Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: You Sir, Are a Thief in Govt House

opinion

"Those Whom God Wishes to Destroy He First Makes Mad." Seneca

Last week one of James Ibori's accomplices, Bhadresh Gohil, sought to appeal against his conviction because a prominent newspaper revealed allegation against the Met police investigating the case of corruption in which Ibori, his wife and his solicitor are doing time in her majesty's prisons.

The convicted money launderer,London-based solicitor Bhadresh Gohil was jailed for 10 years in 2010 for helping client James Ibori,the former Delta State governor,to keep over £50 million in bank accounts around the world. Gohil has now lodged grounds for appeal after the newspaper investigation revealed claims of corruption during the probe by Scotland Yard's SCD6 unit into him and Ibori.

Gohil is using the allegations to appeal against his sentence on money laundering charges, while Scotland Yard is investigating the possibility that the corruption claims are manufactured. The paper disclosed that the police were investigating the claims that some serving officers were bribed up to £20,000 to leak crucial information about the Ibori case.

Ibori, who admitted money laundering and corruption and was jailed for 13 years at Southwark crown court in April, intends to use this claim to reduce the length of his sentence. Both he and Gohil are also fighting asset confiscation hearings, relating to millions of pounds worth of property. His regime is thought to have defrauded the Nigerian people of £157 million, including his personal share of £50 million, laundered in London via offshore companies.

The plot thickens, it seems there is no honour amongst thieves, because someone is singing loudly of innocence . Gohill, a lawyer has found a loophole or so it seems, to help his appeal and subsequent release.

It seems that the Ibori saga will run and run and they determined to have their cake and also eat it too. They want to be released from prison and have their ill gotten loot turned over to them! The cheek of it all, they now think the money is rightfully theirs despite the judgement ruling that the money was to be released to the people of Delta who it rightly belonged to.

So far the Met and judicial department have refused to comment on this. We will watch with bated breath.

A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones" -- Nelson Mandela

Let them eat Cake!

This Marie Antoinette alluded to have said to the people of France, when she was told that they were starving and with little or food. Well, it did not end well for Marie-Antoinette. Sometime later she was dragged and paraded on the streets of Paris where at some point she was blindfolded and guillotined! While Rome burns, our country's Neros (politicians) are milking the cash cow for all its worth. It has been reported that by 2013, Nigeria will be the worst place for a baby to be born and that life expectancy for a child born in Nigeria will be 51.9 years whereas, for a small country like Gabon, it will be 62.7 years.

Make of it what you will, but the reading is on the wall yet our leaders are busy squirreling our money and feeding their bellies rather than redistributing the wealth to make Nigeria a better place to live. So while the quality of life is depleting, our leaders are gorging themselves on the choicest meals, in salubrious surroundings.

They do not have a clue what goes on up and down the country in the homes of ordinary Nigerian homes. One needs to be aware what goes on in an average Nigerian home. Most Nigerians now decide whether they either have a meal in the morning , none in the afternoon and one at night. They call it 1-o-1 and some are now in the 0-1-0. If we are in this together, then we should all be tightening our belts, without exception or so you would have thought.

No , it does not seem to be the case with the president and all his command. So pardoned me if I have no sympathy for the banqueting hall, even the name is so odious to the ears, it seem like a fattening room by all accounts it is . I cannot understand why they seem to be oblivious to the poverty around them or they, seem to have switched off their conscientious button and are set on a course of gluttony and delusion of grandeur.

So in 2007, Presidency including the State House was allocated N26.9 billion in the 2008 with a spending plan of N1.301 billion going for feeding and refreshment in the State House.

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