When Is EFCC Coming To Kwara? By Buhari Sulyman
Posted On May 26, 2016
When is Ibrahim Magu and his team in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) coming to Kwara State? And when I said Kwara State, I didn’t mean the Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed-led administration that already has a clean bill from the anti-graft agencies in Nigeria neither do I mean any of the agencies under his supervision considering the strict financial regulations that presently govern the affairs of Kwara State Government. What I meant is the Kwara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by its estranged Chairman, Chief Iyiola Akogun Oyedepo.
Akogun Oyedepo, a man I am faintly familiar with, came into office with a credential many people, rightly or wrongly, thought would be enough to regenerate purposeful opposition politics in Kwara State. Even as a top chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State, I had in the closet of my heart thought Oyedepo would rewrite the history of violence, corruption, visionlessness and bad leadership that have in the last decades dotted and stunted opposition politics in Kwara State. However, almost two years after his ascension of leadership of his party, the situation has gone from bad to worse for the Kwara opposition. But the sad tale of the embattled Chairman of the PDP in Kwara is a story for another day, especially, since Oyedepo is just a fraction of the thrust of today’s piece.
In the last one year that the APC took over the mantle of leadership of Nigeria, the party has shown a true capacity to wage a war on corruption that has stunted the growth of the country for decades. The biggest so far is the Dazukigate, a $15 billion financial scandal involving top members of the PDP who shamelessly helped themselves with public funds in the name of the failed presidential campaigns. From Deziani Madukwe to Femi Fani-Kayode, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau to Chief Rashidi Ladoja, the list of the alleged looters seems endless. Interestingly, more looters who have eaten our collective ‘yams’ are being rounded up daily and are returning the money belonging to the Nigerian people.
And in the last six months or thereabout, the EFCC has descended on leaders of the PDP in each states of the federation. As at last count, the EFCC has visited Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi, Enugu, Anambra, Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Rivers, Edo, Delta, Jigawa, Gomber, Zamfara and a host of others. Curiously however, the EFCC has kept the Kwara PDP and its corrupt chieftains at bay. Across Kwara state, tongues are wagging as to why the EFCC has decided to leave out the Kwara PDP from its investigations despite the glaring act of financial impropriety that riddled the PDP throughout the campaign period. The scam was so much that even till now, corruption oozes out loud from the building the PDP calls its secretary along Asa Dam Road, Ilorin. With no public funds to loot again, the PDP state secretariat is now a ghost of its former self. It is only thugs and hangers-on that are occupying choice offices in the building today.
But how did the Kwara PDP get to this sorry state? Why would any self-respecting leaders of a political party milk their own party so high and dry? And the more important question, who took what in the loot? I have answered these questions hereunder armed with a combination of confirmed information from authoritative insider sources and even personal knowledge of and about some of the characters that peopled the PDP in Kwara state.
The present (or is it outgoing?) executives of the Kwara PDP emerged sometimes in April, 2014. The team was led by Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo, a non-practicing lawyer who was almost on the verge of wretchedness before the lifeline of his election as the state chairman.
Among others, the bloody election also produced Hon. Hassan Rasak, Hon. Limota Oba-wakasi, Musa Umar, Gbenle Adeyemi, Segun Olawoyin, Rex Olawoye, Sunday Oyebiyi and Hassan Adebayo. Ironically, a few of these politicians who could not genuinely condone the impropriety in the PDP under Oyedepo, have since found their ways back into the APC.
But barely three months after their elections, the PDP executives turned the party into a money-making machine.
They started organising all sorts of fund-raisers in Abuja as well as in Ilorin. In their first outing, they realised about N100 million which till today has remained uncounted for. In their second attempt in Ilorin, they realised what a source put at about N50 million with other tangible donations like vehicles and campaign materials.
Where both the money and the vehicles have all gone is still a misery that even party members could not resolve. But the real money did not start to come in until sometimes in December, 2014 when the PDP got its first disbursement of N80 million for a mere visit of President Goodluck Jonathan.
The money was allegedly handed to the self-acclaimed State Coordinator of the Goodluck/Sambo Presidential Campaign, Mr. Dele Belgore. The money was given by Chief Tony Anenih.
From confirmed sources, the money originally appropriated by the PDP Presidential Campaign Committee for its Kwara chapter was actually N200 million. How more than half of this sum got missing in transit is an explanation only answerable by Chief Tony Anenih, the old fox who brought the Ghana-Must-Go bags. How it was shared? Please don’t ask me!
A few weeks after then, the Kwara PDP received yet another share of the loot, this time, a whopping N400 million. This princely sum was reportedly given to the self-styled godmother of the party in Kwara state, Hajia Bola Shagaya.
This is almost true considering Shagaya’s close relationship with Patience Jonathan, Nigeria’s controversial former First Lady.
Strangely, although N400 million was disbursed, what eventually got to Kwara for the whole campaign transactions was not more than N250 million. Can you imagine people who insisted that were alternatives to the ruling elite?
The third and the last came on the eve of the 2015 elections. Informed sources said it was about N800 million and was disbursed among the trio of the party’s gubernatorial aspirant, Simeon Ajibola, Bola Shagaya and Iyiola Oyedepo, who had the onerous responsibility of sharing the cash within the party’s local structures.
This last tranche was meant to buy up voters and INEC staff across the state, it was meant to bribe malleable security agents who had been earlier identified. But as if sensing that, that would be their last, the leaders feasted on the loot, sat on it and prevented it from reaching even those it was actually meant for. The rest, they say, is history.
So, in total, the Kwara PDP alone received about N1. 5billion from the stolen commonwealth; a commonwealth meant for the security of all of us, for the Chibok girls and our soldiers at the war front. Unfortunately, there is nothing to show for it at the end but a woeful rejection at the polls.
In other words, their ends did not justify their fraudulent and deceitful means. This is the more reason why Kwarans are demanding the comprehensive investigations of the goats in the Kwara PDP who ate our yams. And this is the reason why we are all calling on the EFCC to bring it searchlight on the mess the Kwara PDP chieftains have made of the Nigeria’s public wealth in the their wildest belief that they could rob the people’s Peter to pay their own Paul. We are waiting…..
BUHARI SULYMAN. APC SATE PUBLICITY SECRETARY, KWARA STATE CHAPTER.