|Femi Ajayi's Outlook|
Wednesday, February 9, 2005|
We have read and heard stories of dexterously corrupt cops in Nigeria, but this has gone beyond any average Nigerian imagination. Who would blame Obasanjo for stopping the EFCC further communication with the press about their findings, to safe the country of further embarrassment. Imagine the number of accounts traced to IG Balogun. Does Nigerian Police have any justification to prosecute a Police man for demanding N20 from the motorist?
It is coming to light my analysis about Nigeria dealing with 'enemies within' published Monday, September 20, 2004, titled Nigeria: The 'Enemies Within'. The 'enemies within' the Police, go home each day, with enough 'gifts' from the motorists. Unfortunately they sell or lease ammunitions to armed robbers. It is only in Nigeria that 21 bunkering vessels of the oil ship would disappear from the shore without anyone noticing. We are not talking about a sport car that could get away very easily on the free way. The 'enemies within' are really working on the Nigerian Police, and IG Balogun denied the knowledge of the missing vessels. I just feel for President Obasanjo. Whom does he want to trust to work with him within the ranks and files of the Nigerian Police?
Ironically while assuming the position of IG in 2002, Tafa Balogun stated that: "Corruption is the cause of high cost of our electoral process," unfortunately human greed embedded in the Nigerian super cop landed him in the corruption net, and got 'richer' in the process. After all, Tafa Balogun's academic accomplishment got no where in his public service. He is a human being like others. Tafa Balogun's physique reminded me of Field Marshal, Idi Amin Dada of Uganda. Idi Amin was intoxicated with power and made the White settlers in Uganda to carry him on their shoulders as a retaliation of what they did to Africa.
Here is the laundry of allegations against the retiring IG Tafa Balogun: The collection or pocketing of part of the money meant for security for the 2003 election. Here is the breakdown according to the reports: "the Police got N2 billion for logistics in the two tiers of elections in April 2003, Lagos State Police Command, which is the largest in the country, with 18,000 policemen, got N6 million; Ogun and other states got N5 million each. Each of the 12 zonal commands got N1 million. In all, the amount disbursed to all the commands amounted to a little over N200 million, leaving him with a net profit of over N1.7 billion." How do we explain this to Nigerians, if that is true, that the money meant for Security ended up in someone's pocket?
His endless open demand from the State Governors, through his Police Commissioners, to feed the hungry IG, with the popular saying that "IG is hungry", is evidence that Nigerians needed to feed him fat looking at his physique. When I met him in Atlanta sometimes in 2004, he continued to dodge questions being asked him about the 2003 elections, the death of Bola Ige, the Security lapse in Nigeria, and the road blocks where Policemen collect N20 from motorists. The only impression I had about him then, since I never met him prior to that time, was the revelation about his education, which I naively thought that would help him to clean up the mess at the Nigerian Police Force. Unfortunately, Tafa Balogun's academic brilliance and law enforcement credentials is like a snake passes over a rock without a mark, the credentials have no impact on his public service, the credentials were the source for his greediness.
The botched Anambra Police coup against Dr. Ngige, the State Governor, July 10, 2004, cost late AIG his job, and life, even though it was alleged that Ige demanded and received N15 million in case something went wrong with the plan, at least he would have something to spend for the rest of his life. Did he live to spend the money if ever he collected it. It was reported that AIG Ige was drunk on the day of the coup, which helped Ngige to survive the Police coup.
It was alleged also that IG turned his bully demand to the State Governors, those who wanted political protection and those with criminal records. Once they settled IG, their cases are on a 'free ride.' Ex-Governor, Kwara State played to IG Balogun's hand in his quest for a second term, and against Dr. Olusola Saraki. He was outsmarted by Dr. Olusola Saraki when the latter took his case to Aso Rock, whatever deal he had with Lawal Akanbi, 'Omo Aperin,' 'No Shaking', fell apart. Lawal's £3 million paid into the Lloyd's bank account of the said contractor for IG Balogun could be part of the money limped into that account.
Governor James Ibori's 'gift' of a Lexus jeep and N10 million, a house been built at the Warri GRA to serve as a retreat for Tafa, unfortunately his greed was terminated when PDP cleared Ibori for a second term as Governor.
