CRIME & PUNISHMENT: THE NIGERIAN EDITION

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The current probe into Nigeria's failed power sector revealed and continues to reveal how trusted officials and their private sector 'friends' robbed the nation of millions, resulting in a country that cannot provide electricity for any sustained period of time. It is definitely a positive thing that the failures of the power sector and those involved are highlighted for the world to see. After all, democracy is all about accountability. Yet, the constant variations of the same allegations and revelations that are 'exposed' everyday have become repetitious.

PROSECUTION & PUNISHMENT

It is time to move on to the next step. No more public humiliation of corrupt officials and their friends, no more confessions from Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello about how much money (N10 million) she took from the Ministry of Health. It is time for the business of prosecution and punishment. Yardy just instructed the EFCC to charge Global Infrastructure Holdings (Nigeria) Ltd. (an Indian company meant to manage Ajaokuta Steel). He also directed the EFCC to prosecute members of the Federal Government and others that were involved in the failure to honor contracts meant to provide energy to millions. While it is refreshing to see Yardy jumping into the fray and taking a public stand on this power-corruption nuisance, more is needed. Assets must be frozen. Passports must be held by courts to prevent flight. Nigeria Politricks would probably advocate the creation of special prison cells for the many that should, but probably will never see a day in jail.

I know I previously advocated the 'censure' Aondoakaa a while back. Although I seemingly got my wish, I never advocated muzzling the Ministry of Justice. It is time to 'unleash' Aondoakaa and as many staff as can be spared to commence the many cases that needed to be before the courts last week. The nation must be apprised of the specific plans the Ministry of Justice and other satellite Commissions (EFCC, ICPC) have to punish those that have failed to honor their responsibilities and contractual duties to Nigeria and its people.

THE CASE OF 'ROTTING' TURBINES...
Two months ago, fellow blogger, Omodudu, pointed out that 18 turbines worth $3 billion, remained idle at the Apapa Wharf in Lagos because the "government ha[d] no way of moving them to the site of the power stations." Omodudu went on to suggest that at least 1 million Nigerians could show up and find a way to lift those turbines and get them to their locations. Well, I am happy/sad/nonchalant to inform the world that there is something 'rottingly fishy' going on. ThisDay Online reports that there are actually 21 turbines rotting away at three ports.in Onne, Warri and Calabar. And, government officials are still scratching their heads on how to 'fix' Nigeria's electricity woes. Some person or company got paid a grand total of $300 million, as far as we know, for those turbines. They have probably invested that money, doubled it by now and are lying on a yacht in the Mediterranean sipping on a cold alcoholic beverage. Whoever ordered those turbines without ensuring that they get to their necessary destination should probably lose their job. In fact, their boss should lose his/her job and be charged for criminally failing the public.

THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING AIRCRAFT
For over two weeks, Nigerians have been watching the saga of the missing plane. A small plane, allegedly belonging to James Ibori according to Nigeria Politricks blog, disappeared and is feared to have crashed somewhere along the border between Nigeria and Cameroon. For two weeks, newspapers have been awash with theories and speculation over where the plane crashed. Nigeria pleaded for help, and was reportedly turned down by Cameroon, to search for the missing plane. Soon after, reports came out that necessary equipment needed to track planes is non-existent and/or inoperable in Nigeria. People like my sweet mother, questioned why the nation lacked such necessary equipment to manage aviation. All I could do was explain that if the nation can not generate enough electricity to power homes and businesses, it should not be shocking that aviation equipment is unavailable. But, the embarrassment of this situation knows no bounds because now, Nigeria will use the assistance of "foreign missions" to find the missing plane.

I cry for my beloved country. It is a beautiful land of rich history, abundant resources and incredible people. Somehow, we have lost our way and cannot handle small issues properly or tackle many large problems effectively. Whenever my spirits rise in anticipation of progress, a closer look into various situations dashes my hopes and dreams of positive change. I know that people are 'trying', but 'trying' is inadequate. Decisive, well reasoned, action is necessary at every level be it individual, state, or federal. And such action is especially necessary now that we are taking a closer look at ourselves as a nation and revealing our failures for what the truly are. We must not allow this opportunity to pass without doing the right thing - requiring the return of misappropriated funds from officials and contractors, suing them and sending those liable to jail. We must also use this opportunity to highlight a unified and well thought out strategy that we apply immediately to remedy the nation's failed energy sector, flailing aviation sector and quite frankly, every other struggling sector or industry in Nigeria.

Crime and Punishment. Those who did the crimes must be ready to do the time and the nation must be ready to dole out the necessary punishment and get back on the road to greatness.

