A Judicial commission of inquiry into the rot that is the moribund Ajaokuta steel company, openly televised like the famous Oputa Panel, will be a clear proof that President Muhammadu Buhari is determined and committed to fight the hydra-headed monster called corruption.
This is necessary in the light of the testimony of Ms Hadiza Natasha Akpoki to the House of Representatives, currently investigating the circumstances around the concession of the Ajaokuta Steel complex and the Itakpe Iron Ore plant.
In her testimony transmitted live on NTA, Ms Akpoki indicted very many powers that be, in the past and present governments, including such big names like the current Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, One time Attorney General Mohammed Bello Adoke, the former Vice President, Namadi Sambo and former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Ms Akpoki who is born to a Kogi father and an Ukranian mother has been at the forefront of campaigning against the concession of the steel complex, and the associated assets. She made allegations detailing the origin of the Abacha loot and how it came about, linking it to the steel complex.
Given the level of complexity and seriousness of the matter, together with the corpus of evidences supplied by Ms Akpoki and the status of the people involved, establishing a trail of th e looters and their loots publicly is the best way to proceed at this time.
The Judicial panel will serve the following purpose among others:
1. Give directions to the occasional and sectional fight against corruption.
2. Determine the level of complicity of the various actors indicted so far, and many others that may not be known at this time, by giving them the right to defend themselves
3. In addition, demystify Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, if indeed found corrupt by this process.
4. Send a clear message to looters and rent seekers that Nigeria will not longer tolerate vested interests
5. Give people like Hadiza Akpoki the clear visibility to lead Nigeria, if indeed she is genuine and not a sponsored spoil-sport.
6. Give even more people like Hadiza the courage to come out and speak up on the endemic corruption thus identified
7. Elevate Dogara as a leader to watch, given his efforts so far, in bringing the issue back to the forefront by making the House of Representatives look into the matter.
8. Give EFCC and ICPC enough fodder to chew and become more productive.
9. Restore the hopes of a number of Nigerians, that indeed, our dear country is not a zoo.
10. Eventually give us an Iron and Steel plant that will help restore the hopes of those who dreamt of an industrialized Nigeria.
I am much more excited about the organization, sequencing and eloquence of Ms Akpoki in the course of her presentation to the House of Representatives, and sincerely hope that she is right with all her claims, which are surprisingly backed by a brazen courage and an uncommon calmness.
If she is as clean as she sounds and speaks, I think we may have found someone with the right qualities to lead Nigeria and it is exciting that she is from Kogi State, that State that has suffered the worst form of leadership in Nigeria. The Text Judges 14:14 is apt – “Out of the eater, something to eat; out of the strong, something sweet”
You can watch Barrister Akpoti’s presentation to the House of Representatives here: