Office Address, Jonathan By Pius Adesanmi

Conference Room, EFCC Headquarters, Abuja

“Sorry, Mallam Ribadu, come again…ambush him? Ehn? Speak louder, Mallam, the line is not clear sir. You are on speakerphone. We are in the conference room and some of my boys are here.”

“Lamorde, I am screaming now. No, no, no, the ambush style will not work. It became unpopular after I used it against Tafa Balogun and a number of state legislators. Is the line better now?”

“Yes sir, it is better. So what do you suggest we do?”

“Em, Lamorde, this one that you have turned me into an emergency EFCC consultant. Remember I now work for Mrs Diezani Alison Madueke. You will pay me for doing your work for you o. Anyway, how solid is what you have on him?”

“More than solid sir”

“Ok, which of the regular instruments is he using to cut his own share of the national cake, table knife or kitchen knife?”

“Ah, Mallam Ribadu, if he was using table knife or kitchen knife, that would be normal Nigerian corruption. Since your time here you know that we don’t have time to go after table knife and kitchen knife corruption. We normally go after those who use cutlass to cut their own share of the national cake but our man is even beyond that level. The man is using an electric chainsaw to carve his own share of the national cake. He is not cutting sir, he is carving.”

“Ehn, that bad? Electric chainsaw ke?”

“Yes o, Mallam, the man has been raking it in on a mega scale. I think he is pretty much treating the entire budget of the FCT as government money in government house.”

“In that case, you have to use a gradualist approach to get him. Rattle him a bit before you move in for the kill.”

“How?”

“Look, Ibrahim, must I spell it out? Ok, can some of your boys accidentally leak stuff about him to the media? Only online media o. You know that the traditional media here is in their pocket. That way, Nigerians will begin to talk about your target’s mega corruption. He will panic and make more mistakes in the attempt to settle you and that will make it easy to arrest him.”

“Looks like a plan.”

“Lamorde, whatever you do, don’t let him settle you o. He is your road to fame and acceptance by the international community. If you arrest and successfully prosecute him, the payoff in international recognition is more than the $15 million he may try to offer you.”

“I see your point, Mallam Ribadu. I’ll put a taskforce together today and we’ll fine tune our strategy to get the man. You will see my hand soon.”

In a male toilet at EFCC Headquarters

(Hushed tones)

“Hello.”

“Hello, speak louder, who is this?”

“I can’t speak louder. And who is this? Is this not the Honorable Minister’s direct number? Why is someone else picking his call?”

“See this one o. You are whispering and you are asking why I’m picking oga’s call. Am I not the Senior Special Assistant to the Honorable Minister on Private and Miscellaneous Matters? Useless man. How did you even get this number? Ja kuro l’ori ago fun mi joo. Get off the phone for me jare.”

“I’m calling from the EFCC.”

“Ehn, did you say EFCC? Mo daran! Ah, please sir, I’m sorry, don’t be annoyed. Please hold on for the Honorable Minister.”

“Ah, hello, my good boy from EFCC. Zis is za Honourable Minister of the FCT. I see you are having some froblem with zis Abeokuta boy. Sorry about that.”

“No worries, Honourable Minister, but I’m not a good boy today o. I’m no longer happy with the retainer you are paying me as your mole in the EFCC. I work for two other ministers, ten senators, and fifteen governors and I know how much they each pay me. Some of my other colleagues here work for rogue bankers and I know what they are paid.”

“Kai, zis boy, you get am for greedy o. Almost twenty plots of land in Wuse, Garki, and Maitama for you alone and $10,000 monthly retainer and you still want more.”

“Well, Alhaji, the market I have for you today is worth more than all that?”

“Ehn, I hope this Lamorde boy hasn’t started any wahala o.”

“Why else would I be calling you, Alhaji? Oga Lamorde has opened your file today and we are coming after you.”

“Boroba! Okay, what is he up to? Give me details quick quick.”

“Not so fast, Alhaji, show your colour first.”

“Ok, ten new plots of land in any area of your choice and your monthly retainer is now $20,000.”

“Ranka dede! Now, you are talking, my Alhaji. Will you be at your guest house tonight?”

“Of course I’ll be there.”

“Ok, I’ll meet you there. I can’t give you the details now. I am even calling from a toilet at HQ. We just finished a conference call with our former oga, Mallam Ribadu, who gave us ideas on how to get you.”

