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Was Olatunji Dare commissioned to pass guilty verdict on Okiro?

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Sir Mike OkiroOne fact about Olatunji Dare’s unprovoked attack on person of Sir Mike Okiro, the chairman of Police Service Commission [PSC], is that it followed the same

pattern of you are guilty as charged verdict passed on Okiro by mischievous elements in the past. The only difference here is that Dare, an experienced ethical journalist knows the difference between mischievously wrong accusations and real allegations, but elected to find Okiro guilty, probably as a result of the sophisticated level of the financial inducement from his sponsor[s].

[Pictured: Sir Mike Okiro]

Writing in the Nation newspaper of Tuesday, August 25, 2015 with the caption: A top cop and tales of sleaze, Dare took mischief and sophistry to high level by making uncoordinated but negative insinuations about the person and integrity of Okiro. 

For instance, Dare believes Okiro was guilty as charged by detractors when he made this comment:–“ I would have scanned every muscle on the face of Mike Okiro, the chairman of the Police Service Commission, as Buhari delivered that poignant charge. For it was under Okiro’s watch as the Inspector General of Police that a recruitment scandal broke. Taking unconscionable advantage of desperate job-seekers, the police charged a fee of N2, 000 per applicant, presumably for handling and processing.–. The practice was illegal through and through and the police, more than any other institution, should have known that. But that was not the most troubling aspect of it all. The police authorities said N1 billion of the N2 billion realized from the application fee had gone into paying the consultancy fees to an IT company”–. 

The question here is how does charging N2, 000 for scratch card amounts to extortion in Dare’s perverted imagination? How come the recruitment exercise was not cancelled as a result of the so-called scandal? If Dare Olatunji was not on a journey of mischief and deceit, why did he fail to suggest cheap alternative recruitment model for the desperate job-seekers?

When President Muhammadu Buhari [PMB] talked about extortion, what he meant was money allegedly collected from applicants by recruiting agents in some establishments. For instance there was report of agents collecting as much as N400, 000 for job in Nigerian Immigration Service. We also heard of people paying between N250, 000 to N300, 000 to get employment in Civil Defence. Extortion in PMB’s context could not be money for scratch card that gives access to the recruiting organization’s website. At any rate Dare is not an IT consultant and as such, cannot comment on the field, he knows nothing about. In effect, what he has done in trying to insinuate extortion in the N2000 per applicant scratch card fees is tantamount to gossip of a meddlesome interloper. In any case, the recruitment exercise carried out under Sir Mike Okiro’s watch as the IGP was successful in all ramifications, it was not bungled and as such, could not pass as scandal, unless in the distorted imagination of Dare Olatunji

In carrying out selective guilty as charged condemnation of Okiro further, Olatunji Dare has this to say: — Still few in the attentive audience can have failed to notice what appear to be an affinity between former Police Inspector General Mike Okiro  and allegation of sleaze since his days as  the top cop to the present–. 

Can Olatunji Dare tell Nigerians of any top public holder in Nigeria he knows that has no allegations of sleaze on his head? The point here is, if we remove “Okiro” in the statement he made here, and juxtaposes it with the name of any other past or serving public office holder, Dare and his paymasters will also see plethora of allegations hanging on the person’s head, and that does not mean guilty as charged verdict. To this writer and rational Nigerians, it will be naïve for Okiro and other public office holders, not to know that allegations of corruption will always be leveled against them from time to time by the likes of those that commissioned Dare. What this writer finds curious in Olatunji Dare’s “sincere belief” in all the allegations against the person of Okiro is that he is enlightened beyond not knowing the difference between real and hypocritical allegations.

For the record, Sir Mike Okiro was made IGP after the 2007 general elections. Police under his watch however, supervised the Ekiti State governorship re-run election. The police was not responsible for Idi-Osi stalemate then. The 2015 general elections saw PDP lost to APC, under Okiro’s watch as the chairman of Police Service Commission. Only Olatunji Dare knows what he meant by, Okiro working tirelessly to ensure PDP victory in the so-called most improbable circumstances. On the issue of hounding Ribadu out of office, Okiro as the IG of Police has no such powers to hound or remove Ribadu as the chairman of EFCC; only the President has such power. However, as a police officer, Ribadu was duty bound to obey the rules in the police. If Ribadu absconded from police because he felt he was above IGP and will not obey orders that was his business.

There is no doubt that the federal government would have reversed the suspension of Aaron Kaase, if his suspension did not follow the laid down procedure in the civil service. For the avoidance of doubt, Kaase was suspended for gross misconduct. He duped someone of N1 million on the pretext that he will secure United States of America visa for the fellow. Consequent upon that, he was arraigned in court, the records are there. On May 16 2015, Vanguard Newspaper had a story on page 6, captioned, PSC: Protocol Officer Arranged for Cheating.  Leadership Newspaper had similar story on page 8 of May 16, 2015 edition.  Two weeks after his arraignment in court, he wrote a petition to ICPC against Okiro-led PSC. As for the ICPC on the petition, it established in its findings that there was no criminal infraction against the person of Okiro among other findings. That remains government position on the petition.

Perhaps, Olatunji Dare’s shifty ways of seeing issues like the latest guilty as charged verdict on Sir Mike Okiro led to the closure of the Comet Newspaper; he jointly floated with Femi Kusa. The Comet newspaper under Olatunji Dare could not fly because he handled it unprofessionally, little wonder he elected to believe Okiro should be killed because some mischief makers leveled unsubstantiated fraud allegations against him.

Emeka Oraetoka, Information Management Consultant & Researcher, wrote in from Garki-Abuja; E-mail: oramekllis@lycos.com

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