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Friday, July 13, 2012

In Nigeria, anything can happen – Stani Slaus

Corruption of Democracy in Nigeria, July 5, 2012 A

In good old Nigeria, the wife of the president has just being made a Permanent Secretary in one of the Ministries in the state of Bayelsa. This move has being described by some as "idiotic", "the height of idiocy", "lunatic", "sycophancy", etc, etc.

People are wondering what her Civil Service pedigree is, in what Civil Service parastatal did she work before becoming the first lady of Nigeria?

Anyway, though dumbfounded and dismayed by this move, most Nigerians are not surprised, after all, this is a country where anything gives, anything can happen.

I mean, this is a country where five political parties once banded together and named former dictator, Abacha, their sole, consensus candidate for the presidency of the nation.

This is the nation where the previous speaker of the House of assembly misappropriated or stole 40 billion naira (as the accusation) went, but he was let off the hook by an equally corrupt judiciary that said he had "no case to answer." A bank executive accused of stealing billions from her bank only received 6 months jail term which was spent "recuperating" in the hospital.

This is the nation where, the CBN governor decided to give CBN's money to victims of Boko Haram who were from his own constituency and ignored those others from other constituencies. In this nation anything can happen. Pension funds get diverted and it is highly likely that once the accused have "settled", they would be let off the hook.

In Nigeria, anything can truly happen. "Honourable" Farouk Lawan was charged with investigating fuel subsidy scam and irregularities, but as the accusation now goes, he decided to solicit for $3million dollars from one of those involved in the scams in order to "look the other way."

He subsequently received $620,000 with a "gentleman's" agreement from the payer that the balance would be paid at a later date. the payer subsequently squealed like a "pig to the slaughter." Farouk was caught, as they would say, "with his pants down" but, and mark this, it is very important, he says he did not solicit for and receive a bribe, he says he only "took money", to quote him properly, "I collected money not bribe".

In response, the House of Assembly has instituted committee after committee to investigate this issue. Meanwhile, the $620,000 has remained "lost in limbo" with no trace of it seen anywhere! To be honest, it seems, nobody looking in from the outside expects any coherent action or prosecution of this case. According to those who know these things, the police say they have enough to prosecute him with, so what are they waiting for?

Unreal as it may sound, it is safe to say that nobody in the nation is holding their breath for any sort of justice regarding the Lawan case. People have greeted the resulting rigmarole with a high dose of cynicism. Nothing has happened to those who have done worse and nothing will happen to Lawan. The case will eventually be swept under the rug and business will proceed as usual. Once the next scandal unfolds, this one will be forgotten.

It all becomes seriously laughable and ridiculous when someone is sentenced to death for stealing 1,500 naira (one thousand five hundred naira), that is not even up to $10. Yeah, I forgot to mention he also stole milk worth 400 naira. Meanwhile, people steal billions of naira everyday and all we hear from the lame-ass judiciary is they have "no case to answer." Corruption cases are being thrown out on cooked up frivolous technicalities. The same judiciary said James Onanefe Ibori had no case to answer.

Justice seemed to have fled Nigeria long ago. We can't seem to find her anywhere. She took a look at the future and realised Nigerians where too much for her. So she upped and left. all three arms of government have thrown their lot together and now anything goes because at the end of the day, they continue to look out for themselves, watching each others' backs.

So the rigmarole, the eternal grand charade of the corrupted and corruptible in Nigeria continues. Anything goes, anything continues to happen. Seriously, nothing surprises me anymore about this my country. If I wake up tomorrow and learn that Dame Patience Jonathan has being appointed to the Judiciary, I won't be surprised. If I wake up tomorrow and learn that Dame Patience Jonathan has being appointed a Commissioner of Police, I won't be surprised. Even if I wake up tomorrow and learn that Dame Patience Jonathan is now the President of Nigeria, I still won't be surprised, for after all, this is Naija and in this nation right out of the "twilight zone" anything can and does happen.

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