Agi(M), Inyali(Down centre), Ifere(Down right), Odok(Down left), Bonaventure (Top centre), Ubi (Top right), Ikem (Top left)
Efio-Ita Nyok|16 November 2016
Yesterday, national news platforms in the country, virtual and real, broke the news of the N552 million bribery scandal implicating an embattled federal high court judge, Adeniyi Ademola and wife, Olabowale.
According to PremiumTimes, a news website, 'Mr. Ademola allegedly received N30 million from Messrs Joe Agi Associates between March 11 and 26, 2015. His wife also allegedly received N30 million from the same firm'.
Another information culled from, Punch Newspaper has it that, 'In a 15-count bribery charge against Justice Ademola and wife, Joe Agi and associates, a firm of attorneys and solicitors, was mentioned in seven charges:
'According to the charges, on March 11 and March 26 2015, Joe Agi conspired and bribed Justice Ademola with N30m. Similarly, on 20th and 21st, February, 2014, Joe Agi conspired to bribe Ademola with 40m.
'March 11th 2015 Mrs Ademola received from Joe AGI and associates 10m on behalf of her husband.
'March 16th 2015 Mrs Ademola recived 10m from Joe Agi on behalf of her husband.
'March 26th 2015 Received 10m from Joe Agi on behalf of her husband.
'Justice Ademola himself was accused of receiving 30m between march 11th and 26th from Joe Agi.
'In the last count the judge was accused of receiving 30m From Joe Agi between February 20th an 21st of 2014', it concluded. This slams a whooping N160m allegation against him. Hmmmmm…
Beginning from yesterday, Cross Riverians and social commentators of the Cross River origin have aired their minds on the news, notable among which are Inyali Peter a journalist, Venatius Ikem a politician, Abang Ogon a former student activist, Joseph Odok a critic of the Governor Ben Ayade administration, Ifere Paul an environmental activist and leading whistle blower against the Cross River State Government, Peter Ofem Ubi a political pundit resident in the United States and Ogon Bonaventure Ojar a critic. I will capture their remarks in turn:
Ifere Paul :
'State of The Matter Between Joe Agi vs Ayade.
'The allegations against Joe Agi (SAN) that he bribed a judge of the Federal High Court does not and will not in anyway hamper the delivery of whatever verdict that has been reserved until 9th December, 2016.
'The issue(s) of bribery by Joe Agi (SAN) to the High Court judge was not the issue in contention in the case between Ayade vs Joe Agi, and et al.
'It is important that Joe Agi's integrity to contest a rerun of the election as may be ordered by the Supreme Court can only be question inside the PDP. That is, after the verdict may have been passed.
'However, it is very disgusting and appalling that Joe Agi (SAN), a man that is the bastion of hope for most Cross Riverians is dragged to the mud over allegations of bribery and corruption to a judge within a period panning 15 years.
'It is nonetheless, very disappointing'.
Inyali Peter :
'IF the widely anticipated December 9 Supreme Court ruling goes against Ayade and the court order a rerun election, Cross Riverians would be left with two options; to choose between an alleged chronic and fantastically corrupt bribe giver, Joe Agi, SAN and a fantastically clean man of integrity, Mr. Odey Ochicha.
'No doubt, I trust the wisdom and intelligence of Cross Riverians to go for the former. This is so because you can't remove somebody from office for a crime that has no direct impact on the people and turn around to ask people to vote you after you have committed worst crime which may have sent innocent Nigerians to death or grave untimely.
'If I'm supporting the removal of Ayade come December 9, I'm doing it because of his abysmal performance not necessarily because he falsified his age even though I know it's a criminal offence before the law.
'Agi can't preach honesty as the best principle when he is not honest himself. My prayer is that the apex court should sack Ayade and order a rerun to give Cross River opportunity to elect a leader of integrity like Odey Ochicha who will redeem our reputation that Ayade and Agi have destroyed in the past 18 months.
'Gradually, those who abused me in my article that we may have a Trump-Like governor soon (Not by character but by his historic win) are beginning to see the clear handwriting on the board'.
Venatius Ikem :
'Inyali Peter, can we begin to learn the wisdom of doing more introspection? Less talk and more thinking? I have come to the painful realization that we too often assist our opponents by too much writing especially on Facebook.
'God has unraveled a series of activities in CRS whose end point no one can claim knowledge of. But we can learn lessons from it all if we take the time to reflect on these things.
'Suddenly a lot of people who hitherto felt totally immune from human problems and closer to being god, are now praying fervently to only God for salvation! Can we think about these things please? Let us wait on God to show us where He is taking us and stop second guessing Him!'
Ogon Bonaventure Ojar :
'The propaganda of Joe Agi, SAN being corrupt is from Ben Ayade & Co or you?Joe Agi is a gentleman to the core'.
Abang Ogon :
'Tick Says the Clock, only time can tell'.
Joseph Odok :
'Joe Agi alleged to have facilitated bribe. Shocking to me. Cross River State in a mess who will safe us?'
Peter Ofem Ubi :
'The Best Alternative For Cross River State As Governor Was Fidelis Ugbo in 2015, remains the best option today, and if we are to correct yesterday's mistakes, Ntufam Fidelis still remains the best going forward -My Views.
'You cannot find any corruption, bribery, or any of those darkness questionable character stains…he is simply stainless. He is without question the most moral and matured individual amongst those to have contested the governorship of the State'.
***The reactions of these eggheads suggest very strongly that the hope of Cross Riverians are shattered. Owing to the abysmal failure of the present state political administration there seemed to have been a rallying around Joe Agi, SAN irrespective of party affiliations. The Agi-gate is initiating a realignment, some are beginning to contemplate Labour Party's Fidelis Ugbo, while some are finding solace in All Progressives Congress Joseph Ochicha. But like, Ogon only time will tell.
It seems the conviction expressed in the phrase: 'corruption is Nigeria's greatest undoing' is evolving into an apodictic assertion. But even more troubling is the fact that there is a deliberate attempt by a remote class of society to make fun out of the institutions designated to combat corruption. What's your take on the scandal, dear reader?
Is a Blogger, the Editor & Publisher of NegroidHaven.org