Further Reading:
- Halliburton & Nigeria - Corruption Inc. Pt 2
- Nigerian Power Scandal: Authority Stealing
- Obasanjo-Bello and the Anti-Corruption Crusade
- Siemens & Nigeria - Corruption Inc.
- Corruption: The Common Denominator To All Our Problems


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wellsbaba said...

corruption is at the top....its in this country u catch a thief n he takes you to court!
its good we hav dis probes but actions hav2btaken lyk u said....pple hav2go to jail!
lets wait for d action part,that what i'm waiting for!

For the love of me said...

I am actually beginning to think the plane may never have disappeared cos I just don't get it. And why haven't we heard from any of the family of the missing crew? Nigeria is such a puzzle walai.
In a recent report by guardian, the minister of aviation said the forests in Obudu do not allow for a proper radar system. He said airlines operating to the area know that they do so at their own risk. And that they had been warned not to fly that way till something concrete had been done.

I simply did not know what to make of the statement.

Ms. emmotions said...

happenings is this country leaves one speechless atimes,
i read in the Guardian Newspapers of about a week ago that the plane has been found where it crashed close to ogbudu in cross river, they went ahead to recount the testimonies of the aclaimed witnesses of the crash, i was relieved, they even mentioned they even gave brief details of the captain and all,
i was thoroughly embrassed when after about two days, it was confirmed that the plane was still missing,
i felt sorri for the country nigeria, i wondered what brain was behind the plane disappearance, i mean to wat end?
i ve never been one to procalaim the failures of our country nigeria, i was always ready to point out the areas win which we have developed overtime but now i fear the little developments that usually covers up the failures are begining to slip away leaving nothing more to do than crying out for these failures,

u are so very correct when uy said the confessions and decoveries ve been going in circles, i mean , shouldnt these corrupt 'men' ve been put away to suffer for their crimes? at least to serve as a deterrant to others?

yardy.....he just is not hard enof to rule this country,

its so sad,

ur new 'look' is superb !!

guerreiranigeriana said...

well written post...i agree with you...enough with the discoveries and confessions already...but as i feel people should serve the time for their crimes and serve as deterrents to others, i do pray that the government can implore some creative ways of punishing people besides allowing them just rot in jail...despite my despise for corruption, some of these folks are pretty intelligent for some of the fuckery they have committed...as part of their sentence, they should be used to assist in addressing these issues, whether it is through involuntray donation of their monies or some other means...i haven't really thought it through...

...sometimes when i think of the problems in naija, i wish i could have studied every possible field, from law to engineering to midwifery...but then i wonder if that would even have any impact...look at someone like the minister of health seemingly crumbling under the pressure of corruption...i too cry for my beloved country...but hope prevails, as it must...

Doja said...

That we even have confessions and discoveries these days is a good sign! Things are happening (a bit), Before now people just did whatever they wanted with public funds and they were never discovered and never confessed.

I agree with you that we should move on to the next stage of trial and prison.

Will that happen soon? Probably not.

AustynZOGS said...

Nigeria is such a complex place.At times I want to ask if it is the same God that created the white people is the same that created Nigerians.Our leaders,politicians,etc are callous and without conscience.Can you imagine what this looted funds could have helped to fix if judiciously used? Yet,these thieves are shamelessly parading allover simply because we have a corruption friendly government.
Solomonsydelle,Thanks for visiting my blog

Moody Crab said...

I know we have a long way to go but we can please be happy/grateful/hopeful that there is some form of confession and investigation going on? Remember the days of yore? The days of OBJ when these types of fuckries would have died a slow quiet death?

Indeed we have a long way to go but we have also come a long way. At least Yardy is publicly speaking of punishment for the offenders not the usual RULE OF LAW rants? My people we don try sha.

We have to learn how to crawl for running a marathon....

The Last King Of Scotland said...

it is indeed appalling. thanks for the info on the turbines. sad sad sad

Omodudu said...

If one has to kick back 50% of the procurement costs of a turbine trust me, there is very little left for postage. Also should the government attempt to question the postmaster, a lot 'kankaworms' will be let loose. Abeg lets start to enjoy Nigeria the way it is.

Jinta said...

i am saddened that ibori did not appear to be on that plane that crashed

wellsbaba said...

guy where hav u bin?did u hear dat some electoral tribunal dat were supposed to justify d cases of rigged elections are themselves caught in a 2.3billion bribery scandal?

Xena!!! said...

nice.. very informative,,, i do hope our image change... we have such a bad 1... but lord knows i'll stand 4 my country anyday

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