Senator Aliyu's '419' Bombshell!

Last Thursday almost all national dailies in Nigeria

reported the ‘419’ bombshell dropped by Senator Nuhu Aliyu on the floor of the

upper legislative chambers the previous day during a session on EFCC and the

government’s readiness to continue the battle against graft post-Nuhu Ribadu.

Senator Aliyu, a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police and Chairman,

Senate Committee on Security and National Intelligence caused an uproar in the

Senate when he declared confidently that the Senate was riddled with

fraudsters!

Reportedly the Senator from Niger

State threatened to name

names amidst confusion and hecklings to disclose the 419ers in the hallowed

legislative chambers but he was stopped by the Senate President who ruled that

the matter be referred to the House Ethics and Privileges Committee for

thorough investigation which should be complete in a fortnight.

Specifically Senator Aliyu had said while making his contributions: “I totally

agree with the content and spirit of this motion. I think Nuhu Ribadu made a

world of difference in the war against corruption because before the emergence

of the EFCC, Nigerians were seen in all parts of the World as 419 people. Even

in this National Assembly, we still have 419 persons. The Police found itself

in a very hopeless situation that before the coming on board of the EFCC, these

419 men were having a field day without checks.”

The reverberation of the bombshell dropped by Senator Aliyu spilled over to the

lower House the next day as widely reported last Friday by the local media as

members raised a motion challenging the Senator to name those in his ‘419’

Senators list and proposing that the ex-fraud czar be invited over to buttress

his point.

Senator Nuhu Aliyu as a former top cop knows what he was talking about! He

could not have been kidding!! Any attempt to dismiss his revelation with

unseriousness a la Nigerian factor cannot be in the best interest of the season

of rule of law and due process. The allegation is a weighty one which requires

diligence in establishing the facts from fiction. But if you ask me I would

readily side with Senator Aliyu because he was an authority and insider in the

white collar crime world. His courage and insistence on naming names deserve

some applause!

It is only in Nigeria that a convicted fraudster like Emmanuel Nwude (whose

properties acquired with the proceeds of international fraud) should come out

of prison and faced with stark reality of going bankrupt petitioned the

President to complain of shady deals by the EFCC and others in the

dispossession of his dividends of fraud. Only in our country could known

fraudsters use their illicit wealth to launder their image and even ‘buy’ power

and privileges for themselves.

The Senator Aliyu ‘419’ bombshell instantly reminded me of the German

legislative narcotics exposé some years ago. Then it was reported that the

legislative quarters in Bonn (or Berlin) were ‘infested’

with cocaine! And when investigators were called in (with their sniffer dogs in

tow) they stunningly discovered stains of the ‘white powdered substance’

splashed even in closets and most inconvenient corners. The rest is history but

suffice to add that whereas in Germany and Nigeria fraud and drug doing are

crimes punishable by law those whose primary duty it is to advance the course

of the law towards curtailing or eliminating the menace are those found

wanting.

One wonders how, in good conscience, a ‘coke’ addict or an ex-419er in the House

could play a responsible decent role in any debate that seeks to nip in the bud

negative effects of these two societal scourge.

Fraud (incorporating all shades) and narcotics (incorporating cannabis et al)

are about the most choking crimes in the world. The revolution of science and

technology and the evolution of the modern man with insatiable quest for

honour, recognition, wealth and good life has had their negative sides and

implications. Striking a just balance in a global econo-social disequilibrium

becomes most traumatising.

Back home in Nigeria

what can one say when we all know that even presidentially we have produced

fraudsters in Generals Ibrahim Babangida, late Sani Abacha and lately Olusegun

Obasanjo? We have executive con-men everywhere from the local councils to the

presidency! We have produced guber frauds, electoral umpire frauds,

fraudulent godfathers, ex-Senate president and ministers, commissioners and

even pastors and imams!

The EFCC makes so much noise about rattling the cyber fraudsters but they have

not beamed their searchlight on those in corridors of power. There are many out

there being undeservedly respected and honoured.

Whereas the ‘yahoo boys’ target Whites mainly fleecing them without conscience

those who ‘fall’ ‘mugu’ to the advance fee fraud schemes are as guilty as those

merchants of greed. Since the average White man believes African leaders are

notoriously corrupt any story that sounds typical (with millions of dollars up

for grabs as a foreign partner) is bought sometimes hook, line and sinker. In

the end when the ‘mugu’ is separated from the ‘guy’ (that is the victor and the

vanquished) only God knows how the victim, the unwary white man, would have

behaved had the fund existed and hit his bank account as speculated.

Senate President David Mark who has markedly been leading the upper legislative

chambers honourably (even if he has had a dishonourable past) should ensure

that justice is done to the Senator Aliyu’s ‘419’ bombshell in the Senate.

After a thorough inquest the findings which may vindicate the ex-AIG must be

made public and those found ‘guilty’ or in the list of dishonour named and

shamed.

That will be the least Nigerians expect. In the interest of integrity and

credibility of the National Assembly the air must be cleared about this 419

‘runs’.

Written by
SOC Okenwa
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