Tell Dogara To Resign Now, Jibrin Writes APC, Names Omisore In Budget Padding Scandal

Published:15 Aug, 2016

Chief John Odigie Oyegun

The National Chairman

All Peoples Congress APC

National Secretariat

Wuse II

Abuja

 

Dear Sir

 

DETAILS OF THE ALLEGATIONS I MADE AGAINST SPEAKER YAKUBU DOGARA, DEPUTY SPEAKER YUSUF LASUN, HOUSE WHIP ALHASSAN DOGUWA AND MINORITY LEADER OF THE PDP LEO OGOR AND 9 OTHER STANDING COMMITTEE CHAIRMEN: THIS IS A LITMUS TEST AND DEFINING MOMENT FOR THE ANTI-CORRUPTION STAND OF THE APC AS THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING

 

 

I write to the leadership of our party, the various organs and chapters of the party, elected and appointed officials of our party, supporters, well-wishers and members of our party in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large through your good office, the Chairman of our great party.

 

 

I write you this letter for four very important reasons:

 

 

  1. To apologise and seek forgiveness of the party for the role I played in the election of the extremely corrupt Speaker Yakubu Dogara!
  2. To give a background of the current crisis as a result of the allegations I raised against Speaker and the 12 other corrupt members.
  3. To furnish you with the details of the allegations against Mr Speaker and the 12 others and
  4. To provide urgent recommendation on the way forward before this crisis cause irreparable damage of our great party.

 

 

APOLOGY TO THE APC

 

 

Mr Chairman, you will recall the crisis during and after the election of Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun and Whip Alhassan Doguwa. You will also recall the leading role I played in bringing these 3 Principal Officers on board. I recollect with deep regret and pains and can still hear the eco of your voice in the make or mar meeting at the ICC shouting “sit down Jibrin, sit down Jibrin, Jibrin sit down” ” you dare not walk out of this hall Jibrin”! Sen Lawali Shuaibu watched helplessly with the box of ballot meant for the mock elections as I forced myself up, stood my grounds, made my points, held the hands of Yakubu Dagara, a green snake under green grass, and pulled him out of the hall. You saw what I didn’t see. A validation of the saying that ” what an old man can see, a young man cannot even if he climbs a tree” worst, an old man of over 7 decades. The rest is history.

 

The role I played to the best of my conscience at then sir was patriotic. I analysed the 2 candidates and felt Speaker Dogara has a better temperament to make a good Speaker. It was a narrow line of thinking, an error of judgement. It took only few weeks after the election for me to realize the corrupt and dangerous man inside the skin of Speaker Dogara. That was when I started getting reports of his corrupt practices for many years in the House undetected. I fell apart with Speaker Dogara instantly. Contrary to public belief, we have never been close since few weeks after he emerged Speaker.

 

 

We practically disagreed on almost everything. From the appointment of Committee Chairmen, to splitting of Committees, to non-disclosure of the finances of the House, to his greed of unifying everything under his control, commercialization of bills, divisive approach across ethnic and religious line, arrogance and power drunk, corruption and fraud during the budget period among many others. But who will I tell or run to having played such a leading role in bringing him on board. It was a painful, frustrating and depressing period for me. He operates alone, keep weird relationships with top politicians. His godfather is Sen Iyiola Omisore. Speaker Dogara is of the habit of taking standing Committee Chairmen to swear oath of allegiance before Omisore. During the build up to the appointment of committee Chairmen I had a terrible disagreement with him. I stayed far away from him. I was in London when he insisted he wants to see me. He came to my hotel room and we talked for hours. I gave him a lot of advice but I never knew it was getting in from one ears and out from the other. He was more interested in telling me about the forces who didn’t want me to be appointed Chairman appropriation as if I cared. He mentioned Former Speaker and present Governor of Sokoto State Aminu Waziri Tambuwal as one. That is how narrow minded Dogara can be.

