Opinion

EFCC CHAIR: Femi FALANA (SAN) And The Magic Of “Brown Envelop” From 3 Musketeers

Exclusive: By Staff Reporter at The Pebbles News

Many Nigerians believe that a professional or expert who is vocal in his/her field of endeavour would be sound. They assume that this professionals are always right – but this faulty thinking has allowed many of such professionals, the likes of  Femi Falana, SAN, et al, to fool them.

Mr Falana, in particular is very vocal within the law circuit. However, as the saying goes, “the empty vessel makes the loudest sound.”

The vocal nature of the Ekiti born lawyer, does not mean his understanding of the law or knowledge and interpretation is always right.

In my opinion, what he does at best is make noise. Unfortunately, for the noise he makes, many wrongly accord him with respect and promote him as a defender of the hopeless, when in reality he is not.

Nigerians Can’t Replace Gani With Falana

The likes of Late Gani Fawehinmi, human right law activist, among others, would be well remembered for their steadfastness on vital issues of national concern.

Mr Fawehinmi, SAN, of blessed memory, was one whom, irrespective of whatever you wish to offer him, you are on your own, because Gani as he is popularly known will bounce you out.

However, some other rights activist who have risen after Gani, and they try to make people believe that they stand for justice and fairness, but in the real sense, their style is “money for hand, back for ground”, according to popular Yoruba Musician, Shina Peters.

This brings to mind the caliber of people who tend to narrow the mind if Nigerians, into seen them as vocal, eloquent, and protectors of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Nigerians will agree with me that indeed Mr Falana, SAN, is expected to be a well-read senior lawyer in the country. However, is it all that glitter that is gold? Not in all circumstances.

Most of us have failed to understand one basic thing, about how most people and persons tend to arm-twist and mind-twist us, in order to either have pity for them or buy into their gimmicks. In essence, what I am saying is that, yes the like of Mr Falana, may have fought some battles in the past, to save individuals or groups from injustice and impunity. Be it under the military junta and dictatorship, or under our nascent Democratic dispensation.

Some may say, but this senior lawyer and human rights activist is good, and fights against several wrongs in our society. However, does that makes this person a saint or infallible? No.

Links To Ribadu, Lamorde and Magu (3 musketeers)

The story of how Falana, SAN became close to the three musketeers (Nuhu Ribadu, Ibrahim Lamorde and Ibrahim Magu) dates back to the inception if the establishment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC in 2003.

If we recall vividly, the trio were more of the henchmen at the anti-graft agency, and cuts the show for every decision or indecision regarding any dealings. Some decisions, may not even be with the knowledge of the then Presidency, under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

Lately, there have been so many allegations regarding Assets Recovery, that were unaccounted or even diverted. This led to one Security Expert, George Uboh to give some exposé, on how past leadership of the EFCC must have converted recoveries and assets, for their self- aggrandizement.

Till date, despite the shout by one of the musketeers, Mr Magu to claim fighting corruption, the acting EFCC boss have said on National Television, that “Mr Lamorde or whoever, did not re-loot any Asset recovered”. Do we expect anything contrary, following the bond ties among the trio.

Now, the truth is, during the time these officers (3 musketeers) held sway at the EFCC, in the early life of the anti-graft agency, there was actually to proper record of all assets and properties recovered from suspects. Hence, all that was going on was “garbage in and garbage out”. In other words, whatever information they give the Federal Government of Nigeria or the public, which is what is assumed obtainable. But in reality, this was all deception.

After the removal of one of the musketeers stated above, Mallam Ribadu, it now done on them to ensure that a perpetual dominance of their hegemony is enthroned at the EFCC. This would later be the reason why, Mallam Ribadu would do anything to ensure Mr Lamorde and Mr Magu headed the anti-graft agency, in order to help cover their tracks.

