NGO Bill &The Fate Of FG’s Establishments In The Hand Of Rouge CSOs (2) – By Gbadebo Smith
SanitiseNGOs finds it difficult to understand the reason why for instance, a lawyer by profession, who is a worker in the temple of justice, should talk contemptuously of National Judicial Council (NJC). If for any reason, a petition against serving or retired judge(s) on corruption is not treated by NJC, the right action to be taken by CSNAC that sent in the petition is to petition the judicial committees in both houses of national assembly, for the bodies to find out the reason behind the delay. Any of the two chambers’ judicial committee can even conduct public hearing on it, if need be. Instead of this civilized option, the chairman of CSNAC, Olanrewaju Suraju, elected to embark on media war against the NJC and its officials; labeling them as lacking in integrity and corrupt. But behind the name calling by CSNAC is probably the longing for hit back. Of about 200 NGOs that makeup CSNAC, 5 or 10 them are surly suspected to be part of the plethora of partnership contracts proposals on either capacity building, anti corruption seminar and sponsorship abroad for research, sought with NJC to which the body refused, on the ground of paucity of fund. Information has it that appeal had been made in the past to the CSOs particularly, CSNAC, NOPRIN etc to disclose the identities of those NGOs they claim makeup their CSOs, but they never bothered to do that. The question remains, why are they refusing to make the disclosure?
The story of harassment, intimidation and blackmail of government officials for partnership contract by rouge NGOs under some amorphous coalitions and networks is rife in Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC). The modus operandi of these CSOs is just the same with what this writer motioned in the above paragraphs. The case of ICPC is even more pathetic. It will be recalled that sequel to a petition written by one Aaron Kaase, who was suspended by Police Service Commission ((PSC) for allegation bordering on criminal activities and the conclusive investigation of same, the ICPC has been under consistent attacks from CSNAC. After a thorough investigation of Kaase’s allegations, ICPC discovered that the issues raised were administrative in nature and should be handled administratively, and that there was no criminal indictment of the chairman, Sir Mike Okiro.
CSNAC, through its chairman, Suraju Olanrewaju, thought otherwise, consequently, he dragged the agency to Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption. When the advisory body threw away his petition, he turned attention to the office of the Secretary to government of the federation; all in effort to tarnish the image of PSC chairman because the commission did not give partnership contracts to some of his numerous NGOs under CSNAC. He has re-petitioned ICPC again to open a case it had already thrashed out. Investigation by SanitiseNGOs shows that Olanrewaju is just using the suspension of Aaron Kaase who is still standing trial, as an excuse to portray the officials of ICPC as corrupt and justice perverts, as payback for contract denial. . Information has it that Kaase duped one Idabelemi Hart of one million naira, on the pretext of securing US visa for him
National assembly members are equally not speared of the character assignation of Suraju Olanrewaju’s CSNAC. The leadership of NASS is also not left out. The story is the same for President Muhammadu Buhari’s inner cabinet members. Maman Daura, Abba Kyari and Ali Mangunu are some of those he had used CSNAC to portray in bad light. The attorney general and minister of justice is one of the victims of vicious attack from amorphous CSNAC. The list is endless and the funny aspect of it all is that the network merely re-circles stories about corrupt allegation in public domain, the network never originated corruption allegation independently.
Attempts by well meaning Nigerians to engage Suraju on the nature of his crusade on social media platform, Facebook, where he advertises his petitions, only attracted disappointedly dishonest reactions from him. For instance, this post on the activities of CSNAC only elicited insult and name calling from Suraju: “The information is that Suraju Olanrewaju uses over 150 NGOs he claims make-up CSNAC to harass and blackmail federal government establishment for partnership contract. He has refused to disclose the names of these NGOs under his CSNAC, raising concerns of fraudulent practice in the CSO. A group of people committed to serenity in NGOs are planning to approach the Court to compel CSNAC to disclose the identity of these NGOs”.
According to SanitiseNGOs, based on their findings on Olanrewaju Suraju, he was appointed into Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trail Monitoring Committee (COTRIMCO), by the chief justice of the federation (CJN) as representative of NGOs. To rational minds, Suraju is not fit to represent the NGO community in COTRIMCO based on apparent intellectual dishonesty on his part. He is not fit to sit in the midst of illustrious personalities in the committee. There are many anti-corruption activists from which the CJN can appoint to credibly represent the CSOs. Someone who intimidates and portrays judges as corrupt and lacking in integrity just because judgment did not favour his client, particularly, when there is still avenue for appeal, is at best, a misfit and mockery of COTRIMCO, SanitiseNGOsreasoned. Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN) led NBA is hereby enjoined to thoroughly audit Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) and over 150 other NGOs which Suraju uses to harass federal government establishments, for personal gains.
Finally, to put a final stop to organized criminality by some CSOs in the name of fighting corruption, this writer will like to advice NBA to liaise with NASS to amend relevant laws relating to registration of and supervision of NGOs in Nigeria. This will go a long way in bringing sanity to the operation of civil society organizations in the country.
Gbadebo Smith is a member of SanitiseNGOs group
Wrote in from Festac Lagos.
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