NDDC Probe Reflects Nigeria’s Systemic Failure


Asiwaju Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN

Nigeria has become a country where institutions established by law to give peace and prosperity to the people have failed, due to many factors, but principally because of the corruption that has become endemic in every strata of our society.

Silence of the Niger Delta Leaders
NDDC, has become what it is today through gradual manipulation of due process, outright disregard for the letter and spirit of the NDDC (Establishment, Etc) Act that established it in 2000. The host communities and leaders of the people have compromised, and the political elites have equally had their share in the stolen funds. How many of the leaders of the area, have we heard speak out on the mismanagement of their common wealth?

The Military orientation of public officers and political office holders, that whatever the President does is right and unquestionable, has led to the appointment of Interim Management Committee IMC. This Committee is unknown to the Act of National Assembly, that established the Commission. Why was the Board which was created to take decisive policy decisions dissolved, and not reconstituted as required by the law?

The Essence of the Rule of Law
Where there is law, there is no room for exigency that overrides the law. That is the essence of the rule of law. The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), provides that every decision and action of Government shall be in accordance with the Acts of National Assembly or Laws made by Houses of Assembly of the States. So as long as we bypass the due process of the laws, so long will institutions of Government continue to falter and fail.

The proceedings of the House of Representatives was in order. It is expected that after all said and done, the Legislature will come out with patriotic resolutions that will positively impact on the institutions, and persons who have violated the laws of the land will be brought to book.
I believe that, if any crime has been committed by any public officer, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) can be trusted to initiate appropriate proceedings, to prosecute and recover the misappropriated funds.

For me, the National Assembly has this great opportunity now, haven seen the gaps explored in the existing laws, to reexamine the laws regulating various public commissions, agencies and authorities, with a view to bringing the laws up to date to match the current manifestation of greed and unpatriotic tendencies of Nigerians placed in places of trust.

Manifestation of End Times
What we as ordinary Nigerians hear and see these days, are manifestations of the end time. Godlessness, greed of unimaginable proportions, wickedness in high places, and absence of the fear of God. Imagine a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who in the full glare of television cameras beamed to the public, ‘ swore’ on oath to speak the truth, but refused or avoided to sign the oath?
That tells you what manner of truth was told at the public hearing, in the face of the whole world.
We need to bring back public orientation outfit to engage every strata of the Nigerian Society with a view to bring back the core values of humanity in us. God bless Nigeria.

Asiwaju Solomon Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, Life Bencher, Abuja