I was talking to a fellow at the World Service's Analysis this afternoon, trying to flog my story on Governor Alamieyesiegha. It's received surprisingly little coverage here in the UK, so I've been hawking the story to Radio 4's foreign documentaries section, Law in Action, and a few others. The mister at Analysis says he can't do the story, sub judice and all that, but he takes my details down nonetheless. Five minutes later, he calls me, and I recognise that it's the Beeb's call sign. So I answer the phone, hopeful that he's changed his mind and he's going to offer me a job to dethrone Mark Thompson to become Director General of the BBC. Then he says, "he's jumped bail". The story had just hit the wires, so I called my mum in Nigeria to break the news.
After coughing up £500,000 of what may or may not have been stolen funds, the Governor slips out of the country. The borders of this country are porous. I don't mind them being porous coming in (I'm an immigration anarchist), but going out, they must be water-tight. Invariably, it's criminals who are trying to avoid the justice of the Crown that have to leave the country. The EFCC doesn't have the teeth to secure sufficiently high profile convictions because of matters such as immunity. The British government seems to be willing to do our bidding for us, Alamieyeseigha of course being the second bail jumper after Joshua Dariye last year.
What Nigeria might have to do is a reversal of the Umaru Dikko incident in 1986. Perhaps the EFCC should hire Mossad trained heavies to drug and smuggle prominent Nigerians out of the country to stand trial for corruption in the UK. The Crown Prosecution Service seems to the have necessary enthusiasm to charge and try them. Besides, it might enhance Britain's already well hewn reputation for international justice - Pinochet, Roman Polanski vs Vanity Fair. I'm still hawking the story, and I suppose I could add "skipped bail" as part of my pitch.