Impeached South Korean president apologises for corruption scandal

Park Geun-hye, ousted South Korean president, on Tuesday apologised to the country’s citizens after appearing in the prosecutors’ office for questioning over corruption allegations that led to her impeachment.

According to NAN, Geun-hye said she was sorry in front of the cameras at Seoul central district prosecutors’ office, vowing to face her interrogation faithfully.

“I am sorry to the people. I will faithfully cooperate with questioning,” Geun-hye said as she proceeded to the prosecutors’ office.

Geun-hye who has stayed in her private home since she vacated the presidential Blue House on March 12, was slammed with a total of 13 counts.

She will be interrogated by state prosecutors for her alleged involvement in the scandal, which removed her from office after the impeachment was passed in the parliament on December 9. The constitutional court upheld the motion on March 10.

During the interrogation, prosecutors would focus on Geun-hye’s alleged involvement in bribery, abuse of power and leakage of state secrets.

Geun-hye, 65, has been accused of colluding with her decades-long confidante Choi Soon-sil, who is now in custody, to receive tens of millions of US dollars in bribes from Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong, the heir apparent of Samsung group.

The kickbacks are suspected of being offered in return for helping Lee inherit the overall management control of the country’s biggest family-controlled conglomerate from his ailing father Chairman Lee Kun-hee, who was hospitalised after a heart attack almost three years ago.

Geun-hye was also identified as an accomplice of Choi in helping solicit tens of millions of US dollars from scores of large business conglomerates to establish two non-profit foundations Choi used for personal gains.

Choi has been charged with meddling in state affairs behind the scenes by receiving government documents on a regular basis delivered by one of Park’s former presidential secretaries.

Geun-hye will be the fourth South Korean former president to be questioned by prosecutors.


Source: The Cable

EFCC: We have taken a decision on Magu, we wait for the Executive – Senate

The Senate said Monday that it had already taken a position on the embattled Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC Ibrahim Magu by rejecting his nomination as the substantive chairman of the anti- graft agency.

Speaking with newsmen on Monday, Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan who noted that the Senate had last week at the chambers taken a decision, said that as an institution, it was only waiting for the response of the executive to the action taken by the upper Chambers. The Senate leader said, ” the Senate had already taken a decision, we will only wait for the response of the executive.”

It would be recalled that the Senate had on Wednesday for the second time, rejected the nomination of Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu as the substantive Chairman of the anti- graft agency. The refusal by the Senate to confirm Magu came three months after the Senators had rejected him where damming Security reports by the Department of State Services, DSS were given as the major reason which was a replay of some months ago.

According to the report, Magu was accused of corruption as well as lack the integrity needed to carry out such responsibility as number one crime fighter in the country. President Mohammadu Buhari has received a written report of the Senate on the rejection of the nomination of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu. Also the Senate through Senate President Bukola Saraki, last week forward the communication of its resolution at plenary to the presidency.

The Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari, Senator Ita Enang has confirmed the receipt, but declined to reveal the content as he was not privy to it. Enang had told newsmen saying Yes, there has been a communication between the President of the Senate and the President of Nigeria, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari. “But the content thereof is privileged between them.

I don’t know,” he said simply. Recalled that the Senate on Wednesday turned down the nomination of Magu as the substantive Chairman of the EFCC. It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had forwarded Magu’s name to the Senate June, 2016 for confirmation. He was appointed in acting capacity by President Buhari on the 9th of November, 2015, following the sack of his predecessor, Ibrahim Lamorde.

It would also be recalled that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, acting as the President of the Country, while President Muhammadu Buhari was away in London on a 10-day medical vacation to seek medication for his ear infection in June 6, 2016, forwarded a letter to the Senate, requesting for the screening and subsequent confirmation of Ibrahim Mustapha Magu, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP as the substantive Chairman of the anti- graft agency. Also in the letter, President Buhari sought the Senate’s approval to confirm Nasule Moses; Lawan Maman; Garandaji Imam Naji- and Adeleke Abebayo Rafiu as members of the board of the EFCC.

Senate President Bukola Saraki read the letter to his colleagues at the Senate Chambers during plenary session. The letter which was signed by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo as Acting President, had read thus, “The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Act of 2004 established the commission and makes it responsible among other things for the coordination and enforcement of all Economic and Financial Crime Laws and Enforcement functions conferred on any person or authority.

“Section 2 (1) of the Act also provides that the Commission shall consists of a Chairman who shall: Be the chief executive and accounting officer of the commission; Be a serving or retired member of any government security or law enforcement agency not below the rank of assistant commissioner of police or equivalent and Possess not less than 15 years cognate experience.

“Apart from other ex-officio members of the commission provided for in section 2. The Act also provides for four eminent Nigerians with any cognate experience of the following that is finance, banking, law and accounting. Section 2 (3) further provides that chairman and members of his commission other than ex-officio members shall be appointed by the president and the appointment shall be subject to confirmation of the senate.”

Samsung boss charged with bribery, embezzlement

South Korean prosecutors charged Samsung Group [SARG.UL] chief Jay Y. Lee with bribery and embezzlement on Tuesday as the top conglomerate announced the dismantling of its corporate strategy office, the latest developments in a graft scandal that has rocked the country.

Jay Y. Lee, 48, was arrested on Feb. 17 over his alleged role in the corruption scandal involving impeached President Park Geun-hye, dealing a fresh blow to the standard-bearer for Asia’s fourth-largest economy.

The special prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday, the last day of its investigation, that it had charged Lee, third-generation leader of the tech giant “chaebol”, and four other executives with bribery and embezzlement.

The charges against Lee included pledging bribes to a company and organizations tied to Park’s confidant, Choi Soon-sil, the woman at the center of the scandal, to cement his control of the smartphones-to-biopharmaceuticals business empire.

“We apologize for the social controversy and distress we have caused,” Samsung Group Executive Vice President Lee June told reporters.

The charges came ahead of a Constitutional Court ruling on whether to uphold parliament’s December impeachment of Park.

That impeachment was triggered by accusations that she colluded with Choi to pressure big businesses, including Samsung, to donate to two foundations set up to back the president’s policy initiatives.

The 65-year-old daughter of a former military strongman has had her powers suspended. The Constitutional Court’s ruling is expected sometime in March.

Should it uphold the impeachment, Park would become the country’s first democratically elected president to be thrown out of office.

While a sitting president cannot be indicted, the special prosecutors nevertheless have classified her as a suspect.

They did not disclose specifics of the charges against Lee or other Samsung executives. Samsung Group, which has denied paying bribes to Park or seeking improper favors from her, declined to comment on the indictment.

Park, Choi and Lee have all denied wrongdoing. Based on the main charges levied against Lee, he could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Lee in December promised to shut Samsung’s corporate strategy office, a key nerve center responsible for major initiatives such as investment in new businesses, amid accusations by politicians that it was a key organ for illicit lobbying efforts.

Composed of around 200 employees hand-picked from various affiliates, the office did not exist as a legal entity but wielded enormous power as the instrument of control for the founding Lee family.

Samsung said the chief executives and boards of the various affiliates such as Samsung Electronics and Samsung C&T Corp would set their own course going forward.

“It is a shock that Samsung completely dismantled the whole office, cutting the link between group affiliates as if it broke up a fleet,” Chung Sun-sup, chief executive of corporate research firm, said.

“This is a significant change to South Korea’s chaebol management style.”

A Samsung Group spokeswoman said it had not yet decided how the conglomerate would deal with group-level issues such as coordination among affiliates.

People familiar with the matter told Reuters in November that Lee was already moving towards more board-centric management to improve governance. The executive became a board member of Samsung Electronics last year, which the sources said signaled a desire to bring the conglomerate’s management practices up to global standards.

The prosecutors also charged four others at Samsung with offences including bribery and hiding assets overseas – group Vice Chairman Choi Gee-sung, President Chang Choong-ki, Samsung Electronics President Park Sang-jin and Executive Vice President Hwang Sung-soo.

Samsung Group said in its subsequent announcement that Choi, Chang and Park had resigned.

Samsung chief Lee is accused of pledging 43 billion won ($38 million) in bribes to a company and organizations backed by President Park’s confidant, Choi, to curry favor and cement his control of the conglomerate.

The funding included sponsorship of the equestrian career of Choi’s daughter. Samsung Group also said on Tuesday that it would leave the Korean Equestrian Federation that it heads.

Special prosecution spokesman Lee Kyu-chul told reporters the case against Park would be handed over to regular prosecutors, while signaling other conglomerates may also become involved in the investigation.

It was not immediately clear when Lee’s trial would begin.

The special prosecutor’s office will deliver a final report on its investigation on March 6.


Source: Reuters

No corrupt person will lead Nigeria again, Lagos Oba Akiolu says

The Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, on Wednesday said he would work to ensure corrupt people never lead Nigeria again.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Nigerian Women Against Corruption initiative in Lagos, Mr. Akiolu said he would work against any corrupt individual becoming Nigeria’s president again.

“I insist that this is not era for somebody who spent the first three years under the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo making money and turning public corporations to his own,” Thisday newspaper quoted Mr. Akiolu as saying at the event.

“He is planning to come back to be the President of this country again. I’ll work against his ambition. I mean it and I mean it, by God’s grace, it shall not be so.”

Although he didn’t mention his name, Mr. Akiolu is believed to have been referring to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar for whom he has never hidden his disdain.

Mr. Abubakar served as vice president under ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo between 1999 and 2003.

Mr. Abubakar also presided over the National Council on Privatization, supervising the sale of dozens of government-owned enterprises to private individuals.

Last month, the Lagos monarch had accused Mr. Abubakar of being behind his forced exit from the Nigeria Police Force where he was retired as an Assistant Inspector General.

At an event organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Justice on January 30, Mr. Akiolu said Mr. Abubakar played a prominent role in convincing then president, Mr. Obasanjo, to retire him from service.

The former vice president denied the claims.
The monarch commended the government of Akinwunmi Ambode, the Lagos State governor, saying he had achieved a lot in less than two years
“If a man can achieve that much in office in under two years, it shows clearly that there is still hope for this country and whether we like it or not, we should thank God and commend Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

“If I did not put down my foot from 1999 to 2003 to ensure that nobody pushed the government of Lagos State aside, they would have taken government from us that time.

“We will not be saying what we are saying today. That is why I am praying that God will let President Muhmmadu Buhari complete his tenure.”

Corruption, threat to good governance in Nigeria – Okowa

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, yesterday, regretted that over the years, corruption has constituted a serious threat to good governance, rule of law, peace and security, including development programmes aimed at tackling poverty and economic backwardness in the country.

Okowa, at a one day anti-corruption summit held in Asaba, said that the anti-corruption war of the Federal Government would be more effective if it was free from all social, religious and political persuasions.

He said, “Corruption is one of the most recurring discourses in our national life, because, virtually every Nigerian agrees that it undermines the fabric of every aspect of society.

“The fight against corruption is not an easy task, but it can be won through advocacy such as this one that aims at drastic reduction and where possible, total elimination of the practices in every facet of our national life, which our anti-corruption agencies, namely, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, Code of Conduct Bureau and Code of Conduct Tribunal, are in the forefront of the fight against corruption.

“In the pursuit of our anti-corruption agenda, greater success will be recorded if our actions and practices are blind to all social, religious and political persuasions. Our actions must be civil and be such that engineers public confidence and participation if the battle is to be won.”

How anti-corruption crusade can succeed – Governor Okowa

Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has advised that for the ongoing Federal Government crusade on graft to be more effective, it should be free from all social, religious and political persuasions,

At an anti corruption summit in Asaba yesterday, Okowa noted that corruption is one of the most recurring discourses in the nation because, virtually every Nigerian agrees that it undermines the fabric of every aspect of our society.

Okowa called for the restructuring of the value system and for Nigerians so as to cultivate and imbibe the culture of selflessness in rendering services, especially in public offices.

Presently, he said that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC), the Code of Conduct Bureau and the Code of Conduct

Tribunal, are in the forefront of the fight against corruption. According to him, greater success will be recorded in the crusade against corruption if the actions and practices of Nigerians are blind to all social, religious and political influences, insisting people’s actions must be civil and be such that engineers public confidence and participation if the battle is to be won.

He tasked Nigerians on the need to learn to service our needs and avoid the path of feeding our greed


Source: The Guardian

Why most Nigerians are corrupt – Abike Dabiri-Erewa

The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Diaspora Affairs, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has said that contrary to the common belief that greed and poverty are to blame for the indulgence of most Nigerians in acts of corruption, lack of adequate sanctions is the reason corruption continues to thrive in the country.

She stated this while making her remarks at the flag-off of South-West Women Against Corruption (WAC) project in Lagos.

Dabiri-Erewa said that many young Nigerians are inspired to engage in acts of corruption when the society celebrates those who have been handed light sanctions for looting large sums of money from the national treasury.

She urged members of the public to rise against corruption and impunity in Nigeria; adding that the recession the country is currently facing was a direct product of corruption in the country.

The presidential aide called on women from the South-West geo-political zone to support President Muhammadu Buhari and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) chairman, Ibrahim Magu, in their efforts to tackle the malaise of corruption in Nigeria.

Dabiri-Erewa further enjoined women to inculcate the qualities of contentment, integrity, value, virtue, and valour on their children, stressing that as mothers of the nation, women can be agents of change.

She said: “The reason there is so much corruption in Nigeria is not greed but lack of adequate sanctions.

“As long as we see corrupt people go to jail, come out and we celebrate, we worship, we clap for them; corruption will continue to thrive.

“I think we are at a point where we need to say ‘enough is enough! Never again should we go back to the days where we are coming from. Never again should we have anybody steal our commonwealth, live with impunity and get away with it.’

“That is why I want to appeal to you; let us support President Muhammadu Buhari’s fight against corruption. For the first time, we are having a president who is fighting corruption headlong. We need to support him.

“I am ashamed that at a function today, when I said ‘women against corruption’, people shouted me down. But I say ‘one bad apple should not spoils the whole bunch’

“We, as Nigerian women, are people of integrity, value, virtue, and valour. Most importantly, if we have contentment we have everything. If there’s no contentment we will keep stealing until we steal our on hearts out. We need to raise our children with the virtues of contentment.

“As women and mothers of a nation, we can be agents of change. We can do it.

“Let us also support the EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu because; we love what he is doing. We hope the Senate confirms him because we know that he will earnestly fight corruption.

“Let us all support the WAC project. If we get it right, the nation gets it right.

“Let’s support the fight against corruption and be determined that we will take Nigeria out of this recession, and this recession is corruption.”

China’s ex-supreme court judge bags life sentence for corruption

A Chinese court on Thursday sentenced Xi Xiaoming, a former senior judge of supreme people’s court, to life imprisonment after being indicted for corruption.

A court in the northern city of Tianjin found him guilty of accepting 115 million Yuan ($16.78 million) in bribes between 1996 and 2015.

A member of the ruling Chinese Communist party for 40 years, Xiaoming was accused of breaching confidentiality rules and leaking secrets related to judicial work.

He was the number four official in the Supreme People’s court, where he specialised in economic law cases.

Xi is the latest official to fall foul of a sweeping crackdown on graft, following the downfall of Zhou Yongkang, the former domestic security chief whose brief included law enforcement and courts.

Yongkang was ousted by President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign and jailed for life in 2015.

Xiaoming, a native of eastern Jiangsu province, admitted his guilt and has repented and so received a lighter sentence of life imprisonment instead of a possible death sentence.

According to his official biography, he rose from working as a policeman in the city of Shenyang in the 1970s to the highest rank of the judiciary, where he was also a member of the court’s leading party members’ group.

China’s leaders have pledged to continue combating graft, seen as crucial to the party’s survival, and have vowed to go after “tigers” in senior positions as well as lowly “flies”.

Examination Malpractice: The Seed of Corruption – By Muhammad Karamba

This is mid February. For most O’level students, this means hustling by all means to get the minimum required grades. It means making connections to get leaked papers. Miracle centers have already registered their candidates and are arranging a smooth ride for them. This is the reality our educational system is in today.

The saddest of it all is that, we have accepted the status-quo. Parents give their children money to register at miracle centers. Teachers get involved in all forms of malpractices.

School managements pay officials of examination bodies so they turn a blind eye. It has become a norm and we hardly see anything bad in it. Are we then being sincere when we call our leaders corrupt?

The SSCE examination is the first (and most important) ticket that introduces a student into the intellectual realm and it ultimately defines his success in it. Unfortunately, he could have that ticket without earning it and almost everyone in his society will be ok with it; some will even congratulate him.

How will he appreciate scholarship? How will such a student dedicate his time to studies when he could take shortcuts to the certificate? Come to think of the poor hardworking student who dedicates everything to rightfully earn his certificate.

We voted for change but indeed change begins with us. Maybe we restrict the meaning of change to only apply to the change we see on the elites. But if we are really sincere about it, we will begin here.

Just like the popular saying “be the change you want to see”. We are betraying our brothers, students and children by letting them go into this path. They would one day be the leaders of this nation and should we expect a corrupt free government from someone who has known shortcuts all his life? We need a serious campaign against this and it has to start from our immediate homes and communities.

Our governments are virtually doing nothing to remedy this cancer that has crippled our educational system. I thought examination malpractice was a form of corruption. Apparently, it is yet to be in Nigeria. A serious task force needs to be put in place.

There has to be a resistance. Probably a whistleblowers act too. It is the duty of the government to enforce the law.

I have met quite a number of people who are disturbed by this issue but have given up due to societal pressure. You soon become an outcast when you stand for causes like this. But no positive change has ever been welcomed in its initial stages.

We say we want change but what we mostly actually want is for the system to work whenever we need it to and vice-versa. Let’s fight examination malpractice now. CHANGE BEGINS WITH ME.


Muhammad Karamba

Twitter: @Mukib_

Opinion: Democracy, Corruption and Countrymen – By Lukman Sarumi

Across the world today, Athens jusxtapositional  system of government is the most widely practiced form in every sphere of a nation’s affairs, indirect democracy is adopted in replacement of the direct form practicable in the ancient Greek city state as the best system of government. This is however unconnected with it basic principles which provides utmost fairness for the governed populace. In Africa, the tenets of a democratic system of government in replacement to the junta sit tight administration is been adopted. Akin to the experience of many countries in Africa, Nigeria returned to a democratic-civilian rule in 1999 after the “Say, touch, do and Implement” theory of the military governments.
 Latent rosiness and renewed hopes filled the air upon the return of a democratic-civil rule in Nigeria, the hopes wore was in celebrating the future of seeing economic development rise to it peak, sustenance of  security of lifes and property, accrument in her citizenry welfarism and above all regard for a vital feature of democracy “rule of law”. Dismally this optimism seems to be a mirage, disapppoinment was borne in the breed representative democracy provided us with, money bag politics, corruption, impunity were the end result.
Article 21 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights stipulates: “The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures”. Once again the polls were approached and the cornerstone rode on the platform of change and gracefully the will of the people prevailed.
Just when the hearts saw giving up as an option, a sheriff who refused to give up on his mission came running again however on a major collaboration and he is fit  to be conferred the honor of an old tenant, One who knows the nooks and crannies of his abode, one who knows what to do when he needs discharge an overstaying visitor. He lives in a majestic ‘aso’ at the top of a rock coupled with vast royal diadem. His story is that of a general whose cycle of progression enabled him leave behind his khaki for agbada, this evolution can as well be linked to what is called the cycle of progression or movement pattern.
A land filled with milk and honey was what we use to have, in abundance we ate, without worries we transacted, daily we woke up to the news of how big and mighty our giant was within it peers, in it simplest form haggling was minimal they had lots to deep into hence they had no reason to beat the price, all that mattered was the end product.  A cleansing process is required, our sheriff was willing to restore sanity, the yam eaters he was willing to curb, our system he wanted to set right only to be met with our hypocritical demons, with a head raised with pride we stood and marched for the goats accused of eating our common wealth, with utmost disregard for our moral values we sang praises of witch hunt, regional, ethnical alongside religious rants succeeded in becoming the basis. Gullibility at it peak, the eaters are united in amassing the collective wealth while we fall prey to the divide theory.  In the front line are those who we call the future, agog they went upon the arrival of a sentenced goat.
 Once again our optimism for a better democratic system via the mantra of change is a mirage, old wines are back in a new bottle.  Our milky lands are losing it source and a river that sets to forget it source will cease to flow, your hands must be clean in a bid to cleanse a land you all brought destruction to. The never relenting not too young to run campaigners seek not to extirpate the act of corruption rather within their various jurisdiction they exhibit acts advocating the opposite.
Sarumi Lukman Oluwapelumi is a final year student of political science at the university of Ilorin, kwara state. 

Knowing the real owners of companies is critical to checking corruption – NEITI boss

Waziri Adio, executive secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), says knowing the real owners of companies is critical to checking corruption.

He identified Nigeria’s membership of Open Government Partnership as a timely platform to push for disclosure of beneficial owners of companies in the oil, gas and mining industries in the country.

According to a statement issued by Orji Ogbonnaya, the agency’s spokesman, Adio said this while addressing a consultative forum on open government partnership (OGP) in Abuja.

“Knowing how much companies paid in the form of taxes, royalty, rents, etc. and how much government received is important, but not enough,” he said.

“Knowing those who are the real owners of the companies is critical to checking corruption, money laundering, drug and terrorism financing, tax avoidance and evasion.”

He called on the federal government to enact a special legislation that would compel companies in the extractive sector to make public the names and identities of their real owners.

Adio also called on the president to issue an executive order on compulsory beneficial ownership disclosure by extractive industries companies in Nigeria.

He explained that such legislation could be embedded or be part of the Petroleum Industry and Governance Bill (PIGB) and should also constitute amendments to the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA).

Adio announced that nine countries, including Nigeria, have published EITI reports that disclosed the beneficial owners of one or more companies.

He also told participants that forty – three EITI implementing countries have published roadmaps on beneficial ownership out of which twenty, including Nigeria, plan to establish public registers of beneficial owners by 2020.

The executive secretary said NEITI has published a road map on beneficial ownership disclosure which provided clear definition of who beneficial owners are, the level of details to be disclosed and institutional framework that are required for effective implementation of beneficial ownership disclosure.

The document also defined politically exposed persons (PEPs) and their reporting obligations, challenges around data collection, reliability, accessibility, timeliness and provided clear guides on them.

Adio identified the absence of specific legal framework that imposes mandatory beneficial ownership disclosure as a major challenge to the implementation of ownership transparency in Nigeria.

While acknowledging the existence of laws like the Companies and Allied Matters Act, Freedom of Information Act, Code of Conduct and Tribunal Act and Public Complaints Commission Act as relevant legislations for beneficial ownership, he noted that there are other policies of the Nigerian government that support efforts at ownership disclosures.

That Andrew Yakubu – By Charly Boy

The other day, I was in the midst of those I thought were reasonable people – a small group of lawyers, engineers and realtors or real estate guys, and as usual, the topic of conversation was our dear country Nigeria. Then someone said, “Abegi President Buhari should bring back our corruption,” and to my surprise, everyone was laughing. I missed the joke, but I could swear the speaker was expressing the sentiment of the people I was with who were engulfed in a mumu laughter.

Who in Nigeria wey go say him no know say corruption na 99% of our wahala? Abeg why e be say na so so mumu mumu people full dis country? How can anybody govern a people who celebrate corruption the way we do and then cry foul when the damage is done, as though they had no idea where it came from? Kai, weytin be our problem Sef!

Walahitalai, even Jesus cannot govern a country wey still dey celebrate a president who presided over nothing but the wanton pilfering of its resources. And some Mumu Nigerians go dey wish make him come back to power. Na wa o.

Most people for Naija dey Craze. We dey Sick. And many of us dey Mental. I am sure you must have heard/read about the former NNPC Boss, Andrew Yakubu, who typifies what is damaging the Nigerian brand. Of course there are many Yakubus in Nigeria, even in my village of Oguta. The evil in the hearts of these men and women who are mindless and mean is for sure the bedrock of our recession; unemployment; suffering; hunger and infrastructural decay as billions and trillions of our monies are often pocketed by political criminals.

In the space of two years, see how much of our looted money was recouped by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari:

$153 million = Diezani Allison Madueke;
$15 million = Patience Jonathan;
N4billion = NIMASA boss Patrick Akpobolokemi
Heartbreaking N1trillion = Ex-Service chiefs
N111million = INEC Staff
$9.8 million & £74,000 = Andrew Yakubu
4.7bn arms fund = Obanikoro/Fayose
N11.7 billion mansion built by Deziani in Banana Island, Lagos.

Haba! Haba!! Haba!!! Is this a stealing competition?

But Andrew Yakubu own vex me die. Look at the clandestine place that $9.8m and another £74, 000 was found! Who would have thought there was such magnitude of national treasure there? See ehn, this stunning discovery by the EFCC makes me wonder how a soulless criminal of Andrew Yakubu’s ilk could have received $10million in cash as gift – as claimed by him – and how much gift would have been given to many other thieves, evil peoples and demons who had over the last decade, dotted our government. Oh… Where is my gun? I dey seriously feel like shooting somebody! In the end, common man go die by jungle justice ooo.

My people, I no dey fit sleep again. I no fit comprehend how a human being go thief him generation money come go church go do thanksgiving. The supposed Man of God who is his pastor is a bastard and that church is a fraud; in fact, the God to whom they pray sef Na LIE. Nigerians must rise up and in unison fight this corruption, because if we fail today, this our suffering no go end o… and many of us go die for nothing. Our failure as a country is our fault as a people. Andrew Yakubu dey for every family for Naija. You wan get money but you no wan work. Looking for miracles in churches and mosques. If we fail to work, we can only steal to survive and that is where the change must begin – with us all. A country where people spend more time on their knees more than they do on their job will not stand; a country where the mind of the people has been buried in the erroneous mentality of getting rich only by praying; daily spiritual diet; where men of God openly fraternize with certified and indicted thieves and drool over their loot – is  a country on its way to hell. My people, let us become a people who work so that we can collectively fight and fix this country. This madness of looters no go stop if our miracle-stricken mindset no change.

I hear say government dey give whistleblowers 5%, good. As the President of Frustrated Nigerians, I go ginger anybody wey know any government worker or politician wey dey hide money, for this our jungle. No fear, stand up because me go fight your fight. I am willing to provide further support for those who are afraid and I am willing to stand and fight to ensure that nobody go intimidate you – whether na the looters or agencies of government wey wan dey act funny. I cannot stand back and watch my country, my Naija, my home get looted to the point of monumental destructiveness while those who are capable of helping the government recover loots for the benefit of us all are intimidated by FEAR of DEATH. All man go die nonetheless and e fit be anytime.

I am prepared to lead a national revolution against corruption and in support of President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war. I will go to meet with the EFCC boss, the ICPC boss, the police boss and all those who are trying to give this country renewed hope. Very soon the voice of ordinary Nigerians will be so loud that the interest of the frustrated Nigerians will be a national priority. For decades, I have never heard thieves return so much money back to the system. And for this reason alone, I go clap small for President Muhammadu Buhari. As the President of All Frustrated Nigerians, I enjoin all of us to shine our eyes and act right so we no go take our hand decimate what is left of our land. This mindless stealing and looting is just too much. Na God go punish bad people.

#OurMumuDonDo !!!

Charly Boy (Areafada)
President, All Frustrated Nigerians.
Twitter: @Areafada1 

Nigeria can’t grow without stopping corruption – Osinbajo

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday explained that every time the Federal Government fights corruption hard, there is a major fight back, “because corruption in this country is wealthy, powerful and influential”.

He said there would be no sustainable growth without winning the battle against corruption.

Osinbajo spoke when he received Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President Ayuba Wabba and labour leaders at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

They led protest to Aso Rock, demanding good governance.

Osinbajo said: “We commend you for taking this laudable campaign to the villa on behalf of the Nigerian people. For a democratically elected government, we must constantly report to the people and we must show that we are accountable to the people.

“That is why positions like yours have to be received properly and we must find ways to positively take action on the many demands that were raised.

“When we came on board, there were 22 states that were not paying salaries – some up to six or eight months. That was despite that oil prices were still high. President Buhari decided that salaries of workers across the states must be paid and that was what informed the first bailout.

“We were bailing out at a time we were losing 60 per cent of our revenue on account of what was going on in the Niger Delta. We later did the second bailout; the third was the Paris Club refunds.

“These are sums of monies owed to states and nobody has ever paid that sum of money,” he said

Osinbajo added: “Management of resources is critical, especially when those resources are as small as what we are witnessing today. We want to ensure that everyone is held to account. If resources were not efficiently managed, we will not be able to do even the things we are doing now because we are operating at less than 60 per cent of revenue as at 2015, today.

“Every time you fight corruption the way we are trying to fight corruption, there is a major fight back, because corruption in this country is wealthy, powerful, influential and it is in every aspect of our lives. It is in practically all institutions including religious institutions.

“The social media campaign of bring back corruption is an orchestrated one. Nobody that is suffering can say bring back corruption. Attempts by those who are being tried for corruption to delay trials are also part of the orchestrated campaign.

“If we don’t speak up against corrupt officials, who make it look as if there is a witch-hunt, then we will not succeed in the fight.

“Government needs everybody to speak up. We have a serious battle in our hands and if we don’t win that battle, this country will never get to the path of sustainable development. The major problem that this country has suffered so far is the looting of its resources. We must fight corruption hard. It is a tough one, but we must fight it.”

He added: “The government is committed to ensuring due process and rule of law.

“The President is a process-driven person that accounts for the steps he has taken so far.

“There is no gain without some pain. There is no way you will eat an omelet without breaking an egg.

“There is so much we can do with the Nigerian economy. We are going to be consulting with the labour union and civil societies on our economic recovery and growth plan, which we intend to launch this month.

“There is supposed to be a consultation on it so that we can take a look at the issues that are important, especially to labour and civil societies and we can incorporate them into the plan.”

The protesting labour movement was led by Wabba and Bobboi Kaigama of Trade Union Congress (TUC).

Wabba, who spoke on behalf of the 18 union leaders, said labour was concerned about good governance and corruption.

NHIS wants Health Management Organisations investigated for corruption

The Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, Usman Yusuf, has launched a campaign to rid the scheme of corruption, inefficiency and impunity.

According to a statement by his office on Thursday, Mr. Yusuf disclosed this during a courtesy call by the NHIS Management on the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, in Abuja.

The NHIS was established by the Nigerian government to enable citizens enjoy easy access to health care services.

Mr. Yusuf said his mandate as the Executive Secretary was to sanitize the scheme and make it work for everybody.

He decried alleged irregularities in the operations of Health Maintenance Organisations and ill-treatment that enrolees often encounter while accessing services at hospitals.

The Executive Secretary lamented that the scheme had not done well in the past, saying some HMOs and healthcare providers treat enrolees like lepers.

He said the NHIS as an institution had paid so much money to the HMOs from 2005 but that there was nothing to show for the expenditure.

Mr. Yusuf urged the ICPC to begin probing the activities of NHIS and HMOs who in one way or the other had defrauded the system and short-changed enrolees.

He stressed that there was no way Nigeria could achieve universal coverage if it continued to give resources to people who do not deserve them.

He said that the visit to the ant-graft agency was to build consensus and support among stakeholders towards repositioning the NHIS for effective service delivery.

In his response, the ICPC Chairman, Ekpo Nta, commended the Executive Secretary for his sincerity and doggedness in the fight against corruption in the NHIS and his commitment to repositioning the scheme for better service delivery.

Mr. Nta, who was represented by the Commissions’ Secretary, Elvis Oglafa, assured the Management of NHIS of ICPC’s support in the fight against corruption in NHIS.

OPINION: We Can’t Afford To Be Pawns – By Muhammed Karamba

Recently, there has been an uproar with regards to President Buhari’s decision to keep EFCC boss Ibrahim Magu and SGF Babachir Lawal. The President is under pressure from the public and the National Assembly to replace the two. I find it interesting how we have become so invested in such an issue that should probably be at the bottom of our list. Are we playing somebody’s game? I doubt if it is far from the truth.

It’s quite funny how, all of a sudden, the legislature decides who amongst the executive is corrupt or not. This is an arm of the government who hasn’t answered a lot of crucial questions being asked by Nigerians. It has failed to keep up to its promise of an open NASS. It has suspended a member turned whistle-blower and are yet to give comprehensive answers as per his allegations. I am not saying this disqualifies them from their officials. But it begs the question, are these probes done in the interest of Nigerians?

The media of today is doing a wonderful job at keeping us updated and exposing stuffs we probably otherwise wouldn’t have known. Most of us have one or a couple of media outlets which we trust hundred percent and will always believe anything that comes from them. But how sincere is the media of today? There are bad eggs; a lot of them. Now, all it takes to have a media outlet is money.

Have we ever sat down to think that maybe one of this media is there to defend the interest of a particular entity or group? It might even be as simple as a social media account. Politicians have social media “warriors” (one of whom is might be an account you trust so much) who get paid to spread propaganda. We have become so gullible that a simple twitter account operated by a fellow citizen is what we depend on, to get “credible” info. It’s saddening.

Would we know these people better than Buhari? These are people he would probably deal with on a daily basis. The thing is, being the spectator, we might have this feeling that the president is just there seated while his cabinet devours our wealth without his knowledge. If that happens, then we would have the worst leadership. Yeah, they would try as much as possible to hide their corrupt practices from him. Do we thing it is that easy to dig up something the president hasn’t? But the thing is, the president has the tedious job of knowing when an allegation is in the interest of someone or in the interest of the state.

It is very good for citizens to feel disturbed when we “see” a corrupt top official. We know what we don’t want. But most at times, we don’t know what we want. These guys might be corrupt, but president Buhari knows what he enjoys about working with them. You don’t employ a plumber and tell him which tools to use. Who are we to say no when the president says he wants them? If that’s what it takes to fulfill his campaign promises, then so be it.

The bottom line is, there is a political battle going on and we do not want to be pawns. Regardless of who is in this government, or priorities should not change. What we demand is Transparency and accountability, security, fight against corruption, good stable economy, proper infrastructure and the list goes. That’s it.

Author: Muhammad Karamba

“You must hate corruption”, Magu tells EFCC staff.

Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has described corruption as the mother of all crimes, telling the cadets who just joined the commission that they must hate it.

Maintaining that every evil is rooted in corruption, Magu admonished them to always shun acts capable of compromising their official duties.

He identified courage, discipline, commitment and loyalty as crucial to success in the crusade against corruption.

The anti-graft czar said this on Monday, while opening the second phase of the Detective Assistant course II programme at the EFCC Academy, Karu.

“We are passionately involved in fighting corruption, all of you must hate corruption and you should not be found to be involved in corrupt practices,” Wilson Uwujaren, spokesman of the commission, quoted Magu as saying.

He reminded them that EFCC the anti-graft agency has a high reputation in the world.

Magu described EFCC as an agency where anyone who has integrity and interest of the country at heart can serve

He warned those who joined the commission because they wanted to make money to “better leave now”.

“We have zero tolerance for internal corruption. We will figure you out, dismiss you and prosecute you,” he said.

Magu: Men more involved in corruption than women in Nigeria

Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has stirred a gender controversy about corruption.

Speaking when the executive committee of the National Council of Women Society (NCWS) paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja, Magu said corrupt tendencies are more pronounced among males than females.

“Looking at the number of people that have been apprehended by the commission, the men involved outnumber the women,” Magu said.

He said women were not pure or immune to greed, but were only less corrupt.

Magu described women as nation builders, saying their roles in ensuring the right societal values could never be over-emphasised.

The EFCC boss emphasised the need for collaboration between the commission and NCWS in the fight against corruption.

He explained that the commission had never undermined the rule of law in its anti-graft fight, adding that the EFCC, aside tackling economic crimes, was working hard to put an end to political corruption.

“We respect the independence of the judiciary and auditing bodies in our efforts to ensure that the corrupt are prosecuted, while stolen assets are returned,” he said.

Magu craved women’s support in the fight against corruption, and disclosed that the Lagos zone of the ‘Women Against Corruption’ would be launched on February 22, 2016, to enlist that support in the battle to rid Nigeria of the menace.

Dino Melaye: Nigerians have opened a ledger for thieves in power

Dino Melaye, a senator from Kogi west, has urged the senate to double its effort in exposing corruption because Nigerians are watching.


Raising a point of order on alleged contract infraction by the ministry of power, works and housing at the floor of the upper legislative chamber on Wednesday, Melaye said Nigerians had opened a ledger for thieves in power.


“I draw the attention of the country to some infraction and corruption between the ministry of power and the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP),” he said.


He alleged that the ministry and the BPP had colluded in ?inflating the cost of contracts for the rehabilitation and construction of bridges and roads across the country.


“Nigerians are watching; they have opened a ledger for thieves in power, and who are still in power,” he said.


He thereafter prayed the senate to give him the carte blanche to bring a motion on the issue to the chamber on Thursday.


The senate subsequently granted his request.


Source: The Cable

Senator Omoyele Omogunwa asks Nigerian Senate to legalize corruption.

Omoyele Omogunwa, a senator from Ondo state, has called for the legalisation of corruption in the country.


Speaking on the floor of the u?pper legislative chamber on Wednesday, Omogunwa lamented that corruption was pervasive in the country. He argued that it should be “legalised”.


He said there was corruption in the judiciary, and even within the anti-corruption ?agencies.


He said if corruption was legalised, Nigerians who stole public funds would use them in building factories and industries in the country, instead of having them stashed away abroad.


Omogunwa said this while making his contributing to the debate on the 2017 budget.


He added that the performance of the 2016 budget should be examined first before that of 2017 is determined.


The official twitter handle of the senate also confirmed Omogunwa’s suuggestion, writing: “Senator Omogunwa notes that Budgets doesn’t have maximal impact due to corruption. He says corruption shld be legalized/liberalized then.”


See tweet below:


UK gets evidence against Diezani, as EFCC set to proceed with interrogation.

The United Kingdom (UK) is now in possession of a pile of evidence against former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, courtesy of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission


A team of EFCC detectives was on standby yesterday to proceed to London to interrogate the ex-minister.

Sources familiar with her investigation by the EFCC told The Nation that all the evidence gathered by the anti-graft agency on Diezani had been handed over to UK investigators. The Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu accompanied by some detectives took the evidence to the National Crime Agency in the UK. “The evidence includes an inventory of more than 15 choice properties at home and abroad, her account status, documents and vital video clips,” the source said. “The evidence was taken to London in preparation for her trial.

In fact, one or two persons indicted in the fuel subsidy scandal are already in detention in the UK ahead of her trial.

Responding to a question, the source added: “We are also sending some EFCC detectives to the UK to interrogate Diezani on some issues. We need to obtain her statement too on certain allegations against her in Nigeria.

“We learnt that she has substantially ‘recovered’ and we want our team to interview her in London.

“When the trial begins, Nigerians will have a full insight into our findings against the ex-minister.”

Continuing, the EFCC source said: “We have placed some of these properties under temporary asset forfeiture. We are still investigating some properties allegedly bought by the ex-minister through some proxies.

“But we have submitted a documentary on all these assets to investigators in the UK. We also discovered a box which was full of jewelry and expensive wrist watches in one of the properties with price tags.

“Some detectives who visited Nigeria from the UK inspected this box which we may transfer to the UK.

“On the $115million poll bribery scandal, we have video clips of how electoral officials and politicians were hauling cash from banking halls.

EFCC does not engage in a personal vendetta. Nigerians will know the truth at the end of the trial either in Nigeria or in the UK.”

The Righteous Nigerian And The Rationality of Corruption – By Pius Adesanmi

Can Nigeria overcome corruption? Will Nigeria survive corruption?

The optimistic, overconfident Nigerian who offered me a “no shaking yes” to both questions was only able to do so because he successfully outed me as I tried to remain incognito and maintain a low profile at the hotel pool in Lagos. Retreating incognito to a hotel in Lagos to assess our war front strategies in matters Nigeriana is something I often do with Omoyele Sowore.

