By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South
DELTA-state born criminologist, industrialist and politician, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi is an interviewerâ€™s delight and he fires from all cylinders ifÂ your questions provoke him to do so.
In this interview with Saturday Vanguard in Warri, he says thatÂ with the performance ofÂ President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua so far,Â Nigerians would celebrate an incursion by the military.. The interview is vintage Gbagi. Excerpt.
Sanusi is not a pretender
Over a year ago, I warned and sounded a note of alarm to the nation that all we are doing today, the economy will suffer for it and that it was urgent for Soludo to be arrested.
That was few weeks after Yarâ€™Adua came to power. You see, I am further justified now. The few banks whose managing directors have been sacked by the CBN is only a tip of the iceberg in the financial sector. Number one, Sanusi is somebody I have personally had contacts with when he was in NAL Merchant bank.
I know for a fact that it will be difficult for you to get Sanusi to be dubious. I will be surprised given my assessment of his person as a criminologist and a lawyer; I will be surprised if Sanusi will be an idiot. Now Sanusi has only touched the situation in a piecemeal, maybe for fear of a total collapse of the financial industry or the banks in Nigeria.
The actual situation on ground and I stand to be corrected is that, before the fake capitalisation as brought about by Soludo, the banks had done nothing different. What has happened was that over 30 to 40 per cent of the nationâ€™s wealth was through the back door brought into the banks by faceless Nigerians, by people who cannot identify themselves with society and investment.
As a result of this, any nation that leaves its economy to looted funds as a basis for its financial industry
Publish names of banksâ€™ owners
Sanusiâ€™sÂ duty is not with Yarâ€™Adua but with God. First and foremost, he has to publish the names of the owners of the banks in Nigeria. It is only in Nigeria that you have an economy of owners of banks that you do not know.
The entire banking sector and insurance business in Nigeria is fraught with suspicion, theft and stolen wealth of the nation. Whatever the banks purportedly owned, post -capitalization should be reverted to tax payers of Nigeria because they are monies stolen by ex-governors, present governors, permanent secretaries, ministers and president in the last administration.
So, the proper thing to do, except that there is no proper laws in the country, there is no proper organs that are functional today in the country, is to immediately revert all the monies in the bank back to tax payers before the name and identities of the owners are made visible.
Who is the owner of Afri-Bank? They are ex-governors, they are ex_commissioners. We are not going to accept selective punishment in the financial sector, it is better for us to crash to our actual position and pick ourselves from the catastrophe and reposition. What we have today in the financial industry is a ruse, lies, nothing. They are all posting records. No sensible investor has brought in any money into this economy.
What Sanusi should do more
First and foremost, he should get all the current managing directors of the banks to publish the owners and the shareholders. We want to know as Nigerians the actual owners of the banks.
You cannot say a bank has N150billion. Who are the owners of the money? We have not just come from a war situation where properties are owned and we say that they are missing like what we had in the civil war .
We have suddenly in the last 10 years come to see the gigantic projects of companies and they are all dying and falling, but the ownership is not traceable to anybody. So is the bank in Nigeria. Nobody knows the owners of the banks.
I am sure that with all your experience in life; you donâ€™t know the owner of Union Bank. How did we come to such a situation we found ourselves ? EvenÂ with computersÂ and accurate documentation, we donâ€™t know the owners of our financial institutions. Then, we are in trouble.
So, the first task for Sanusi is toÂ produce the owners of banks, list them and their shareholding. I am sure that all the banks that were capitalised, a great proportion of the monies belong to Soludo and Obasanjo.
We want them to publish it. Soludo and Obasanjo own majority of the shares in all the banks that were recapitalised.
Anything personal with Mr. Soludo?
No! You are making a mistake again, I am a stakeholder. I own one of the biggest structures in Lagos. It is just that I believe in contributing. Why should you personalise it? I did it to my brother, I did it to Obasanjo and I did it to James Ibori here.
The question is , why will we not have somebody who will speak the truth? When I spoke about Soludo, people did not understand it then. Records have it in Europe that Soludo has one of the biggest houses in the world.
From driving a taxi in America, he now owns one of the biggest houses. So, what I am saying is that I have never had anything to do with Soludo.
