Federal Government is reportedly already getting the United
States of America to assist our law enforcement agencies to
investigate ways to properly tackle terrorism and the
American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the agency
that is assisting the Nigerian authorities.
If there is any other time to get assistance
from the FBI this is the time.
Unlike the Nigerian insurgency problem that
is complexly marked with cultural, linguistic, religious,
ethnic and political challenges; issues that could affect a
non-African law enforcement agency like the FBI, the current
oil subsidy case with all of its forensic accounting and
economic complexes is a perfect fit for the FBI.
Now that the Honorable Farouk Lawan-led House
of Representatives panel on the subsidy probe has handed
their findings to the executive arm of the Nigerian
government the FBI investigators should immediately be
called in as a matter of urgency to begin a collaborative
work with the Nigerian governmentís law enforcement agencies
and crime squads.
President Jonathan who is known for his fight
against criminality as in terrorism has continuously called
for help from international powers to fight insurgency.
In this regard, he should make FBIís
participation in the subsidy investigation an urgent matter
and give quick authorization to this call as this sort of
approach will give the Nigerian people full blown confidence
in regards to President Jonathan, dealing with this huge
financial case meritoriously.
The President should also see that the
Minister of Justice Bello Adoke known for his promise to
help the nation uphold the rule of law leave the police and
the FBI to work on this case with independently, with no
Also, during the prosecution face of this
case an independent prosecutor with high ethical spirit and
professional conduct should be appointed on the case.
There is already a warning from civil society
organizations for Nigerians to be on the watch out in order
to see how this ultra-case is being handled by the
presidency and the entire Nigerian political leadership.
There is no doubt that from the nature of
this case as presented by the Farouk Lawan-led House of
Representatives panel that the matter assets the risk of
anger among every reasonable and patriotic Nigerian.
The warnings from the civil society groups
are arriving at a time when the people are already
disillusioned over the conditions of poverty, poor
infrastructure and national insecurity.
The subsidy matter is the latest blast with
all of its string of economic, commercial, and monetary
excesses which could further highlight the peopleís pain and
This rising economic tension in the country
plus the already religious tension could further exacerbate
more problems collectively, across our multi-ethnic and
multi-religious society, especially if a host of things are
not done properly along the lines of justice and the rule of
Recently the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN)
Dahiru Musdapher described Nigeria as possibly incurably
corrupt and viewed the judiciary that will be handling the
subsidy offenders as part of the long standing corrupt
atmosphere, therefore assisting in undermining true justice
in our nation.
The Chief Justice concern about unethical and
corrupt practices among some judicial officers is of
particular interest as the subsidy cases will reach the
courts, and unless the assigned judges show depth of
professionalism, public confidence on the subsidy case could
fall low, and make the citizens slump further to a level of
hopelessness and anger.
In the future, the assigned Justices on the
subsidy matter must ensure that the judicial system remain
economically, tribally and socially neutral so as to
safeguard our already fragile democracy.
Safeguarding the justice system is so
essential at this time, especially when the chief judge has
already sounded that representationally a corrupt judge
could be more dangerous to the society than a man who runs
amok with a dagger in a jam-packed street.
This is the time when the government with the
possible help of the FBI should painstakingly carry out a
line of criminal investigations, and build a full case that
will stand the test of strenuous prosecution against those
found defective in terms of law abiding behaviors.
In this regard, a thorough investigation need
to be anchored on a set of sophisticated financial
investigations and this is where the FBI will provide their
forensic accounting tools to help address a very complex
case like the subsidy fraud matter.
The FBI along with the Nigerian detectives
using all the necessary tools used in financial crimes
investigations could help uncover this mass financial fraud
and huge case of public corruption.
This matter which occurred in President
Jonathanís time is not only to be placed on a scale of
national priority within the context of other principal
issues facing the nation but it may become a case that from
all angles cut across all forms of public corruption,
corporate irregularities, financial crimes and human rights
The Farouk Lawan-led committee has shown that
the mass theft by some powerful Nigerian officials and
various oil firms has cost the country over N1 trillion,
therefore, it is essential that feeling of politicking and
acts of partisanship are not brought into this matter as
such games will not work at this critical time.
This present financial mismanagement and
swindling is more of a moral, psychic, physical and societal
matter that could cause incalculable pain not just to
Nigerians of today but to generations to come.
Therefore the call for collaboration between
the FBI and the Nigerian law enforcement agenciesí is a
psychological test that the government should pass or in the
absence of this common sense approach, it could face a
bitter test from the people and that could include acts of
mass outcry against what they may perceive as an unjust
system of government in the nation.
John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D., is an
Abuja-based Forensic/Clinical Psychologist. Jos5930458@aol.com