The Intriguing Case Of President Yar'adua's Godfather

The Intriguing Case of President Yar'Adua's Godfather

© Ogaga Ifowodo

With every twist and turn in the unending saga of Mr James Onanefe "Here's-one-who-brings-wealth" Ibori, ex-governor of Delta State, it becomes clearer that the evil of "godfatherism" remains well and alive in our tattered polity. In short, we can now say that it never enjoyed greater favour in the eyes of a sitting head of state. Godfatherism, a pillar of the Obasanjo government, has slowly but surely emerged as the lodestone of Yar'Adua's Aso Rock. True, no right-thinking Nigerian thought that with the death of the fearsome Lamidi Adedibu political gangsters had finally run out of luck. Professor Rufai Ahmed Alkali, publicity secretary of the greatest and richest political party ever formed on earth, may have been moved by his distress to declare that the sudden death of Adedibu "created a very big vacuum in the politics of Oyo State and indeed Nigeria." In so expressing the PDP's heartbreak over Adedibu's death, Rufai made an involuntary confession: that the party, whether under Yar'Adua's or Obasanjo's titular leadership, always saw Oyo State as a laboratory of dirty power. Whatever worked in Adedibu's fiefdom was to become a model for "capturing" power in any state where passable opposition to the PDP's totalitarian ambitions existed. It was in this sense that Anambra became another test-tube state. The PDP's outpouring of grief against the general sigh of relief and jubilation said simply, "What will become of our party if godfatherism is buried with Adedibu?"

In order to fill the vacuum and prevent this calamity, the PDP has now announced, by deed, the consecration of Ibori as President Yar'Adua's godfather. On Tuesday, 15 September 2009, Ibori "presided" over a meeting called to discuss the proposed N10 billion national secretariat of the PDP, a planned monument to profligacy. Ibori is known to be the PDP's "main financier. All the reason why Yar'Adua, through the tireless efforts of his Attorney-General, Michael Aondoakaa, has shielded the embattled ex-governor from every charge of embezzlement and money laundering, both at home and abroad. At the meeting, according to the NEXT account the following day, were high-powered government officials, including Remi Babalola, Minister of State in Finance, and Shamsudeen Uthman, Minister for National Economic Planning. Since the meeting's sole agenda was how to raise the needed billions for the PDP's tower of greed, it is safe to assume that Ibori, believed to be the party's deepest purse, was the actual presiding officer. The deliberations were at Yar'Adua's behest and are to be reviewed by him.

Ibori couldn't have demanded a better gesture to call the bluff of the British government over their most recent attempt to try him and his coterie of male and female partners in crime for money-laundering. Earlier in the year when the astonishingly wealthy ex-governor's case with the London Metropolitan Police made torrid headlines and the Halliburton bribe scandal was blown open in the United States, I had begun a piece entitled "The Anti-Corruption Game," published in The Guardian of 27 April 2009, as follows: "If President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua has not already done so, then he must now consider telling the governments of the United Kingdom and the United States of America to please, henceforth, mind their own business. Clearly, the greatest embarrassments Yar'Adua has suffered regarding his willingness to combat the gloating evil of official corruption have come from these two countries. ... That Yar'Adua has yet to openly declare a turf war must be due, I suspect, to the little matter of the appropriate diplomatese for doing so. In what decipherable language can a president confess to the world that it isn't his country's staggering corruption that gives him sleepless nights but, rather, how to keep the scandals secret?"

I had wrongly presumed that the president would squirm to appear insincere. But that came out of a momentary fog over reason, caused, I now know, by the ruse of his voluntary asset declaration a thousand moons ago. Now, of course, Yar'Adua has told the busybody British and American governments in unmistakable terms to mind their own business. After all, the era of slavery and colonialism is over and there is a surfeit of corrupt politicians in London and Washington, DC as well. And now Yar'Adua's justice minister, the ultra-patriotic Aondoakaa, has declared that he will not, repeat, will not, hand over any citizen of our beloved country, not the least, James Ibori and his henchman in Aso Rock, David Edevbie, to a foreign authority for trial. No matter the number and magnitude of crimes for which said citizen may stand indicted in a court of law, even in our own court. Having instructed - or, at any rate, condoned - Aondoakaa's unilateral verdict of Not Guilty, Yar'Adua next invited the innocent and much maligned main financier of his party to the seat of power for serious matters of state. Never mind that Ibori financed the president's party, and, so, his purloined mandate, with stolen money. That is how godfathers are made, as Adedibu's war with Governor Ladoja who would not hand over the Oyo State coffers to him showed us. But receiving stolen goods, as we know, is a crime that taints the receiver as much as the thief. And herein lies Yar'Adua's moral debacle and credibility problem: how to disavow electoral theft financed with embezzled public funds at the same time that he is the beneficiary of the priciest presidency money ever bought. What to do? Turn against his chief benefactor, in this case Ibori, and bite the very finger that put the delicious power plum in his mouth? There was only one honourable course for him: denounce the electoral fraud of 2007 and insist on a free and fair election. Having failed his moral test, he is condemned now to be Ibori's protector, and so his political godson, money trumping age as in all matters of power and lucre. And, so, reminded of the irrevocable bond that existed between Obasanjo and Adedibu by Yar'Adua's cant, we can do worse than repeat the wisdom of that old saying to the president: "Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are."

