A Note to Professor Yemi Osinbajo By Pius Adesanmi

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[Analyses]–Now that a world-acclaimed Professor of Law is running the show in the land, you’d expect him to use this window to inject some strange notions into the system.

Strange notions such as actions and consequences, especially legal consequences a.k.a the sort of legal consequences that can land you in jail after due process.

Professor Osinbajo has been presiding over the distribution of tranches of the Paris Club Refund. As I said yesterday, the elephant is dead and all kinds of carnivorous state governors are out with glittering carving knives of various shapes and sizes.

Democracy, even a kwashiokored, emaciated pretext to democracy such as obtains in Nigeria, can be so inconvenient. Otherwise, it should even be a crime to give another tranche of the Paris Club Refund to ANY state Governor in this country, given their antecedents with earlier tranches.

What ought to be happening is a very busy EFCC and Federal Attorney-General preparing dossiers against all these current Governors so that they can all be arrested and made to face charges of criminal diversion of the Paris Club Refunds as soon as their term is over and they lose immunity.

None of them hasn’t stolen from the funds. The difference is in the scale and manner of the stealing. The polished ones among them have stolen the funds with some finesse; the ponmo and eja shawa ones among them have stolen it with palm oil stains all over their chest. You cannot really argue with your background.

But I was talking about consequences and what Osinbajo ought to be doing by now. That part of my reflection has nothing to do with the Governors. Academic curiosity should make Professor Osinbajo want to know and understand how we got into a situation of Paris and London Club Refunds in the first instance.

He ought to be interested in the history and sinews of criminal negligence, corruption, and racketeering that led to the over-deductions in the first place. You dig and dig and dig and they say the problem started with the Debt Management Office and moved along the paths of Nigerian corruption to CBN and other places.

People were running the system in all those places. To this day, not a single explanation has been given to Nigerian citizens. I know that not many citizens understand that they are in fact owed explanations so not too many of them are asking for explanations.

I am.

I am also asking Professor Osinbajo: how do you live with a system that is never curious about criminality or really interested in finding the political will to prosecute it? Sir, how do you wake up every morning, look in the mirror, and not feel uncomfortable that the man looking back at you has not deemed it necessary to begin a process to make somebody or some people accountable for the over-deductions that got us here in the first place?

Nnamdi Kanu calls Nigeria a Zoo. Senator Shehu Sani and Mrs. Aisha Buhari are in agreement that Nigeria is metaphorically littered with lions, hyenas, and weaker animals. President Buhari also once metaphorically thought that there may be dogs and baboons all over the place.

Professor Osinbajo, your folks in the elite are wrong about all these animals they are throwing around. There are actions and consequences in the animal kingdom. In a pride of lions, among hyenas, baboons, meerkats, zebras, etc, there are always consequences if your actions are deleterious to the common interest of the group. Depending on the nature of the animals in question, you could get banished or killed for endangering the collective good and interest.

In essence, Professor Osinbajo, the only place where there are actions and consequences in Nigeria is among the residents of the Yankari Game Reserve.

You will recall that your boss promised to transfer the elementary values of the Yankari Game Reserve to governance so that we, the human owners of the animals in that park, can at least learn something. Then people padded his first budget. He promised consequences and shuffled them around in offices in Abuja.

To date, nobody has been punished for budget padding.

When you started distributing the Paris Club Funds, I said to myself, now, this is a Professor of Law. He is going to understand that things need to be done beyond mere distribution and sending Kemi Adeosun to howl for greater accountability. We need to understand how the over-deductions happened. People need to be investigated and punished.

Above all, the Nigerian citizen needs full explanations in a detailed national press conference by the concerned authorities. Professor Osinbajo, unlike majority of the ignorant and half-illiterate people in government, I am sure you fully understand that explaining these things to the Nigerian citizen is not a privilege you are bestowing on him and her?

It is your duty to explain.

It is their right to be explained to.




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