By Afam Jude Emeri
Wonder they say, will never end, and Nigeria wonders are like the morning dew, they are new every morning, that is why, in as much as I was surprised at what transpired between former SGF, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim and EFCC, I refused to be lost in the plethora of a system clitch that we are already conversant with, though I never expected the wonders will start too early like this.
For a while now, especially before and after the 2019 General Election, we witnessed the unprecedented defection of politicians to APC, and those who refused to defect lost their second chances and those who defected had their “Presumed Corruption Cases” suddenly dropped or every case with EFCC withdrawn like a magic wand from a fairy tale. Of course, we are used to that, we are not unaware of these mechanisms in the hand of power grabbers and desperate attempts to cling to power.
To give better insight into what transpired between Senator Anyim Pius Anyim and the EFCC, I will draw inference from a few events of the past in the political terrain of Nigeria and the systemic misnomers gradually becoming norms. I will use Senator Bukola Saraki and Alh. Atiku Abubakar in these instances.
Recall that in 2015, Senator Bukola Saraki made a smart move and became the Senate President against the wish of APC and Buhari, that action threw spanners in the wheels of Rtd. Major General Mohammadu Buhari who couldn’t operate freely because a Senator who didn’t know Joseph was in charge of the legislative arm. Bukola held unto power as SP, but this was a sin he must dearly pay for as we all witnessed years after.
Before his 2019 reelection bid, the Offa Bank Robbery happened with its attendant media trials and intense politics of bad blood. An Igbo adage says that a man whose house is on fire does not chase rats. In the end, while Saraki was busy trying to clear his name, he had already lost popularity among the people whose mind was in doubt of him after what they read. As it raged on, the election was over, then later, a court of competent jurisdiction cleared him of all charges, case closed, the battle lost and won, but the bottom line is that he never saw the walls of the Red Chambers again, a price for his political sagacity and breach of status quo.
We may hear the case again with fresh charges next time he gets too ambitious that threatens the interest of the mayors of the manor, the Lords of the Ring.
The case of Alh. Atiku Abubakar must be fresh in our memories and though it took a different fashion. In his case, the target was to pull the carpet under his feet by crippling and suffocating his financial strength to rendering him incapacitated against the 2019 election.
First, his company’s accounts were frozen on frivolous charges and license to his maritime company revoked for another “genuine” reason, but all at that material time whereas he has been in the business for years.
We also witnessed endless arrests of Atiku’s Son in law who happened to be his accounts manager, over fraudulent charges and his bailout in each of the arrests ran into millions. Don’t forget that once they do the arrest and slam you one charge, the media will run with it and put your name on the bad side of peoples opinions as the bad politician. To that part, I don’t know whose interest the media serves, but I loath the fact that nobody ever bothers to write a rejoinder when those charges turn out to be fictitious after rhe damage is done.
Of a truth, in as much as Senator Anyim will never tell us the bail conditions he had to fulfil, my sixth sense tells me that power must have gone out of him.
Concept Of Media Trial Unleashed
It is a fact that the only reason EFCC must have delayed Anyim for over 48hours even without any charges is that they know how Nigeria Media works, investigative journalism is not in their DNA.
For a man that personally went to EFCC as a civil responsibility to the nation to clear doubt in a case someone else mentioned his name, to be detained and bailed with conditions goes to show how rotten the Nigerian state machinery have become. This will also make it impossible for another responsible citizen to take such a path of honour. The purpose was just to place Anyim on media trial to fight his chances of getting public acceptance, should he grow large ambition against 2023. We are not unaware.
Summary of the crux of the matter
This is an apt summary captured by a Nigerian that understands the law:
” Honestly, I knew you don’t have any case to answer with the EFCC, reason been that:
“A company is a Juristic person capable of suing and been sued. This principle of the law got judicial authority in the celebrated case of Salomon V Salomon. Section 42 of the new CAMA 2020 makes the case a nullity, death on arrival; also in the case of Fara V Fara limited, it also spoke extensively on a company being a separate legal personality from the directors and promoters.
“According to the news we got, EFCC eared in law for inviting Ayim Pius to answer questions instead of the company that anything was linked.
“Sir, I was working on making publication as to that effect but thank God you are back.
“With due respect sir, I will advise we maintain an action against the EFCC for defamation and unlawful detention.
“Thanks and God bless you, sir”
This was analysed by Egiriga Jeremiah Odinaka.
I will leave this to EFCC’s conscience and the Nigerian Media who does the hatchet job of media trail for a corrupt government chasing “presumed” corrupt opponents, a true definition of “Witch-Hunt”.
Amb. Afam Jude Emeri is a political analyst, activist and advocate of good governance. Writes from Lagos.
You can contact him at Email: firstname.lastname@example.org