[OPINION] Bayo Oluwasanmi: First Lady Money Launderer

[OPINION] Bayo Oluwasanmi: First Lady Money Launderer

First Lady Dame Jonathan’s Naira spraying story sticks in my throat from trying to swallow the news of her money laundering at the Nigerian Law School, Bwari Campus, Abuja.

According to Soni Akoji’s story in Saharareporters March 6, Mrs. Jonathan had made unscheduled visit to the Nigerian Law School, Bwari to see two adopted daughters.

Mrs. Jonathan officially had gone to attend the convocation of graduates of her NGO, A. Arueba Foundation for the less privileged at Bwari.

First Lady’s family visit soon turned to ATM affair. She reached to her mobile ATM vault and began dispensing cash in different amounts.

She gave N300, 000 to her daughters’ roommate and N2500 each to two flat mates, and N100, 000 to the chief porter.

Mrs. Jonathan reached deeper. This time, she called out: “Who wants to be a millionaire?” The jackpot fell on the student body via Franc Utoo.

Franc Utoo, President Student Representative Council received N1million on behalf of his colleagues. The students went bananas!

Utoo, taking his cue from the corruption script written by Aso Rock, the money was halved. He told the students that Mrs. Jonathan gave them N500, 000.

The students refused to accept his voodoo mathematics.  A recount was called – by hand. Naira by Naira the money was counted. They came up with N1million.

Meanwhile, Utoo’s impeachment for fraud is underway. However, Ope Owotumi PRO for the Students Representative Council denied that the free money from Mrs. Jonathan ATM didn’t cause any fracas.

Owotumi’s counter attack to Akoji’s claims appeared in Saharareporters, March 9.

“Before the First lady doled out the said sum, Mr. Franc had already approached her and intimated her of plans to celebrate Law School’s Golden Jubilee Anniversary in grand style to which the First lady graciously pledged to support,” said Owotumi.

“When she eventually gave out the money,” continued Owotumi, “she delivered it with two intents – to fulfill her pledge and to generously gift the cheering students at the hostel,” said Owotumi.

“As President with the discretion to allot and appropriate, Mr. Franc Utoo separated N500, 000 for the Golden Jubilee and the balance for sharing to the students, said Owotumi.

“Students in the heat of passion demanded the impeachment of Chairman and threatened their representatives with recall if such a resolution wasn’t met.”

The question of fraud on the part of Utoo was not adequately addressed in Owotumi’s rejoinder. What caused “the heat of the passion?” Can Owotumi explain what he meant by the “heat of the passion” as it relates to the money and the students’ reaction?

Owotumi further said that “In a bid to satisfy the demands of said students while committed to fairness, the Students’ Representative Council passed a vote of no confidence on the Chairman that night and asked the Chairman to step aside …”

What were the demands of the students? Why was vote of no confidence passed on the chairman? By the way, why was the money counted by the students? .

Owotumi’s version of the story is an argument based on persecution of Akoji rather than reason. His response is full of stunting and distorting the kernel of Akoji’s story – the unbecoming spending recklessness of a First Lady.

As future lawyers charged with interpreting and defending the constitution, Owotumi and his colleagues should be troubled by the unrestrained squandering of tax payers’ money by Mrs. Jonathan.

Thinking along this line, the cheering of Mrs. Jonathan by the students should have been replaced with deafening jeering with placard messages of reprimand on how the country is being run by Mr. Jonathan.

What part of the corruption equation do the law students not understand? The crumbs the students fought over were part of the money that would have gone into job creation and other essential services of lasting value.

The students should be worried of gainful employment after graduation instead of being foolishly hypnotized by the temporary sharing of state looted funds from First Lady Jonathan.

The education of a deaf colleague subsidized by the students should have been paid for by a responsible government under the special education for mentally challenged and physically handicapped students. But then, the students display no flashes of wit.    

All future stake holders of Nigeria should agonize on the type of education being served to the law students: a sterile education devoid of logic and wisdom.

There is need for more desirable values of education in our law school. The developing of scientific attitudes and forming of mental habits will lead to sound judgments.

The students’ open embrace of laundered money is a proof that stereotyped mind and unenlightened education are culturally alive at the law school.
What moral and leadership example can the students learn from Mrs. Jonathan? None.

Mrs. Jonathan’s spending spree is dangerously alarming. It’s a frightening reality that the Jonathans publicly advertised corruption, greed, and fraud among students who are deemed the “future leaders” of Nigeria.

History has shown that human beings continuously evolved from self respecting into debasing individuals fueled by ethical leprosy.

The First Lady’s ethical delinquency shaved the nonsense from varieties of myths and propaganda that describe her husband as a corruption fighter.
The latest moral lapse displayed by Dame Jonathan left naked the defenders of her husband claiming that he’s really fighting corruption.

I have always argued in my writings that President Jonathan is the wrong man to fight corruption.  I believe the problems we have will not be solved by the minds that created them.

As governor of Bayelsa, he was one of the governors on the wanted list of the moribund EFCC. Like all other EFCC publicized suspects, GEJ’s citation went the way of the wind.

His wife’s unrestrained auction of Naira in Bwari flea market as it were, convinced me that President Jonathan is the biggest obstacle to fighting corruption.

The latest naked display of Naira give away by Dame Jonathan reminds Nigerians of the first couples’ follies much as a mirror reminds people of the way they really look. Indeed, the Jonathans are enemies of reason and morality.

Her visit to the law school under the pretense of seeing her adopted daughters is ostentatious boredom and a poison of pleasure. Hers is an act of barbarity a cosmic enlargement of Jonathan’s administration morbid moral turpitude.

If there was any doubt before that the First Couple is an undesirable hybrid blocking the way to a corrupt free Nigeria, the Bwari event finally put it to rest.

This is peculiarly dastardly because the action of the Jonathans takes advantage of the defenselessness of morbidly coerced Nigerians to confront their oppressors.

I’m perplexed by the morality of the Jonathan administration that finds little difficulty in spending money on frivolities but find it impossible to appropriate pinhead sums for solving Nigeria’s open sore needs.

What’s the source of Mrs. Jonathan’s money? What’s the budget of the office of the First Lady? How much money does she carry aboard her jet each time she goes on a trip?

In a civilized democracy, Mrs. Jonathan’s action would have attracted the attention of the criminal enforcement agents and possible prosecution.  But who cares? After all, this is Nigeria where anything goes!

We wish Mrs. Jonathan who came back to life few weeks ago having been sent back to complete “her assignment” happy spraying as she continues her “resurrection” thank you visit nationwide.  

We cannot drive a car forward by looking at the rear view mirror. We cannot use shoes for hammers, newspapers for umbrellas, and finger nail to tight screw!


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