Thursday, November 1, 2007

Akin asked a very pertinent question in response to my last post about former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mrs. Patricia Etteh. His question was "Hang on: are you telling me that she won't even be punished or anything??"

Unfortunately, with Nigeria, one cannot always proffer a definite answer. I will say this, however. The Integrity Group specifically referred to the Corrupt Practices and Other related Offenses Act of 2000 and the possibility of up to 47 years in jail for actions related to the scandal. Unfortunately, the head of the ICPC recently told the press that his office was yet to be contacted by the Integrity Group or any Parliamentary Office yo place charges against Etteh or her deputy. He also clarified that the Etteh scandal would more appropriately fall under the auspices of EFCC but that his office could, if invited to, place charges against her. Now the fact that these individuals are talking about this suggests that people are thinking about the next step for Etteh. Meaning, it is not a forgone conclusion that Etteh will go unpunished. Considering our history, that is an excellent development.

All we know at this point is that Nigeria's House of Representatives has elected a new Speaker. His name is Dimeji Bankole. Despite a demand from PDP leadership that Etteh's replacement be from her home state of Osun, Mr. Bankole is from Ogun State. That break from the leadership, coupled with the inability of the PDP to formulate a singular strategy to deal with Etteh while in office suggests that some politicians are dancing to a beat other than that of the Pied Piper (read PDP godfathers/OBJ/who ever you will). That could in turn suggest that Etteh will have to face punishment, especially if her opponents (PDP and non-PDP members) have anything to say about it.

I will also note that Yardy's administration continues to publicly cut its ties to OBJ (who, as Nigeria Politricks pointed out in a recent comment, is considered a supporter and protector of Etteh by many Nigerians). Over the last few months, Yardy has revoked various laws, contracts, and policies created by OBJ (See YARDY SCRAPS AN ILLEGAL CONTRACT GRANTED BY OBJ as an example). Today, it was announced that former ministers indicted by the House will be charged. Speaking for the administration, Aondoakaa "succinctly' attacked the EFCC by "f
ault[ing] the apparent restriction of the war against corruption by the then Olusegun Obasanjo administration to former governors." It appears that the jagbajantis ("Nonsense") between Aondoakaa and Ribadu continues to brew. But, honestly, I don't care as long each of them does their job to stem corruption! I just wish that instead of talking about OBJ and former ministers, Aondoakaa (Yardy's mouthpiece), had informed Nigerians about the possible legal outcomes of the Ettehgate scandal.

Don't forget that I pointed out that last week, Aondoakaa announced that present and former members of Parliament will face Federal Government charges if indicted by Parliament. Therefore, there are promises that punishment is on the way for Etteh and her 'friends' that have behaved improperly. This is the first time that Nigeria has seen anything like this - a powerful person forced from their position due to corruption - and I am hopeful that those indicted will be charged, tried and if found guilty, punished severely.

May I just add that I am tickled that BBC described the Ettehgate scandal by stating that "[t]he affair has been an embarrassment for President Umaru Yar'Adua, who promised zero tolerance on corruption." That simply reinforces the view of this author and many other Nigerians. Despite that, I am yet to hear a response from "sof'ly, sof'y" Yardy. Can someone please impress upon him that comments by Aondoakaa will not suffice....

5 Curiosities. Add Yours.:

Ms. Catwalq said...

I have to come back and read this one proper...
u see, if the person is not doing something good, I don't collect information on or of them. Since Etteh falls in the latter category, I have to go actually find out what is going on b4 I comment.

Afrobabe said...

I think if they are going to purnish her for anything then all her predecesors should be purnished as well...What she did is not right but lets not be picky on who to purnish

NigeriaPolitricks.com said...

It's good to hear that Yardua has revoked various laws, contracts and policies created by OBJ...I would think that's an easier task, considering the fact that, as a President, to revoke and destroy is just a stroke of the pen! But are they (Yardua's govt) re-couping the upfront monies for those contracts? what has Yardua done since he became President?...can you highlight some of his achievements thus far?
BTW, to every issues that confronts Nigeria as a nation, Yardua's only solution has been turned into a popular slogan: "that at the end of the day, afterall, the rule of law will prevail"... The term "rule of law" has been bandied around by the Yardua's govt at every opportunity they gets. Yardua thinks to be president means to be able to afford frequent trips abroad for medical check-ups.

Kiibaati said...

Punishment? Haba. This issue has gone too far already. To protect our nascent democrazy and avoid overheating the polity, it is best that all issues be settled as a family matter. This is our usual practise in PDP.


lol @ Kiibati. Unfortunately, that has been the tradition when it comes to corruption and other issues in Nigeria. Hopefully, something better, like actual judicial punishment, will happen.

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