Osinbajo, why?154 views
I hear that Kano State House of Assembly has suspended investigation of alleged misappropriation and misuse of the sum of N6 billion by the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi. I hear the state House of Assembly called off the investigation following a plea to that effect by the state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje.
Ganduje himself was reportedly prevailed upon by highly-placed Nigerians, including Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, former heads of state Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar; Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar; and business moguls of the state, Aliko Dangote and Aminu Dantata.
In a letter to the state House of Assembly urging it to suspend the probe, Ganduje reportedly said, inter alia, that “there is no gainsaying (the fact) that the Emir Muhammadu Sunusi II has admitted all his faults and mistakes and agreed to make adjustment. I think at this juncture, we should allow peace as being achieved to continue.” On the strength of this, the state House of Assembly suspended the probe indefinitely. Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission had also earlier dropped its probe into the financial dealings of the Emirate council.
This is the problem I have with Nigeria. You have two sets of laws on one issue – one set for the poor and the weak, the other for the rich and powerful.
How does the intervention of these prominent Nigerians automatically wipe off the offense of financial misappropriation allegedly committed by Emir Sanusi if the state was sure he committed the infractions in the first place? By his letter, is Governor Ganduje saying it is okay for anybody to commit a crime, admit it and then pledge to make adjustment, or get prominent Nigerians to plead on their behalf and then walk free? Would a poor civil servant who has no big man to plead for him be let off the hook if he misappropriates Kano State Government’s money, admits it, and then promises to make amends?
And why should the Acting President involve himself in this matter given the anti-corruption crusade of the Federal Government? Does it not smack of obstruction of justice; shooting one’s own foot; an own-goal? Or is it because Kano is a strategic APC state and the Acting President does not want to allow a situation that would potentially open another battle front between APC and PDP?
“The Emir has been telling northern political establishment uncomfortable truths of late. So, they went after him in order to shut him up.”
Kano is a politically whimsical state. It oscillates between conservative and progressive. It has gone through the control of both PDP and APC. A picture of their much-beloved Emir being docked for corruption may just be what is needed for the people to switch loyalty yet again. Is this what informed Osinbajo’s deft intervention? We may never know.
What we do know is that at every opportunity, Emir Sanusi does not waste time to harp on corruption in high places. He entertains no qualms whatsoever lambasting public office holders for corruption. It would have been a cruel irony seeing him put in the dock to answer for the very offense for which he so easily carpets politicians. It would have presented an interesting spectacle to watch; an entertainment of sorts. The blogosphere would have gone berserk, and my ever-cynical brothers east of the Niger would have seen it as one more “arrangee” by APC. Fayose, Wike and that dope-sniffing Yaba Left candidate with a haemorrhaging mouth would have had a field day.
But let us not deceive ourselves, we all know why Kano State Government went after the Emir in the first place. The Emir has been telling northern political establishment uncomfortable truths of late. So, they went after him in order to shut him up. They may have succeeded in achieving just that. Now that they have settled their differences behind closed doors, it is back to business as usual and his sins are forgiven. It remains to be seen if the fiery Emir, never known to get easily intimidated, would henceforth refrain from being brutally frank as he is known to be.
But I can’t help but notice a curious coincidence. The last time a law that would have seen to the exit of a prominent Christian leader was to be enforced, it was President Buhari, a Muslim, who intervened to save the situation. Jim Obaze, the technocrat whose duty it was to enforce the law got booted out instead. Now a Muslim leader is in the eye of the storm and Osinbajo, a Christian pastor, is to the rescue. Yet followers on both sides of the religious divide kill themselves over nothing. Interesting country.