 

 

I have always maintained to him that being Chairman appropriation is not in any way a favour to me. I dashed him money, he thanked me and left. The following day, he pleaded to me to join him at a house in London. I went and I saw him seated very comfortably with Sen Omisore. It was there he said he was going to appoint me Chairman appropriation and I should be reporting to Omisore! I was completely shocked. A nice lunch was served, we ate and we left. At least there are CCTV in London. I confided in a highly placed person who I wouldn’t want to mention his name. He advised me to remain calm and concentrate on my job. My refusal to comply with such questionable instructions largely accounted for the anger of Mr Speaker towards me. It was much later that I realized that Sen Omisore had adopted Speaker Dogara as a god son since their days as Chairman appropriation and house services in the 6th Assembly respectively. Studying Speaker Dogara in the last one year and many things I know that it may not be proper to mention here, he does not wish the APC well, he is a cheap pretender, he is not loyal to the party and he will provide a solid platform for a massive attack against our party in the nearer future. I know what I am talking about.

 

 

In a nutshell, it will be dangerous and potentially disastrous for the party to keep Speaker Yakubu Dogara on that seat. I wish to state that I deeply regret the role I played in the emergence of Yakubu Dogara as Speaker. I seek the understanding and forgiveness from you, our leaders and every member of the APC family that was hurt by my action. Thank God Almighty, I am young and energetic. I will be 40 on September 9th. I promise that moving forward, I will dedicate and completely commit myself to achieving the goals set out by the party. This case should serve as a lesson for everyone in the future.

 

 

BACKGROUND OF THE CURRENT CRISIS

 

 

Mr Chairman sir, let me reemphasize that I did nothing wrong. I committed no offense. I have never abused my office or corruptly enriched myself in the 5years I have spent in the House. No one has ever accused me of corruption in the House until lately after I raised allegations against Speaker Dogara, corruption started fighting back. They starting bringing up baseless allegations. I am pretty sure the anti-corruption agencies will do their job and all our party men and women will know the truth at the end of the day. My offense has been my refusal to be used as conduit to facilitate free flow of corruption in the House of Representatives I came under severe pressure during the budget period to break procedures and commit fraudulent actions. When they could not use me, the Speaker connived with few committee chairmen and they opened a bazaar of corrupt insertions into the budget. I complained to the Speaker but he took no action only for me to discover later that he, his deputy, Whip and Minority Leader were indeed the ring Leaders of that corrupt cabal in the House. All they wanted was to do away with me considered the obstacle. The Speaker and the 3 others were in the tick of the plot. The only time they call on me is when they need someone on television. I was blackmailed that it is my job as Appropriation Committee Chairman to defend everything about the budget whether I agree with it or not.

 

 

I did my work as appropriation committee chairman diligently. I followed all the laws and procedures. I have all the documents and video recordings of proceedings intact. Problem started when the President returned the budget. I was invited to a meeting of body of Principal officers. The speaker shamelessly denied he knew anything about the insertions. He knew very well that he and the 3 other Principal Officers connived with some Committee Chairmen to commit the fraud. By then, I could not take the pressure anymore from Nigerians who thought I wrote the budget alone while the Speaker, the 3 other Principal Officers and the Committee chairmen involved wickedly kept quiet.  I told the meeting clearly that they were the culprit. The meeting became very tensed to a point where Lasun and Ogar wanted to exchange blows with me. I maintained my calm and to the God Almighty that I worship, apologized to them. I was overwhelmed but I knew I cannot continue to cover up anything again. It was at that meeting that they requested me not to tell my colleagues at the executive session that the 4 of them stole 40billion out of the 100 billion meant for constituency projects. I told them clearly I cannot.

 

 

We then moved into the executive session. Members were very angry with me. They have every reason to because they don’t have full information of what transpired. I was called upon to address the session. I prayed quietly and stepped forward. They asked me about cuts in their budgets, the Speaker knew the answer and kept quiet, they asked about the insertions, all the culprits were seated there but the Speaker kept quiet, they asked about their missing 40billion, the Speaker kept quiet. At that point, I told them that the Speaker and the 3 other Principal Officers took the money and shared it to themselves and few others. The session went ballistic! I was scared to say more than that. After that meeting, the Speaker and the 3 others became even more angry with me. They were determined to embarrass and disgrace me using every means possible. They just wanted me out of out of the job. They quickly in an arrangement alien to parliamentary practice set up a harmonization committee and appointed one of them the Deputy Speaker Lasun Chairman to send a message to all members and the public that there is no more confidence in me and I am the culprit and provide a more comfortable avenue to continue their fraud and poisonous insertion in the budget. Deputy Speaker Lasun did a great job. He indeed FANTASTICALLY loaded the budget with poisonous insertions for the QUARTET aided and abetted by the Speaker.

