OpinionThe EFCC, Sirika And Bello As Beasts In The Jungle - A...

The EFCC, Sirika And Bello As Beasts In The Jungle – A Literary View

May 11, (THEWILL)- The lion, the fox and the buffalo are well-known beasts for their unique species-team-works, either as pride for the lion, skulk or leash for the fox and herd for the buffalo. While a lion and a fox feed on flesh, which makes them carnivorous, the buffalo with its awesome head power is a grazing or herbivorous animal, which makes it prey for both the lion and the fox. The lion cannot ordinarily attack a fox for a meal, nor can a fox prey over a lion, but both can get so close-going, with the lion remaining the fearsome king of the jungle.

A buffalo is always unease with the sight of these carnivorous beasts, that it wastes no time to flee or engage in a scare-scuffle. As a metaphor, jungle often refers to situations that are unruly or lawless, or where the only law is perceived to be “survival of the fittest”.

In our fable narrative, this reflects a view of Nigeria where the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), established by national Law to investigate all economic and financial crimes in the public space and tame the criminals, is the king of the jungle and the fear of this Anti-Crime Commission is the beginning of easement after disengagement from an office with constitutional immunity, or while in the public service of Nigeria.

Yahaya Bello, our fox here, while basking and barking in the euphoric immunity of his office of Governor of Kogi State, became law unto himself and began to downplay the king of the jungle when he took on the garb of the ‘white lion’ of Kogi State. Fear for the real king of the jungle, the EFCC, was not in Bello’s flimsiest contemplation as he took for-granted the leeway that normally exists between the lion and the fox and most astonishingly continued barking even after leaving office as Governor and divested with the constitutional immunity from arrest and prosecution.

Hadi Sirika, the former Minister of Aviation, who unlike the EFCC had no power to cage looters of public funds, nor the Constitutional protection from prosecution as Yahaya Bello once had, was the Buffalo that ought to either be fleeing from or scare-scuffling with his predator, the EFCC in this instance.

As beasts in our fable jungle, the usual species-team-works of the lion’s pride, the fox’s skulk or leash and the buffalo’s herd also hold for the EFCC and its fierce Operatives, Yahaya Bello and his legion of paid media hands and protesters, and Hadi Sirika with his sectional and political defenders. This setting has been in the public space for weeks now.

The EFCC exuding the natural trust that exists between the lion and the fox had severally sought quiet interface with Bello, to the point of granting him special privileges to turn up for clarifications over allegations of misappropriation of over N80 billion Kogi State funds under his care, but all to no avail. Bello sensing that he has provoked the king of the jungle into an apparent swooping mission, ran to the Court for a preemptive action of undue protection while setting loose his legion of media hands and hired protesters to attack the EFCC. This undesirable open confrontation and hide-and-seek antics against the EFCC, initially aided by the Governor of Kogi State, Ahmed Usman Ododo, has made Yahaya Bello a fugitive of the law. The dismissal yesterday by the Abuja Federal High Court of Bello’s application to vacate the warrant of arrest issued against him is a reprimand of Bello’s resolve to permanently flee from the course of justice rather than having a close interaction with it as the fox will do with the lion. According to the Judge, Justice Emeka Nwite, the former Governor, having been in contempt of the Court by his refusal to make himself available for arraignment in a criminal charge, was not entitled to be granted any discretion or favour.

Two days back, precisely on Thursday, another Federal High Court presided over by Justice Sylvanus Orji, granted the bail Application of the former Minister of Aviation and Aerospace, Hadi Abubakar Sirika over a six-count charge of N2.7 billion fraud arising from the botched Nigerian Air project. Hadi was invited, interrogated, arrested and charged to the Court by the EFCC as would a buffalo surrender to the lion for a scare-scuffle, the end of which will tell whether the buffalo goes as a meal to the lion or secures safety from the lion’s attack. Sirika’s submission to the law is the norm in every sane society which makes the law sacrosanct and builds strong Institutions. If he is found guilty, he will quietly atone for his crime, and if found innocent of the charge, he will regain his respect and better integrity than a man who foxes the system to remain a fugitive and thereby weakening the law, the Institutions and turning a sane society into a lawless jungle as Yahaya Bello and his band of paid media hands and protesters have been doing.

Given the desire of the EFCC for a humane, just and crime-free society, all players in the economy and political spaces of Nigeria and indeed all persons in our Country must submit to the rule of law for a stable, progressive and prosperous Nigeria.

About the Author

Ozegbe Ogokuni

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