At the risk of sounding like a preacher, I would start by going biblical, thus, “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice”.
Ibrahim Magu, the now humiliated, and waiting to be prosecuted, former acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), is undergoing interrogation at the Police FCID for the fourth day today. Already the Director of Operations at the Commission has reportedly taken over. May Allah make the ride easy for him. Ameen.
Reports have it that the former acting chairman was escorted to the office to move his belongings out, and some of the staff were said to be jubilating over his suspension and humiliation. This is mistake number two, the first being the mistake of the government, for the display of theatrics during his arrest. Subsequent chairmen may not be ready to give their all, because of such fears.
There is an African proverb that says, “If you have not tasted poverty, you will not be able to manage blessing when it comes. If you have not tasted humiliation, you will not be able to manage honour when it comes”.
Those who understand the English language very well, describe humiliation as the act of reducing a person to the state of lowliness or submission. It is an emotion felt by a person whose social status, either by force or willingly, has just decreased. And that’s exactly where Ibrahim Magu is, at the moment. He too, had made others to feel that way, I suppose.
Magu has made some mistakes, a lot of them, with the biggest being the goof of permitting power to penetrate his head. Being the acting chairman of the most feared arm of government, by virtue of its task, had made him to become slightly power drunk, with the afflicted delusion of feeling greater than even his police superiors. Yes, he was sometimes disrespectful, and unnecessarily suspicious of the motives of his friends and superiors alike.
If the truth must be told, while in office, Magu was in the habit of refusing to return favours, even to close associates, and these are not extraordinary favours that are capable of undermining national interests. He was mostly mechanical in thinking, such that even when he promise to do any favour to a friend or colleague, in most cases, he does so in the reverse. Sources say he similarly treated his police bosses with such disdain.
Much as Iam not happy with such a behaviour, Iam also not in support of subjecting one to undue humiliation, simply because someone want’s to settle scores. My father used to say, “he that begs, is the one who knows the house of the stingy”.
Iam strongly in support of a thorough and irrefutable investigation on all the allegations levelled against Magu. If found wanting, I equally support the idea of making him face the full wrath of the law. Like the Presidency said, “Under the Muhammadu Buhari administration, nobody is above scrutiny. Repeat: nobody. The investigation is to reinforce transparency and accountability, rather than to vitiate it. Accountability for our actions or inactions is inalienable part of democracy. In such elevated position as that of EFCC Chairman, the holder of the position must be above suspicion.”
With the exception of Ibrahim Lamurde, there is no chairman of the EFCC that has not been taken down by some forces in the fight against corruption. The forces harassing Magu today, are probably forgetful of what happened yesterday, and perhaps, or presumably, not in contention of the coming of tomorrow.
Of course, Magu’s case may be slightly different from the cases of his predecessors, in the sense that, unlike those before him, who were hunted and humiliated by the regimes that came after them, his case is that of being hired and fired by the same government.
History should tell those behind the humiliation today that, Michael Aondoakaa was one time the Artonney General and Minister of Justice in Nigeria. He wielded a lot of powers, until 2010, when he was removed on the strength of several petitions written against him, for actions taken while in Office, and stripped of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria by the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee. He was frustrated to return to the farm as a rice farmer.
Aondoakaa was succeeded by Mohammed Bello Adoke, as the Attorney General. At some point, Bello was behaving like a mini God, because of the enormity of powers he was holding. Today, Bello Adoke is one of several high-profile ex-officials undergoing trial over graft, that is centered on a $1.3 billion oil deal involving international oil giants. It’s a case of falling from grace to grass. There is a popular saying that, whoever has his anus examined, it must test positive for feces.
I have fallen before. I have a lot of friends that have fallen before. So, I know the feelings and frustrations that come with such setbacks. Which is exactly the reason I don’t gloat, smug or malign with pleasure, when someone suffers some misfortune. Even when I pretend to gloat over the defeat of the PDP, it was only done as a political joke. Setback is a trial from God, to which no one has the guarantee of exemption.
While the World is applauding the Buhari regime for the fight against corruption, the World is equally wondering why the Government is not exercising similar aggression on graft, in places like the Central Bank, where despite the countless complaints of corruption, nepotism and manifest mismanagement, Chief Godwin Emefiele, was not only retained, but gloriously given a ceremonious and celebrated extension as the Governor.
It must not be the case of, the blame of the antelope is on the hunter.