 

 

In protest that my secretariat was taken away from me on two occasions for such insertions to be made on the instruction of Speaker Dogara, I refused to sign the harmonized version until a compromise was brokered by Sen Danjuma Goje that the Deputy Speaker who headed the harmonization should also sign. At the budget was signed into law the QUARTET resumed their hunting game for Hon Jibrin. They went everywhere in search of something to nail me, they couldn’t find any. They were frustrated but remained desperate. At that point, I was already fed up but I was sure I will stand up to them and expose them. The immunity debate gave me a chance to prove to them that enough is enough. At that point, I had made up my mind to leave. The whole environment was filthy. The smell of corruption was all over Speaker Dogara. Everybody knows he and his gang of few other members like Hon Herma Hembe was very corrupt front, back, left, right and center. He isolated himself with a very few small minded rogues in the House. I informed the Speaker on three occasions but he always replied me that I will call you later so we can discuss. On Wednesday the 20th July I went up to him and told him I will announce my resignation if he doesn’t. He still said to me lets meet at 10pm in the night. They just wanted to ensure I am disgraced out of office.

 

 

He went on at the end of the session and announced that I have resigned but they have taken a decision already to sack me on allegation of offenses regarding the 2016 budget. A budget they and me know too well they are the culprits. I had to respond for so many reasons. It provided me an apple opportunity to open up on the mess they perpetrated in the budget and corruption in the House in order to force reforms that will restore the battered image of the House.

 

 

Mr Chairman, believe me or not, this is what I have always wished and prayed for an opportunity to do.  Secondly, it is important to say my side of the story so that Nigerians will know I committed no offense. I was worried of my image. I have a family and children. The best I can bequeath to them is a good name. I therefore set out and released dozens of allegations against the Speaker and 12 others. Until date they have not responded to any of the allegations. In contrast, I have responded to all the allegations they raised against me which largely bothered on immaturity, betrayal and so on. My responses are in the public glare.

 

 

I proceeded to submit petitions based on the allegations to the EFCC, ICPC, DSS and the NPF for investigation and prosecution. While I have attended several meetings with these agencies to give insight on the allegations, provide documents and codes on how to crack these kind of corrupt cases and others in the House, they on the other hand continue to evade the anti-corruption agencies. They have used the period to intensify lobby for a safe landing in high places, hurriedly clean up the mess on their desk, shared money to some members for signature of confidence vote, offered incentives of committees to the Transparency and Integrity groups, embarked on an expensive media campaign to launder the image of the Speaker and attack my person and worst of all  attempt to black mail the executive, senate and highly placed individuals with the cheap lies that the padding allegations, if dealt with decisively will bring down the whole country. What a blackmail on the entire country!

 

 

When Mr Speaker and his cohorts realized that I was out for a real show, haven submitted my petition and documents to the anti-graft agencies which clearly shows my innocence and them as the culprits in the whole budget issues, he made a disgraceful about turn. He announced to the whole world that padding is not an offense. Few days later, he boasted that the anti-graft agencies have no power to investigate or prosecute him that is why he has shun all their invitations. There was uproar all over the country against Speaker Dogara. Yet, in another shameful and disgraceful turnabout, he said in a statement yesterday that he was misunderstood, indeed! And added that no money was lost during the appropriation exercise. But at the same time all of these offenses the accused is Hon Jibrin. What a shame!

 

 

The same Speaker who claimed he “sacked” me for budget offenses. Mr Chairman, all the statements of Mr Speaker during in the last few days have clearly proved my innocence. I have decided to find appropriate constitutional and legal means to get the Speaker and his co travellers to account for the damage to my name and person and trouble he has caused me and my family. Yes, he has the powers to remove a committee chairman but it must be done with a huge sense of justice, fairness and responsibility. The Speaker also claimed at the Civil Society Dialogue that we did lot of good work in the budget. Why did it take him this long to come out and admit? Simple, it was myself and Goje that sorted out all that. He knew nothing about the efforts we made in that regards but shamelessly he wants to claim it. Mr Chairman, I have taken my time to explain this so that you will get a proper context to this crisis. Let me reiterate that padding is an offense. Padding can be tried under Nigerian laws. The Speaker can be investigated and prosecuted.  Contrary to the claims of Mr Speaker, I can prove how money has been lost indirectly by government through padding.

