By S. Okey Mbonu
The matter of Sambo Dasuki and his mishandling of $2.1 billion (USD) or more, of funds purportedly earmarked for national defense, but actually shared among all manner of political associates of Mr. Dasuki, and former president Goodluck Jonathan; with or without the blessing of Goodluck Jonathan, is a pivotal moment in Nigerian history. This matter is a case of plunder beyond the norm of the world’s greatest Kleptocracies; it amounts to something far more sinister and should be treated as such.
Surviving the Apocalypse
No nation can survive much longer with the massive plunder playing out in Nigeria; which is being witnessed by all and sundry on the world stage. The world already sees Nigeria as a country struggling to shake off a substantial culture of governmental corruption. However, no nation with Nigeria’s peculiar challenges, can truly survive this brazen misappropriation, without paying a price of prolonged economic, social, and even political instability. People must be held accountable.
National Security Implications
The matter at stake is not just the fleecing of public funds, but it actually goes to the heart of national security; because these are actions that could actually destabilize the state itself. By brazenly sharing monies earmarked for the defense of the state; causing the nations armed forces to lose sizeable personnel, and territorial integrity (including loses among the officer cadre-future leaders of the armed forces); examples need to be set.
According to the charge sheet from EFCC, the nature of this plunder is an affront to Nigeria’s integrity. The looting along family lines is mind-bugling, with Dasuki himself and former Governor Bafarawa alleged to have enlisted their own sons into the plunder; among other perpetrators.
All the actors in this saga clearly robbed the country of decisive military victory against a potent enemy-Boko Haram (BH). Even though investigations are still on, however, it appears Dasuki, Jonathan, and their cohorts appear to have merely acted to satisfy the greed of persons who cared more about greed-induced monetary largess, and perhaps political survival.
The looters knew clearly that by stealing funds meant for war operations against (BH), and the defense of the territorial integrity of Nigeria; that armed forces personnel would die due to poor or total lack of weapons. Would the affected personnel (rank and file of the deceased) forgive these atrocities? If proven in court, these would amount to cases of depraved-heart murder. To wit, the criminal charges that have been filed in this case may need to be possibly upgraded, to reflect the seriousness of the charges. This is the “apocalypse” of all plunders.
The Eyes of the World
As these matters are discussed in various capitals around the world, and among Nigerian-American legal professionals in the United States, the judicial authorities in Nigeria may need to note that the world is watching. In the event that these matters are mishandled, a necessity may require raising the stakes to an international dimension (especially for recovery of loot and other legal actions). Consideration for other actions is pursuant to the sometimes self-imposed limitations of the Nigerian judiciary, sometimes based on actual inducement of judges.
Therefore, in order to underscore the need to protect the Nigerian citizenry, most of who usually constitute a huge burden on the Nigerian diaspora, as things worsen in Nigeria; it may become necessary to drag all the parties named in this matter, to further legal actions in other forums, where other options are available, to serve as a deterrent.
It is a fact that Nigerians are not necessarily timid by nature, but we have seen bizarre resolutions that are not grounded in law or logic come out of the Nigerian judiciary; after which everything seems to go back to normal, with plunderers roaming around Nigeria on their private jets.
Shifting the Burden to the Nigerian Diaspora
Wrongful resolutions in these and related matters, in this era of fast-dwindling earnings from Nigeria’s chief export-petroleum, will not only signal a loss of confidence in the Nigerian judiciary worldwide; it will also constitute economic hardship to Nigerians in the diaspora; by shifting the burden of supporting Nigeria economically, to the diaspora.
The Nigerian diaspora already transfers $21 billion (USD) of foreign-aid to Nigeria annually, as well as over 80% of all new investments coming into Nigeria. The diaspora should not be expected to do more, while the trustees of the Nigerian state liquidate the country’s resources into private pockets.
This “apocalypse” must hold people accountable, and signal the end of corruption in Nigeria.