Such was his shock and anger at the turn of events that the real estate magnate and owner of the resplendent, opulent and stunningly beautiful ‘Amen Estate’ on the outskirts of Lekki in Lagos, Babatunde O. Gbadamosi, wrote the following:
“I have studied the case. I am going to withdraw ALL my funds from Guaranty Trust Bank tomorrow morning”.
The basis of his angst and consternation was the plight of the propietor of Innoson Motors at the hands of Guaranty Trust Bank, the EFCC and the Buhari administration.
Babatunde’s disgust and repugnance at the way in which the bank and the EFCC behaved accurately reflects the mood and sentiment of millions of Nigerians on this matter.
Yet in my view the matter goes much further and deeper than just GTB and the EFCC.
They are simply willing puppets, tiny minions and minor players in a much bigger game and a much wider picture. Permit me to cross the “t”s, dot the “i”s, consider the background and look at the facts.
In the last one year alone no less than three prominent Igbo businessmen have been arrested, humiliated and detained by the Buhari administration.All three are major employers of labour who fared extreemly well under the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan and whose companies have become household names.The first is Cletus Ibeto of Ibeto Cement, a humble, charming, hard-working, low-profile and exceptionally profound and insightful man who I met when I was in detention last year.The second is the ebullient, young and vocal Ifeanyi Uba of Capital Oil and Gas, who later joined politics and who was indeed a member of President Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign organisation in 2015 where we worked closely together.
The third is Innocent Chukwuma, the owner of Innoson Motors whose company is the only one in Nigeria that produces cars, who I am told is an absolute gentleman and whom I have never met.
These three men are amongst the five biggest and most prominent Igbo businessmen in the country today. The remaining two are Arthur Eze of Atlas Oronto Petroleum International and Emeka Offor of Chrome Oil both of whom have done very well but that have also had their own fair share of persecution and travails over the years.
I made a point of doing the research in the cases of Chukwuma, Ibeto and Uba and why they were having issues with the EFCC and the SSS respectively and I came to the conclusion that not only had they done nothing wrong but they were being targetted simply because they were perceived as being “Jonathan men”, because they were deemed as being sympathetic to the PDP, because they were Igbo and finally simply out of envy from ruthless competitors.
Given that it came as no surprise to me when, just yesterday morning, I was informed that Chukwuma’s home was raided and tear-gassed by the EFCC and he was arrested and detained in what can only be described as brutal …