 

 

I have pledged maximum cooperation to the anti-corruption agencies and I will provide them with guide and assistance on how to unravel all these crime and theft against Nigerians. For instance, let’s say an item in a budget proposed by the executive under Power for the purchase of a transformer cost N2million and same amount was budgeted. If the Chairman House Committee on power because he has the “powers” to appropriate decides to add N3million naira to jack up the allocation to 5million naira when it is a public knowledge that the transformer cannot cost more than 2million naira, what do you call that? That essentially means APPROPRIATION FRAUD! And such chairman is a FRAUDSTER, a common criminal. On the other hand, let’s say he decides to irrationally reduce the amount to 500,000 thousand naira knowing fully well that, the said amount cannot buy the transformer, what do you call that? APPROPRIATION SABOTAGE and such a chairman is a SABOTEUR. And let’s say he just decided to take the entire 2million naira away, the question is where has he taken it to? Let’s follow up, we might discover something shocking. I have no apology for saying this! Little by little, I will be providing more in-depth details.

 

 

 

DETAILS OF ALLEGATIONS

 

Mr Chairman, I have decided to capture properly the allegations I levelled against the Speaker and 12 others so that you will under the gravity of the matter at hand and also understand that the allegations are beyond budget issues and includes tens of other criminal allegations that cannot be swept under the carpet against the following:

 

 

  1. SpeakerYakubu Dogara
  2. Deputy Speaker YusufLasun
  3. House Whip Alhassan Ado Doguwa
  4. Minority Leader LeoOgor
  5. Hon Herma Hembe
  6. Hon Mohammed Bago
  7. Hon Zakari Mohammed
  8. Hon Chike Okafor
  9. Hon Dan Asuquo
  10. Hon Jagaba Adams Jagaba
  11. Hon Haliru Jika
  12. Hon Babanle Ila
  13. Hon Abonta Abonta

 

 

Speaker Yakubu Dogara and the three others fraudulently short-changed the House of Representatives and abused their offices by unilaterally taking away 40 Billion Naira out of the 100 Billion Naira allocated for constituency projects and distributing same to themselves and the trio of Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun, House Whip Alhassan Ado Doguwa and Minority Leader Leo Ogor and others without the approval of the House.

 

 

Speaker Yakubu Dogara approached me with personal requests of about 30 Billion Naira to be inserted into the 2016 budget my refusal to get that done caused a major rift between them which has escalated beyond measure.

 

 

Speaker Dogara acting in concert with the aforenamed trio and as against my advice inserted wasteful projects for their constituencies worth about 20 Billion Naira.

 

 

I also complained to Speaker Dogara that the Chairmen of about 10 out of the 96 standing committees of the House have inserted over 2000 projects worth about 284 Billion Naira but his complaint was ignored because the Speaker was acting in cahoots with them.

 

 

That in a bid to ensure that his nefarious intentions are met, the Speaker took away the appropriations committee secretariat on two occasions where several insertions were made into the budget and this created avoidable tension during the budget process.

 

 

The Speaker also gave directions to create a strange line item in the service wide vote to allow for a 20 Billion Naira insertion into the budget under the name of National Assembly but I refused to accede to this request.

 

 

The Speaker fraudulently diverted a Federal Government water project to his farm in Nasarawa State and the source of funding for the farm remain questionable.

 

 

 

The Speaker also made a fraudulent arrangement to deduct monthly from money meant for members’ office running cost to fund a so called dubious mortgage arrangement.

 

 

The Speaker abused his office by directing an agency to grant loans and also arrange frequent private meetings with heads of MDA’s in a clear case of corruption and conflict of interest.

 

 

The Speaker acting in collusion with the above named trio allocated to themselves the entire 20% inputs reserved for the House of Representatives after the harmonization exercise.

