Is war against Economic and Financial Crimes real?

Endemic corruption in Nigeria has continuously dominated public discourse since the beginning of this democratic dispensation in 1999 when transparency international of Germany then classified Nigeria as the third most corrupt country in the world in its corruption perception index which it captures yearly. In 2012, we improved to number thirty fifth on the corruption index- which is still appalling and unacceptable to the federal government and most compatriots.
The truth, however is that corruption still thrives across the land extending from the federal, states and local governments; even though it is negligible in the private sector which operators would not condone it so that their businesses would not go under. Corruption has become seemingly intractable in the public service and within the corridors of power even though section 15(5) in our Revised constitution has provided that, “government shall abolish all corrupt practices”, Ironically, it is those who are under oath to defend, protect and defend the constitution who are mostly culpable and liable to corruption as the cases prosecuted thus far by the anti corruption agencies have proven.
The basic principles of transparency, probity and accountability are simply lacking in governments across the land since operators and actors have refused to comply substantially to pursue our fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy, as reflected in chapter two, which although not JUSTICEABLE, provides that each leader across the three tiers of government, must as a matter of allegiance, pursue them vigorously in order to make the people happy, satisfied and fulfilled. It is hereby hoped that the proposed amendment of the constitution by the national assembly, which is currently on-going would make it possible for the citizenry to sue their leaders who fail to provide the fundamental objectives otherwise called in local parlance as good governance.
This is the only sure way to holding them truly accountable to their people who usually elect them into offices, but they disappointedly fail woefully to follow their whimsical desires. Until we are able to deal with corruption frontally and with full force, this country would continue to suffer stagnation, retrogression, social atrophy, injustice, inequity, poverty, destitution, disease, hunger, indignation and aggression in the forms of ethnic, tribal and religious catastrophes as we are currently having across the land.
Consequently, we would not know peace, order, safety, security and development due to gross and endemic corruption which has eaten deep into our body politic crimes such as armed robbery, kidnappings for ransoms, prostitutions, child abuse, neglect and labour would continue to exacerbate the already tensed society which is awash with ethnic, tribal and political tensions and sentiments which inextricably and invariably precipitate conflicts and crises.
Ours is a self-induced poverty caused by deliberate oppression, denials, deprivations and negligence caused by avaricious or rapacious political leaders at the top who feel erroneously that the wealth of the nation is their exclusive preserve to steal and do as they please with it. Time has come when public re-action and anger have resulted into resentments which aggravate ethnic and religious sentiments which also result into religious fundamentalism, anger, frustrations, insurgency and kidnappings as never happened before in our land. Poverty, hunger and untold sufferings are precursors to social uprisings based on hatred, odium and contempt for the rich, the leaders, the kings and chiefs as well as the political kingpins. Examples abound in Nigeria today.
We should learn to spread the wealth of the nation across as the late Bashorun Abiola once said in 1992 during his electioneering campaigns in Hope 1992 slogans. He said, “I have tested poverty, I carried woods on my head to feed my poor mummy and I suffered to become who I am”. Sadly, today we have a political class which is self-seeking, fortunate seekers, gold-diggers and business people who have invested hugely to financially reap the dividends of their investments as supporters, sponsors, god fathers or party stalwarts who must be compensated for the “sacrifices”. That is why in our democracy, we have many stake holders who have mainly been the major beneficiaries of democratic dividends in the forms of choice appointments such as Board of Trustee chairmen, chairman of lucrative government ministries and parastatals, major contractors and party elders who are given periodic financial returns to maintain their loyalty.
As it was in the beginning, so it is today and so shall it be tomorrow until they kingdom come we bridle our inordinate greed, avarice and egotism to insist on probity, accountability and transparency from those who are at the saddle of affairs.
