by Cheta Nwanze
The sad truth though, is that money laundering is quite a common thing among our elite in this country.
Merry Christmas in advance. For those of you who like Chxta will be making the annual trek Eastwards for the holiday, be careful not to spend your annual salary at one of the many petrol queues that will almost definitely be in place. Unless your annual salary is getting to the US$50k mark, then you can hire a private jet.
At one point or the other, Chxta’s annual salary (the money that actually hit the account after Mama Charlie collected her share), may have reached the US$50,000 mark. Not that Chxta will ever know about it, back in those days, Chxta always used to look at the “tax deductions” column of his payslip, and feel very sad. Life was just unfair. Chxta feels that it is also unfair that Chxta slaved so much and till date has never seen the sum of US$50k in cash. But then again, Chxta’s father never had to foresight to become the governor of a Nigerian state.
Thus it was that yesterday, Aminu Lamido, son of Jigawa state governor, Sule was picked up by the EFCC for having US$50k (NGN7,875,038.82) on his person. He’d initially told the Customs officer that he was going on vacation in Cairo with US$10k. Chxta’s guess is that this particular officer of the Customs is (i) new to the job; (ii) fearless; (iii) watches the news and knows that at the moment, Cairo cannot be a holiday destination. For whatever it’s worth, shouts of “Do you know who I am?” “Do you know who my father is?” did not carry any weight as the chap was searched and the unholy amount was found on his person. Which brings us to the next questions: “What does Aminu do for a living?” “How much is his father’s annual salary as governor of Jigawa state?”
The sad truth though, is that money laundering is quite a common thing among our elite in this country. It was with that in mind that the EFCC informed us not a few days ago that
N50 millions which was recovered from the Ogidigbogbo of Long Lartin Prison in 2010 were wired right back to Ogidigbogbo’s accounts by the Delta state government. The EFCC told the court this tale in order to prevent the court from handing US$15 millions back to same Delta state government. The Delta state government through it’s mouthpiece, Uncle Chike, has stated that it won’t do such a wire transfer. No mention was made in the denial, of the earlier NG N50 millions. From Chxta’s point of view though, the story is rather simple: when erstwhile EFCC kaftan, Nuhu Ribadu first talked about a bribe of US$15 millions, this same Delta state government said no such monies were missing from the state account. So why the sudden review of the books?
Maybe because the books were not handed over to them in the first place by the chap whom the EFCC says helped Ogidigbogbo to, err, wash his money. Sadly though, it would appear that erstwhile Don, Wale Babalakin’s version of “New Ariel” was bought from Ariaria Market rather than Shoprite. It is failing to do the cleaning job for him. And it is with that knowledge in mind that the man who a few weeks ago told us that Babalakin “is being witch-hunted by the EFCC” has decided that he wants no more part of the drama. Ebun Sofunde decided to quit the play at Act 1, Scene 3 for “personal reasons”.
Regarding the Igbo boys that sold Babalakin that version of “New Ariel”, Ify Umenyi, the number one ichafo at Nigeria’s Consumer Protection Council has told us the bleeding obvious. In this exclusive interview with The Sun, she says that “Nigeria is littered with sub-standard products”. Very true that Ify. You only need to see the quality of politicians we are producing nowadays…
Bits and bobs
Despite exchanging 73 calls in a single month with the Boko Haram parrot, Senator Ali Ndume would have the court believe that they were discussing the weather. The Judge will decide weather the quality of sandstorms in the Maiduguri necessitated that number of calls in October 2011.
Jagaban’s number two for the South-South Zone, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, believes that Nigeria will improve for the better if more pastors get involved in politics. The CEOs of Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Embraer and Gulfstream have been alerted and are rubbing their hands with glee. Ilyushin and Tupolev will soon be opening private customer divisions.
The NCC and the mobile phone operators appear to have held secret talks to scuttle number portability. Publicly, they are blaming each other for the apparent failure of the take off. In the foreground, the Nigerian customer cries out in anguish as yet another phone call ends without him hearing anything, yet he was still billed for the call.
Paul Bebenimibo has complained that things were better for the Niger Delta under former President Umaru Yar’Adua (RIP). Don’t worry, amnesty money will soon reach him and he will stop disturbing us.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.