By Olawale Badmus
We have now come to the conclusion that there is some hidden agenda being perpetrated by Messrs. Jackson Ude, Rudolf Okonkwo and Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere on behalf of a veiled paymaster, against the person of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
The case is easy to figure out. Ude published a series of tweets yesterday Saturday August 8 2020 and within the hour, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, using the auspices of the Coalition for United Political Parties, CUPP, has issued a Press Release not only lapping on the spurious claims of Ude, but also going further to question the integrity of a man many will swear by his character, sterling reputation and integrity.
And once Ugochinyere signed the statement (titled “Allegation of how VP Osibanjo, Auditor-General illegally drew N10b from TSA: -CUPP wants Auditor-General arrested immediately and calls on Vice President to step aside and clear his name,”) Ude’s discredited online portal was the first to publish the CUPP comments.
In fact for the next several hours and at the time of going to press, no reputable online news portal or newspaper has published Chinyere’s irresponsible and reckless release.
Those serious news media may have a point. All of Ude’s previous claims against the Vice President have been discredited and debunked wholesale one by one.
Ude says Magu gave VP N4B and that Magu made such a confession at the Presidential Investigation Panel on EFCC.
Magu came out openly that not only is the story not true but that even the name of the VP did not feature in the panel. The panel itself has reportedly stated categorically that the report is a wild imagination.
Ude claims that the VP’s daughter bought an Abuja property for N800m but the landlord in a signed public statement says he has not sold his property and that the VP’s daughter is a tenant. The landlord in doing so references public records available for scrutiny.
Again Ude claims that the EFCC Secretary worked with the Simons Cooper law firm where VP was a partner before he resigned to take the oath of office, insinuating that VP planted him in EFCC to cut deals. But the law firm has come to assert that the said Secretary never worked in nor even visited Simons Cooper!
Weeks ago, Rudolf Okonkwo, aka Dr. Damages, ran a similar video clip attacking the Vice President, baselessly and carelessly basing all his conclusions on a news report that had already been shown to be inaccurate and wrong in its reporting. Without as much as doing his own investigation, Okonkwo happily repeated a fake story and joined in the smear campaign against a truly honest public official.
The despicable antics of Ude, Okonkwo and Ugochinyere is only comparable to the crazy and wild claims of IPOB’s Nnamdi Kanu who kept claiming blindly and insanely that the Vice President was either detained in the Aso Villa or has been infected with COVID-19; and all other sorts of his now infamous, incredible and devious lies against the Vice President and his family.
All of these ludicrous pranks seem to point only in one direction: a hidden agenda by a veiled individual, who like a masquerade, is the actual perpetrator causing all of the attacks, smear and campaign of calumny against Prof Osinbajo, a forthright man who is only determined to serve this country with all his heart.
As members of the Buhari Osinbajo Solidarity Front, BOSF, we like to serve notice that we have now become sufficiently aware of all these underhand and deceitful plans and dishonest plots by a certain political figure against the sitting Vice President whose only offense is that “he is the likely formidable candidate for the Office of President come 2023.” BOSF may be compelled soon to unveil the masquerade in the market place!
Their latest wicked lie that the VP and the Auditor General “connived” to withdraw N10B from the Treasury Single Account of the Federal Government is not only absurd in the most extreme sense, but also practically impossible.
Auditors do not withdraw or disburse money. They only check on disbursements and financial records.
Even the Vice President does not have any authority to withdraw money from the TSA. Both Ude and Ugochinyere have demonstrated an embarrassing level of ignorance of how public accounts are managed and this is only the reflection of their motivations.
They have not acted in any public interest of any kind. They have only shown themselves as blind hireling of the veiled masquerade.
In any case, the Special Investigation Panel (to which Ude refers as being disbanded because of the “connivance”) was actually dissolved and rightly so by President Muhammadu Buhari because it was acting way beyond the reach of its powers and mandate, becoming an instrument of harassment and extortion.
A Special Investigation Panel is set up only to investigate specific cases referred to it. That’s why a mandate is required for the SIP to handle any investigation. It’s not like the Police, EFCC, ICPC or even Code of Conduct Bureau which have general powers.
The purpose for the SIP was not to create yet another EFCC or ICPC but to have a Panel that can quickly deal with important issues that cannot wait on the queue.
The then Chairman of the SIP who is now being investigated by the ICPC just seized the opportunity to start extorting money from all sorts of people under the pretense of investigation. Any reasonable government would not tolerate such a covetous conduct.
BOSF will like to alert Nigerians and all people of goodwill that the concerted plot to smear and tarnish the reputation of the Vice President has become a cottage industry of sorts and we are seeing all manners of merchants and traders running up and down desperately seeking to misinform, malign and mislead.
Finally, the strategy of this callous cohort is the same as that of Paul Joseph Goebbels, the German Nazi politician and Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda from 1933 to 1945–keep inventing and repeating false corruption claims against the Vice President in the expectation that this would bring about a shady cloud on the integrity of a well-known man of upright character and forthrightness.
They will fail. We urge members of the public to be wary of all this shenanigans and demand for the truth; without which they should ignore that masquerade and his outriders.
Olawale Badmus (Liberty) is the Convener, Buhari Osinbajo Solidarity Front