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Should immunity & impunity cover treason? -2

By Dele Sobowale
Why are youpeople complaining about kidnappings in Akwa Ibom while we have no electricity in day time to do legitimate work? IPP lights from 1am to 6am. It’s no use to us. AKS.

During December/January, they commissioned Ibom Power, all the youth went to their work mostly welders between light. It’s either you buy okada or join kidnappers.”

“Kidnapping is a serious challenge to the government, local and foreign investors. Nobody will want to invest where he or she is not safe.”

President Jonathan, December 2010.

Well said; but the three leading states in kidnapping nationwide are governed by people who have declared their “total support” for Jonathan. It is either a case of kiss of death or show me your friends. Either way, the facts speak for themselves.

“The (Nigerian) law is injustice codified…”
Essay by Noble Writer, c 1750.

And, nowhere is the truth of this assertion better demonstrated than in the 1999 Nigerian Constitution thoughtlessly bequeathed to us by the General Abdulsalami Abubakar administration. Specifically, its inclusion of the immunity clause protecting the President, the Vice- President, Governors and Deputy Governors from prosecution, while in office, created two classes of Nigerians –masters and slaves.

All other provisions proclaiming our equality before the law have been nullified by this single clause. Let me illustrate.

The government of former President Obasanjo sent soldiers into Odi and Zaki-Biam without even a hint to the National Assembly. Several hundred Nigerians, presumed under our law to enjoy the right to life were killed. None was ever tried and found guilty of any offence, yet they were killed. And, nothing happened.

There was no probe by the National Assembly or a judicial inquiry to determine if the murders were justified. Meanwhile, if one of those people summarily executed had killed anybody, he/she would have been dragged before a court of law where a judge, in his majesty, would have pronounced the person “guilty of a most heinous crime punishable by death”.

Similarly, if a state governor, in full view of thousands of people, had murdered someone, he cannot be immediately prosecuted until he leaves office. And, if he absconds from Nigeria before his tenure, then he would have got away with murder. If on the other hand the citizen had murdered the governor, with or without witnesses, prosecution starts immediately.

The question is: what sort of a constitution framed for free people would create this sort of inherent injustice?

While murder of individuals by officials enjoying immunity should disturb us, what should really scare us is the possibility that some of our “gods” enjoying immunity might be implicated in importation of arms to distabilise the country next year. Should or does the immunity clause cover what is essentially a treasonable act?….

“So, if we take 25 per cent, he (CBN Governor) takes 50 per cent. That of the governors is higher…”.
Dimeji Bankole, Speaker Federal House of Representatives, THE NATION, December 20, 2010, page 8.

I started out liking this guy believing that he would be a chip of the old block. Later, I grew to detest him like most other members of the National Assembly. But, his candid admission that he is not a saint and nobody is a saint forces me to grant him some credit. I still will not vote for him. However, he has raised an important issue long buried, namely, that the Executive branches at Federal, State and Local governments are even more corrupt than the NASS and state assemblies.

President Jonathan and all the state governors are guiltier of crimes against Nigerians than David Mark and Dimeji Bankole. And, all is not well with CBN and the banking sector either…

Dele, please, don’t fail to reply Okere’s article, so he can tell us how many million scratch cards they sold and MUO between them & KPMG on proceeds made in the 10,000 ghost jobs.”

I addressed my article to Ohakim who is a public servant and I am a Mr. Public. If he likes, the governor can employ any number of messengers dressed in the funny garbs of “Advisers” to run his errands for him. It will amount to insulting myself to join issues with a messenger when our servant is there to answer your questions, namely, how many scratch cards were purchased and how many people are now employed as a result of the exercise. KPMG cannot be used to intimidate me.

“If a man takes no thought about what is distant, he will soon find sorrow near at hand.”
Confucius, Chinese Philosopher, 551-497 B.C.

·Presidential Elections: About this time last year, I wrote that one name that would not be on the ballot in 2011 is Yar’Adua. May his soul rest in peace. I also said that another name would not be there, but if forced on the ballot, disaster will follow. God help us. We will either return to 1964 or become another Cote d’Ivoire by May 2011. The politicians and their supporters are more desperate and better armed…

·Poor Prof. Jega: He has started warning us not to expect a “perfect election” –whatever that means. But, let me help the good professor out. Since his employers, PDP, remain in the race and are determined to hang on to office, he can forget about a “free and fair election.” All that is left is for him to wish he would depart with a better reputation than Iwu did.

·Budget 2011: Only a miracle will make that budget work better than its predecessors. The same “yam heads” who produced the previous three worked on this one and it is based on a mirage of Vision (or Illusion) 20:2020. If in doubt, please, read the recent statement by Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, former Finance Minister, and now World Bank MD. And, the N50 billion for “job creation” is actually more like campaign funds.

·LAST LINE: Thanks for joining this page in 2010. As usual, irrespective of our disagreements or agreements, it has been a pleasure. Let me wish you a prosperous 2011. But, be warned, if you have tears, for Nigeria, prepare to shed them…


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