This time in the summer of 2016, I was alone in a secluded corner of the poolside, trying not to look like me. I didn’t want the burden of public recognition which often ruins my attempts at privacy in Nigeria.

It was evening and my niche on the poolside terrace was poorly-lit, increasing my chances of an interrupted time to unwind alone. On the table, in front of me, a half-finished big bottle of Orijin was trying unsuccessfully to help a bowl of nkwobi down my throat. I thought that the bottle was doing a poor job of accompaniment and blamed myself for believing that only one bottle could successfully accomplish the task of helping the nkwobi to its final resting place in my gut.

I decided that the unsuccessful bottle would need help from at least two more bottles to guarantee the nkwobi’s funeral. I was about to order the reinforcement when I heard shrieks of excitement at the other end of the pool.

“Abi my eyes dey deceive me? No be Prof Pius Adesanmi I dey see yonder so?” My cover was blown. He was yelling in excitement, talking to everybody and nobody in particular, pointing at me. “Ah, it’s Prof o. I can’t believe this! Waiter, waiter, oya, bring my things, I am going to join Prof.”

By now he had reached my table, grabbed my hands in a ferocious handshake. I stood up and gave him a bear hug and we sat down to a familiar story: of how he had been reading me for over a decade; of how he had always prayed that he would meet me; of Sahara Reporters; of Omoyele Sowore; of how much he admires the work we do; of the need for us to ignore naysayers and detractors; of Nigeria.

I listened with rapt attention, interjecting as appropriate to agree with him, keeping everything in a Pidgin laced with contemporary Nigerianisms and ijinle slangs.

“Ah, Prof, I can’t believe you still talk like this after so many years abroad. This is what I’ve been saying. You are not like some of our yeye people who will spend two months abroad and go begin dey yarn fone through the nose.”

Then he appeared to notice what was on the table for the first time.
“Ah, Prof, no benkwobi you dey whack here so? And Orijin? Prof, you sef dey follow us quaff Orijin? Waiter!!! Waiter!!! Oya, bring more nkwobi for Prof and two bottles of Orijin.”

I protested vehemently and insisted I should be the one ordering him peppersoup and drinks. I was taking a dangerous gambit. Given Nigeria’s abysmal economic downturn, especially the economic doldrums supervised by President Buhari, the cultural schema of refusing hospitality and offering to pay for it, expecting the initiator of that social contract to insist on paying, no longer works.

Luckily for my pocket, he stood his ground and insisted on paying for the orders. At this point, I confessed that I was about adding two bottles of Orijin to the tally when he recognized and hailed me.

We returned to Nigeriana. Like every Nigerian I know, he’s had it with Nigeria. Like every Nigerian I know, he is fed up with the Nigerian tragedy. He gives the standard speech: the failures of Nigeria; the trauma that is Nigeria; the self-inflicted wounds; the avoidable tragedies; and, of course, corruption.

Like every Nigerian, he knows about or had heard stories of corruption that are much worse than the worst case scenario you know. Whatever you think you have heard about Nigeria’s corruption is always child’s play compared to what every other Nigerian has seen or heard.

If you go to town with the story of a Governor who just stole 20 billion naira, the first Nigerian you encounter has only just read somewhere that a Minister stole 20 trillion naira. Thus it was that my new friend dismissed every story I had to tell with, shior, Prof, na dat one you dey call corruption? Dat one no be corruption now. Prof, you never hear say…” And he would regale me with the latest dizzying figures of heists by members of Nigeria’s political leadership.

And he moaned. And he lamented. Things took an interesting turn here. He said he had identified Nigeria’s problem: wickedness and greed. Corruption, he stated, is attributable to the unquenchable greed and wickedness of Nigerians. If only every Nigerian was like him, he continued, corruption would become a thing of the past. Nigeria, he concluded, will overcome corruption when those who are content with the deserved fruits of their labour outnumber the wicked and the greedy.

He returned again and again to the theme of his own righteousness. What Nigeria needs are more people like himself. That is why he admires my writing. That is why my Facebook Wall is a daily ritual for him. That is why he is in awe of Omoyele Sowore and Sahara Reporters. On and on he went.

I was intrigued by the thesis of his righteousness – the basis of his assurance that Nigeria can survive and overcome corruption. I realized that he still hadn’t even properly introduced himself. We had hugged and exchanged banter. He had ordered me nkwobi and two bottles of Orijin. He was by all accounts now part of my socius yet I still had no idea who he was. I love Africa! I deftly nudged the conversation in the direction of his identity.

As it turns out, he was with one of the numerous uniformed corps which litter Nigeria’s land borders. To enter Nigeria through any of her land borders – but most especially Seme – is to encounter a maze of uniforms processing you through an extremely long pipeline of corruption. Immigration passes you on to Customs who passes you on to NDLEA who passes you on to SON who passes you on to the Police who passes you on to the Army who passes you on to FRSC who passes you on to LASTMA. Repeat process several times till you get to Lagos.

It is absolutely possible for immigration to check you for drugs while NDLEA tries to see if your passport is stamped. It is possible for FRSC to check you for smuggling while Customs tries to determine whether you are speeding.

My interlocutor works for one of Nigeria’s uniformed border nightmares. What he sees there daily is the basis of his exceptional righteousness. With considerable pain in his eyes, he told me stories of wickedness and greed; of the terrible things allowed into Nigeria daily after bribery – expired drugs, expired tires, and all sorts of goods long past expiry date.

“Prof, people do this because they want to own ten jeeps and five mansions in Lekki and another five mansions in Maitama. You will allow somebody to smuggle tires that expired five years ago. You will allow somebody to smuggle drugs that expired five years ago. I don’t understand it. Prof, look at me, I have only two houses in this Lagos. We live in a duplex in Magodo. Then we have another house that we rent out. I have two jeeps and my wife drives a Venza. That is it. We are satisfied. Even God does not like ojukokoro.”

He continued: “Left to me, anything that is more than one year past expiry date will never enter, but how can you say that to all our rotten Ogas at the top? They are the greedy ones. They are the wicked ones. So many times, I have risked my neck and job trying to say that we should not allow certain categories of goods that are more than two years past expiry date to be smuggled into the country but nobody listens.”

By this time, my mind had overcome the effect of alcohol and was now quite alert. Before me was sitting the summation of Nigeria’s unsolvable dilemma of corruption. Such are the layers and the encrustations that it is no longer possible for a morality of zero corruption to be the basis of national self-imagining.

Thus, the righteous Nigerian is not the Nigerian who is not corrupt but one who still has a sufficient moral clarity to be alarmed by and be resentful of any corruption superior to his. Given this dynamic, overcoming corruption, in the understanding of way too many of our citizens, means minimizing and bringing it down to one’s level of rationalized individual corruption.

One major reason which accounts for the intractable nature of corruption in Nigeria is that we pay scant attention to its rationality in our national experience. Why is the sort of individual corruption described above rational?

I am talking about the rational, considerate, and compassionate corruption which allows drugs and tires only one or two years past expiration to be smuggled into Nigeria, unlike the wicked corruption which allows products up to five years past expiration to be smuggled. I am talking about the corruption which is content with accepting just enough bribes at the border to be able to afford a standard Western middle class life – one residential house, one rental property, two or three cars – as opposed to the wicked and unacceptable corruption which must have twenty mansions and twenty jeeps scattered between Lagos and Abuja.

What provides the rationality and legitimacy of the first kind of small-scale individual corruption in our national experience? It would be a simplistic mistake to attribute it singularly to Nigeria’s ontological unfairness. It is true that Nigeria is ontologically unfair by which I mean that there is no conceivable way to survive on an honest wage. In this case, corruption is the singular means of survival. Once your nose supplies your share of the oxygen required for life, only corruption can sustain it in your body to keep you alive.

Does this ontological unfairness account for the rationality of corruption? It explains but does not account for it. What accounts for it is the death of symbolism in Nigeria’s national life – starting with its centres of power.

The sort of corruption which is rational can only be made irrational in the life of a nation and people when it confronts symbolism. If Nigeria had any chance to effectively confront the rationality of corruption, it was with the potential symbolism of President Buhari when he was elected.

A few symbolic steps, never-before-seen in Nigeria’s orbit of power were required of him. No Nigerian in power has ever accounted for or retired campaign funds. Retirement of his funds – I am not even sure that many of our citizens understand what it means to retire campaign funds because it has never been part of their civic experience – would have been a first in our history.

It would have meant a thorough auditing of his campaign fundraising and expenses with the attendant transparency of Nigerians knowing who funded the campaign. It would have meant a return of whatever was left to the party treasury to fund future campaigns. It would have implied other things that we need not go into here. Beyond campaign funds, beyond the Presidential fleet that he has immorally and amorally refused to reduce, we do not need to go into President Buhari’s extensive library of failed symbolism and failure to launch. His hostility to symbolism has had tragic consequences by not only undoing his anti-corruption war but also enhancing the rationality of corruption.

One such consequence is the way in which the work of the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACAC) is failing to eventuate in any drastic systemic changes. You cannot do better than Professors Itse Sagay and Bolaji Owasanoye. They are among Nigeria’s very best. And they and their colleagues are deploying unmatchable genius and innovation to provide a thoroughgoing national canvass for fighting corruption.

I was privileged to attend one of their brainstorming sessions in Abuja in the summer of 2016. It was a rich session, with so many brilliant ideas flying across the room.

However, I did warn the committee that the most brilliant idea, the most solid willpower on their part, still depends entirely on the willingness of the President to facilitate their work with symbolism. Without symbolic acts from the President, it will be impossible to reverse the rationality of corruption. For instance, a Director from the Federal Ministry of Information, who represented Lai Mohammed at the meeting, opined that to successfully combat corruption, the media must help the nation’s anti-corruption war with investigative journalism!

I couldn’t believe my ears. I reminded the Director that in our recent memory, Sahara Reporters, Premium Times and the defunct NEXT Newspapers – not to mention The Cable – all built their reputation almost exclusively on investigative journalism in the arena of corruption. Tolu Ogunlesi was in the room and I mentioned him as one of those rendered jobless when NEXT folded up due to a combination of factors ranging from poor management to hostility to its relentless investigative exposes into corruption under Goodluck Jonathan. President Jonathan even went on air to declare that newspaper an enemy.

What President Buhari lacks, I opined, it not help from investigative news media. Rather, it is the will to shift the paradigm with symbolic acts. President Jonathan greeted every investigative scoop into corruption around him with his trademark, “I don’t give a damn.” President Buhari’s handling of the plethora of investigative scoops on the festering corruption of his lieutenants even makes the response of his predecessor sound like a responsible answer.

At least his predecessor said he didn’t give a damn. Sahara Reporters has been screaming about the fetid and mammoth corruption of Abba Kyari, Dambazzau, Buratai and a host of other Buhari lieutenants and the President’s answer has been something like silence is the best answer for a fool. Who is going to buy into PACAC’s splendid work when, at every turn, the President who empanelled them pulls the rug from under their feet and shreds it with his poverty of symbolism?

This lack of symbolism, this lack of change, has other consequences. When the incumbent fails to supply the symbolism needed to unravel the rational bases of the corruption of the moment, the corruption of the past begins to acquire its own logic of rationality in the hands of witting and unwitting revisionists.

You would have noticed by now that Dasuki has lost its capacity to shock – despite the daily revelations which have continued to drip. You would have noticed that despite the admissions of the key players in the Jonathan corruption industry – Diezani, Fayose, FFK, and the military officers facing trial – a space of rationality has been carved out to defend and make meaning of that plunder. I even recently read a “brilliant” expose saying that anybody who believes the Diezani heist figures must be sick.

Past corruption builds its rationality on the symbolic poverty of the incumbent. Those who betray the present do the most damage because they enable a rationality in which the past begins to appear to be not as bad as people had thought. And in the hands of brilliant revisionists and masters of discursive sleights of hand, the past can become really attractive.

This revisionist imperative is what is going on when you read essays stating, “Jonathan never did; or Jonathan never said; or Jonathan never promised…” Don’t worry. If you dig into the archives, you will discover that Jonathan did or said or promised precisely what the author is denying. Buhari’s failures and betrayals of the people’s trust are the enablers of the revisionist impulse through which past corruption acquires rationality.

This is not limited to the Buhari-Jonathan dynamic. Just as President Buhari’s tragic failure has opened a window of rationality for the behemoth corruption supervised by Jonathan, Jonathan’s own failures also provided the window through which former President Obasanjo’s empire of corruption acquired rationality.

Because Jonathan failed on the symbolism front during his own time, President Obasanjo who spent $16 billion on darkness, supervised Halliburton and Siemens, spent billions trying to buy NASS for his third term gamble, and exited Aso Rock as one of Africa’s richest men, is today strutting around the country chastising Jonathan and Buhari and giving lectures on corruption.

From the foregoing, it should be obvious that fighting corruption is but one small step of a huge journey. Addressing the modes of its acquisition of rationality is a more significant step. This acquisition of rationality is a function of the supply of symbolism – or lack thereof – by the incumbent.

President Buhari is again in London on a medical safari at public expense. His staff also jaunt to London for toothache at public expense. Given this reality, how am I supposed to deny a righteous Nigerian the rationality of his own individual corruption at a poolside in Lagos? I have no moral basis to do this because there is no symbolism from the top.

But I have a pragmatic basis to appeal to the righteous Nigerian to resist the temptation of using the symbolic failures of the buccaneers in the 1% as the rationalizing alibi for his own individual corruption. President Buhari and members of the political class have no stake in Nigeria. Your Pastors and Imams have no stake in Nigeria. Their children are not in Nigeria. The bulk of their property is scattered from Dubai to New York via London.

When unbridled corruption sinks Nigeria, there will be no democracy of consequences. The tragedy will be borne exclusively by the 90%, not the 1%. The Yoruba say that when the sky falls, it is everybody’s burden. That does not apply to Nigeria’s liabilities. Those who stole billions and trillions will disappear overseas with their children.

You, stealing crumbs to survive and using the mega-corruption of the one percenters to rationalize your own individual corruption, have no place to go. The consequences of Nigeria’s unraveling will be borne by you and your children. It, therefore, behoves you to identify with any of the nascent values movements in the country.

The build-up towards 2019 is not singularly about politics. Beyond politics, there are energies being mobilized towards a renaissance of values by those who look at the bigger picture beyond 2019 and understand that the practice of democracy every four years will always be consumed by the rationality of corruption until we fight and win other wars on the fronts – notably the values front.

APC Women Leader accuses party official of corruption

The All Progressives Congress North-west zonal women leader, Aisha Kaita, has called for investigation of the zonal vice chairman, Inuwa Abdulkadir, for allegedly misusing party funds totaling N21 million and violating the party’s constitution.

She also asked for the immediate resignation of Mr. Abdulkadir from the top party position.

Addressing a news conference in Kaduna on Wednesday, Mrs. Kaita accused Mr. Abdulkadir of insincerity in resolving the crisis in the Kano and Kaduna state branches of the party.

She said Mr. Abdulkadir was sabotaging the party in clandestine promotion of alleged presidential ambition of Sokoto state governor, Aminu Tambuwal, ahead of 2019.

Mrs. Kaita urged the APC to thoroughly investigate the issues she had raised to salvage the party from imminent crisis. She vowed to tender evidence against Mr. Abdulkadir before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission or an investigative panel of the party if called upon to do so.

The women leader absolved Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, and former governor of Kano, Rabiu Kwankwaso, of any role in her campaign against the zonal vice chairman.

“After carefully reading and digesting the zonal Vice Chairman’s vain attempt to rebut the above stated issues raised in my firs press conference, I once again feel indulged to call for this conference in order to set the records straight and redirect this whole matter to be focused on the allegations against the person of the zonal Vice chairman, Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir, which are not based on hearsay but facts”, she stated.

“The issues I raised against him are not a controversy between myself and the zonal Vice chairman, these are issues that are fundamental to the growth of internal democracy of our party as they border on total disregard for the provisions of the constitution of our party and misappropriation of the finances of the zonal office.”

Apart from the money she accused Mr. Abdulkadir of misusing, Mrs. Kaita also accused him of converting to personal use two of three vehicles donated to the zone by the party’s Presidential Campaign Council.

“Based on all the issues I raised, I am calling on our zonal Vice chairman, Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir, to immediately resign for an acting chairman to run the affairs of the party in the zone” Mrs. Kaita declared.

Mr. Abdulkadir was not immediately available to comment on the development.

BBOG Reconvenes, Focuses On Poor Governance And Corruption.

The Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG), campaign group, is seeking to draw attention to poor governance and corruption in Nigeria.

The group which has on Wednesday, reconvened in a third day of protests, said they are out again on the streets to call attention to what they term the increasing effects of bad governance and corruption in the country.

They met at their usual spot, the Unity Park, Abuja, while calling on the authorities to probe all office holders accused of corrupt enrichment.

The co-convener of the group, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, told Channels Television that the members are concerned about the growing reports of such corrupt officials.

She said that the group is also pressing for the return of the remaining Chibok girls, which has been the core of the campaign.

On Tuesday, the BBOG focused on better welfare for the soldiers in the northeast.

1000th Day

It became 1,000 days on January 8, since 276 girls were abducted by Boko Haram militants from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno state.

Some of them have since been released while others managed to escape, but at least 195 girls are still in captivity.

Their abduction drew international attention to the activities of the armed group in Nigeria’s north-east region, with several world leaders including former British Prime Minister, David Cameron, calling for the girls’ release.

Meanwhile, the President, Muhammadu Buhari, has restated the commitment of the federal government in securing the release of the remaining youngsters.

Corruption, wealth creation and the Nigerian elite – By JJ Omojuwa

Nigeria is a tough place to start a business, and even a much tougher place to run one. When you check the World Bank’s annual Ease of Doing Business Report, you’d actually see that doing business in Nigeria that was a tough ordeal has only got tougher over the years. From its best ranking of 120 in 2008, the country sank to the depths ranking 170 in 2014 and 2015. There was actually a downward spiral between 2012 and 2014 when in 2012 the country was ranked 138. The 2016 number at 169 was just an insignificant movement from 170. The poorest ranking is about 190 with the best country ranked 1.

Capital is very expensive in Nigeria yet we need capital amongst other factors, to create wealth. Accessing loans for your new or active business is a tough ordeal. For most people starting small businesses, they are more likely to get help from family and friends than they are to get loans from the banks. But when friends and families themselves have fallen on hard times, it then means we need a new wave of helpers more than ever before. With interest rates as high as 24 per cent and collaterals as unreasonable as documents of landed properties – from someone looking to get started in business – things are not looking pretty at all.

The current Muhammadu Buhari administration through the office of the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, has committed to a timeline of improving the ease of doing business but while they get on that and we continue to put them on their toes, a certain group of Nigerians must stand up to be counted!

Nigeria’s elite must do better. We need to prioritise giving, give intentionally and strategically for the purpose of expanding opportunities and creating wealth. There are two main types of giving in a certain sense. There are those that give in such a way that the receiver continues to depend on them and then there are those that give for the sole purpose of empowering the giver. We need to do more of the latter. Even with a governance system that works – ours still doesn’t – we’d still need to do a lot more than depend on government to fix our poverty challenge. It is a massive problem. One of the reasons certain countries continue to be prosperous over centuries is not only because of their system of governance but because private citizens committed to using their wealth for the purpose of development; endowing universities for the education of a certain group of people, empowering businesses via soft loans or equity contribution, covering several other gaps left by the government. No system has ever thrived solely because its system of government worked. Ultimately, we need change to happen from top to bottom and bottom to top for it to be wholesome and enduring. Ours is a double whammy challenge because whether top to bottom or bottom to top, we haven’t even started at all.

Corruption has cost us a lot more than the shortage of public funds. I have always believed that Africa’s challenge with corruption is not as much about the fact that a lot of its resources are stolen by some of those trusted with power, as it is about the fact that virtually all the stolen money gets transferred mostly to Western countries. In other words, not only are we denying ourselves resources to build public institutions and infrastructure, we also export jobs and value when our stolen money gets exported. A thief is a thief of course but a thief who steals billions of naira without carrying a gun is a bigger thief than one that steals N5m by brandishing a gun. You are probably aware of all the monies being returned to Nigeria from Switzerland, being proceeds of corruption. Whilst Nigeria gets to collect the exact money stolen some 18 years ago in certain cases – if charges are not deducted for consultants and the likes – the truth of the matter is, the returned money is a lot less than the wealth the initially stolen money must have created over almost two decades. Those returning the money know this, it is why everything is done to delay the return as long as possible. It helps for us to know this too.

There is no need to sing to the choir about Nigeria’s challenges, we know them, we talk and sing about them and we always trust in the next election or next government to fix these things. We also know that more often than not, our trust gets betrayed. We need to do better. Government is critical to our development but we need to think beyond government. Someone posted a tweet during the week about how a former minister – who recently lost some $153.3m of the total money she allegedly stole – comes from a part of the country where poverty remains a prevailing reality as this person has done almost nothing to improve the lives of those who share kinship with her. It is why those who defend corrupt people defy logic. Someone even said it was better to ignore corruption stories for now as we focus on insecurity issues. That is also anti-logic because on the one count, the human brain has the capacity to deal with more than one issue at a time and on the other, these things are interlinked. Corruption begins a cascade of tragedies that lead to the shortage of infrastructure, drugs in hospitals, resources for the training of police officers and whatever else you can think of. All of these shortages have consequences and Nigeria is a breathing reality of those consequences.

A lot of us must be used to this picture; a big rich man in a poor neighbourhood who is ever ready to give a token to the poor just so they can feed and survive for two or more days or weeks before they return to beg the big rich man again. The rich man also gets a sense of his wealth when he looks out at night and sees his house is one of the few lit houses in the neighbourhood, while in the day his house stands out in a neighbourhood that reeks of poverty. This picture must change; enough of giving to the poor or needy for the purpose of keeping them alive to beg again. We must now begin to give strategically. Give N200,000 to four enterprising small business owners whose businesses will get a major lift with N50,000.00 than hand N1,000 to 200 wailers and hailers. N200,000 in the hands of four value creators could become N500,000 in a matter of months.

I want to see a Nigeria where the battle goes from which rich man or woman had the party of the year, the biggest car or house to one where the conversation is about “Who is doing more to support small businesses?” Trust me, if we don’t get this right, things will continue to get worse. We need to be more intentional, creative and strategic about our giving so that when we give, we give to create more wealth. There will always be room for everyday giving, the ones that keep food on another’s table or helps another to feed for yet another day. But as Tony Elumelu  noted, “we need to give from the perspective of empowering the recipient, instead of making them dependent on us.”  That powerful statement deserves the last word on this.

Samsung chief Jay Lee quizzed over South Korean corruption scandal

A South Korean special prosecutor said it had summoned Samsung Group leader Jay Y. Lee as a suspect in a scandal involving President Park Geun-hye.

Prosecutors have been checking whether Samsung’s support for a business and foundations backed by Park’s friend, Choi Soon-sil, was connected to a 2015 decision by the National Pension Service to back a controversial merger of two Samsung Group affiliates.

Samsung, South Korea’s largest bunisess group, has acknowledged making contributions to two foundations as well as a consulting firm linked to Choi.

The prosecution summoned two senior Samsung Group officials this week for questioning, though they were classified as witnesses.

At a December parliament hearing, the executive denied that the firm paid bribes to pave the way for the 2015 merger.

Samsung made the biggest contributions of 20 billion won ($17m) to Choi’s foundations, followed by Hyundai, SK, LG and Lotte.

In December, investigators also summoned Kim Jae-youl, chief of the sports marketing unit of Samsung Group, as they look into allegations that the business giant sponsored the president’s jailed friend, Choi, to receive government favours.

Samsung is separately accused of funnelling millions of dollars to Choi to bankroll her daughter’s equestrian training in Germany.

President Park could become South Korea’s first democratically elected leader to leave office early after parliament voted in December to impeach her over the corruption scandal, a decision that must be approved or overturned by the Constitutional Court.

Xenophobia: We don’t want Nigerians in our country – South Africans

Following the brutal murder of a Nigerian resident in South Africa by the police on suspicion of being a drug peddler, some of the country’s citizens have come out in support of its police, saying they do not want Nigerians in their country.
Despite the fact that Nigeria was at the forefront of fighting for the liberation of South Africa from its apartheid masters, the citizens think that Nigerians should be sent packing because they are criminals, drug barons, armed robbers and kidnappers.

Taking to the social media after the murder of Victor Tochukwu Nnadi by the SA police, some South Africans believe Nigerians are not wanted in their country.

One Lucki Lucky wrote this:

“What was he doing in SA? Nigerians must get out of South Africa. These criminals are hated and unwanted here and that will NEVER change.

Nigerians are the seed of Satan. There is not going to be any kind of friendship between Nigerians and South Africans. Will Nigerians ever put it in the tiny skulls that South Africans hate them?

Anyway, which nation in the world like Nigerians? Nigerians are hated all over the world. In China, they slit their throats and in Brazil, they cut their stomachs open and leave them for dead.

We don’t need Africans, Middle Easterns and Asians in the country.”

Dube Mtulenga wrote:

“Why can’t Nigerians stay back in their country? I wonder what they want in South Africa. Many of them come into our country illegally and are often the perpetrators of crimes like robbery, rape, gang fighting, drug trafficking, among others in our communities.

If it takes killing them all one after the other, so be it. We don’t want them polluting our land. They should go back to their stupid country.”

Karen Rethabile also wrote:

“In my own opinion, very few South Africans love Nigerians and they know this very well. They come into our country, steal our money, sell drugs to our people, corrupt our young men and treat our women as prostitutes.

We don’t want them and they should go back to their corruption-infested country.”

Sibuso Kunene wrote:

“Nigerians are thieving, conniving bastards and should not even be allowed to enter South Africa. All they know is sell drugs, rape, kidnap and rob us while our policemen are not helping matters at all.

More of the idiots should be killed to send a message to them that they are not welcome here.”

For how long will Nigerians be disrespected, maimed, killed and insulted by their South African hosts while the government back home sits comfortably doing nothing? This is the big question that needs answers immediately.

Governor Fayose’s Defense Of Corruption – By Tayo Adeleke

Ordinarily, a criminal suspect like Mr. Ayo Fayose, the governor of Ekiti state should be ignored by decent people. I actually began to doubt the mental sanity of the governor when he said that the Chibok girls were never abducted and that their parents were pretending. Since then I have learnt to pity and pray for the governor while sympathising with Ekiti people who have the misfortune of being ruled by such a lousy character. But because he has been left by President to continue to fool himself, the likes of Pastor Addboye are being recruited to sing the praises of the very corrupt governor.

Mr. Fayose has just condemned the anti corruption fight of the federal government. As far as the governor is concerned, President Buhari is not fighting corruption but his political foes. But  Mr. Fayose has failed to point  to any corrupt person arrested by the anti graft agencies under the present administration without any evidence of corruption and fraud. Even though Governor Fayose is presently enjoying constitutional immunity his agents who were arrested have  admitted that they collected N2.5 billion from ex-minister of state in the ministry of defense, Musiliu Obanikoro.

The former minister who initially ran to the United States of America has returned to Nigeria. In his comprehensive statement to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Obanikoro confessed that he collected the sum of  N2.5 billion for Mr. Fayose from the office of the National Security Adviser under retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki. That was part of the $2.1 billion set aside by the federal government to buy military weapons to fight Boko Haram and other terrorists.  Instead of denying the serious allegation of corruption Mr. Fayose has been parading himself as an ‘opposition leader.’ This fellow must think that Nigerians are fools to be hoodwinked by a vagabond in power like himself, apology to the late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.

A permanent secretary has just been arrested with 47 SUVs and 100 motorcycles bought from the sum of N27 billion stolen from the retirement entitlements of dead PHCN workers.  Others have confessed that they stole money budgeted for building hospitals, roads and schools for our children. And Fayose wants Nigerians to overlook such wicked crooks and heartless criminals. Does the governor know how many people have lost their lives in our abandoned hospitals and on our dangerous roads? What of the millions of our children that are out of schools? Just because  the limes of Fayose stole the billions of Naira for equipping hospitals, fixing roads and building schools.

Was it not under People’s Democratic Party’s Presidents that all former governors including Mr. Fayose were charged to court for stealing billions of Naira. In his own case Mr. Fayose was charged to court in 2006 under President Olusegun Obasanjo for stealing N1.2 billion through a poultry scam. Was he not also charged to court by the police for the killing of Dr. Ayo Daramola, Tunde Omojola and others in Ekiti state during his first term as a governor? Has Mr. Fayose forgotten that Mr.  Lere Olayinka, his current Media aide called the police to arrest and prosecute Mr. Fayose for assassinating innocent people in Ekiti state?

Since the memory of the  highly corrupt governor is very short we wish to remind him that the over 20 former governors who are standing trial in many courts were charged to court by the previous regimes. Even under President Jonathan,  former governors like Silva, Ladoja, Daniel and others were charged to court. Was it not under President Jonathan that former governor of Delta state, Chief James Ibori escaped from Nigeria only to be arrested in Dubai and deported to London for trial? Was it not President Jonathan that pardoned his former boss, Chief DSP Alamieyesigha who was jailed by the Obasanjo government?

In all the cases I have mentioned were we not told by the likes of Fayose that the big time crooks were charged to court  for political reasons even though none of them tried to defend the billions of Naira stolen by them? Let Mr. Fayose continue to deceive himself. Unlike when he ran away after his impeachment in 2006 we Ekiti youths will not allow him and his fellow corrupt elements to escape this time around. All those who have stolen public fund must be tried and jailed with orders to return out stolen wealth.

Now Enough is enough.

James Ibori and a nation united by corruption – By Chido Onumah

One of the highlights of the year that has just ended was the release from a British jail of one of Nigeria’s most notorious politically exposed persons (PEPs), James Onanefe Ibori. Ibori’s rap sheet is as long as the 338km East-West Road in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region, but the reason for his latest freedom was the conviction and sentencing—13 years in prison—by a Southwark Crown Court in April 2012 after he pleaded guilty to a 10-count charge of money laundering, corruption and conspiracy to defraud.

Of course, it wasn’t Ibori’s release that dominated the news, as newsy as his expected release was. Rather, it was his triumphant return to the warm embrace of his kinsmen, supporters and well-wishers. James Onanefe Ibori or James Onanefe Ochuko Ibori, depending on if you are appearing before the Supreme Court of Nigeria, is an enigma. He was governor of Delta State from 1999-2007. He and his bosom friend, Bukola Saraki, Nigeria’s current senate president, bankrolled the political machine that led to the emergence of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua as president in 2007. And if not for providence—the death of Yar’Adua in May 2010—Ibori, who up until then was the de facto vice president of Nigeria, would have succeeded Yar’Adua.

Yar’Adua died and Nigeria dodged a bullet or so we thought! Ibori was subsequently jailed in 2012, two years after he was arrested—and extradited to the UK—by the Interpol in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, where he was hiding after fleeing Nigeria. Even in prison, he maintained his godfather role and from the public admission of one of his surrogates played a key role not only in the emergence of high-ranking public officers in Delta State but the leadership of the National Assembly. For the trajectory of the Ibori saga and persona, readers will find this piece, “The welcome party for Ibori” by Simon Kolawole, instructive.

Depending on where you come from, perhaps your political affiliation and how much you benefitted from the Ibori heist in Delta State, either directly or through a third party or even tangentially as a hanger-on, the celebratory Mass held in honour of Ibori’s release from prison, though detestable, was quite understandable. After all, there is an Ibori in many of us. There are countless Iboris in the National Assembly, criminals making laws and posing as “distinguished senators” and “honourable members”. There are Ibori’s in various government houses across the country; scoundrels posing as executive governors. There are Iboris in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Customs, Immigration, Prisons, Police, our universities and sundry public institutions where those who have been kept in charge of what Peter Ekeh in his seminal essay, “Colonialism and the Two Publics in Africa: A Theoretical Statement”, referred to as “civic public” conveniently and unconscionably steal from it and divert their loot to the “primordial public”.

That is the sorry state of Nigeria. And it explains the Ibori conundrum. According to Ekeh, “A good citizen of the primordial public gives out and asks for nothing in return; a lucky citizen of the civic public gains from the civic public but enjoys escaping giving anything in return whenever he can. But such a lucky man would not be a good man were he to channel all his lucky gains to his private purse. He will only continue to be a good man if he channels part of the largesse from the civic public to the primordial public. That is the logic of the dialectics. The unwritten law of the dialectics is that it is legitimate to rob the civic public in order to strengthen the primordial public.”

So, just as it is often the case where one person’s freedom fighter is another person’s militant, as a people, Nigerians seem not to be in agreement on what constitutes corruption or who a corrupt person is. What one Nigerian sees as corruption, another sees it as “blessing from God”, their own opportunity or “turn to eat”. The national cake is there for the taking. The state has abdicated its responsibilities—roads, water, school, health, sanitation, etc—and instinctively we have learned to “manage” by helping ourselves to as much as the national pottage, in the “civic public”, as we can lay our hands on.

Take the ongoing spat between the current Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, and his predecessor, Solomon Arase, who has been accused of making away with over 20 police vehicles when he retired in June 2016. Arase didn’t deny carting away police vehicles. He is just piqued that when it was his “turn to eat”, the police authorities suddenly became amnesic. To show his righteous anger on an issue that has caused public discomfiture, Mr. Arase’s reminded the all-righteous police authorities that there is nothing new in Inspectors General of Police making away with enough vehicles to open a car shop when they retire.

“I expect that former occupants of the office of the Inspector-General of Police should not be demeaned. This explains why Force Order 295 was emplaced by the force management under my leadership as acknowledged in your letter in reference,” Arase wrote to his predecessor in his defence. “In spite of the emplacement of this order and despite the fact that my two immediate predecessors left office with 13 and nine vehicles of different makes and models respectively, I never pressurised either of them to return any of such vehicles neither did I engage in any act that was capable of bringing them to ridicule as being done to me of late by a force I dedicated my life to serving up to the highest level.”

Clearly, pubic office in Nigeria is simply a sinecure and you would be eternally excoriated by your kinsmen and associates for not taking advantage of a life-changing opportunity.  As someone once reminded me, public office in Nigeria is like climbing a mighty tree with lots of fruit. Once you climb, you are required to get as much as you can because you may not have a second chance. So, we are all, ceaselessly, engaged in the race of getting a nibble at the cake. To appreciate the Ibori phenomenon, you must understand Nigeria. Here, the best private schools, including universities, are owned by those whose responsibility has included how to make our public schools functional. It is the same story for the health, transport, and indeed, every sector of the Nigerian society.

It is as if Nigerians, wherever we find ourselves in the “civic public”, are in a race for a medal on how best to pillage the country. The “Villa Repair Heist”, as someone has described it, provides a fitting example of this brazen larceny that is called public service in Nigeria. The 2016 budget for repairs and rehabilitation of Nigeria’s Presidential Villa, Aso Rock, was N642.5 million.

By 2017, the budget had shot up to N5.6 billion. “Was the Villa hit by a bomb or earthquake unbeknownst to us citizens?” “Was there a war akin to Aleppo in the place?” one commentator asked. No, there wasn’t. It is simply “their time to eat.” In the same budget, there is a provision of N2.3billion for the Defence Headquarters to clear backlog of electricity bills that is budgeted for every year.

In July 2012, I was part of an audience at Chatham House, London, where an ex-governor of Niger State and Chair of the Northern States Governors Forum, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, was guest speaker. Dr. Aliyu spoke on “Nigeria’s Unity and Regional Socio-Political Groups: Influence and Impact of the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF).” He noted that “corruption was the single unifying factor of the elite in Nigeria and that the way to deal with it was to reduce the focus on the centre.” Aliyu is right in many ways. But it is not just the elite. It is about Nigeria.

Today, if someone is robbed, we no longer get jolted. The refrain will be, “Thank God he is alive.” “We praise God the robbers took his possession and spared his life.” “God bless those robbers.” It is the same response you get when kidnappers strike. We no longer bother to interrogate armed robbery, kidnapping and other vices that have become part of our national ethos.

The celebration of Ibori’s return from prison, therefore, provides an opportunity to interrogate what Nigeria means to us as Nigerians. The problem is not really with Ibori or those who have elected to celebrate him. The problem is with Nigeria, a place where allegiance is to the “primordial public”, where rulers live in mansions and religious centres luxuriate in splendor while public schools and hospitals wallow is squalor.

Onumah is the author of We Are All Biafrans. Contact him on; Follow him on Twitter: @conumah

FG’s whistleblowing policy and the death of financial corruption in Nigeria – By Simon Ncheta

At Independence, Nigeria was projected as the nation to lead Africa out of its third world status, into a continent of pride, worthy of competing with the developed world on every aspect of human development index.

Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, promised the rest of the continent and the world, that Nigeria “shall not fail for want of determination”.

56 years down the line, Nigeria has recorded tremendous progress, and equally tremendous failure. Corruption has been seen as the bane of our democracy and development as a nation.

For many years, financial corruption has held the nation from attaining the realities of its potential. According to Waziri Adio, the executive secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Nigeria made N70 trillion from oil alone in 15 years (1999-2014).

He goes on to question the way such monies were spent and the mis-management that trailed the country’s administrations through those years.

“I think if previous administrations had developed a culture for prudent management of resources, Nigeria ought to have over $100 billion saved in the excess crude account,” he said.

How such monies were spent no longer remain a mystery as President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war has revealed how government officials and their cronies channelled state funds into personal pockets.

Ben Akabueze, director-general of the office, said that the federal government is projecting an infusion of N258.6 billion from recovered loot into the 2017 budget, showing a fraction how much loot recovery, the government did in 2016.

On Wednesday, Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance, announced the federal government’s whistleblowing policy for loot recovery.

“You can submit documentary evidence on the portal. You can also provide specific and fact-based information such as what occurred, amount involved, who was involved and dates of the occurrence on the portal,” she had said.

“Confidentiality will be maintained to the fullest extent within the limitations of the law. If you choose not to disclose your identity, there will be no record of who you are. If you choose to disclose your identity, it will be fully protected.
”If you whistleblow in public-spirit and in good faith, you will be protected. If you feel that you have been treated badly because of your report, you can file a formal complaint. If you have suffered harassment, intimidation or victimisation for sharing your concerns, restitution will be made for any loss suffered.”

To cap it all Adeosun said the programme comes with an incentive and protection for whistle blowers. It ensures that whistle blowers can get as much five percent of loot, in case of losses recorded in the process.

“Whistle blowers will be protected against sanctions, and in the event that somebody who is a whistle blower loses their job or is financially disadvantaged as a result of the information they have provided, we have a reward scheme, which would pay not more than five percent,” she adds.

This goes on to show that the government is committed to catering for whistle blowers.

What this policy would do much more than recovering loot, is to prevent looting. With everyone free to blow a whistle on financial mismanagement, every public official planning one form or looting or the other will be deterred from doing so, because anyone who knows about it can blow a whistle and get the official in the government’s net.

Hence, much more than the recovery of loot, federal government’s whistleblowing programme may mean the death of financial theft in Nigeria.

Ncheta writes from Lagos, and can be reached via

Corruption Is Deep But It Can Be Defeated – By Jibrin Ibrahim

Nigeria became the only country in the civilised world where corrupt persons could get court injunctions stopping the prosecutorial agencies and the courts from investigating and prosecuting their corrupt acts. The tide is changing. The wheels of justice are turning and our only prayer is that all those guilty of corruption must be prosecuted and go to jail if found to be guilty.

