The Pinnacle and ICPC debacle By Yomi Salami




January 15, 2020, an invasion was carried out by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) through its operators in four Pick-up vans on the headquarters of Pinnacle Communications. 

The operatives were armed and insisted on gaining entry without a valid court order of any kind not a warrant for arrest for anyone. 
The siege lasted for almost an hour and I was privy to view the CCTV footage of the entire charade. As a Nigeran who believes that we have no other place to call home, incidences such as this truly makes one wonder. How does a law enforcement agency become so lawless? 
How, for heaven’s sake, do we somehow accept that ‘orders from above’ become part of our daily menu of life in a supposedly democratic society? Are we to believe, and rightly so, that many men and women in positions of serious authority in these organisations are just plain ‘incompetent’? 
I spoke with a lawyer friend who informed me that the present chairman of ICPC is, in fact, a professor of law. Should this be true, then in a civilised society, one would expect by now, ICPC should have written a letter of apology to the entire Pinnacle management and staff for this brazen disregard of the law of the land. 
Several cases are in court as regards the matter between PINNACLE and ICPC, so it smacks of an affront to the justice system when such an offence is committed by either side.
 Yes, I call it an offence because that’s precisely what it is. ICPC can only wash itself clean when an apology is tendered in writing, and beyond this, the characters that have the orders to invade be reprimanded seriously within the ranks.
 It is only then, that the chairman will be seen as upright and worthy of his position. People below him just cannot be allowed to operate in this gangster like manner. Government and/or its institutions are not gangs, and not supposed to ever remotely be likened.
 Under the law, disputes are taken to court and filed as motions for prosecution. Until such cases are determined, nobody, not even the judges in the case, can attempt to usurp the law and act outside of its bounds. 
What was captured on CCTV is exactly what Nigeria doesn’t need for others to see. Just imagine if Pinnacle were at that material time hosting foreign potential investors to Nigeria. 
The singular thoughtless and lawless act of some airhead within the ICPC ranks would have put paid to any return of these kind of potential investors. 
Yet we enact executive orders through the presidency to aid in the easing of doingbusiness with Nigeria? Someone somewhere within ICPC now carries out all manner of illegal actions to subvert the government’s intentions. What an affront. Nobody is above the law, not Pinnacle or ICPC. 
This is so, especially for ICPC as they are an arm of government and they should be the example of our keeping faith with Nigeria and its institutions. I have chosen to write about this sad and sorry incidence because we must never get tired of helping this nation on the path of truth and justice. 
For if we are to remain and not flee, then we must be bold enough to call out the less than deserving within our institutions and have them shown the door promptly so that this nation can achieve the growth it direly needs and deserves. Many of us are watching and seriously so.
Salami writes fromIbadan, Oyo state

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