A cursory look at the major political parties in Nigeria would reveal an appalling catalogue of old brigade politicians, retired business men and women as well as so-called elders still clinging tenaciously to partisan politics and dictating the pace and determining who gets what and how. The list is endless. Needless to mention names but they shall be known by their past antecedents. It is little or no wonder that Nigeria was listed as 35th most corrupt nation in 2012 by the transparency international based in Germany which captured more than one hundred other countries. The indices are quite ominous corruption in high places such as government houses and presidential villa, poverty, joblessness, conflicts caused by frustration, hunger and anger and diseases such as polio-meningitis, HIV/AIDS, Kwashiorkor and beggary in the midst of oil wealth which is not judiciously utilized. Nigerian masses have been very resilient, docile, subjective and totally indifferent to the ignoble and impugn corruption by our leaders because we have been divided deliberately and decimated along tribal, ethnic, religious, political, sectional and historical lines, to the extent that affinity and loyalty to these “shenanigans” or “divides” are considered far and above love, care and concern for one another by the citizens who can even go to war to maintain or defend them, while our so called elders and leaders continue to collude to fleece the funds coming to their states or local governments together with the political leaders without minding their own differences.
Corruption does not have any geo political, tribal or religious boundaries. The poor and mostly illiterate Nigerians are too poor and impoverished to decipher or discern these anomalies. These therefore give the leeway to the greedy elite and politicians to feed fat on our common wealth while they live us in utter confusion, contempt and malice which snowball into open confrontations in the guise of religion, politics and ethnic jingoism. Some say Nigerians should unite to fight corruption which is the bane of our development as a people and as a nation.
With corruption we cannot achieve our goals-socially, economically and even politically. We do know that it is immoral to indulge in it as enjoined by Almighty God. As a religious people we are proud to associate ourselves with the two major universal religions which we profess- Islam and Christianity both of which condemn it as sinful and unrighteous.
The Chinese with their Buddhism however condemn the convicted corrupt to the gallows to steal no more. This is a good example of living with a religion and abiding by its tenets. Not so in Nigeria where multitudes who are Muslims and Christians indulge themselves neck deep without a qualm.
All the hive and cry about EFCC,  ICPC and code of conducts are mere window dressings or hog-wash. We only unleash them to political detractors or opponents to silence them for good and stop them from making noise. In Islam corruption is “fasad” or gross mischief and treason which in is punishable by death as in china. The first caliph after the death of prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Abubakar Siddique, fought those who refused to pay Zakaat as ordained by Islam. Today’s Nigerian Muslim elite does not know even the NISAB-criteria- for paying or giving out zakat to the needy, let alone pay to alleviate poverty. We must get our of our cocoon and halt our hypocrisy and holier than thou attitude so that we shall collectively, tackle the challenges of corruption which impede development, breed poverty, hunger, anger, frustration, aggression and killings as currently happening under various canopies ranging from religious, tribal sectional and political.
Nigerians are not happy- surely not- due to object poverty which is aggravated with current insecurity that is ravaging everybody, and especially the poor, the weak, the gullible and vulnerable urban dwellers. Let us live and let live. Here is calling on President Jonathan, the thirty six state governors, the chief executives of ministries and parastatals in states and local government chairmen to as a matter of necessity resolve today to say enough to corruption and everyone else down the ladder would fall in line. Nigerians are law abiding if the leaders would change their corrupt attitude for better. Politics of nepotism, favouritism, sectionalism, tribalism and egoism should be stopped and imbibe politics of sacrifice, altruism, welfarism and fairness so that confidence building would ensue among every follower.
The current trend where politics is geared or tailored towards selfish aggrandizements and in favour of sections, tribesmen, clans and elite does not augur well for our collective peace, progress, unity, development and continuous co-existence. There is already tension in the states because some governors are already calling for the review of the 13% derivation for oil producing states while others are calling for the re-trail in the supreme court over the onshore offshore oil dichotomy for the littoral states who benefit more at the expense of other states that are non-oil producing which they described as unfair, unjust and lopsided. Let us rethink and change. The fight against corruption in most states and local governments are not elaborately carried out, and, accordingly, looters and thieves of public treasuries are not arrested and prosecuted accordingly.
According to an investigation by both the DAILY TRUST and its pace setter, the one and only, DESERT HERALD Newspapers, the north had misapplied over eight trillion naira (N8 Trillion) from the federation account within the last thirteen years, while the Niger Delta states, according to chief Edwin Clark blew over N7 Trillion as derivation funds within thirteen years, without corresponding justifications in the forms of solid infrastructure for the areas concerned. Some of the accused governors are out of offices and thus free from immunity which could have averted their arrests, investigations and prosecutions accordingly for fraud and financial crimes.
