The Plexis recently received a very distraught letter from the wife of a recently deceased former African military dictator. Several important ethical questions are raised…


Dear Beloved,

Due to the sudden death of my husband General Abacha the former head of state of Nigeria in June 1998, I have been thrown into a state of hopelessness by the present administration. I have lost confidence with anybody within my country. I got your contacts through personal research,and had to reach you through this medium. I will give you more details when you reply. Due to security network placed on my daily affairs I cant visit the embassy so that is why I have contacted you.

My husband deposited $12.6million dollars with a security firm
abroad whose name is witheld for now till we communicate. I will be
happy if you can receive this funds and keep it safe I assure you 20%
of this fund. I will need your tel/ mobile numbers so that we can
commence communication. I await your urgent reply.

Sincerly Yours,

Hajia Mariam


Who knew we were so loved by an African princess? It's nice to know you have friends (and lovers) in high places. But aside from that, Haija's letter poses the interesting question of how much (if any) payment should one receive for secretly funnelling money our of government coffers. Is it better if the current government has left the remaining elements of the previous government disaffected — hopeless, even — or are we simply obliged to do what people tell us to do from unsolicited emails?

Assuming the money is the personal and fairly obtained retirement stash of the late great General Abacha, wouldn't it be better to facilitate the hush-hush transfer of said funds to the widow and her children than let it fester in the King's coffers until put to a nefarious use (no doubt more Hummer limos with swivel-mounted AKs on the roof and Cristal in the cooler).

Although, who's to say the dictator pro tempore wants more Hummer limos? Is it possible that one alone does not satisy even the greatest thirst for status? Perhaps he plans to spend the $12.6 million on the construction of free clinics for the countryside and the education of doctors and nurses to man and woman them. And isn't this a better use of a few mil (which is actually a lot of mil in sub-Saharan Africa) than the assurance of the comfortable final years for an African princess and her children? And is it such a stretch to imagine Hajia foregoing personal fiscal responsibility by getting her own assault-rifled stretch Hummer?

Well it seems the Plexis is at a crossroads (pun definitely intended): not knowing whether Princess Mariam or Nigeria's "hopeless" administration would spend the fortune more ethically we must request that both parties provide more information of their intentions. Upon completing this entry you can be sure AP will use all our contacts and personal research to notify (through some medium, as it goes) the Nigerian government and Ms. Mariam of our eagerness to resolve this matter with their cooperation.

Sincerely, Michael "the ethicist" Goldman