y brother, how are you?"
"I am fine, only hunger is killing us."
"Thank God, there is no hunger here in the palace, only thieves. Our problem is theft."
"What happened? Was the palace burgled? That is serious. Who will burgle the palace?"
"It is not like that; someone stole Oga's money!"
"Someone stole Oga's money inside the palace? Well, the whole of the palace itself is home to thieves, the palace is the den of thieves, don't you know that?"
"That is not true; don't listen to what people are saying about the palace."
"But you just said someone stole Oga's money now!"
"Yes, someone stole from Oga."
"How much was stolen?"
"Oga did not say how much …."
"I am not surprised he did not say how much."
"Why are you not surprised?"
"I am not surprised because I know he has something to hide, he is not decent and he is not speaking the whole truth, the master of half-truth that he is!"
"He has nothing to hide, he just did not mention how much."
"How can the police find an amount that is unknown? An unknown figure stolen inside The palace? It must be a big sum of money for your Oga not to wish to disclose the amount. Shouldn't such big money be in the bank and be transferred through the bank, except it is egunje delivered in Ghana-must-go bags? Ah, Ghana-must-go bags, the looters passage to filthy lucre!"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean why didn't your Oga tell us how much was stolen from him inside the palace and where he kept the money?"
"The money was not stolen inside the palace."
"Then where was it stolen and how?"
"Oga said something about giving the money to a district head."
"So your Oga gave the money to a district head who then stole it, or what?"
"Yeah, something like that. Oga gave the money to this district head who then failed to use it for the purpose it was intended."
"This story is rather confusing and unclear. Your Oga gave the money to this district head and the district head stole it? Why didn't your Oga report the matter to the police, or is the money a hush money?"
"I don't think it was a hush money because …."
"Why didn't your Oga report the matter to the police or to Lamorde? There is a cloud hanging over your boss about this his missing money."
"Stop making unfounded insinuations, the money is not missing, it w as stolen and Oga knows the thief!"
"If he knew the thief why hasn't he handed the thief over to the police for interrogation and subsequent prosecution? It looks like your Oga does not like to follow due process. His money was stolen, he has information about the suspect, and he has refused to do the right thing, which was to call in the police! There is more to this that you are not telling me, or that your Oga has not told you."
"Oga said it in the open. He even mentioned the suspect by name at the village square."
"And who is the suspect?"
"Kwankwa…something, I can't remember the name now."
"And this Kwankwa…something is a district head?"
"He is a district head, but I hear he is now Oga's enemy."
"I can understand that. If a man stole from you there is the likelihood that you will begin to see him as an enemy. But how much is the money and how did your Oga come by the money? I suspect the money could not be traced through any financial institution and that is part of the problem for your Oga."
"But it does not matter how Oga sent the money to the suspect since …."
"It matters. Large funds should never be sent in beer cartons or Ghana-must-go bags particularly by someone of your Oga's position. It creates an atmosphere of suspicion and a lack of integrity, Oga wey be thief."
"I don't know the amount, nobody knows the amount and you are saying it must be a large sum. That is just hearsay."
"It is because your Oga likes it this way; you know, half-truth, half-lies. Why didn't he tell us how much was purportedly embezzled from him by the district head? He could not have sent a few millions of naira through the suspect; this may be hundreds of millions of naira we are talking about here."
"I don't know anything about that; all I know and all Oga said was that the suspect stole his money."
"I do not believe your Oga at all. He is not a trustworthy person at all."
"Oga is a Christian, a church-going Christian."
"I know his type, church-going, treasury-looting, tongue-speaking, holy-holy brothers and sisters who litter Abuja until they are caught with their hands and legs in the till they will keep acting holier than thou when it is mammoney they worship. Even Lagbaja sang about them."
"Oga is different."
"He did not declare his asset."
"He did not have to."
That is not true. And his benefactor is a thief and an ex-convict."
"But Oga is not the one on trial here!"
"He is the one on trial. Where did he get the money he gave to the district head?"
"I don't know - you will have to ask him."
"Your Oga must tell us where he got the money from. We want to know, we deserve to know the source of the money."
"Oga will not tell you anything. I trust him not to say anything about that."
"But trust us never to stop asking."
"You can ask a million times and he will say nothing, absolutely nothing."
"The other question is: what was the money for?"
"Uhm … I think it was to do with politics, political campaign funds, I think."
"Campaign funds? Surely that is hush money, stolen money, kickbacks and kick fronts, or even money stolen from the federation account and taken from security vote - miscellaneous funds, over-inflated invoice here and there, and such dirty funds. We really want to know the source of the funds your boss sent to the district head."
"You should ask the district head to respond to the charge against him."
"The district head has not been charged because your Oga has not even reported the matter to the police. Your Oga has skeletons in his cupboard and as such could not report the matter to the police."
"Just ask the district head to say something about the accusation."
"Perhaps you are not aware, the district head has reacted several times and has called your boss and his deputy promoters and champions of corruption. He said your Oga and his co-travelers are vultures."
"Don't mind the man, he is saying nonsense."
"I don't think he is saying nonsense. Your Oga should now respond to the charges leveled against him by the district head. At least your Oga fired the first salvo when he accused the man of embezzling his campaign funds, so he should respond to the counter-charge. This is a free country and free speech is here to stay."
"Oga has no time for such petty talks."
"How about Okupe? Okupe can reply on his oga's behalf, the king of garbage talk and the Joseph Goebbels of the day. So I ask again: What has your Oga got to say about the district head's response?"
"The man is not serious."
"The man had accused your Oga of looting the treasury and you say he is not serious? The district head even took broom, along with his top officials, to sweep off the footprints of your boss in a very disdainful act of the century."
"The man is just a joker."
"But we still want your boss to tell us where the campaign funds he said the district head stole from him came from. We want to know how he got the money. We deserve to know what he has done with the billions of dollars of crude oil and gas income. Let us ask him again: where is all the money? We need you to render full account of the oil and gas accounts."