According to the chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Lamorde, many top class cases of EFCC in courts have been frustrated by corrupt judges and lawyers, thereby returning “No case” verdicts in may federal high courts in the country. Assuredly, however, he has promised to deal with all the corrupt judges who have amassed tremendous amount of money in their bank accounts and acquired expensive houses and real property- far above their means so that others would learn some lessons the hard way. Nigerians demand nothing less from the EFCC and ICPC- whose chairman, Nta Ekpo, has recently said that the ICPC would henceforth arrest all corrupt persons even without petitions submitted to them. This is commendable, and should be sustained beyond rhetoric.
Many cases of corruption in Nigeria, especially now under this democratic dispensation were attributed to governors politicians and presidency who have been corrupting everybody that matters in society in order to carry out or do their selfish biddings whether in the courts, security service or as public servants. It is also unfortunate to note that the judiciary has sadly and egregiously allowed itself to be corrupted by rapacious politicians and those in positions of authority across the country. This has invariably corroded and affected all public sectors negatively.
The result is misgovernance, under performance, stealing and looting of public funds which are entrusted on leaders to administer on behalf of the people as trustees. This tantamount to breach of trust, abuse of office and perjury which must be punished in order to instill some semblance of sanity, order, justice, and fairness for the teeming people- who have been pauperized and subjected to untold hardships, anger, frustrations, aggression and restlessness as we have now been having.
Until we are all agreed to fight corruption to the finish or, at least reduce it to barest minimum, we shall continue to be classified amongst the most corrupt nations of the world. Whether anybody likes it or not, corruption is our albatross as a nation and we are only paying leap service to reduce it or punish offenders because our leaders have decided to look the other way while their ministers, advisers, heads of ministries, department and agencies indulge in it with recklessness. Ditto state governors. Most of them, except Adam Oshiomhole of Edo have been condoning, if not promoting and, indeed, encouraging corruption in governance. Consequently, there is poverty, destitution, disease and adversity in the midst of plenty. How many Nigerians can afford decent accommodation or now their own family houses? How many own their own family cars? How many can truly afford three square meals or indeed achieve their self-esteem, social, security and self-actualization needs? We have a long way to go.

Endemic corruption in Nigeria has continuously dominated public discourse since the beginning of this democratic dispensation in 1999 when transparency international of Germany then classified Nigeria as the third most corrupt country in the world in its corruption perception index which it captures yearly. In 2012, we improved to number thirty fifth on the corruption index- which is still appalling and unacceptable to the federal government and most compatriots.
The truth, however is that corruption still thrives across the land extending from the federal, states and local governments; even though it is negligible in the private sector which operators would not condone it so that their businesses would not go under. Corruption has become seemingly intractable in the public service and within the corridors of power even though section 15(5) in our Revised constitution has provided that, “government shall abolish all corrupt practices”, Ironically, it is those who are under oath to defend, protect and defend the constitution who are mostly culpable and liable to corruption as the cases prosecuted thus far by the anti corruption agencies have proven.
The basic principles of transparency, probity and accountability are simply lacking in governments across the land since operators and actors have refused to comply substantially to pursue our fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy, as reflected in chapter two, which although not JUSTICEABLE, provides that each leader across the three tiers of government, must as a matter of allegiance, pursue them vigorously in order to make the people happy, satisfied and fulfilled. It is hereby hoped that the proposed amendment of the constitution by the national assembly, which is currently on-going would make it possible for the citizenry to sue their leaders who fail to provide the fundamental objectives otherwise called in local parlance as good governance.
This is the only sure way to holding them truly accountable to their people who usually elect them into offices, but they disappointedly fail woefully to follow their whimsical desires. Until we are able to deal with corruption frontally and with full force, this country would continue to suffer stagnation, retrogression, social atrophy, injustice, inequity, poverty, destitution, disease, hunger, indignation and aggression in the forms of ethnic, tribal and religious catastrophes as we are currently having across the land.
Consequently, we would not know peace, order, safety, security and development due to gross and endemic corruption which has eaten deep into our body politic crimes such as armed robbery, kidnappings for ransoms, prostitutions, child abuse, neglect and labour would continue to exacerbate the already tensed society which is awash with ethnic, tribal and political tensions and sentiments which inextricably and invariably precipitate conflicts and crises.
