Nigerian politicians are known for so many things but the most prominent are non-accountability, fraud, embezzlement and a lot of drama. Over 50% of Nigerians in the political world have faced one trial or the other, stemming from mismanagement of funds while they were in office, and almost the same number of them have not faced the consequences of their sins.
This is not because there is no judicial system to try them, but because the same system trying the thieving politicians is itself corrupt and has little or no power over the circus which repeat the same process – get appointed/elected, mismanage funds, tell lies and get away with it. When they eventually get some terms, they bounce back into the system, occupying more positions and offices, and get celebrated, even by the poor masses who blow in the direction of the moment and what they can benefit from the polithiefcians.
One cannot imagine a member of the House of Representative who begged and sourced for votes from the people of his or her constituency, to hoard palliatives meant to be distributed freely, only to share it as souvenirs during his and her birthday, just imagine! SOB Agunbiade, a n Ikorodu politician even said he was giving them out to 50 lucky widows. Lucky you say, when the masses are supposed to have it all free of charge, what a shame! Even when many are clamouring for youths and women in power, Honourables Desmond Elliot and Mojisola Alli-Macaulay, both of Lagos lawmaking house are some politicians that have so disappointed many youths and women, and it seems every nook and cranny of the Nigerian polity is messed up beyond repair.
The former Governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu was sued by the EFCC for theft of public fund and money laundering, alas, the Supreme Court voided him of the conviction to a 12-year jail term. The seven-member panel of the apex court led by Justice Amina Augie held that the Federal High Court in Lagos acted without jurisdiction when it sentenced Kalu. It added that the judge who delivered the judgment, Justice Mohammed Liman, was no longer a judge of the court as he had been elevated to the Court of Appeal at the time of the judgement which makes him lack the powers to return to sit as a high court judge. Kalu made a grand entry back to his State and has returned to the Senate, even as the Chief Whip. Toor, such is the Nigerian polity.
Many of these politicians during their trials put up so much drama that at the end of the day, the trial do not hold or end up being frustrated. Let see some of the drama Kings with Oscar-worthy performances (funny enough, the men are the majority in this Drama Ministry, let’s not say too much before they begin to flip this about feminism and gender attacks): 1: Dino Melaye: All hail the Head of the Drama Department, let Nigerian politicians prostrate fall, bring forth his royal diadem and crown him the HOD, Drama. Back in September 2019, Dino Melaye who was representing Kogi West Senatorial District at the time caused drama at the FCT High Court in Apo, Abuja with a said injury which could not make him stand in the dock to continue his trial. He was faced with a six-count criminal charge of attempted suicide, escape from police custody, damage to police property, mischief and threat to public servants. Before his injury, Melaye in a bid to avoid arrest jumped out of a moving police vehicle which was conveying him to a court in Lokoja, his represented State capital. The trial judge had at the previous sitting on May 28, 2019, adjourned the case to September 11, 18 and October 3, 2019, for continuation of hearing and examination of witnesses by the defence counsel but Melaye was assisted into the courtroom by two of his aides who claimed he could not walk alone. His counsel, Benson Igbanoi (who stood in for Mike Ozekhome) informed the trial court that he was injured in the last Governorship primary election conducted in Lokoja the previous week when gunmen invaded the venue of the primaries. Funny, right, that is what we see in Nigerian polity. He also slept outside the DSS hospital after he was moved there by police personnel. For his efforts in politics, Melaye landed two film roles – he was said to feature in a television series Equity Unbound” and in November, he starred in the film “Lemonade”. He then landed his first lead role in the film “The Bean Shaped Super Hero” in 2020. 2. Ayo Fayose: Sifia pains crooner had burst into tears on National TV, saying he was beaten up, shot at and manhandled by security agents who attempted to break up a PDP road rally. “I was slapped and beaten by mobile policemen in my own state. They shot at me. As I speak with you, I am in severe pains, I am experiencing pains”, he said. Fayose had showed up in bandages on his right arm and a neck brace while addressing a crowd of PDP supporters, saying he is bearing the pains because of his people. “How can I be Governor of Ekiti State and be treated like this in my own country? My people, I call on all of you: stand and remain standing. I will go back to the hospital for a while to rest. I am having a lot of pains, but I prefer to bear these pains because of you. I prefer to bear these pains because of you”, he said. What a touching statement, leemao. 3. Olisa Metuh: Oliseh was the National Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party until 2015 when the party lost power. His drama breakout was not until he was arrested in 2016 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) for the N400 Million he and his company Destra Investment Limited allegedly received from the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) in 2014. Olisa Metuh didn’t just put up dramas but a series of gimmicks. First, he went on a self-imposed hunger strike in detention. Then, perhaps his best performance till date, while in detention, he snatched and tore his confessional statements from EFCC operatives then he attempted to chew them. For his court appearances, Metuh wore full grey beards – a testament that he had a hard time in Kuje prisons. He thereafter, in February, appeared in court on a stretcher after Justice Okon Abang ruled that he would have his bail revoked if he didn’t show up for the continuation of his trial. Again in March Olisa Metuh appeared in court on a wheelchair, and in May, he collapsed while making his way to the dock for cross-examination. 4. Daniel Pondei: Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Daniel Pondei was the latest to explore the fainting skill as he was grilled House of Representatives committee on NDDC. He had been charged with financial misappropriation at the agency and, which had seen strong allegations of corruption traded between the Minister and the former MD of the NDDC, Joi Nunei. On the fourth day of the public hearing, Pondei had been grilled for over an hour and when he saw that the water had dried up beyond his fish, he slowly slumped over his desk, appearing to faint. His expertise failed though when he jerked to life, giving one of the several people who rushed to his aid, propping and attempting to stabilise him, a bad look. The latter had pressed his mouth so much as he seemed to have had a seizure and he couldn’t help but ask with his eyes, if the latter wants to kill him, leemao. After he appeared to regain and lose composure intermittently, he was moved out of the session and wouldn’t be appearing before the House any longer. Meanwhile, he had first walked out on the lawmakers after accusing the Chairman of the Committee, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, of being an interested party in the investigation. 5. Abdulrasheed Maina: is the latest to employ the fainting/slumping skill during trial. Maina, the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Taskforce Team, was charged with N2bn money laundering and has his trial ongoing. He had fled to Niger Republic where he was captured and repatriated to Nigeria. On Thursday 12th December, however, while his defence lawyer Anayo Adibe was addressing the court on his no-case submission before Justice Okon Abang. Read also: ‘It’s An Anomaly, Foreign Media Must Not Be Allowed To Tell Nigeria’s Story” – Lai Mohammed Shades CNN Again
Hopefully, the corruption fighter does not end up showing the world his acting skills too after being swept out come 2023. Not many will be surprised though, these that we have seen are enough not to shock us in case he comes up with his, and his many speeches which leaves many speechless, even that of his aide, the Lie.Photos Credit: Getty