Law is order, and great law is great order”. -Aristotle
If there is any understanding that is so well-known that you do not require commonsense to analyze is the possibility that police under the command and control of the executive arm of federal government can be controlled and released as political guard dog versus viewed challengers of the president or guv.
This much was made manifest just recently when I published on my social networks page a special details a serving federal cabinet member of the President Muhamadu Buhari informed me and a couple of pals about how Financial and Monetary Crimes Commission (EFCC) is utilized to target viewed challengers of the president.
This details generated similar reactions from my audiences who all chorused that it is not a trick that EFCC is the guard dog of the President.
I will talk about in broad information some remarkable circumstances in the past and present times that illustrate the extensive claims that the President and his relied on patriots from the Moslem North are utilizing the EFCC as political guard dog for witch hunt.
I will nevertheless point out 3 circumstances in which it is now being feared that the EFCC is placed to stop enthusiastic and feasible Igbo political leaders from looking for to be successful President Buhari in 2023.
The clearest proof that indicate the abovementioned plot by EFCC to knock off the South East from the estimations of possible follower of president Buhari holds true of the previous guv of Abia State and the present Senate’s Chief whip Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.
This gentleman has actually been dragged through all the court system in Nigeria by EFCC over accusations thought to be phantom in which the objective is to get conviction by hook or scoundrel and politically cripple among the most energetic and nationally accepted political tactician of the twenty-first century– senator Orji Uzor Kalu.
This much searched for conviction will immediately disallow him from running in 2023 given that the constitution bars deceptive convicts from ever holding public workplace till 10 years or, so after the court’s conviction.
In their very harmful speed to found guilty Orji Uzor Kalu and render him politically unuseful particularly in the year 2023 governmental election, the EFCC and the then judge of the Federal High Court shot themselves on the leg when the judge who got promoted to the court of Appeal whilst the case of EFCC versus Senator was still pending, decline to presume his correct status as a Court of Appeal’s Justice however picked to acquire a fiat to continue as both Federal High Court judge and a justice of court of Appeal at the very same time. This makes the conviction of Orki Uzor Kalu harmful given that in reasoning absolutely nothing can be and not be or rather you can’t be a judge in the high court and at the very same time a Justice at the Appeal court.
The judge then maliciously founded guilty Orji Uzor Kalu and had him tossed into jails for several years, returned to resume at the Appeal Court simply as the EFCC combated versus every effort Orji Kalu made to acquire bail pending his appeal versus his conviction.
The case got to the Supreme Court and as God predestined it Senator Orji Uzor Kalu who had actually invested 6 months in jail, got launched when the peak court revoked his conviction.
To show that there is a political agendum, the EFCC submitted a fresh trial at the Federal High Court.
Picking up a clear symptom of harmful prosecution which can appropriately be called a persecution, the Federal High Court under another judge without any inconsistent status, quashed the trial for the 2nd time over very same matter of the Senate’s Chief whip, therefore leading the way for his ultimate release from 6 months of prohibited imprisonment.
The action of this newest Federal High Court’s judge who dismissed the retrial of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu completely shows what Augustine of Hippo (354-430 CE) stated therefore: “If justice be eliminated, what are federal governments however excellent bands of burglars?”
Therefore reprieve came the method of a previous guv of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, as the Federal High Court being in Abuja, disallowed the Federal Federal government from retrying him, based upon the N7.1 billion cash laundering charge the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, earlier chosen versus him.
The court, in the judgement that was provided by trial Justice Inyang Ekwo, depended on a decision the Supreme Court provided on Might 8, 2020, to stop additional procedures in the criminal case the EFCC set up versus Kalu and his company, Slok Nigeria Limited.
Justice Ekwo worried that the peak court had in its judgement, specifically bought the retrial of Kalu’s co-defendant, Mr. Jones Udeogu, who was a previous Director of Financing in Abia State.
He kept in mind that while Udeogu was the Appellant in the stated appeal that was chosen by the Supreme Court, Kalu and his company, were just mentioned as Participants in the matter.
Justice Ekwo held that it would be lawfully incorrect for Kalu and his company to be subjected to fresh trial, when the peak court did not make such order while choosing Udeogu’s appeal.
He stated the proof prior to him revealed that the Supreme Court just bought the return of Udeogu’s case-file for retrial, with no reference of either Kalu or his company.
” Can this court broaden the order of the Supreme Court by buying the retrial of the Offenders in this case”, Justice Ekwo queried, keeping that inline with judicial hierarchy, it would be lawfully incorrect for his court to work out jurisdiction not offered to it by the Constitution.
Moreso, he held that the Supreme Court might not have actually bought Kalu’s retrial, given that he never ever looked for such relief.
” The court can not give relief to a celebration who did not look for very same prior to it. The first Accused (Kalu) neither looked for nor made an application for retrial. No such order was made.