Section 15(5) of our Constitution is clear: “the State shall abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power.” The prosecutorial agencies and the judiciary, of course, have the responsibility to investigate, prosecute and punish those involved in corrupt practices so that the Nigerian State remains faithful to the injunctions provided by our Grand Norm. We know however that the State has lacked the capacity to abolish corrupt practices. In other words, the State has been unable to play its role as the guarantor of the rule of law. As we all know, the rule of law requires the equality of all citizens, but on issues of corruption, Nigerians are very unequal. In Nigerian prisons today, there are thousands of people who are in jail because they have stolen a chicken or a goat. They are in jail because they have committed a crime against the State. Although their theft was petty and most likely due to extreme poverty, they must suffer the punishment because they have committed a crime against the State. The paradox however is that those who steal in billions are usually protected by the same State. Nigeria has developed a system in which punishment for corrupt acts applies only to those citizens who are unable to pay for the right calibre of lawyers or who are unable to pay judges for immunity. This is a crisis that indicates the absence of justice in our society.

In a convocation lecture he delivered at the University of Maiduguri on January 31, 1985, Justice Akinola Aguda drew the attention of his audience to the earliest discovered written Secular Code, King Hammurabi (1728-1686 BC). The said Code was established: “To make justice appear in the land, to destroy the evil and the wicked, in order that the strong might not oppress the weak”. In Nigeria, our “justice system” appears to be designed to make the strong above the law. The most serious problem begins with the strongest.

The story by Dapo Oloronyomi and Musiliku “Mojeed on the Halliburton Bribe Takers” (NEXT newspaper, March 29, 2009) demonstrated that our leaders in the past have been common criminals who violated our laws and Constitution. The known and fingered personalities include three former presidents; Olusegun Obasanjo, Sani Abacha and Abubakar Abdulsalam; as well as a who’s who of Nigeria’s political and business elite. Our three former successive presidents received millions of dollars in bribes from American and European contractors retained to build Africa’s first liquefied natural gas plant in Bonny, Rivers State. Also enmeshed in the vast and formalised bribery scheme is a long line of ministers, bureaucrats, top politicians, state and local officials and former oil minister, Dan Etete, according to American investigators. They all received millions of dollars in bribes from the oil services company in exchange for billions of dollars in contracts to build the gas plant. Halliburton paid $579 million in fines and many of its agents went to jail for bribing our former presidents. Our law enforcement authorities, notably the Attorney General at that time, Michael Aondoakaa, promised a thorough investigation but nothing happened. The National Assembly, the EFCC and the Office of the Attorney General simply refused to act when the story broke. Worse still, Aondoakaa sought to investigate Halliburton for tarnishing the image of the country by bribing its officials. Those who performed the corrupt acts by receiving bribes were of no interest to him; he was more worried about protecting the image of the bribe takers.

I agreed with the acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, when earlier this year he told the Nigerian Bar Association that: “Society is not served when prominent members of the bar not only take clearly tainted briefs, but even facilitate the commission of crimes by knowingly supplying the technical know-how and later, helping in the dispersal of the proceeds of crime.”

I have pointed out many times in this column that the Buhari Administration has many faults but it has an important strength, the will to fight corruption, even if its practice lacks elegance. On November 18, 2015, Nigeria’s president ordered the arrest of a former national security adviser who was accused of anchoring the mega looting of the millions of dollars meant to buy weapons for the fight against Boko Haram militants. Police surrounded the house of Sambo Dasuki in Abuja and eventually arrested him. He was alleged to have organised the systematic looting of over $2 billion. Specifically, between 2012 and 2015, Dasuki awarded fake contracts worth more than $2 billion for fighter jets, helicopters, bombs and ammunition that were never supplied to the armed forces. In 2014, Nigeria spent $5.8 billion on security, a quarter of the country’s total budget. It is fairly clear now that much of that money was stolen. There is a glaring relationship that has developed between the increase of budgets on security and the deteriorating security situation in the country. As senior officers of the armed forces became multi-billionaires, the state of security in the country deteriorated.

One of the key principles of democracy is that those who govern are regularly held accountable to the citizens on whose behalf they exercise power. Accountability comprises the processes and procedures through which citizens and those who exercise responsibility on their behalf engage the process of assessing and enforcing governance. The processes and procedures include elections, recall of candidates who perform badly, referendum and fiscal accounting. In constitutional democracies, the accountability of those who hold office to the citizenry is based on the mandate given by the electors to those they elect to parliament or to the executive branch of government. Accountability implies that public officials are answerable for their actions and that there is redress when duties and commitments are not met. Accountability requires that standards of expected behaviour be set for those exercising authority so that they can be assessed and judged. When they engage in criminal behaviour, the administration of justice must prosecute them.

One of the successes of the Buhari Administration is bringing the issue of senior lawyers and judges in relation to corruption on the national agenda. I agreed with the acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, when earlier this year he told the Nigerian Bar Association that: “Society is not served when prominent members of the bar not only take clearly tainted briefs, but even facilitate the commission of crimes by knowingly supplying the technical know-how and later, helping in the dispersal of the proceeds of crime.” He concluded on the colourful note that there are silks who: “are vandals of the temple of justice.” The arrest and trial of judges for acts of corruption is a brave move that could take us along the path leading to the same justice for all citizens.

When there is immunity for engaging in corrupt practices however, the quantum and scale of corrupt acts grows astronomically. Following the successes of Nuhu Ribadu in the EFCC and the way he was bundled out of the institution for doing his work well, confidence returned fully to the practitioners of grand corruption in Nigeria.

Nigerians look forward to a future in which public resources would be used for the public good. It was precisely for this reason that Nigerians rallied round to support President Buhari and get him to power largely on account of his anti-corruption credentials. Between 1984 and 1985, the Buhari regime locked up the entire political class in jail for their corrupt past. They suffered for some time but eventually his regime was overthrown and the jailbirds came back to power and expanded their corrupt acts with renewed vigour. The problem with Buhari’s first regime was that the approach to fighting corruption was ad hoc, using military tribunals rather than the normal instruments of the administration of justice. This time around, the institutions of justice are being used. There is widespread concern however that sometimes procedures are ignored and even court orders are disregarded at times. If such lapses are addressed, the war against corruption could be institutionalised.

One thing that has been scientifically proved about corruption is that when the system is able to punish those involved in corrupt practices, the quantum decreases steadily. When there is immunity for engaging in corrupt practices however, the quantum and scale of corrupt acts grows astronomically. Following the successes of Nuhu Ribadu in the EFCC and the way he was bundled out of the institution for doing his work well, confidence returned fully to the practitioners of grand corruption in Nigeria. Nigeria became the only country in the civilised world where corrupt persons could get court injunctions stopping the prosecutorial agencies and the courts from investigating and prosecuting their corrupt acts. The tide is changing. The wheels of justice are turning and our only prayer is that all those guilty of corruption must be prosecuted and go to jail if found to be guilty. Let us resist the attempt by corruption to fight back.

New Whistle Blowing Policy: Nigerians to Make Money when They Expose Corruption- Kemi Adeosun

The Federal Government has approved a new policy on whistle blowing that aims to encourage Nigerians to report financial and other related crimes to relevant authorities.

The highlight of the policy is that whistleblowers whose revelations lead to recovery of money will be entitled to as much as 5 per cent of the recovered sum.

The new policy was approved Wednesday at the meeting of the Federal Executive Council , chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari inside the Council Chamber of the Aso Rock Villa.

The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who announced the new policy to State House correspondents, said it is being put in place “in conjunction with the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice”.

She said the policy is a stop gap initiative until the National Assembly formally passes a law on whistle blowing.

She said the new programme encourages Nigerians with information on financial crimes to disclose it.
She said the aim is to strengthen the fight against corruption by the Buhari administration.

She said anyone who provides information leading to the recovery of fund will be entitled to not more than five per cent of the recovered sum.
Ms. Adeosun said the government will set up a website and provide a phone number and email for people to use.

She said anonymity and protection of whistleblowers will also be guaranteed.

Ajimobi Urges Citizens To Shun Corruption, Embrace Intergrity

The Oyo state Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has drummed up support for the APC-led administration in the country, calling on all to eschew corruption and encourage templates of integrity, sacrifice, and selfless service as exemplified by the spirit of Christmas.

Governor Ajimobi stated this during the 2016 Christmas carol and thanksgiving service held at Agodi Gardens, Parliament road, secretariat Ibadan.

He said the present administration is aware of the poor state of the economy, which has exposed the citizens to suffering and hardship, stressing that necessary steps are being taken to address the challenges.

While noting the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari to arrest the recession presently facing the nation’s economy, Ajimobi also stressed the need for all be more understanding.

The governor therefore called on the people to follow the rules and injunction of the Holy Bible, by learning to forgive, accommodate, and embrace selfless service.

He however noted that corruption must be stamped out at all levels for these efforts to yield desired fruits.

Dignitaries from all walks of life, graced the 2016 edition of the carol service which is the sixth to be observed by any Governor in the State.

Furthermore, in a sermon, Bishop of the Methodist Church Nigeria, Mr Sunday Ola Makinde, condemned the high level of corruption in the society right from the church leaders to the politicians to the judiciary and security agents.

He said the greater the number of churches and mosques in the country, the greater the level of corruption and sinful acts in the society.

According to him, “church business has become a money spinning business in the society today”.

He said politicians, religious leaders and other people in high places have corrupted the image of God, through unfulfilled promises, bribery and false prophesies.

He then re-iterated the message of the governor, asking citizens to maintain integrity in all they do.

Magu, DSS, Saraki, Buhari And The Intrigues Of A Corrupt Cabal By Godwin Onyeacholem

The President – whoever he is – has to decide. He can’t pass the buck to anybody. No one else can do the deciding for him. That’s his job.”

The prologue to this piece was part of the farewell address to the American people delivered in January 1953 by President Harry Truman. It was a categorical reference to the concept of “The buck stops here,” which Truman, 33rd president of the United States, invented and espoused diligently. So passionate was Truman about this principle that he made the phrase into a desk sign that stood on his desk throughout his tenure.

“The BUCK STOPS here! This phrase is an irrefutable reminder of where the ultimate power lies in a democratic presidency, which one is minded to recommend to President Muhammadu Buhari in these very worrying times, especially in the wake of the Nigerian senate’s despicable rejection of his nominee, Ibrahim Magu, as substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. Clearly, if nothing else, Buhari should know that that rejection sounded the death knell for his vaunted war against corruption, as well as constitutes a huge embarrassment to his person and office.

And he should also take notice that rather than being the end, the senate’s act is just the beginning of the process of giving full expression to a familiar refrain of his and numerous other lieutenants in the APC administration: corruption is fighting back. Yes, corruption is fighting back, and the Buhari administration needs to summon the will to repel the attack and crush the monster. Otherwise, as Buhari himself has often stated, it will kill us. With the decision to block Magu from becoming EFCC chairman, there is no way corruption won’t kill us eventually if Buhari does not act like a true president.

Now, it’s no longer about Magu, nor an utterly useless Senate populated by overfed thieves whom Nigerians would be too glad to do away with as quickly as possible. It’s about Buhari. It’s about the kind of president he wants to be, and whether he wants to continue to run a heavily tainted and compromised presidency where the one who runs the show is the highly discredited Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, a man who has been linked with multiple acts of corruption and who on the eve of the 2015 elections denounced Buhari as a “serial loser.”

In the subtle design to rubbish Buhari’s government and preserve the old order, Abba Kyari is ably supported by other willing collaborators among them the equally unpleasant DSS boss, Lawal Daura, and the Senate president Bukola Saraki. But now is the time to urge Buhari to toe the path of Truman and point to Abba Kyari and the rest of the destructive gang where the buck stops.

With an impressive credential of personal integrity, and with fervent pre and post election resolve to wage an all-out war against a scourge that has gone down as the biggest cog in Nigeria’s development – a resolve for which he received an unequivocal endorsement from the vast majority of Nigerians – will Buhari buckle under the unrelenting onslaught of a vicious cabal whose singular interest is to perpetuate corruption as the directive principle of state policy? Will he continue to fold his arms and look the other way when his arch ally in the anti-corruption war, the man who has demonstrated rare courage in dealing corruption an unprecedented blow is being sought out by the cabal for destruction?

That the Senate did what they did was not altogether surprising. Every discerning observer saw it coming. After more than one year of Magu as acting chairman, and six months after receiving a letter from the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, requesting the Senate to confirm him as substantive chairman of EFCC, the senators reluctantly rustled up a pathetic engagement with Magu on the day they had scheduled to go on end-of-year recess. Instead of allowing the man to appear before them at plenary as the whole world expected, they arranged a sham executive session where the public was shut out.

It was at that dubious session that Magu’s fate was purportedly sealed. While the world was still waiting for the chambers to be thrown open and Magu invited for screening, it was a guilt-ridden, tremulous spokesman of the senate, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, that appeared to read a terse statement announcing the senate’s decision that Magu was not “fit” to be confirmed as substantive chairman based on a security report submitted by the DSS. What the spokesman failed to tell his audience was that there were indeed two security reports on Magu written the same day by the DSS. The one that clearly acquitted Magu and certified him qualified to lead the EFCC was discarded by the Senate, and the negative report was picked just because they had an evil agenda that must be satisfied no matter what it takes. No wonder he refused to take questions.

It will be interesting to see how Buhari reacts to all of this. His reaction should determine the status of The Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption (PACAC) headed by Professor Itse Sagay, going forward. If Buhari would not see through the shenanigans of the Abba Kyaris the Bukola Sarakis and assert himself as president by insisting that Magu remains his choice for the EFCC chair, Sagay should lead other members of the committee to resign the job and allow Buhari to fight corruption his own way.

Truly, if Magu was really corrupt, the crooked Nigerian Senate that we know would have filled the chamber with chorus of “Take a bow; Take a bow!”

Godwin Onyeacholem is a journalist. He can be reached on; Follow him on Twitter @Gonyeacholem

Corruption: Senate To Probe N213bn Power Intervention Fund

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has urged the Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy to conduct a public hearing into declining electricity generation in the country that currently stands at 3000 megawatts capacity.

Also, the public hearing is expected to verify the claims and counter claims of non-remittance of revenues between the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET), Electricity Distribution Companies (Discos) and Generation Companies (Gencos) as well as uncover how the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) disbursed the N213 billion intervention fund to the power sector.

Saraki who spoke at the weekend during a special stakeholders meeting to proffer solutions to the worsening  electricity generation in the country said the public hearing should look at the role of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) which serves as Board members in the Discos and Gencos, thereby making it difficult for the BPE to effectively supervise and audit the electricity generation and distribution companies.

He had in his opening comments lamented the poor electricity supply in Nigeria and the consequences of the negative development in the efforts to move Nigeria out of the present economic recession.

He told the stakeholders in the power sector led by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Louis Edozien that the essence of the meeting was to proffer solutions to an imminent collapse of the electricity system  in the country.

Briefing the meeting, the Permanent Secretary, Edozien, lamented that power generation has gone down to 3000MW/H from a 7000MW/H generating capacity with a 12000MW/H connected load.

Edozien also said there was poor and declining revenue collection capacity as the Discos are remitting about 45 per cent of collectable revenue instead of the performance agreement target of 65 per cent.

Read More: dailytrust

Oronsaye’s corruption trial adjourned till February, 2017.

An Abuja high court sitting in Maitama on Friday adjourned a no case submission hearing filed by Steve Oronsaye, former head of service until February 7, 2017.

Mr. Oronsaye was the chairman, Presidential Task Force Committee on Anti Terrorism Financing, set up by former president Goodluck Jonathan.

He was put on trial on breach of trust and diversion of N190 million made available for the committee.

At the resumed hearing on Friday, counsel to Mr. Oronsaye, Kanu Agabi,
sought the order of the court to file a no case submission, saying the prosecution had not made any case against his client.

The judge, Olasumbo Goodluck, then granted the application and ordered that the motion be filed and also be served immediately to the prosecution.

The judge then adjourned hearing in the no case submission until February 7.

At the last sitting, the prosecution closed his case after calling six witnesses to testify.

The 6th and the last prosecution witness, Hamma-Adams Bello, an officer with the EFCC, told the court that the investigation was approved by former EFCC boss,
Ibrahim Lamorde, following the receipt of two petitions against the defendant.

During cross examination by Ade Okeaya-Inneh, counsel to Mr. Oronsaye, Mr. Bello told the court that the petitioners were anonymous and their addresses were not clearly stated.

He, however, added that in spite of that, the petitions were investigated and found that Mr. Oronsaye was the sole signatory in two bank accounts of the Committee, one at Zenith Bank and the other at Access Bank .

Obanikoro in Fresh N450m Poll Cash Scandal

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Wednesday quizzed a former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, for allegedly receiving N450m from the Coordinator of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation in Lagos State, Adewale Onilere, during the countdown to the 2015 presidential election.

Operatives disclosed that the N450m was part of the N23bn ($115m) allegedly disbursed to the leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 36 states of the federation by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

A source at the EFCC told our correspondent that Onilere, who is the Chairman of the PDP in the Somolu Local Government Area, received N650m from the campaign organisation out of which N450m was given to Obanikoro.

He said, “Onilere received N650m and then delivered N450m to Obanikoro at his house. Onilere gave Obanikoro the money in the presence of some PDP leaders.

“So, on Wednesday, we invited Obanikoro to tell his side of the story. However, Obanikoro denied receiving any money from Onilere.

“Since Obanikoro is currently on administrative bail, we let him go. However, we have invited Obanikoro and Onilere to come to our office in two weeks’ time to face each other. Surely, we will get to the bottom of this.”

In a terse text message, however, Onilere denied handling stolen funds.

“It is certainly false and I know nothing about it. Thanks,” he said.

Obanikoro and his two sons, Babajide and Gbolahan, are currently under a separate investigation involving N4.7bn which was allegedly diverted from the Office of the National Security Adviser.

The ONSA, under the leadership of the then National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), was alleged to have paid N4.7bn into the bank account of a company, Sylvan McNamara, in which Obanikoro’s sons were directors.

Obanikoro had said in his statement on oath at the EFCC that after receiving the money in June 2014, he gave N1.219bn to the then governorship candidate of the PDP in Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose; while N1.3bn was given to the PDP candidate in Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore.

He also confessed to giving Fayose a separate $5.377m at Spotless Hotel in Ekiti State in the presence of party stalwarts including the then Ekiti State PDP Secretary, Mr. Tope Aluko.

Obanikoro was said to have kept about N785m for himself, which he allegedly spent while campaigning ahead of the PDP governorship primary in Lagos State, which Mr. Jimi Agbaje won.

However, the EFCC asked him to return about N584m of which he has already returned N137m.

Judge Earns N24m Annually, Spent N500m in 10 Months –AGF

The Federal Government on Wednesday said investigations had shown that a Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, spent over N500m between January and October 2016 despite his total annual legitimate earnings, including his allowances being N24m.

This was disclosed in a document prepared by the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Charles Adeogun-Philips, summarising the case of the prosecution against the Justice of the Supreme Court, who was on November 21, 2016, arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
 During his arraignment, Ngwuta pleaded not guilty to 16 counts, including money laundering and others relating to fraudulent obtainment of multiple passports.
The trial judge, Justice John Tsoho, adjourned till January 16, 2017, for the prosecution to start calling its witnesses.
The document, prepared in anticipation that the prosecution would be allowed to open its case on Wednesday, stated that the case brought against the judge, “chronicles corrupt enrichment, violations of the money laundering laws of our land, passport fraud, and an attempt to obstruct justice by a judicial officer”.
The prosecution alleged that from the N500m, the apex court justice transferred dollar equivalent of N313m cash in $100 bills to a building contractor within the period of nine months between January and September, 2016, to “develop several landed properties” for him.
It explained that earlier in 2015, the defendant, within a period of one month, made various cash payments totalling $180,000 to the building contractor.
It also alleged that during the raid on the defendant’s Abuja house by the operatives of the Department of State Services on October 7, 2016, total sums of N38.358m, $319,596 and £25,915 were found in his possession.
According to the prosecution, the Justice of the apex court gave no satisfactory explanation for the huge sums of money found in his possession.
Prosecutor’s document
The document partly read, “Another witness will testify before this court that the defendant’s total annual income, including allowances in 2016 amounted to approximately N24,000,000.
“It beggars belief how a serving public servant could have under his direct control, in a 10-month period spanning between January and October alone, cash sums in excess of N500,000,000.”
Adeogun-Philips said proposed prosecution witnesses would also appear in court to testify over the huge funds found in possession of the defendant, among other allegations.
The document stated, “In the course of this trial, the Federal Republic of Nigeria will adduce evidence from a building contractor engaged by the defendant, as to how in a period of nine months, spanning between January and September 2016, he received the total sum of N313,000,000 from the defendant in cash, which was paid to him mostly in $100 bills to develop landed properties for the defendant.
“This court will also hear from another witness, how in his capacity as an architect engaged by the defendant in 2015, he received from the defendant within a period of one month, various cash payments totalling $180,000.
“Investigators will further tell this honourable court how during a search at his residence on October 7, 2016, cash totalling: (1) N35,358,000 (2) $319,956 and £25,915 were found in the defendant’s possession.”
The prosecution alleged that the defendant had betrayed “the judicial oath of allegiance to discharge his duties as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, faithfully, with honesty, and to the best of his abilities”, which he swore to on June 23, 2011 when he was promoted to the Supreme Court bench.
The prosecuting lawyer also stated that he would lead evidence on how the defendant, on October 9, 2016, a day after being granted administrative bail by the DSS in Abuja, prevailed on a potential prosecution witness on the telephone to help him to move some bags containing title documents of landed assets and N27m cash away from his house in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
Adeogun-Philips stated, “The court will, in the course of this trial, hear how the defendant, having been confronted with the maze of evidence against him, following the search of his official residence in Abuja and his subsequent arrest on October 7, 2016, and oblivious of being under DSS surveillance, prevailed on a potential prosecution witness following his release on administrative bail on October 9, 2016, to remove from his bathroom at his private residence in Ebonyi State several bags containing several land title documents and the sum of N27m cash.
“The evidence will also reveal how the defendant ordered the same witness to remove three luxury vehicles from his residence following which the said vehicles were subsequently concealed at various locations in Ebonyi State in an attempt to obstruct ongoing investigations in this case.”
He also said the evidence to be led by the prosecution would reveal “how the defendant, deliberately misled the Nigeria Immigration Service into issuing him four valid passports – two diplomatic and two standard Nigerian passports – having previously declared to the said service on oath that he had lost two of these passports”.
“The defendant was later found with all four passports during a search at his residence on October 7, 2016,” the prosecution stated.
Adeogun-Philips added, “It is for these reasons that the defendant is standing trial before this honourable court today. By the end of this trial, I am confident that the prosecution would have established beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant is indeed guilty of the offences charged.”
The prosecution was scheduled to call its first set of witnesses against Justice Ngwuta on Wednesday, but the defendant, through his lawyer, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), begged the trial judge, Justice John Tsoho, to further adjourn the case to afford him (Ngwuta) more time to prepare for his defence.
He said his client was eager to defend himself, “But unfortunately we still have a lot to do to be sufficiently ready.”
He cited section 36(6) of the constitution which he said entitled any person accused of criminal offences to be given the “time and facilities” to defend himself.
He said, “There are some documents we still need to access from the prosecution. Under our constitution the defendant should be given enough time.
“I urge your lordship to direct the prosecution to avail us of all the documents they intend to use so that we can be fully prepared.”
Prosecutor opposes adjournment
But Adeogun-Philips, who said a lot of resources had been expended to bring three of the prosecution witnesses to court on Wednesday, opposed the application for adjournment.
He opposed the application on the grounds that both parties had on November 21, after the arraignment of the defendant, consented to the commencement of the trial on Wednesday.
 Insisting that all the documents the prosecution would use had been front-loaded and served on the defendant along with the charges, he added that the  application for adjournment also violated section 396(3) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, “which provides for day-to-day trial upon arraignment until the conclusion of trial.”
 He also said the adjournment would also violate the provisions of the court’s Practice Direction 2013.
 He suggested that if the court was willing to grant the adjournment, the prosecution should be allowed to call its witness and give the defence another date to cross-examine the witness.
Defence lawyer seeks adjournment
Responding on point of law, Agabi said day-to-day trial was impracticable and that under section 396(4) of ACJA, the defendant was entitled to seek adjournment five times throughout the period of the trial in the event of the impracticability of day-to-day trial.
But ruling, Justice Tsoho agreed with the defence lawyer on the grounds that the provision of the constitution overrides the provision of the ACJA.
He said that the time and facilities which the provision of Section 36(6) of the constitution provides must be afforded the accused person which could extend to “emotional and psychological” readiness.

Aisha Buhari, Magu To Kick-off Women Against Corruption Campaign

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, will tomorrow,  flag off the Nigerian Women Against Corruption, WAC, project, at the International Conference Center, Abuja with the aim of engaging women across the country in a nationwide sustainable fight against corruption.

According to the acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, the epoch-making event, which is in collaboration with the office of the wife of the President would be flagged off by Her Excellency Hajia Aisha Muhammadu Buhari beginning at nine o’clock in the morning.

“The choice of women is strategic, because we believe that they are torch-bearers in the anti-corruption crusade, and it is because of the important role they play in making the society a better place”, Magu said.

He further added that: “The WAC project is aimed at galvanizing Nigerian women to buy into the corruption fight and also to raise the consciousness of the consequences of corruption in the minds of their households.”

The WAC programme, which is coming up two days before the 2016 International Anti-Corruption Day celebration, has Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar (retd), Nigeria’s first female Chief Justice of Nigeria as the guest speaker.

The project will further be taken to the grassroots through the states and local governments across the country.


Allegations Of Corruption In The Justice Delivery Sector: Implications For Rule Of Law & Democracy By Femi Falana


For the past three decades, I have been involved in the struggle against human rights violations, corrupt practices and abuse of powers by certain principalities in Enugu State. In the 1980s I was here to defend the late Chima Ubani and other leaders of the student union of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka when they were expelled on grounds of political extremism. I also defended them when they were later charged before a Special Military Tribunal which sat at Enugu. In the 1990s I was equally here to launch legal battles against the proscription of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) by the Sani Abacha junta and the expulsion of Malachy Ugwumadu and his colleague by the Vice-chancellor the UNN. Even though the country was under the jackboots at the material time the military dictators and the UNN authorities lost all the criminal and civil cases to our clients.

Three years ago, I was briefed to take up the case of the illegal detention of the then first lady of the State, Mrs.Clara Chime. She had been locked up in a room in the government house for weeks. She briefed me, through SMS and emails which she secretly sent to me, to secure her freedom from the illegal custody. When it was discovered that she had contacted me her phones and IPAD were impounded. I took up her case pro bono. As soon as I reported her illegal detention to the National Human Rights Commission, the Nigeria Police Force and the State Security Service my locus standi to intervene in what was regarded as a family affair was challenged by her husband who was then the State governor. In defending my own intervention in the matter I referred the detainer who is a senior lawyer to the celebrated case of Fawehinmi v Akilu. where the Supreme Court held that we are all her bothers’ keepers.

Shortly thereafter, I led a team of colleagues to challenge the illegal impeachment of a former deputy governor in the State, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi by the House of Assembly. The ground for the removal of the public officer from office was that he had engaged in poultry in the government quarters. Since the Constitution has excluded engagement in farming from the management or running of private business by public officers which is prohibited the Enugu State High Court had no difficulty in voiding the illegal impeachment.  Sometime last year, Mr. Peter Eze was subjected to intimidation by the then Chief Judge of Enugu State for reporting him to the National Judicial Council (NJC). Apart from securing the enforcement of his personal liberty at the Federal High Court we fought against the official moves to cover up the gross misconduct alleged to have been committed by the Chief Judge. Through personal sacrifice, courage and perseverance Mr. Eze was able to say like Paul the Apostle,”bonum certamen certavi” (I have fought thegood fight). I am therefore delighted to return to a familiar terrain of struggle to address the Enugu branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on the controversial issue of judicial corruption in our country.

Danger of raiding Judges’ homes at night

Even though I support the purge of the judiciary I am unable to persuade myself not to endorse the nocturnal raid of the official quarters of corrupt judges. More so, that leading politicians of the ancient regime and scores of military officers accused of criminal diversion of public funds have not been subjected to such bizarre indignity. In any case, since the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) has admitted that he authorized the raid he is vicariously liable for the illegality of the invasion of the house of Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court. From the information at my disposal the ‘offence’ committed by the judge was that he had ordered the SSS to produce a detainee in a fundamental right application pending in his court.  Since Justice Dimgba has never been associated, even remotely, with corrupt practices, he deserves an unreserved apology from the federal government. In prosecuting the war against corruption the SSS should not be allowed to harass judges whose fidelity to integrity cannot be questioned.

Under successive military dictatorships in Nigeria the NSO/SSS carried out several nocturnal raids on my home in a desperate move to cow me to submission. I always opened my doors ajar whenever the security operatives came calling. However, on  April 8, 1990, after the night raid of my house I was arrested at about 4.15 am and driven to the outskirts of Lagos along the lonely Epe road and dumped in the bush by the operatives of the SSS. Simultaneously, the home of the late Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti was invaded. He too was arrested and driven to Ijanikin along Badagry road where he was abandoned in the bush by his abductors. It was not a commercial venture as no ransom was demanded or paid before our release. As soon as we returned to our homes we addressed the press to alert Nigerians of the new tactics of kidnapping political opponents by the military junta. To our utter chagrin, the SSS denied any involvement in our abduction. Although we dismissed the official denial we and our colleagues in the human rights community resolved never again to open our doors to midnight marauders. And we never did until the end of military rule in May 1999.

However, when the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi SAN, the late Dr. Ransome-Kuti and I returned to Kuje prisons in July 1993 we met a security officer who was in detention for alleged security breach. In the course of our interaction he informed us that the April 1990 abduction was carried out as part of the preparation for the Gideon Orkar-led coup. According to the officer, our abductors wanted to incite the human rights community against the Babangida junta.  I have recalled the personal encounter with the semi official kidnappers to draw attention to the danger of invading the homes of judges in the middle of the night. As kidnapping has become rampart in the country corruption may fight back by recruiting criminal elements to wear masks and abduct innocent judges at night and kill them andthereby embarrass the Buhari administration. To avert such ugly development the federal government is advised to stop security forces from further raiding the homes of judges at night.

Allegations of Corruption in the Justice Delivery Sector

Notwithstanding the arrest and the raid of the homes of judges where sums of money were recovered. And notwithstanding the arraignment of some of arrested judges in court the charges are mere allegations until they are proved beyond reasonable doubt. To that extent, we cannot comment on the contents of the charges since the criminal cases are sub judice. In this presentation, we shall therefore limit ourselves to the allegations of judicial implications.  At the same time, we shall call on the Nigerian Bar Association to take advantage of the ongoing purge of the judiciary to reorganize the courts. It has to be realized that we cannot successfully fight judicial corruption if we fail to stop the service of originating processes through extortion by court bailiffs, the execution of judgments through extortion by deputy sheriffs, the compilation of records of appeal through extortion by the record section and obtaining judgments of courts through extortion by court registrars.

It is often said that the court is the last hope of the common man. This is a myth in every capitalist society like Nigeria where the common man is economically disabled to access the court for redress. Within the ambit of a neo-colonial legal system the judiciary has performed fairly well. But the judiciary has not impacted on the masses of our people. We have over 40,000 poor people who are languishing in prison custody because their cases are awaiting trial in the criminal courts. All attention is largely concentrated on the High Courts and the appellate courts patronized by the elite which is constituted by a tiny fraction of the society.

The judiciary in Nigeria is yet to appreciate that it has the duty to lead the battle against corrupt practices and abuse of power or impunity in order to consolidate the democratic process. So much is expected of the judiciary due to the crucial role of the judicial arm of government in any democratic society. But in spite of the shortcomings in the legal system the judiciary has continued to uphold the rule of law to sustain the status quo in the overall interests of the ruling class. However, allegations of corruption in the judiciary are rife. According to Samson Uwaifo, a retired Supreme Court Justice, “If a judge is corrupt he is no longer a judge, he is a thief and therefore he should be treated as such, according to the law and sent to jail. The substantive issue is corruption. Is it true that these people are actually corrupt and that huge sums of money were found in their place? If that is so, the question of the procedure that taken would be a secondary thing – DSS can be punished for what they did (wrong) but focus should be on the result of the action”

In his reaction to the arrest of judges who are under investigation for corrupt practices a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Yemi Candide-Johnson has categorically asserted that, “I believe that there is nothing uglier or more dangerous than a corrupt judge. A judge accepts an oath to administer justice without fear or favour, it is a trust and practically a holy obligation. Corruption at this level poisons public confidence in the entire system of government and threatens the peace and stability of our entire community. It is shameful and a disgrace to the memory of generations who built the Nigerian legal profession. It is vital that examples are made and I would like to see corrupt judges shackled and on their way to long prison sentences.”

I fully agree with Mr. Candide-Johnson SAN that “a corrupt judges is dangerous to the society.” In fact, judicial corruption is the worst form of corruption because judges have been empowered to exercise the power of life and death over other human beings. The judiciary is not a perfect institution. But unlike other arms of government it has devised inbuilt mechanism for removing corrupt or indolent judges. Under the Buhari administration a number of judges have beensacked for corrupt practices, dereliction of duty or abuse of office. Some have been charged to court while others are under investigation for corrupt practices. But no minister has been sacked. No legislator has lost his or seat on ground of corruption. To that extent, the judiciary has fared better than the executive and legislature in the sanitization of the political system.

I have said in another forum of lawyers that the judiciary cannot be an oasis of integrity in a corrupt society. But as prosecutors and defence counsel in corruption cases lawyers should refrain from manipulating the law to promote corruption. Asinterpreters of the law our judges should stop conferring immunity on politically exposed persons. As a defender of human rights and rule of law the Nigerian Bar Association should monitor lawyers and judges and ensure that the bad eggs among them are reported to the appropriate disciplinary bodies. The point I am labouring to make is that the legal profession can reduce the menace of corruption to the barest minimum in the society. In order to consolidate the democratic process the NBA should activate the human rights committees in its 120 branches with a view to defending the human rights of the Nigerian people.

More importantly, the NBA Section on Public Interest and Development Law (SPIDEL) should join the campaign for the enforcement of the rights of Nigerian Citizens to education, adequate health, safe environment, etc which have been guaranteed by the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights Act (Cap A9) Laws of the Federation, LFN, 2004. Since there is equality before the law the Public Officers Protection Act and all laws which require service of pre-action notices as well as the fiat of Attorneys-General to garnishee the accounts of the governments should be abolished. Our judges should be prepared to promote public interest litigation in order to empower citizens to challenge executive lawlessness and official impunity in the country.

The Bar and judicial corruption 

In a critical assessment of the state of judicial independence in Nigeria Professor Osita Nnamani Ogbu has opined that: “In practice, however, the Nigerian judiciary has been far from being independent and impartial. The executive branch has overwhelming influence on the judiciary. Other factors that affect the independence of the judiciary include the politicization of the issue of appointment of judges and the membership of secret cults by some judges. The Nigerian judiciary is not free from the pervasive phenomenon of corruption in Nigerian society. The executive also disobeys some court orders.”

In recent time there is no bar President who has not publicly accused the judiciary of corruption of hawking justice to the highest bidders. Convinced that the disciplinary measures put in place by the NJC were not sufficiently effective, a former NBA president, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN once called for the setting up of a panel of enquiry like the Kayode Eso panel, to inquire into the allegations of judicial corruption in the country. And while commenting on the sack of Justice Shadrack Neabosike as Chief Judge of Abia State, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba SAN, also a former president of the NBA, said that “the decision of the NJC is laudable as it is part of the ongoing cleansing process of the judiciary”. He further stated that it was important for the judiciary to be rid of all forms of forms of corrupt and fraudulent officers so as to forestall a collapse of the system.”

In spite of the condemnation of judicial corruption by bar leaders the NBA has refused to expose, name and shame corrupt judges and lawyers. Consequently, the entire legal profession is now at the receiving end. Having regard to the monetization of NBA elections and inducement of voters by bar politicians it is not surprising that the national officers of the NBA lack the moral right to fight judicial corruption. The local branches of the NBA are also involved in the racket as they have specialized in extorting money from contestants. In view of the expenses incurred in the elections bar leaders do not hesitate to sacrifice the basic objectives of the NBA in order to recoup their huge investment. The implication of corrupt NBA electoral process is that bar leaders who bribe voters may see nothing unprofessional or illegal in bribing judges. The same thing applies to lawyers who sell their votes to the bar leaders during elections. It is therefore my submission that the fight against judicial corruption has to start with credible elections of bar leaders.

However, one of the dangerous implications of judicial corruption is that cases are no longer won on the basis of industry of counsel as justice is sold to the highest bidders in many courts including the appellate ones. The prize fixed on cases is chasing many hardworking lawyers out of practice. A high court judge has just been dismissed from the bench and recommended for prosecution by the NJC for allegedly fixing a case for the sum of N197 million. However, the NJC merely recommended for retirement Justice Hassan Tsiamiya of the court of appeal who demanded N200 million from an appellant. Last week, Chief Robert Clark SAN disclosed on Channels Television that a serving governor once told a senior counsel that the fee charged by him was much lower than what the judges in an election petition tribunal had demanded.

Whereas before now legal practitioners could not meet judges in chambers for any discussion whatsoever in the absence of colleagues on the opposing side it is not uncommon these days for litigants to inform counsel that they had met and negotiated with judges trying their matters. In many jurisdictions, the lawyers and court registrars who are couriers for corrupt judges are well known to all and sundry. Instead of taking steps to flush out the judicial merchants who have turned our courts to supermarkets for the rich lawyers are falling over themselves to fix cases. Meanwhile bar leaders have specialized in verbalizing the commercialization of the justice sector.

Another area where the NBA has failed to call its members to order is the deliberate delay of the prosecution of corruption cases and pre-election matters.  In other jurisdiction all pre-election matters are tried and concluded before elections. For instance, on the day of the United States election the Donald Trump campaign organization had filed a suit praying  the courtto direct a county registrar of voters in Nevada State to preserve and segregate ballots from voting machines in four early voting areas where there were suspicions of fraud. The claimant asked for an order that the ballots cast after the designated polling hours be not “co-mingled or interspersed” with other ballots. The judge heard the arguments and delivered his judgment in view of the urgency and implication of the case.

But in Nigeria our courts have turned pre-election matters to post election affairs with dire consequences for the democratic process. Contrary to the letter and spirit of the Electoral Act the dispute over the governorship primary conducted by the PDP in Enugu state is still pending in the Supreme Court even though the term of office of the governor who won the contest expired in 2011. Equally pending in the apex court are the appeals arising from the disputes over the governorship primaries conducted about 2010 in Abia and Cross River states. Although a winner has emerged in the governorship election held in Ondo state on November 26, 2016, the pre-election legal battles over the primaries of both the APC and PDP together with possible election petitions are going to be fought in the courts throughout the tenure of the winner of the election.

In the hearing of such cases for years politicians become desperate and are ready to win the cases at all costs. To stop judicial corruption through pre-election matters the judiciary should ensure that they are heard and determined with dispatch before election are held while election petitions are concluded before the inauguration of elected governments. The NBA and other stakeholders should propose relevant amendments to the Constitution and the Electoral Act to fast track the hearing of election disputes. Delay in the trial of politically exposed persons has also exposed the judiciary to ridicule before the generality of Nigerians and the international community. It is interesting to note that the manipulation of the criminal justice system is perpetrated by the politically exposed persons with the connivance of their counsel who are members of the inner bar. The deliberate manipulation of the criminal procedure to keep corruption cases in court indefinitely was decried by the Supreme Court in the case of Dariye v FRN where Ngwuta J.S.C held:

“It is not the duty of learned counsel to resort to motions aimed principally at delaying or even scuttling the process of determining whether or not there is substance in the charges as laid. In my view, this motion is a disservice to the criminal process and a contemptuous lip service to the fight against corruption. The tactics employed here is only one of the means by which the rich and powerful cripple the criminal process.

