"The moment we [Africans] lost our languages was also the moment we lost our bodies, our gold, diamonds, copper, coffee, tea." - Ngugi wa Thiong'o

9 January 2016

The right to remain silent: the best answer to Buhari’s Security Agents

left: Dasuki; right: Pres Buhari
In a criminal proceeding, a defendant is given the right to remain silent. In the USA, they call it ‘Fifth Amendment’. It is a protection against self-incrimination. Moreover, it is adjudged that a defendant cannot be a witness against himself.

Thus, when the right of silent is being exercised, a dialogue between an accused and a law enforcement officer appears as follows:
Police: you have the right to remain silent but if you choose to speak, anything you say may be used against you in a court of law. Do you understand?
Accused: yes
Police: Now, what is your full name?
Accused: silent.
Police: didn’t you hear my question?
Accused: I thought you said that I have the right to remain silent
Police: yes, you do
Accused: then, I am exercising that right.

Obviously, when a defendant maintains silence in a criminal case, the burden of proof, which lies on the prosecutor, becomes costly to attain. And if an accused is eventually convicted, while determining his punishment, the judge will factor his lack of cooperation with the law enforcement officers.

However, it is absolutely necessary to remain silent if you have a 50-50 chance of being acquitted of a crime. Or in a situation where you are sure that your prosecution is persecution in disguise as with the case of Mr Sambo Dasuki.

Mr Dasuki, a retired Army Colonel, was the national security adviser to Mr Jonathan, the former Nigerian president. Dasuki has been arrested and detained on the accusation of diverting US$2.1 billion meant for arms procurement to fight Boko Haram.

Now, let’s look at this case critically. But first, let me clarify that my aim is not to absolve Dasuki of any crime he’s been accused of. More so, I have never been a member of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and have never voted for them.

And so, I don’t have any sympathy for PDP, but I am only exercising my natural habit of not swallowing everything that I am told until I have cleared the ‘grey area’. And in this Dasuki’s case, certain things seem not to add up.

For instance, when Dasuki was arrested, former president Jonathan told the media in the USA that he never signed a contract of US$2.1 billion for arms procurement. And if he didn’t, then who signed the contract?

Buhari’s government should tell Nigerians who signed that contract. They should also say the company that the contract was awarded to. And if possible, let them release the paper work that shows this $2.1 billion was for arms procurement.

Most importantly, Buhari and his security agents should state clearly the total contract sum from which Dasuki diverted the $2.1 billion. Besides, if the total contract sum was $2.1 billion, what sum was diverted and how much of it was used to purchase arms.

Or do they want the public to believe that Dasuki shared the total sum of $2.1 billion meant for arms purchase without buying a single bullet. 

But towards the end of Jonathan’s administration, some arms were purchased which the military used to liberate some local government areas from Boko Haram. Even Dasuki confirmed it.

And hence, it is not enough leaking Dasuki’s police statement to the media; listing the names of the people Dasuki distributed the funds to; thereby implying that Dasuki has accepted that he diverted funds meant for arms purchase.

In fact, if Buhari is sincere in this matter, let him publish Dasuki’s full police statement rather than circulating part of the statement that fuels his (Buhari) propaganda. Dasuki is in jail and therefore cannot clarify some of these allegations levelled against him.

Nevertheless, if there was no document to show that a contract was signed for the purchase of arms, how did Pres Buhari conclude that the ‘diverted’ $2.1 billion was meant for arms purchase?

Assuming this huge sum of money was diverted as claimed. Now, Buhari and his people are being smart here, the watch word is ‘diverted’ and not ‘stolen’. But they didn’t say where the money was diverted to.

Anyway, since the people arrested so far for partaking in sharing of the ‘diverted’ $2.1 billion are PDP members; it is logical to assume that the money in question was diverted to PDP campaign funds.

Again, $2.1 billion will be outrageous sum to spend on presidential campaign. It dwarfed the $1.1 billion that president Obama and his Democratic party spent on Obama’s re-election campaign. In any case, it can’t be ruled out in a country like Nigeria that lacks accountability.

But, if the ‘diverted’ $2.1 billion was not PDP campaign funds, is it not surprising that president Buhari and his security agents are yet to inform the public how much Dasuki kept for himself from the money.

It doesn’t make sense that Dasuki will share $2.1 billion without taking some for himself.

Apparently, Buhari is taking advantage of the credulity of most Nigerians. Of course, if most Nigerians believed APC propaganda and voted Buhari into power, then they will continue to believe Buhari and APC deceptions.

Conversely, there’s no doubt that Dasuki distributed some funds to some people. Even Buhari himself accepted that he received 2 armoured vehicles from Dasuki although he denied receiving $300,000. 

All the same, it was the Hausa/Fulani people that took the lion share. It was the funds given to them in order to support Jonathan’s second term ambition.

And in the end they sabotaged Jonathan. Even Dasuki has frequently mentioned how he supported Buhari’s presidential campaign.

Perhaps Jonathan was smarter than them here. He allowed a Fulani man (Dasuki) to go to the central bank of Nigeria (CBN); collects money and shared to his Hausa/Fulani brothers. 

And it is a Fulani man (Buhari) that is persecuting his brothers. Ha-ha, wherever Jonathan is now he'll be screaming; “no weapon fashioned against me shall prosper” according to the bible.

I know that nothing will come out of this matter. Actually, if at all the case makes it to trial, Dasuki’s police statement will reveal even the Sultan of Sokoto partook in the sharing of the ‘diverted’ $2.1 billion.

It is pathetic that Buhari is rubbishing his Hausa/Fulani brothers in the process of trying to settle scores with Dasuki. Buhari should be reminded that the Caliphate will never allow this to happen. They are keeping quite at the moment but it won’t be for long.

Maybe nemesis is catching up with these Fulani people who have squandered Nigerian wealth.

As for Mr Oliseh Metu, PDP spokesman who has refused to talk to Buhari’s security agents; he knows that this is when the right to remain silent is very useful.

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