21st April, 2017
By Nelson Ekujumi
Following the EFCC discovery and recovery of about $43 million from a private apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos state recently, tongues started wagging as to the identity of the owner or owners in view of other discoveries without ownership in Kaduna airport, Legico shopping mall, Balogun market, etc.
But before one could say Jack Robinson, the trio of Governors Nyesom Wike, Ayo Fayose and Femi Fani Kayode jumped into the fray in a well orchestrated manner and chorused that the money belonged to Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, former Rivers state governor and sitting minister for transportation, even without producing any fact to back up their allegations rationally and legally.
Infact, governor Nyesom Wike in borrowing a leaf from his brother in utterances and conduct, party associate and friend governor Ayo Fayose, was quoted as threatening that the Federal government will not know peace until the recovered Ikoyi funds is repatriated to the coffers of the Rivers state government which he insisted against logic, rationality and facts as the owner of the funds.
Despite the NIA DG coming forward to claim ownership of the money as belonging to his agency as funds approved by immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan for some covert operations, Nigerians were very doubtful because of the indisputable fact that our environment is one in which truth is in short supply privately and publicly, coupled with the fact that the money was recovered from a private residential apartment and not from any of the offices of the NIA which was claiming ownership.
However in the midst of the brouhaha over the Ikoyigate, public interest in the matter increased the more rather than abate because of the repeated abuse of public trust by those saddled with the responsibility and the resolve of the people that it must no longer be business as usual in this era and administration of change.
With the increased public consciousness to get to the root of the Ikoyigate, came the disclosure of the names of the owners and occupiers of the apartments in the building including the one from which the money was recovered, which was listed as being occupied by the DG NIA and his wife.
Consequently, the publications of the names of the occupiers of the apartments in the building exposed the barefaced malicious blackmail and campaign of calumny by the trio of Wike, Fayose and FFK as the arrowheads, acting out a well orchestrated script to malign the name of Mr. Rotimi Amaechi at all cost because of political differences and to distract Nigerians from the substance of Ikoyigate, which is a testimonial of how the administration of former President Jonathan abused public trust and undermined national security which they seem to have knowledge of.
Unfortunately, since the latest action of the Federal government of suspending the SGF and DG NIA by constituting a 3 man investigative committee headed by Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to determine the appropriateness of the Ikoyigate funds and report back in 2 weeks, the conspiratorial silence of the trio of Wike, Fayose and FFK has exposed them as hatchet men with intentions which is at variance with public good.
As we await the outcome of the investigative panel that we are hopeful in, one can only enjoin Nigerians to be patient and expect that justice will be served and refuse to be distracted and confused by anti democratic agents on the prowl.
Ekujumi, a public analyst writes from Lagos