By Dele Sobowale
Watching the contortions of the damned is supposed to be a favourite sport of the angels â€”Edith Wharton, 1862-1937, in The Age of Innocence.
0805-595-3150: Dear Presido, you got it very wrong in that Bode George support. At least, at last he is cooling off in jail. But, one hundred years would have been better â€”Chibu.
MONDAY, October 26, 2009 will remain indelible in my mind – even if I live for a thousand years. It was the first time that any of my childhood friends; people with whom I grew up in the same neighbourhood and had similar upbringing would be sentenced to jail for anything.
We were brought up to be law abiding citizens in the area of Lagos Island where Bode George and I spent the early part of our lives. Bode would not be the first to go into politics and most probably would not be the last.
But, he has set a record of being the first to bag such a long jail sentence for 47 different charges out of 68. That itself must be a record of sorts, but the kind which a well-brought up â€œLagos Boyâ€ should not want to own. I cried when I heard the verdict – for three reasons.
First, I was alarmed when Bode went into politics and joined the PDP and quickly became part of Obasanjoâ€™s inner caucus. I was alarmed because as Leo Tolstoy, 1828-1910, had warned us, â€œIf you work with glue, sooner or later you are going to get stuck.â€ (Vanguard Book of Quotations, p.76).
I knew that a PDP under the leadership of Obasanjo was going to be a cesspool of corruption – the sort to be avoided by decent people.
Thus when Bode went in, I was afraid nothing good might come of it. Now the worst has happened.
Second, I wept because, for anyone remembering, late Pa George, Bodeâ€™s stern and very upright father, who drilled into us, with advice and cane, the virtues of honesty in everything we do, it is a tragedy of unimaginable proportions that his son would end up splashing the hitherto pristine family name with mud.
If indeed the dead roll in their graves, the old man must be having a fit wherever he is. This is perhaps the worst possible way to repay parental love – even if the folks are dead. Third, and that concerns the two of us.
When the first allegations of misappropriation of funds at the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, were made, I called Bode immediately. As usual, operating on the principle that allegations donâ€™t constitute proof of guilt (a point which Chibu quoted above and others miss when hammering on my support for you), I asked him point blank if there was any truth to the charges.
As Bode and I know, I am one of his few friends who have never benefited by one kobo from his public positions. I never asked and he never gave. But, we were still friends. He responded at great length and I still have physical proof of my visit to his office at Ikoyi. On the strength of his denial of wrong doing, I stuck out my neck and defended him publicly. My reward for it was an avalanche of insults and abuse. But, I persevered in the belief that Bode could not lie to me.
Only the devil knows what happened to the Bode I knew. Today, he has made history – the wrong type of history for the son of late Pa George. The tears might never end.
To be continued
V-Mobile shares: Tinubu, Attah vindicated (3)
EVENTUALLY, the EFCC, after Ribadu, investigated the matter and discovered that the entire petition was a hoax. Then, the EFCC did two things, it applied to the court to discontinue the case and the account was â€œun-frozen.â€ Yet, Ribadu, not satisfied that a Lagos High Court had disposed of the case without establishing any link in the funds with Tinubu and Attah, went to London to issue a witness statement on March 26, 2009, in which he not only repeated some of the same stories he had told in Nigeria but sought to rubbish the Federal government which was not even a party to the â€œcases.â€
The eight page document, when it was not full of self-praise and vilification of everybody else in the country, was all about Ibori and the alleged $15 million bribe the former governor of Delta offered Ribadu in the house of Andy Uba, special adviser to former president Obasanjo.
Again, I investigated the matter. On September 11, 2009, I wrote to both the governor of Central Bank and the EFCC chairman informing them of my intention to visit Abuja on September 15, 2009 to verify if the $15 million was in the EFCCâ€™s report for that period and if it was deposited, as claimed by Ribadu, in the Central Bank.
The visitorsâ€™ registers of the CBN and EFCC will provide evidence that I was there on due date. And, I can report authoritatively that $15 million was reported in the EFCC office and deposited as exhibit in the Central Bank. Mr. James Garba, of the CBN, who was seconded to the EFCC and who accompanied Ribadu to collect the $15 million confirmed the story. James Garba is now back in Central Bank.
But, again, it was all about Ibori. Neither Tinubu nor Attah was in any way connected. Even, Ribaduâ€™s statement was clear on that despite the attempt to continue to pretend that there was a conspiracy and money laundering charges against the three ex-governors.
To be continued
Consoludoted banks xi vs area boys xi (2)
Power and money, of course do drive people crazy. So why shouldnâ€™t people also gain power and wealth through being crazy â€”Saul Bellow, Vanguard Book of Quotations p.195.
DON’T forget the game is still robbery.
And since the beginning of banking â€œcon-soludo-tionâ€ (itâ€™s not in your dictionary; so get the Jankara university copy), in 2004, the bankers eleven had been giving the area boys the beating of their lives. Would you believe that in 2007 and mid-2008 all the area boys in Nigeria took home was a mere N5 billion? I should know; I am their president.
Then the global meltdown occurred. Nine out of ten handbags or wallets snatched were empty! There was even a slump in the price of stolen handsets. All in all it was a bad spell from 2008 till now.
Meanwhile, one â€œstrikerâ€ among the â€œcon-soludo-tedâ€ banks raked in over N150 billion for self (donâ€™t ask for the gender please) friends, kids, in-laws, and even former nanny.
Another netted N40 billion on share scam alone. There ought to be a law! Perhaps in addition to public office holders bankers should have their heads examined.
To be continuedâ€¦