For against any protestation to the contrary, Yar'Adua has now given Ibori an iron-cast guarantee of non-prosecution during the tenure of his government, thereby making him almost as untouchable as the king of them all, Ibrahim Babangida. Surely, those who call for Aondoakaa's sack miss the point, though the AG, the best friend that thieving politicians have ever had in that office, ought not to stay a single day longer. Yet, by inviting Ibori to Aso Rock, Yar'Adua not only boasted his godfather to the whole world but also carried out a far worse act of money laundering than what the British police and the EFCC have alleged. Mercifully, the president has finally ended all pretensions of a war against corruption. It was about time!

· Ifowodo teaches poetry and literature at Texas State University, San Marcos, in the United States, and may be reached at omoliho@gmail.com.



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Re: [Article Comment]The Intriguing Case Of President Yar`adua`s Godfather
Namdy posted on 09-28-2009, 08:28:36 AM
IBORI's issue is being over-flogged.He is being made very popular without meriting it.Sahara Reporters has in recent times made every article that appears on that website focused on IBORI.
It is time some writers beamed their search lights on other issue as people are becoming very bored reading about IBORI every day.
Re: [Article Comment]The Intriguing Case Of President Yar`adua`s Godfather
Dapxin posted on 09-28-2009, 08:58:48 AM
I disagree.

Ibori + his shameless circle of girls are on trial in a london court. I just took my leave away from the court, with the available public seats used up.

No one can be sure whether it is dem Ibori apologists (fo0ls really) sitting there but one thing is clear, there is a commitment to ensure that the money-laundering case against them, is properly adjudicated. And all right-thinking, and long suffering Nigerians are watching....I only wish, we could all do more...turn up! at the Court, its just 5minutes walk from London Bridge, if you are in London.

I learnt there was a bunch of Nigerians who came to protest that the UK Justice people should leave Nigeria - a sovereign nation (are you laughing? - where's MEND again) - to handle its justice where necessary. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm

If only we all did not know who is in charge of the Justice ministry in Nigeria, let alone how it all works; A place where supreme court judges can meander away from a black-and-white electoral law that specifically says all ballot papers must be serially numbered (I am talking of that famous ruling of Nki Tobi and his pack of 3 brainless mates)...and then the Supreme Court(of laughable spine really) proceeds to legitimize a dead-body of a president ? Give me a Break!

If you are bored of reading about Ibory; maybe you can do something - write too; About anyone of them.

The whole point, is to crank the heat up! As much as we can, As much as possible, little-by-little.

over.
Re: [Article Comment]The Intriguing Case Of President Yar`adua`s Godfather
M. Akosa posted on 09-28-2009, 10:36:31 AM
QUOTE:
I disagree.

Ibori + his shameless circle of girls are on trial in a london court. I just took my leave away from the court, with the available public seats used up.

No one can be sure whether it is dem Ibori apologists (fo0ls really) sitting there but one thing is clear, there is a commitment to ensure that the money-laundering case against them, is properly adjudicated. And all right-thinking, and long suffering Nigerians are watching....I only wish, we could all do more...turn up! at the Court, its just 5minutes walk from London Bridge, if you are in London.

I learnt there was a bunch of Nigerians who came to protest that the UK Justice people should leave Nigeria - a sovereign nation (are you laughing? - where's MEND again) - to handle its justice where necessary. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm

If only we all did not know who is in charge of the Justice ministry in Nigeria, let alone how it all works; A place where supreme court judges can meander away from a black-and-white electoral law that specifically says all ballot papers must be serially numbered (I am talking of that famous ruling of Nki Tobi and his pack of 3 brainless mates)...and then the Supreme Court(of laughable spine really) proceeds to legitimize a dead-body of a president ? Give me a Break!