There are cases which the accused develop some rare illness which acts up just before the date set for their trial. They jet out of the country to attend to their health and the case is adjourned. If the medical facilities are not available locally to meet their medical needs it is only because due to corruption in high places the country cannot build proper medical facilities equipped with the State of art gadgets. There should be no clog in the process of determining whether or not a person accused of crime is guilty irrespective of his status in the society…

Lawyers are engaged to espouse the case of their clients. It is a monopoly and they should bear in mind that like all monopolies, there conduct are subject to strict rules of accountability for adherence to set ethical standards. They can fight the cause of their clients but as lawyers they must act within the rules regarding ethical conduct. They owe a duty to their client but they owe a higher duty to a higher cause-cause of justice .”

However, the Federal High Court has taken advantage of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 to accelerate the trial of criminal matters including corruption cases. In the last one year, the EFCC has secured about 200 convictions. This was why I was vehemently opposed to the recent call of the NBA leadership that the EFCC be divested of prosecutorial powers. Politically exposed persons have found that they can no longer manipulate the criminal justice system, at least in the Federal High Court. The appellate courts have also refused to suspend any trial by granting stay of proceedings. Interim orders of forfeiture of assets of criminal suspects are being granted while some of the suspects have been remanded in prison custody by judges and magistrates to facilitate investigation. Very soon, the fat cats are going to be convicted and jailed for looting the treasury.

The NJC and judicial corruption

Upon a critical analysis of the arrest of judges I have blamed the NJC and NBA for the cover up of cases of judicial corruption which led to the mess that the legal profession has found itself. Many petitions alleging misconduct against senior judges and members of the NJC have been suppressed. A Chief Judge has just been removed for collecting N10 million from a litigant at a book launch. But nothing has happened to another Chief Judge who raised over N40 million from a similar book launch. Is he a sacred cow because he is a member of the NJC? In defending the arrested judges the NJC claimed that it had treated all complaints of misconduct against judges with dispatch. The Civil Society Network Against Corruption, a civil society organization challenged the claim by referring to not less than 10 complaints which were not treated by the NJC.

Notwithstanding that it is incongruous for judges who are on trial for corrupt practices to continue to sit in judgment over other people the NJC said that it was not going to suspend the suspects. I had to remind the NJC that in 2006, it requested the SSS to investigate the members of the Akwa Ibom election petition tribunal who were alleged to have collected bribes to pervert justice.  Before the investigation was ordered the NJC had suspended the judges. In April 2014, I was the only lawyer who condemned the removal of Justice Peter Agwumagu as chief judge of Rivers state and his suspension before investigation was ordered by the NJC? Thisday published my article on the illegality of the removal. The NJC wrote a rejoinder to the article. The NJC was  also reminded that it suspended Justice Ayo Salami as President of the Court of Appeal before the investigation of the allegations levelled against him by the then Chief Justice. Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu.

It was at that stage that the NJC accepted the request of the NBA President, Mr. A.B. Mahmoud SAN to suspend the judges from performing judicial functions until they have been absolved of the allegations of corrupt practices.  However, the NJC has refused to consider the serious implications of the conflicting judgments and orders of judges of the federal high court and other judges of coordinate jurisdiction. Hence, the federal high court and the Ondo State High Court have just issued conflicting orders with respect to the governorship candidate of the PDP in the November 26 election.

The NBA has 5 members in the NJC who are usually members of the inner bar even though the Constitution provides that at least one of them shall be a Senior Advocate of Nigeria. Through its members in the NJC the NBA has continued to allow corrupt and incompetent lawyers to be appointed judges without a whimper. The comments on the character of candidates applying for appointment to the higher bench which are compiled by the various branches of the NBA are usually ignored by the NJC with the connivance of the NBA representatives. Instead of insisting on the appointment of judges on the basis of merit and integrity the NBA has never kicked against the politicization of the process of appointment. If we want an incorruptible judiciary the bar and bench should address the mode of appointment of judges, security of tenure as well as the working condition and retirement benefits of judges.

A former Chief Justice, Lady Justice Alooma Muktar put some measures in place to curb the excesses of itinerant judges. For instance, no judge could travel out of the country without a written permission of the NJC. Even a judge could not leave his/her duty post without the approval of the Chief Judge. Appointments to the higher bench were substantially based on merit.  As she would not allow the appointment of incompetent judges one of the heads of court refused to set the engine in motion for filling the vacancies in his Court.  But as soon as she completed her tenure it became business as usual in the judiciary. It is on record that the unprecedented impunity of the last three years encouraged the primitive accumulation of wealth by the judges who are currently embroiled in the miasma of corrupt practices.

In another move to protect corrupt judges the National Judicial Council has barred publication of allegations of misconduct against judicial officers or employees of the judiciary. Part of the policy reads: “It shall be the policy of the judiciary on complaints that allegations of misconduct against judicial officers or employees of the judiciary shall not be leaked or published in the media” and if and when it leaks, that would be the end of the investigation. Instead of gagging the media the NJC should be advised to learn from the NBA. Apartfrom advertising the names of lawyers being investigated the trial of indicted ones is conducted publicly by the legal practitioners disciplinary committee of the NBA. Even though the proceedings are covered by the media heavens have not fallen!

In any case, a petition against a judge may be leaked to the media without the knowledge or consent of a petitioner. In other words, it may be leaked to the media through the secretariat of the NJC or at the court where an accompanying affidavit has been sworn and deposited or by the respondent judge or through a member of the investigative panel or through any other member of the NJC.  Since any petition published in the media is liable to be dismissed by the NJC the respondent judge may leak it to the media if he/she has no defence to the allegation contained in the petition. The NJC ought to realize that it is the constitutional responsibility of the media to promote public accountability   and transparency in public institutions. Since the NJC is a public institution it cannot gag the press from reporting its activities. The NJC lacks the power to restrain the press from discharging the constitutional duty conferred on it by section 22 of the Constitution.  Since the petition against a judge is a public document it shall be made available to any Nigerian journalist pursuant to section 4 of the Freedom of Information Act. Furthermore, the NJC cannot prevent a petitioner from imparting information to the media in respect of a petition against a judge as it is an exercise of the fundamental right to freedom of expression guaranteed by section 39 of the Constitution and article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights Act.

Corruption encouraged to fight back by Government

President Buhari has said that corruption is fighting back. This is not unexpected given the enormous resources in the soiled hands of the politically exposed persons who have been investigated or charged to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Offences Commission. However, the federal government is needlessly encouraging corruption to fight back by frustrating the trial of some of the suspects. In fact, the government has continued to play into the hands of the suspects by refusing to comply with the orders of courts which have admitted them to bail.

Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), a former National Security Adviser, has refused to make himself available for trial on the ground that the SSS has illegally revoked the orders of three courts admitting him to bail. The government has also ignored the declaration of the ECOWAS Court to the effect that the further detention of Col Dasuki is illegal and unconstitutional. As if that is not enough, the federal government has refused to comply with the order of the Federal High Court to the effect that Commodore Umar Mohammed (rtd) be admitted to bail. Consequently, the Federal High Court has adjourned the arraignment of the retired military officer until the order admitting him to bail is complied with by the government.

When Olisa Agbakoba SAN was the President of the NBA a ledger was opened in the secretariat for recording judgments that were not been complied with by the governments. Even though many judgments were recorded in the ledger the NBA did not take any step to enforce them.  We cannot claim to operate under the rule of law if judgments of courts are treated with disdain by governments with the connivance or silence of Attorneys-General. The payment of judgment debts has been frustrated in many instances by Attorneys-General who refuse to give fiat to judgment creditors.Since the judgments of courts are binding on all authorities and persons the NBA should sanction Attorneys-General who fail to ensure compliance with the judgments of courts by the governments.

I cannot but concur with one of the leading lights in the legal profession, Chief Folake Solanke SAN who has rightly observed that “It is contrary to the rule of law that anyone or any institution should disobey a court order. Every lawyer must see that his clients obey court orders. It is a professional duty which must not be compromised for any client. A ‘person’ who disobeys a court order today may need the due process of law tomorrow to redress a wrong or an infraction of his right. The ambivalence of disobedience is exposed when a favourable court order is obeyed promptly and an unfavourable order is disobeyed.”

The NBA should wake up from its lethargy in the face of incessant disobedience to court orders. If the NBA under the presidency of Alao Aka-Bashorun could boycott courts over the flouting of a single court order by a military junta the NBA cannot afford to remain indifferent to executive lawlessness under a democratic dispensation.  As a matter of urgency, the NBA ought to prevail on the federal government to comply with the following court orders:

1.The orders of the Federal High Court,  the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory and the ECOWAS Court  directing the federal government to release Col. Sambo Dasuki(Rtd) on bail.

2.The order of the Federal High Court admitting Commodore Umar Mohammed (Rtd) to bail.

3.The order of the Federal High Court mandating the federal government to publish the amount recovered from those who looted the public treasury.

4.The order of the Federal High Court directing the SSS to release Sheik Ibraheem Elzakzaky and his wife from illegal custody.

5.The orders of the Federal High Court directing the federal and state governments grant autonomy for the judiciary.

6.The order of the Federal High Court directing the federal government to restore the Peoples Bank.

7.The order of the Federal High Court directing the federal government to establish the Nigerian Education Bank.

8.The order of the ECOWAS Court directing the federal government to ensure that every Nigerian child is given access to Universal Basic Education.

Criticisms of judgments of Nigerian Courts

In December last year, I had cause to criticize the granting of stay of proceedings by the Supreme Court in the case of Saraki v FRN . My criticism was based on section 306 of the ACJA 2015 which has prohibited the suspension of the hearing of a criminal case. Upon the publication of my views a retired judge called to warn me that I could be stripped of the rank of SAN for my impetuosity. The counsel to the appellant threatened to commence contempt proceedings against me. The then NBA president, Mr. Austin Aleghe SAN apologized publicly on our behalf and announced that we were going to be sanctioned for subjecting the decision of the apex court to criticism. I reacted by daring both Messrs.Daudu SAN and Aleghe SAN to file contempt proceedings and initiate disciplinary proceedings against me for exercising my freedom of expression guaranteed by the Constitution and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.

Contrary to the misleading impression that it is contemptuous to criticize the judgments of courts, it is not uncommon for judges of appellate courts to criticizethemselves through dissenting opinions. In Awolowo v Shagari Eso J.S.C. held that it was illogical to fractionalize a state and therefore said that 2/3 of 19 states was 13. In Abacha v The State Ejiwunmi J.S.C. held that disagreed with the majority judgment of the Supreme Court which had said that the appellant had no case to answer in a charge of conspiracy to murder. In justifying his minority decision his lordship said that, ‘”To hold otherwise is in my respectful view, to submit to the tyranny of the majority in its capricious interpretation of settled principles laid down.” In Buhari v Yaradua Oguntade and Muktar J.J.S.C. could not agree with the majority decision. As far as they were concerned, a valid election could not be based on illegal ballot papers.

If members of the apex court could deliver dissenting opinions it is not out of place to criticize the judgments of the Supreme Court. In welcoming the review of the judgments of courts Justice Jackson of the United States Supreme Court once remarked: “We are not final because we are infallible. We are infallible because we are final”. David Pannock  Q. C. has said that “Judicial independence was not designed as, and should not be allowed to become, a shield for judicial misbehaviour  or incompetence  or a barrier to examination of complaints about injudicious conduct on apolitical criteria.”

Justice Khrishner Iyer, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court of India once said that, “Judges are humans though they are ordinarily of high standard and rarely commit serious solecisms, fundamental flaws and grave goofs. Justly, therefore, even High Bench pronouncements do desiderate decisional review and correctional reversal. So we must abandon the populist superstition of judicial supremacy or curial papacy. Judges are under the Constitution, not over it. It becomes necessary to make a thorough scrutiny of the moral, materialist and value-based opinions of the ‘robed brethren’ which stultify established principles of justice and violate constitutional vision.”

In Blackdurn (No. 2) Ex parte R. v. Metropolitan Police Lord Denning said:

“Let me say at once that we will never use this jurisdiction as a means to uphold our own dignity. That must rest on surer foundations. Nor will we use it to suppress those who speak against us. We do not fear criticism, nor do we resent it. For there is something far more important at stake. It is no less than freedom of speech itself. It is the right of every man, in Parliament or out of it in the Press or over the broadcast, to make fair comment, even outspoken comment, on matters of public interest. Those who comment can deal faithfully with all that is done in a court of justice. They can say that we are mistaken, and our decisions erroneous, whether they are subject to appeal or not. All we would ask is that those who criticize us will remember that, from the nature of our office, we cannot reply to their criticisms. We cannot enter into public controversy. Still less into political controversy. We must rely on our conduct itself to be its own vindication. Exposed as we are to the winds of criticism, nothing which is said by this person or that, nothing which is written by this pen or that, will deter us from doing what we believe is right.”

Having regard to many contradictory judgments of our appellate courts and the conflicting orders of high courts of coordinate jurisdiction it is dangerous not to review the judgments of our judges on a regular basis. When the Supreme Court held that the use of card readers was illegal I thought it was like saying any judgment typed by computer was illegal. But when I found that the apex court did not advert its mind to the Electoral Amendment Act 2015 which has empowered the INEC was use card readers. In the circumstance, I was compelled to criticize the judgments of the apex court in an article titled “The Legal Validity of Card Readers”.

Even though the Supreme Court has ruled that any legal process not stamped and sealed by the NBA is illegal the judgment ought not to be accepted as the gospel truth because the attention of their lordships was not drawn to the fact the NBA is a voluntary society of lawyers.  The legal implication is that lawyers who are not members of the NBA and other citizens who may want to handle their cases without the services of lawyers cannot be required to seal and stamp their documents with the imprimatur of the NBA. Since the Constitution recognizes the fundamental right of litigants to defend themselves court processes filed by him cannot be stamped and sealed if they decide not to engage the services of legal practitioners who are members of the NBA. After all, the late Professor Ayodele Awojobi, a mechanical engineer, prepared and filed all his cases and argued them from the High Court to the Supreme Court.


A few months ago, the Presidential Advisory Council on Corruption headed by the renowned Professor Itse Sagay organized a seminar in Abuja on corruption in the judiciary.  I was privileged to have taken part in a symposium along   with the Chief Justice of Ghana, Lady Justice Georgina Theodore Wood. She was the cynosure of all eyes at the occasion because 22 corrupt judges had then been sacked in Ghana on grounds of corruption and abuse of office. At that seminar I warned Nigerian judges not to allow the Ghanaian experience to repeat itself here. In Ghana, the legal profession did not move against corrupt judges. So an investigative journalist, Mr. Anas Aratemew Anas inquired into judicial corruption and caught over 100 judges and judicial staff on tape demanding or receiving bribes. In order to prevent a situation whereby the reform of the judiciary would be externally instigated I was compelled to plead with the NJC to move speedily against the few bad eggs and lawyers who are corrupting the Nigerian judiciary. Unfortunately, my plea was ignored.

However, permit me to conclude this presentation by referring to Justice Krishner Iyer’s book on Law Versus Justice where wrote:

“Central to a democracy of rights and remedies, for people who had suffered irremediable wrongs from lawless law makers and callous, cruel Authority and influential brackets of society, was a judiciary upright, independent, equally accessible, activist and creative and geared to the promotion of social justice revolution.”

Nigerian govt fails to arraign senior judge accused of corruption.

The Federal Government on Monday failed to arraign a judge of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, Adeniyi Ademola.


The office of the Attorney General had planned to arraign Mr. Ademola at a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory on Monday, but failed to do so because the judge was yet to be served with the originating summons for his trial.


Mr. Ademola, alongside his wife, Olubowale, is facing a 15-count charge of alleged fraud and abuse of office.


He is among the seven judges whose homes were raided by operatives of the State Security Service on October 7.


Counsel to the Federal Government, Segun Jegede, told the trial judge, Jude Okeke, that the summons for the trial had not been served to the defendants.


He applied for leave of court to pass the originating summons to the defendants through their lawyer.


The application was granted and the case was adjourned till December 13.

Waziri Responds To Ribadu’s Accusation Of Frustrating Corruption Fight

Former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mrs Farida Waziri has challenged her predecessor in the commission Malam Nuhu Ribadu to give account of billions of funds and assets recovered from suspects under his watch as EFCC boss and stop using her name for cheap political cards.

A statement signed by her Personal Assistant, Ms Omolara Oluremi on Saturday quotes Mrs Waziri as saying Ribadu had accused her of being ‘’part of his imaginary enemies who frustrated the nation’s anti-graft war’’.

‘’My first inclination was to ignore Nuhu since I know he is always obsessed with dropping my name into his script anytime he needs public pity or political relevance but on a second thought I felt I should advise him to leave me out of his frustrations and face life.

‘’If after eight years of being removed as EFCC Chairman, he is yet to move on with life, even after two successive Chairmen had occupied the same seat and moved on with their lives, then his problem may be psychogenic’’ she alleged.

According to her ‘’it was Ribadu’s lust for power, inordinate ambition and desperation for political relevance that continue to push him to dine and wine, and even enjoy the wealth of those he had labeled as corrupt in yesteryears’’.

She advised Ribadu to ‘’stop being a weeping man’’, saying garrulity does not heal frustration or depression.


There is corruption everywhere, including in EFCC – Magu

Ibrahim Magu, the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has called for inter-agency collaboration to make the fight against corruption in the country succeed.

He made the call on Friday when he paid a visit to the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur
Buratai, in Abuja.

Mr. Magu said “there is corruption in every institution, including the EFCC.

“The reasons why we are here is that we need everybody’s support. We do not have the monopoly of knowledge to do what we are doing.

“There is corruption everywhere, every institution, including the EFCC. We are battling with internal corruption. So, everybody has a stake in this fight.’’

The acting EFCC chairman then used the occasion to inform the army chief that
the commission had concluded arrangements to mobilise women, including women in uniform on December 7 to join the fight against corruption.

He solicited the cooperation of the army in that regard.

He added that “we also want to appeal to you to join us in fighting corruption. Let’s have a change. If you can discipline yourself, you do not need another person to discipline you. Self discipline is key.’’

Responding, Mr. Buratai assured the EFCC of army’s support in the fight against corruption, noting that the menace was a cankerworm that had eaten deep into the society.

He noted that any effort to fight corruption would be resisted from different quarters, “but once you are steadfast and focused on your responsibility, you will succeed, no matter the resistance.

“We in the Nigerian army have taken it as a policy to ensure that we check ourselves and avoid any situation that will lead to mismanagement and lack of accountability or corruption.”

The army boss observed that a number of Nigerians had for a long time forgotten the basic principle of being accountable to themselves and the society at large.

He said “the erosion of this attribute has affected the general well-being of Nigerians.”

Ribadu Reveals Names Of Nigerians Who ‘Frustrated’ Fight Against Corruption

Years after leaving office as the pioneer chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu has named some Nigerians he said tried their best to frustrate the nation’s fight against corruption.

Mr. Ribadu spoke on Thursday when he presented the lead paper at the 2016 Annual Lecture organised by the Law Chambers of Joe Kyari Gadzama in Abuja.

Speaking under the theme “Corruption and the Nigerian Economy: Lawyers as Change Agents”, Mr. Ribadu named foremost lawyer, Ben Nwabueze, former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Michael Aondoakaa, and his successor at the EFCC, Farida Waziri, as people who undermined the country’s efforts to fight against the cancer of corruption.

“I still recall with amazement and shock how some very senior lawyers made it a duty upon themselves to bring down the EFCC and stop the work we were doing. Many of them, like Prof. Ben Nwabueze, SAN, teamed up with politicians to wage a very serious propaganda to discredit the work we were doing,” he said.

He also said Mr. Nwabueze personally went to court on many occasions to challenge the powers of the EFCC to fight corruption.

“One thing that also did a serious damage to the war against corruption was the active connivance of some senior lawyers who represented the governors we charged to courts after the 2007 election,” he said.

“It is on record that we charged the former governors of Jigawa, Taraba, Adamawa, Plateau, Enugu, Ekiti, Delta, Abia and Edo states as the first set of ex-governors to face prosecution. However, almost 10 years after most of the cases have not gone anywhere because of deliberate action by lawyers to frustrate the trials,” he said.

Mr. Ribadu, a lawyer and former police officer, also said he was shocked that some lawyers who found themselves in government also worked against the fight against corruption.

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Buhari: Corruption was becoming a culture before I came to power

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said corruption was becoming a culture before he came to power.

The president said this when he received the letter of credence of the United States ambassador to Nigeria, William Stuart Symington, at the state house.

In a statement issued by Femi Adesina, his spokesman, Buhari said his administration remained committed to realising the key priorities of securing the country, fighting corruption, and salvaging the economy in spite of current challenges.

“When I was invited to the G-7 meeting after my inauguration on May 29, 2015, I thought I was going to be an observer at the meeting,  but without prompting, I was asked to brief the leaders on the security situation in Nigeria, and I did. Since then, we have received support in training and military hardware, and I hope we have not disappointed,” he said.

He said the target of reversing the “culture of corruption” in the country had received support from Nigerians, with many realising the depth of damage done by some previous administrations from the ongoing investigations and prosecutions.

“The corruption we met at personal and institutional levels was unbelievable. Corruption was turning into a culture. After we came in, people started realising the truth,” said.

Buhari told the US ambassador that his administration was still determined to continue investigation and prosecution of corrupt persons in the country as “Nigeria will either kill corruption or corruption will kill Nigeria in the long run”.

The president stated that the years of mishandling of the economy at a period of financial prosperity affected the economy, making it more challenging to create employment for the youths and improve the livelihood of many Nigerians.

“It has not been easy for another party to come in and get things done properly, especially with the new economic reality of $37 per barrel of oil, against the $100 for the period, and there was no savings, no infrastructure on ground,” he said.

Buhari said the timely intervention of the United States, with a visit of its secretary of state, John Kerry to Nigeria, before the 2015 election, helped in ensuring peace and stability in the country.

In his remarks, the US ambassador said the interest in the well-being of Nigeria was of mutual benefit.

“We do it not only for Nigeria, but for ourselves. We did it because it was right for us and right for our people,” he said.

Symington said he would work hard to further strengthen the relationship between his country and Nigeria, assuring that president-elect Donald Trump would also be interested in the well-being of Nigeria.

Buhari also received letter of credence from the ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco, Moha Ouali Tagma, assuring him of Nigeria’s willingness to improve bilateral relations between the countries.

Corruption: You are not saints, NLC replies Buhari’s advisory committee

The Nigeria Labour Congress has condemned the “unwarranted attack” launched against members of organised labour by members of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption following the former’s suggestion that its members be incorporated in the Committee’s work.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the Labour leadership said the committee members’ portrayal of organised labour as a corrupt bunch was an unnecessary display of arrogance and self-righteousness.

“Due to our respect for his record of support for popular struggles before he took the current appointment as chairman of the Advisory committee, we had refrained from responding to an earlier unwarranted attack on Organised labour by Prof. Sagay,” Ayuba Wabba, the NLC President, said in the statement.

Last Tuesday, the Acting Secretary-General of the Trade Union Congress, Simeso Amachree, angered members of the Itse Sagay-led Committee when he suggested that members of the TUC, NLC, and the civil society be incorporated into the committee.

Femi Odekunle, a member of the Committee, had fired the first salvo, declaring that “labour leaders are corrupt” and therefore can’t be part of them.

Bolaji Owasanoye, the Committee’s Executive Secretary followed suit, arguing that the workers’ union’s inability to protest to the alleged corruption in the National Assembly was evidence that they had been compromised.

“For Prof. Odekunle, we know his records from ABU Zaria,” Mr. Wabba replied.

“It appears his recent trademark is his penchant for flippant and unguarded attacks against Organised labour to draw attention of people in authority for political appointment.

“The secretary of the advisory committee, Prof. Bolaji Owasanonye in his comments exhibited a total ignorance of our struggles against bad governance and corruption which was shocking.”

Mr. Wabba said organised labour had been in the forefront of supporting President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption campaign.

“We organized a nation-wide anti-corruption rally earlier in the life of the administration, and wrote President Buhari and the leadership of the national assembly to strengthen the advisory committee so that it could deliver on its mandate, and likened the significance of the committee to that of president Yar’Adua setting up of the Electoral Reform Committee, which was also the first major committee of his presidency.

“Our actions were informed by our conviction that corruption was at the heart of our underdevelopment as a nation. This informed our call for capital punishment for some category of graft during our protest, a call that many of our civil society allies and sections of the NBA were uncomfortable with.

Mr. Wabba went ahead to chronicle the NLC’s contribution to the anti-corruption fight starting from 1999.

“At the beginning of this republic in February 1999, at a presidential parley the NLC Organised at Ladi Kwali hall in Sheraton Hotel Abuja, in which over 1000 workers attended, our panelist Prof. Attahiru Jega asked the PDP candidate, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo what he would do to tackle the issue of corruption in Nigeria.

“He said he was looking at the example of two countries, India and South Africa. That he would establish an agency to fight corrupt. This was what gave birth to the ICPC.

“When the national assembly was foot dragging on passing the executive bill, we mobilized to put pressure for the speedy passage.

“The NLC did a number of other protests against the national assembly, from the furniture allowance of legislators to Etteh must go to cite a few.

“In the current 8th assembly, we have robustly engaged them and urged urgent disclosures in the opaque remuneration of the national assembly, cut in the expensive wages to meet the realities of our ruined economy etc.”

Mr. Wabba wondered how anyone could accuse organised labour of turning a blind eye to corrupt acts when two of its members had been shot in Nasarawa State during a protest for non-payment of workers’ salaries.

“The NLC Central Working Committee planned follow up action in Lafia had to be scaled down to avert organised carnage against workers. Perhaps the Bolajis would have preferred a further showdown and the resultant mayhem that was promised.”

Mr. Wabba further said the NLC had no intention of joining the presidential committee in, adding that Mr. Amachree’s suggestion was made in good faith and intended to broaden the fight against corruption.

“And if PACAC members feel that that being appointed into the committee confers on them the status of sainthood, we beg to differ,” he added.

How NPA officials by-passed procurement laws to corner N717 billion contracts.

Officials at the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) are brazenly and fraudulently bypassing Nigeria’s public procurement law to award multi-billion naira contracts to handpicked contractors, a month-long investigation by PREMIUM TIMES has shown.

At least N717 billion in juicy contracts have so far been illegally awarded to one contractor alone. Under Nigerian Public Procurement Law (PPA), contracts of such magnitude should go through open competitive bidding.

The PPA Act, enacted in 2007, prescribes principles by which public procurement entities within the various Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies should conduct their affairs.

The principles, which include honesty, integrity, transparency, accountability, fair competition, economy and efficiency and value for money, apply to all transactions, large or small, and describe the behaviour expected of every public officer in the conduct of public procurement.

The spirit of the Act is to offer all interested contractors, suppliers and consultants a level-playing field on which to compete and thereby, directly expand the purchaser’s options and opportunities.

It is also to serve as a key deterrent to collusion and corruption, submission of inflated or deflated tenders, followed by delayed or defective performance.

The law also frowns at procurement officials betraying and abusing public trust for personal gain.

To avoid these pitfalls, the Procurement Act stipulates that bids shall be invited only from qualified/approved contractors/suppliers competent to do the work or provide the services to the nominated standards.

It also says that contracts shall be awarded to the lowest evaluated responsive bidder, and shall meet all technical requirements and standards on the basis of competitive tendering unless overriding technical grounds exist to justify any other course of action.

Impunity unparalleled

NPA officials have however ingeniously found a way of circumventing Nigeria’s procurement regulations, carefully engineering what appears a fraudulent process of disguising contracts as Joint Venture projects between the authority and companies of their choosing.

The processes of choosing the joint venture partners are never thrown open, and so also are the procedures for awarding contracts to them.

One company that featured prominently in the so-called joint venture arrangement is Bonny Channel Company Limited.

In its own official document, Bonny Channel Company Limited (BCC) describes itself as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement between the NPA and The Channel Management Company, through a joint venture agreement signed on June 23, 2014.

The Channel Management Company, TCMC, is itself described as a technical consortium made of Dredging International, Vinci and IPEM. The share structure arrangement gives 60 per cent to NPA and 40 per cent to TCMC.

BCC says it “creates and maintain a safe navigational passage for all marine users to and in the eastern ports of Bonny Island, Onne, Okrika and Port Harcourt”.

For 10 years, beginning from 2006, BCC carried out two major contracts a year; one in Rivers Port and the other in Onne Port. In 2006, the contract sum awarded without passing through the standard procurement process was 127 million dollars.

Total contract figure was 163.2 million dollars in 2007; 195.4 million dollars in 2008; 143.4 million dollars in 2009 and 192.1 million dollars in 2010.

In 2011 the sum of contracts awarded to BCC for projects in Rivers and Onne ports respectively was 327 million dollars. Total contract sum was 300.2 million dollars in 2012; 296.3 million in 2013; 328.6 million dollars in 2014 and 286.2 million in 2015.

Curiously, the same contract of “Capital and Maintenance Dredging” is awarded to the BCC Joint Venture year after year. The company was awarded a total of $2.4 billion (or N717.3 billion) contracts in 10 years, in disregard for the nation’s procurement law.

The Procurement Process

There are nine essentials steps in public procurement in Nigeria. They include (1) efficient procurement plan driven by needs assessment; (2) adequate appropriation; (3) advertisement: (4) transparent prequalification /tender; (5) bid submission /opening; (6) bid evaluation – technical and financial; (7) tender board /FEC approval; (8) contract award /execution; (9) project implementation.

The fine details of this process are captured in sections 17 and 24 of the Public Procurement Act. The transparency steps for procuring goods, works and services must begin with the public posting of procurement notices and solicitations on a Notice Board located in a public area.

The Requests for Proposals (RFPs) must also be advertised in at least two national newspapers of general circulation – and the Federal Tender’s Journal. The same announcement must be made in the government official gazette and by placement on the procuring entities’ website.

The name of the procuring entity must be stated; also the name or nature of the contract; items to be procured; contact information for obtaining tendering documents; cost of the tendering documents; place and deadline for tender submission; Required Bid security amount and format; the place, date and time of tender opening; and the minimum qualifications bidders must meet.

Others are transparent pre-qualification of bidders; submission/receipt of tenders; evaluation of tenders; comparison of tenders; recommendation of the winning bid to Tenders Board /FEC; issuance of Certification of ‘No Objection’ to Contract Award by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP); debrief the bid losers on request; resolve complaints and disputes, if any; obtain and confirm the validity of any performance guarantee; announce and publicize contract awards; and execute all contract agreements.

To forestall cases of sweetheart deals and protect the integrity of the process, formulators of the Procurement Act found it pertinent to include a provision forbidding communication with bidders. It says: “At no stage shall the composition, names or any other details of any of the above committee members (the Technical and Financial Evaluation sub-committees) be divulged to the bidders. Other than when direct negotiations are required with the bidders, members of the above named committees shall not communicate directly with the bidders. All such communications shall be done through the procuring entity.

NPA has ‘superior’ ideas to the Procurement Law

The Procurement Act may have spelt out statutory procurement guidelines for all Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies, but the NPA does not appear to think much of the law. If anything, the parastatal sees it as a clog in the wheel to be avoided as much as possible.

Justifying the joint venture, six reasons are given by BCC (that is NPA top managers and TCMC Consortium), one of which is “the need for an uninterrupted project (that may arise) from frequent bidding and due processes which are common in one-off government contracts”.

The agency gave a second reason for the joint venture saying it “provides the additional technical capacity, mainly with regards to capital and maintenance dredging, bathymetric survey, buoys maintenance and surveillance, continuous monitoring of the access channel, wreck removal, training, planning and management”.

These are supposed to be the statutory duties of the NPA but they are routinely contracted out under a joint venture.

“Given that maritime is the second largest revenue earner for the nation after oil, all NPA contracts should pass through the eye of the needle under the Procurement Act,” an NPA insider said.

“That the NPA has cleverly resisted by resorting to what is called restricted tendering method or in some cases single bid method, none of which subjects the procurement process to any form of competition. The only competition that exists is among the different companies or consortium begging to give an arm just to be NPA’s joint venture partner.”

Although the Procurement Act makes provision for direct contracting, it expects that that would only apply only in exceptional cases. For example when the contractor is needed for early delivery of essential goods in emergency operations. Or when an equipment required is proprietary and there is only one source and no alternative equipment or products with equivalent performance characteristics are available.

Direct contracting is also recommended when there are only a few known suppliers or exceptional reasons such as emergency actions related to a major natural disaster which may justify the waiving of advertising of competitive bids.

Other joint venture partners

PREMIUM TIMES gathered that BCC is not the only joint venture partner the NPA uses in circumventing the nation’s procurement laws.

Investigations by this newspaper showed that the agency arbitrarily awards N750million worth of contracts annually to SeaView Properties Ltd, another so-called joint venture, to provide various categories of environmental services.

The company in turn awards these contracts in batches of N2million to sub-contractors. The contract award by the sub-contractor is done through an internal advert process that is not subjected to the public procurement law.

“The threshold is maintained at N2million to retain the award threshold to domicile with the MD of the company and below what is required for public tender,” a top official of the authority told PREMIUM TIMES.

“The small lots of N2million are inefficient and cumbersome, the scope does not seek to maximize value for money but just to ensure that the contract award is not subjected to public tender.”

The parastatal also set up joint venture structures that gave birth to such companies as Lagos Channel Management (LCM) and Calabar Channel Management Limited (CCM).

PREMIUM TIMES found that the same CCM has a working relationship with another company called Nigeria West Minister Dredging Marine Limited. It is these handpicked companies, some of them amorphous, that NPA parades to give a semblance of compliance with the Procurement Act under its restrictive tendering. Other times it is just single bid process involving only one company.

The Lagos Channel Management Company manages the Lagos Pilotage District. It was incorporated in August, 2005 by NPA with an equity shareholding of 60 per cent and 40 per cent equity to the Joint Venture partner, Depasa Marine International.

Another NPA’s joint venture is called Continental Shipyard Limited. This is described by NPA as a joint venture partnership between the Nigerian Ports Authority and Dockyard Engineering Service Limited of Geneva Switzerland.

“The primary purpose for the establishment of the Joint Ventures is to turn around the Dockyard as a lucrative commercial enterprise through operating, up-grading and modernizing the facility to provide essential support for construction, repair manufacturing and maintenance of vessels, crafts, rigs etc.”, the NPA stated on its website.

The Calabar Channel Management Company Limited is stated as a newly established Joint Venture arrangement between Niger Global Engineering and Technical Company Limited with the Nigerian Ports Authority for what is described as Management Contract on Dredging of Calabar Channel. The NPA holds 60 percent equity while the consortium led by Messrs Global Engineering and Technical Company Limited has 40 per cent shareholdings.

Yet another of NPA’s joint venture, although incongruous with the organization’s core competence, is Agura Hotels Limited in Abuja which is listed as the agency’s joint venture in the hospitality industry.

There are no available information on how much contracts the NPA has so far awarded to the Calabar Channel Management Company Limited under the joint venture arrangement. None too for Continental Shipyard Limited and the Lagos Channel Management Company.

The N717 billion naira is the value of contracts awarded to just one joint venture partner, Bonny Channel Company (BCC) over ten years.

Explaining its joint venture arrangement with the NPA, BCC (NPA and TCMC) says the works it undertook were “carried out at a cost effective way based on the fact that competitive rates charged to NPA are more or less within the same range with that for third-party jobs carried out by BCC …”

Industry watchers queries NPA’s claim to competitive rates saying it is the statutory duty of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), not that of NPA or BCC to determine what is a good price for a contract.

In fact the BPP itself, alarmed by the manipulations and total lack of transparency at NPA has stepped forward to say that the NPA joint venture agreements “contained terms that were skewed and disadvantageous to the financial interest of the Nigerian Ports Authority”.

NPA Reacts

Hadiza bala Usman


In August 2016, the new Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, was quoted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) as saying there was need to look at some of the funds expended on capital and maintenance dredging.

She said the funds used for such dredging projects in the past “should not be that high’’.

“It’s good time for us to compare capital dredging and maintenance dredging,’’ NAN quoted the managing director as saying.

When contacted Tuesday, Ms. Bala Usman said she had been taking stock of affairs at the NPA since she assumed duties in July, and that one of the areas her team was scrutinising was the procurement system in the agency.

“We will surely overhaul the procurement system here to ensure it complies with the PPA and Bureau of Public Procurement’s regulations,” she said.

“For instance, at the second board meeting of Seaview Properties last week, I directed that henceforth contracts will be classified into lots that are efficient and the authority will advertise them in line with BPP and if the subsidiary or joint venture wants to bid, they can, alongside other companies.

“We will commence the process of the new lot sizes and scope. Then we will have a public tender process of awarding the contracts. We believe by 1st quarter 2017 the process will be complete and new contractors that have gone through a public tender process will emerge and take over.

“We are hoping to do that with other joint ventures and subsidiaries going forward.”

Ex-Lagos Council boss accused of corruption denies fleeing

A former chairman of the Apapa-Iganmu Local Council Development Area (LCDA) in Lagos, Adesola Adebayo, has denied reports that he was on the run over an investigation the Lagos State House of Assembly is conducting into alleged corrupt sales of the council’s properties during his tenure.

Mr Adebayo, who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES from Canada, where he claimed to be holidaying, on Tuesday, said the report that he was on the run was false and orchestrated by his political enemies bent on a witch-hunt.

The P.M News on Monday had published a report alleging that Mr. Adebayo fled to Canada after he refused to honour the invitations of the assembly’s Committees on Public Accounts for Local Government, and Local Government Administration.

The report stated that Mr. Adebayo was invited to explain how the council’s properties in highbrow Ikoyi and Victoria Island were leased for a fraction of their real value during his administration.

The committees had invited Mr. Adebayo following petitions they received from unnamed individuals from the council.

According to the P.M News report, Mr. Adebayo allegedly leased out a storey building on 15 Temple Road, Ikoyi, for between N190, 000 and N200, 000 annually.

He also allegedly gave out a block of six flats on 37b Glover Road, Ikoyi, a bungalow in Igbo-Efon Village, Victoria Island, a storey-building shopping complex on Payne Crescent, Apapa for prices way below the market price.

“All the leasing was done in such a shady manner that raises a lot of questions which he must clarify. How can you lease out such buildings in major areas of the country for such low prices and for between 17 and 20 years?” the newspaper quoted an unnamed member of one of the committees.

Mr. Adebayo, in a telephone chat with PREMIUM TIMES, said he was being witch-hunted for supporting a different faction from Muyiwa Jimoh, the member of the House of Assembly representing Apapa-Iganmu constituency.

He said the problem was political and there was an agreement that it required a political solution. He wondered why they were unearthing the allegation after two years. He said he had planned to return to the country on Friday but would move his arrival date forward if he could.

He added that he had honoured the invitations of the committees voluntarily on three occasions and wondered why he would choose to abscond because of this new invitation.

He also threatened to sue P.M News for alleging that he was on the run.

“Some people want the APC chairman of the local government to go. They no longer want him. Hon. Muyiwa Jimoh, the deputy majority leader, from the Apapa-Iganmu is on a different faction concerning the resolution of the crisis. He is on the side of people who wants the chairman to stay. I want the chairman to go. They know I have a strong followership there so they took up a matter that has been in the assembly for almost two years now and that we agreed that it was a political problem and it needs a political solution.

“He is just using his temporary power to cause problem there. It is just a pity that in a country like that people will use their positions to harass other. And because I have had issues with him he is now using the house to harass me. It can’t work that way.

“They said they asked me to come to the House of Assembly, I have been there more than three times and I went there voluntarily.

“They want to use the house to blackmail me. There is no worry. I am not in the country right now but if I can change my ticket, I will come back to come and face them and then I will sue the PM News for that kind of libellous information.”

He suggested that he could not be held responsible for the lease of the properties and they followed due process and other officials also approved the lease to go ahead. He wondered why those other officials are not being probed.

