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INTRODUCTION TO AFRICA DRAMA – HARVEST OF CORRUPTION

Literature in English

HARVEST OF CORRUPTION

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Frank Ogodo Ogbeche is from Yala Area of Cross River State. He attended Awori-Ajeromi Grammar School, Agboju in Lagos and the Federal school of Arts and Science Ogoja in Cross River State. He obtained a degree in communication Arts from the University of Cross River State Calabar and worked in the state Government House of office. He later transferred his services to the presidency (S.G.F). He is working as a senior civil servant.

He is a member of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPE) and Nigeria Union of journalism (NUJ).

His plays include: The Intruder and the promises of the gods. He has some poems in his vernacular language.

SEQUENCE OF EVENTS

PLOT

The drama centers on Hon. Ade Amaka the minister of External Relations. He uses his official position to corruptly enrich himself. Chief Ade – Amaka connives with Ochuole and Madam Hoha to accomplish his nefarious business. The two women are engaged in recruiting young people mostly graduate who are desperately in need of job for this purpose.

He employs Ochuele as a principal officer in the ministry while madam Hoha operates a hotel. This hotel becomes a meeting place for the recruitment as well as an entertainment place where Chief Ade Amaka at the same carries out his diabolic practices.

Ocahule coincidentally comes in contact with Aloha her school mate. This girl is in desperate need of a job having roamed the streests more than three years in search of job, Ochauole promises to help her get a job in the ministry of External Relations. She assures Aloho that she will speak to her boss on her behalf Aloho returns home and breaks the news to her born again Christian friend Ogeyi who she squats with. Ogeyi perceives danger in the job that Aloho is attempting to accept. She knew Ochuole as a woman of questionable character right from school. She discourages Aloha from accepting the job offer. Aloho has exhausted her patience so, she brushes her advice aside and goes on to accept the job.

On resumption, Aloho meets Chief Ade Amaka at the madam Hoha’s hotelwhere the chief had an affair with her. He then employs her as protocol officer. He specifies her job has that of itinerant officer who will be travelling round the world as the occasion demands. Chief Ade Amaka urges her to start her duty the following day and that she will deliver a document to his business partner in America.

Aloho, is amazed at sudden offer of traveling, but she obeys. At the airport, at the checking point the document turns out to be cocaine. Aloho is caught and detained. The chief comes to her rescue. He offers fabulous amount to the judge and the commissioner of police who ensure that the prosecuting office stays away from court. He dismisses the case for lack of evidence.

Aloho is discharged and acquitted. She is amazed that she has suddenly become a free woman in an act that she was caught red handed.

In the office chief Ade Amaka continues in his nefarious practices of awarding contract indiscriminately as well as inflating the figure. Allegation of embezzlement trails him behind.

Aloho abandons the job, but she realizes that she has become pregnant. Hercondition worsens. She informs her friend Ogeyi who advices against abortion. Aloho refuses her advice and goes for abortion. Three times, she attempted after agreeing with the doctor, and certain mysterious occurrences prevented the operation. She goes home to receive help from her mother and family members.

Ogeyi, goes to the police station to incident the matter. Her visit coincides with the time the Assistant commissioner was seeking for evidence to indict the dubious chief Ade Amaka. Having recorded her story, she returns home. Okpoto the brother of Aloho arrives  from home and announces the death of Aloho after she was delivered of her baby.

Chief Ade Amaka has been arrested inhis office together with Ayo a clerk and Ochuole and others. The matter was charged to court. Chief Ade pleaded not guilty in all the counts. His defence counsel also argues to free him from the allegation. The plaintive urges the court to use the weight of evidence to convict him.

The court convicts chief Ade Amaka for 25years with hard labour and to return to Government a sum of one point two billion naira. The commissioner of police and the chief judge for the connivances they receive twenty years imprisonment with hard labour. Ayo the clerk, who assisted the SS3 with vital document at the cost of two thousand naira, also receives five years as his own harvest of corruption. Madam Hoha and Ochuole received ten years jail sentences each and he orders the hotel to be sealed.

THEME – THE CENTRAL MESSAGE OF HARVEST OF CORRUPTION

  1. CORRUPTION: According to Oxford illustrated dictionary, corruption is moral deterioration especially wide spread use of corrupt practice such as using bribery or fraudulent activity to achieve ones desire goal or ambition. It can also be described as irregularly altered form of word, from its original.

