How many Emefieles are on trial, for what offence? By Ikeddy ISIGUZO

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ONE of the many things Nigeria teaches you quietly is to excel in whatever you do. Sadly, this teaching tends to support criminals, and the like, who know that in organised crime – Nigeria is a scene of daily occurrences – you get many men and women to do the job.

You de-risk your operations by that method. You also ensure that the risk is so well spread, and that instead of shifting blames, when necessary, you can share the blames. Blame sharing is better than blame-shifting. Theories that suggest Nigerians, adults and toddlers alike, are responsible for the Nigeria we have are rooted in blame sharing. Everyone is in it.

When you read all that we are told about former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, there is a sense of incredulity. If you flip it, you ponder about how porous Nigerian processes are.
Emefiele stole N1.6 billion, the single charge read after it was collapsed from 20 charges. It takes a saint to have all that money, means, and moments before him and he takes so little. He must be a rare Nigerian, selfless, not as greedy as we see around daily.

He has belatedly discovered that the said N1.6 billion cannot get him a N300 millon surety. You can see the futility of seeing too little. Where was the big picture?
That must be why in a certain era in Onitsha, the boast was that one excelled in a chosen cause to the point of being Ozo. The Ozo was for the refined, the excellent, the community’s exemplars for good things.

Criminals have appropriated that wisdom for their industry. They steal so much that they have enough to secure justice wherever they are charged. While at it, they enjoy the best services available in our prisons, okay they are correctional centres.
Emefiele may not be in that league. He would make more discoveries during these his dark days. The N1.6 billion, he allegedly stole, is not adequate to get him “a good lawyer”. Many lawyers would be disappointed by the size of the Emefiele brief.

He was charged with conferring economic advantage on a CBN female staff Sa’adatu Yaro and her company April 1616 Investments Limited through contracts for supply of vehicles to CBN. The charge has been dropped.
Once charged with gun-running and financing terrorism, in court it was alleged he was slugging one unlicensed pistol. A vivid image is the catapult we bore in those days, pretending that a sling made it more potent.
These are not to suggest that Emefiele stole more or less, nor that one unlicensed gun was not enough offence. The trials have strained our lawlessness in a year that series of judicial pronouncements, you can call them judgements, are without the ingredients that drill conclusions from interrogated evidence.
Judgements issue mainly from contradictory indecisions. Judges’ indecisions are final.

There are no surprises here. As Emefiele emerges from a court clutching an order that has granted him momentary freedom, DSS is by the wings waiting to throw him back into another detention until a new charge is raised to keep him away from freedom
One would almost think that breaking the law was a mandate of DSS. The patriotic zeal they have invested in keeping Emefiele in detention is bewildering.
A fight that broke out at the Federal High Court, Lagos, between Ikoyi Correctional Centre officials and DSS over who should have Emefiele in custody was one of the scandalous high points of Emefiele’s detention since 9 June 2023. Has keeping Emefiele become a business?

Where are his friends? Where are his enemies? Where are those who allegedly gained economic advantage from him? Who watched while he stole? Did the security agencies know he was stealing? Who did they tell?
Could Emefiele have acted without President Muhammadu Buhari’s knowledge in the harsh Naira conversation policy that killed many businesses and possibly people? He could not have acted alone, simply impossible.

Emefiele deserves no pities. I don’t think he would be asking for any. He is not getting what he deserves. When Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court ruled he should be kept at the correctional centre, that’s what he deserved. Why did DSS fight to keep him?
Whatever happens to Emefiele is an important particle of our laws. If his class can mal-treat him, the masses, the unclassed, those who the law often fails to protect, have no chance to get justice.
People are afraid to bail Emefiele because they do not want to be seen as the enemy of those holding him. Is that how justice works?

Let’s put Emefiele on trial, jail him if he is guilty. We should stop wasting time on one Emefiele. More Emefieles need to be tried for Nigeria to strive. And their offences? Breaking their brotherhood code with Emefiele.


OUR Bolt driver from last week is breathing a little better. Son buried, and by 30 November he paid off the hire purchase agreement on his car. Thanks to those whose humaneness led them to pooling together the resources that paid off the hire purchase. There are needs everywhere, with social media, communal solutions are more possible.

ABIA State Governor Alexander Chioma Otti has by word of mouth changed the title of Local Government Chairmen to Mayor for the Transition Chairmen he has just appointed. There is illegality involved. And imagine the waste across the 17 LGAs changing signs, seals, insignias, stamps, office papers, folders, files, furniture, cars for Mayors and Deputy Mayors to support the fantasy.

INCONSISTENT accounts of the Abuja-Lagos flight that landed in Asaba as Lagos indicate horrible things with our aviation. One account said the pilot told passengers to get ready for landing in Lagos. The two airports bear no resemblance whether on air or on ground. Did the navigational aids fail? How did the pilot (I almost called him driver) ‘mistake’ Asaba for Lagos?

Isiguzo is a major commentator on minor issues

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