“There are so many wild allegations that they made there? If they are hoping to probe a former chairman, are they just going to probe a section of it? If the chairman is the head of the place, can the chairman alone disposed of the council’s property without an estate or surveyor or the council valuer? Are there no council managers there? Are there no lawyers there? Are there no treasures there?” he asked.

“I plan to be back on Friday. But if I can change my flight I will be there tomorrow.”

He said before he travelled for holiday a week ago, he did not get any letter of invitation from the House of Assembly.

“I didn’t get any letter. If they had a letter, who did they give it to? Who received the letter on my behalf? Who received from them? It is just a case of using the house to witch-hunt me because I don’t agree with what they are doing. I will come back. I can’t run away from my country. They should not use the house to spoil people’s name.”

Nigerian Judge Charged With Corruption Gets Bail

Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Godwin Obla, were on Monday arraigned at an Ikeja High Court over alleged corruption.

Mr. Obla, and Mrs. Ofili-Ajumogobia, a serving judge of the Federal High Court, Lagos, are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Mr. Obla is also a prosecutor for the EFCC.

The duo were jointly charged with a two-count charge of perverting the course of justice by the anti-graft agency.

However, they pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Mr. Obla was charged with an additional two counts of offering gratification in the sum of N5 million to Mrs. Ofili-Ajumogobia, a public official during her service as a judge.

He also pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Mrs. Ofili-Ajumogobia faces a 26-count charge of unlawful enrichment, taking property by a public officer, corruption by a public officer, forgery and giving false information to an official of the EFCC.

But she also denied the charges.

According to the EFCC, Mr. Obla, on May 21, 2015, intentionally transferred N5 million to Mrs. Ofili-Ajumogobia via his Obla and Co United Bank of Africa (UBA) account with number: 1015319084 in order to refrain her from acting in her official duties.

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Judge orders fellow judge Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, senior lawyer into the dock.

A judge at the Ikeja Division of the Lagos State High Court has ordered a federal judge, Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, into the dock for arraignment on money laundering, the Punch newspaper is reporting.


The arraignment of Mrs. Ofili-Ajumogobia and a senior lawyer, Godwin Obla, is currently underway before Justice T. Oshodi.


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had filed a 30-count charge of corruption and money laundering against both defendants.


The EFCC accused the judge of accepting almost $800,000 (N368 million) between 2012 and 2015 which she allegedly used to buy a house in London.


Before her arraignment on Monday, Mrs. Ofili-Ajumogobia had repeatedly shunned invitations to report to the anti-graft commission, before finally appearing before the agency on October 20.


Details later….

Corruption Has Made Governance Difficult, Says Gowon

A former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd.), said in Kaduna on  Thursday that corruption had made governance in the country difficult. He, therefore, argued that the war against the menace must be decisive.

Gowon spoke at the Northern Nigeria Stakeholders’ Town Hall Engagement organised by CITA- NGO at Arewa House, Kaduna.

The former Head of State noted that corruption was responsible for the deterioration of the quality of infrastructure, healthcare delivery among others in the country.

This, Gowon noted, had robbed the government of the respect and loyalty of the citizens and eroded the authority of the state.

Gowon stated, “Truth be told, the fight against corruption is a fight that we must overcome, we must win it and win it decisively.

“Corruption has also caused deterioration in the quality of infrastructure, healthcare delivery and education among others.”

The former Nigerian leader said the current economic situation facing the country was one of the most troubling economic crisis ever.

He added, “I believe that the troubles and problems we have gone through in the past few years have helped Nigerians to see more clearly the difference between a self-sustaining economy and one that relies totally on a wasting asset such as oil.”

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, who was the guest speaker at the event, said  the path  to growth and prosperity “is investing  in basic infrastructure like roads, airports railways and information technology as well as enhancing fiscal policy more than ever before.”

Emefile, who was represented by the zonal director of the CBN in Kaduna, Alhaji Ahmed Gusau, said the agricultural sector remained the backbone of the nation’s economy.

He said the apex bank had committed N23bn in the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme with active participation across 14 states of the federation.

“We are gratified that the CBN’s borrower’s programme, together with other initiatives like Commercial Agricultural Scheme and NIRSAL are proving to be successful in several states,” he said.

In his remarks, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki , noted that  the role of the CBN  in charting monetary policy direction and its economic management role were  difficult to understand.

The Senate President, who  was represented by a former governor of Sokoto State, Aliyu  Wamako, said that the Senate was working to create appropriate legislative interventions to resolve the issues of obsolete regulatory and legal frameworks in the system, reduce cost of doing business, improve investor confidence and reduce obstacles associated with doing business in Nigeria.”

Nigeria: Divided By Tribe, United By Corruption By Churchill Okonkwo

A worrying trend in Nigeria today is that people consider it right for public officials of their ethnicity and religion to amass wealth through corrupt means. In the process, they are supportive of bribery in the society and encourage the crooked through their indifferent behavior. What they forgot is that as Nigerians (fortunately and/or unfortunately), we are all united by corruption. Corruption has no class, no color, no ethnicity and no religion.


People who think only about their own perk in Nigeria are the ones who are holding us down together as a society. They are the one who are quick to point out that he or she is not the only corrupt Nigerian. They are the ones that will put it to you that Dasuki is a victim of political vendetta. They are the one that wondered how much Jim Nwobodo stole. They are the surgeons that dissect everything Nigeria with a blunt ethnoreligious knife.


Despite the colossal damage caused by corruption, the narrative of ethnic sentiments aimed at protecting the corrupt political class remains ingrained in Nigerian public consciousness.  This is what I call the Ethnic-induced protectionist paradox. The question is why should we as a people continue to endorse democratization of corruption? Why are we not standing up to our kinsmen who are corrupt?


The failure of Nigerian electorate to hold their political office holders/seekers accountable in the same way irrespective of ethnicity and political ideology has allowed sentiments to rule our lives and dictate choices. Corrupt political entrepreneurs and praise singers in Nigeria therefore refer to ethnic affiliation and manipulate ethnic sentiments in an attempt to achieve political power.


It is true that some ethnic minorities are marginalized and often times schemed out of the equation in the scramble for the wealth of the nation. The marginalization of minority group in resource allocation/control, appointments has thus become a sore point around which the corrupt political elite mobilize their kinsmen by fanning ethnic sentiments. But ethnic polarization should not prevent us from condemning the vultures that are plundering the nation’s wealth on behalf of different ethnicities.


For Nigeria to be reborn there has to be a shift away from the power of ethnicity over political choice. Belonging to one ethnic group or tribe should not automatically mean uniformity in the political choice or ideology of all the members of the community. It does not also mean that we should defend corrupt members of our clan. This challenge must be faced by all Nigerians. Corruption is Corruption – no window dressing.


So, if you are interested in exposing and curbing corruption in Nigeria, the onus is on you to do that objectively irrespective of the political affiliation, ethnicity or religion of who is involved. I thus welcome the new comers in the fight against corruption in Nigeria with open arms. The rule of the game is simple: see it, say it.


Every mouth that shouted “crucify him, crucify him” when The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) went after Murtala Nyako in 2014 should not cry foul when EFCC freezes Fasose’s account or invites  Abati for questioning.


We all clapped when Bola Tinubu was put in a “cage” by CCB over alleged corruption. We should therefore not murmur when Bukola Saraki is subjected to the same treatment by ICPC. Ever mouth that called for Jonathan’s head for liberalizing corruption in Nigeria should also call for the head of Buhari for pretending that his aides are not as dangerously corrupt as Jonathan’s aides.


In spite of its glaring negative effect on every sector of our national physique, ethnicity intertwined with corruption, has continued to shape and influence the perception of the citizenry in Nigeria since (even before) the anti-corruption crusade in this administration. It has become the stuff of organized politics and the opposing tribes becomes the most potent target in any important and trivial national political discourse.


Here is another challenge; even though elimination of the root cause of corruption in Nigeria should remain a priority, the first real step will require de-tribalization of corrupt acts. This challenge must be confronted head-on, together.  Nigerians should think collectively to resolve the issues so that not only the rich but also the poverty-stricken people are given their rights. It is not enough to blame the administration in power that appears unfavorable to your ethnic group. We should raise our voice and condemn every act of corruption irrespective of who is “in charge”.


You see, the Niger Area may have joined Nigeria, but it is fractured by ethnicity. It is well acknowledged that even though ethnic diversity gives us energy and dynamism, it remains the greatest obstacle to the survival of Nigerian nation more than corruption.


The realization that the continents are mobile and not fixed in position and the discovery of the process driving the mobility is one of the great scientific achievements of the 20th century. In Nigeria the realization that though tribe and tongue may differ, in corruption we stand is the first step towards liberation – liberation from the vicious circle of corruption that has continued to eat away the heart of the nation.


If corruption is cancerous and ethnic politics deadly, then corruption plus ethnic politics is synonymous with a morgue.


We should therefore not give potency to the sentiment of ethnicity by keeping quite when we face clear acts of corruption. Even though what Buhari’s administration is doing can hardly be characterized as a serious minded anti-corruption crusade, we should not allow ethnic factor to wreck their caricature of fighting corruption.


You can email Churchill at or follow him on Twitter @churchillnnobi.

South Africa’s opposition parties urge Zuma to report corruption to police.

South African opposition parties on Sunday urged President Jacob Zuma to report acts of corruption after the scandal-plagued leader said he knows who is stealing public funds.

Since coming to power in 2009, Zuma has survived a string of corruption scandals almost unscathed, but this month the country’s anti-graft watchdog called for a judicial inquiry into allegations of influence-peddling in the ANC government.

Zuma, in a bid to cement support in his home province of Kwazulu-Natal, on Friday told supporters in Zulu: “I know they are stealing. I’m just watching them. I know them,” local media reported.

Both the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the nation’s two largest opposition parties, on Sunday called on Zuma to share the information he has with authorities.

“President Jacob Zuma has a legal duty to report, to the law enforcement authorities, those who he knows to be engaged in criminal behaviour,” DA-leader Mmusi Maimane said in a statement.

The DA, which tabled a failed no-confidence motion against the president in Parliament last week, filed a criminal complaint against Zuma on Tuesday and will ask the police to also “investigate those people known by the President to be stealing”, Maimane said.

Zuma must immediately report those stealing public funds, otherwise the EFF too will lodge a criminal complaint against the president, the EFF said in a statement.

#OccupyNASS: Protest against corrupt legislators enter second day

The main entrance of the National Assembly on Wednesday remained shut as youth protest against corrupt politicians enters day two.

This has affected movement of vehicles through the main gate as lawmakers and staff can only access the complex through alternative routes.

The protest, led by a socialite and activist, Charles Oputa, popularly known as Charly Boy, is seeking a downward review of salaries and benefits of politicians in the country by about 70 per cent.

The protesters are also clamouring for the sentencing to death of public officials found guilty of stealing public funds.

They are also seeking a cessation of state and local government joint accounts.

One of the protesters, Miss Joy Amadi, said that the protest is a welcome development.

Amadi said the need for accountability in governance prompted her to join the protest.

She said, “Occupy NASS is a protest against corruption, political criminality, and a long period of bad leadership.

“However, just as the current government stands out to fight corruption, we also want to join hands to make Nigeria a corrupt-free nation.”

According to her, politicians have for a long time continued to extort from Nigerians through fat salaries and frivolous allowances.

Another protester, Mr. Ignatius Adeleke, stated that the campaigners are committed to the protest until the leadership of the National Assembly considers their demands.

He said, “We will not leave this place until our demands are met; we have suffered for too long while our politicians are living in affluence.

“We will not take it anymore; there has to be a change in our attitude.”

Similarly, a staffer of the National Assembly, who prefers to remain anonymous, commended the conveners of the protest and urged more Nigerians to join the campaign.

He said, “I wish the conveners well and I am hopeful that we will have more Nigerians, who will walk the talk and not just grumble on the streets.”

Judiciary must fight corruption – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday said it was fundamental for the judiciary to fight corruption in order to protect its independence.

Osinbajo said this at the 2016 Fellows Lecture and Conferment of Honourary Fellowship on him and three others by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in Abuja.

According to him, the most potent threat against judicial independence is corruption.

Osinbajo wondered how a compromised judge could be fair and just if a litigant could buy justice.

Osinbajo said: “But (and this is fundamental), it is to protect judicial independence that we must fight corruption.”

Osinbajo noted that judicial independence was spoken of sometimes as though it was a favour being done to the judiciary, saying: “No, it is not. It is not a favour or a privilege to them.

“It is the essence of our system of justice. A judge must be independent for at least one reason: so that he or she can be fair and just, without fear or favour.

“This is why the executive must neither interfere in judicial process nor attempt to compromise judicial independence in any way.”

The Vice President said those in the legal profession owed themselves a duty to preserve the administration of justice system.

Osinbajo said: “Not only because it is the last hope of the common man but because this is our means of livelihood.

“Our profession and the credibility of the administration of justice system depend entirely on public confidence.

“Once that is eroded because of the delinquency of a few, we, the majority must fight hard against it.”

The Vice President remarked that Nigeria’s formal legal tradition is over 100 years old, adding that the tradition had three established components: the Bar, Bench and Academia.

He said each branch had distinguished itself through the years and had attained world class status.

Osinbajo stressed: “In all the serious researches on the best known administration of justice systems, it is evident that at various points in their histories, the institutions were challenged by falling standards, corruption, and abuse of office.

“When this occurred, the profession itself had often made the first and farthest drastic moves to self-correct.”

He, however, observed that one of the great difficulties of the legal profession in Nigeria was the shyness and reluctance of the practitioners to call themselves to order.

Osinbajo said: “Nobody wants to be held responsible for possibly ending the career of another.

“So, we watch the decay and gradual collapse of an excellent tradition built on the self-restraint, sacrifices and integrity of many in the past 100years.”

Osinbajo warned that such posture should stop to save the profession and the nation.

He commended the NIALS for its commitment to the highest academic traditions and for the awards.

He said: “As fellows, we pledge our commitment to the Institute’s mission of being the nucleus and hub of legal research and advanced studies in law in Nigeria.”

A delegation of Niger Delta Peoples Congress, led by the Amanyanabo of Twon Brass, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, later visited Osinbajo to address the lingering security and development issues in the region.

Chief Mike Loigho, a delegate, told newsmen the visit was to reaffirm the commitment of the congress towards ensuring security in the region and support the initiatives of the Buhari administration in that direction.

He said, however, that there was the need to carry all the Niger Delta stakeholders in the peace initiatives of the government.

Loigho said: “We don’t have any political affiliation to any group but we have come genuinely concerned to solve this problem once and for all.’’

According to him, the group has seen in Buhari a President that is very honest with governance and issues that affect Nigeria who wants a roadmap for the resolution of the conflicts in the region.

Court cleared me of corruption charges cooked up by OBJ, El-Rufai, Ribadu – Atiku

The former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has given himself a clean slate from corruption tag, saying that court has cleared him of the corruption allegations “cooked up” by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and gazetted by a government white paper during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration.


Atiku stated this in the interview granted to the editorial team of the EFCC, which was published in the latest edition of their in-house Magazine, “Zero Tolerance”.


He noted that he is one of the strongest advocate of the anti-corruption war, having pioneered the establishment of the major anti-graft agencies including the EFCC and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).


He said: “Well, if Atiku Abubakar was corrupt, he would have been found guilty of corruption by all the panels and probes and cases that were brought before the courts.


“I remember the only corruption indictment against me was a white paper which was cooked up by our own administration overnight including the very EFCC that I helped found, and other cabinet ministers, which I challenged in court. The court rightly dismissed all those indictment as being mere political; and till today nobody has ever indicted me of corruption.”


The Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), also spoke on his relationship with the then Chairman of EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu, saying he has rested their differences.


He said that Ribadu apologised to him on several occasions and that he has forgiven him despite the fact that he refused to do so publicly as he demanded.


“I can recall when he (Ribadu) came to ask for my forgiveness, I said if you want me to forgive you Nuhu, go to the same television stations where you said I was corrupt and say you now realised that I am not corrupt. Then he said sir, ‘you have forgiven so many people who have offended you publicly, without them going to TV stations to apoligise to you. Why is my own case different?’ I said, ‘your case is different because first of all I helped to found the EFCC; I made sure that even when you had no budget, I took money from the privatisation council and gave you as a loan so that you can function before the National Assembly approved your budget. I was instrumental to your appointment, so I believe I had contributed to your development and that is what you are paying me back with’.

“In any case, he kept apologising and I said ‘okay’, no problem’. That closed the chapter”.


Atiku however, insisted that it was Ribadu and the then Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and current Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasiru El-Rufai, that Obasanjo “used in cooking up the indictment that was eventually thrown out.”


“So where is the evidence of corruption? Its not just fair for you to say somebody is corrupt without substation. This is the same el-Rufai who testified on TV that he worked with me as Director-General of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) for four years and there was never a time I asked him or instructed him to do anything unethical in those years. So, how am I a corrupt person? This is the same el-Rufai and others who incorporated Transcorp during my time as Vice President and offered me shares and I declined. I wrote them officially to it was unethical of me to have accepted those offers. So, where is the corruption toga coming from?,” he queried.


Atiku debunked the allegations made by El-Rufai in his book: “Accidental Public Servant”, that he spearheaded the N50 million bribe scandal involving Senators Ibrahim Mantu, Jonathan Zwingina and others during his ministerial confirmation screening.


He said that the former DG of BPE might have “misconstrued what happened”, saying “He actually ran to me to say that he was denied confirmation by the Senate”.


“Of course, I called Mantu and others and confronted them, and they admitted that yes they denied him because they do not see him as a Minister. It is also on record, because I controlled the campaign funds; and el-Rufai now went and said those campaign funds were meant to be a bribe. This is how he came about concocting that story. Of course, my boss, the President (Obasanjo), investigated the story and found out that indeed every Senator got contributions from the campaign fund which I was managing.


“So where is the corruption in that? Had he discovered that there was corruption, he would have used it against me because he was looking for anything to nail me. But he couldn’t get it because I brought him evidence of all those that benefited from the fund”, he explained.

Make corruption a treasonable offence in Nigeria – Charly Boy

Maverick activist, Charles Oputa, popularly known as Charly Boy, on Thursday urged that corruption should be made a treasonable offence for it to be adequately tackled.

Oputa made the call during a news conference put together by the “Occupy Unlimited” group, a civil society group that advocates good governance and corruption-free society.

Charly Boy, who is the National Coordinator of the group, said: “Corrupt leadership has been killing ordinary Nigerians slowly and steadily over the years.

“It is time to properly define it as ‘murder in disguise’, and treat it as treasonable offence against our dear country.

“Over 180 million people are surviving at the mercy of few politicians who have mastered the art of creating division among her own people through religion, ethnicity, corruption, and frivolous issues.”

According to the social activist, death penalty should be introduced for all politically-corrupt persons in Nigeria if the nation really wants to be lifted out of economic hardship.

He noted that countries such as China and Pakistan were striving better because they decided to make corruption a crime that deserved capital punishment.

He advised that the immunity clause in the Nigerian constitution be reviewed, adding: “Corruption is hiding under the immunity clause to loot and plunder.”

Charly Boy explained that the Occupy Unlimited Group will on November 15 stage a peaceful protest in the Federal Capital Territory against corruption.

He emphasised that the protest was to tell political leaders at all levels that they must be accountable and selfless in their service to the fatherland.

He said: “This is a process of holding politicians accountable not only to their promises, but in their service to the Nigerian nation.

“The mass protest will begin at the Unity Fountain in Abuja down to the National Assembly.

“We are a coalition of ordinary Nigerians from different parts of the country, with no political affiliations; we believe in the interest of our country.

“We also believe strongly in the fight against corruption by President Muhammadu Buhari.”

Retson Tedheke, a co-convener of the conference, said the group was also advocating for unicameral legislature for Nigeria to reduce cost of governance.

Tedheke noted that Nigeria’s democracy was one of the most expensive in the world, adding that this was no longer sustainable in the midst of economic recession that brought hunger in the land.

He said: “Lawmakers must begin a process of reducing the Bi-Cameral Legislature to Uni-Cameral Legislature.

“Let them initiate the process of a referendum to review the Constitution, specifically with the aim of Scrapping the Senate.

“We also demand that the Anti-Money Laundry Bill be debated and passed immediately, with full support to the President to ensure that corruption is eliminated from our country.”

Tedheke added that it was also imperative for legislators to ensure that their budget, running cost and other expenditures be made open to the public.

He stressed the need for transparency, accountability and effective monitoring of Federal

Government expenditure, the National Assembly and all agencies of government to ensure that everything went to the Treasury Single Account.

He said: “We need all Nigerians to give their voice in this call to have a national rebirth.

“Every Nigerian will not be on the street of the FCT, but let us all support this initiative, irrespective of tribal and religious divide.”

I have Other Important Things to Do – CCT Judge as he Adjourns Saraki’s Trial To Jan

Danladi Umar, chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), on Tuesday adjourned the trial Senate President Bukola Saraki to January 11.

Announcing the adjournment after sitting for only 30 minutes, Umar said he had “other important thing to attend to”.

Before his announcement, Umar allowed Paul Usoro, Saraki’s counsel, to finish cross-examining Michael Wetkas, a detective of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and prosecution witness.

Usoro cross-examined Wetkas on count 16 of the charge of false declaration of assets brought against Saraki by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

While being cross-examined on the charge, Wetkas admitted that he did? not speak with the Kwara state government or interrogate Saraki on the allegation.

?Usoro: Did you speak with Kwara state government or officials as regard this allegation.

Wetkas: No, didn’t speak with them.

Usoro: Throughout the investigation you didn’t speak with defendant?

Wetkas: Yes, that is correct.

Usoro: So, in respect of this charge you didn’t have any input from him?

Wetkas: No,  I did not.

?Usoro cross-examined the witness for about three months.

The charge read in part: “That you Saraki while being senator did receive monthly salary as governor of Kwara state.”

8 years after, Ladoja’s corruption trial to finally commence in November 18.

Eight year after he was first charged for money laundering, the trial of former governor of Oyo State, Rasheed Ladoja, can now properly take off.

Having lost his bid at the Appeal Court to have charges against him quashed, Mr. Ladoja will be re-arraigned for money laundering before a Federal High Court in Lagos.

The court on Monday adjourned the till November 18 for the fresh arraignment of the Accord Party leader.

The Appeal Court, Lagos Division, had dismissed a bid by Mr. Ladoja to have the charges against him and his aide, Waheed Akanni, quashed.

The charges were filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Saheed Bagir, the judge who read the decision of the appeal court, upheld the powers of the EFCC to prosecute offenders under the money laundering act.

Mr. Bagir held that the provisions of Section 14 of the EFCC Act gave the commission the power to prosecute persons charged with the offence of money laundering.

The court also held that by Section 7(2) of the EFCC Act, the commission was also empowered to charge and prosecute the appellants in the suit.

The anti-graft agency had arraigned Messrs. Ladoja and Akanbi on a 10-count charge of laundering funds taken from government coffers.

The EFCC alleged that Mr. Ladoja used about N42 million to purchase an Armoured Land Cruiser Jeep and remitted about £600,000 to one Bimpe Ladoja in London.

The accused who were arraigned before Ramat Mohammed, a justice of the Federal High Court, Lagos pleaded not guilty and were granted bail.

But Mr. Ladoja filed an appeal to through his counsel, Wole Olanipekun, asking the appellate court to quash the charges against him arguing that they were vague.

Mr Olanipekun, a senior lawyer, had argued that the proof of evidence tendered before the lower court by the prosecution, had no connection with the charge against his client.

He said the charges are baseless as they did not show on first impression any case against Mr Ladoja.
He said the EFCC had no power, jurisdiction or authority to prefer the charge against Mr Ladoja and asked the court to rule that the case was baseless.

Responding, counsel to the EFCC, Festus Keyamo, urged the court to uphold the validity of the charge, adding that such objection ought to have been raised before the plea of the accused was taken.

He said the respondents had failed to take necessary steps when they ought to have done so, adding that the objection of the respondent has no basis in law.

The proceedings at the high court were suspended to allow the appellate court rule on the challenge brought before it by the respondents.

Neymar to face trial after judge accepts corruption charges.

Neymar looks set to stand trial after a judge accepted charges of corruption against the Barcelona star.

It is the latest development in a case brought by Brazilian investment company DIS following Neymar’s move from Santos to Camp Nou in 2013, which has come under scrutiny.

National Court judge Jose de la Mata initially threw out the case in July over a lack of evidence, but that decision was overturned and the charges are now set to be processed.

DIS claims it is due a 40 per cent cut of the fee that Barca paid to sign Neymar from Santos in 2013 – something it says it has not received in full, given the secrecy over the full cost of the transfer.

The Brazil forward’s father and Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu are also implicated, along with predecessor Sandro Rosell.

The case is unrelated to a second legal proceeding against Barca and Neymar, which concerned allegations of tax fraud in relation to his transfer.

Barca made a payment of €14.8m to Spanish authorities in back taxes and fines, while they also reportedly made a voluntary payment of a further €13.5m to settle the complaint.

Corruption: EFCC arrests Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia’s brother.

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), at the weekend, arrested a man believed to be the younger brother of Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, as investigation of corruption allegation levied against her continues.

Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia is one of the eight judges suspended by the National Judicial Commission (NJC) after the Department of State Services (DSS) invaded homes of some judges between October 7-8.

Before her suspension, alongside other judges, she interrogated by the anti-graft agency, which granted her bail after she turned herself in.

Over the weekend, it was gathered that EFCC picked up her brother, who allegedly wired $150,000 into her Diamond Bank Domiciliary Account.

The name of the brother was not mentioned, but, it was gathered that investigators discovered that the amount was paid into the judge’s account sometimes in March 2014.

Spokesman of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren when contacted said he could not speak with authority on the matter as the investigation of Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia and some other judges was being handled by the South-West Zonal office in Lagos.

“If there is need to quiz the woman’s brother, or even anyone connected with her, it will be done because the commission will not leave any loopholes to be exploited in court.”

However, a source familiar with the team handling investigation of the judges confirmed that Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia’s is in the custody of the EFCC.

But EFCC sources said the younger Ofili has not been able to explain to investigators how he came about the huge amount of money and why it was routed to the judge’s account.

The arrest was described as a major leap in assembling evidence against the embattled justice, in addition to properties traced to her in Nigeria and in abroad.

Earlier, a former Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) executive, Greg Ero, from whom Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia claimed she had borrowed funds to buy her home in London, was grilled by the commission.

Though Ero was reportedly not in good health, he was unable to explain how he came about the sums of monies he reportedly gave to Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia as a loan.

Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia is one of numerous judges currently under investigation by the EFCC for alleged acts of corruption.

Investigators allege she and other judges frequently accepted huge sums in bribe in order to tailor judicial verdicts in favor of those who offered the bribes, often elected public officials.

She was granted bail after detectives searched her home in Lagos and recovered documents showing that the judge had bought homes abroad and also, recently, on Park Avenue in Ikoyi.

The document showed that the judge, who once freed former minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode on a technicality on corruption charges, had wired at least $900,000 to foreign banks between 2014-2016.

Why Buhari Should Not Sack Amaechi, Onu for Alleged Corruption – APC

The Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has dismissed calls by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for President Muhammadu Buhari to suspend two of his ministers accused of corruption.

The PDP had on Friday urged the president to emulate the National Judicial Council’s decision to suspend seven judges recently arrested by the State Security Service for alleged corruption.

The party said in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Dayo Adeyeye, that two of the judges, Sylvester Ngwuta and Inyang Okoro of the Supreme Court, had alleged that they were the targets of a witch-hunt because they refused bribes from two ministers.

They named the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, and his Science and Technology counterpart, Ogbonnaya Onu.

“In order to allow for a fair and independent investigation, it is incumbent on President Muhammadu Buhari to ask these ministers to step aside pending the conclusion of investigation into the allegations,” Mr. Adeyeye had said. “The judiciary has set a very good example in its quest to fight corruption.”

But the APC said in a statement on Sunday that the call “flies in the face of reason, fairness, common sense and cause of justice”.

The statement was signed by Davies Ikanya, APC chairman, Rivers State, and emailed to PREMIUM TIMES from Mr. Amaechi’s account.

“It is a known fact that embattled Justices Sylvester Ngwuta and John Inyang Okoro of the Supreme Court who are currently under DSS investigation for serious corruption charges only resorted to the cheap, convenient, everyday reaction of people caught red-handed committing crimes in order to divert attention away from the grave reality confronting them especially when faced with sufficient evidence,” the APC said.



Why Buhari’s Appointees, APC Chieftains Are Not Tried For Corruption- Presidency

President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has offered reasons why leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and those in the president’s cabinet are not being prosecuted for corruption.

The presidential spokesman, who made this known while featuring as a guest on a radio programme, Sweet F.M’s Podium in Abeokuta, also argued that the federal government’s anti-corruption fight was not selective.

According to him, APC chieftains and appointees are not being prosecuted because no evidence had been put forward indicting them of being involved in corrupt practices.

“The onus lies on he who alledges to also prove,” he said. “The fact that any PDP member crosses to APC does not provide automatic shield. Whoever is indicted will be prosecuted.”

On the arrest of judges, Mr. Adesina said the raid on judges was only a raid on corruption and not the judiciary.

“Mr. President has said it all. No one is out to intimidate the judiciary. DSS raid was a raid on corruption not Judiciary,” he said.
On the importation of rice, Mr. Adesina clarified that the Federal Government did not ban the importation of rice, but only took steps to curtail the activities of smugglers at the nation’s land borders.

Mr.Adesina lamented the widespread misinformation that the government had banned the importation of rice.

“Importation of rice via our sea borders remain legal,” Mr. Adesina said.

He said the Buhari-led Federal government was committed to the diversification of the economy.

“We have gotten to the point in which we have to diversify or die,” he said.

“The Federal government has disbursed money so as to heavily invest in Agriculture and Mining.

“Dr. Fayemi has told us that the results of the ongoing investment may not be clearly seen in less than 30 years. However, we will lay the foundation.”

Speaking on his appointment, Mr. Adesina said he, perhaps, would have done all he could to stop his appointment as the President’s media aide if he had a hint about the possibility of his appointment.

“I was not expecting it. Maybe if I knew, I would have done all in my powers to make sure it did not happen,” he said.

“I have known him since he started contesting and wrote good things about him but I did not know he will appoint me as his adviser.”


Zuma faces no-confidence vote in corruption crisis.

South Africa’s Jacob Zuma faces a no-confidence vote in parliament next week with his presidency mired in crisis, after investigators documented allegations of government corruption.

Thousands of people took to the streets to demand that he should resign from office.

The vote was called by the main opposition, following a report by the country’s anti-corruption watchdog calling for a judicial inquiry into allegations of influence-peddling in the ANC Government.

The report was finally released after the president withdrew a court bid to delay its publication in the face of mass public protests.

Police used stun grenades and water cannon to disperse protesters in Pretoria carrying “Zuma must go’’ placards.

Mmusi Maimane, leader of the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), told a news briefing in Cape Town that the no-confidence debate and vote was scheduled for Nov. 10.

“This motion should not be viewed as a partisan motion – we do not see it as a DA motion.

“I know there are ANC MPs and cabinet ministers who have had enough.

They have an opportunity to actually do something about their anger by Nov. 10,’’ he said.

Zuma has survived his two previous no-confidence votes this year, largely backed by the support of his ANC (African National Congress) which controls about two-thirds of the Assembly.

A senior party official told Reuters that ANC lawmakers were unlikely to break ranks and support the motion this time round.

However, there have been widening fissures in the ruling party this year.

There is growing discontent with the scandals that have plagued Zuma’s presidency and played a role in the ANC suffering its worst electoral losses since the end of apartheid in municipal polls in August.

Halliburton: I Don’t Know How $32.5m Escrow Account Was Opened – Adoke

A former Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), yesterday said he knew nothing about how an Escrow Account was opened and $32.5 million fines from Halliburton Energy Services paid into it.

He said he was not briefed about the existent of any Escrow Account at any time by a member of the legal team of the Federal Government, Mr. Roland Ewubare, who was National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) former Executive Secretary.

He explained that the team was constituted to initiate criminal proceedings against the five companies involved in the Halliburton bribe scandal.

The five firms, which later settled for the plea bargain, were: Julius Berger ($35m); Siemens (Euros 30m); Snamprogetti ($30m); Halliburton Energy Services ($32,500,000) and Japan Gasoline Corporation ($26, 500,000).

Adoke, who spoke exclusively with The Nation on the telephone, said he did his best for the nation

He said: “On the assumption of office in 2010, I was approached by the then chairperson of the EFCC, Mrs. Farida Waziri, that she has a request from some American lawyers to sue, on behalf of Nigeria, Halliburton and associated companies involved in the $180 million bribe scandal.

“She came with the lawyers to see me and when I read the terms of their demand. I declined to engage them and rather opted to set up a team of lawyers to initiate criminal proceedings against the companies against the backdrop of our previous experience in the Pfizer case.

“The lawyers introduced by the EFCC wanted to be entitled to 33 1\3 of whatever was recovered, which I felt was outrageous and also wanted us to cede the control of the case to them.

“I asked the EFCC to nominate a lawyer into the team and Godwin Obla (SAN) was nominated while Emmanuel Akomoye, the then secretary of the commission was co-opted to assist the team.

“In the course of the prosecution, there was a need to enter into plea bargain due to National Security concerns and Kayode Are, the Deputy NSA, was directed by the then NSA, Gen. Aliyu Gusau, to lead the negotiations.

“After the negotiations and agreement were signed, the OAGF was requested to furnish the federal accounts in which the fines were to be paid. And that was the sequence all the other negotiations followed.

“I was not aware of the opening of the Escrow Account in the USA nor was I informed and I didn’t know of the existence of any such account before now. I, therefore, have no explanation to offer than I had previously offered on record.

“The EFCC should, therefore, spare me the ordeal of trying at all cost to bring me down for I am beyond blemish in this or any other transaction while in office.”

He challenged any lawyer that had ever given him a bribe to come out and say so, adding that as AGF, he was very careful.

The reaction of the ex-Minister followed indications that EFCC was looking into the roles played by two former National Security Advisers, Gen. Aliyu Gusau and the late Owoye Azazi, and two former Attorneys-General of the Federation on the facilitation of $200million Settlement Agreement with Halliburton and four others.

The past AGFs are Mr. Mike Aondoakaa (SAN) and Adoke (SAN), who have claimed that they never benefitted from the agreement in any manner whatsoever.

The anti-graft agency has however retrieved a copy of the agreement signed with a U.S. law firm, Madison Avenue Legal Resources LLP from the Federal Ministry of Justice and Aondoakaa, who initiated the pact.

It was also learned that the EFCC has traced the Escrow Account to Madison Escrow Services LLC (the “Escrow Agent”) at the instance of Ewubare, who went to the United States to get the document.

About $32.5million (N13, 585,000, 000) out of about $200million fines from Halliburton Energy Services was allegedly paid into the Escrow Account.

Ewubare was said to have submitted a document to the anti-graft agency, showing how the Escrow agent was engaged by the FGN, through the Office of the National Security Adviser, to save the nation about $540million from garnishee judgments.

The document showed that the total compensation received by the Escrow Agent for its services was $2.5million.

But the EFCC is probing why the N13.5 billion was not remitted into the Federation Account in accordance with extant laws.

Those interrogated by the EFCC on the matter are a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, J.B Daudu (SAN), Mr. E.C Ukala (SAN), Obla (SAN), D.D. Dodo (SAN) and Ewubare.

FG files charges against Supreme Court Registrar, two others over N2.2bn fraud

The Federal Government, through the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, has filed criminal charges against the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Saleh Gambo, before an Abuja High Court.

Gambo was charged alongside the Assistant Director of Finance at the apex court, Rilwanu Lawal, and the Deputy Director of Finance, Sharif Abdulrahman.

The trio will be answering to a nine-count charge marked CR/13/16 and dated November 3, which the AGF filed pursuant to sections l04 and 379 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.

The defendants were specifically alleged to have diverted N2.2 billion belonging to the Supreme Court of Nigeria, into personal bank accounts domiciled at United Bank For Africa Plc with account number 2027642863.

They were further alleged to have, between 2009 and 2016, received gratification in the sum of N10 million from Willysdave Ltd, a private contractor to the Supreme Court of Nigeria and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 10(a) (i) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000 and punishable under the same Act.

BREAKING: NJC suspends 7 senior judges accused of corruption.

The National Judicial Council, NJC, has suspended seven senior judges arrested in October by the State Security Service for alleged corruption.

The NJC had initially refused to suspend the judges despite public pressure, saying the allegations against them had not been substantiated.

It however said the judges had voluntarily stepped down from court sittings.

The latest decision came after the council’s 7th meeting between Wednesday and Thursday.

A communique issued at the end of the meeting, and signed by NJC’s Director of Information, Soji Oye, said the decision was taken to avoid allowing persons under investigation to to partake in presiding over judicial matters at the same time.

“Council also decided that Judicial Officers shall not be standing trial for alleged corruption related offences and be performing judicial functions at the same time,” the communique said. “Council however decided that it will ensure that Judicial Officers who are being investigated for alleged high profile criminal offences do not perform judicial functions until their cases are concluded.”

The judges were arrested on October 7.

EFCC Uncovers N18 Million in Female Judge’s Foreign Account

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has uncovered a bogus financial transaction of N18 million in the foreign account of Justice Rita Ngozi Ofili-Ajumogobia.

It was learnt that the commission “stumbled on the N18 million wired into the foreign account from her domiciliary account for the purchase of a property in the United Kingdom (UK).

The judge was said to be under investigation for owning a foreign account and how the cash remittance came about.

A source in EFCC said: “Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia owned up to the money, but claimed it was a loan obtained privately from a family friend.

“The ‘family friend’, who is a chairman of an oil and gas firm from where the funds emanated, has been invited by the commission for questioning.

“So far, he had told operatives that the money was an assistance he rendered to her.

“Inquiry into the loan facility as claimed by both of them showed no formal agreement or documentation as to how and when the repayment would be made.

“However, the oil and gas company chairman is at present telling the commission the extent of his relationship and involvement with the funds, which was wired into the judge’s personal account sometime in 2012 while she was a sitting judge of the Federal High Court.”

Justice Ofili-Ajumogbobia is among the six judges being investigated by the commission for alleged corruption alongside some senior lawyers.

The other five judges include Justice Nasiru Mohammed Yunusa, Justice Hydlezira A. Nganjiwa, Justice Uwani Abba Aji, Justice Agbadu Jamus Fishim and Justice Musa H. Kuriya.

The National Judicial Council (NJC) had in February sanctioned Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia for misconduct on the bench.

The council barred her from elevation to the Court of Appeal or taking any judicial appointment.

A statement by NJC Acting Director of Information Mr. Soji Oye said: “The NJC, under the chairmanship of Justice Mahmud Mohammed, at its meeting on February 24 and 25, 2016 decided to warn Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia and put her on the “watch-list” of the council for the next four years.

“The judge will also not be considered for any elevation to the Court of Appeal or any ad hoc judicial appointment till her retirement from the Bench.

“The decision was sequel to the petition written against her by Victoria Ayeni, alleging misconduct and injustice on the part of Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia for failing to deliver judgment in Suit No FHC/AB/CS/31/2011, a pre-election matter between Victoria A. A. Ayeni and Olusola Sonuga and two Ors.

“She was also alleged to have adjourned the pre-election matter several times until the termination of the lifespan of the Ogun State House of Assembly. The decision of the Council on Justice

RECs, Officials Under Bribery Probe Won’t Supervise Elections –INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission has said none of its officials, who are undergoing investigations for alleged bribery, will be assigned any electoral duty.

It said the officials, whose names were on the list sent to it by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, would be barred from electoral duty until they cleared themselves of the bribery allegations against them.

