EVERY Scandal borne out of true misdeeds has always been the spark for ignition of a chain of fission of lies; and desperate adventures sought to cover the track of inherent ignoble especially when the honour of moral remorse to own up with due responsibility is lacking in the central figure involved. Unfortunately, the common consequence of the fission is always the conflagration of the figure in blight of the piles of the strokes of his falsehoods. This is the crux of Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola’s dilemma since the scandal of his astral dealings with the judges of the first Osun State Election Tribunal became public knowledge.
Since the MTN call-logs of both texts and voice exchanges, no trick appeared watery for trial. However, when each is oscillated on its pivot for test of logic, it often settled on feasibility of number cloning, but with predictable anticipatory objective. Recall the advertorial which I will classify as ‘the trial of media wizardry’ by the distraught Otunba Kunle Kelajaiye (SAN) and Lasisi Olagunju, the lead counsel and special adviser to the governor respectively; where they curiously fabricated variables of falsehood into the MTN documents as published by TheNEWS. Of course, the anticipatory objective was of the conventional reaction to such impromptu and scandalous disclosure: denial.
There in the advertorial, the argument was that “what TheNews and its patrons did was to assemble some smart alecs who lifted someone’s logs and edited the numbers therein out”. They premised this argument on the fact that MTN had denied knowledge of ‘the source’. But trust the forensic eyes of the interested public as the non-fluidity of this was immediately drawn out. Louis Odion, the Editor-in-Chief of National Life helped to rest the case with this submission: “Denying being the source is not the same thing as debunking the veracity of the logs. Under the circumstance what is of public interest here is the credibility of the facts not the means by which they were obtained” (The Nation, 112/06/08).
The failure of this tactic did initiate the ground for the alternative of serial claim of number cloning which has its evidences of victims limited to the clan of PDP alone. Of penultimate recent was the publication that some fraudsters were using the GSM number of the party’s National Chairman, Ogbulafor to seek funds from some state governors – call it espirit-de-corps in share of a sibling’s grief and you could be right. But Oyinlola would return again with one – obviously in reaction to the recent confirmation of the veracity of the call logs by the MTN.
MTN has now released to a Lagos High Court details of the reported call data records following the order made by Justice D.O. Oluwayemi on August 11, 2008. And according to the summary of calls made between March and May, Otunba Kalejaiye made two calls and 24 text massages to Justice Naron, the embattled Chairman of the Tribunal. But sooner that this came to news in December, Oyinlola’s desperate camp came up with its version of experience of fraud through number cloning, perhaps to explore the last resolve peculiar to his political constituency in the event of peculiar circumstance.
To PDP, even democratic struggle for power is war, and mobilizing every potent arsenal to claim victory should be inevitable. And such does not preclude human sacrifice – both in foot soldiers and as guinea-pig. Incidentally, Oyinlola belongs to the clime of military constituency that has a few case studies as precedence. But first, let me draw my inference from the premise of his last strategy.
His camp has alleged fraud syndication through an SMS with a clone of the Governor’s GSM number: the governor’s numbers was used to text a principal officer in the finance ministry, authorizing a disbursement of some bucks by the governor. And with the deed perfected, the Governor has promised to get the perpetrator(s), however and whatever it takes. Accordingly, therefore, the State’s police command had been alerted for anticipatory successful manhunt. But in my reasoning, the underlining superlative objective is the prospect of ‘cloning a fraudster’ to own up for the action.
It thus should not surprise us when the police come up with parade of some men as being responsible for the action. Could anyone doubt the possibility of someone staking his integrity to willingly own-up for it in exchange for, even, a ridiculous ransom of N10,000 in this era of economic impoverishment; or, in the alternative, a compelling parade of a long standing. A.T. prisoner.
Please doubt not these possibilities in this country and time of anything goes. And for deeper justification, our political history is replete with instances of ‘cloning of criminals’: In the time of the late despot, Gen Sanni Abacha, when the deadly rampaging Strike Force added Pa Alfred Rewane, the NADECO chieftain and elder statesman, to its list of fatality victims; the state security operatives resulted to shielding the pervading aura of state terrorism with an appearance of some frail and emaciated men as the murder suspects in court. Ironically, the same Oyinlola was the coveted governor no-bitumen of Lagos State at the time.
Then came the case of Bola Ige’s murder: where at the twilight days of his administration, Obasanjo’s conscience was pricked by the unresolved murder of his sitting Attorney-General and Minister of Justice into cloning a suspect in one ‘drug dealer and international fraudster?’ to stand trial for the case. The (un)lucky chap should be thanking his stars and the Nigerian public for crying out loud that Obasanjo’s one and the I.G Ehindero’s two could not add up to three.
In like manager, good enough to pass off for the latest, Oyinlola, in desperate bid to justify imaginary feasibility of GSM number cloning against the rational scientific claim of the contrary, may, in the near future produce a pioneer suspect of such crime. Watch the sky for the sign.
•By Dr. R. Adedeji Jimoh, who is a Lagos author and publisher