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ICPC Chairman Must Resign

September 1, 2008

Please raise your hands if you know the name of the current Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC). And a big prize is yours if you can name 1 case that was successfully prosecuted by that sombre body. The ICPC is currently led by gentleman Rtd. Justice Emmanuel Ayoola.

Please raise your hands if you know the name of the current Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC). And a big prize is yours if you can name 1 case that was successfully prosecuted by that sombre body. The ICPC is currently led by gentleman Rtd. Justice Emmanuel Ayoola.

Justice Ayoola succeeded Rtd. Justice Mustapha Akanbi who was the premier Chairman when that agency was inaugurated back in September 2000. On Tuesday 26 August this year while attending the opening of something called the South West Zonal Conference of the 2008 National Conference of Anti-Corruption Units in Government Establishments in Ibadan, Justice Ayoola said that the ICPC is going to go spiritual due to increasing cases of corruption among public and private officials in Nigeria. Specifically, he said "Come September 7th, we are going to God the almighty. We are going spiritual about it.” He added, "If this could be done, there will be a total transformation when the Holy Spirit takes over the affairs of every citizen of this country.

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We are also going to do this among the Muslim community. If the Muslims change, Christians change, then who will be corrupted in our nation? Those are the two major religions in our country. If they begin to act to their faiths, the Christians believe they have to be honest, Muslims also believe that they have to be honest, then the war would have been won." Justice Ayoola further revealed that come September 7 2008, the ICPC will declare national days of fasting and prayer to combat the scourge of corruption in Nigeria.

He avowed that after this period of spiritual intercession, things will not be the same again in the country. Before you ask; 75 year old Justice Ayoola is a retired Justice of the Supreme Court. In saying that the Holy Spirit will take over, clearly implied is that for Justice Ayoola, water don pass garri. He is saying loudly that he cannot perform the job in which he now finds himself. A personal call to be sacked couldn’t be more blatant. But we know nobody is going to sack Justice Ayoola, so please let him resign.

Yar’Adua can’t find the time, and the establishment is just too happy with the way he has performed his duties so far. No indictments. There wasn’t supposed to be any. Obasanjo was actually pressurised into creating the ICPC and later the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) by Western countries (particularly the USA whom he just loved to please) due to growing concerns about the funding network of terrorism. OBJ, being abundantly blessed with itchy fingers himself, put at the head of these agencies persons he thought would simply sit around and merely warm-up expansive leather chairs. Ribadu at the EFCC – to the surprise of those that nominated him, and to OBJ’s initial discomfiture – turned out to be actually interested in real work. His zeal was promptly checked, he was starved of funds and was reined-in until Obasanjo saw in the young man an opportunity to terrorise his opponents and strong-arm Nigerians.

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It would be recalled that Ribadu on his own initiative fully engaged, and actively sought out the support and partnership with other well established international crime fighting organisations. But the Nigerian establishment was never really happy with him. The government second-guessed him every step of the way; and in the end, he was made to look rather foolish. Not so the ICPC. That organisation more or less only really exists on paper. Justice Akanbi during his own tenure dutifully shined his leather chair. Throughout his time at the ICPC, he was only known for praying five times a day and (like Keith Sweat) always stating what he was going to do. Justice Ayoola has merely perfected this fine art of declaring in the media what he would do whilst actually doing bugger all. We know that Yar’Adua and his crew will not sack anybody who is not fighting corruption. Did the IG of Police, Mike Okiro not build a Shopping Complex in less than one year in office? Did Attorney General, Michael Aondoakaa not build a magnificent mansion in Abuja and relocate his family to the UK in that same amount of time? Did James Ibori not travel with the official Nigerian delegation to the recently concluded Olympics in Beijing? En-hen!

So let the Holy Spirit take over the reigns of fighting corruption. Since the ageless and delectable Mrs Farida Waziri took charge at the EFCC, Orji Kalu, Joshua Dariye, Peter Odili and co are back running things as godfathers. Ibori and Lucky Igbinedion have their international passports back in their sizeable breast pockets. Saminu Turaki and Chimaroke Nnamani are back in the hallowed Senate. The case-file of a livewire pilferer, Mrs Patience Jonathan had been reported as missing. And the non-delectable Ms Iyabo Obasanjo is back in the open, wearing excessive makeup and declaring Nigerian Doctors incompetent folks. So by all means, let the Holy Spirit take over. But as the Holy Spirit takes over at the ICPC, one of the cases I’ll suggest it looks into with some urgency is that of one Danjuma Goje, the current Governor of Gombe State. Goje caused the Gombe State House of Assembly to pass a bill (in less than 24 hours) in June 2008 granting himself and his deputy Lazarus Yoriyo, and former Governor Abubakar Hashidu pensions. Goje’s proposal of a pension of N500 million for governor and N300 million for deputy governor was toned down to N200 million and N100 million respectively. Goje and Yoriyo, both still serving their second term had since collected the N300 million pensions for their first term (2003 – 2007). This wonderful innovation from the brilliant mind of Goje I’m sure is destined for the Guinness Book of World Records. But wouldn’t you know it; former Governor Hashidu claimed he hasn’t received a Kobo. Ah, Nigeria!



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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