 

The Speaker fraudulently collected undisclosed millions of Naira in a scam arrangement for the rent of houses and guest houses acting in collusion with Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun and Hon. Herman Hembe. It is a matter of public knowledge in the House that Lasun had openly accused Hembe to have carted away will some millions from the illicit money.

 

 

The Speaker has ordered that all the computers in the appropriation secretariat be shut down and moved to his office whilst the secretariat staff are being harassed to keep quiet and suppress facts relating to the entire budget and there has been attempts by agents of the speaker to burgle our client’s office to steal vital documents.

 

 

The Speaker also allowed several wasteful procurement of needless items, including ones that are already in the offices of members as a ploy to siphon funds of the House.

 

 

The Speaker has despite several protest from members continue to run the management of finances of the House and its budget in absolute secrecy in the face of several allegations of sharp practices.

 

 

The Speaker was involved in money laundry cases in the House and was the architect of the fraudulent multi-billion naira car purchase contract when he was Chairman House services committee.

 

 

And allegations of harassment and attempt to kidnap or kill me by Speaker Dogara and his corrupt gang.

 

 

He is using his office as Speaker to sabotage investigation.

 

 

1.Honourable Herma Hembe: 

Honourable Herman Hembe is the member representing Vandeikya/Konshis haFederal Constituency of Benue State and also the Chairman of the House Committee on the Federal Capital Territory. Honourable Hembe lives way above his means from funds. Apart from being adept at misappropriation, He has plenty questions to answer for movement of massive amount of money in the Federal Capital Territory budget.

 

 

2. Honourable Umar Mohammed Bago:

Hon Umar Mohammed Bago is the member representing Chanchanga Federal Constituency of Niger State and also the Chairman of the House Committee on marine transport. the fraudulent investigative hearing organized by Hon Umar Mohammed Bago with support of Speaker Yakubu Dogara wherein he invited about 1000 companies as a conduit to extort money. The source of money used to fund the investigative hearing has remained a mystery.

 

 

  1. Honourable Zakari Mohammed:  

Honourable Zakari Mohammed represents Baruten/ Kaiama Federal Constituency of Kwara State and also the Chairman House Committee on higher education. He made a complete mess of the higher education committee budget through massive movements of funds and hundreds of insertions. to investigate allegations of bribery against him and Speaker Yakubu Dogara over roles they played in the NNPC crude oil SWAP investigation.

 

 

4. Honourable Chike Okafor:

Honourable Chike Okafor is the member representing Ehime Mbano/ Obowo/ Ihitte of Imo State and also the Chairman House committee on health. To investigate Honourable Chike Okafor for being involved in and responsible for the movement of colossal amounts of money in the Health Committee budget.

 

 

  1. Honourable Dan Asuquo:

Honourable Dan Asuquo represents Akamkpa/Biase Federal Constituency of Cross Rivers State and also the Chairman of the House Committee on Power. To investigate his involvement in and responsibility for the movement of massive amounts of money in the Power budget.

 

 

6. Honourable Jagaba Adams Jagaba

Honourable Jagaba Adam is the member representing Kachia/Kagarko Federal Constituency of Kaduna State and also the Chairman House committee on Power. To investigate his movement of massive amounts of money in the interior budget.

 

 

  1. Honourable Haliru Jika 

Honourable Haliru Jika represents Darazo/Gunjuwa Federal Constituency of Bauchi State and is also the Chairman of the House Committee on Police Affairs. To investigate his movement of massive amounts of money into the Police budget.

 

 

8 Honourable Babanle Ila

Hon Babanle Ila represent Tarauni Federal Constituency of Kano state and is also the Chairman House services committee. To investigate thoroughly the wasteful contracts awarded under his and the Speakers watch in other to justify spending and non-disclosure of the finances of the house.

 

 

9 Honourable Abonta Abonta

He is the Chairman House committee on public petition. To investigate allegation of embezzlement, misuse and misappropriation of millions of naira meant for the running of his office.

 

 

Just to bring you up to date Sir,  I have forwarded to the anti-corruption agencies documents showing how Speaker Dogara and the 3 others allocated the 40billion naira they stole from 100billion for constituency project, how they inserted about 20billion naira of wasteful projects, how they cornered the entire 20% of inputs reserved for the House after the harmonization exercise, attempts to force in about 30billion naira of wasteful projects into the budget, attempt to force me to introduce a strange line item and insert about 20billion naira in the service wide vote using the name of  NASS, evidence showing that indeed about 10 standing committees of the house made about 2000 insertions in  budget worth about 284billion naira  and indeed reports of 6 standing committees showing massive movement of money with clear intent to commit fraud.