Ours is a self-induced poverty caused by deliberate oppression, denials, deprivations and negligence caused by avaricious or rapacious political leaders at the top who feel erroneously that the wealth of the nation is their exclusive preserve to steal and do as they please with it. Time has come when public re-action and anger have resulted into resentments which aggravate ethnic and religious sentiments which also result into religious fundamentalism, anger, frustrations, insurgency and kidnappings as never happened before in our land. Poverty, hunger and untold sufferings are precursors to social uprisings based on hatred, odium and contempt for the rich, the leaders, the kings and chiefs as well as the political kingpins. Examples abound in Nigeria today.
We should learn to spread the wealth of the nation across as the late Bashorun Abiola once said in 1992 during his electioneering campaigns in Hope 1992 slogans. He said, “I have tested poverty, I carried woods on my head to feed my poor mummy and I suffered to become who I am”. Sadly, today we have a political class which is self-seeking, fortunate seekers, gold-diggers and business people who have invested hugely to financially reap the dividends of their investments as supporters, sponsors, god fathers or party stalwarts who must be compensated for the “sacrifices”. That is why in our democracy, we have many stake holders who have mainly been the major beneficiaries of democratic dividends in the forms of choice appointments such as Board of Trustee chairmen, chairman of lucrative government ministries and parastatals, major contractors and party elders who are given periodic financial returns to maintain their loyalty.
As it was in the beginning, so it is today and so shall it be tomorrow until they kingdom come we bridle our inordinate greed, avarice and egotism to insist on probity, accountability and transparency from those who are at the saddle of affairs.
A cursory look at the major political parties in Nigeria would reveal an appalling catalogue of old brigade politicians, retired business men and women as well as so-called elders still clinging tenaciously to partisan politics and dictating the pace and determining who gets what and how. The list is endless. Needless to mention names but they shall be known by their past antecedents. It is little or no wonder that Nigeria was listed as 35th most corrupt nation in 2012 by the transparency international based in Germany which captured more than one hundred other countries. The indices are quite ominous corruption in high places such as government houses and presidential villa, poverty, joblessness, conflicts caused by frustration, hunger and anger and diseases such as polio-meningitis, HIV/AIDS, Kwashiorkor and beggary in the midst of oil wealth which is not judiciously utilized. Nigerian masses have been very resilient, docile, subjective and totally indifferent to the ignoble and impugn corruption by our leaders because we have been divided deliberately and decimated along tribal, ethnic, religious, political, sectional and historical lines, to the extent that affinity and loyalty to these “shenanigans” or “divides” are considered far and above love, care and concern for one another by the citizens who can even go to war to maintain or defend them, while our so called elders and leaders continue to collude to fleece the funds coming to their states or local governments together with the political leaders without minding their own differences.
Corruption does not have any geo political, tribal or religious boundaries. The poor and mostly illiterate Nigerians are too poor and impoverished to decipher or discern these anomalies. These therefore give the leeway to the greedy elite and politicians to feed fat on our common wealth while they live us in utter confusion, contempt and malice which snowball into open confrontations in the guise of religion, politics and ethnic jingoism. Some say Nigerians should unite to fight corruption which is the bane of our development as a people and as a nation.
With corruption we cannot achieve our goals-socially, economically and even politically. We do know that it is immoral to indulge in it as enjoined by Almighty God. As a religious people we are proud to associate ourselves with the two major universal religions which we profess- Islam and Christianity both of which condemn it as sinful and unrighteous.
The Chinese with their Buddhism however condemn the convicted corrupt to the gallows to steal no more. This is a good example of living with a religion and abiding by its tenets. Not so in Nigeria where multitudes who are Muslims and Christians indulge themselves neck deep without a qualm.
All the hive and cry about EFCC,  ICPC and code of conducts are mere window dressings or hog-wash. We only unleash them to political detractors or opponents to silence them for good and stop them from making noise. In Islam corruption is “fasad” or gross mischief and treason which in is punishable by death as in china. The first caliph after the death of prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Abubakar Siddique, fought those who refused to pay Zakaat as ordained by Islam. Today’s Nigerian Muslim elite does not know even the NISAB-criteria- for paying or giving out zakat to the needy, let alone pay to alleviate poverty. We must get our of our cocoon and halt our hypocrisy and holier than thou attitude so that we shall collectively, tackle the challenges of corruption which impede development, breed poverty, hunger, anger, frustration, aggression and killings as currently happening under various canopies ranging from religious, tribal sectional and political.
