Nwaoboshi to Face the Lamorde Treatment
It may appear that Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (Delta North) and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is encountering a “moral reversal” in fortunes in less than one year of being elected and sworn in as national legislator.
Nwaoboshi’s first notable act as a senator was to present a petition calling for the resignation of the then Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) boss, Ibrahim Lamorde, for corruption. The petition was notorious for not following due procedure but Lamorde still had to leave office eventually. It now appears that Nwaoboshi may find himself in exactly the same position Lamorde did back then.
Sen. Nwaoboshi, a courtier in the Ibori Dynasty, purchased Delta State government property “Guinea House”, 27 Marine Rd, Apapa, Lagos at a criminally discounted price that was “bequeathed” to him by ex-Governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan. The price of the property in question had an average market value of over N7 billion but was sold for N800 million. Selling a prime property in a prime area for just 11% of the market value between politicians is a classic case of criminal cronyism.
Sen Nwaoboshi and ex-Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan were involved in a case of corruption by privatisation and property conversion. We have to wonder how much of a kickback Emmanuel Uduaghan got for doing the deal. Privatisations are purely intended to raise money for government and rid it of liabilities but not to lose money and increase liabilities as in this case. However, these politicians were never interested in good governance but are in it strictly for their pockets.
It is both coincidental and uncanny that the crimes of corruption attributed to Ibrahim Lamorde (and he was petitioned for by Sen Nwaoboshi) while he was at the EFCC mainly involved cases of property conversions. What one wonders now is who is going to raise the petition against Sen Nwaoboshi for his case of property conversion? It was also the case the Ibrahim Lamorde initially denied all allegations of corruption levelled against him daring some to provide evidence before he fell.
Similarly, Sen Nwaoboshi also denied the allegations regarding Guinea House at first, but he did not dare his exposers to provide proof. Instead, he attacked them as liars spreading falsehoods about him, then arrogantly claiming that he had every right to buy Guinea House from Delta State and ex-Governor Uduaghan had every right to sell it to him. He has not admitted the malfeasance of buying property from the Delta State government for a tenth of the value. The charade of the bidding process used to buy the property would crumble rapidly when investigated.
The arrogance displayed by Sen Nwaoboshi is purely due to the stultifying state of impunity pervasive in Delta State and the rest of Nigeria. The unspoken motto of the thieving Nigerian politician is “No Matter What or How I Steal You Cannot Do Anything About It”. This is stands true and we see too many politicians keeping their loot and walking as free men and women in the land.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari is staging a “war on corruption”, perhaps virtually, in which all the known thieves in Delta State and elsewhere are keeping their loot. If this impunity can be shattered for those that received monies from Colonel Sambo Dasuki, why can it not be shattered for the other brazen thieves who steal government cash and property?
All in all, in public, Sen Nwaoboshi may appear unabashed about buying Guinea House for the price and manner in which he did but at nightfall he knows the EFCC will not be a kindly and easy authority to deal with when his petition gets to their tables and starts to get processed. Due diligence!
Do I hear cries of “Witch-hunt” in advance?