My attention was drawn to an apparent frenzy over a petition written to the EFCC and ICPC against Reno Omokri by Relief Law Chambers alleging misappropriation and related offenses. After reading the petition in question, I could not find any basis in law, logic or precedent to believe there is any substance to it. It is just much ado about nothing.
In the opinion of any person with average knowledge of the law, the petition amounts to nothing other than a social media smoke without fire. The petition was based merely on two incomplete documents: – a letter of employment referring to the position of “Special Assistant” and a salary slip referring to the position of “Senior Special Assistant”. The assumption of the writer of the petition is that the salary received as Senior Special Assistant was in excess of the salary for the position of Special Assistant.
The writer of the petition jumped to a number of conclusions:
(1) That the apparent difference between ‘Special Assistant” and “Senior Special Assistant” amounted to a substantive difference in salaries. Indeed, the term “Special Assistant” could have been a generic terminology that includes various categories of Special Assistants. For instance, in the military, the terms “General”, when used generically, includes a range of ranks in the Generals category, from Brigadier General, Major General, Lft. General, General to Field Marshall. And in the police, the rank of Commissioner, when generically used, includes Assistant Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner and Commissioner. So, the writer of the petition did not actually establish a substantive difference between the rank stated in the letter of appointment and that stated in the salary slip.
(2) Even if there was a substantive difference between two different descriptions of the position, and an elevation was necessary, the writer of the petition failed to allege that no such elevation occurred. In fact, the writer of the petition defeated his own petition by admitting that there might have been an elevation that he was not aware of.
I must admit that recently, Reno Omokri annoyed a lot of his former social media friends and he suddenly fell from grace. I can understand why there would be such frenzy over nothing. But indeed, the petition I saw is sensationalism taken too far. I also think it is an abuse of public complaint process by a weaker rival of Reno in the competition for public attention.
Apart from the observations made above, there are several other points to discredit the petition and the petitioner. Now, go and write it down in your diaries. The petition will never result in indictment of Reno Omokri. In fact, the petition will not be considered worthy of any formal investigation by these agencies. I believe the EFCC officers will just have a good laugh at the mischief directed at Reno Omokri.
Having said that, I’m sure Reno will be badly embarrassed by the noise the petition has generated. The reason is that Reno built his castle in the social media and anyone able to generate such degree of social media buzz against Reno has dealt him a big blow.