Andrew Yakubu’s gross miscalculations

Andrew Yakubu’s gross miscalculations
From time to time a flicker of optimism emerges from the gloom enveloping our nation fuelling false hope that redemption is just a scratch away. During his first term, Olusegun Obasanjo hit a brain wave and ordered that a gift diary be opened for his ministers in the office of the SGF. Public servants who received gifts were to register it. I had just joined Her Majesty’s service and it was obligatory that staff getting gifts above £25 not only declare them but perish the thought of keeping them. Cash gifts are forbidden. This raised my flicker of hope that an ex-prisoner was turning the page. By the time I left Her Majesty’s service and returned to the newsroom so to speak, the gift register had gathered dust. Who declares a cricket when his boss swallows an elephant? Obj was buying the nation in blind trust.
We moved from a conscientious president to one that Speaker Ghali Umar alleged bribed House of Reps members with bales of stinking Naira notes dumped on the mace to prove it. That was the end of the story; except that Ghali spent the rest of his term dodging the infamous banana peels. Obj goes around today with swag the nation’s moral compass; an authority on anything and everything, a sweet-tongued anti-corruption crusader. 
Flashback to Nuhu Ribadu’s EFCC and the $15 million cash in a bag that James Onanefe Ibori sent to shut him up. Ibori, we are told was too powerful for the mercurial arms of Naija’s judicial system but fell spread-eagled before British courts. Thief Ibori, heroic ex-con and reputed to be worth $3 billion. Ibori, the crowned political godfather of several senators of the feral republic returns to collect his negotiated pension as ex-governor of Delta; reportedly a senator in waiting; waiting to take his seat beside 21 of his former colleagues whose official corruption ruined the financial prosperity of their respective states. Ex-governors who negotiated jumbo entitlements for their thievery and currently draw jumbo legislative salaries in a where those who conscientiously served their country for 30 years die on their knees, begging to be given money they saved for their old age. Ex-governor fugitives of foreign laws but kingmakers of the people they stole from and now ‘represent’. One of them is the Babasale of our current anti-corruption government, purportedly owning the most vibrant state in the nation and proud of it. Another is a very honorable minister! 
The laws we inherited from Britain are not potent enough to arrest them inland but in Britain they are jailbirds in waiting. A garland for the necks of the Queen’s counsels who know how to make them answer for their crimes abroad and shame on our own silks, experts at using the need of judges to compromise the course of justice. The silks who use the same Ghana-Must-Go that Ghali swore Obasanjo introduced into the legislative process to destroy the reputation of judges and rubbish the judisharing. They target milords at their most vulnerable - at burials, children’s weddings and graduations. Our elders say that you do not reject an expedient gift! 
Pray, what is the legacy of a judge who cannot feed his community at the burial of a parent or relative? What’s the worth of a judge father who cannot sponsor a child’s wedding reception or honeymoon to Dubai that ordinary permsecs do? A judge’s social capital is not measured by the dissention that made Lord Denning famous or rulings that made Baron Hoffman; it is measured in large walled homes with capacity to host big parties while lying low and obeying the judicial facade of purdah. They know that honesty pays but not enough to buy rice at the mercurial rate of exchange. Worsted is the judge who sniggers at a GMG bag filled with dollars knowing how lonely the exit road is. 
We live in Naija where John Yakubu Yusuf, who robbed pensioners of billions gets slapped with a N250,000 fine and another pension thief Abdulrasheed Maina fled into exile! What am I doing? Making excuses, that’s what. Making excuses for Andrew Yakubu, the man whose untimely sack once attracted the criticism of our current Change crew. Andrew Yakubu like disgraced judges probably maltreated his domestic servants who are custodians of Oga’s secret even before America knows. The whistle-blowers, whoever they are chose the right moment to strike - a time when government needed a diversion from the persistent questions about the president’s health and whereabouts. It was an opportune time for an opportunistic regime in need of diversion. Does that excuse Mr Yakubu’s kleptomania? Not in the least. But I make excuses for Yakubu who failed to check his political thermometer correctly. What more, he refused to hire correct journalists and raise a credible team of social media bloggers in his own defence. Yakubu’s only hope of redemption is that only a small tranche of his ‘gifts’ were discovered - just like Ibori. With time, we’ll forget his misdemeanours as the caravan of deception stumbles on another mind-boggling tales by moonlight of a phantom anti-corruption war, told to fools and believed by idiots.
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