2023: Peter Obi Confers With Igbinedion

Week of betrayal…

Francis Udoka Ndimkoha

We all know how bad company corrupts good manners, right? Yes, we do.
Umaru Musa Yar’adua was a good man, at least, he showed he had good intentions, in his few months as President. His problem was bad company.

Igbinedion and Ibori had epitomised corruption in the leadership of their respective States, Edo and Delta, and needed protection from the President of Nigeria, against prosecution, when they lose their immunity. The duo had, among other things, sold New Nigeria Bank (NNB), a collective patrimony of the old Bendel State, and bought it over, by themselves, at a giveaway price. NNB was later to merge into what is now known as Unity Bank, which includes Bank of North, among others.

Characteristically, Obasanjo was unwilling to help them, because they were among the few Governors who, in 2003, urged Atiku to run against Obasanjo, forcing Baba to literally kneel before Atiku to beg for his support for a second term of office. Baba never forgave them all till date. The list includes DSP Alamieyesegha and Rev. Jolly Nyame as well as Boni Haruna, among others.

The duo had bankrolled Yar’adua’s election, each hoping to be named his running mate, after Odili lost out, but Jonathan was favoured, against all known permutations. The duo still fought Jonathan even as Vice President, and kicked against the doctrine of necessity which ushered him into power.

While Yar’adua tarried, the duo held sway in the Justice sector, producing Aondoakaa as Justice Minister (he will be remembered, forever, as Nigeria’s chief legal officer who travelled to UK to defend Criminal Ibori, months before he became a guest in Queen’s gulag) and the EFCC Chairperson, Farida Mzamber Waziri, in 2008, after disgracing Ribadu out of office.

Here’s Peter Obi, the other day, in Benin, with the notorious Nosakhare Igbinedion. He’ll be in Asaba, soon, to consult with James Onanefe Ibori, as well. Alas alas…

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