Chief Ade Amaka is the Honourable Minister of Foreign Relation. He uses his official position to corruptly enrich himself. He realizes that there has been graduate unemployment in the country, so he uses that as an avenue to victimize young graduates who are in desperate need of job. Many in their bid to secure the illusive job ended up being seduced by the chief. He employs Ochuole as administrative officer but he regularly sleeps with her in madam Hoha’s holed in the suburb of the city.

Again chief Ade Amaka, uses her and madam Hoha to recruit fresh girls retuning from national service into his nefarious business of drug trafficking. Aloho, a school mate of Ochuole, stumbles into Ochuole and narrated her ordeal in the labour market. Ochuole playing trick, promises her of a nice job available in the ministry. On meeting the minister, he offers her the job of a protocol officer. The job soon turns to cocaine pushing. Aloho after being seduced by the honourable minister was forced to travel with document to be handed over to a friend in America, right at the airport before departure; a custom officer catches her red handed with drug suspected to be cocaine.

The Minister in order to sweep the case under carpet meets the chief judge and the police commissioner. He pacifies them with reasonable amount of money that made the prosecuting officer to decline coming to court to prosecute the case. Listen to their conversion.

The judge: chief this is not an easy, but I shall try as usual and you have to be reasonable this time. The heat has been turned on and this is not a child’s play. If this girls squeals, you are in for it.

Chief A. Amaka

That’s no problem……………

I shall come to the house with five hundred thousand naira this evening

The judge: That’s all right and will discuss with her lawyers and the case be dismissed want of evidences. The amount should be raised to one million naira to take care of the people involved in the case…….” p.50

With this action of bribery and corruption the case is dismissed. Another case involving wide scale allegation of embezzlement has equally been instituted against chief Ade Amaka, through the Assistant commissioner of police.

  1. DRUG TRAFFICKING: The ministry of Foreign Relations being the gates ways to go out and come into the country of Jacassen, makes it possible for the minister to send out goods and import other commodities chief Ade Amaka has been using his unique position to get involved in drug trafficking. He has agreed with the middle women who assist him to recruit young girl into prostitution and drug trafficking.

He has recruited Aloho and handed over the document. The custom officer discovers that the document she is carrying contains drug that is suspected to be cocaine. At the trial because of the huge amount of money chief Ade Amaka has provided the case was dismissed for want of evidence.

  1. JUSTICE: It surprises the two police officers. Constable Ojo is shocked by this rape of justice. Yakubu is equally unstable with the dismissal of the case. In amazement he asks “what is really wrong with our legal system? Have we come toa point where any money-bag or highly placed individuals will and can try with the judiciary and get away with any crime committed no matter how heinous that case may be?

This is ridiculous? Ojo wonders why the prosecuting counsel was absent, “Constable Ojo” Sir what is more surprising is why the prosecutor and the defence counsel were absent at the deferent time the case came up. I think something went wrong…..p 56. In their amazement they plan to ensure that the chief is severely punished at any other offence he will commit… If the old crook is left off the hook of the cocaine racket, certainly he will be nailed after we have concluded our investigations of smuggling going on? There is a pointer to him. P 57.

As they are discussing, Ogeyi arrives and gives the detail of what transpired between chief Ade Amaka and Aloho. Yakubu the Assistant commissioner vows to make the mater known to the media. The press ran it for some periods. This drums the government and secret intelligent unit into it. Chief Ade Amaka and his staff (Ochuole and Ayo) are arrested together with the Chief Judge Odili. In the trial that ensued, Chief Ade Amaka the Judge, Ochuole, Ayo are allfound guilty and sentenced accordingly? Thus the long arm of the law catches up the perpetrator of evil; proving that evil can only triumph for a while but justice remains the ultimate avenger of all evils.

Listen to the court room drama

Registrar: Suspects at the bar, you stand convicted of fraud, embezzlement drug dealing bribery and corruption, abuse of public officers, betrayal of people’s trust etc….. Has any of you anything to say for yourselves why the court should not give you judgement according to law.

Ade-Amaka: Please be lenient with me and temper justice with mercy. I never did all that I am being accused today, think of all that I have done for this country. What will happen to my family? My entire village and government depend on me. I am already advanced in age, please don’t send me to jail.

The Judge: For all the atrocities you must have perpetrated in this country under the cover of Minister which have not been detected, I say nothing. But for those ones known and in which you stand convicted. I find you guilty as charged and therefore sentence you to twenty-five years imprisonment with hard labour in addition; you are to refund the sum of one point two billion naira to the government.

