We had previously joined issues with some big wigs regarding Alamieyeseigha’s right to Sovereign Immunity. The basis and reason for the courtesy of the Diplomatic passports is the fact that the personalities are leaders and as leaders of their people group they have been accorded some respect. As honorable men, they ought not to be arrested, and if arrested mistakenly, when their Very Important Personalities are revealed and confirmed, are expected to be immune from prosecution. Some have even argued that the good Governor-General has the same immunity vested in the President of Nigeria.
Respect begets Respect
It sometimes happens that the law enforcement agents get the wrong person and arraign him or her before the courts of law. In civilized systems where the Rule of Law prevails, the person is accorded that presumption of innocence in law; meaning the prosecution has to prove the accused guilty. Sometimes too, as in the current case in review, the issue is the applicability of a law maxim or exemption, in this case Sovereign Immunity. A person is allowed in law if found with a lot of money in cash, even one million pound Sterling to a defense. In such extreme case of cash discovery, you are served better if you hire a Queens Counsel to represent you. Further still, if not satisfied because of the color of skin argument, you may even add a Jewish QC to argue oyibo to oyibo. But when you escape in the middle of the night (dressed as a drag-queen or not) breaking your bail conditions, all bets are off.
The precedent set by the governors of Plateau and Bayelsa is this:
1. If you can get away from the law, run.
2. There is no need for law in Bayelsa/Plateau State if you can outsmart the cops, just do it.
3. The governor has no moral authority to put anyone in jail having jumped bail himself.
4. Do not wait for the courts to present your arguments, if arrested, if you can break other laws to get away, just do so.
5. You can break into any bank in Bayelsa/Plateau and claim that monies have been withheld from you community for so long that as their representative, you can grab it and put it away in your family trust for your community.
6. You can break into the governor’s house and rape his close kin because the state has withheld infrastructural development from you and some anonymous writers on NVS would exercise their freedom of speech to laud and goad you to hell.
What the Senate Can Do
To be taken seriously, the Senate in Nigeria must consider their role and place in the history of Nigeria. The best way to aid the anti-corruption drive would be to expunge the immunity clause for the governors. Laws are supposed to be enacted to meet current needs. The effectiveness of the rule of law is jeopardized by public disregard for the law by officials. We expect a draft bill to be presented for discussion NOW.
What the PDP Can Do
In the interest of the party, the officials must declare the governor a persona non grata and pull all the strings on him. This is also an opportunity to visit all the acts of illegalities done on the behalf of the party, if the PDP does not want to reinforce the notion that the PDP is a bunch of lawless politicians. To hide under the blanket saying that it is an internal affair of the party is to destroy our fledging democracy.
What the Bayelsa House Can Do
Having submitted the issue to a disciplinary committee, the Bayelsa House can now refer the Governor there to give his side of the story. To tell to the nation what happened in England, was he found with that much cash, for what purpose? Did Alamieyeseigha jump bail; if he did, was it legal or the right thing to do. What did his Attorney-General know and when and when. If he swore to a false set of facts, then he should be held accountable. Why should any common criminal who feels like being unfairly treated in Bayelsa not jump bail? The house can record their transaction and do their constitutional duty.
In the long run
Those who have traveled establish networks, business and social; and those who invest in houses, intend to live there or even transact businesses in their place of residence. Carting money and hiding it in England or elsewhere is done so that if the house called Nigeria falls flat on account of the thieving, Alamie and his family can run to when things get rough. Those cables have been properly burned.