News of corruption used to outrage our moral susceptibilities. now they excite our faculty of humour.
In Nigeria’s increasingly dreary and despairing political and economic climate, people now look forward to news of bizarre acts of corruption as a source of cathartic hilarity.
We thought politicians faking illnesses and enacting histrionic displays in the courtroom to evade justice was the ultimate comedic mockery of justice that nonetheless helps us purge the ever-increasing emotional tensions that governmental ineptitude activates in us.
Then in February 2018, a JAMB employee in Benue by the name of Philomina Chieshe took it a notch higher.
She alerted the nation to the existence of a moneyvorous“spiritual snake” that mysteriously swallowed 36 million naira realized from the sale of JAMB scratch cards.
Her story stimulated mass psychotherapeutic laughter in the country and inspired countless creative memes on social media. The national laughter her story stirred drowned out the outrage of her theft.
Exactly two years later, on February 7, 2020, the bursar of the University of Ibadan by the name of Michael Alatise told the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts that the university hadn’t submitted its audit report to the Auditor-General of the Federation since 2014 because the external auditor it hired to audit it went blind in the course of doing his job!
Perhaps, the fraud the external auditor discovered was so blindingly eyewatering it caused him to lose his visual sensibilities.
Seriously, though, as House Public Accounts committee chair Oluwole Oke said then, “That somebody went blind does not mean that the firm [has gone] into extinction.” Instead of striking the nation with revulsion, the story became another laughter tonic to relieve stress.
Since then, of course, more consequential government officials and private sector operatives that have direct dealings with government have discovered that the most artful way to elude consequences for corruption is to be so inordinately outrageous in your justification for corruption that the nation goes from indignation to bursts of deep loud hearty laughter.
For instance, on April 10, Maryam Uwais, Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment,told Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily programme that she couldn’t account for the billions that she and the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs putatively gave to weak, poor, and vulnerable Nigerians to ease the hurt of the coronavirus pandemic because, “Those who benefit from the conditional cash transfer of the Federal Government as palliative to cushion the effects of the lockdown caused by the deadly Coronavirus don’t want to be addressed as poor people. That is why we can’t publish their names.”
As I pointed out in my April 10, 2020 column, “Anyone who is too proud to be called poor is clearly not poor. The pangs of hunger are stronger than the vanity of self-esteem. That’s why there are hordes of Nigerian ‘e-beggars’ who drop their names and account numbers on social media without shame during social media ‘giveaways’—and sometimes without ‘giveaways.’
“But the whole point of asking for the identity of the people who benefited from the government’s ‘palliatives’ is to be able to authenticate government’s claims.”
However, as is now the norm, instead of being outraged by her explanation, Nigerians found it a welcome source of therapeutic mirth. And nothing has been heard about it since then.
When a video circulated on social media showing the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy telling what appears to be a white woman from an unidentified Western country that government uses the top-up data on phones to determine the economic needs of Nigerians and to wire money to them to relieve the economic burden of COVID-19, there were loud cyber guffaws all over Nigerian social media.
But an infinitely more hilarious moment of governmental corruption was to come later during the probe of multi-billion-naira corruption at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).For example, acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Daniel Pondei, “fainted” in response to questions about the enormous corruption in the commission. This earned him freedom from further scrutiny.
This event has become a goldmine for inventive humour, memes, and laughter therapy. So was the spat between the former MD of the NDDC, Joi Nunei, and Niger Delta minister Godswill Akpabio.
Nunei’s claim that she slapped Akpabio when he attempted to sexually assault her provided grist for the humour mills and overshadowed the corruption allegations both of them are mired in.
The comedic entertainment that modern Nigerian corruption provides was also fully realised when Akpabio said members of the National Assembly committee probing the sleaze in the NDDC were beneficiaries of the corruption they were probing.
“It’s OK, Honorable Minister!” members of the probe panel could be heard pleading. “Off [turn off] the mic!” The songification of this tragicomic encounter has gone viral on social media.
