Wednesday, 18 May 2016


Barrister Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim, CFR
If David Cameron’s father was mentioned in the global mess known as Panama Papers, what moral high ground is he standing on to continue to provide leadership for Britain?

Perhaps the easiest way of sweeping things under the carpet is by quickly organising a world summit on corruption. But exactly when was this summit planned? Was it after Cameron was prominently featured in the Panama sleaze or during Britain’s preparation for 2016 budget? Is it an annual event? If so, when was it held last year? Who is a fool Mr. Cameron? Or who is Mr. Cameron fooling?

What can be more aptly tagged as political corruption than Cameron briefing Her Majesty, the Queen of England, about his ‘urgent ‘summit on corruption? It was simply an unsolicited memo to redeem his failing moral legitimacy arising from the damning Panama corruption report, using Nigeria’s name to launder his image before the Queen.

According to the embattled Prime Minister of Britain, Nigeria is “fantastically corrupt.” Is Nigeria the only country attending the summit?

In a quick bid to frustrate the cheap popularity strategy of Cameron, the Archbishop of Canterbury quipped, “But the current president is not corrupt.” A disappointed Cameron was ignored by the Queen, who only said “Yes” to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s testimony that President Buhari is not corrupt. Cameron’s political script collapsed!

Britain has paraded an impressive record of achievements in the past centuries. Closely guarded, even more than her laws, is the moral legitimacy of her rulers – a praxis that has distinguished her in the comity of nations. It will be disappointing to let go of such sterling record of achievement to protect or please a ‘clever’ Prime Minister!

Once an expose of the nature of Panama Papers is in the open, the appropriate thing to do is to resign. Despite the protest from Labour and beyond 11, Downing Street, the world is still looking up to the British Parliament to create room for the election of a new prime minister. The Queen too must be thinking hard.

If Panama is unresolved, what is more to debate in a world summit on corruption where Mr. Cameron will deliver the opening speech? What a global convergence with a single-minded “conspiracy” to kill Panama Papers and legalise corruption!

The banner of trust hangs on the British Parliament to do the needful on the Panama documents, for the parliament in Britain is beyond the United Kingdom. It is a parliament of the Commonwealth of Nations. There cannot be double standards. God forbid!

The sordid details of Panama Papers have been played out in the open. More lurid details are on the way, according to the whistleblower. The integrity of everyone in the Parliament is under surveillance. Parliament members who were caught in scandals of lesser magnitude than Panama Papers in the past took the honorable way of resignation. Perhaps Mr. Cameron is above the law. Or is it a case of double standards? It had better not be!

Mr. Cameron has been quoted as saying the week that the Panama outrage first seeped into public consciousness was not an easy week for him! How could it have been an easy week? Corruption is never easy business!

One hopes Mr. Cameron would be kind enough to return the portion of the proceeds that were traced to Britain before the loot finds its way back to Panama. (NationalMirror)