By Amaechi Agbo
“For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.” – Romans 13 vs 4
When former President Goodluck Jonathan called to the General Overseer (GO) of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adebayo to call the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo who is a revered pastor in the church to order him to halt his continuous exposure of malfeasance that took place under his tenure, it became clear that they would stop at nothing to conceal their misdeeds.
The rot and unbridled corruption perpetrated by Jonathan and his officials are simply unprecedented that it would be an anomaly and injustice if they are not called out.
He seems to have been pricked the most by Prof Osinbajo’s speech at The Platform, a programme organised by the Covenant Christian Centre in Lagos which he said three persons stole $3 billion (N1 trillion) in the Jonathan administration.
Not happy with the revelation, they asked the Vice President to name the persons involved if his claims were true and he did. He listed Jide Omokore, Kola Aluko and the former Petroleum Resources Minister Diezani Alison- Maduekwe as the three persons involved. Since his response, we have not heard from Jonathan and his cohort.
But that is one of many revelations about the immediate past government and also one of many which he did not say to Pastor Adeboye. Earlier in March this year, the VP also explained to Nigerians how the Jonathan administration shared N150 billion two weeks to the 2015 elections while it spent a paltry N14 billion on agriculture in 2014; N15 billion on transportation and only N153 billion on infrastructure in three years.
No country where would such looting spree as witnessed under Jonathan be hatched and executed with cruelty would not lead to economic contraction and a disjoint in economic flow.
It is disheartening that instead of calling his crooks who milked this country dry and aborted her promising future to return the loots they had pillaged for their selfish benefits, rather the former President is adding a needless burden on a clergy who knows very much that the Vice President is only saying the truth.
Just in case the former president and his media jokers have forgotten, in March this year, the federal government released the list of looters of which more are expected to be released soon to the Nigeria populace. Expectedly, the named looters never went to court to challenge the list. Only two did.
The only worrying situation we have at hand is that the courts in the land have not been proactive enough in the federal government’s anti-corruption fight, otherwise many people walking on the streets in the country should be cooling off in various jails in the country serving various jail terms for their self aggrandizement while in office.
If indeed, Vice President Yemi Osibanjo’s revelations were untrue as Jonathan’s uninformed media aids posited, one would have expected Goodluck Jonathan to do the needful – go to court and claim damages. But alas, he decided to dabble in pettiness seeking favour where he has none.
The law is clear on the defamation of character and as an educated man, one would have expected him to explore this option. Like the saying goes, that one does need not wear glasses to check what is on the wrist.
In releasing the list of the looters in March, the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammad said “The decision by the APC-led government to reveal the names of the alleged looters and the funds allegedly stolen is in response to the opposition party, PDP’s, challenge to the government to name those alleged to have looted the country and destroyed the economy.
“This list is just a tip of the iceberg, and the APC did not make these cases up as some of them currently have cases in court.
“We insist that Nigeria was looted blind under the watch of the PDP and that the starting point in tendering an apology is for them to return the loot.
“We will not stop talking about the massive looting by the PDP. They brought Nigeria to this sorry pass.”
The federal government through the culture and information ministry released the following names, inter alia, as looters of Nigeria treasury under the unfortunate leadership of last administration:
Former NSA Sambo Dasuki: Based on EFCC investigations and findings alone (this is beside the ongoing $2.1 billion military equipment scandal), a total of N126 billion, over $1.5 billion and 5.5 million British Pounds was embezzled through his office. A good number of these monies were simply shared to persons and companies without any formal contract awards.
Former Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke: In just one of the cases the EFCC is investigating involving her, about N23 billion is alleged to have been embezzled. She is also involved in the Strategic Alliance Contracts of the NNPC, where the firms of Jide Omokore and Kola Aluko got oil blocks but never paid government taxes and royalty. About $3 billion was involved. The Federal Government is charging Omokore and Aluko and will use all legal instruments local and international to ensure justice.
Rtd. Lt.-Gen. Kenneth Minimah: N13.9 billion. N4.8 billion recovered by EFCC in cash and property
Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika: N4.5 billion. N29m recovered by the EFCC so far.
Alex Barde, former Chief of Defence Staff: N8 billion, and EFCC recovered almost N4 billion in cash and property already.
Inde Dikko: former CG Customs: N40 billion, and N1.1 billion in cash recovered in cash and choice properties.
Air Marshal Adesola Amosun: N21.4 billion. N2.8 billion recovered in cash. 28 properties and 3 vehicles also recovered.
Senator Bala Abdulkadir, former FCT Minister: N5 billion. Interim forfeiture order on some property secured.
Senator Stella Oduah: N9.8 billion. Interim forfeiture order on some property secured.
Former Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu: N1.6 billion – from NSA.
Senator Jonah Jang, former Plateau State Governor: N12.5 billion.
Bashir Yuguda, former Minister of State for Finance: N1.5 billion, $829, 800 recovered.
Senator Peter Nwaboshi: N1.5 billion
Aliyu Usman: Former NSA Dasuki’s aide: N512 million
Ahmad Idris: Former NSA Dasuki’s PA: N1.5 billion
Rasheed Ladoja: Former Oyo Governor: N500 million
Tom Ikimi: N300 million
Femi Fani-Kayode: N866 million
Hassan Tukur, former PPS to President Goodluck: $1.7 million
Nenadi Usman: N1.5 billion
Benedicta Iroha: N1.7 billion
Aliyu Usman Jawaz: Close ally of former NSA Dasuki: N882 million
Jonah Jang, former Plateau State Governor: N12.5 billion
Godknows Igali: Over N7 billion
PDP Chairman Uche Secondus: On the 19th of Feb 2015, took N200 million only from the office of the NSA.
Therefore, if former President Jonathan should make any call, that call should be that the crooks who looted Nigeria’s common patrimony should return them.
When the people that safeguard the big masquerade are chased away, the masquerade feels threatened and insecure and like a drowning man, will try to hold unto anything real or imaginary for relevance.
Amaechi Agbo is a public affairs analyst based in Abuja.