Metuh’s Cuffs And The Fight Against Graft


One of the most enduring images from the past fortnight was the court appearance, in Abuja, of the spokesman for the PDP Olisa Metuh, handcuffed, and with a graying beard to match. Expectedly, it wasn’t the fact that Metuh finally had his day before a competent court that attracted the most comments in the print and electronic media. What enthralled and angered many in unequal proportion was the fact that he did so literally in chains!


In a country which is yet to overcome the nauseating polarization of the polity as was experienced in the life of the last administration, Metuh’s appearance, in irons, was bread and butter for the critics of President Buhari. It provided them with another opportunity to cast a slur on his much vaunted mien and image of integrity.


Why was the retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki from whom Metuh allegedly collected the money he reportedly received not also brought to the court premises in handcuffs? Some even went as far as uploading the images of the court appearance of terror suspects Kabiru Sokoto on several online platforms and questioned why the same treatment was not meted out to them.


In the process, logic, and even commonsense, flew out of the window in their hasty conclusions. And, as usual, the most common accusation to prove the case of bias was hinged on the platform of ethnicity, and, yes, religion!


As it is often said, when confronted with superior logic and facts, those whose arguments are watery often chose the lazy and easily predictable ways to achieve some modicum of relevance, or, at best, enforce a stalemate.  And integral part of that strategy is to stigmatize the accuser by deifying the accused! We have seen it play out in this country far too often for all reasonable Nigerians to be complacent.


To me, the appropriate questions for all those who disagreed with the hand-cuffing of Metuh to ask are few and simple: what are the existing protocols for such appearances? Who has the discretion in determining who gets the treatment and on which grounds? Has the individual conduct of the accused anything to do with the decision?


Lest we forgot, before his appearance in court the media was awash with stories that Metuh not only tore his written statement but actually attempted to chew same in custody. That is violent conduct in my candid opinion, and, as it is often said, extraordinary circumstances deserve extraordinary measures.


On the flip side, of course, Metuh’s appearance in irons sent another defining message that the present administration is serious in the fight against graft in the manner that should please millions of Nigerians disheartened with our broken system. My personal opinion is that the administration must not relent and should call the bluff of its selfish critics.


Apart from Metuh, the security forces must do all they can to ensure that all unrepentant outlaws like the so-called Government Tompolo are swiftly apprehended and brought before the law by any means necessary. And for daring our judicial system and our collective resolve, he should be brought to court in handcuffs and manacles to serve as a deterrent to others. No nation can prosper in the midst of high criminality and insecurity?


By the way; has anyone heard of Asari Dokubo lately? What is he up to now?





The piece I wrote penultimate week on the Senate attracted various comments from readers. A few are reproduced below. Enjoy!


I can't tell you how excited I was when I read your piece the other day regarding our docile and useless Senate.


It has inspired and renewed my conviction of advocacy for scrapping it. I am glad to tell you that most of the people that responded to my message on social media and face to face conversation were all for it. This has indicated to me that majority of Nigerians have the same opinion as you in regards to your article.

I intend to start a crusade of enlightening Nigerians on the need to abrogate the Senate. I would very much like to have your contributions on how we could possibly go about this mission to its successful accomplishment. Some lawyers were telling me it is impossible as the constitution has
to be changed and the Senate will have a much larger say in any constitutional amendment and that they will never sign their death warrant. But I am thinking if we have the backing of the Presidency I think we could get somewhere.

Kindly let me in on your plans for it and how the Senegalese did it.

Thank you and may God bless you.

Dr. Abdul'aziz  Labo Mahuta,
Consultant Urologist




An emphatic yes to the question. The institution of the Senate as contained in the constitution of the United States (and it's application in that country's governance) reflected the solution adopted to obviate possible conflict between rural states and their more urban counterparts. The former feared tyranny of the majority, so the concurrence of both houses of Congress is required to legislate for the country. And this is in a country with homogeneous population, unlike Nigeria. The Senate affords equal weight to both large and small states.


The shenanigans of our legislators is independent of the institution of Senate. Nothing says members of the National Assembly or indeed government should live off the people as is being witnessed in this country. The solution is for civil society groups to lead people in protest against their excesses. The conduct of members of the National Assembly is nothing compared to that of those of the state Houses Assembly where they have long been pocketed by the Governors. 

The solution is for stringent work conditions and "terms of employment" to be enacted for all legislators to subscribe to on their swearing in. 


Thank you. 


M T Usman




Thank you sir for your bold and courageous article on the above subject matter which has been agitating the minds of the silent majority of Nigerians. You have spoken well and spoken our minds. The question now is: how do we go about scrapping the Senate?


Thank you.


Bernard Adikwu




Need Senate? I've been a dedicated follower of your articles for long. There are very few people like you in Nigeria. This article should be publish in all Nigerian Newspapers so as to galvanise the support of the very ignorant populace. Do not relent please.


Habu Usman