What is Col Sambo Dasuki doing locked up in detention indefinitely without trial at the behest of President Muhammadu Buhari? What happened to court trials in Nigeria which are sending other politicians guilty of corruption to jail? Supporters of President Buhari [regardless of party affiliation] would naively (the vast majority) or insincerely (very few) have people believe that Col Dasuki’s detention is evidence of a strong anti-corruption ethos under the present government. The truth is that it is one of the most histrionic acts of corruption of the Buhari Presidency courtesy nepotism. Dasuki is in detention for his very own safety at the fawning kindness of the President. If anyone can accurately evaluate the most likely politician that would be assassinated in Nigeria on any given day of the year, it will be Dasuki by a very wide margin and it is unlikely he would survive unprotected. But why? An informant in military intelligence tells us.
Dasuki very famously broke a long-held unspoken code of silence that provides security, confidence, and impunity for the Big Thieves of Nigeria when they steal and share public funds; he exposed, name by name, everyone he corrupted on behalf of the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan and this lead the many embarrassments, refunds, cash discoveries and cases of blackmail. These revelations were the equivalent of a revolutionary act on the part of Dasuki and the Who’s Who of Nigerian politics were terribly shaken. There is no surprise that some politicians and their cronies are too eager to put out a contract on Dasuki. If he shows his face in public, it may not be for long. Dasuki, Buhari and all those with power know this. Indefinite detention is obviously Dasuki’s sanctuary and Buhari is certainly his saviour. However, Dasuki in not happy in his current situation, he sees himself as a ‘fall guy’, more the face of Jonathan’s corruption than Buhari’s anti-corruption as planned.
The scheme that made Dasuki the “prince of darkness” of Jonathan’s corruption and Buhari the “angel of light” of his anti-corruption campaign started well and has turned out to be a colossal failure. Buhari has jettisoned the plan and is dissembling as a saint of integrity.
Let us remember that the closest someone came to matching Dasuki’s feat of revelation since 1999 regarding corruption [though much smaller in scale] was carried out by Abdullahi Muazu, Director of Forensics, at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). He exposed some of Nigeria’s Big Thieves and some culprits went to jail. Alas, Muazu was brutally assassinated by a ten or more unknown gunmen in his bedroom in the middle of the night. Tragic! However, Dasuki’s “sins” against the Big Thieves are much greater than Muazu’s. The Big Thieves of Nigeria collective known as the Owners of Nigeria Technostructure (ONT) seem omnipotent in their corruption and ruthless against those who fight or compromise them. Sambo is now a rouge member of the ONT.
What is more annoying to those who want Dasuki’s head are the lies they were initially made to believe about the whole affair. Buhari and Dasuki completely fooled the wise, the not too wise and the mumus. Some now know that Dasuki and made arrangements with Buhari long before 2015 to expose corruption in Jonathan’s government. It was Dasuki’s revelations that were supposed to be the master-stroke of Buhari’s triumphant anti-corruption campaign. This media coup was pulled off with resounding success as a case of revenge against Dasuki by Buhari, relating to a matter concerning the coup d’etat that removed the former from power in 1985. Some now know it was a clever diversionary tale. While we are told Dasuki was a coup plotter that removed Buhari from office, we are not reminded that Dasuki was one of the coup plotters who put Buhari in power in 1983 and firmly voted against Buhari being executed in the coup of 1985 that brought Ibrahim Babangida to power. A simple online search confirmed the informant’s facts.
Some are angered further by the ethnic distribution of those implicated in the revelations presented by Dasuki. The revelations were by no means thoroughgoing or just. Those who were summoned and detained asked questions about those missing from the list and why Dasuki did not mention them. If Dasuki were to go to court, the stench of tribalism and selective implication in his revelations would rip his credibility to pieces. This would also be a nasty blow to the credibility of Buhari who had so much riding on Dasuki’s revelations. Buhari does not want that to happen. In preparation for the 1983 coup that put Buhari into power as head of state, Major Daniel Bamidele report the coup plot to Buhari, his GOC at the time, who detained him for a fortnight till it was executed. Buhari sure knows the wisdom of detention.
Then there has been the the long standing “Free Dasuki Movemnent” that has gotten lawyers, jurists and pundits excited to get the man free even citing Buhari as guiltywithout trial of contempt of court or disobeying the courts. There is no better diversionary act and tale in recent Nigerian political history. If Buhari’s expected bold and tough anti-corruption campaign had succeeded as planned, Dasuki would have become an instant national hero, perhaps pleading he was tired of the filth he himself was involved in as a master briber. Ex-criminals, ex-convicts, and ex-corruptors can often easily find celebrity in their notoriety. If a contract is then put on Dasuki, he would then become a martyr in the fashion of Murtala Mohamed; the man who turned a new leaf and became clean.
Looking to the future, if Buhari leaves office in 2019 or 2023, what will be the fate of Col Sambo Dasuki in the open Nigerian society? Human beings with money, senior military experience and power can be creative. Buying forgivingness (in cash or kind) might be a natural choice. Who knows? My informant does not say.