Arms Scandal Report: He Who Calls For Justice Must Also Call For Equity, By Ade Ilemobade
There must be no hiding places or hidden pathways for corrupt officials as we move forward marshalling the anti corruption template for change throughout the geopolitical sphere called Nigeria. I have no doubt whatsoever that the President will do justice to the anti corruption war and with him in the driver’s seat there will be No Discrimination, No Sacred Cows.
It is instructive to note here that a Man of equity will not engage in machinations to free corrupt individuals from his/her self inflicted albatross or self-created hardship. However, we must avoid sensationalism in handling this delicate nuclear material so that the rule of law and opportunity for fair hearing will not be jeopardized.
I know so many people in the country will disagree with my opinion on this subject matter but that is to be expected because the more we flesh out controversial burning national issue by agreeing to disagree the better for our socio-polity.
I have not read the report myself so I will not be grandstanding or pontificating about the content of the report that is generating nationwide disagreement, dissatisfaction as to whether the government is straightforwardly in its handling of the report recommendations or lying about the terms of reference of the probe panel constituted to look into arms procurement by successive governments since 2007.
The bone of contention as I understand it is predicated on the feeling or facts that the generality of the people of Nigeria who are politically and intellectually savvy or the intelligentsia are of the opinion that the government is covering up for some individuals who were mentioned as being culpable in the interim report on the ongoing probe into arms procurement by successive governments since 2007.
It is important to note that this is a report that covers a wide latitude of dispensation between 2007 – 2015 defence equipment procurement which by implication meant that all those who had served within that period and had something to do with defence equipment procurement and contracts must fall within the purview of the investigation/investigators given their term of reference. It is therefore absurd for the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed to make such pronoucement to the effect that the documents regarding procurement from 2007 to 2010 are not yet scrutinised when the report for 2011 – 2015 is already in the public domain.
What are the reasons for skipping 2007 – 2010 one would have expected the committee to adopt a systematic methodology by doing their job chronologically. The methodology or approach adopted by the investigative team given the statement of the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed leaves room for speculation and doubt about the sincerity of government to get to the bottom of corruption and fraud in the Nigerian Armed Forces.
(HE WHO CALLS FOR JUSTICE MUST ALSO CALL FOR EQUITY) This is a categorical imperative that must guide our conduct moving forward since the war against corruption in the Nigerian Armed Forces is about fairness and justice for the common good.
OTUNBA ADE ILEMOBADE is a philosopher