 

 

I have also commenced providing the anti-corruption agencies clue on how investigative hearings in the house under Speaker Dogara are used as conduit pipes to carry out massive corruption and how the house services committee chairman and the Speaker runs and spend money meant for the House in absolute secrecy. I will continue to cooperate with the anti-corruption agencies and guide them on how to crack the code of corruption that has assumed a monumental proportion under the very corrupt Speaker Dogara.

 

 

WAY FORWARD

 

 

Mr Chairman sir, you will agree with me that the world is watching on how the APC will deal with this issue of incontrovertible corruption in high places. Here you have a golden opportunity to show the world that there is zero tolerance of corruption in our great party the APC. Even more, is the having a serving member that understands this issue in my person who has offered to stand as witness and provide every support to the anti-corruption agencies to investigate the allegations thoroughly and commence prosecution in earnest. There is no better way of demonstrating our commitment to the fight against corruption than to use Speaker Yakubu Dogara and the 12 others as example. You will also agree with me that in the face of all these allegations and front and back in his utterances, Speaker Yakubu Dogara and the other Principal Officers have lost the moral ground to continue in office.

 

 

They have become a baggage should be off loaded by the APC before it inflicts an irreparable damage on the Party. From every part of Nigeria and the world, that is the opinion of people. The party must act very quickly and decisively. In his usual mischievous manner, Speaker is bandying around religious and ethnic card. He has so soon forgotten those that lead the campaign that brought him up as Speaker in the first place.  As a way forward, I wish to recommend to the party to:

 

 

1-To direct Speaker Yakubu Dogara to reconvene the House and step down with other accused Principal Officers immediately to allow for internal and external investigation without interference so that sanity will return.

 

 

2-To nominate a Speaker Pro Tempo and mobilize our members to support him to take over and adjourn the House until when we are due for resumption in September. This will give room for consultations on the election of a new Speaker when we resume.

 

 

3-To insist on internal reform of the activities of the House and ensure that the new Speaker implements it fully.

 

 

4-To discuss on the possibility of returning the 100billion constituency component of the budget under any of our laws so that all stolen money can be returned particularly the 40billion naira and equitably distributed to all constituencies.

 

 

5-To discuss if the party so desired, I am offering to identity all the toxic insertions by Speaker Dogara and 12 others in the budget so that they can be removed. We have different laws under which that can be done.

 

 

I strongly believe that if these recommendations are implemented, it will go a long way in resolving the crisis and provide the ventilation for the House to commence the process of internal reforms and self-cleansing to repair its battered image and restore the trust of Nigerians in the House.

 

 

This will also provide a relieve for the party and the government who have remained completely embarrassed with this development.

 

 

Mr Chairman, I am available and always at your disposal should there arise a need for me to provide further explanation in person as regard my letter.

 

 

Thank you very much for your attention.

Yours in service to the Nation

Hon Abdulmumin Jibrin

APC-Kano

Kiru-Bebeji Federal Constituency

Kano

 

 

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‘White House turns Black House’ that was the title of the piece I wrote eight years ago when for the first time in history, an African American got elected into the most powerful office on earth. Save for the frenzy of the campaign and the burgeoning sentiments across the continent, I knew little or nothing about the enigma called Barack Obama. Then came his 2008 acceptance speech; his sheer brilliance, eloquence, poise, aura and confidence captured my attention. I felt...

2-year-old boy killed in fire outbreak at Ojuelegba

A two-year-old boy has been reported dead following a fire incident that gutted a flat at Ojuelegba in Lagos State on Thursday.   The parents and two sisters of the deceased, who were rushed to the hospital after the incident, are reported to have become unconscious.   Rasak Fadipe, director, Lagos State Fire Service, confirmed the tragic incident in an interview with NAN.   Fadipe said the tragedy occurred at 11,  Atan Street, Ojuelegba, Lagos, saying they got call around 6am.   He said at the time...

