Many scholars have attempted, albeit with mixed results, to define corruption in the past. While some of these eager-to-impress ‘intellectuals’ make average sense, others have simply displayed crass ignorance in trying to define a term so pervasive, yet equally knotty a concept in Nigerian polity and politics.This writer intends to learn from the experience of those before him. Therefore, I shall not attempt to define corruption in this piece. Feel free to call corruption whatever name it is called in your native language.
‘Understanding lo matter’.
But for the purpose of this article: corruption is viewed from the prism of stealing funds, which I consider to be its most pervasive form.
The steps (in no particular order)
The very first step in getting away with corruption in Nigeria rests heavily on the brazenness and audacity of the act itself. You simply must steal big. This is because contrary to what obtains in saner climes, the chances of avoiding jail term are higher for those who loot big funds in Nigeria. Stealing big means you have enough financial war chest to hire lawyers, pay some jobless folks to protest during your trial, pay one elder statesman to issue a statement in your support and all. Stealing big also means you’ll be friends with other rich thieves who’ll accompany you to court in well starched babariga and latest cars.
All these will intimidate the EFCC and the judge.
So if you’re serious about getting away with corruption in Nigeria: steal big. Anything less than 10 billion Naira and you’re gone.
Mark my words.
PLAY THE ETHNIC CARD
There is only one fool proof way to divide Nigerians: play the ethnic card. The ruling class in this country know better and they’ve mastered this art since time immemorial. It always works, trust me. So if you’re serious about getting away with corruption in Nigeria, you simply must play this card. Like the political scientist Peter Ekeh argued in his paper, “colonialism and the two publics” we have two publics in Nigeria: the civil and primordial public. The civil public represents the state and other formal institutions, while the primordial public represents the ethnic groups and other informal affiliations.
Now since you’ve stolen from the civil public, there’s no better place to hide than the primordial public. These are the Obas, chiefs, imams, pastors and market women that will cry foul when the EFCC arrests you. They’ll heat up the polity with tales of ethnic persecution and victimization.“He’s our son. She’s our daughter. S/he has stolen our share of the national cake. He’s not the first to do it, nor will he be the last. Stop persecuting him”. Y’all chill they’ll say. And all you need do is to play along. Pay the traditional ruler in your village a visit for example, share your loot to the right places and believe me your case will end up in one law of evidence textbook as the typical “dismissed for lack of evidence” trial
HIRE THE BEST LAWYERS
This point is quite axiomatic and self-evident. You need lawyers to defend you in court, so hire good ones. Preferably SANs.The number of lawyers you need should be greater than or equal (≥) to the amount you’ve stolen. But the minimum has to be 10,no matter what, and the maximum infinite. So let’s say hire (10+x) lawyers, in which ‘x’ is an infinite variable.
They’ll sort you out by filling cases in different courts, moving motions for adjournment, filing interlocutory injunctions and frustrating the case as a whole. Remember you’re innocent until proven guilty, so get yourself good lawyers.
WEAR WHITE TO COURT, SMILE AND BRING YOUR SUPPORTERS
I know this sounds trivial, but research has shown that those who wear white to court win their cases more than those who do not. So if the above laws fail and the EFCC eventually charges you to court:wear a white babariga, dangerously starched, to court throughout your trial.If you cannot wear it throughout your trial just make sure you wear it on the first day. The significance of this transcends our physical world;the gods bear me witness on this.
Also, you can’t afford to go to court without your supporters, that’d be suicidal. Going to court without a boisterous band of praise singers gives the impression that you’re a loner and nobody has your back. The judge will find it relatively easy to jail your black ass
So make sure your supporters storm the court in their hundredths, or a few thousand if possible. You can have them wear T-shirts with a picture of you for effects. They’ll chant your name as soon as you arrive while you smile and display the victory sign.
This is where your victory starts.
You must seize this moment
Although a rarity, it’s quite possible that your corruption trial survives the above mentioned strategies. It might be that some principalities and powers want you in jail which is why you need an escape plan. In the course of your looting, acquaint yourself with a list of foreign countries you can escape to. Don’t be stupid enough to pick the UK, US, or any western country.It’d be easy for Nigeria to extradite you. Instead, cast your net on the middle-east or a small Caribbean island with favorable tax laws (learn from the panama papers leak)
Here’s what you should do before the EFCC comes calling: bribe a mole in the EFCC office to send a copy of your file. Once you get a copy of this file, have some lawyers evaluate the case against you. Your next line of action depends solely on how strong the evidence against you is. If the evidence against you is very strong, you know what to do:
Run. And don’t come back. Until a government favorable to you is in power.
THIS IS HOW TO GET AWAY WITH CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA