-By Yusuf Danfulani
General Muhammadu Buhari was the federal commissioner for petroleum resources prior to the emergence of President Shehu Shagari. It was discovered that $2.8 billion of Nigeria’s oil money was withdrawn from the NNPC account in London’s Midland Bank and fraudulently deposited in a private Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) London account.
Further investigations revealed that the said amount generated interest amounting to 419 million pounds that ended up in the pockets of people close to General Muhammadu Buhari and others.
The President Shehu Shagari’s administration immediately instituted a probe panel, headed by Justice Ayo Irikefe, to get to the bottom of the $2.8 billion scandal.
The Senate also instituted its own investigations, headed by majority leader, Chief Olusola Saraki, the father of the current Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki.
The Saraki committee’s report was presented to the Senate at the tail-end of the first term of the Shagari’s administration, with the resolve to address the matter after the 1983 election.
But before the Justice Irikefe’s committee could conclude it’s own investigation, General Buhari who was the main party in the $2.8 bullion scandal, orchestrated a coup d’état, overthrowing the civilian government, thereby truncating the presentation of the report to the public.
The moment the Buhari military regime came into office through the booth of the guns, he buried the Justice Irikefe’s report, ensuring that the report is not made public.
General Buhari also intimidated the press into silence by promulgating the infamous Decree 2 of 1984, which stifled press freedom and threatened prosecution of even those who told the truth, as long as it was not palatable to him. He wrongly accused politicians of corruption and indiscriminately jailed many on trump-up charges as a way of diverting attention from the 2.8 billion dollars corruption scandal.
Finally, General Buhari removed the Chief Justice of the Federation and replaced him with Justice Ayo Irikefe, the man that headed the probe panel whose report he buried.
He also appointed Chike Ofodile, the secretary of the probe panel whose report he buried, as his Attorney-General in order to silenced them.
President Buhari is carrying out the same action against Justice Walter Onnoghen. Buhari initiated the removal of Justice Onnoghen, a known incorruptible Judge prior to the 2019 general elections and brought in a playable Judge that will do his bidding.
The picture is now clearer as to why President Muhammadu Buhari hurriedly initiated the removal of Justice Walter Onnoghen before the elections because of his plans to rig the process in his favour.
President Buhari failed to see the hypocrisy in his self acclaimed war against corruption. The worst form of corruption is a situation where a sitting president will openly remove the head of the Judiciary, refuse to sign the electoral act and carry out the most fraudulent elections in the history of Nigeria.