By Ike A. Offor Editor
History they say, is a record of the past. It is kept for generations, whether written or oral. The funniest thing about history is that some will in their every endeavour try hard to erase it but it always come back to hunt those whose intentions are to erase records in the history.
Many nicknamed Ex-head of state Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Maradona, for his ability to dribble or manoeuver his ways around the murky waters of national politics. But on record, the best Maradona is Gen. Mohammadu Buhari. The reasons are embedded in his ability to end or frustrate many attempts to catch and bring him to books throughout our history.
While Mohammadu Buhari was petroleum minister in 1977 under the military leadership of Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo. It was discovered that $2.4 billion of Nigeria’s oil money was withdrawn from the NNPC account in London’s Midland Bank and fraudulently deposited into a private BCCI (Bank of Credit and Commerce International) London account where it generated interest amounting to £419 million for private pockets. BCCI, described by Time Magazine as “the dirtiest bank of all,” turned out to be a rogue bank of international drug-barons and money-launderers owned by a notorious Pakistani; Agha Hassan Abedi. The bank finally collapsed in 1991 after British and American regulators discovered it was involved in widespread money-laundering deals.
When Vera Ifudu, an NTA reporter, revealed to Nigerians that Senate Leader, Saraki, told her in an interview that the missing $2.8 billion was moved from the NNPC’s Midland Bank account to a private account; he got NTA to dismiss her. However, she sued NTA, won the case, and was awarded financial compensation for wrongful dismissal.
The Shagari administration instituted a probe panel, headed by Justice Ayo Irikefe, to get to the bottom of the $2.4 billion scandal. The senate also instituted its own investigations, headed by majority leader, Olusola Saraki. The Saraki committee’s report was presented to the senate at the tail-end of the Shehu Shagari’s administration’s first term, with the resolve to address the matter after the 1983 election.
Buhari and his gang of coupists suddenly struck immediately after the inception of the second term of Shehu Shagari government. This was reportedly the strongest reason behind the coup led by Buhari against the democratic government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari. When he became the military head of state, he closed the case. He rather took others into prison for alleged corruption. A very classical case of Buhari and his anti-corruption rhetoric. Started the famous War Against Indiscipline WAI on others while he ignored the corruption case linked to him. These were instituted to divert attention and make himself appear as the messiah who came to rescue the country. His fellow officers and the likes of president Olusegun Obasanjo and Gen. Ibrahim Babangida comprehend details of the case against Buhari.
Every action was embarked on by Buhari to bury the Irikefe Report, ensuring that it was never made public. Intimidated the press into silence by promulgating the infamous Decree 4 which stifled press freedom and threatened prosecution of even those who intended to tell the truth, as long as it is not palatable to him. He sent politicians indiscriminately to jail on alleged corruption charges as a way of diverting attention from his own corruption scandal. Removed the Chief Justice of the Federation and replace him with Justice Ayo Irikefe, the man who headed the probe panel whose report he buried. Also appoint Chike Ofodile, the secretary of the probe panel. Through this way he silenced them and kept a very close eye on them. Are we seeing the same fashion once again as the case was during his military regime? He has started harassing judges, a ploy employed always to intimidate them to submission. So, that they could carry out his own bid against his targets or political enemies.
There was another embezzlement case of over twenty five billion Naira (i.e. ₦25,758,532,488.09) while he was in charge of PTF. But a star witness in the case, Malam Ahmed Salihijo who was a director in Afri Project Consortium (APC) , the company which served as a major contractor, suddenly died before the case was to nail the culprit. The case involving ₦25bn came to an abrupt end. This is because without the key witness to such case, the case is hopeless.
The statement contains what we consider to be unfortunate, wild and irresponsible slander, this time not only against the name of our firm, Afri-Projects Consortium, but also, most disturbingly, the person of our departed friend, colleague and brother of blessed memory, the late Salihijo Ahmad. Mr. Fani-Kayode refers to the late Salihijo Ahmed as “the witness that could have nailed Buhari about the graft that took place at PTF … but died under mysterious circumstances”
In the March 28 2015 presidential elections, there were clear cases of massive rigging in states where Buhari was adjudged to have overwhelmingly won. The evidence suggested that the rigging was systematic and well coordinated in the North; in Kano State in particular. But before the petitions could even begin, a star witness in the case, Alhaji Munkaila Abdullahi who’s the Kano state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) died in arson along with his wife and two daughters…
Buhari has also been accused of funding his political campaigns with public funds looted from various states, especially from River state and other illicit sources.
The former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar are three people who know more about Buhari’s misdeeds than most other Nigerians. In fact, they have dossiers of classified information about Mohammadu Buhari. Of course, Buhari said he would not probe beyond the Jonathan era, but reneged by instituting a CCT case against senate president Bukola Saraki for an issue of asset declaration that took place in 2003 under the presidency of president Obasanjo.
Moreover, President Obasanjo was Head of State in 1977 when Mohammadu Buhari was involved in aforementioned $2.4bn. Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami joined the military at about the same time when Buhari found his way there, they can easily unravel Buhari’s multiple certificate forgery scandals. A certificate he has still failed to make public.
Furthermore Aisha Buhari has been accused of complicity in the Halliburton scandal and her name was mentioned in the federal court proceedings in the United States. Those involved in the case in United States have all been jailed, including a senator. Who was she working for in the case of Halliburton? Was she used as a proxy, if so, by who? Will Buhari under his leadership probe the Halliburton case? I strongly doubt it, due to the fact that it will unravel many things that will do him no good. So, Buhari will never touch the Halliburton case. I can strongly give my word on that.
So, irrespective of the Halliburton, Siemens, Enron, Gulf war era oil windfall, $16Bn power, railway, the National ID scam, and other gargantuan, rock-solid, water-tight evidences against the OBJ, IBB and Abdulsalami, President Mohammadu Buhari will never bring them to book because they have evidence of their own against him. Any attempt by him to bring any of these ex leaders to book will spell doom for his person and image. If he dares, he will be exposed and if he thinks it is a farce, let him venture into that murky water. That was one of the reasons behind President Obasanjo’s brag that I quote “If Buhari dares to probe him, Nigeria will be on fire”, unquote. Now, let Buhari dare him.