” A law court must stop where the statute dropped in the workout of its jurisdiction. This court, by the declaration of the Supreme Court, is task bound to continue with retrial of the second Participant (Udeogu).
” The court is not a correct location for concern of belief, however the law”, Justice Ekwo included.
He held that there was benefit in the fit Kalu submitted to challenge the legal propriety of his organized re-arraignment by the EFCC.
Besides, Justice Ekwo dismissed EFCC’s counter-affidavit EFCC versus Kalu’s fit on the facility that it was “pre-emptive, speculative, opinionated”, and versus area 115 (1) and (2) of Proof Act, 2011.
He held that Kalu’s case was established on the legal concept of “autrefois found guilty”, which forbids his retrial for the very same offense he was formerly pursued and founded guilty.
” The case of the Appellant need to be successful on its benefit and has actually so been successful. The judgement of the Supreme Court is last and can not be relitigated”, Justice Ekwo included.
He held that enabling EFCC to retry Kalu and his company would total up to offense of area 36( 9) and (10) of the 1999 Constitution, as modified, along with area 283 of the Administration of Wrongdoer Justice Act, ACJA, 2015.
Particularly, the court released an order, “forbiding the Federal Republic of Nigeria through the EFCC, her representatives, officers, servants, privies and any other individual or bodies obtaining authority from the Federal Republic of Nigeria from retrying the Candidate on Charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/ 56/07 F. R. N. VS. Orji Uzor Kalu & & 2 Ors. or any other charge based upon the very same facts-the stated Candidate having actually been attempted, founded guilty and sentenced by the Judgement or this Honourable Court dated the fifth day of December, 2019, under the hand of Hon. Justice M. B. Idris, JCA.
In addition to, “An order forbiding the Federal Republic of Nigeria through the EFCC, her representatives, her officers, servants, privies and any other individual or bodies obtaining authority from the Federal Republic of Nigeria from retrying the Candidate on charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/ 56/07 F. R. N. VS. Orji Uzor Kalu & & 2 Ors. or any other charge based upon the very same realities de novo, there being no extant Judgement or Judgment of a skilled court in Nigeria mandating very same”.
The court nevertheless repaired January 11, 12 and 13 for retrial of Kalu’s co-defendant, Udeogu.
On the other hand, EFCC, through attorney, Mr. Oluwaleke Atolagbe, pledged to appeal the judgement which it referred to as a miscarriage of justice.
EFCC continued to appeal the termination of its witch hunt plot versus among the South East’s the majority of credible potential governmental prospects in 2023-Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.
Now let us take a look at the 2 other absurd actions of the EFCC which are most likely to be related to a formidably prepared political project to reject the South East of the possibility of ending up being the follower to president Buhari next year.
The very first holds true of the previous guv of Imo State Mr. Rochas Okorocha who left workplace over half a years earlier however EFCC did not submit or develop charges versus him till the very same day that this guy stated his objective to contest for the workplace of president in 2023 twenty hours earlier.
The concern to ask is why will the EFCC wait till Rochas Okorocha stated to go to be successful Muhammadu Buhari prior to it struck by filing charges prior to the Federal High Court?
There was an effort to utilize the media by the EFCC’S propaganda device to politically ruin Senator Anyim Pius Anyim who is among the only Nigerian conscious have actually held 2 crucial federal positions as Senate president at a time and at another date, he ended up being the Secretary to the Federal Government of the Federation.
However the effort to utilize the media versus Senator Anyim stopped working flat on its face due to the fact that as it is stated, a peace of mind fears no claims. Chief Anyim Pius Anyim who is likewise a flexible practicing attorney and political leader, took his time to provide ground breaking description on why he checked out the EFCC when words filtered into his ears that somebody discussed his name in a matter which he went to the anti-graft commission to clarify.
However the current arrest of among the most singing advocates for South East presidency of Nigeria in 2023 chief Osita Okechukwu is another tip to the supposed plot by EFCC to stop the South East from clinching the workplace of Nigeria president next year Might 29th 2023.
Currently, details has actually connected Okechukwu’s arrest to among others his political distinctions with the details minister Lai Mohammed the political kid of Bola Ahmed Tinubu who nurses aspiration to be successful Buhari.
Fresh realities have actually emerged from an inadequately hatched propaganda device of perhaps the minister of details on why the Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), Osita Okechukwu, landed in the web of among the anti-graft companies in the nation, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Okechukwu, a chieftain of the judgment All Progressives Congress (APC) and an ally of President Muhammadu Buhari given that the days of the defunct Congress for Progressive Modification (CPC), was apprehended by the EFCC on Saturday.
The VON employer, who was still with the anti-graft firm when submitting this report, is being quizzed by the fracture investigators of the commission over a case of conspiracy, abuse of workplace, and misappropriation of public funds to the tune of N1.3 billion.
