015, it will be GEJ that will be looking for pardon after he has been removed from the Presidency and tried by a Special Anti-Corruption Tribunal. All hands must be on deck to ensure that the Otueke born idiot is hounded in jail on or before May 30, 2015.

same old useless article

SO IF YOU do not ADD PHD to your name-we would not know- u are a member of the PULL THEM DOWN club-or realise you are educated enough abi-name the remaining 33 thieves-or bass off--nigeria is not owned by yorubas ibos and fulanis-we have more right than them--given the money that comes from our oily zone--where are the thieves ribadu told us about/ I mean the 33 thieves--Oke means rat in my dialect-and u are nothing but that--time for the SS to wake from their slumber-and say good bye to them-else these discrimination agains the people of the SS will continue--it will never end-others are waiting to swallow us up-as if we are their bath water--ask all the settlers to vamoose--from the south south--let us go with our thieves while they remain with their saints-where are the remaining governors that ribadu indicted--bring them out for jonathan to pardon-others are writing so I must also write--animals


Oga Oke, why continue to weep for EFCC? It was killed at birth by the corrupt duo of Ribadu and OBJ.

Corruption will continue to thrive because commentators like you are tainted by politicians. Only the minority tribes are found guilty along with an Igbo once in a while. Please note, all governors are corrupt. You will say 'excluding Fashola and Adams'. But let me ask 'where did they get their re-election campaign funds?'. Where has Buhari been getting his money for campaign three times in a row?

Please let us have President Jonathan. We can abuse him and accuse him even in error, yet not get arrested. That tyrant from Katsina would have cooked up new laws to hang or gun-down each one of us.


EFCC is caught unaware that the original criminal is at the receiving end. When EFCC indicts the lord of the criminals free them. Alarm has been set free to truncate the peaceful atmosphere of democratic transition which this dummy realized that he couldn't succeed in his bid to be a president. As his coward hoodlum brothers are supporting his criminality especially abusing and cursing America for accusing him of impunity the culprit has engaged in another criminal act of generating money for his political match in the name of religion. The thief cannot win any elections because he is a thief and rascal. Who will give him votes at Primary elections and who will vote for him in general elections and why? Which governor will rig the elections for him and why?