By Patrick Obahiagbon
American statesman and ebullient lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, hit the bull’s eye when he asseverated that “truth is generally the best vindication against slander.” As a lawyer myself, I am consensus ad idem with Lincoln’s cerebral beatification or, if you like, veneration of truth via the modus of his eternal asseveration. His tack on the subject matter of slander was, therefore not only in apple-pie order but has also continued to enjoy ecumenical approbation.
The concept of truth is generally circumscribed by itself: truth is what truth is- sancta simplicitas! Dictionaries are agreed in their explication of truth as being the quality or state of being true or that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality. Whereas, it is possible to be in contestation with the facts of a matter; or, realities that throw up a multiplicity of facts that are either unverifiable or incorrect; and where they are even correct, they ultimately take a bow at the altar of truth.
My intervention here and now has been, writ-large, prompted by the idiotic, puerile and preposterous pastime of some hirelings, whose sponsors, hide behind a finger, in their odious and noxious gambit to tar the hard-earned reputation of a thoroughbred son of the ancient Bini Kingdom, the highly respected Captain (Dr) Idahosa Wells Okunbo (JP) with a brush of malfeasance. This intervention is in pari materia with the vaudeville of other noble and well-intentioned ones that had been advanced in the public space heretofore in defence of a man fondly called Capt. Hosa or Capi by friends and admirers.
After some obligatory introspection, I considered it imperative to weigh in on the side of truth as emblematized by the pristine pedigree of my brother with whom I share a common ancestry in the prodigious ambience of the land of Igodomigodo together with vast and supremely paregoric atmospherics therein. The land of Igodomigodo is not an enclave of slanderers or defamers. It is a land of honour inhabited by great and honourable souls. Capt. Hosa is a leading light therein and occupies a respectable and enviable position in the frontline.
I know Capt. Hosa very well and I can attest to his character, which like magnet, has attracted to him a vast majority of admirers. Like a light in a dark tunnel, he provides the way. The grand Architect of the universe had, from the beginning, defined his eon and trajectory for him. He is just living out the plans and purpose of God for his life. To mount a campaign of calumny, outright bashing, jejune character assassination and insidious profiling against him, in order to create negative perception of him in the minds of unsuspecting homo sapiens both in Nigeria and on the global stage, is a futile enterprise and debasing one at that.
Rationalisation: Were it not a futile enterprise, the push back would not have been this humongous. What that suggests is simple: Capt. Hosa’s support base, his circle of admirers and the sheer number of men and women he had touched with his eleemosynary acts are mind-boggling. His home and business addresses are not shrouded in secrecy. His diverse business interests and investments are as diverse as they are clean and transparent.
Justification: In the past twenty-four years, this great son of Igodomigodo has taken the business world by storm, occupying the very peak of Mount Olympus in a conquistador’s splendor. Before then, he had, like Harley’s Comet, shocked the daylight out of some persons who were astounded and overwhelmed by his proclivity, as far back as late 1980s and early 1990s, for mansions with architectural designs that were worthy only of Oxymandias.
Therefore, when as contained in his widely-advertised and publicised press statement, last week, he debunked his 1995 saga with the NDLEA, premised on a petition that he should explain the source of his wealth, the fons et origo of that petition had nothing to do with drugs-related issues; the petition writer’s motivation was fueled by Capt. Hosa’s luxury mansion and enviable lifestyle. In the matter that dragged through the court, he ended up being vindicated. He was discharged and acquitted.
Read Capt. Hosa: “My experience with the NDLEA was an incident premised on a petition questioning the source of my wealth, based on my enviable lifestyle and love for choice properties. This incident necessitated my instituting legal proceedings against the NDLEA. The case was subsequently brought before the Miscellaneous Offences Tribunal, Lagos, where it was established that the prosecution had not made out a prima facie case against me that would warrant me to even defend myself.
“I was thereafter discharged and acquitted of all charges on a “no case” submission. Proceedings of this case with Charge No: MOT/L/163/95 are documented and accessible to the public.” As he said in the press statement and I offer my concurrence, detractors and vicious character assassins have continued to drum up this unfortunate incident to seek to tarnish his character and score cheap political points, in addition to other devious reasons that suit their ungodly design.
Sans this unfortunate and lugubrious incident, there has never been other incident such as can question the integrity and impeccable character of the African Titan, whose business dexterity, value-addition and success as well as philanthropy and service to country and humanity have received global acclaim. Those who hide behind a finger or occasionally use hirelings to hurl invectives at Capt. Hosa know the truth, but they try to becloud it with their salacious tales of falsehood and unconscionable lies from the very pit of hell.
Perhaps, the grouse about Capt. Hosa by those who have chosen to turn themselves into his enemies, and these are microscopic few, is simply his refusal to patronize triviality, insularity and ethnic dogmatism. Falsehood or lie may travel for twenty years; it will only take truth a day to catch up with it. Lugubriously for the bashers, they had in the frenzy for political survival detonated what they had stupidly considered to be their ultimate bomb in their plot to demystify Capt. Hosa.
But, alas, they have only come to the realization of the truth about this iconic Bini son and defender of our cultural heritage and everything that is Bini. Such a man deserves our voluptuous commendation and eulogy rather than pandering to escapism to embarrass and harass a good man on the grounds of a mindless lie and poorly-crafted item of propaganda that even the purveyors were not courageous enough to cogitate and verbalize, except that they coyly deploy the slanderous allegations in some lousy media platforms.
As I conclude, may I use this medium to reassure Capi that his good heart and huge fear of God in his social interactions and business conducts will continue to speak for him. The journey to his ultimate beatification, eventually, in the fullness of time, in the pantheon of Bini sons and daughters, already occupied by the like of the late Samuel Ogbemudia, is assured. He has gone too far to veer off the noble path just because of the ranting and tantrums of some inconsequential elements.
*Hon. Obahiagbon, a former member of the Edo State Assembly and House of Representatives, contributed this piece from Benin.