As for you the commissioner of police and chief justice, all I can say, is that you are a big disgrace to our noble profession. Greed and avarice have denied you the profession and you have to pay for your sins. You are both sentenced to twenty years each with hard labour. You must reap the harvest of your corruption” P.120.

The clerk for accepting two thousand brides to do his official duty bags five years jail sentence.

Ochuole and Madam Hoha are sentenced to ten years each but Madam Hoha’s hotel is to be sealed to avoid its being used as a haven for criminal activities.

CHARACTERIZATION

CHIEF ADE AMAKA:

He is the hero of the play. He is an educated man who has been working as the Minister of Foreign Relations. Ade-Amaka is not disciplined. He lives a careless life and is a greedy man. He loves to acquire money through dubious crooked method. In order to realize his dreams. He floats chains of companies and is dubious. p.13

He slashes government money through some conduct pipes. P.13. He employs the services of irresponsible women like Ochuole and Madam Hoha, to carry on the nefarious business.

He employs Ochuole as the Chief Administrative Officer. Her real job is to connive with Madam Hoha, who runs a hotel nearby. The activities include recruiting young women to be employed as drug traffickers for the minister and to volunteer themselves for sex whenever the Chief desires them. There are certain percentage that goes to them each time success is made on the employment of these girls, they also stand to benefit from the procede of each successful travel any of these drug pushers make. This explains the reason why Ochuole passionately works on Aloho her former school friend to accept the offer of protocol officer in the ministry.

The Chief’s major concern is to sleep with any of the new employees and to send them on Foreign trip to carry out cocaine across to America or any other designated country. He spends money recklessly and lacks self-control. His relationship with Ochuole casts more right on his irrational behaviour and extravagant spending.

“……look Chief, stop this baby thing and don’t refer to me as baby again.

“……just try and be yourself for once. Chief I am not happy. There are a number of things worrying me.

Ochuole: I need twenty thousand naira Chief to send to the village. I got a message yesterday that my mother is sick and is in the hospital”. P.16.

Chief Ade-Amaka, does not question her to know the source of that money. He simply produces money.

That’s twenty thousand naira baby. You can send it now if you like, but please let me enjoy my stout when it is cold, you know I like my drinks chilled.” P.16.

He is like a Chameleon with effective coloration. He informs Aloho that she will work as protocol officer but pushes her to push cocaine for him, he seduced, and impregnated her. The trial judge describes him as a wolf in sheep clothing. He is a thief who uses his biro to steal huge amount of money from the government “you and your likes are the real armed robbers that the Jacassan people should be afraid of”. P.119. He awards contracts and inflates the price. He cooks and changes revenue figures. He pretends to be a man of the people while he is indeed a selfish man. He has inordinate ambition to liquidate the government he serves. He is extravagant and is also amoral. He knows how to free himself in a difficult situation. For example when he realizes that Aloho has been caught, he calculated the shame that it will bring upon him. Instead of seeing his reputation being dragged to the mud, he contracted Odili the judge and ensured that the case was dismissed. He uses his connection with the Commissioner of Police of perpetrate his atrocities.

He lost his bid to win the battle when Ogeyi the born again friends of Aloho re-characterizes the cocaine episode and his involvement in bribing the police commissioner and the judge.

As his power of manipulation failed him, justice prevails and he is jailed twenty five years because of his unstable and questionable character.

  1. ALOHO:

She is slim with dark skin and is 4ft.6m. Aloho is a fresh University graduate who is in search of a job. She is equally a born again Christian. Her inability to secure job compels her to abandon her faith in her God.

“I am tired of searching for job. I want to settle down…..Look at me with all the decency what have I achieved. Where has decency or dignity taken me to? I am tired I need some rest; just leave me alone I want to think (….). But Ogeyi you see, I tried to live outside the world all along right from my youth, I see that the world is leaving me behind can’t you see? You can call me a rebel, but I need a job. That is what matters to me now. Have I not tried to live a holy life all along? What has become of that joblessness…..

She meets Ochuole in this spirit of discouragement. Impatience pushes her to accept the job despite repeated warnings of Ogeyi her girlfriend and the one that is harbouring her in a strange land.

 Assignment

  1. Discuss the character and role of Chief Ade-Amaka in the play
  2. Discuss any three dramatic techniques in the play
  3. Discuss the character and role of Ochuole or Aloho in the play

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See also

The themes and characterization of the novel

THE SETTING OF NATIVE SON BY RICHARD WRIGHT

The plot of Native Son by Richard Wright

Introduction to Literature

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