However, the substantive successor to Mallam Ribadu, was Mrs Farida Waziri, who later carried out an investigation into the several assets and properties, claimed to have been recovered from suspects. It was at the end of this investigation and report tabled to Mrs Waziri, that a lot of mess was discovered, as regards most of the unaccounted Assets and Properties seized by her predecessor. This led to the setting up of the ” Assets Forfeiture Unit” of the EFCC in 2009. The aim of this Unit, was to ensure that the anti-graft agency keep track of all recoveries, in Assets/ Properties/ Funds, which may be recovered. With the hope that even after successive Chairs of EFCC, records will always speak. A first of its Kind in the history of the anti-graft agency.

The reasons why most of assets and properties recovered, earlier in the life of the anti-graft agency were having issues, was due to the fact that some were diverted, others sold off, and in other cases given to associates/ relations for personal use ad consumption. While for some beneficiaries, it meant to buy their conscience, in terms of public comments on the activities of the musketeers. But others were just a way of saying, they were in charge and the EFCC was a family property to them.

EFCC And The Beneficiary

Femi Falana is the greatest beneficiary of this impunity under the three musketeers, at EFCC. The senior lawyer had had his own share from most of the allegations on diversion of assets and properties recovered, under the leadership of these pioneer officers of the EFCC.

Starting from the tenure of Nuhu Ribadu, the pioneer Chair of the EFCC, Falana, SAN enjoyed his share and would never want anything that taints the person of Mallam Ribadu. One of the benefit derived by Mr Falana from Mallam Ribadu, is the Marble House located at IBB Way Maitama, Abuja. Marble House belongs to Mr Falana.

This was an assets that was seized by the then leadership of Mallam Ribadu, from an Oil Magnate- “AA Oil” in the early days of the EFCC. Till date, no one has been able to explain how that property left records of the EFCC to Mr Falana, SAN. With this, could anyone ever expect the Senior Advocate of Nigeria, to lay a finger and tell his paymaster that they are wrong? Impossible. This is no excluding other pecuniary gains, which the senior lawyer had Curry from the musketeers.

Similarly, during the time of Ibrahim Lamorde, we observed that despite the widely know corruption and impunity, under the leadership of Lamorde at EFCC, Mr Falana, SAN, kept mute.

He will only say to his critics that: “you know, it is an institution not individual, and we can not allow its name to be dragged into the mud, even though we believe Mr Lamorde may have his errors”. Balderdash! Do you expect anything less from Mr Falana? Not at all. Because on several occasions, reliably, the senior lawyer goes to the EFCC, to collect his own share of the “Brown Envelop”. Of course, a largesse that did not pass through a financial institution, how do you trace it. But in reality, that is between Mr Lamorde and Mr Falana.

Unfortunately, the same trend is repeating itself under the man who sees himself as the only Saint in our clime today, Ibrahim Magu. To keep the business as usual and protect image laundering, the Anti-graft agency’s boss has now also continued with the format laid by their Pioneer musketeer, but increased his pecuniary bribes and gratification to the senior lawyer. This with the hope that, as most Nigerians speak against his (Magu’s) confirmation as EFCC Chair, Mr Falana SAN, will help misinform, misinterpret and mislead the naive Nigerians, insisting that Mr Magu can continue to act or be renominated. Sickening!

Meanwhile, one among those who headed the EFCC, but had refused to continue with the ugly trend termed corrupt act, is Mrs Farida Waziri.

Being the EFCC Chair that discovered the irregularities in records of Assets and properties seized under her predecessor, Mallam Ribadu, the only female EFCC Chair decide to cut the chains, and free the anti-graft agency from paying anyone to launder her image.

As you would later realized how a foreign online news media, Sahara Reporters, damaged the person of Mrs Waziri, following her refusal to go with the flow of dishing out the anti-graft agency funds to “money mongers”. Not even a property under the leadership of Mrs Waziri, was questionable. Records for all these were straightened and kept tab with, on later recoveries by the EFCC.

As a supposedly renowned Senior Lawyer, Human Rights Activist, one expects that Falana, SAN, should voice out objectively against the exposé and allegations so fa revealed about Ibrahim Magu by the Department of States Services.

But instead, the learned Lawyer has only ensured in proving the popular saying, “He Who Pays the Piper, dictates the tune”.

Written by a staff writer at the @pebbles_news – Thepebbles.news@gmail.com

Categories: Opinion

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