MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Onwuasoanya FCC Jones
The conviction of Dr. Doyin Okupe by a Federal High Court has provided the paid and unpaid mouthpieces of some of Nigeria’s most devious criminals and corrupt politicians, currently angling for Nigeria’s top job, a new opportunity to try dismantling Peter Obi’s ironclad reputation as one of Nigeria’s most credible, honest and incorruptible politician.
Members of the PDP and their Siamese twins in APC had scoured every file and fact, tore shelves open and searched at cemeteries and dug every trail in every financial institution they can access just to find any little dirt they can stick on Peter Obi’s integrity, but at every turn, they are left disappointed, because, even though no politician is without sins, Peter Obi has lived above reproach and operated his businesses and plied his politics with the Fear of God and respect for the people.
As expected, today’s court judgement has provided the APC and PDP media personnel with valuable materials to try to bring Peter Obi to the level of their variously discredited and severally indicted masters and presidential candidates. No matter how any PDP or APC operative pretends about it, they all agree that Peter Obi is in a class of his own. So, anything that would make it seem that “he is not very different from all of them” would be maximally exploited by them.
But, while they may smile and celebrate for having got something to tag on with, we must logically assess the judgement of the High Court convicting Doyin Okupe and be able to understand if he is truly the criminal these servants of thieves would want us to believe he is.
Almost everyone in the top echelon of the PDP and APC presidential campaign organisations is being investigated and standing trial for one serious financial crime that when you compare them with the offence for which Okupe was convicted you would know that it is just like comparing murderers on trial with someone who is convicted of a slight traffic offence.
Doyin’s offence was not that he diverted funds meant for any project or that he stole money given to him to carry out any assignment for the federal government. Doyin was convicted of the same crime, almost every businessman in Nigeria commits everyday.
Whenever you carry out a transaction that is above 150,000 Naira in cash, you are apparently guilty of money laundering, because by CBN’s cashless policy which was introduced by Sanusi Lamido as CBN governor, you shouldn’t have to carry any money that is more than 150,000 Naira. But, we all do that, all the time. That’s the exact reason Doyin was convicted. His offence was for collecting more than the specified amount of money in cash, instead of having it pass through the banks.
This is why I do not agree with those who paint an image of Doyin as a common thief or one of the corrupt politicians. As long as this particular conviction is concerned, Doyin is merely an offender and not a criminal. He is just like someone who breached traffic lights and is fined for that. So, unlike those supporting Tinubu and those singing the praises of Atiku, Doyin is not a thief, they and their principals, are those whom we should be afraid to allow anywhere close to our commonwealth.
Also, Doyin Okupe is not Peter Obi. Yes, he is one of Peter Obi’s closest political allies, as long as this project for a New Nigeria in 2023, is concerned, but this does not make it right that Peter Obi should be dragged into the legal misfortune that recently befell Doyin. However, I will conclude by saying that if it is deemed wise by the top echelon of Labour Party’s PCC for Doyin to step aside, then, so be it.