For minutes on end, almost running into hours, Philip Shaibu, the Deputy Governor of Edo State, spoke without restraint to Ijeoma Osomor. The show was Democracy Today, held on AIT, and Shaibu was merely standing in for Governor Godwin Obaseki, the main person who was invited to the show.
Given that the show operated with a one-way traffic model, having only the Deputy Governor and the anchor on the show, and hence giving enormous time to the guest, Philip Shaibu enjoyed a lone dominance on air. It was for this reason that the man spent countless minutes revising narratives, hounding perceived and real opposition, mudslinging the reputations of men who were not present to debate or checkmate his false narratives.
When it was not Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, then it was Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the name that drives fear to the heart of Shaibu and the whole camp of Governor Godwin Obaseki. And so his time on the show was reduced to one mission: to tarnish, defame, besmirch, and deprave the man who has the real chance to kick them out of office.
But one thing with dogs that bark aimlessly is that they will have the echo of their own howl vibrating back at them. For Shaibu who at a point declared that the pretense should be dropped, that the gubernatorial contest is ”between Obaseki and Oshiomhole”, his contention will be with the ghosts of a past he had buried and forgotten.
In his bid to tarnish Oshiomhole and Ize-Iyamu, Philip Shaibu spent ample time harping on the 700 Million Naira saga that has been overemphasized but has, equally, over and over, been dismissed and shown to hold no water.
Raising and stretching the matter, Shaibu lumped his two imagined detectors, saying ”Oshiomhole is not joining the President’s anti-corruption crusade but rather bringing a corrupt person that has a N700 million case pending in court to contest an election.”
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Clearly, Shaibu was on a rampage aimed at scoring political points, hoping to use emotional blackmail into pressuring the President to come to their aid. He made that express, too, saying: ”my message to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the leader of the party in Nigeria, is for him to intervene in the crisis rocking Edo APC. I urge him to provide leadership at this critical time as Oshiomhole wants to destroy his anti-corruption legacy.”
But since Shaibu is interested in corruption and the extermination of corrupt men, then he may have to start with himself, a fraud, cheat, liar, and thief who was prosecuted, found guilty, and granted the bail of 3 Million Naira as far back as 2016. But the case even has an older origin: 2003 – 2009.
Since charity begins at home, the expulsion of judicially confirmed corrupt men who coerced the judiciary into submission must have their cases properly looked into. The true punishment attached to their charges must be given and investigation carried out to understand why and how the ICPC prosecuting counsel was forced into silence.
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But before that, it must be made fresh on the minds of the people that Philip Shaibu is a cheat who was arraigned by Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related offences Commission (ICPC), as a sitting member of House of Representatives before a High Court, for forgery and tendering of false tax documents.
A 2016 article reporting the judgment read in parts: ”The former major leader of Edo Assembly who is now representing Etsako constituency is being arraigned on six-count charge over alleged forgery of a tax document and fraudulently uttering false documents in 2006.
”ICPC prosecutor, Mr. Godson Igbadumhe said the offences were committed between Nov 2006 and July 2010, in Abuja and in Benin.”
”Igbadumhe alleged that Shaibu signed for and received from the officers of Edo Board of Internal Revenue a copy of his Income Tax clearances certificate which was obtained through false, untrue and misleading information and statements.”
”The Prosecutor said the Lawmaker made false statement knowingly to the officers of the ICPC, Edo Board of Internal Revenue by stating that he was an employee of ZAkNOTE VENTURES NIGERIA LTD from 2003 to 2006, which statement is, false and untrue.”
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”He said the Offences contravened sections 25(1)(a) punishable under section 25(1)(b), section 13, punishable under section 68 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.”
Finally, it now appears that the sanctimoniously vibrating Deputy Governor has no moral ground for his vituperations. His is a tried and convicted case, one grave enough to have bail run in millions. But he spends time hounding, with righteous anger, men who have insubstantial charges trumped against them. Philip Shaibu should understand that in the 21st century, with public memory strengthened by the internet, no one really forgets.