WHY WAS IBORI RELEASED?
Newspaper reports offer a few reasons why the Judge released Ibori on N50 million bail. Ibori convinced the Court of the following -
- He was not a flight risk
- He would not interfere in the investigation
- He needed to be free to dig up the necessary documents that would prove his innocence.
- His health needed the sort of medical attention he could not receive in prison
because he was considered a flight risk, so what new information (other than the provision of three propertied sureties) influenced this change of heart? I do not think that between December and now, much has changed to reduce Ibori's wealth and connections, thus limiting the chance that he would flee prosecution. Furthermore, was the evidence of Ibori's proposed bribe to Ribadu not introduced during this particular hearing? If it was, then how is it that the Judge was convinced that Ibori would not interfere in the investigation of his alleged corruption? Also, if being able to personally retrieve documents necessary for the preparation of one's case where a valid reason to get bail, then everyone should be able to use that argument. And, finally, the EFCC argued that it would pay for Ibori's health care but apparently, Ibori's argument was much more convincing and thus he was released.
HOW DO THOSE REASONS SPELL THE END FOR THE EFCC?
Simple - if the EFCC cannot keep a man who has over a 100 charges against him in jail, I don't know how they will ever be able to achieve their mandate. The EFCC is charged with investigating and charging corrupt individuals and officials. Many of these people will have the means, acquired through their criminal atcivities, to hire the best possible defense. Consequently, the Commission must present the best possible case in order to efficiently and effectively tackle corruption. The EFCC's this early in the case spells much trouble ahead.
If the EFCC plans to remain a relevant institution, then it must be able to handle the legal wranglings and schemes it will surely face. Especially in light of the fact that Ribadu is no longer its leader. Nevertheless, I must confess that when there was a shakeup at the EFCC, I began to have doubts about whether the EFCC would be able to maintain the achievements of its 'glory days'. Apparently, I and everyone else that had those concerns were on the right track.
BESIDES, AONDOAKAA HAS A WAY OF GETTING WHAT HE WANTS...
One of the reasons why Aondoakaa was Nigerian Curiosity's Person of 2007, is that Aondoakaa tends to get what he wants. From the beginning of his tenure, Aondoakaa committed himself to whittling away whatever power the EFCC had. From his fights with Ribadu, to his promises to combine the EFCC and ICPC, then his recent announcement that the Federal Government will be introducing a new anti-corruption bill, it is clear that Aondoakaa, and his oga Yar'adua, are getting rid of the EFCC. Whether that spells the end of Nigeria's anti-corruption crusade is yet to be determined. But, let us all remember that Aondoakaa wrote a letter on Ibori's behalf to British Courts in 2007, stalling Scotland Yard's and the EFCC's investigation into Ibori's wealth. Therefore, if Aondoakaa wants Ibori free, it just might happen much sooner than most think. Considering the rapid decline of the EFCC, I will not be surprised if Ibori's case is eventually thrown out of Court and the man becomes a national hero of some sort.
It is for these and many other reasons that I can only say, "So long, EFCC. It was nice to have known you. Rest in Peace."
- Ibori, The EFCC & The Future of Nigeria's Anti-Corruption Crusade
- Ribadu's Removal
- Calls For Aondoakaa's Removal Increase
- Sabotage: Aondoakaa vs. Ribadu Et. Al.
- Nigerian Curiosity's Person of 2007
- Political Soap Operas: Nigerian Style
Have you subscribed to Nigerian Curiosity? Do it today.