Though none of those under investigation had been suspended by INEC or indicted by the EFCC, the electoral umpire stated on Monday that it would be morally wrong to continue to assign electoral duties to the suspects.

It was gathered that the EFCC sent a letter to INEC and demanded the release of over 100 officers for interrogation for alleged bribery during the 2015 general elections.

The Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had earlier confirmed the number of the suspects, saying at the end of the investigations, those found guilty would be fired by the commission.

Some states’ Resident Electoral Commissioners were allegedly bribed before, during and after the 2015 polls.

Many electoral officers and others were also said to have been involved in the alleged bribery scandal.

The bribe cash was said to have been disbursed by a bank from the N23bn deposited in the bank by the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman of INEC, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, who spoke with our correspondent in Abuja on Monday, said none of those under investigation would be used in the November 26 governorship election in Ondo State.

He added that until the concerned officers were cleared by the EFCC, they would not be used for any electoral duty.

Oyekanmi stated, “We have made it clear to them that none of those whose names appeared on the list sent by the EFCC would be involved in any electoral duty.

“Using them will send a wrong signal to the people about our integrity and all that.

“Though these people have yet to be indicted and they remain innocent until proved guilty, we have to safeguard the integrity of the commission as well.

“That is why we have placed embargo on them concerning electoral duties. There are other jobs they could do at the commission, but not electoral duty.”

He said the commission was poised to conduct a free, fair and credible election in Ondo State.

A former REC in Rivers State, Mrs. Gesila Khan, and other top INEC officials in the South-South geopolitical zone were alleged to have received N675.1m from the poll bribe cash.

Reliable sources at the EFCC had alleged that Khan, who was later redeployed as the REC in Cross River State, allegedly received N185.8m ahead of the March 28 and April 11, 2015 elections.

The commission also arrested one Oluchi Obi Brown, who, as the INEC administrative secretary in Delta State, allegedly received over N111m.

Further investigations by detectives revealed that Brown had about $75,000 in an account in the United States.

The anti-graft agency also arrested one Edem Effanga, who is a retired INEC official. Effanga was arrested alongside his alleged accomplice, Immaculata Asuquo, who was the Head, Voter Education of INEC in Akwa Ibom State.

Effanga was alleged to have received over N240m, which he shared among INEC ad hoc workers during the elections.

Chief Justice blames Executive For Corruption in Judiciary

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Mahmud Mohammed has said that the “the failure on the part of the Executive Arm of Government to act upon recommendations by the National Judicial Council (NJC) cannot be blamed upon the NJC.”

Justice Mohammed made the statement in a letter dated October 26 and sent to the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).

The letter with reference No.CJN/Gen/MISC/A37/Vol.XXI/8 and signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the CJN, , H. S. Sa’eed, was in response to SERAP’s request to Justice Mohammed requesting him as the Chairman of the NJC to “take over from the Department of State Service (DSS) the cases of all the 7 judges released by the DSS and refer the cases of those judges to anti-corruption agencies for conclusion of investigation and prompt prosecution.”

But the CJN in reaction told SERAP that, “Certainly, you will agree with me that where there are clear constitutional provisions relating to the power of any individual, institution or Arm of Government, then it cannot deviate nor exceed such powers as this will be unlawful.”

The letter by the CJN reads in part: “While restating the willingness of the NJC to act upon any petition as well as commitment of the Nigerian judiciary to the fight against corruption, his Lordship opines that any significant involvement in the fight against corruption will be upon a similar commitment of the Prosecutorial Agencies to actively prosecute their cases expeditiously when information about same is received”

“It is necessary to restate that the NJC is a creation of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) being established under Section 153 with its mandate clearly set out in Para 21, Part One of the Third Schedule to the Constitution. This provision clearly stipulates at Para 21(b) and (d) that the Council may only ‘recommend’ to the President and the Governors, the removal from office of Judicial Officers and to exercise disciplinary control over such Judicial Officers, which in effect is the extent of its power to discipline. Hence, the Council cannot, suo moto dismiss any Judicial Officer.”

“The NJC can also neither ‘hand over corrupt judges to law enforcement agencies for prosecution nor recover proceeds of corruption, as you have suggested. It can merely recommend to act upon its findings, as it has always done.”

“However, in exercise of its constitutional mandate, the NJC has enacted the Judicial Discipline Regulations, 2014 in order to ensure that petitions are received, investigated and addressed as appropriate.

As SERAP’s own Report attests, 64 Judicial Officers have been disciplined within 5 years even preceding the institution of the new guidelines. Any failure on the part of the Executive Arm of Government to act upon such recommendations cannot therefore be blamed upon the NJC.”

“With due consideration to the contents of your letter, I am directed to acknowledge and address the concerns which SERAP have raised, which may reflect the wider opinion held by some Nigerians.

While his Lordship doubtless appreciate SERAP’s concern for the incidence of corruption in the judiciary, it is indeed erroneous to conclude that the NJC has ‘felt satisfied with applying only civil sanctions and have not deemed it fit to hand over corrupt judges to law enforcement agencies for prosecution nor recover proceeds of corruption’, as insinuated in your letter under reference.”

“To be sure, every citizen of Nigeria inclusive of Judicial Officers, are entitled to the protection of the law and a key provision of the Constitution is the presumption of innocence, as enshrined in Section 36(5) of the Constitution (as amended).

I must also remind us that the Seven Judges like all other persons are entitled to a fair hearing as stipulated in Section 36 of the Constitution. As such, it would be presumptive and indeed preemptive to sanction the said judges without exhausting the proper procedure for their removal.”

“As a valuable member of the society, the Hon. CJN is certainly delighted with SERAP’s dedication to justice, fairness and justness. His Lordship also wishes to emphasize that it is indeed our collective responsibility to tackle any perceived challenges facing the Nigerian judiciary.”

“Indeed, with the support of well-meaning and eminent Nigerians such as members of SERAP, giant strides will be made towards reaching the goal of a transparent, fair and equitable system of justice. The Hon. CJN wishes you the best in your future endeavor as SERAP strives to support and entrench good governance in Nigeria.”

It would be recalled that SERAP had in a letter dated October 11 and signed by its executive director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, expressed serious concern that “the NJC has for many years failed to appropriately deal with several cases of corrupt judges by failing to refer those cases to the EFCC and ICPC for prosecution. Many of these suspected corrupt judges are still alive and their cases should be promptly referred to the anticorruption agencies.

The NJC under your leadership should seize the opportunity of the just released 7 judges to comprehensively address corruption in the judiciary.”

SERAP said that it believed that “The NJC is in the best position to tackle corruption within the judiciary, and to ensure the application of appropriate disciplinary and legal measures in the cases of the released 7 judges and other judges suspected of engaging in corruption.”

SERAP’s letter reads in part: “SERAP believes that corrupt judges should not merely be retired where there are clear allegations of corruption against them. Corrupt judges must not also be allowed to keep their ill-gotten wealth, or receive their pension and retirement benefits, as if they have done no wrong while the victims of their corrupt acts are left without an effective remedy.”

“SERAP believes that corrupt judges are more dangerous to the society than corrupt politicians because a corrupt judiciary denies both victims of corruption and those accused of corruption access to an independent, impartial and fair adjudication process. No country can succeed with corrupt judges as there can’t be no rule of law, development, justice and enjoyment of human rights when judges are corrupt.”

“Judicial corruption is antithetical not only to human rights and good governance but it also directly undermines the ability of government to satisfactorily combat corruption. Judges should not be allowed to avoid accountability for corruption if judicial impartiality and independence is to be held sacrosanct and access to justice is to be effectively achieved.”

Lagos APC wants ex-President Jonathan quizzed for alleged corruption.

The Lagos chapter of the All Progressives Congress said on Sunday said it was time former President Goodluck Jonathan was invited for questioning over the alleged looting of the nation’s treasury under his administration.

The APC chapter said it had now become indefensible to pretend that Jonathan did not know anything about the alleged corrupt practices of some of the public office-holders who served under him.

The party was reacting to Jonathan’s recent statement that he did not believe that his National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), who is currently facing trial, stole the $2.1bn budgeted for the purchase of arms.

The APC chapter, in a statement by its spokesman, Joe Igbokwe, said by rising in defence of Dasuki, Jonathan had thrown caution to the wind and was now treating Nigerians with contempt when he was expected to concentrate on how to redeem his image.

Igbokwe said it was surprising that Jonathan would be defending Dasuki at a time when some of the public office-holders who served under him had been refunding some of the money they stole.

The APC said, “Even as we concede that Jonathan is on a desperate bid to rehabilitate himself, we wouldn’t believe that a former President should be so contemptuous of the intelligence of Nigerians as to give the kind of defence he gave to Sambo Dasuki.

“We wonder what Jonathan makes of the horrid details that are emanating from the Dasukigate issue with shocking evidences, confessions and even refunds made by those that participated in that monumental corruption.

“To claim that Dasuki and his partners did not steal the arms purchase fund reveals the inner beliefs of Jonathan.

“One would have expected Jonathan to be cautious in seeking to advance very childish and inadmissible exculpation of his subordinates for glaring acts of corruption. We had expected that Jonathan would have striven to water down the lowly impression held of him by Nigerians and the international community by not deciding to be so patronising to clear cases of corruption by his subordinates.

“By Jonathan’s defence of Sambo Dasuki, we believe time has come for the security agencies to pick up Jonathan to tell the nation all that he knows of the many cases of corruption that happened under him.”

Corruption: Tension Mounts as Customs set to prosecute 46 dismissed officers.

Palpable fear and tension have engulfed forty-six affected Senior officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) who were sacked last week by the board of the service for actions considered capable of compromising national economy and security. The dismissed will be prosecuted in the court of law.

The sacked officers were indicted for alleged involvement in shady physical examination and release of containers without proper documentation, payment of duties, illegal release of goods in advance before the arrival of vessels, collection of bribe to release prohibited items. Other offences are release of export prohibitions, fraudulent sale of seized items, use of fake certificates and bribery to secure auctioned goods.

The trial of the officers were sequel to the threat of the Comptroller-General of Customs Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) to jail any officers found to be corrupt in the service.

This was even as we obtained list of the forty-six Senior Customs officers sacked by the CG last week.

In an internal memo from the board of the service to the Comptroller-General of Customs, tagged: Forwarding Letters of Retirement, Termination, Dismissal, Exoneration, Warning and Upliftment in Rank with Reference number NCSB/ABJ/AP&D/S.D/VolXV/56 dated 13th October 2016, the affected officers with their service number include: Imam S.U, 39114; Balarabe S,38818; Maigar. M, 39183; Shuaibu I.J, 42732; Haruna K, 43002; Jimoh A.S, 40747; Hamidu H, 42236; Hamisu S.G, 36143; Anigwe M.E, 28160; Alfa Y.D, 41718; Abdulahi M.S, 38249; Sale A.S, 35929; Madaki J.M, 34642; Naramu’Azu Usman, 36441; Isah A, 36600; Bello A, 42504; Bello A.M, 39123; Abdullahi R, 38752; Sale H, 35738; Sani. B, 36223; Garba. H, 35717; Owunaka T, 36492.

Others are, Olorunhundo G.S, 50152; Mustapha M.T, 35477; Mbanefo P.C, 41225; Ekong N.A, 36863; Dahiru A, 32629; Azodoh A.C, 30611; Orukalama T, 33227; Mahdi A.Z, 36754; Kalama B, 50950; Duguri Z.I,36507; Daze P.D, 37618; Ohamobi C, 32241; Olajumoke O, 38620; Johnson D.H, 34492; Idris A.Z, 37083; Andrew A.A, 36698; Suleimon A.A, 43040 and Dan Ali M 41440.

Recall that the Comptroller General during his visits to various commands of the service threatened to discipline, dismiss and jail corrupt officers found guilty of corrupt practices.

He has also told the officers during his visit that he was deployed to reform the service.

Ali said that there was the need for officers to be of good conduct and show professionalism while carrying out their duties.

Ali said his administration would have zero tolerance for corruption, hence the need for officers and men of the service to shun all forms of corruption.

Anti-graft war is boosting foreign investors’ confidence – EFCC

The anti-graft agency in Nigeria says the fight against corruption by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has redeemed the image of Nigeria in the international community and has also encouraged foreign investments in the country.

The Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, made the assertion on Monday when he visited the headquarters of National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), in Kaduna State.

Speaking to reporters during the visit, the EFCC boss, stressed the determination of the Federal Government to rid the country of corrupt practices.

Mr Magu urged all Nigerians to support the anti-graft war in order to create a conducive environment for foreign investors to come in.

On his part, the General Secretary of the NUTGTWN, Mr Issa Aremu, emphasised the need for the government to come up with a national strategic policy that would give a strong backing in combating corruption at all levels.

He says the collapse of many industries in Nigeria was due to corruption and calls for total support to the fight against corruption.

The comment of the EFCC’ boss came on the same day the former Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr Reuben Abati, was taken into custody by the anti-graft agency.

He was spotted at the EFCC premises at about 5:30PM on Monday.

Abati’s detention may not be unconnected to the anti-corruption campaign of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration which has intensified with a clampdown on some public officials from the previous administration.

He has not been named in any of the ongoing corruption cases.

“We Fought Corruption Without Making Noise” – Jonathan.

FORMER President Goodluck Jonathan has said that his administration fought corruption in the country without making noise about it.

Mr. Jonathan said this on Monday while speaking at the Oxford Union of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

The immediate past Nigerian leader spoke on the theme “Promoting Youth Entrepreneurship”.

Responding to inquiries by some of the students regarding his administration’s fight against corruption, Mr. Jonathan said he would not like to “interfere with the legal processes” because “several matters are pending in court”.

Mr. Jonathan however said he did enough to reform anti-corruption agencies to enable them function effectively.

“We reformed the institutions and introduced various mechanisms to stop the corruption problems in our country without publicity,” he said.

Mr. Jonathan lost his bid for a second term in 2015.

Using his Twitter handle, the former president paid glowing tributes to Nigerian youth and said “any Nation that does not spend its wealth and resources to develop the capacity of its youth, will be forced to use them to fight insecurity.

“As a leader, you can decide through your policies to educate the youth, or face the consequences of failing to do so,” he said.

Mr. Jonathan also said his administration put in place some youth related policies, which, he said, helped grow the Nigerian economy.

“Despite incredible challenges, Nigerian youths are achieving great things and placing Nigeria positively in the world map. They inspire us,” he said.

He also said his administration increased the allowances due to Youth Corps members by more than 100% in 2011.

Mr. Jonathan added that the PDP administration that he led “identified Nollywood as a sector that can employ many young people and provided a grant of $200 million to boost the industry”.

“As a result, Nollywood became a major contributor to our GDP and in 2014, the industry contributed 1.4% to our GDP,” he said.

“We may not have been perfect, but we did our best, and our best yielded an era of unprecedented economic growth for Nigeria. A growth that proved the truism that a Nation’s wealth is not underneath the ground but between the ears of her people.

“Under my watch, Nigeria was projected by CNN Money to be the third fastest growing economy in the world for the year 2015.

“While serving as President of Nigeria, I worked for the next generation and not for the next elections. I have no regrets for what I did,”Mr. Jonathan said.

The former president also called on contemporary African leaders to see youth entrepreneurship as a collective project transcending national boundaries.

We Fought Corruption Without Making Noise– Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has said that his administration fought corruption in the country without making noise about it.

Mr. Jonathan said this on Monday while speaking at the Oxford Union of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

The immediate past Nigerian leader spoke on the theme “Promoting Youth Entrepreneurship”.

Responding to inquiries by some of the students regarding his administration’s fight against corruption, Mr. Jonathan said he would not like to “interfere with the legal processes” because “several matters are pending in court”.

Mr. Jonathan however said he did enough to reform anti-corruption agencies to enable them function effectively.

“We reformed the institutions and introduced various mechanisms to stop the corruption problems in our country without publicity,” he said.

Using his Twitter handle, the former president paid glowing tributes to Nigerian youth and said “any Nation that does not spend its wealth and resources to develop the capacity of its youth, will be forced to use them to fight insecurity.

“As a leader, you can decide through your policies to educate the youth, or face the consequences of failing to do so,” he said.

Mr. Jonathan also said his administration put in place some youth related policies, which, he said, helped grow the Nigerian economy.

“Despite incredible challenges, Nigerian youths are achieving great things and placing Nigeria positively in the world map. They inspire us,” he said.

He also said his administration increased the allowances due to Youth Corps members by more than 100% in 2011.

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Presidency Insists Judges Must Step Down for Trial

The Presidency is insisting that two Supreme Court Justices and four others must step aside ahead of their trial for alleged corruption, it was learnt last night.

It also faulted Chief Justice Mahmud Mohammed’s claim that the Judiciary had issues with the Department of State Services (DSS), not the Federal Government.

It was also learnt that the DSS refused to release the evidence against the judges under probe to the National Judicial Council (NJC) in order not to prejudice their trial.

Those under investigation by the DSS are two Supreme Court Justices -Justice Sylvester Ngwuta and Justice Inyang Okoro; the suspended Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Ilorin Division, Justice Mohammed Ladan Tsamiya, who was picked up in Sokoto; Justice Adeniyi Ademola (Federal High Court); the Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice I. A. Umezulike; Justice Kabiru Auta of Kano State High Court; Justice Muazu Pindiga (Gombe State High Court); Justice Bashir Sukola and Justice Ladan Manir, from the Kaduna State High Court.

Of the nine judges, the NJC has recommended sanctions for Justice Tsamiya; Justice. Umezulike and Justice Kabiru Auta.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) is investigating six judges of the Federal High Court. They are: Justices Mohammed Nasir Yunusa; Hyeladzira Ajiya Nganjiwa; Musa Haruna Kurya; Agbadu James Fishim; Uwani Abba Aji; and Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia.

But the NJC has refused to suspend six of the judges because, according to the Judicial agency, the DSS is yet to submit petitions and evidence against them.

The government however said the judges must step aside to clear their names instead of facing trial while on the bench.

A top government source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The government has made its position known to the CJN. On why the judges should step aside ahead of their trial. The government will not yield ground on this.

“If we go ahead to arraign them in court, the same CJN and NJC will accuse the government of desecrating the Judiciary. The right step now is to allow the judges to face trial and clear the allegations against them.

“It is unfortunate that what the CJN told the government on how to handle the case of the judges was different from the statement he issued.

“We are suspecting that the CJN might be under pressure from his colleagues or he wants to leave the fate of the judges to his successor.

“He cannot rationalise by making a distinction between the Federal Government and the DSS. The government was in support of the sting operations of the security agency. So, the DSS did not act unilaterally.

“We will not take up issues with the CJN because the Nigerian Bar Association(NBA), some former Supreme Court Justices and the Body of Benchers have supported the position of the government that the judges should step aside.”

The source added: “Some of the judges in their letters to the CJN admitted having huge cash at home as if their houses are banks. In some jurisdictions, no judge can have up to $5,000 dollars at hand.

“We have a case of a judge who had never withdrawn a kobo from his salary account. How does he feed? Yet, the CJN was put into confidence on some of these issues at a meeting with some government officials. In what other way can the government respect the Judiciary?

It was learnt at the weekend that the NJC might meet this week or before the November 10 exit date of the CJN on the petitions against some judges.

It was gathered that the NJC session scheduled for Saturday was suddenly shifted following pressure from some quarters.

A member of the NJC said: “Yes, our meeting was postponed at the last minute because of certain circumstances. We are hopeful that we may meet this week, depending on the disposition of the CJN.

“What is however clear is that we will hold a meeting before the exit date of the CJN. We have to take a decision on some petitions against some judges before the council. One of the petitions is a high profile one.

“It is also statutory that we meet to bid the CJN a farewell and ratify some recommendations on some judges.”

It was gathered that the DSS refused to release evidence against the embattled judges to the NJC in order not to lay all the cards on the table before their trial.

The DSS suspects that there is no way the judges will not be privy to the evidence against them and they may begin to frustrate their trial with preliminary objection.

The agency prefers encounters with the judges in court instead of the NJC, which is a disciplinary body.

A security source said: “With the suspicious manner the NJC threw away some cases/ petitions against some judges, the DSS cannot take such a risk to make all its evidence available to the body.

“Take the case of a judge who was implicated in a N500million bribery, the Petition Review Committee of the NJC cleared him. This is a judge who admitted on tape to have collected bribe.

“It took some persistence by a petitioner before the NJC could accept to sanction the Chief Judge of Enugu State. He was retired after about four petitions against him.

“Another judge accused of demanding N200million was retired by the NJC when the law is explicit on what should be done.

“To give evidence to NJC will amount to prejudging the judges. The DSS conducted sting operations in some judges’ quarters; it believes the law should take its course through trial.

“Once the evidence are made available to the NJC, the trial of the judges will suffer a setback from the outset because they will know what the government has against them.”

Judges Accused of Corruption Should go on Compulsory Leave – NBA

The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) has advised judges facing allegations of corruption to proceed on compulsory leave until their innocence is proven.

The judges are Sylvester Ngwuta and John Okoro (supreme court); Adeniyi Ademola and Nnamdi Dimgba (federal high court); Mohammed Tsamiya (appeal court, Ilorin); Kabri Auta (high court, Kano) and Muazu Pindiga (high court, Gombe).

On October 8, the Department of State Services arrested the judges after raiding their homes, claiming it recovered huge amounts of money, including foreign currencies from some of them.

The NBA had called for the release of the judges, threatening “consequences” if they were not released.

Speaking at a valedictory session held in honour of Sotonye Denton-West, a retiring appeal court judge, in Abuja, on Thursday, Abubakar Mahmoud, president of NBA, advised the accused judges to cease performing judicial functions until their innocence has been proven.

“My Lords, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, permit me to digress a little. I am sure that many here will be expecting me to make further statements on the ongoing events affecting the nation’s judiciary,” he said.

“I have, in the course of the last two weeks or so, made several statements and remarks on these developments. Our position is therefore well-known. We have emphasised our commitment to safeguarding the independence of the nation’s judiciary.

“That is corruption in the judiciary. On Thursday 13th of October at the meeting of bar leaders comprising past NBA presidents, past general secretaries and past attorneys-general of the federation, we reviewed very carefully the developments after listening to detailed briefings from both the attorney-general and minister of justice as well the secretary of the National Judicial Council.

“One of the resolutions we took was to set up a Task Force to urgently review the current developments and come up with clear specific recommendations on how best to clean up the nation’s judiciary and rebuild the confidence of Nigerians in our law courts. I am expecting the report of that task force in two weeks.

“In the meantime, we have continued with our consultations and engagements. We will be coming up with bold and clear recommendations, which we will pass to the National Judicial Council and the Government.

“In the interim, however, particularly having regards to what appears to ongoing accusations and counter-accusations between some of the judges and other personalities or agencies, it appears to the NBA that it is extremely important that the NJC takes very urgent steps to safeguard the public image and sanctity of the courts.

“We therefore strongly recommend that, without prejudice to the innocence or otherwise of the judges involved in the ongoing investigations, they should be required to recuse themselves from further judicial functions or required to proceed on compulsory leave until their innocence is fully and completely established or until the conclusion of all judicial or disciplinary proceedings.

“We believe this will be necessary in order to protect the sanctity and integrity of judicial processes that may involve the judges concerned and safeguard the public image of the institution.”?

How Amaechi Begged me to Help Nullify Fayose’s Election – Judge

A Justice of the Supreme Court yesterday accused Transportation Minister Rotimi Amaechi and Science Minister Ogbonnaiya Onu of being the architect of his travails.

Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, who was arrested by Department of State Services (DSS) operatives for alleged corruption, blamed it all on his refusal to cooperate with the duo, who he said had requested him to influence some electoral cases in their favour.

He alleged that Amaechi and Onu asked him to assist them in relation to the governorship election disputes in Ekiti and Ebonyi states.

Justice Ngwuta alleged that Amaechi, who claimed to be acting on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, wanted him to facilitate the annulment of Ayodele Fayose’s election so that Kayode Fayemi (Minister of Solid Mineral) could participate in a rerun election.

Justice Inyang Okoro has also accused Amaechi of trying to bribe him.

Justice Ngwuta said Onu had sought his help to facilitate the victory of the Labour Party (LP) candidate in the Ebonyi State governorship election dispute.

Justice Nqwuta, in his October 18, 2016 letter to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and Chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC), Justice Mahmud Mohammed, accused DSS operatives of planting the money they claimed to have recovered in his home there.

“My Noble Lord, I am a victim of my own resolve never to violate my sacred oath of office as a judicial officer. Politicians and their collaborators have been hunting me on that account.

“It started in Ebonyi State where I was falsely accused before a panel set up by NJC in August 2000. It was replicated in 2009 when I was pulled from my division, Calabar, to preside over a motion filed by Senator Andy Uba seeking to be a Governor without going through the process of election. In each case I was exonerated.

“My present plight started sometime between 2013 and 2014. I represented the then Chief Justice of Nigeria in an event organised in the International Conference Centre. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi came in late and sat next to me at the high table.

“He introduced himself to me and we exchanged contacts. A few weeks after, Fayose’s case was determined in the Court of Appeal. Amaechi called me by 6.45 am. He said he had come to see me, but was told I had left for my office.

“When he said he would return in the evening, I demanded to know what he wanted, but he would not tell me. He did not come that evening but came the following morning when I was already prepared to go to work.

“He begged me to ensure that Fayose’s election was set aside and another election ordered for his friend Fayemi to contest. I told him I would not help him and that even if I am on the panel I have only my one vote.

“After the Rivers State governorship election was determined by the Court of Appeal, he called to tell me his ears were full and he would like to tell me what he heard. I told him I was out of Abuja at the time.

“On my return, he came in the evening and even before he sat down he barked ‘You have seen Wike’. I asked him whether that was a question or a statement. Then he made a call and asked me to speak with someone. The man he called said he was a DSS man. We exchanged greetings and I handed the phone to him.

“Next, he said ‘Oga is not happy.’ I asked him who is the unhappy ‘Oga’ and he answered ‘Buhari’. I retorted ‘go and talk to his wife.’ He got very angry, and left, remarking ‘we shall see’ several times.

“Your Lordship may recall one morning when I pleaded not be on the panel for Rivers Appeal. Your Lordship said I was already on the panel and asked me to explain why I made the request to be excluded.

“When I explained what transpired the previous night, Your Lordship told me Amaechi had also attempted to influence other Justices. My Lord, on the day we heard the appeal with your Lordship presiding, we were allowed lunch break at 4.20 pm.

“The moment I got into my chambers he, Amaechi, called. When he told who was calling, I said to him, ‘Your Excellency, you want to issue more threats?’ He replied ‘Have you been threatened before?’ I replied ‘I know a threat when I hear one even if veiled. In any case I will not talk to you’ and I switched off my phone.

”The people who failed in their attempt to destroy me in Ebonyi in 2000 and in Enugu in Andy Uba’s case in the Court of Appeal, Enugu in 2009 are now supplying Amaechi with information to fight me for my negative response to his demands, especially my answer to his statement that ‘Oga was not happy.’

On the role allegedly played by Dr. Onu, Justice Ngwuta added:

“When the governorship election appeal from my state, Ebonyi, came to the Court of Appeal, one Mr. Igwenyi, a senior staff of Federal Judicial Service Commission came to my chambers and told me that the former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu had pleaded with him to convince me to see him, Dr. Onu.

“I asked him to call Dr. Onu; he did and I wanted to know why he wanted to see me. He said it was confidential. I asked when he wanted to see me and he said he would like me to come in the evening. I told Igwenyi that he would have to take me to Dr. Onu in his car and bring me back.

“I had wanted him to listen to what Dr. Onu had to say, but when we arrived, Dr Onu put him in a different room. He asked me whether I know the Hon. President of the Court of Appeal and I told him that His Lordship was my Presiding Justice in the Court of Appeal, Benin division.

“He asked of my relationship with the PJA and I said it was cordial. He nodded his head several times in apparent satisfaction.

”He told me that the candidate for the Labour Party was ready to switch over to APC if he could help him win the appeal in the Court of Appeal and that in appreciation of the undertaking to come over to his party, he had obtained the services of three Justices of the Court of Appeal to ensure victory for Labour Party.

“He said he needed one to convince the PJA to include his three Justices of the Court of Appeal in the five-man panel to hear the appeal. I told him I would not help him and that I could not in good conscience convey such request even to a Customary Court Judge.

“He was disappointed and asked me whether I knew the husband of the PJA. I told him I did not know the man. I bid him good night and left. Igwenyi joined me in the passage and when he drove me back to my home I told him what Dr. Onu wanted. Igwenyi apologised to me and assured me that he would not have bothered me if he had known what Dr. Onu wanted me to do.

Corruption: FG okays trial of Justices Okoro, Ademola, others.

The Federal Government on Wednesday shunned the National Judiciary Council and pressed ahead with its decision to bring the seven suspected corrupt judges to justice.

The seven are among the 15 already identified by the Department of State Services and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, but the other eight are yet to be named and invited for questioning.

The NJC, which claimed to have omnibus powers over both criminal and administrative matters relating to judges in Nigeria, last week disregarded the Presidency’s directive to suspend the suspected corrupt judicial officers from duty, pending the trial and disposal of the criminal allegations levelled against them.

Rather than comply with the Presidency’s order, the NJC slammed the DSS for daring to search the homes of the judges in the night and making away with huge cash in local and foreign currencies.

Although none of the suspects denied keeping the huge cash in their homes, the NJC was silent on the propriety of the discovery of the money in the homes of the judges, but disparaged the DSS for the raid, which it claimed was intended to cow the judges from doing their jobs.

In a brazen move to get at both the NJC and the suspects, who have tried to blame key ministers in President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for their ordeal, the Federal Government on Wednesday formally approved the prosecution of the suspects with immediate effect.

A top Presidency official confirmed to Vanguard that the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, had approved the immediate prosecution of the suspects so as not to give the erroneous impression that government was promoting corruption.

The top source said the trial of the suspects would be carried out in phases and handled by the National Prosecution Council, which was recently inaugurated.

The source said the refusal of the NJC to suspend the suspected judges was interpreted as a “slap” on the Presidency and that no country would allow a few people to constitute themselves into a cabal that is “above the law”.

Asked to disclose the nature of the charges to be preferred against the judges, the official said: “The charges are generally for corruption, with an isolated case of illegal possession of firearms to be pressed against one of the judges.”

The firearms were recovered from the home of one of the suspects by the DSS during the nocturnal raid on October 7, a development that had sparked national outrage.

Giving further insight into the trial, the source hinted: “I can tell you that the National Prosecution Council will lead the prosecution of the suspects, while the Director of Public Prosecution in the Federal Ministry of Justice will coordinate the team.

“The charges were cleared from the OHAGF only yesterday and the suspects are certainly going to be charged to court any moment from now.

“The Federal Government is not deterred by the refusal of the NJC to suspend the suspects from office.”

Efforts to speak with Malami, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, proved abortive, as he was said to be outside Nigeria.

None of his officials claimed knowledge of the approval of the charges against the suspected judges.

It will be recalled that the DSS had launched a sting operation in the homes of the judges on the night of October 7, 2016, recovering local and foreign currencies worth N360 million.

Two of the judges are from the Supreme Court, while the rest sit in Federal and State High Courts.

While Justice John Inyang Okoro of the Supreme Court claimed on Tuesday that the $38,000 found in his home was his estacode, he did not say how the over N3 million cash was left in his home and not the bank.

On the other hand, Justices Ademola Adeniyi and Nnamdi Dimgba have blamed their ordeal in the hands of the DSS on Malami over certain court verdicts they claimed they gave against him in the past.

Nonetheless, the allegations against Malami were not mentioned to anyone until the raids on their homes by the DSS.

Fighting Corruption Protects Everybody from Resultant Chaos, Conflicts – VP Osinbajo

Remarks by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the National Conference on the role of Legislature in the Fight Against Corruption on Tuesday, October 18, 2016:
The National Assembly, the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, and the UNODC deserve to be commended for this far-sighted initiative.

Despite the widespread cynicism about the capacity of the political class to fight corruption and graft, we have found the will to open up a public discourse on this all important subject.

Let me also thank Prof. P.L.O Lumumba,(keynote speaker from Kenya) for what, for me, was the most insightful and most eloquent extemporaneous speech I have ever heard on the subject.

I have been involved in anti-corruption advocacy and research, and action since1990. In all of that, I have never heard anyone say with any seriousness that they support corruption. Indeed everyone agrees that corruption is ultimately a fatal scourge.

Let me even argue that it is a crime against humanity, given the fact that in many countries including ours, it is largely responsible for the abject poverty of the majority and the massive fatalities of the most vulnerable in our society.

For the majority of our citizens, the greed and mindless selfishness that portends corruption is bewildering. How do you explain how anyone can embezzle funds meant to equip soldiers for a war that could consume thousands and eventually all of us?

Or how in the midst of so much want, how can some seize the treasury for themselves, their families and friends? And how can anyone argue after all of that, that all that is required and all that we need to pay attention to is the technicality of how such people are possibly arrested?

As the Senate President just pointed out, a few subsidy scams consumed almost N5 Trillion. When you consider that the budget is N6 Trillion, the size, the scale of the damage is clear. So I am sure that we all agree that there is no point bringing together this most distinguished, erudite and knowledgeable group for an intellectual exigencies on the consequences of corruption.

Indeed, a conference on corruption in which the arms of government are invited can, in my view, have one objective, and one objective alone, which is: what is the way out of this existential evil?

So, a gathering like this presents a unique opportunity to explore a consensus on how to free our nation and its most crucial institutions from the ravages of corruption or as the President said famously, how to kill it before it kills us.

Indeed we have a chance to develop a uniquely Nigerian approach to deal with this problem. I think it is important for us to be humble and clear headed enough to understand that the coalition that should emerge from such a consensus is not a coalition of saints, neither can it be a conclave of only righteous men and women bound by holier-than-thou creed and a crusading view. No, that will fail.

What we need is a coalition of reasonable men and women of the Nigerian bureaucratic, political, business and religious elite. Men and women who believe that the proposition that corruption does not pay is not merely a moral injunction, that it is an admission of a grave reality in commerce, in governance or whatever another field of human endeavor.

That a corrupt executive, for example, will destroy all plans of development, that a corrupt legislature will use its legislative and oversight functions to enrich itself and compromise its roles of checks and balances, and the corrupt judiciary will sell its powers over life and death to the highest bidder and will turn society to the anarchical notion that self-help is best. That corruption in the capital market or banking system means that we cannot be sure that our investments will ever be safe. We may wake up one day to find that the banks or stocks that we put our resources in have failed because of the dishonest acts of a few. It means that the corrupt law enforcement officer will settle personal scores with its exclusive rights to use the force of state power. So, the proposition that corruption does not pay is simply one that captures the self-destructive nature of corruption.

The reason why we elect men and women as leaders in the executive, judiciary, and legislature, and why we appoint men and women in the judiciary are that we desire an orderly society where we entrust the power to make decisions about how to spend our collective resources for the common good to a few. This is because reasonable men and women discovered long ago that if we allow everyone to take care of themselves, we will remain in the state of nature fighting like savages for our own portion of the meat.

We give the power to adjudicate on our lives and livelihood to the fairest and most honest amongst us who is called a judge, otherwise law and justice will serve only the strongest and the richest. So the reason why the elite in different countries of the world decides to fight corruption is quite straightforward, it is not necessarily altruistic, it is not necessarily a moral issue. But that first, it protects even the elites itself from being consumed by the chaos and the conflict that the corruption may cause. And more importantly, if public officials and private sector persons generally observe a code of integrity, the society itself is saved from a breakdown of law and order.

Your excellency, the Senate President, Honorable Speaker, we have an opportunity today to begin an important national project and I wish to emphasize that this should not be a finger-pointing exercise. What is required is a consensus of reasonable men and women who realize that the current path will destroy us all, that such a consensus will produce a coalition of the like-minded from the executive, the legislature and the judiciary, united by a common cause and proposition namely; that this Republic will fall and consume us all if we do not put in place a practical plan to clean up our crucial public and private institutions.

Thank you all.

US expresses confidence in Nigeria’s fight against corruption.

United States Special Representative to Muslims communities, Shaarik Zafar, monday in Kano expressed optimism that the current fight against corruption in Nigeria would succeed.

Zafar spoke at news conference yesterday in Kano that he was in the state to offer opening remarks at an inaugural workshop on anti-corruption tool for religious leaders.

He said if corruption could be effectively tackled, the country would witness socio-economic growth and development.

“I am optimistic that if corruption can be tackled, the trend is positive for Nigeria based on the commitment.

According to him, the US government was committed toward assisting Nigeria in the current effort to fight corruption in the country.

“Nigeria’s success is America’s success, hence our decision to work with government, civil Society organisations and religious groups on areas to prevent corruption.”

The US envoy said the workshop would address how religious communities could work together to combat corruption, promote accountability, and encourage transparency.

According to him, the workshop was organised by his office under the US Department of State is aimed at educating Muslims leaders the dangers of the corruption.

“Like I said, I have a global mandate. So, I will encourage a continued focus by religious leaders on the critical challenge of combating corruption.

“This is not only because of their moral voice. Critically, religious leaders speak a common language with their communities.

“They also have incomparable access, unique networks and level of respect that can help in this common battle against corruption and to promote accountability.”

The envoy while in Abuja, is expected to meet with religious and community leaders and learn of their current challenges and opportunities.

No Peace For Corrupt Judges…You Can’t Jail Small Thieves & Be Covering Big Thieves- Prof. Itse Sagay

Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), has justified the recent arrest of judges on allegations of corruption, categorizing acts of corruption by judicial officers as a serious crime against humanity.

Also on his part, Executive Secretary of PACAC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, called for the suspension of the judges arrested by the Department of State Services on allegations of corruption pending when they would clear their names.

The spoke at PACAC’s interaction with reporters on the first anniversary of the committee’s activities.

Responding to various criticisms from some quarters against the raids on the houses and the arrest of seven judges, Sagay said those critics failed to understand the implications of corruption.

He said an ordinary man could be guilty of corruption, but a judge should never be otherwise the system will collapse.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria stated, “Ordinary man like you and me can be guilty of corruption; a judge should never be guilty of corruption.

“Once a judge does that, he brings himself to our level and so, cannot complain if he is treated like you and me are treated. That is what has happened. Let us be objective and be fair to this country in our commentary and not be narrow-minded.”

Sagay said because of its tendency to inflame, resorting to self-help and ultimately breakdown of law and order, judiciary corruption could be described as a crime against humanity.

“Those who have criticized the DSS have not looked at the implications of judicial corruption. This is because at the end of the day, when there is corruption, who do they take the matter to, to the judge? The judge is the ultimate and if the buck stops at his table and that judge is complicit in corruption, then, that is the end of the fight against corruption. That is how awful it is.

“So, any judge who is corrupt is committing what I can even call a crime against humanity because it just destroys our confidence and the system, which will sustain the state in law and order.

“It encourages people to resort to self-help because there is no hope in taking the crime to court.

“Today, we have some governors who are sitting there who we know did not win an election. And because they killed on their way to the office, people are still dying to sustain them in office.

“Yet, some courts at the highest level gave approval to the process that brought those people to what I call their bloody seats on which they are sitting.

“If the judiciary is corrupt, if the only body, in fact, the only arm of government that has the power of life and death over Nigerians, is corrupt, then it is sad.”

He said people should be sad that “Billions” that were supposed to be meant for the construction of roads, building and equipping schools and hospitals were found in private residences.

“Isn’t it enough that billions of naira are found in private residences? Don’t we associate these billions of naira with the fact that our roads are in a state of disrepair; that our hospitals are under or ill-equipped; that schools are dilapidated; and that it affects your daily life? What of those whose salaries are not paid in the public service? All this money came from the public purse.

He blamed the arrest of the judges on what he described as the loss of moral authorities on the part of current Supreme Court Justices.