Sadiya Umar Farouq, Buhari’s minister of humanitarian affairs who has become a byword for audaciously aggressive and hard-boiled corruption, also said a few days ago that she spent more than half a billion naira to feed non-existent school kids in their homes in Lagos, Ogun, and the FCT while schools were shut!
She said this to “correct” a viral social media message that suggested that she’d spent 15 billion naira to feed schoolchildren nationwide.
Her “clarification” said nothing about how much she spent to “feed” school children in other parts of the country—or why only school children in Lagos, Ogun, and the FCT were “fed” to the exclusion of others. Or, more crucially, what she has done to the money budgeted to “feed” children under lockdown in other parts of the country if only kids in Lagos, Ogun and the FCT were fed.
Of course, if she spent more than half a billion to feed phantom schoolkids in just two states and the FCT, it isn’t unreasonable to suggest that she spent 15 billion—or more— to “feed” children all over the country.
Again, instead of crying, Nigerians laughed about what I characterised as the minister’s explicit and unapologetic governmental theft by outrageousness.
Finally, on August 10, it emerged that the CEO ofFirst City Monument Bank(FCMB) by the name of Adam Nuru told the Ayo Salami panel probing Ibrahim Magu’s corruption at the EFCC that he paid N573million into account # 1486743019, which is the church account of Magu’s pastor Emmanuel Omale, in error, and only discovered the “error” four years later after the panel summoned him. This humorously infantile lie provoked another round of comic excitation across the country and inspired lots of creative editorial cartoons.
The bank’s face-saving “clarification” of what it a meant was another exercise in comically obscurantist verbal buffoonery.
“To provide further clarity, during a maintenance upgrade of our systems in 2016, a defective file led to the aggregation of multiple unrelated entries into a single balance under the affected customer’s name in one of our reports,” the bank’shead of Corporate Affairs said in a statement.“This aggregation occurred only in the weekly automated report to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit. It had no effect on any customer account balance or statements and therefore was not immediately identified.”
Obviously, Nigerians are laughing to keep them from crying. But the corrupt will continue to intensify their theft while we laugh at the innovative wackiness of their corruption.
Deji Adeyanju Debunks Domestic Abuse Rumors , Blames FFK ’ s Wife For Separation
Human rights activists and Convener of Concerned Nigerians Group, Deji Adeyanju who is a close confident of former minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode yesterday in a series of tweets debunked the rumors making the round that domestic violence was responsible for the separation of FFK and his wife Precious Chikwendu saying the story was planted by her after their marriage crashed.
Social media was agog with several reactions of the duo’s separation until Deji Adeyanju wrote a series of tweets on Twitter about what really happened.
Deji took to Twitter to ask Precious when and how did FFK abuse her, if the abuse happened when she was pregnant or when her siblings and family members were living. He said her family members were always around in FFK’s home.
Deji who claimed to be close to the couple said he has been in the know on many of their quarrels in the past which he had even been invited to resolve several times and it was never about domestic abuse.
Deji also stated that FFK has done everything for Precious from supporting her beauty pageantry with about $500,000 at the start of their relationship to standing by her when she had several surgeries. He also claimed FFK took care of the medical bills of her parents who were battling with cancer amongst several others things.
Deji stated that Precious Fani Kayode knows where her problems are coming from and they are spiritual. Deji advised her to seek the face of God instead of chasing shadows. He also stated that the fact that she has survived this long is a testimony.
Deji recalled when Mrs Precious agreed to be checked into a mental home because of her mental issues and how she consequently ran away from the mental home.
Although FFK has been alleged by his previous wives of domestic violence, Deji tweeted that he cannot speak on that because he wasn’t a part of it but on the issue of FFK and Precious, Deji reiterated that it is not about domestic violence because she has never raised this issue, nor her family members that stay with them at home, or at anytime when Deji went to settle issues between she and her husband.
