Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Plot of Harvest of Corruption

Harvest of Corruption tells the story of most African countries after independence, how the politicians on whom the affairs of the countries have been entrusted, mismanaged the economy through corrupt practices. These politicians connived with police and judges, as seen in the case of the corrupt Inspector and Judge in the play, to siphon public funds into their personal pockets. They ran the country as their own homes, prostituting and squandering public money at will, at the expense of the suffering masses. Thus, Harvest of Corruption is Ogbeche's effort at drawing our attention to the evils perpetrated by our politicians and their resultant negative values in our society.

Harvest of Corruption exposes the corrupt practices of public servants in a fictitious country of Jacassa. The play is centred around Chief Haladu Ade-Amaka, who happens to be the Minister of External Relations. Chief, as he is fondly called, is the epitome of corruption in the play. He engages in all sorts of atrocities including cocaine pushing, money laundering, stealing and womanizing, to mention just a few. With the help of his criminal-in-crime, the Police Commissioner who heads the Police headquarters in Darkin, the pot-bellied Justice Odili and Madam Hoha, and of course Ochuole, Chief’s mistress, the Chief does his wicked acts with impunity.

One of Chief's victims, Aloho, a young, promising, fresh graduate and a desperate jobseeker who has only just arrived in Jabu, the capital of Jacassa in search of the greener pasture, unluckily plays into the hands of Chief Ade-Amaka through the "help" of Ochuole, her former schoolmate who was known for mischievous activities back in the day. Warned ceaselessly by her friend and confidant, with whom she squats in Jacassa, Ogeyi Ogar, Aloho is adamant and takes up the job of Protocol Officer with the “benevolence” of Chief. Within a week after her appointment, Aloho is set to travel abroad. But unknown to her she is carrying cocaine. At the airport, she gets unlucky with the custom officer. Consequently, she is arrested but later freed, after Chief has bribed the Judge. Meanwhile, Aloho is pregnant for Chief Ade-Amaka and she is frustrated. Then after trying to no avail to abort the pregnancy, she eventually dies from childbirth.

Chief Ade-Amaka is eventually charged to court with corrupt practices including money laundering and drug trafficking, after Ayo, an underemployed and disgruntled clerk in his ministry has testified against him. This helps to unravel more about the Chief's exploits as investigated by both ACP Yakubu and Inspector Inaku both of whom are determined to ensure that Chief is duly prosecuted. After being declared guilty to all charges against him, Chief is sentenced to twenty-five years imprisonment alongside his accomplice, Ochuole, Madam Hoha, Judge Odili. Even the greedy and treacherous Ayo is not left out. The law deals with him too.