I am not against Soludoâ€™s personal life. I am against the fact that he has destroyed this nation and we are being laughed at. Imagine the irresponsible comments I hear from some Nigerians, from lawmakers and this nonsense called PDP about the criticisms with regard to Clintonâ€™s visit.
Now, would Nigerians not feel sorry for themselves where, from the President to the smallest cab driver in Nigeria, they tell similar lies?
Why Yarâ€™Adua was deported from America
With the greatest respect, Clinton has a department that looks into monies and money movements all over the world. The financial movement worldwide is at her beck and call.
Over 80 per cent of the monies in Nigeria have been stolen and are all either being used in developing Dubai, developing Ghana, other African countries and Clinton has this record just as Obama has the record.
But you see, as it is usual with these irresponsible leaders of ours, they will rather prefer to lie and deceive Nigerians. There is no American government that will support their irresponsible roguery . It is not a secret that a Yarâ€™Adua has been deported by Obama government.
Before that deportation of a Yarâ€™Adua, the son of the elder brother of the President for money laundering, the kind of money that was seen with him was such that the American government couldnâ€™t comprehend it. With all the diplomatic efforts, the American government deported that Yarâ€™Adua.
Nigeria is a corrupt nation
Let me tell you, we are toying with this country. Look at the Halliburtonâ€™s investigation; the people who ate the money of Halliburton are all here, but we have not been able to bring anybody to book.
We are being laughed at and in fact we are not in the comity of nations any more. You have a country where you budget billions of money but the money is not being used for our hospitals.
The ministers and directors_general go to China to refurbish equipment for your hospital, take used books and recycle them for your country. The information obviously goes automatically to America.
And the money being budgeted for projects, 80 per cent of it is being stolen and kept in Dubai and other African countries by your leaders. Of course, Clinton has the record. Obama has the record.
Clinton on Nigeria
Would you say I donâ€™t have the information? I ask you this question: who is in the prison today that is of any value or of any big man identity in Nigeria for committing any crime?
The minute Nuhu Ribadu started, governors came and contributed money, forced it down into the throat of government and influenced Yarâ€™Adua and Nuhu Ribadu suddenly became an outcast.
Before Aoandoaka was appointed, who appointed him? It is one of the governors that is a money launderer too. So, it is all pre-planned. Who has heard that a Yarâ€™Adua who is a thief was prosecuted?
So, why are they blaming Clintonâ€™s comments? In fact Clintonâ€™s comment is a reserved truth.
Clinton refused to talk and if they provoke the government of America, they will list their names and everywhere their money is. Let them open their mouths and talk.
All their monies, all their stolen oil and gas and their proceeds, Clinton will publish them. Clinton and Obama are lawyers like me; they have dossiers. It is only in Nigeria that when you say:
â€˜What is your profession?
Somebody will reply: â€˜I am a politicianâ€™. It is only goats that call themselves politicians as a profession.
Politicking is a vocational business. Why it is a do-or-die affair in Nigeria is because the people have no jobs. So, politics has become their profession. For us, we are employers, lawyers, criminologists, so we have work to do.
On him and Obasanjo
Obasanjo and I worked on the basis of principles. As for everything that Obasanjo attempted to do that I know of and that was against conscience and principles, I screamed. But he is a stubborn old man and the consequences of his stubbornness he will suffer it as time goes on.
Turning in arms by militants
What do you mean? Somebody comes and givesÂ some dane guns, cutlasses and knives and put one AK47.
Do you know the ammunition in Delta State? Who are the militants, the governors or people that are being oppressed? How did militancy start here? It is these governors who are not mature,Â that got money but did not know what to do with the money and then went into militancy.
Have they dropped the ammunition in their hands that they use to hijack ballot boxes? Have they dropped the ammunition? Has the Deputy Governor dropped his ammunition? Have all these House of Representatives members dropped their ammunition?
Have all these chairmen of local government dropped their ammunition? Have the political thugs and followers of politicians dropped their ammunition? We need to go back to the question of who the militants are.
They are the people who are governors today, deputy governors, chairmen of local government, members of house of Rep, commissioners, secretary to government; they are all armed bandits.
So, I said to you that the entire arms arrangement and militancy as it isÂ being discussed today is a ruse and a shame.
The future will prove to you that we are very right. What is being given to you is nothing called arms.