Friday 15 February 2008

Who would be Lucky's friend?

Friends unliked by mum

Ever had a mother who judged your friend in the most polite terms by saying the friend is too good for her liking?

I probably have had a few friends that have received that assessment and consequently gotten me into trouble – in those times; if they were too good for mummy’s liking it was probably good for you to give them a wide berth.

Unlucky Lucky

The former Nigerian governor of Edo State “Thief” Lucky Igbinedion is having such an unlucky spell with friends who might have deserted him in a time of required liberty.

Having been arrested and committed to detention for charges of corruption brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), his legal team has successfully argued for his bail which has now been granted.

We have a little problem, the conditions of bail require that Lucky have friends in high places ready to serve as surety – it appears no one wants to be tainted by association with his cause.

Almost impossible bail

The terms of bail are quite strict and exacting that anyone who steps up as surety would probably have the piercing eyes of the EFCC peering down their activities.

The court requires bail in the sum of NGN 10 million ($84,400) from the governor and another of NGN 10 million each from federal permanent secretaries who are not due for retirement for at least three years, this comes to over a quarter of a million dollars.

These permanent secretaries must be introduced to the court by the Head of Service of the Federation whilst showing evidence of payment of income tax in the last three years.

They must make themselves available when the court requires their presence.

Not wanting any of this

I would say that is one tall order that hits on people who would be more concerned about their integrity, honour and standing in society, if they had any, or who through self-preservation would prefer to keep under the radar.

I would opine, only a fool would get wrapped up in this saga which could lead to the loss of status, liberty and face or in a setting like Nigeria, lose of privileges of aggrandisement; if the principal decides to abscond or does things that contravene the conditions of bail.

No friend

If anyone were to put their money where their mouth is, they should probably keep out of this mess and let Lucky bang the prison cell table as much as he likes, scold his aide till the aide fills his pants and refuse to eat prison food as part of a fitness regime – the clear message where thieves have decided not to have honour amongst themselves is – He is on his own.

For a man fighting for his freedom but weighed down by charges that question his honesty and integrity in public office, too many would be aware of the other saying – Show me your friend and I can tell who you are.

The bail condition would inadvertently but help to implicitly notice the amount of influence peddling that works and attempts to circumvent due legal process or allows people with influence to break free from the machinations of delivering justice - somehow, the judge has struck one big blow against impunity and moneyed power-brokers.

The question is, who would like to be Lucky’s friend?

Meanwhile, we have a lot on our minds; let the rich scoundrel rot in jail.

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