Governor Odili chartered plane for IG on his whistle stop tour of the country, just after his appointment, a house and estate for him in Port Harcourt. In Lagos State, road blocks were done to 'feed' the "hungry IG", with $10,000 demand from Young Arebamen, Lagos State CP, plus a plot of land at Lekki and obtained the certificate of occupancy in one day, a property on Thompson Road in Ikoyi. In "Abuja, the IG is also said to own houses, for one of which he paid N250 million, in one fell swoop;" a house in the Jos GRA, Plateau State; IG's demand of N10 million from another NW state turned out for four Ghana-must-go bags loaded, not with naira, but guinea brocade.
How much was the amount purported to have been found in Balogun's account both in Nigeria and outside the country. Here is what TheNews reported.:
It is all right for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to freeze N4 billion, allegedly belonging to outgoing Inspector General of Police (IG) Tafa Balogun lodged in various 15 "fictitious companies" bank accounts in Abuja, Lagos and Kano. If Tafa is found guilty, of all these transactions, the money should be seized and spend on Police cars, stations, equipments etc.
Tafa bagged B.S. in political science from the University of Lagos in 1972, a law degree from the University of Ibadan after which he attended the Lagos law school in 1990, a Master's degree in strategic studies, Diploma from the National War College, and attended a management course at Durham Constabulary in England in 1983 and policing seminar in Algeria in 1987. Where does all these education land him, in the school of gluttony?
And the paranoia seems to run in the home. In June, 2004, Mrs. Nike Balogun, in support of her husband, whom is she going to support with her high taste for a good life, she confronted another Police officer's wife, the AIG of Zone II, Simeon Adeoye, in Ibadan, that she thought was her husband's rivalry. "The IG's wife was said to have accused Mrs. Adeoye and her husband of plotting to unseat Tafa and become the IG." With about 70% of the Police shopping complexes reserved for Mrs. Nike Balogun, she would fight any one that would made attempt to take her husband's job in the name of ravenousness.
Would you blame IG alone, what about the Banks that accept these large sums of money without recoding its source? That could be all right, but withdrawing that heavy amount from Bank without signing any documentation is something the Law Makers have to look at. In America if you want to withdraw up to two thousand dollars from your Bank account, you need to sign some documents and it might be reported to the FBI. Things need to be tightened up in the banking system in Nigeria.
Turning round in Nigeria where you cannot say a word to the Government official, how much more of a POLICE, the bank has to succumb. If there are laws that guide banking transactions in Nigeria it could be controlled. But who will pass that law, the National Assembly that would not touch any legislation from the Executive unless they are 'settled'. Even when they go on 'tour' to the States, any Governor that refuses to give them money becomes their enemy and target. Where are we going in Nigeria in this vicious circle?
It was revealed that Balogun contacted a prominent member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the South South, and several South West traditional rulers, to put pressure on the President to stop further embarrassment, of not only himself but the entire Nigerian Police Force. Accordingly to stop further humiliation in the media, and not in the best interest of the PDP and democracy, it was believed that the Presidency debarred Balogun, Ribadu and the police hierarchy from talking to the press, so as not to generate further heat on the matter. Where is Nigeria heading to if Justice is not being allowed to take its normal course?
Now the godfather has spoken, there should be no further revelation from the Police or the EFCC, so that Nigerian Police image would not be tarnished. That might be too late Mr. President if he actually he advised that. It has been damaged and it will take some miracle to reclaim that image.
I am not familiar with an individual or a group of people trying to cover the sun, with its high temperature, it would burn that individual into ashes, or the moon, it will freeze you to death, or the Star, it will possibly blind that person. There is nothing to cover up with this mammoth spate of corruption by the one and only the Inspector General of the Nigerian Police Force, the assumed honest Law enforcement agency.
Rumor has it that his replacement, Ehindero, is not better off. We'll see. The Junior Police Officers' Association of Nigeria, urged the President to urgently order the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to dig into the tenure of Ehindero as the Commandant of Police College, Ikeja, Lagos According to the group,
"For your observation, Your Excellency, the acting IG is not better than Mr. Tafa Balogun because they all belong to the same clique. They only fell apart principally because of certain things. There will definitely be no difference from this disgraceful police force that we currently have."
Speaking at a maiden conference Ehindero had with senior police officers of the rank of commissioners and above, at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, Mr. Ehindero's program to reform the Police will be:
There is nothing that anyone could say now to safe the Nigerian Police. The NPF is corrupt from head to toe. Why are we blaming the recruits at the road blocks, because that is what their boss required from them so that they could feed the 'hungry' IG very well?
The Nigerians are appealing to the Legislature, the Presidency and decent Nigerians to clean up the Nigerian Police of corrupt men and women still hiding under the uniform to 'steal' from 'anywhere'.