If you are bored of reading about Ibory; maybe you can do something - write too; About anyone of them.

The whole point, is to crank the heat up! As much as we can, As much as possible, little-by-little.

over.


Please NO one should be tired of focusing persistently on Ibori's mistresses and cohorts trial now going on in London. Or remove attention from Ibori.

I would like to see more articles written about them. There is no rest for the wicked.

*** The point here is all about the abuse of power of office, fraud and corruption. Nothing personal.

Apartheid was defeated in South Africa by consistency and perseverence, and at the end of the day the western world caved in to the humanitarian needs, human rights and the dignity of the long suffering black people of South Africa.

With consistency, I am sure over the years, fraudulent and corrupt Nigerian leaders or government officials and elites will become like lepers and undesirable to westerners who do business with them, help them stash away looted Nigerian funds.

Nigerians can do it, given the will power and courage to eliminate corruption and under-development in our society.
Re: [Article Comment]The Intriguing Case Of President Yar`adua`s Godfather
Pa Bj posted on 09-28-2009, 10:40:49 AM
Bros,

Thank you.

Pa Bj
Re: [Article Comment]The Intriguing Case Of President Yar`adua`s Godfather
Nijalaw posted on 09-28-2009, 13:19:44 PM
QUOTE:
IBORI's issue is being over-flogged.He is being made very popular without meriting it.Sahara Reporters has in recent times made every article that appears on that website focused on IBORI.
It is time some writers beamed their search lights on other issue as people are becoming very bored reading about IBORI every day.


Dude if you are bored many other are not. Go suck a lollipop or twiddle your thumbs while we are engrossed in the drama of the century.
Re: [Article Comment]The Intriguing Case Of President Yar`adua`s Godfather
Enyi posted on 09-29-2009, 09:05:22 AM
[quote=Dapxin;390882]
I disagree.

Ibori + his shameless circle of girls are on trial in a london court. I just took my leave away from the court, with the available public seats used up.

No one can be sure whether it is dem Ibori apologists (fo0ls really) sitting there but one thing is clear, there is a commitment to ensure that the money-laundering case against them, is properly adjudicated. And all right-thinking, and long suffering Nigerians are watching....I only wish, we could all do more...turn up! at the Court, its just 5minutes walk from London Bridge, if you are in London.

I learnt there was a bunch of Nigerians who came to protest that the UK Justice people should leave Nigeria - a sovereign nation (are you laughing? - where's MEND again) - to handle its justice where necessary. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm

Actually, the AGF had previously implied this. Unfortunately, both the AGF- a SAN- (any wonder some are calling for abolition of SAN?) and the \"bunch of Nigerians\" mentioned above miss the point. In reality, UK does not care a hoot if we decide to make looting the state treasury our way of life. Their position is that money must not be laundered in UK or through British banks. The trial is about money laundering- a punishable offence in UK and not about looting our treasury. Indeed after 9/11 many countries consider money laundering a serious offence and Nigerians should not expect to be exempted from this.

If only we all did not know who is in charge of the Justice ministry in Nigeria, let alone how it all works; A place where supreme court judges can meander away from a black-and-white electoral law that specifically says all ballot papers must be serially numbered (I am talking of that famous ruling of Nki Tobi and his pack of 3 brainless mates)...and then the Supreme Court(of laughable spine really) proceeds to legitimize a dead-body of a president ? Give me a Break!

This was a sad day for justice in Nigeria. But then, let's not forget that worse things had happened prior to that. A family of ex-convicts sitting snugly in a state house; governors (their excellencies) jumping bail and becoming fugitives from justice. We must not lose hope because after darkness comes light.

If you are bored of reading about Ibory; maybe you can do something - write too; About anyone of them. The whole point, is to crank the heat up! As much as we can, As much as possible, little-by-little

Good advice. I believe that while nobody is forced to read any thread in NVS, all are welcome to write whatever catches their fancy.
Re: [Article Comment]The Intriguing Case Of President Yar`adua`s Godfather
Dapxin posted on 09-29-2009, 15:28:29 PM
QUOTE:
[quote=Dapxin;390882]
Actually, the AGF had previously implied this. Unfortunately, both the AGF- a SAN- (any wonder some are calling for abolition of SAN?) and the \"bunch of Nigerians\" mentioned above miss the point. In reality, UK does not care a hoot if we decide to make looting the state treasury our way of life. Their position is that money must not be laundered in UK or through British banks. The trial is about money laundering- a punishable offence in UK and not about looting our treasury. Indeed after 9/11 many countries consider money laundering a serious offence and Nigerians should not expect to be exempted from this. [/COLOR]




I dont get the point of your point. If you cared to read the other thread (for the protest) from the beginning, you may as well see that I already made the point that it is not for the UK to dispense Justice for Nigeria.

