By Wole Arisekola
Kosalabaro: I am worried, very worried!
Okebadan: Worried is an understatement with the current situation in Nigeria; where the law enforcement agents are now willing tools in the hands of politicians!
Okebadan: Hummm, I saw ICPC’s politically motivated press release, in which they accused Senator Akpabio of diverting an equipment worth less than N3.5m. According to them, “among the recoveries so far made by the CPTG team are dialysis machine, ECG monitor, oxygen regulator, anaesthetic machines, generators and other hospital equipment meant for a cottage hospital in Ukana, Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, from the premises of Mma Obot Foundation, alleged to belong to Senator Godswill Akpabio.”
Kosalabaro: But Akpabio defended his integrity yesterday. He told me that the equipment allegedly retrieved from the Mma Obot Foundation were meant for an on-going project. According to him, the ICPC, as a Federal Government agency, should not allow itself to be used by politicians for selfish motives. He said “the story is false; it is a lie from the pit of hell. It is politically-motivated. And ICPC should stop misleading the public with false stories.
“I have no foundation that deals in medical equipment. I don’t have a kidney problem. So, what will I be doing with a dialysis machine? What will I be doing with generating sets?
On June 8 after the end of my tenure as a member of the Eighth Senate, I empowered 8,000 indigenes of my senatorial district with N100,000 each. The N100 million disbursed was part of my constituency project for 2018.
“I am not a contractor and I was not paid to supply medical equipment. We only initiate constituency projects, we don’t implement them. Why are they dragging Akpabio’s name into it?
Okebadan: When I saw this story on the pages of newspapers I called the ICPC Chairman and his media team.
Kosalabaro: Did they answer you or reply to your text messages?
Okebadan: How can ICPC chairman answer a small boy like me? See his resume… Professor Bolaji Olufunmileyi Owasanoye
DATE OF BIRTH: 15th May 1963
LL.B Bachelor of Laws (Second Upper) Univ. of Ife, Nigeria 1984;
Qualifying Certificate BL, Nigerian Law School 1985;
LL.M Master of Laws University of Lagos 1987;
Certificate in Legislative Drafting, Royal Institute of Public Administration UK/Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies,1992;
Certificate in Negotiating and Drafting International Trade Agreements, International Law Institute, Washington DC 1993;
Certificate in Managing Development Projects, IMA Associates, UK, 2000
Executive Education Certificate in Applying Behavioral Insights to the Design of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School of Government 2016 .
3. SUMMARY OF PROFESSIONAL SKILLS/EXPERTISE: Lecturer, Lagos State University 1986-1990
Research Fellow Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies 1990-2000
Professor of Law, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies 2001 to date
Director of Research, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies 2003 – 2006 and 2009 -2013.
Professorial Research Associate, School of Oriental and African Studies University of London 2011-2013;
Visiting Professor, University of Pretoria since 2015,
Member of Council, Criminal Law Committee of the International Bar Association 2011-2013;
Member, International Bar Association Presidential Task Force on Human Trafficking 2015-2016;
Senior Special Fellow, United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) since 2000,
First Teslim Elias Distinguished Professor of Law, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies 2013.
Selected Consultancies –
United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), UNICEF, DFiD, USAID, World Bank, World Bank Institute, International Labour Organisation, Ford Foundation, ECOWAS, African Union, West African Institute for Finance and Economic Management (WAIFEM); Federal and state Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in Nigeria.
He prepared the draft law establishing the Debt Management Office of Nigeria in 2002; law establishing the Office of the Public Defender in Lagos State.
Okebadan: How can a lecturer answer his students? Don’t you know that once a lecturer is always a lecturer? He sees every Nigerian as his student. He doesn’t have any busines answering all the small boys and girls like us. He is a demigod.
Kosalabaro: In a normal environment, he is accountable to all Nigerians because Nigerians are the one paying his salary. He applied for the job and he should count himself lucky to have someone who pushed his application for him.
Okebadan: But our brothers from the North are different!
Kosalabaro: Excuse me, don’t use a case of an Individual to judge a tribe, we have fantastic human beings from all the tribes. Individual behaviour depends on his or her family background. Yorubas are well known to be Omoluabi. We are cultured, highly responsible and we don’t get easily carried away with power.
Okebadan: Back to our business. Now that Akpabio confirmed that he has no Foundation, are you telling me that ICPC spokesperson, Ms Rasheedat Okoduwa did not do background check with CAC to find out the people behind Mma Obot Foundation?
Kosalabaro: She did not because that is not what she was told to do. Thier mission is to pull Akpabio down by all means. You cannot come out clean in your enemy’s court, no matter how clever you are.
Okebadan: It is well. That’s why people don’t have trust in our leaders. Hardly can you hear any truth from their mouth.
Kosalabaro: My neighbor, Mr. Andrew and his children, just checked out of the country.
Okebadan: Why? Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners, and necessity has made us allies. Those whom God has so joined together, let no man put asunder. We must stay and put our house in order.
Kosalabaro: Which house are you talking about? Are you talking of Nigeria as a country or Nigerians as people. We are living in the strangest country in the whole wide world. We are too unique to be compared to other countries. Whatever we set our hearts to, we outdo everybody.
We are running our daily lives on sentiments, tribal and religious bigotry. We are living in George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ where some animals are more equal than others. There is nothing like equal opportunity in our country.
Okebadan: But politicians refused to acknowledge that advancing equal opportunity and economic empowerment is both morally right and good economics, because discrimination, poverty and ignorance restrict growth, while investments in education, infrastructure and scientific and technological research increase it, creating more good jobs and new wealth for Nigerians.
Kosalabaro: You see, when they don’t understand something, they need to ask those who do. And must they always suspect that we all have vested interest in politics? I don’t know when we become their enemy? I won’t support their naive supporters who are mainly irresponsible raiders. But we do not merely destroy our enemies; we change them. We must keep on educating them until when they can reason like a normal human beings.
Okebadan: Hummmm, Have you heard the latest? Finally, Garba Shehu, presidential media aide, on the evening of Thursday, June 8, 2019 announced that Buhari has given the order for the reduction of the number of jets in his fleet.
Kosalabaro: Congratulations to right thinking Nigerians. Change must start from him. We must keep on asking him to lead by example. We must make politicians accountable for their tenure in office. And for their blind, mute and deaf supporters, your principal can reason and think better than you all.