Nigerians are not happy- surely not- due to object poverty which is aggravated with current insecurity that is ravaging everybody, and especially the poor, the weak, the gullible and vulnerable urban dwellers. Let us live and let live. Here is calling on President Jonathan, the thirty six state governors, the chief executives of ministries and parastatals in states and local government chairmen to as a matter of necessity resolve today to say enough to corruption and everyone else down the ladder would fall in line. Nigerians are law abiding if the leaders would change their corrupt attitude for better. Politics of nepotism, favouritism, sectionalism, tribalism and egoism should be stopped and imbibe politics of sacrifice, altruism, welfarism and fairness so that confidence building would ensue among every follower.
The current trend where politics is geared or tailored towards selfish aggrandizements and in favour of sections, tribesmen, clans and elite does not augur well for our collective peace, progress, unity, development and continuous co-existence. There is already tension in the states because some governors are already calling for the review of the 13% derivation for oil producing states while others are calling for the re-trail in the supreme court over the onshore offshore oil dichotomy for the littoral states who benefit more at the expense of other states that are non-oil producing which they described as unfair, unjust and lopsided. Let us rethink and change. The fight against corruption in most states and local governments are not elaborately carried out, and, accordingly, looters and thieves of public treasuries are not arrested and prosecuted accordingly.
According to an investigation by both the DAILY TRUST and its pace setter, the one and only, DESERT HERALD Newspapers, the north had misapplied over eight trillion naira (N8 Trillion) from the federation account within the last thirteen years, while the Niger Delta states, according to chief Edwin Clark blew over N7 Trillion as derivation funds within thirteen years, without corresponding justifications in the forms of solid infrastructure for the areas concerned. Some of the accused governors are out of offices and thus free from immunity which could have averted their arrests, investigations and prosecutions accordingly for fraud and financial crimes.
According to the chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Lamorde, many top class cases of EFCC in courts have been frustrated by corrupt judges and lawyers, thereby returning “No case” verdicts in may federal high courts in the country. Assuredly, however, he has promised to deal with all the corrupt judges who have amassed tremendous amount of money in their bank accounts and acquired expensive houses and real property- far above their means so that others would learn some lessons the hard way. Nigerians demand nothing less from the EFCC and ICPC- whose chairman, Nta Ekpo, has recently said that the ICPC would henceforth arrest all corrupt persons even without petitions submitted to them. This is commendable, and should be sustained beyond rhetoric.
Many cases of corruption in Nigeria, especially now under this democratic dispensation were attributed to governors politicians and presidency who have been corrupting everybody that matters in society in order to carry out or do their selfish biddings whether in the courts, security service or as public servants. It is also unfortunate to note that the judiciary has sadly and egregiously allowed itself to be corrupted by rapacious politicians and those in positions of authority across the country. This has invariably corroded and affected all public sectors negatively.
The result is misgovernance, under performance, stealing and looting of public funds which are entrusted on leaders to administer on behalf of the people as trustees. This tantamount to breach of trust, abuse of office and perjury which must be punished in order to instill some semblance of sanity, order, justice, and fairness for the teeming people- who have been pauperized and subjected to untold hardships, anger, frustrations, aggression and restlessness as we have now been having.
Until we are all agreed to fight corruption to the finish or, at least reduce it to barest minimum, we shall continue to be classified amongst the most corrupt nations of the world. Whether anybody likes it or not, corruption is our albatross as a nation and we are only paying leap service to reduce it or punish offenders because our leaders have decided to look the other way while their ministers, advisers, heads of ministries, department and agencies indulge in it with recklessness. Ditto state governors. Most of them, except Adam Oshiomhole of Edo have been condoning, if not promoting and, indeed, encouraging corruption in governance. Consequently, there is poverty, destitution, disease and adversity in the midst of plenty. How many Nigerians can afford decent accommodation or now their own family houses? How many own their own family cars? How many can truly afford three square meals or indeed achieve their self-esteem, social, security and self-actualization needs? We have a long way to go.

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