99.% of tthe time, the UK is out for everything it does, for its own sake! No more. But that does not discount that there is a subtle signal that is being transmitted to all-concerned by the simple essence that Nigerians - few of us, are monitoring the trial and generating so much content in its publicity.

As I said, Nigeria's salvation is in the hands of you and I - but what is it they say about 2 stones ? you know ? You can make a fire from it.


Regarding the freedom to write? Of course, everyone has a right to their opinion, and that fundamentally includes jargons! complete Jargons too.
Re: [Article Comment]The Intriguing Case Of President Yar`adua`s Godfather
Enyi posted on 09-30-2009, 11:54:59 AM
QUOTE:
[quote=Enyi;391160]



I dont get the point of your point. If you cared to read the other thread (for the protest) from the beginning, you may as well see that I already made the point that it is not for the UK to dispense Justice for Nigeria.

99.% of tthe time, the UK is out for everything it does, for its own sake! No more. But that does not discount that there is a subtle signal that is being transmitted to all-concerned by the simple essence that Nigerians - few of us, are monitoring the trial and generating so much content in its publicity.

As I said, Nigeria's salvation is in the hands of you and I - but what is it they say about 2 stones ? you know ? You can make a fire from it.


Regarding the freedom to write? Of course, everyone has a right to their opinion, and that fundamentally includes jargons! complete Jargons too.


Dapxin, both of us are in the same boat. Read my post again. Suffice it to say that I only buttressed and expatiated your post. Have a wonderful evening.
Re: [Article Comment]The Intriguing Case Of President Yar`adua`s Godfather
Igboamaeze posted on 09-30-2009, 17:45:31 PM
QUOTE:
IBORI's issue is being over-flogged.He is being made very popular without meriting it.Sahara Reporters has in recent times made every article that appears on that website focused on IBORI.
It is time some writers beamed their search lights on other issue as people are becoming very bored reading about IBORI every day.


---------------------

You’re right.

I tell you what, if you jail 149 million Iboris without addressing the twin evils of (1) a skewed and corrupt political cum economic structure that breeds nothing but corruption and retrogression; and (2) a long standing culture of treating some people as sacred cows and untouchables while blackmailing and stigmatizing others into submission; there will never be any end to corruption.

If they can as much as arrest and detain just one or two godfathers of corruption from amongst the aforesaid untouchable class, future Iboris will realise that they stand no chance of escaping justice if they tamper with public funds. It is partly for this reason that I have insisted that we need not treat Ibori’s matter in isolation nor pretend that those behind this hullabaloo are sincere.

If the humiliation of Alams, Tafa, Nwabara, Dariye & Co did not scare Ibori and Odili, the jailing of Ibori whether in Kaduna or in London will not deter anyone either.

But then they are too short-sighted to see...
Re: [Article Comment]The Intriguing Case Of President Yar`adua`s Godfather
Dapxin posted on 09-30-2009, 18:57:18 PM
QUOTE:
If the humiliation of Alams, Tafa, Nwabara, Dariye & Co did not scare Ibori and Odili, the jailing of Ibori whether in Kaduna or in London will not deter anyone either.


Here is the deal.

Before the ones you quoted above; The refrain used to be that, there were topDogs or as we called them sacred-cows in the power corridors of Nigeria.....

And then came the above.

And then you and others told the rest of us, it was all a joke.

And the rest of us thought, fine, but it was a good start. A pointer to what is necessary... a signal.

Then, Ibori's girls are on trial, and yet again some of us are being told we are short-sighted to see?

No we see; Just that, when you are in deep waters, you take a step out, one step at a time.

Iwu is there. We know that. Onovo is there(epic fail btw) clearly. All of them dey there, but dont deny that we are making unprecedented progress simply by holding on tight to whatever it is, that can used.

I dont know of those that are insincere that are behind whatever hullaballoo.

Ibori broke the UK's local laws + his girls. The UK folks are making them pass thru their justice system;

Some of us are keeping a close watch. It is for the UK (police + CPS) to do their jobs. To be incinsere or not is there 100% prerogative. We can only watch. And make a noise, that they know we are watching

And dont say that the jailing of a 9ija's bigman wont deter anyone -otherwise why did they send Ribadu - who you cant find in your heart to rationalise 1 bit of positive for - away ? Why did they not let him be with his EFCC ?
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