Deji recounted how Mrs Precious had lost her mind on several occasions and even attacked her husband FFK and other domestic staff with a knife.
Although, Deji subsequently deleted all the tweets, he however left several new tweets advising young people to stay away from toxic and crazy people and that marriage is not mandatory for all. We, however, gathered that Deji deleted his original tweets after FFK called him to do so saying no one should join issues with her publicly.
While we wait for an official statement from the Former Minister, Her Uncle who granted an interview with premium times debunked the allegations of domestic violence and said he had never witnessed anything like that in their home even as he confirmed that the couple were currently separated and hinted that their issues were caused by his niece instead of the domestic abuse making the rounds in the media.
Another source has hinted that The marriage started hitting the rocks because of a case of infidelity on her part last year where several people including pastors came in to resolve the issue and asked FFK to forgive her.
Precious Chikwendu, a former beauty queen is alleged by her uncle for always having “unapproved meetings” as he subtly put it to save face and added that her husband FFK could no longer tolerate it.
The couple, who are parents to four sons, including a set of two-year-old triplets, have been married since 2014.
although he subsequently deleted his tweets. we were able to get some of them.
Dickson Iroegbu’ s “The Good Husband” Hits Cinemas November 13
The Good Husband, a Nigerian movie which explores the challenges that comes with marriages, will hit the cinemas in Nigeria from November 13, 2020.
The film, which was originally scheduled for release on April 17th before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, is produced and directed by multiple award winning filmmaker, Dickson Iroegbu DGN, and distributed by Genesis Cinemas; promises to thrill anxious audience.
‘THE GOOD HUSBAND’, narrates the story of a marriage counselor, who is committed to the success of other people‘s marriages, but allows his passion drive a wedge into his home − a generous case of taking the log out your eyes before the spec in your neighbour’s eyes.
‘THE GOOD HUSBAND’ is a timely tale in today‘s Nigeria where divorce and sometimes spousal murder is assuming alarming proportions. It explores themes of sex, communication, rigours of different perspectives of couples and respective relatives, as well as themes of love and forgiveness.
The movie promises the twist and turns of marital journeys, providing rib-cracking and reflective moments. It boasts of some of Nigeria‘s best and brightest movie exports such as Sam Dede, Monalisa Chinda, Francis Duru, Thelma Okoduwa-Ojiji, Paul Sambo and Bassey Ekpo Bassey. It also has in its cast Eeefy Ike, Shield Nwazuruahu and several others.
The producer and director of this movie, Dickson Iroegbu, a leading and talented filmmaker in Nigeria, and his company, Teamwork Studios Limited, has reached out to Churches and Mosques within and outside Nigeria to encourage the viewing of THE GOOD HUSBAND movie in order to help fight the scourge of divorce and spoilers in marriage.
Mr. Iroegbu, has produced and directed over twenty blockbuster movies, and revolutionized the Nigerian film industry with many of his movie productions such as, ‘Women’s Cot’, ‘Critical Condition’, ‘Unfaithful’ , ‘Romantic Attraction’ and ‘The Mayors’; which earned him Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Director at the prestigious African Movie Academy Awards, AMAA.
Davido To Feature Alongside Eddie Murphy In ” Coming To America 2″
Nigerian Musical Artiste, Davido is set to feature in the new “Coming to America 2“, years after the original “Coming to America” was released.
The movie featured star Hollywood actor, Eddie Murphy and was a major hit in the late 80s.
The new edition is set to be released later this year and in a post shared on Twitter, Davido was officially listed among the cast of the movie.
‘Coming To America’ featured stars like Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, and Paul Bates as its main cast who will be retaining their roles in the sequel.
Other new faces expected to be in the movie include Jermaine Fowler, Wesley Snipes, Tracy Morgan, Leslie Jones, KiKi Layne, Rick Ross, Luenell, Rotimi, Teyana Taylor, and Michael Blackson.
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