Wednesday, August 4, 2010
SOUTH AFRICA'S WAR ON CORRUPTION, POLICE CHIEF SELEBI SENT TO PRISON!
Icheoku says, once again South Africa has led the way for other African countries, especially Nigeria, to follow on how to seriously and effectively fight off corruption in the continent. The South African example have confirmed that for the fight against corruption to be effective, it must start from top to down because the top feeders of the corruption are highly placed and well connected elites of the society. These bandits of humanity must first be shaken clean and purged of their gluttony, which fuels their corruption, in order to put the "Fear of God" into the bottom feeders, the lower class and lesser mortals in the circle of the corruption pandemic if it must be broken.
Icheoku therefore calls on Nigeria's EFCC to emulate the good example of South Africa anti-corruption effort in convicting their country's national commissioner of police and set some example themselves with the several thousands of highly placed corrupt Nigeria's 'untouchable' high-ups, who have made the knee-jerk fight against corruption become more laughable. But it would appear that the powers that be in Nigeria, who feed fat on corruption, will not release EFCC from the leg-chain it is in to really tackle the menace of corruption by going after the real deals top-heavies. If Icheoku remembers correctly, a one time Nigeria's Inspector General of Police Tafa Balogun was escorted out of office in handcuffs for diverting police funds; but after the initial hullabaloo of camera. light and action, no one heard anything about the damn thing. Also his successor in office IGP Ehindero carted away in a car trunk the sum of 23 million Naira meant to pay police allowances and till today, he has suffered no repercussion as a result; and so are the numerous politicians and army men and government officials who have helped themselves gluttonously from states resources; yet there was no consequence for their itchy-fingers? South Africa has outperformed our expectation and Icheoku hereby commends South Africa anti-corruption effort for seriously saying to this cancer of corruption eating deep into Africa body fabric, enough; and also for making an example out of a well connected high-up government official, a national police commissioner, that no one is above the law.
The story has it that former South African national police commissioner (chief) and also ex-president of Interpol, Jackie Selebi, was sentenced to 15 years in jail by the High Court in Johannesburg for corruption - he accepted bribes from organized crimes. Convict Selebi was found guilty of receiving bribes totaling more than 1.2 million rand (166,000 dollars, 122,000 euros) in bribes between 2000 and 2005, including payments from convicted drug baron Glenn Agliotti, in return for sharing classified police intelligence on him with him and looking the other way while the kingpin carried on with his shady deals. Selebi was also ordered to forfeit to the state the total sum of 320,722 rand (about $43,800) which was the adjudged amount of proceeds of his criminal activities.
According to sentencing Judge Joffe Meyer, "high-level corruption posed a threat to the nation's hard-won constitutional freedoms." Icheoku says, just look at Nigeria and see how the brazenly corrupt Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida is employing the proceeds of his corrupt enrichment while in power to truncate the polity through bribing them to sell their conscience (souls) to the devil. Continuing, Judge Meyer said, "corruption by members of the police force can never be tolerated. It is the very antithesis of what the police force stands for." Icheoku retorts that in Nigeria, police corruption is readily tolerated as constables are known to own properties which their salary and allowances can ill-afford and every person looks the other way while they callously at gun-points, shake down the citizenry to feed their corrupt habits. Nigeria police is standing still on its head, upside down, mired deep in corruption while bandits run amok in Nigeria, kidnapping, maiming and killing innocent folks." It is a trite crime-fighting saying that a compromised police force cannot put up a fight against crime? In Nigeria, that the police is synonymous with corruption and corruption foreshadows effective policing is an acceptable norm? Judge Meyer further lampooned convict Selebi as "an embarrassment in the witness box; an embarrassment to the police force, an embarrassment to his appointors and employers; an embarrassment to the country and an embarrassment to all right thinking citizens." Icheoku laments that the opposite is the case in Nigeria where such thieving public officials, instead of being shamed and ridiculed by both the government and the society, are handsomely rewarded for being "successful" and given chieftaincy titles, appointed to offices and celebrated as "accomplished?" Some of them who are implicated in the Halliburton and Siemens bribery scandal are still holding elected and appointed public offices in Nigeria today, such as Senator Jubril Aminu from Adamawa State and current PDP chairman Nwodo who still have a multi-million Naira bribery scandal lawsuit pending, while he was appointed the party's chairman? David Mark, the Nigeria senate president also corruptly enriched himself while serving as part of Babangida's military junta at then NITEL but is today presiding over Nigeria's highest legislative body? Babangida is running for president without first revealing the source of his stupendous wealth and how he came about the billions of Naira at his possession with which he is trying to truncate democracy in Nigeria, being a salaried retired army man? That a 60 year old well connected police chief is sent to prison for 15 long years shows a government that is serious with fighting corruption and not the lip-service of Nigeria's EFCC which to date is yet to land any big gun behind bars; except for the 2 years slap on the wrist of Bode George. And like every thing African, instead of rewarding the Scorpions Elite Unit for snagging corrupt Selebi, President Zuma disbanded the unit to forestall another senior high-up from being nabbed. The president's action is similar to the treatment received by former EFCC chairman Nuhu Ribadu EFCC who was rewarded for all his patriotic effort fighting corruption with his attempted assassination. The interference by President Zuma in the Scorpion's Elite Unit anti-corruption work in South Africa by disbanding them alongside the then Nigeria's EFCC chairman's experience show that the men of power of Africa are the real reason why corruption thrives in the continent. They corrupt the society to gene up their support base and amass enormous money; and also use the reverse excuse of fighting the monster to hound and hunt down into extinction any possible opposition. Icheoku says this South Africa's example is the way to really fight corruption. It has to be confronted headlong and from head to toe; without respect to who one may know or associate with! What a testamentary and commendable headline to read that, "South Africa's Real War on Corruption lands a big fish, as police chief is sent to prison for 15 long years!" Icheoku prays that President Jacob Zuma should reconsider his position, change his mind and un-ban the anti-corruption Scorpion Elite Group so that they can continue their commendable work to nab more of Jackie Selebis of South Africa, especially within the police force since Selebi cannot be a stand-alone corrupt police chief. Kudos to South African anti-corruption effort and Icheoku hopes Nigeria's Madam Farida Waziri's EFCC is watching and listening on the way to go with the anti-corruption war effort.