VON, among the federal companies under the Federal Ministry of Info and Culture, was mainly developed with the required of transmitting Nigeria’s perspectives, and to forecast Nigeria’s favorable image to the worldwide neighborhood along with making the nation’s voice heard on the African continent.
Quickly after President Buhari’s introduction in 2015, Okechukwu, a popular political leader and among the stakeholders of APC from the South East area of the nation, was selected to man the firm.
His consultation was referred to as a benefit for his steadfastness, nerve and commitment to Buhari and the CPC, which later on combined with APC in 2014.
Particularly, Okechukwu was selected on Might 24, 2016, and he has actually been handling the affairs of the firm till today. He was, nevertheless, welcomed by the EFCC to address some concerns relating to the financial resources of the firm.
According to a petition gotten by Daily Trust, a few of the sins presumably devoted by Okechukwu, who got to the head office of the anti-graft firm in Abuja at about 1.32 pm on Saturday to honour the invite encompassed him and to react to a few of the accusations versus him are caught listed below:
Neglect for details minister: there is a reported cold war in between the minister of details and culture, Lai Mohammed, and the VON employer over the award of some agreements in the firm he superintends.
It was stated that the embattled federal firm employer concerned himself as Buhari’s guy who will constantly have his method as far as the award of agreements in the firm was worried.
He was declared to have actually formed the practice of bypassing the minister on the problems that associate with his firm.
Breach of Procurement Act-Okechukwu was declared to have actually breached the Procurement Act by granting some agreements to his relations without due option to the law.
Particularly, he was stated to have actually granted an agreement for the building of an ICT information centre at the freshly obtained VON workplace to his nephew, Emeka, of ECR Innovation Service Limited at the amount of N47 million.
Apart from that, the task was not finished in spite of being paid totally however was licensed finished by the firm. The agreement was granted on the second of Might, 2017 even prior to the EFCC turned over the freshly obtained home to the firm.
N1bn ICT facilities fund ‘wasted’- It was likewise declared that about N1 billion reserved as a fund for Info, Communication, and Innovation (ICT) for the firm, was used up without the board’s approval and it was presumably wasted under Okechukwu’s management in between 2017 and 2020.
” The quantity of cash invested in ICT in VON, if it was carefully utilized, might have turned VON into a first-rate ICT centre in Nigeria,” the petition partially checked out.
The site of the firm, which is anticipated to release in a minimum of 8 languages in order to reach its target market, was stated to have actually limited itself to transmitting or releasing in English Language just.
Another politically made claims is Agreement splitting in which 2 various agreements totaling up to N15 million and N43 million respectively were granted to the very same company, ECR Innovation Service Limited for the supply of 50 and 150 digital audio recorders in supposed case of agreement splitting.
In the very same vein, an agreement on the supply of software application for the firm worth N21 million was granted to Okechukwu’s nephew’s good friend who owns Eppin Forest Engineering Limited, however presumably provided software application for less than N5 million.
Anofher ludicrous charge is bypassing FEC for approval of OB Van replacement in which it is declared that Outdoors Broadcast van worth N150 million was to go to the Federal Executive Council for approval however it was stated that that was refrained from doing, rather he went on to the Bureau of Public Procurement for approval to purchase CODEX devices for the very same function that costs N50 million.
It was stated (who stated?) that the staying N100 million might not be represented.
The tissue of propaganda in Daily Trust reports that the period of the embattled VON DG ended in Might in 2015 and he presumably navigated and acquired a renewal for another regard to 5 years without the understanding of the details minister.
As a result, the minister has actually declined to release a declaration on his renewal to date, with Okechukwu remaining foot in the firm.
Following this advancement, worried personnel of the Voice of Nigeria (VON) have actually been contacting Minister Mohammed to avoid the impending breakdown of order in the organisation following a vacuum produced after the expiration of the period of Mr. Osita Okechikwu on the 23rd Might 2021.
On Monday, Might 24, 2021, Osita was challenged by personnel to provide a letter of reappointment, which he did not on that day prior to leaving the workplace.
In 2015, the worried personnel asked for the details minister to step in and offer a rapid instructions for piloting the affairs of VON pending approval of substantive DG while asking Mr. Osita to guide stay clear of VON to prevent any shame from a currently tensed personnel of the Corporation.
These personnel revolt might likely to be initiated by the guy who does not desire anything to empower somebody like Osita Okechukwu who is marketing for Igbo presidency.
It is apparent that EFCC for a long period of time has actually been utilized by the president to pursue his challengers and it is rumoured that members of the governmental cabal who are mainly those pulling the strings in EFCC do not desire the South East as the president in 2023 for whatever factor.
It is nevertheless not today that EFCC has actually been called out to stop been utilized for project of witch hunt.