“Ehn, Ribadu too? I’ll deal with that boy later. By the time I’m done with him, he will enter BRT back to Kabul. Ok, I’ll wait for you at my guest house tonight. I’ll have two of the usual over to entertain you. You still like the same specifications, ko? Light-skinned and heavy Bakassi?”

“Ha ha ha my Alhaji you are a dan iska. Yes, my specifications are always constant. I’ll see you tonight sir. I’ll be there with full details of Oga Lamorde’s plans.”

The following Morning. A room in the Federal Capital Territory Administration. Two dozen personal assistants and sundry aides idle around. One of them, the Senior Special Assistant to the Honorable Minister on Private and Miscellaneous Matters, is listening to Ebenezer Obey on his iPod:

A l’owo ma j’aiye

Eyin le mo

Awon to j’aiye l’ana da

Won ti ku won ti lo

(If you get money and you no chop life

Na you sabi

Those wey chop life yesterday

Don die comot for dis world)

“Hey, you dis Yoruba boy wey dey always do owambe with your iPod for dis office. The day wey oga go catch you, my hand no dey o.”

“Chukwuma you dey crase? You don see where a whole Minister arrive for office for 8 o’clock in the morning for dis we country? Na oga dey come sweep office for here?”

“Na you sabi. Me I don kuku talk my own. One day go be one day wey…”

The Honorable Minister’s sudden entry interrupts them. They jump up from their seats screaming your Excellency, your Excellency, but the Minister is in no mood for pleasantries with aides

“Abeokuta boy!”

“Sah!”

“Chukwuma!”

“Sah!”

“I want both of you to organize a press conference for me right away anywhere in Maitama. Any location. Just make it Maitama. And get the convoy ready. We are going to Maitama right away.”

“Okay sir.”

One hour later. Somewhere in Maitama, the FCT Minister makes a public declaration

“May I suggest to the Executive Secretary of FCDA, who has the Abuja Master Plan and the Coordinator of Abuja Metropolitan Management Council to rename this place as Goodluck Jonathan District. This is because we have not named any district after any president in the past. The president I know is President Goodluck Jonathan and the president I know that is bringing good luck to me and to Nigerians is President Goodluck Jonathan. Therefore, by the powers conferred on me, I change the name of this district to Goodluck Jonathan District.”

Later that evening at EFCC Headquarters

“Hello, hello, yes this is Ibrahim Lamorde. Who is speaking please?”

“Goodluck Jonathan.”

“Ehn, Goodluck Jonathan? Sorry, I mean your Excellency sir? (quickly prostrates behind his desk) Good afternoon your Excellency sir. How is her Excellency our mummy doing sir? We are all so proud of the fabulous work you…”

“Good, good, Ibrahim. I’m also very proud of your work.”

“Ah, thank you sir (still prostrating. He has forgotten to stand up). I’m grateful, your Excellency. In fact, I was planning to book an appointment with you sir. We have enough evidence to go after the FCT Minister. Mega corruption sir. Ibori raised to power five. We have finalised plans to arrest him and I was going to personally come and seek clearance to proceed from you sir.”

“Ibrahim, you should come to the Villa for dinner tonight.”

“Ehn, dinner at the Villa? Who am I, your Excellency? What an honour sir. I’ll be there.”

“It’s a small dinner for trusted loyalists in whom I am well pleased. Mujahid Dokubo Asari will be there. The FCT Minister will be there too. Like you, the Minister is one of my good boys.”

“Ehn, the FCT Minister? I don’t undertand sir. I just told you that…

“Ibrahim, you are a good boy. I will hate to approve your course in Kuru.”

“Course in Kuru? Ah, I get it now, your Excellency. The FCT Minister is a great man. In fact, with your permission, I’d like to move the EFCC Headquarters from our current location in Wuse to Maitama… em… sorry, I mean to Jonathan sir. We want to move our office to Jonathan.”

“Ibrahim.”

“Sir? (sweating profusely. Still flat on the floor)”

“You are a very good boy. A fast learner. You are washing your hands properly. You will eat with Elders. See you at the Villa tonight.”

“Yes sir. We thank God for a leader like you your Excellency. You are God sent to this country. And only visionaries like the FCT Minister understand that when somebody performs well, you need to immortalise them while they are still in office sir. And I just pray that God in his infinite mercy will continue to…”

(He doesn’t notice that the President hung up five minutes ago. He continues speaking, lying on the floor, for another five minutes before he finally notices the dead line. He gets up, swearing and cursing under his breath)

“How on earth did this fucking FCT Minister pre-empt my move and checkmate me?”

 

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