President Buhari should work on mopping up arms in wrong hands – Journalists

Journalists for Democratic Rights (JODER), a Nigerian media rights group, says the unpleasant situation in southern Kaduna has the potential of “throwing the entire country into a faith-induced mayhem”. In a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, the group recommended the launch of an intensive campaign aimed at mopping up arms in the hands of non-state actors across the country. It also urged the president to create time to visit southern Kaduna, saying such a step will boost the dwindling trust in...

The Life of Kanye West is now a course of study for Washington University students

A new course at Washington University in St. Louis, U.S. will see students examine the world and life of superstar rapper, Kanye West. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 75 third-year students have registered for “Politics of Kanye West: Black Genius and Sonic Aesthetics”. Jeffrey McCune, professor, says the course which began this week will focus on the rapper, producer and fashion designer. He noted that it will offer a way for students to connect issues of politics, race, gender, sexuality and...

Gambia: Jammeh given till midday to go as troops close in.

West African leaders have given Yahya Jammeh until midday on Friday to cede power after regional troops crossed the border in support of his democratically elected successor. Marcel Alain de Souza, chairman of the west African union Ecowas, said the troops will force Jammeh out if he refuses to leave the country. The west African troops entered the Gambia on Thursday night, hours after Adama Barrow was forced to hold his inauguration as president in Dakar, the capital of

Trump retains 50 senior Obama appointees

President-elect Donald Trump has asked roughly 50 senior President Barack Obama administration appointees to remain in their posts after his inauguration to ensure continuity in government, according to Sean Spicer, incoming White House press secretary. The officials include the highest-ranking career officials at key national security agencies like the Pentagon and State Department. Deputy Defence Secretary Robert Work and America’s third-ranking diplomat, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon, will serve as acting chiefs of their agencies until successors...

Turkish Airlines disown crashed cargo plane

Turkish Airlines has disowned the cargo plane that crashed on Monday, killing at least 37 persons when it plunged into a village in Kyrgyzstan. Contrary to reports, the airlines denied any involvement in the accident, as neither the aircraft nor the crew are members of Turkish Airlines. Recall that a cargo flight with TC-MCL registration number, operated by ACT Airlines, departed from Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) to Bishkek Manas International Airport (FRU) when it had an accident near Bishkek. Among the...

BREAKING: Police raid PREMIUM TIMES head office; arrest publisher, journalist.

The Nigeria police have raided PREMIUM TIMES head office in Abuja, and arrested the newspaper’s publisher.   The publisher, Dapo Olorunyomi, was arrested alongside the paper’s judiciary correspondent, Evelyn Okakwu.   Plain-clothed officers conducted search at the office shortly after 5p.m. Thursday, and said they were acting on a complaint filed by the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai.   The arrests came days after PREMIUM TIMES turned down the army’s demand to retract news stories about the Nigerian Army and its operations.   The paper’s Editor-in-Chief,...

UPDATE: Nigerian air force ‘overflies The Gambia’ as ground troops prepare to strike.

The Nigerian air force is flying over The Gambia, an official said, as African troops prepare to force incumbent Yahya Jammeh to quit after his December election defeat. "I confirm that the armed reconnaissance air force are over Gambia," Nigerian Air Force spokesman Ayodele Famuyiwa told AFP. "They have the capacity to strike."

BREAKING: Adama Barrow sworn in as President of Gambia.

Adama Barrow, the man who won The Gambia's disputed election, has been sworn in as president. Mr Barrow took the oath at the country's embassy in Senegal. He has been recognised internationally. But Gambian strongman Yahya Jammeh has refused to step down and his term in office has been extended by parliament. West African leaders have tried to persuade Mr Jammeh to admit losing the election. They have threatened to remove him by force. Mr Jammeh lost last month's elections, but wants...

Comic Relief: Even Google is confused about who the President of Gambia is.

As ECOWAS troops continue to march into Banjul the capital of Gambia, in a bid to oust the incumbent president, Yahya Jammeh whose tenure expires today, there has been much uncertainty about the state of the presidency of Gambia.   Presently, the President-elect, Mr Adama Barrow is being sworn-in at the Gambian embassy in Senegal. This unfolding event and more gives rise to the question; "Who is the president of Gambia?" and this has turned out to be a difficult question...