In 2015 previous Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, advised the brand-new Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (INEC), Abdulrasheed Bawa not to catch push to utilize the anti-graft firm to witch-hunt opposition political leaders so as not to call into question its reliability.
His assertion can be found in the wake of the Court of Appeal’s acquittal of High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, the creator of Ray Power and AIT over cash laundering charges.
Atiku revealed his “happiness and uniformity” with the PDP chieftain over the Court’s choice in connection with the supposed N2.1 billion cash laundering charges brought versus him by EFCC associated to the arms agreements under previous National Security Advisor Sambo Dasuki.
A declaration from the previous Vice President’s media workplace on Friday signed by Paul Ibe stated he was elated with the result of the trial due to the fact that it exposed the reality about the uneven nature of the anti-corruption policy of the Buhari administration.
According to Atiku, “the whole anti-corruption trials seem concentrated on opposition political leaders, thus calling into question the reliability of the anti-graft firm.”
The previous Vice President remembered that throughout the 2019 governmental election, the EFCC focused its time and resources on harassing and arraigning assistants of opposition political leaders, while it was indifferent to how members of the ruling celebration were funding their projects.
The previous governmental prospect of the PDP kept in mind that even members of the worldwide neighborhood are now concerning terms with the truth that the anti-corruption crusade is not neutral, which the federal government is now utilizing the anti-corruption policy to contrive charges versus those they wish to utilize to advance particular political goals.
Atiku stated he was impressed with the consultation of Abdul Rasheed Bawa as EFCC chairman, however recommended him to gain from the errors of his predecessors.
The Wazirin Adamawa advised Bawa that his success will undoubtedly be identified by Nigerians and not by the federal government of the day and the ruling celebration.
” As a boy of excellent intelligence and self-confidence, I’m positive that you depend on the job. You need to be all set to bring back the magnificence of the EFCC by altering its public understanding as a political tool of the federal government in power. Let your conscience and history judge you. However you can just do so if you withstand external control. May Allah guide you aright,” Atiku even more informed Bawa.
The Benue State guv Samuel Ortom who is not especially liked by President Buhari due to the fact that of his outspokenness on the constant armed Fulani terrorism, had actually implicated EFCC of being utilized.
For example, on August 7, 2018, 2 weeks after defecting from the APC to the Peoples Democratic Celebration, Benue State Guv Samuel Ortom implicated the EFCC of freezing the state’s checking account.
Prior to this advancement, hardly 5 days after his defection, the anti-graft firm had actually implicated the guv of scams to the tune of N22bn.
The EFCC specified that the guv, in between June 2015 and March 2018, bought the withdrawal of N21.3 bn from 4 of the state’s checking account.
Out of the amount, about N19bn was stated to be indicated for the payment of 6 security companies that had actually been released in the state to attend to the constant clashes in between ranchers and farmers.
Nevertheless, the EFCC declared that less than N3bn of the cash was paid to the security companies, while the rest might not be represented.
Reacting, Ortom had asked a series of concerns, “Why am I being examined by the EFCC? My records exist. However up until now, I am the only guv in Nigeria whose security vote is being examined by the EFCC.
” How could you single me out of 36 (guvs) for examination? It (security vote) is not something that any federal government will start to divulge. Why should Benue State’s case be various– if not persecution?
EFCC has actually continued to reject this claims however keeps doing things that open them approximately allegations of political witch hunt. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in 2018, described that it is a facility mandated to eliminate corruption in the nation and never ever a tool utilized for witch-hunt as hypothesized by some individuals.
The zonal Head of the Commission in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Abdulkarim Chukkol, stated this in Uyo while responding to claims that the firm was being utilized by the All Progressives Congress, APC, to witch-hunt competitor celebrations in the state.
He stated the firm dealt with realities stating given that its workplaces were opened in the state, it has actually protected 8 convictions and over 256 others throughout the nation for many years.
” We have actually remained in the state for about a year and 4 months now. A great deal of activities have actually gone on in the state and we protected 8 convictions from Akwa Ibom State and 256 throughout the nation.
” We have lots of cases that are lining up for examination prior to we litigate. I can ensure you in the coming years we are going to protect more convictions,” Chukkol stated.
The zonal head stated that corruption war must not be left for the commission and federal government alone, worrying that the war should be combated by all Nigerians.
According to him, “Combating corruption is the task of all us. The function of this day is to produce awareness on the risks of corruption. All Nigerians need to all set, each and everybody has a function to play.”
He stated EFCC would continue to deal with NGOs and CSOs to produce awareness and get rid of corruption from our nation.
The realities of EFCC’S witch-hunt versus Igbo political leaders is troubling and this need to be come by all ways legal.
EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO, A POLITICAL AND MEDIA STRATEGIST was National commissioner of the NATIONAL HUMAN BEING RIGHTS COMMISSION OF NIGERIA.
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