Babachir: Litmus Test For Anti Graft War

By Ikenga Chronicles April 23, 2017

Babachir: Litmus Test For Anti Graft War

Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the indefinite suspension of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Mr David BABACHIR along side the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Months after he was accused of gross abuse of office, stirring a media frenzy and prompting all kinds of reactions across boards.

Babachir is accused of abusing his office by awarding a contract for the clearing of site for IDPs to himself at a ridiculously huge sum of over 280 Million Naira without following due process.

This suspension is coming after the Attorney General of the federation had earlier given him a clean bill of clearance and the president had neglected the call by the Senate and other Nigerians for the SGF to be sacked as a manifest show of the President’s sincerity to the fight against corruption.

Many Nigerians had also called on Babachir to honorably vacate his seat until he is cleared of wrong doing, to no avail.

And just when most Nigerians had given up that the president would do anything about the case, the bomb shell dropped.

It further became most interesting because his suspension was lumped with that of the DG of NIA who is highly implicated in the finding of over Thirteen Billion Naira at a residential area in Ikoyi, in various currencies.

This has raised quite some questions.

First, while did the President wait for over four months before taking any proactive steps in addressing this glaring accusation against one f his personal aids? Could it be the case of reluctance at letting one of his dance to the tune of the music he dictates the tune?

Secondly, why is the SGF’s case not handled by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, like every other case of financial impropriety, but is being handled by a special committee constituted by the President himself?

Could it be the case of all fingers been equal but others been more equal than others? Most of the people accused of financial crimes are currently cooling their heel at various prisons while investigation into their cases continues. Why is Babachirs’ case different?

And then there is the reaction of Babachir at his suspension. When he was asked his reaction to his suspension by the presidency, he simply asked “who is the Presidency?” could this be an implication that there was no presidency without his ‘Powerful influence’? Or just a way of saying ‘you have no idea what goes on behind the scenes?’ The true meaning of the statement remains anyone’s guess.

This current administration literally rode to power on the back of its promise to flush corruption out of the system and this must be seen happening objectively and with unbiased commitment from all the stakeholders.

It is therefore imperative that those who have chosen to help themselves to our collective patrimony unlawfully are ruthlessly dealt with, irrespective of their political, religious, tribal, and other sectional affiliations.

The anti graft war would only succeed if the ordinary man on the street understands and keys into it. This is only possible if the commander of the war is seeing giving out the right signals. For the most of Nigerians, and indeed the global community, the handling of Babachir case is a litmus test of the sincerity of the war.

Feigning ignorance to this fact for political reasons could be disastrous and the consequences of indifference could be catastrophic.