BOLA AHMED TINUBU AND HIS BULLION VANS
On the eve of the February 2019 Presidential Election, two bullion vans stashed with cash, were seen driving into the Burdollion, Ikoyi residence of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. This was widely reported by the media, and pictures of the two bullion vans splashed all over the place.
When some journalists approached Tinubu for comments on the issue, he simply told them that he had the right to spend his money the way he wanted and to dole out his cash to whoever he wished.
A lot of people had expected either the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), or our anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to swing into action and invite Tinubu for questioning, particularly as this had happened during a critical national election, but they both chose to close their eyes and to feign ignorance about it, and thus failed to do anything.
When confronted about its failure to investigate Tinubu on the bullion vans issue, the EFCC said it would not take any action unless there was a formal petition against the APC leader.
In accordance with that standpoint, and very much determined to ensure that the right thing was done at the right time, a human rights activist, Deji Adeyanju, took up the gauntlet, and on October 25, 2019, forwarded a petition to the Acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, where he complained about Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the bullion vans’ incident.
In the petition, Adeyanju reminded the Commission of Section 7 (1) (b) of the EFCC Establishment Act of 2004, which empowers it to investigate the properties of any person whose lifestyle and extent of properties were not justified by his source of income, and urged the Commission to urgently investigate what transpired between Bola Tinubu and the bullion vans.
However, after several days of inaction by the EFCC, a report obtained by an online news publication, the SaharaReporters, indicated that the petition against the APC national leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was “lying fallow” in the EFCC office.
SaharaReporters quoted a source in the EFCC office who disclosed to it that the petition against Tinubu “is just hanging somewhere”, and that “there is no effort or desire by the leadership of the commission to consider the petition for its merit or lack of it at the moment”.
In other words, according to the online news publication, the EFCC was not interested in investigating the petition against Bola Tinubu, as it had demanded, but was sitting on it.
Those who complain about the current anti-corruption war in the country being one-sided, base their reason on their perception of the discriminatory way in which the war is being prosecuted. In the animal kingdom, all the animals are not equal. Some are seen to be more powerful, or more special than others.
Similarly in the present Nigeria situation, there are some people who feel, or who consider themselves to be more special or more important than others, those who see themselves to be above the law, the “untouchables”, those who believe that they “own” the country, while all others are mere slaves or are subservient to them.
The principle of the rule of law states that everybody is equal before the law, no matter his status or standing in society. But it appears that this does not hold in the Nigerian context.
In the case of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, he is a very powerful person. As the national leader of the APC, the ruling party in the country, Tinubu seems to be above the law. He can do anything he likes, and nobody has the right to question him. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) does not have the effrontery or the audacity to investigate him and his bullion vans. Adams Oshiomole, the APC national chairman, had once told us that “once you join the APC, your sins are forgiven!” That appears to be the case of Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
What we hate in life is hypocrisy, “do as I say, and not as I do”, pretending to be good, while being actually a devil incarnate. The problem with Nigeria is the “we” against “them”, where we believe ourselves to be holy and sanctimonious, while every other person is a sinner. Nigeria can only progress, or be good, when men of honour and integrity, and no pretenders, are on the throne.