He said in the era of Justices of the “golden Supreme Court” such as the late Justice Kayode Eso, no government agency would dare to arrest them even when they delivered a lot of judgments against the then military administrations, including that of the Head of State, Gen. Buhari (now President).

“We need the judiciary, but we need an upright judiciary. Without that, all arms of government will collapse, democracy will collapse.”

Accused of corruption, Justice Ademola resumes sitting at Federal High Court

Two judges of the Federal High Court, Abuja, whose homes were raided by operatives of the State Security Service for alleged corruption have resumed sitting days after the National Judicial Council, NJC, described the raid as illegal.

The judges, Adeniyi Ademola and Nnamdi Dimgba, presided over court sessions for cases slated to continue on Monday by their various courts.

While Mr. Ademola and six other judges were arrested after the raids, Mr. Dimgba was not.

The SSS said it arrested the seven judges across the nation after petitions bothering on allegations of fraud were made against them and neglected by the NJC. The agency said it had enough evidence to prosecute the judges for corruption.

The security service also alleged that it recovered tens of thousands of dollars and millions of naira from Mr. Ademola’s residence.

Mr. Ademola’s arrest was the most dramatic as he locked himself in a room and told his aides to lie he was not at home, multiple sources including those close to the judge told PREMIUM TIMES.

Knowing the claim was false, the SSS broke down Mr. Ademola’s doors to arrest him.


in his reaction to the allegations, Mr. Ademola said he was forced to attest to the alleged discoveries at gun point.

He alleged that the search conducted at his residence and his subsequent arrest were meant to punish him for rulings he had given in favour of former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and leader of the Indigenous people of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, against the wish of the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

Mr. Ademola also mentioned an old score he said he had with Mr. Malami as a reason for his arrest.

The NJC had also denied reports by the SSS that petitions written against the seven judges were neglected.

In its reaction to the matter, the NJC detailed its findings on the activities of the SSS relating to the judges. The council said only two separate complaints had come from the SSS regarding two of the judges.

The judges whose homes were raided include, Messrs. Dimgba and Ademola, both of the Federal High Court Abuja; Justices John Okoro and Sylvester Nguta of the Supreme Court; Muazu Pindiga of Gombe; Kabiru Auta of Kano High Court; Innocent Okoro, outgoing Enugu State Chief Judge; as well as Mohammed Tsamiya, an appeal court judge in Ilorin.

Responding to issues arising from the raid, Mr. Malami said the SSS was merely discharging its constitutional function of investigation. He said corruption is a threat to the security of any nation.
Over one week after the raids and arrests, the SSS is yet to file charges against the affected judges.

Accused of corruption, Obanikoro arrives Nigeria, to present self to EFCC.

A former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, has arrived Nigeria in an apparent move to submit himself to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC

Mr. Obanikoro has been having a running battle with the anti-graft agency on allegations bordering on financial crimes.

He left for the United States shortly after his party lost the 2015 elections and he ceased being a minister.

The EFCC accused him of using his children to take out government contracts that were never executed.

Mr. Obanikoro, on a separate charge, was also implicated in the Ekiti elections scandal. It is not immediately clear if he was prepared to answer questions about that, too.

He had initially vowed not to return to the country alleging persecution by the government as a means to discredit him.

It is not immediately clear when he planned to submit himself to the EFCC, but Demola Olarewaju, an associate of the politician confirmed his arrival.

Mr. Olarewaju said Mr. Obanikoro had moved to Abuja from Lagos and could visit the EFCC headquarters on Monday.

DSS Action on Judges Aimed at Denigration of Judiciary – NJC

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has said the action of the Department State Service (DSS) against the seven serving federal judges was a denigration of the entire judiciary as an institution.

A statement signed by the Acting Director of Information of the Council, Mr Soji Oye, made this known to newsmen in Abuja on Thursday night.

The Council said that by the act of the DSS, judicial officers were now being exposed to insecurity, adding that criminals might take advantage of the recent incidents to invade their homes under the guise of being security agents.

“The Council vehemently denounces a situation whereby the psyche of judicial officers in the federation is subjected to a level where they will be afraid to discharge their constitutional judicial functions.

“The Council will not compromise the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. The Council wishes, therefore, to reassure the public that any person who has a genuine complaint against any judicial officer is at liberty to bring it up to the Council for consideration,” he said.

Oye said further said the Council had never shielded any judicial officers suspected to have breached the code of conduct guiding the profession or other important law of the land.

He said that the Council insisted that the DSS must be restricted within its primarily concern with the internal security of the country.

In another development, Oye said the Council recommended Justice Sylvester Onnoghen to President Muhammadu Buhari for appointment as the next Chief Justice of Nigeria.

By the recommendation, Onnoghen is expected to succeed the outgoing CJN, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, who retires on Nov. 10

Onnoghen was born on Dec. 22, 1950, at Okurike Town, Biase Local .Government Area of Cross River.

He obtained the Bachelor of Law degree at the University of Legon, Ghana, in 1977 and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1978.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria designate was pupil state counsel, Ministry of Justice, Ikeja, Lagos, and Ogun between 1978 and 1979.

He was partner in the Law Firm of Effiom Ekong & Company, Calabar, 1979 to 1988 and Principal Partner/Head of Chamber of Walter Onneghen & Associates, Calabar 1988 to 1989

Onnoghen was appointed High Court Judge, Cross River Judiciary, 1989 and Chairman, Cross River Armed Robbery and Firearms Tribunal, 1990 to 1993.

He was also Chairman, Judicial Enquiry into the Crisis between Student of the University of Calabar and Obufa Esuk Orok Community, Calabar in 1996 and chaired the Failed Bank Tribunal, Ibadan Zone, 1998, before his elevation to the Court of Appeal in 1998 to 2005.

Onnoghen, a Fellow, Chattered Institute of Arbitrators and a member of the Body of Bencher and Life Bencher was elevated to the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 2005.

Niger Delta group canvasses support for Buhari’s anti-corruption war

President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-graft war has received a groundswell of support from the Niger Delta Zone of the country.

A group known as the Niger Delta Peoples Movement (NDPM) said it decided to give unalloyed support to the President to ensure a successful prosecution of the war.

NDPM’s Coordinator, Mrs Ibifuro Thompson-Tatua, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt that Buhari had demonstrated enough political will to fight corruption.

She expressed the hope that the anti-corruption campaign of the Federal Government would help to sanitise both public and private sectors of the country.

“Buhari has stated that he is fighting corruption because it amounts to denial of resources required for development.

“So, the president should be supported by everyone in his drive to salvage the nation from economic recession and infrastructural decay as a result of corruption.”

According to Thompson-Tatua, it is embarrassing that Nigeria  that is endowed with human and material resources is still a developing nation after 56 years of independence.

She said:“It is quite unfortunate that we are still creeping even among developing nations. This is because past political leaders in the country were united in corrupt practices.

“If we had judiciously channelled our resources to developing Nigeria, the country would have developed far better economically and in infrastructure than what it is now.”

Thompson-Tatua described President Buhari as being on a journey to take Nigeria to the right destination.

She urged well-meaning Nigerians to encourage the anti-corruption agencies in a bid to kill what she called the hydra-headed cancer (corruption) that had eaten deep into the nation’s fabric.

Joshua Dariye’s corruption trial continues despite defecting to APC.

The trial of a former governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye, continued on Wednesday, October 12 before Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Gudu, Abuja, with a defence witness, Stephen Igmala, who is the acting General Manager, Plateau State Road Maintenance Agency, denying knowledge of how equipment used by the Agency were procured.

Mr. Igmala, while being examined by the defence counsel, G. S. Pwul, said: ‘‘I started working in the Agency as a Principal Technical Officer in May 2000. I have no idea about how, and when the equipment were procured. We received them from the Ministry of Works in 2000, and are still using them till date. We didn’t pay for the equipment; the state government did.’’

Under cross-examination by the counsel to EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, Mr. Igmala, who told the court that he became the Agency’s acting general manager in June 2015, said he was not a member of the management of the agency, previously known as Plateau State Direct Labour Agency, when the equipment and vehicles listed in the Exhibit D 18 that was tendered and admitted by the court were procured.

Mr. Igmala, the fifth defence witness, DW5, in the ongoing trial, also told the court that he had not bought any other equipment since he assumed office as acting General Manager.

‘‘I have only been buying diesel, petrol and engine oil through direct purchase from the market,’’ he said.

However, the prosecuting counsel pointed out to the court that the equipment as well as the vehicles used by the agency were more than what was captured in the Exhibit D18 previously tendered and admitted by the court.

Answering further questions from Mr. Jacobs, Mr. Igmala admitted that he had exceeded his six-month acting period.

Justice Banjoko, thereafter, adjourned to October 13 for further hearing.

Mr. Dariye is being prosecuted by the EFCC for allegedly siphoning the state’s ecological fund to the tune of N1.16 billion.

The former Plateau Governor recently decamped to Nigeria’s ruling party, APC from the opposition PDP.

Corruption: Police pension boss stole N24bn, built 22 houses.

Revelations have emerged how Esai Dangabar, a former Director of the Police Pension Fund stole a whooping N24bn, and built 22 houses, The Punch reports.

An Economic and Financial Crimes Commission witness, Mr. Mustapha Gadanya, who was also part of those who investigated the matter said Dangabar lodged the stolen money in various banks as fixed deposits.

Speaking before a FCT High Court, Gadanya who gave details of how the money was laundered, revealed that the accused deposited N320m in Skye Bank between May 2008 and July 2009 for his companies, Marine Logistics and leisure Integrated Ltd.

The turnover of the N320m amounted to N249.8m and N241m, respectively which was later sent to the Federal Government after it was discovered.

He informed the court that between February 2009 and June 2010, Dangabar was assisted by the manager of Syke Bank, Jabi branch, to launder about N840m.

The witness told the court that Dangarbar built 16 duplexes at Wuye District and six flats at Efab, in Abuja.

The houses have since been forfeited to the Federal Government.

The trial judge, Justice Husseni Baba-Yusuf, adjourned the case till Thursday (today) for continuation of hearing.

Lai Mohammed says arrest of judges meant to fight corruption, not Judiciary.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has stated that there was nothing unusual about stepping on sensitive toes in the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration’s current fight against corruption.

He stated this on Wednesday while interacting with State House correspondents at the end of a meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Mohammed spoke in reaction to the outrage that has greeted the recent arrests of judges and raids on their homes by operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS.

He insisted that the arrests of the judges were carried out within the ambit of the law since they do not have immunity against investigation and prosecution.

The minister, who called on Nigerians to separate emotions from facts, maintained that the fight against corruption should not be mistaken for a fight against the judiciary.

He argued that the fact that about 11 of the ministers in Buhari’s cabinet are lawyers, about five of which are Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SAN, showed that Buhari has a lot of respect for the judiciary.

Mohammed added that the fact that the President took the cases of his three failed attempts to become the President before the judiciary is a pointer to his respect for that arm of government.

His words, “Do not confuse the fight against corruption as a fight against judiciary. What the government is concerned and passionate about is to fight corruption.

“In the process of fighting corruption, it is not unusual that you step on some very sensitive toes but the question to ask and I think these has been adequately answered by the Attorney-General is that let’s remove emotion from facts.

“One, do judges have immunity? The answer is no. Can judges be arrested? The answer is yes. Have judges that are serving be arrested in Nigeria? The answer is yes. Justice Okoli had been arrested and tried.

“Now, the next question to ask is what is the proper procedure for arresting anybody including judges. There must be properly executing search warrant. Was such presented? The answer again is yes.

“People have tried to muddle the facts about when do you search the person’s house. The truth of the matter is that under the new criminal justice law, you can search anybody, anywhere, anytime.

“Again they have tried to muddle issues by trying to say that the NJC is the only authority that can attend to complaints and discipline. The answer once again is no.

“When a judge is accused of professional misconduct is quite different from what is happening now. If you suspect anybody including Governors who have immunity, they are still subject to investigations. So I want to make it clear, this government has the highest respect for judiciary and two we are not in any way trying to ridicule the judiciary.

“We are not painting the whole of the judges with the same brush but we also have a duty to fight corruption at whatever level and in doing so, we will do so within the ambit of the law.

Corruption: VP Osinbajo backs judges’ arrest.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has backed the arrest of some judges by the Department of State Services (DSS). He maintained that courts remain public resource, hence the need for judges to be held accountable for their performances.

He spoke while representing President Muhammadu Buhari at the opening of the 46th yearly conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), which featured participants from the United Kingdom and other African countries. The theme of the conference was “Accountability Now, Nigeria.”

Osinbajo explained that performance has been so low in Nigeria because public officials are not held accountable. He told ICAN members who often are charged with public finances to raise their accountability a lot more to ensure increased performance.

According to him: “Those who handle public or private resources must account for their performance because lack of performance can hold down a country. Courts are a public resource, therefore judges and lawyers like every other public or private officials must be held accountable for their responsibilities. We must be able to hold ourselves accountable for the responsibilities that we are charged with.

Besides, at the ongoing 22nd Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja, the Vice President assured local manufacturers, business owners and foreign investors that the current administration remains focused on improving the business environment.

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, Osinbajo said the administration was ‘seriously’ tackling issues relating to local production, employment generation and all that would be needed to re-energize the economy.

Osinbajo has also disclosed that the Federal Government would commence the disbursement of loans ranging from N60, 000 to N100, 000 to artisans, traders and market women under its micro credit scheme at the end of this month.

Giving the indication at the Presidential Villa yesterday, Osinbajo disclosed that “we expect before the end of the month, to engage 200,000, out of the 500,000 unemployed graduates the Buhari administration plans to hire in the N-Power jobs programme.”

Corruption: Buhari’s friends, associates won’t be spared – Osinbajo

To ensure that the Nigerian society was completely purged of corruption, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the anti-corruption war would be holistic and thorough to the extent that even the political associates and friends of President Muhammadu Buhari would not be spared.


Osinbajo who reiterated that the president had zero tolerance for corruption emphasized that he would never cover for his friends.


The Vice President spoke during a special interview session with some journalists at the presidential villa, Abuja on Tuesday.


He said: “The major drain on the country’s resources. No one would be spared in the fight against corruption because, even the close friends of the President know that they will not be spared; he will not cover for them. Fighting corruption is a priority”.


Osinbajo also revealed that 200,000 unemployed graduates had been selected to be engaged by the federal government under the N-power jobs Programme.


He said that this was in fulfillment of campaign promises of the present administration.


We expect that before the end of the month, we will engage 200, 000,” out of the 500,000 unemployed graduates the Buhari administration plans to hire in the N-Power jobs programme.”

“Crackdown” On Judiciary- Separating The Law From Sentiments – Inibehe Effiong

The State Security Service (SSS) embarked on an unprecedented “crackdown” on allegedly corrupt judicial officers across the country over the weekend. Among the judicial officers whose houses were searched and thereafter arrested and detained are two Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria; Justices Sylvester Ngwuta and Inyang Okoro.

As expected, the action has polarised lawyers, commentators, the media, civil society and the public. Differing views have been expressed on the constitutionality or otherwise of the steps and procedures adopted by the SSS. Sadly, the public has been deprived of opinions that are rooted in law owing largely to the belligerent and sentimental posturing and aggressive grandstanding that has impaired commentaries on the issues in controversy.

My task in this essay is simply to offer a legal opinion on the following four issues: First, are judicial officers in Nigeria immune from the criminal justice system?; Second, is it mandatory for security agencies to seek the consent/intervention of the National Judicial Council (NJC) before investigating, arresting, detaining or prosecuting a judicial officer over alleged crimes?; Three, did the SSS act within its statutory powers and acceptable legal procedures? Four, is evidence that is obtained illegally admissible in law?

The above questions or issues are in my considered view the crux-es of the matter.

Before I proceed further, may I respectfully issue a caution: This op-ed is one of the longest that I have written in recent times. It is not for the lazy mind or for those who are easily irriated by long essays and exposition. The nature of the issues under consideration necessarily made it a detailed essay. I solicit the indulgence of readers.

Resolution of the issues:

First, are judicial officers in Nigeria immune from the criminal justice system?

The only constitutional provision relating to immunity from civil and criminal proceedings and prosseses for certain public office holders in Nigeria is Section 308 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) (hereinafter referred to as the Constitution). Based on that provision, only the President, the Vice President, Governors and Deputy Governors are shielded from civil and criminal proceedings and prosseses in limited circumstances.

It is an elementary rule of interpretation that the express mention of one person or thing is the exclusion of another. The maxim is expressio unius personae vel, est exclusio alterius. In the case of Ehuwa v. O.S.I.E.C. (2006) 10 NWLR (Pt.1012) 544, the Supreme Court stated the position thus:

“It is now firmly established that in the construction of a Statutory provision, where a statute mentions specific things or persons, the intention is that those not mentioned are not intended to be included…” Per OGBUAGU, JSC.

The implication is that every person apart from the four public officers expressly mentioned in Section 308 of the Constitution are subject to investigation, arrest, detention and prosecution. Judicial Officers from the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) to High Court Judges do not enjoy any special protection from criminal proceedings and prosseses. Immunity cannot be inferred, it must be specifically granted.

Those suggesting that judicial officers in Nigeria are entitled to special protection or immunity should be kind enough to cite the enabling constitutional or statutory provision that supports their position. The truth is that there is none.

Second, is it mandatory for security agencies to seek the consent/intervention of the NJC before investigating, arresting, detaining or prosecuting a judicial officer over alleged crimes?

The NJC is one of the institutions established by Section 153 of the Constitution. The power of the Council is provided for in Paragraph 21 of the Third Schedule to the Constitution. The NJC is empowered inter alia, to recommend the removal from office of judicial officers and exercise disciplinary control over them. By virtue of Section 158 (1) of the Constitution, the NJC is guaranteed constitutional independence and is not subject to the control of any other authority or person when exercising its disciplinary control.

There is no dispute on the disciplinary control of the NJC over judicial officers. What is disputed by some legal commentators is the extent of the disciplinary control. Is it correct to aver that no criminal proceedings or action can be initiated or taken against a judicial officer except on the invitation/directive of the NJC?

At the risk of repetition, where a judicial officer is alleged to have committed a crime, is it mandatory for law enforcement agencies to go through the disciplinary instrumentality of the NJC before taking actions against the erring judicial officer?

There is nothing in the provisions of Paragraph 21 of the Third Schedule to the Constitution that precludes law enforcement agencies from investigating, arresting, detaining or prosecuting a judicial officer in Nigeria for alleged corrupt practices or for other sundry offences. It is my view that a contrary interpretation will have the inescapable effect of conferring an extra-constitutional immunity on judicial officers.

In rule seven (7) of the famous twelve (12) point rule of constitutional interpretation propounded by OBASEKI, JSC in the celebrated case of Attorney-General of Bendel State vs Attorney-General of the Federation (1981) 10 SC. 1; (1981) 1 FNLR 179, the Supreme Court declared thus:

“A constitutional provision should not be construed in such a way as to defeat its evident purpose.”

The purpose of Section 308 of the Constitution as evidently enshrined therein is to protect ONLY the President, Vice President, Governors and Deputy Governors from arrest, detention and prosecution. I submit that any construction on the disciplinary power of the NJC that tends to shield judicial officers from arrest, detention and prosecution will automatically defeat the purpose of Section 308 of the Constitution.

It is my humble view that where the wrongful act of a judicial officer is merely a misconduct and nothing more, the NJC is vested with the power to recommend such offending judicial officer for removal from office and exercise disciplinary control over him. The NJC’s independence from control guaranteed and envisaged by Section 158 of the Constitution does not, and cannot be construed to mean totality or absoluteness of control over judicial officers where the misconduct complained of also constitute a crime.

Before concluding on this point, there is a widely propagated misconception that needs to be corrected.

It has been argued by some persons that the procedure on how erring judges should be dealt with requires that even when a judge is found or alleged to have committed a crime, a petition must first be written to the NJC and that the petitioner and the law enforcement agencies like the police, the EFCC, the SSS and others must patiently wait for the determination of the petition by the NJC before activating the criminal process. With respect, that cannot be the correct position.

Ostensibly, this misconception stems from a misunderstanding of the relationship between the constitutional procedure for removal of judicial officers and the liability of judges for criminal offences committed by them.

The procedure for removal of judicial officers in Nigeria is as contained in Section 292 of the Constitution. In brevity, the provision is to the effect that the NJC may recommend to the President or Governor, as the case may be, the removal from office of erring judicial officers for inability to perform the functions of their office due to infirmity (whether of the body or mind) or misconduct or contravention of the Code of Conduct. Note that the NJC only recommends, it does not and cannot remove any judicial officer solely on its own.

There is nothing in Section 292 of the Constitution that makes the removal of an erring judicial officer a condition precedent to his investigation, arrest, detention and prosecution by law enforcement agencies.

No law enforcement agency can usurp the disciplinary powers of the NJC by recommending a judge for removal or suspending a judge or exercising other form of disciplinary control over a judicial officer. Likewise the NJC cannot and should not usurp the constitutional cum statutory functions of the law enforcement agencies to investigate crimes, arrest, detain or prosecute any person, including judicial officers, for alleged crimes. Both causes of action can either run concurrently or separately depending on the circumstances of each case. Where for example a judicial officer is accused of corruption which is both an act of professional misconduct and a crime, the aggrieved party and or law enforcement agency may elect to petition the NJC for the removal of the judicial officer from office or proceed directly to subject the erring judicial officer to the criminal justice system or pursue both causes of action at the same time.

The NJC is not a court of law under Section 6 of the Constitution and has no supervisory jurisdiction over law enforcement agencies.

Third, did the SSS act within its statutory power and acceptable procedure?

The SSS is a creation of the National Security Agencies Act of 1986. The power of the SSS as stipulated in Section 3 of the Act is as follows:

(3) The State Security Service shall be charged with responsibility for-

(a) the prevention and detection within Nigeria of any crime against the internal security of Nigeria;

(b) the protection and preservation of all non-military classified matters concerning the internal security of Nigeria; and

(c) such other responsibilities affecting internal security within Nigeria as the National Assembly or the President, as the case may be, may deem necessary.

Going by the provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b) supra, it is apparent that the SSS stricto sensu ( in the strict sense) has no power to arrest judicial officers for alleged economic and financial crimes. However, a dispassionate attention should be paid to the wordings and purport of paragraph (c) above. Clearly, that provision (paragraph C) gives the President the power to enlarge the scope of responsibilities of the SSS relating to the internal security within Nigeria. Section 6 of the Act goes further to empower the President to issue an Instrument, a subsidiary legislation, on the manner the SSS should exercise its powers, etc.

In exercise of the power in Sections 3 and 6 of the National Security Agencies Act 1986, former Head of State, General Abdusalam Abubakar in 1999 promulgated the State Security Service Instrument One of 1999. By virtue of that Instrument, the responsibilities of the SSS was extended to include the prevention, detection and investigation of economic crimes of national security dimension, among other things. It is important to emphasize that the National Security Agencies Act has a special constitutional flavour being one of the four federal enactments listed in Section 315 (5) of the Constitution. The consequence is that it cannot be altered like ordinary Acts of the National Assembly. It has the same alteration procedure like the Constitution as laid down in Section 9 (2) of the Constitution.

According to the SSS, the affected judicial officers were arrested based on allegations of corrupt practices and professional misconduct. The SSS in a statement said that raw cash of different denominations, in both local and foreign currencies, assets worth millions of Naira and documents affirming “unholy acts of these Judges” have been uncovered through a sting operation. The summary of cash allegedly recovered during the “raids” conducted in the homes of the Judges was given as follows: Naira – N93,558,000.00; Dollars – $530,087; Pounds – £25,970 and Euro – €5,680.

The question is, does the grave allegations levelled against the Judges and the alleged offences committed by them constitute “economic crimes of national security dimension” to bring same within the purview of the additional powers of the SSS pursuant to Instrument One of 1999?

It is advisable for us to examine the role of judicial officers in nation building. A corrupt judge is not only a threat to justice and the rule of law but to the society and the nation. Judges are by their calling empowered to make binding decisions on behalf of the rest of the society. When judgments are obtained fraudulently, the society and the nation are endangered. A corrupt judge is more dangerous than a kidnapper or an armed robber. The worst form of corruption is judicial corruption.

Though the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is the specialised and coordinating agency for the detection, prevention and prosecution of economic and financial crimes, economic crimes committed by a judicial officer is far more serious and damaging than those of other categories of persons and there is some wisdom is categorizing same as “economic crimes of national security dimension” for which the SSS can act upon.

On the manner the searches and arrests were conducted, I concede that the SSS acted in a rather brash and indecorous manner. However, facts are sacred and the law should be separated from sentiments. It is reported that the SSS obtained both search and arrest warrants. What is in dispute is whether the warrants covered all the affected judicial officers and the somewhat “undemocratic” manner they were executed, particularly the time.

The relevant principal law on the issuance of a search/arrest warrant is the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 (ACJA). Part 18 of the ACJA is devoted to search warrants, Section 144 thereof allows for the issuance of a search warrant on any house. The warrant may also authorize the officer or other person to arrest the occupier of the house or place where any incriminating item or thing is found during the search. Where this is specified in the search warrant, there would be no need to obtain an arrest warrant separately. By Section 146 of the ACJA, a search warrant shall be under the hand of a Judge, Magistrate or Justice of the Peace issuing it and shall remain in force until it is executed or cancelled by the court which issued it.

One important provision under Part 18 of the ACJA that those criticizing the SSS should note is Section 148. It states unequivocally thus:

“A search warrant may be issued and executed at any time on any day, including a Sunday or Public Holiday.”

However, under Section 151 of the ACJA, a search warrant cannot be executed outside jurisdiction of the court or Justice of the Peace issuing it except with the consent of the court within whose jurisdiction the search is to be made. It is doubtful whether the SSS complied with this requirement before embarking on the search at the houses of some of the judges located outside the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja where the search warrant must have been issued.

It has been argued by some lawyers, including some Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) that the ACJA does not apply throughout the federation and that the SSS was bound to follow the provisions of the enabling procedural laws in the States where they executed the search, especially as it pertains to the time of execution of the search warrants. This argument with respect is misleading.

Under Section 111 of the repealed Criminal Procedure Act Cap. C41 LFN 2004, the time for executing a search warrant in the South was between the hours of five o’clock in the forenoon and eight o’clock at night of any day of the week, including Sundays but the Magistrate had the power to direct otherwise. The repealed Criminal Procedure (Northern States) Act Cap. C42 LFN 2004, was however silent on the time. Both Acts have now been repealed by Section 493 of the ACJA 2015 and are no longer laws in Nigeria. Section 2 of the ACJA makes the ACJA applicable to criminal trials for offences created by an Act of the National Assembly, like economic and financial crimes, and to other offences punishable in the FCT, it is the ACJA and not the various laws of the States where the “raids” were conducted that governs the procedure adopted by the SSS. Accordingly, it is misleading for anyone to suggest that the SSS was wrong to have executed the search warrant(s) at night.

It is reported that the SSS forcibly broke into the house of one of the judges. Section 149 (1) of the ACJA states thus:

“Where any building liable to be search is closed, a person residing in or being in charge of the building, thing or place, shall on demand of the police officer or other person executing the search warrant, allow him free and unhindered acess to it and afford all reasonable facilities for its search.”

By the combined effect of Sections 9, 10, 12, 13 and 149 (2) of the ACJA the person executing a search warrant and or arrest warrant is empowered to “break open any outer or inner door or window of any house or place” where unhindered acess is denied upon demand. If the SSS had requested for unhindered access into the house of the affected judge and they were denied, the breaking of the door of the judge’s house was lawful as expressly stated in the ACJA.

Four, is illegally obtained evidence admissible in law? In other words, where evidence is recovered in contravention of the procedure for search of houses and places, will the court admit same?

Every lawyer in this country that is worth his salt knows the answer to this question. The answer is YES – illegally obtained evidence is admissible. The Supreme Court held so in unmistakable terms right from 1968 in the case of Musa Sadau & Anor v. The State (1968) NMLR 208. Also in Kuruma V. R. (1955)1 All ER 236 at 239-240, the Privy Council stated, inter alia, thus:

“The test to be applied in considering whether evidence is admissible is whether it is relevant to the matters in issue. If it is admissible…..the court is not concerned with how the evidence was obtained”.

It is an elementary rule of evidence that what determines admissibility is relevance and not how the evidence was procured. See Section 1 of the Evidence Act 2011 and the cases of Torti v. Ukpabi (1984) 1 SCNLR 214 AT 236 – 237 and 239 24O and Lasun v. Awoyemi (2009) 16 NWLR (Pt.1168) 513 at 553.

Accordingly the evidence allegedly recovered from the houses of the judges are admissible in law whether search warrants were obtained or not or properly executed or not. The court will still go ahead to admit the evidence irrespective of protestations against its illegality. This may not sound comforting, but that is the law.

By way of concluding remarks, I will like to make some points clear. The Judiciary is a sacred institution that should not be desecrated by any person. However, there is no sacredness in corruption. Judges must at all times be treated with decency and respect befitting of their office but corrupt judges should be identified and treated like other criminals in the society. Nigeria is blessed with some of the best judicial brains that can be found anywhere in the world, but the nefarious activities of the bad eggs on the Bench should never be tolerated under any guise.

Judges are not above the law.

Like other public servants, judges in Nigeria are paid in Naira, not in Dollars, Pounds, Euro or Cedis. Judges are not Bureau De Change operators and are not permitted to engage in business adventures. Therefore, the Nigerain people with whose taxes and resources the Judiciary is funded deserves to know how their Lordships came about the mind-blowing hard currencies found in their homes? The public deserves to know how their Lordships came about the assets allegedly traced to them. Judges who are living above their means should be able to answer some questions from the law enforcement agencies.

Their Lordships are presumed innocent until proved guilty and they should be given fair trial and fair hearing.

Instead of threatening the President, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) should tell us what they have done about the recent brutal murder of their member in Rivers State, Mr. Ken Atsuwete? Where was the NBA when a High Court Judge was assaulted in open court in Ekiti State by political thugs led by a governor? Why did the NBA not declare a state of emergency on the judiciary when Justice Ayo Isa Salami was humiliated and disgraced out of the Bench by the administration of Goodluck Jonathan despite the NJC’s recommendation that he should be reinstated? What has the NBA done to Mr. Ricky Tarfa, SAN for allegedly bribing judges? Whose interest is the NBA fighting for?

Records have shown that judges in other jurisdictions, including the United States have been arrested, prosecuted and jailed for corruption and other criminal conducts. Ghana recently purged its judiciary. If this is the time to uproot the pervasive cancer of corruption in the Nigerian Judiciary it is a welcome development and should be supported. Without checks and balances, the doctrine of separation of powers is useless and unworkable.

We cannot have different standards for the rule of law; one for the influential and another for the poor or one for the judges and another for the rest rest us.

Thank you.

Inibehe Effiong is a Legal Practitioner and Convener of the Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (COHRD) and can be reached at:

The worst form of corruption is judicial corruption – Inibehe Effiong

It is advisable for us to examine the role of judicial officers in nation building. A corrupt judge is not only a threat to justice and the rule of law but to the society and the nation. Judges are by their calling empowered to make binding decisions on behalf of the rest of the society.


When judgments are obtained fraudulently, the society and the nation are endangered. A corrupt judge is more dangerous than a kidnapper or an armed robber. The worst form of corruption is judicial corruption.


Though the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is the specialised and coordinating agency for the detection, prevention and prosecution of economic and financial crimes, economic crimes committed by a judicial officer is far more serious and damaging than those of other categories of persons and there is some wisdom is categorizing same as “economic crimes of national security dimension” for which the SSS can act upon.


Inibehe Effiong

“Nigeria Has Realised N2.7trn From Treasury Single Account” – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari says the Treasury Single Account policy has started yielding results.
He said this while reacting to questions at a meeting with members of the Nigerian Community in Saudi Arabia at the Nigerian House in Riyadh on Tuesday evening.

He announced that his administration had introduced a number of policies and programmes aimed at saving the nation’s economy from collapse.

Buhari cited the TSA and the Zero-based Budget as some of the meaningful financial policies that was checking fraud in the system, saying it had started yielding fruitful results.

According to him, “the nation has so far realised over N2.6 trillion” from the newly introduced TSA.

He, therefore, expressed optimism that with the introduction of the single account, the 2016 budget implementation might not record any form of deficit at the end of the financial year.

Corruption: Buhari has letters implicating Jonathan

President Muhammadu Buhari is in possession of some letters, written by former President Goodluck Jonathan, to request “off-budget funds.”

This was contained in Buhari’s authorised biography, ‘Muhammadu Buhari: The Challenges of Leadership in Nigeria’, written by Prof. John Paden and presented to the public on Monday.

An online dictionary defines “off-budget funds” as funds not provided for or included in the regular Federal Government budget; funded by sources other than the federal budget.

In the ongoing anti-corruption war of the present administration, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had arrested and quizzed many of Jonathan’s former ministers and aides for alleged diversion of funds.

Most of them, including the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), are being prosecuted for allegedly diverting funds meant for arms procurement and using the funds for the prosecution of the 2015 presidential election in favour of Jonathan who was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party.

It is generally believed that the former government officials could not have spent the funds in question without Jonathan’s instructions.

The author captured the travails of the former office holders in Chapter 20 of the book, which is titled ‘Corruption and law in military procurement’.

Under the subheading, ‘The role of PDP leaders in the diversion of funds’, Paden said although the letters, written by the former President, were in Buhari’s possession, the President’s purpose of waging the corruption war was not to jail former top government officials but to retrieve the stolen funds.

He said the stability of the nation’s political system seemed to be at stake if the EFCC should go after Jonathan or any former President or military leader for that matter.

He, however, said such former Nigerian leaders could trade their knowledge for immunity and help the government identify patterns and sources of corruption.

Paden added, “The fact that Buhari was enlisting the help of international community in the probes lent weight to the seriousness of his effort – and also meant that alleged offenders had nowhere to hide.

“Would the trail lead to former President Jonathan himself? As of the early months of 2016, it appeared that the EFCC was not going after Jonathan. Nor was it going after former President Obasanjo.

“The question of the stability of the entire political system seemed at stake.

“In addition, a number of senior military officers, who had served as Heads of State – from Babangida to Abubakar – seemed off-limits.

“Indeed, rumours swirled that if the probes went after senior officers, they might push back because they had extensive networks in the active military services.

“At the same time, the knowledge such heavyweights possessed could well be traded for immunity and would help to illuminate the patterns and sources of corruption.

“Buhari had letters in his possession showing Jonathan’s requests for off-budget funds. But Buhari’s larger purpose was not to put former high-level officials in jail.

“Rather, it was to retrieve stolen funds and to change the political culture of the country.”

Meanwhile, the author also revealed that a total of 184 civil servants were disciplined for their different roles in the padding of the 2016 budget.

Of the 184, Paden said 22 top officials were dismissed from service.

He said the President viewed the padding as an attempt to scuttle his administration’s innovations, hence his decision to wield the big stick against the culprits.

The author wrote, “Buhari himself was frustrated by earlier padding of the budget by bureaucrats in some of the ministries.

“This was interpreted by the Buhari team as an attempt to scuttle the innovations proposed by the President by inflating their costs.

“When Buhari found out, he was reported to be angry and ordered a purge of the ministries involved from the Director-General down.

“Twenty-two top officials were dismissed, including the budget director. In all, 184 civil servants were disciplined.”

He added that even after the budget had been adjusted downward by the National Assembly, the country would still have to borrow $3.5bn, as a result of the drop in oil prices.

In February, Buhari had while addressing the Nigerian community in Saudi Arabia, vowed that all those involved in the padding of the 2016 national budget, which led to the discrepancies in the document, would face severe punishment.

He had said the alterations, which he described as embarrassing and disappointing, made the document, being debated in the National Assembly at that time, completely different from what was prepared by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.

Describing those responsible for the distortion of the budget proposals as entrenched interests, the President had said since he had been holding public offices, he had never heard about budget padding before the incident.

Buhari had added, “The culprits will not go unpunished. I have been a military governor, petroleum minister, military Head of State and headed the Petroleum Trust Fund.

“Never had I heard the words budget padding. Our Minister of Budget and National Planning did a great job with his team.

“The minister became almost half his size during the time, working night and day to get the budget ready, only for some people to pad it.

“What he gave us was not what was finally being debated. It is very embarrassing and disappointing. We will not allow those who did it to go unpunished.”

Reaffirming his government’s zero tolerance for corruption, Buhari said the war against corruption was a monumental task that he was determined to tackle successfully.

Why We Are Selling Two Presidential Aircraft – Presidency

The Presidency on Tuesday confirmed the newspaper advertisements for the sale of two presidential aircraft, a Falcon 7x executive jet and Hawker 4000.

Mallam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, made this known in a statement in Abuja.

Shehu stated that the advertisements were duly authorised by the Presidency.

According to him, this is in line with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari that aircraft in the presidential air fleet be reduced to cut cost.

He said: “When he (President Buhari) campaigned to become President, then being APC candidate Muhammadu Buhari, he promised to look at the presidential air fleet with a view to cutting down on waste.

“His directive to a government committee on this assignment is that he will like to see a compact and reliable aircraft for the safe airlift of government officials that go on special missions.

“This exercise is by no means complete.

“I am sure the Commander of Presidential air fleet will any time from now, call you to a ceremony at which he will hand over some aircraft to the Air Force for their operations.”

The Presidential Aircraft Fleet contains 10 aircraft.

They are Boeing Business Jet (Boeing 737-800 or AirForce One), one Gulfstream 550, one Gulfstream V (Gulfstream 500) and two Falcons 7X.

Others are one Hawker Sidley 4000, two Agusta Westland AW 139 helicopters and two Agusta Westland AW 101 helicopter.

Nigerians Believe Corruption is Not a Crime – EFCC chairman Magu

Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu made the statement during a press conference on Tuesday September 26 2016.

His words:

“You can’t make everybody to key in because some people don’t believe corruption is wrong; you should not expect 100 percent acceptance but I’m sure a greater number of Nigerians are with us.

“The fact that I’m acting gives me more determination. You never know, when I’m there. I’ll crush it.

“That’s why sometimes I put EFCC on 24 hours basis so that we can do what we can within the available time. I think I have more determination to clear the ground as much as we can.

“The evil of corruption affects everybody so it is our duty to put our house in order. It is not only for us as we cannot claim monopoly of knowledge of fighting corruption; everybody is a stakeholder. If we work together, we are going to record tremendous success.

“When I’m wrong, tell me. It is easier for you to correct my wrong doings so I want to hear the wrongs so that we can correct them, there’s nothing like perfection.”

We Must Fight Corruption For Its Damage On Nigerian Economy – VP Osinbajo

It is important that Nigerians insist that the problem of corruption must be dealt with considering the extent of the damage it has caused the country’s economy.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, made the assertion today while receiving a delegation of the University of Lagos Alumni Association that paid him a courtesy call at the Presidential Villa.

“We’ve watched corruption fighting back, some people even said bring back corruption, but not the man on the street,” according to Prof. Osinbajo who added that the nation has witnessed excessive corruption.

Said he : “no economy can tolerate the level of corruption seen in Nigeria without consequences. Look at the Northeast, while a war is going, Nigerian lives being lost, some local governments had been taken over, and yet people cannot account for $15B meant for security equipment purchases.”

“The corruption has been so much. Look at the sheer amount of money stolen and decisions taken that fuels corruption, decisions taken just with the sole aim of cornering national resources,” the Vice President lamented.

While explaining the Buhari administration’s approach to the fight against corruption, the Vice President noted that “we are not sitting down focussing on it, all we do is to empower the relevant agencies EFCC and co to do their jobs. Our main focus is the national economy.”

Continuing he said “what catches our attention is the kind of discoveries we get and hear of daily.” But he observed that Nigeria is still blessed with honest people, adding that as a nation it is important to pay serious attention to issues of integrity.

