No crime if Sunrise paid Agunloye’s medical bills

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It is not a crime if Sunrise paid Dr. Olu Agunloye’s medical bill or travel expenses 16 years after he left office as minister of power and steel in the President Olusegun Obasanjo government.

It’s no news that a foreign legal firm is allegedly using the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and some elements in the ministry of justice to fight Sunrise Power Transmission Company.

It’s alleged that this foreign firm, which is charging the federal government hourly and in dollars, stands to make $1.6m, whether it wins the case against Sunrise at the ICC or not. Government officials, past and present, have been invited by EFCC for questioning on either basic transactions or transactions perceived as suspicious.

There is nothing in the Nigerian law which stops or prevents assisting or gifting government official after retirement. What the law is against is inducing government officials to do one’s bidding. Whether or not Sunrise or its chairperson gave a gift to a government official in cash or otherwise, the question remains: was it to induce or appreciate work done on its merit?

If the EFCC and Cable media constantly get information from the ICC proceedings or records, who counter investigates their interpretation of basic innocent business communication and dealings? And what’s the motive behind the synergy of EFCC, Cable media and White & Case? Dr. Agunloye had finished his job based on the merits of the transaction, when Sunrise/Leno Adesanya assisted him with medical bills and travel expenses.

Dr. Agunloye wasn’t even a minister at the time. If and when Sunrise showed kindness to a friend, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, considering they related for many years on this viable project.

Three decades on, Sunrise’s solution of bringing in funding and expertise with China remains the most viable solution to the Mambilla hydro power project.
What does Nigeria need at the moment, moving forward? Or exposing its long history of not fulfilling agreements, promise after promise? Would President Bola Ahmed Tinubu break this long haul jinx?

Dr. Bola Philips (Esq),