According to him, regarding the current government, “I can say is one that is completely focussed on dealing with issues that concerns this country. I work everyday with the President so I can say so. He is totally focussed on how to make this country a better place to live.”

The UNILAG Alumni Association was led by Dr. Sunny Kuku who noted the group’s support for the Buhari administration, expressing readiness to assist in any way necessary. He said the members of the Alumni Association were proud that one of them rose to the high office of the Vice President. Prof. Osinbajo said he was glad to receive the group in his office and grateful to be honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant-Media & Publicity
In the Office of the Vice President
Sept 20, 2016

Plagiarism does less national harm than corruption and stealing – Adegbenga

Plagiarism is the “wrongful appropriation” and “stealing and publication” of another author’s “language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions” and the representation of them as one’s own original work. The idea remains problematic with unclear definitions and unclear rules.

PLAGIARISM IS NOT IN ITSELF A CRIME, but can constitute copyright infringement. In academia and industry, it is a serious ethical offense. Plagiarism and copyright infringement overlap to a considerable extent, but they are not equivalent concepts, and many types of plagiarism do not constitute copyright infringement, which is defined by copyright law and may be adjudicated by courts. PLAGIARISM IS NOT DEFINED OR PUNISHED BY LAW, but rather by institutions (including professional associations, educational institutions, and commercial entities, such as publishing companies).

Although plagiarism in some contexts is considered theft or stealing, THE CONCEPT DOES NOT EXIST IN A LEGAL SENSE, although the use of someone else’s work in order to gain academic credit may meet some legal definitions of fraud. “PLAGIARISM” SPECIFICALLY IS NOT MENTIONED IN ANY CURRENT STATUTE, EITHER CRIMINAL OR CIVIL. Some cases may be treated as unfair competition or a violation of the doctrine of moral rights. The increased availability of intellectual property due to a rise in technology has furthered the debate as to whether copyright offences are criminal. In short, people are asked to use the guideline, “if you did not write it yourself, you must give credit”.

PLAGIARISM IS NOT THE SAME AS COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT. While both terms may apply to a particular act, THEY ARE DIFFERENT CONCEPTS, and false claims of authorship may constitute plagiarism regardless of whether the material is protected by copyright. Copyright infringement is a violation of the rights of a copyright holder, when material whose use is restricted by copyright is used without consent. Plagiarism, in contrast, is concerned with the unearned increment to the plagiarizing author’s reputation, or the obtaining of academic credit, that is achieved through false claims of authorship. Thus, plagiarism is considered a moral offense against the plagiarist’s audience. _(__Wikipedia__)_

I was surprised when the media was eroded with headlines such as “Change Begins with Me Campaign Suffered A Setback” due to Plagiarism.

Speeches of men that changed the face of the World need no reference when being used. Obama fall within this group by virtue of being the only Blackman to have presided over the affairs of United States.

You need no reference when quoting people like Aristotle, Zeus, Socrates e.t.c. The World already knows their speeches are free for all.

It took President Buhari’s Speech Writer’s ignorance to admit guilt on this. Most proverbs being used freely today belong to the Chinese; most people don’t even know and still use them like it’s theirs.

I am very sure that Barak Obama has quoted speeches from Shakespeare, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln e.t.c which his Speech Writer must have written them without citing them; yet Americans has not called for the head of Obama the ways Nigerians are calling for the head of President Buhari.
Though not acceptable by any Standard, plagiarism does less National harm than corruption and stealing which has faced the country under the past administration.

It will be recalled that President Buhari on September 8 launched the ‘reorientation’ campaign in Abuja as part of his government’s strategy to make Nigerians eschew “dishonesty, indolence, unbridled corruption and widespread impunity” and embrace daily introspection over their “immoral” conducts, so I am not surprised at the condemnation; using Plagiarism as an excuse.

I am also aware that some corrupt elements that are not comfortable with the ‘Change Begins with Me’ Campaign had used one Akin Fadeyi, creator of ‘Not In My Country’ to accused the Buhari administration of stealing his concept.

The corrupt elements claimed that Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed adapt Mr. Fadeyi’s ‘Not In My Country,’ for ‘Change Begins with Me’ campaign but Lai Mohammed has denied the allegations, saying he started ‘Change Begins with Me’ before he was appointed Minister by the Buhari’s administration.

I know that the ‘Change Begins with Me’ campaign had earned President Buhari denigration from those who are used to corrupt practices but the Federal Government must make the campaign necessary so as to rally all Nigerians to clean the country of corruption and other discontent tormenting it.
Just like President Buhari has urged Nigerians to look beyond this incident and focus on the message of change which the country needs in order to restore our cherished value systems, I stand with President Buhari on the objectives of the ‘Change Begins with Me’.

God bless Nigeria.

– Adegbenga, a Freelance Journalist.

PDP desperate to bring back corruption – APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has slammed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign for allegedly plunging the country into recession.

A statement on Thursday by APC National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni, described the latest call as “ridiculous demand by a faction of the PDP.”

Mala Buni, accused the party of seeking to return the country to the the voodoo economics and reckless fiscal policies the country was subjected to during the immediate-past PDP administration.

The statement reads further: “Also, PDP’s silly call for the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari is not worth the ink it is written with. Hence the APC will not dissipate energy responding.

“The PDP faction by its demand to return the country to the years where looting of the public treasury was the order of the day, has taken its orchestrated plot to deflect attention from the economic mess it left behind to new insensitive and shameless heights.

“Instead of this charade by the PDP, we advise the PDP and their cronies to apologise to Nigerians and toe the path of honour by returning public funds stolen under its watch.

“While the PDP attempts to fraudulently re-write history and misrepresent facts on its misrule of the country, Nigerians are traumatised on a daily basis on disclosures of the startling level of pillage of the country’s commonwealth perpetuated under its watch. Instead of saving for the rainy day, past PDP administrations and their cronies literally looted the public treasury blind, using the loot to build luxury hotels and other properties, stashing loot in farmlands and hidden bank accounts.

“While the APC led administration is open to and welcomes positive and constructive contributions on resolving the country’s economic challenges, the Party assures Nigerians that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is already employing all legitimate and innovative means to restore the country’s battered economy back to health in the quickest possible time.

“The results of the fiscal and economic agendas embarked by the President Buhari administration to tackle the effects of the country’s diminishing crude oil revenues, falling value of the Naira and resuscitate the economy will be evident soon.

“The APC appeals for patience and cooperation from Nigerians as the President Muhammadu Buhari administration works assiduously to pull the country out of the present hardships and restore the country on the path growth in all facets.”

Okonjo-Iweala Knew Of Massive Corruption Under Jonathan

Ahmed Joda, the chairman of President Muhammadu Buhari’s transition committee, says Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former minister of finance, might never be found guilty of corruption.


Joda said this to journalists in Yola, the capital city of Adamawa state, on Tuesday.


He said that while Okonjo-Iweala knew of the shady activities going on, she always sought the approval of Goodluck Jonathan, the former president, thereby protecting herself from prosecution.


Joda said it was alarming that Okonjo-Iweala knew about the spate of corruption going on during the past regime, but held onto her job, presiding over fraudulent withdrawals from the economy.


Okonjo-Iweala is a professional and she guarded herself. Whenever, they said this happened, she was able to produce papers to say, ‘Look, we had a meeting presided over by the president and attended by the national security adviser and others’.


And she would go back and write the president and say, ‘I have received a request to release so many billions in accordance with our minutes. Your Excellency, if you will approve.’ And His Excellency would approve it. So, she covered herself, thus you can’t pin anything on her.”

Alleged N2.3b Diversion: Orubebe, Others Get N50m Bail

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Maitama, Abuja has granted bail at N50million to former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe and two others arraigned before it Wednesday morning.

Godsday Orubebe, Oludare Lawrence Alaba an Assistant Director, Ministry of Niger Delta Affiars), Ephraim Tewolde Zeri (Director of Contracts in Gitto Costruzioni Generali Nigeria Limited) and the company were arraigned on a six-count charge marked: CR/265/2016.

They are, in the charge filed by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), accused among others, of diverting about N2.3b meant for the compensation of property owners to be affected by the Federal Government’s dualisation project of Section IV of the East West Road.

Orubebe and others pleaded not guilty to the charge, following which Justice Kayode Adeniyi granted the ex-Minister bail at N10m and one surety, who must be a responsible Nigerian, resident in Abuja and must show evidence of regular tax payment.

The judge granted Alaba and Zeri bail at N20m and one surety each, who are to be residents in Abuja. He said Alaba’s surety must be an Assistant Director in any Federal Government’s agency, while Zeri’s surety must own property in Abuja and show evidence of ownership.
Justice Adeniyi ordered the defendants to be kept in ICPC’s custody pending when they are able to process the bail granted them.

He adjourned to November 10 for commencement of trial.

EFCC To Grill 25 Suspects Over N5bn Army Vehicles Scandal

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has launched investigations into how the Army spent a N5billion vehicles purchase grant received from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

The grant was provided by ONSA to purchase vehicles onstensibly for the monitoring of the 2015 general elections.

But sources said the purchase of the vehicles allegedly carried out by the Department of Training and Operations was bogged with fraud and illegalities. There were no award letters, contract agreements, technical assessment reports, delivery notes and receipt vouchers.

The Department of Army Logistics became aware of the quantity and types of vehicles on October 29, last year — about seven months after they were bought.

Besides, the EFCC team is looking into alleged spending of $5,938,897.18(N2, 369,619,903) between September 3 and 13, 2014 on the procurement of Counter Improvised Explosive Device Equipment (CIED) for the Defence and Security Services without a needs assessment.There were no award letters, contract agreements, technical assessment reports, delivery notes and receipt vouchers.

The $5,938,897.18 (N2, 369,619,903) contracts were awarded and paid for within 10 days.

The panel has shortlisted 25 of the 54 suspects for interrogation.

The suspects, who are to be interrogated “any time from now”, include some serving and retired officers, ex-permanent secretaries and directors of Finance.

EFCC Acting Chairman Ibrahim Magu last night mandated the task force “not to spare any suspect implicated in the deals”.

It was learnt that issues surrounding the N5billion and the $5,938,897.18 formed the major aspects of the preliminary investigation concluded by the EFCC team.

It was learnt that the preliminary investigation corroborated the report of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment, which was headed by Air Vice Marshal JON Ode.

After Ode panel submitted its third interim report to President Muhammadu Buhari, the 54 people for probe were shortlisted.

The EFCC raised the Special Task Force when the report was sent to Magu.

A source, who spoke in confidence last night, according to TheNation said: “The Task Force has virtually completed its preliminary investigation. Very soon, we will start inviting about 25 suspects in the first batch for interrogation.

“On Wednesday, the EFCC chairman mandated the Task Force ‘not to spare anybody implicated in the procurement scandal in the Nigerian Army. Magu said there should be ‘no sacred cows’ and we are sticking to that.”

The source, who pleaded not to be named because of the “sensitivity” of the matter, said: the task force had gone far in probing the curious N5billion grant.


It was gathered that the panel discovered irregularities in the purchase of the vehicles in line with the initial findings of Ode’s committee.

A document made available to the press said reads in part: “In the wake of preparations for the 2015 general elections, the ONSA released N5,000,000,000.00 to Nigerian Army on 16 March 2015 to meet its requirements for the exercise.

“The Committee established that out of the amount, Nigerian Army procured 155 units of Toyota Hilux and 50 units of Isuzu trucks, a procurement that was carried out in total disregard of the Public Procurement Act 2007.

“There were no procurement documents, such as award letters, contract agreements, technical assessment reports, delivery notes and receipt vouchers to support the acquisition. “Consequently, the unit cost of the vehicles and tax payable could not be ascertained.

“Moreover, the procurement was carried out by Department of Training and Operations instead of the Department of Army Logistics.

“The distribution of the vehicles showed that 15 were allocated to the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) without specifying the purpose.

“Sadly, the Department of Army Logistics became aware of the quantity and types of vehicles on 29 October 2015, about seven months after they were procured, thereby jeopardising accountability. The Committee is of the view that the procurement process was fraudulent.”

A source in the Task Force said: “Those to be quizzed on the purchase of the N5billion vehicles are a Lt.-Gen, a Major-General, a Brig.-General and an auto firm .

“We will release their names whenever we are ready to interrogate them. We do not want to jeopardise investigation.”

The EFCC source also claimed that the task force was looking into alleged purchase of CIED for the Defence and Security Services by ONSA without due process.

The two contracts, which were said to be worth $5,938,897.18 (N2, 369,619,903), were awarded and paid for within 10 days.

The document added: “ONSA awarded and funded two other contracts totalling $5,938,897.18 between3 and 13 September 2014 for the procurement of CIED for the defence and security services.

“There were no need assessments from the beneficiary Services and security agencies prior to the procurement and ‘donation’ of the items by ONSA.

“Furthermore, there were no traces of award letters, contract agreements and proof of payment of WHT amounting to $296,944.86.”

Three suspects out of the 25 short-listed have been recommended for quizzing on the $5,938,897.18 for the CIED.

Some People Exported Stones To Claim Export Grant Previously – Adeokun

According to the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, the federal government Export Grant was greatly abused in the past to the extent that some people got export grants for exporting stones which they described as high valued goods. Adeosun said this at the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) in Abuja yesterday August 18th.

“On paper, why will you cancel Export Grant? The EG is set up to encourage export business. However, in a situation, where we do not have control, we open up doors for the kind of abuse, which are only imaginable. We have people exporting stones, describing them as high valued goods, collecting an import credit and using that to import fish. We do need to look for how to support export, but we have to be very realistic in the recommendations we are coming up with”she said

VP Osinbajo Wants AU To Declare Corruption A Crime Against Humanity

Nigeria has formally requested the African Union (AU) to declare corruption a crime against humanity. The country blamed the impoverishment of African people on corrupt leaders. Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo said on Wednesday at the inaugural JF Ade Ajayi Memorial Lecture held at the University of Lagos, that the request had been tabled. The late Ajayi was one of Nigeria’s foremost history scholars, and former vice-chancellor of the University of Lagos.


Thousands of lives


Prof Osinbajo said the problem of corruption must be escalated as the vice was clearly the most devastating affliction on the African people. Corruption, he noted, was the single leading cause of poverty on the continent. Drawing on the Nigeria situation, he said: “Corruption of a few has cost thousands of lives and billions of dollars, destinies lost and futures destroyed.’’


The wasteland


He also wondered how anyone could explain “the wasteland that is the Niger Delta today’’. Prof Osinbajo described the “needless elongation of the insurgency in the North East’’ and “continuing human and environmental tragedy in the Niger Delta’’ as two recent tragedies orchestrated by corruption. The vice-president recalled that some estimates showed that some Niger Delta state earned more than many African countries every year, but they had nothing to show for such fortunes.


Moral tradition


We must demonstrate that it is un-African for leaders to perpetrate the immorality of stealing the future of our children,” he stressed. The vice president hailed the virtues of the late Ade Ajayi as worthy of emulation.


The legacies of men and women like the great JF Ade Ajayi must be held aloft as the examples of the African moral tradition.’’

Corruption Is Official In Nigeria- Pastor Bakare

The convener of Save Nigeria Group and Presiding Pastor of Latter Rain Assembly, Tunde Bakare, at the weekend, said not only government officials were corrupt, but emphasised that “corruption is official in Nigeria.”
Bakare made this declaration during the birthday celebration of human rights activist, Monday Ubani and the launch of Onyekachi Ubani Foundation at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, while delivering the keynote address titled “the system that allows massive corruption in Nigeria must be bad”.
He noted that, “at the twilight of the military era in Nigeria’s political trajectory, the name “Nigeria” became synonymous with a certain word, a word that elicits the image of a cesspool running over corruption.
“At that time, precisely, bin 1999, Transparency International rated Nigeria the second most corrupt countryman the world in terms of perception, second only to her eastern neighbour, Cameroon.
“For instance, given the unbridled looting the treasury at that time, reportedly to the tune of over one billion dollars as was subsequently uncovered following the exit of the military, it was obvious that the abnormal had become the norm, the illegal had become legal, the outrageous had become banal and aberrant had become the gold standard.
Bare who was represented Ayers the event by the managing director of Wema Bank pointed out that “through 17 years of civil governance, the stench of corruption has continued to pollute the national atmosphere and to attract the derision of the international community.”

Read More: SunOnline


President Buhari Relaunches War Against Indiscipline Campaign

The Nigerian government on Monday said it was teaming up with some private individuals to bring back the dreaded War Against Indiscipline previously introduced by Muhammadu Buhari during his military regime between 1983 and 1985.

The National Orientation Agency said the brigade would help curb the high rate of “insecurity, violence, kidnapping and other forms of social vices.”

Garba Abari, the Director-General of the agency, said this while speaking at the official relaunch of the WAI brigade in Abuja.

“It’s great pleasure that I have the opportunity to meet with the leadership of WAI, for the first time since my assumption of office about two months ago.

This meeting is meant to discuss the repositioning of the WAI Brigade in the current dispensation of change.

“I’m not only delighted with this gathering, but excited with you all for keeping faith and working tirelessly to contribute your quota to nation building as volunteers who are not being paid for over three decades,” Mr. Abari said.

Mr. Abari said members of the brigade should work towards building a more orderly, secure Nigeria.

“In this era of insecurity, violence, kidnapping and other forms of social vices, the role of the WAI Brigade in civil intelligence gathering cannot be over emphasized. It is in this regard that I call on you to encourage your members across the country to redouble their vigilance in the local governments, wards and their various villages, so that we can contribute our quota towards building a secure society.”

Members of the War Against Indiscipline brigade could be seen donning a green khaki uniform at the event, which was widely publicised by the agency.

Mr. Abari said Mr. Buhari had decided to relaunch the brigade because it was particularly successfully when it was first deployed in 1983 as a way of correcting disorderly conducts of citizens, charging all members to be circumspect about happenings in their immediate surroundings..

“The ills and woes that bedeviled the nation at that time are still very much with us today. That is why, when the National Orientation Agency, NOA, was established in 1983, the War Against Indiscipline, WAI Brigade was automatically drafted to be part and parcel of the agency to fight against indiscipline, disorderly behaviour in public and private places, disobedience to traffic rules and regulations, disrespect for constituted authorities, filthy environment, bribery, corruption and other social vices,” Mr. Abari said.

“The present administration has declared its intention to re-launch the Brigade for better performance and bring its activities to the fore. You as ambassadors of the agency, must, in your respective communities, local government areas, and states contribute your quota to make the change mantra of this administration a reality. Whenever and wherever you see something, you must say something to save our nation from decline.”

But some Nigerians opposed the idea, which they described as “outmoded and traumatising.”

Funmi Iyanda, journalist and talk show host, said “WAI infantilised, traumatised and dehumanised Nigerians. I recall it with revulsion and fear. A horrible relic unsalvageable in any form.”

Pro-democracy campaigner and public affairs analyst, Kayode Ogundamisi, expressed concerns about Mr. Buhari’s decision to bring back WAI, saying it reeked of Mr. Buhari’s alleged lack of creativity.

“So I read on @NOA_Nigeria timeline that we now have a WAI-BRIGADE? God can’t we get more creative? I shake my head for Nigeria so much I have become totally exhausted.” (Mr. Ogundamisi’s tweet contained pidgin words that were literally translated into English.)

A commenter, Shola Ogunsemowo, said “it’s also a move in the wrong direction,” adding that “there are more pressing laws that need to be passed.”

Political analyst, Demola Olarewaju, also said the relaunch of War Against Indiscipline was reminiscent of Mr. Buhari’s 1980s junta.

“So I’m not bothered with the return of WAI. These things were the forerunners of the dictator’s exit in 1985. And as it was then, it is now.”

But another Twitter user, Yinka Ogunnubi, said WAI was a welcome initiate, adding that it was started by former President Goodluck Jonathan under another name, Community Support Brigade.

“WAI brigade as a volunteer para-military organisation has been in place at least since 2012.

“Fundamentally, it remains the same org volunteer organisation supervised by the NOA under its “Do the Right Thing” Campaign.”

This article first appeared on Premium Times. Read the Original Copy

‘Virtually Every Nigerian Is Corrupt’ – Governor Ajimobi

Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi reacting to President Buhari’s war against corruption, told newsmen at the National Secretariat of the All Pro­gressives Congress (APC), Abuja that virtually every Nigerian is corrupt. He said:

“We are looking at corruption in a global per­spective as against just tak­ing money. If you look at it generally, you will see that virtually every Nigeria is corrupt, virtually everybody is corrupt in one way or the other either attitudinally, fi­nancially or socially, and this, we believe should be looked into.

“We believe corruption is more than just taking money, I think it is attitudinal. Any­time you do what you are not supposed to do, is corruption. Sometime you can even en­large it to mean indiscipline, inability to control yourself, to discipline yourself against selfish tendencies of wanting to take what does not belong to you. Even not doing your job is corruption, for taking salaries monthly and not coming to work and being idle is


Orubebe In Serious Trouble!! Accused Of Diverting N1.9bn Compensation Money

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has filed new charges against former Minister of Niger Delta, Godsday Orubebe, before an Abuja High Court, alleging that he diverted close to N2 billion naira meant for the dualisation of Section IV of the East-West Road.

He is charged alongside Oludare Lawrence Alaba, Ephraim Towelde Zaki and Gitto Construction Limited on a five-count charge bordering on alleged corruption, diversion of funds and perjury.



He was accused of circumventing a Federal Executive Council, (FEC) approval for the dualisation of the Eket – Oron Road, part of the East-West Road which runs from Edo to Bayelsa states, by allegedly instructing the contractor, Gitto Construction, to rehabilitate it instead.

Orubebe and the co-accused ?persons are also charged with conferring undue advantage on the construction firm when they caused the money meant for compensating residents whose properties were marked for demolition paid to Gitto.

Court papers stated that the sum of N2,320,686,826.00 approved for payment of compensation to owners of properties that were to be demolished to make way for the dualisation of the road was paid to the contractor instead of the beneficiaries.

Budget Padding: “Audit Constituency Projects Allocations” – Pro-Democracy Group

A pro-democracy body, the Civil Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), has called for an independent audit of all previous constituency project allocations to members of the National Assembly (NASS) to determine to make sure spending practices are held accountable to the Nigerian people. The statement was made in a press released signed by Auwal Musa Ibrahim, CISLAC’s Executive Director.


According to the statement, the recent revelations by the former Chairman of the Appropriations Committee for the House of Representatives, Abdulmumin Jibrin, amounts to a further proof of the waste that has characterized the federal legislature over the years.


“We note that such practices have been going on for a long time as the NASS has been known, in the past to, in addition to padding the budget at the point of defence, make dubious allocations for constituency projects as well as have demanded and received inducement for sectoral allocations,” CISLAC said.


CISLAC added that federal legislators are known to have received or demanded gratifications in exchange for ministerial confirmation and extorted money from Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) under the guise of oversight functions, stating that the current scandal endangers the integrity of the National Assembly.


“The reference to occupants as Honourable and Distinguished is gradually becoming a mere appellation that is stripped of the attendant respect,” CISLAC noted.


It expressed disappointment at the revelations and allegations made by Mr. Jibrin, describing them as an afterthought and provoked by the fact that he has lost out from benefiting from the process.


CISLAC noted that Mr. Jibrin strongly defended the House when the allegations of budget padding were first made. This, they added, places a big question mark on his credibility and loyalty to the Nigerian people.


The pro-democracy body said it finds the culture of constituency projects needless, arguing that it is at variance with the principle of separation of powers. CISLAC further argued that the practice of constituency projects is a channel for legislative corruption and distraction, which are avoidable by simply strengthening relevant institutions and systems for project implementation and service delivery.


CISLAC also requested the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to undertake further inquest into the allegations, with a view to getting to the root of the matter and punish culprits where necessary. It expressed doubts that the National Assembly can find the moral courage to investigate itself and sanction erring members.


To forestall a repeat of such financial scandals in the federal legislature, CISLAC recommended the introduction of a framework for constituency accountability for public participation and cooperation with the executive arm to establish a participatory budgetary process based on actual needs assessment and citizens’ input.


“We call on political parties to reorganize and commence a process for leadership recruitment and internal party democracy that will facilitate the emergence of persons with integrity, patriotism and a mind-set of service, who will be adequately prepared to occupy leadership positions and lead Nigeria to meet the aspirations of her people and occupy her place among the comity of nations,” the body said.


The body recalled that despite repeated promises and commitments by Senate President Bukola Saraki, who is the Chairman of the National Assembly, to disclose the details of the budget of the legislature, Nigerians are yet to have access to this information.


“We find it ironic that elected representatives are unwilling to make information on how funds appropriated from tax payers’ money are allocated and spent, are made available to the citizens who elected them into office.


“We note that these events are a product of failed recruitment process and flawed party processes that have resulted in the emergence of leaders who are unprepared to undertake the challenging art of governance in a diverse environment,” it submitted.


CISLAC lamented that fraudulent occurrences in the budget processes have been made possible by the country’s abandonment of the practice of developing viable plans to underpin the budget process and the zero-budget approach. It also blamed the situation on the ineffectiveness of the Medium Term Economic Framework (MTEF) process envisaged under the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007. This, it noted, has created avenues for corrupt practices.


“We call on the National Assembly to take advantage of this latest revelation to undertake self-introspection and urgently rise up to cleanse itself and make efforts to redeem its image and reputation which is presently in its lowest ebb.


“We also call on them to revisit the issue of having members adhere to the Code of Conduct for members as a means of self-regulation of behaviour within their ranks,” CISLAC concluded.

“EFCC Is After Me”, Fayose Cries Out.

Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose alleged yesterday that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has shifted attention to the finances of the state.


According to him, this followed the failure of the agency to establish any link between him and the funds from the Office of the National Security Adviser under Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd).”


He said the EFCC had been harassing banks in Ekiti, seeking for records of government finances and chasing contractors, claiming that the contractors gave him kickback.


“They are on vendetta mission.They said I collected money from Dasuki and I have told them that I did not collect a dime from Dasuki. I have N300 million in my fixed Deposit Account in Zenith Bank and I declared it in my Assets Declaration Form.


“I have challenged them to publish the statement made to the EFCC by Dasuki where he said he gave Senator Musiliu Obanikoro money to give me or where Obanikoro himself said he gave me money.

“Since they have seen that the Dasuki money issue won’t offer them the implication of Fayose that they desperately needed, they are now harassing contractors in the State. But I can assure them that their efforts will come to nothing,” the governor said.


The governor, who declared that he had no personal scores to settle with President Muhammadu Buhari, said; “I am not attacking Buhari, I am only telling him the truth. I was 24 year old when Buhari became military head of state, we queued then before we could purchase essential commodities, this is the same way things were difficult.”


He reiterated his call to the federal government to declare emergency on agriculture, saying; “It is not enough to say people should go back to farming. The government must provide necessary farming equipment because you don’t expect the present day farming to be done with hoes and cutlasses.


“Again, apart from the north, where do we have functional irrigation system? If our people must go back to farming, especially in the Southwest, we need the federal government assistance on irrigation.”

Saraki, Akpabio, Daniel, Odili, Ladoja Included In AGF’s List For Fresh Probe, Trial

Senate President Bukola Saraki, factional Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ali Modu Sheriff; and Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, are among 31 former governors whose alleged corruption cases investigated by the anti-graft agencies are likely to be reopened soon.

The PUNCH had exclusively reported on Tuesday that the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, had written to the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission, directing the reopening of the cases of the ex-governors.

It was learnt on Wednesday that the AGF had called for the case files of the former state governors.


The PUNCH obtained the list of the former governors, who were named in the AGF’s letter, on Wednesday.

The list contains the names of Saraki, a former Governor of Kwara State; Akpabio (a former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, and Sheriff (an ex-Governor of Borno State).

Other former governors include Orji Uzor Kalu (Abia); Chimaroke Nnamani (Enugu); Saminu Turaki (Jigawa); Sule Lamido (Jigawa); Joshua Dariye (Plateau); Ahmed Yerima (Zamfara); Gabriel Suswam (Benue); Martin Elechi (Ebonyi); Danjuma Goje (Gombe) and Murtala Nyako (Adamawa).


They also include Ikedi Ohakim (Imo); Obong Victor Attah (Akwa Ibom); Achike Udenwa (Imo); Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa); Gbenga Daniel (Ogun); Jolly Nyame (Taraba); Boni Haruna (Adamawa); George Akume (Benue); Rashidi Ladoja (Oyo); Attahiru Bafarawa (Sokoto) and Adebayo Alao-Akala.

Others are Usman Dakingari (Kebbi); Adamu Mu’azu (Bauchi); Peter Odili (Rivers), and Lucky Igbindedion (Edo).

Part of the AGF’s letter to the ICPC, sighted by our correspondent on Monday, indicated that the cases against some of the former governors were investigated some years ago, but charges were never filed against them.


The letter partly read, “It is clear that some of these governors and other politically-exposed persons have not been charged to court despite the fact that the ICPC has concluded their investigations, concerning allegations levelled against them, for one reason or the other.

“It is the position of the present administration that all ex-governors, who the ICPC had long concluded investigations into the various allegations levelled against them, should be immediately prosecuted.”

The letter also gave the Chairman of the ICPC a 14-day ultimatum to “remit the duplicate case files concerning the politically-exposed persons investigated by the ICPC over the years” to the office of the AGF.

Our correspondent confirmed on Wednesday that the AGF had sent a similar request to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission with the same list of former governors annexed to his letter.


The PUNCH had reported that some of the ex-governors, according to one of the sources, include some, who had been convicted on charges preferred against them by the EFCC.

Some of them also had their cases terminated before full-blown trial could begin.

Others are currently undergoing trial on charges initiated against them by the EFCC at either the various divisions of the Federal High Court or the High Courts of their home states.


There are about five of the former governors, who are now said to be serving senators.

The affected personalities, it was learnt, served as governors for either one or two terms between 1999 and 2015, and are from all the six geopolitical zones of the country.

It was also confirmed that the majority of those on the list belonged to the two dominant political parties, the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party.

Another source also confirmed that a former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori, who was convicted in the United Kingdom for fraud-related charges and still serving his prison terms, was on the list.

Apart from Ibori, two former governors from the South-South, are said to be on the list.

Five of the former governors are from the South-East, and three from the South-West.


The PUNCH was informed that the ex-governors, whose cases would be reopened, included six from the North-West; six from the North-East, and eight from the North-Central.

The AGF letter defines high-profile cases as cases “involving alleged misconduct amounting to economic sabotage; involving complex financial transactions or property movement; involving any of the suspects, who is a politician, a public officer or judicial officer; and where the subject matter involves government or corruption of its official or involves the abuse of office.”

Such judiciary officers, it was learnt, would include judges allegedly involved in economic sabotage, including financial transactions.


The AGF’s letter to both the ICPC and EFCC indicated that AGF’s request for the case files was in the exercise of his powers vested in the AGF by Section 174(1) of the Constitution as well as sections 105 (3) and 106 (a) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.

Our correspondent’s findings showed on Wednesday that ICPC and EFCC had yet to respond to the AGF’s request.

How Nigeria Is Fighting Corruption – The Economist


NIGERIANS know what to expect when they approach police checkpoints. “How can you appreciate me?” ask officers, AK-47s dangling languidly from their shoulders. “Happy weekend!” say security guards from the early hours of Friday morning. Or simply: “What do you have for me?” Nigeria, as David Cameron, Britain’s former prime minister, pointed out, is “fantastically corrupt”. In Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, it is 31st from the bottom. Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler, wants to change this. How is he doing?


Few doubt Mr Buhari’s intent. But the task he has set himself is Herculean. Successive military and civilian governments have siphoned money from the vast revenues of their oil industry. Many locals think the problem reached unprecedented heights under the previous administration of Goodluck Jonathan. In March an official audit found that the state-owned oil company withheld over $25 billion from the public purse between 2011 and 2015. Meanwhile cartels involving government officials, militants and oil employees stole tens of thousands of barrels of crude each day. A savings account was drained, although oil prices were high for most Mr Jonathan’s tenure. And money which was supposed to arm soldiers against Boko Haram insurgents was squandered: the vice-president recently estimated that the previous regime diverted $15 billion through dodgy arms contracts.


Since Mr Buhari came to power in May 2015, dozens of public officials and their cronies have been arrested by a beefed-up Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The most famous of those, the former national security adviser Sambo Dasuki, is charged with dishing out $2 billion worth of fake contracts for helicopters, aeroplanes and ammunition. Under new management, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has grown slightly less opaque: it now publishes monthly financial reports. Shady “swap” contracts which trade crude oil for refined petrol have been renegotiated and the worst of the last regime’s oil deals are under scrutiny. The chairman of one local company, Atlantic Energy, was arrested last year, shortly after the ex-petroleum minister was arrested in London. In all, the government claims to be recovering about $10 billion of stolen assets (though most of those will be tied up in court for years). It has also cancelled a fuel-subsidy racket which, at its peak, cost Nigerians $14 billion a year.


Mr Buhari’s government has been learning from other crusading countries, such as Georgia. But not everyone is impressed. His political opponents, who ruled Nigeria for 16 years until 2015, call the campaign a witch-hunt. There are reasons to doubt the capacity of the anti-corruption agency—and of the courts—to hold the powerful to account. The EFCC is yet to send down any of its most influential adversaries, though it is splurging on training for prosecutors. Most government agencies, including the one that collects taxes, do not make their budgets public. Nor do most state and local governments, which suck up about half of public revenues. In an effort to fix this, a tenacious finance minister, Kemi Adeosun, has told skint governors that they must make their finances public before they receive a second federal bailout. She has struck thousands of ghost workers off the public payroll. Her “treasury single account” may be the biggest coup of all. It replaced a labyrinth of government piggy banks, giving Nigeria more control of its earnings. Financiers reckon that it could serve as a lesson to others in West Africa as well. The continent’s most famously corrupt country might yet teach others a thing or two about transparency.

New: Ex-President Jonathan Indicted In Fresh Corruption Charges

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has been implicated in fresh corruption charges laid against Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State.


The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State has accused embattled Governor Olusegun Mimiko of using N15b from the federation account to sponsor his election.


The APC also claimed that Goodluck Jonathan personally ordered the release of the funds to Mimiko for his re-election.


This is coming after former NSA adviser, Sambo Dasuki recently spoke about Goodluck Jonathan’s role in the arms deal procurement scam.


Dasuki had stated that the former President approved all expenses incurred by the NSA. It remains to be seen what this fresh accusation brought by the APC will mean for Goodluck Jonathan.

Rolls-Royce Corruption Probe Spreads To Nigeria

Britain’s corruption probe into engines maker Rolls-Royce has been expanded to also look at the company’s activities in Nigeria, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is looking at the company’s former energy activities in Nigeria, as part of a broader corruption investigation that also includes Brazil, China and Indonesia, the business newspaper said without citing its source.

The SFO is examining whether Rolls and its agents were involved in any bribery of government officials until 2013 when tenders were launched for the building of energy infrastructure, the FT added.

“We are aware of the story but can neither confirm nor deny our interest in these specific allegations. Our investigation continues,” an SFO spokesman said in an emailed statement.

Rolls-Royce meanwhile stressed it was cooperating with authorities around the world over the matter.

“Concerns about bribery and corruption involving intermediaries in a number of overseas markets remain subject to examination by the SFO and other authorities,” a company spokesman said.

“We are co-operating with the authorities. We do not comment on the subject of ongoing investigations nor on the countries in which those investigations are being conducted.

“We have made it clear that Rolls-Royce will not tolerate business misconduct of any kind.”

Credit: Guardian

Saraki’s Corruption Trial: Lawmakers Speed Up Controversial Bill To Amend Anti-corruption Law

A bill for an amendment of the Code of Conduct Tribunal and Bureau Act scaled second reading at the Nigerian Senate, Thursday, just 48 hours after it was first read.

In Nigeria’s lawmaking process, rarely do bills get such accelerated legislative action.

The bill, sponsored by Peter Nwaoboshi (PDP-Delta State), passed second reading and was subsequently referred to the committees on Judiciary and Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.

The committees is to report back in two weeks.


The bill seeks to amend Section 3 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act “to give every public officer appearing before the Bureau fair hearing as provided for under Section 36 (2)(a) of the CFRN 1999 which provides:

“For an opportunity for the person whose rights and obligations may be affected to make representations to the administering authority before that authority makes the decision affecting that person.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

EFCC Arrests Oronsaye For Fraud, To Be Charged Afresh

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Wednesday night, took into custody a former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr Steve Oronsaye., over allegation of corruption and obtaining money by false pretence.


Oronsaye who is already being prosecuted by the EFCC on 24 counts of money laundering before a Federal High Court, Abuja, is alleged to have abused his position as Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Financial Action Task Force and obtained the sum of N240million from the Central Bank of Nigeria under the guise of assistance to the Committee without the knowledge of other committee members and proceeded to convert the said sum to his personal use.


A top source in the EFCC disclosed that the former top bureaucrat who had been on administrative bail over other financial crimes being probed by the agency, was re-arrested at about 4.30 pm on Tuesday.


Credit : Vanguard

‘Badeh Took NAF’s N3.9bn In 12 Months’ –EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has filed 10 counts of money laundering against the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh (retd.), accusing him of removing a total sum of N3.9bn from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force between January and December, 2013.

Badeh, who has remained in EFCC custody since February 8, is charged along with a firm, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The relationship between Badeh and the company is not disclosed in the charges.

Badeh, who is also a former Chief of Air Staff, will likely be arraigned along with the company on Thursday (today).

Another judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, Justice James Tsoho, had on Monday fixed March 4 (Friday) for ruling on Badeh’s bail application.

The anti-graft agency in the charges, numbered FHC/ABJ/CR/46, 2016, accused Badeh and Iyalikam Nigeria Limited of spending the total sum of N3,974,362,732.94, on acquisition, construction, renovation, furnishing of various properties, including a shopping mall in many choice areas of Abuja.

Some of the properties were said to have been purchased, renovated and furnished for a son of the former CDS, Alex Badeh (Jnr.).

The properties allegedly include a mansion at No. 6, Ogun River Street, off Danube Street, Maitama, Abuja, which the defendants were said to have purchased with N1.1bn.

The accused also allegedly bought a commercial plot of land at Plot 1386, Oda Crescent, Cadastral Zone A07, Wuse II, Abuja, for N650m.

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North Korea Executes Army Chief Over Corruption

North Korea’s army chief of staff has been executed, South Korean media reported Wednesday, in what would amount to the latest in a series of purges and executions of top officials by leader Kim Jong-Un.


Ri Yong-Gil, Chief of the Korean People’s Army General Staff, was executed earlier this month for forming a political faction and corruption, Yonhap news agency said, citing a source familiar with North Korean affairs.


The report came at a time of highly elevated tensions on the divided Korean peninsula following the North’s recent nuclear test and long-range rocket launch.


Ri was often seen accompanying Kim Jong-Un on inspection tours, but his name was conspicuously missing from state media reports of a recent major party meeting and celebrations over Sunday’s rocket launch.

“The execution… suggests that Kim Jong-Un still feels insecure about his grip on the country’s powerful military,” Yonhap quoted the source as saying.

“It shows that Kim’s reign of terror still persists,” the source was quoted as saying.



The National Intelligence Service (NIS) in Seoul declined to comment on the report.



In May last year the NIS said Kim had his defence chief, Hyon Yong-Chol, executed — reportedly with the use of an anti-aircraft gun.



Hyon’s fate was never confirmed by Pyongyang but he has never been seen or heard of since. Some analysts have suggested he was purged and imprisoned.



Reports — some confirmed, some not — of purges, executions and disappearances have been common since Kim took power following the death of his father Kim Jong-Il in December 2011.


A large number of senior officials, especially military cadres, were removed or demoted as the young leader sought to solidify his control over the powerful army.


In the most high-profile case, Kim had his influential uncle, Jang Song-Thaek, executed in December 2013 for charges including treason and corruption.


Credit : AFP