PDP Women Urge Jonathan To Resolve Party Crisis

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Women’s Forum has appealed to the former President, Goodluck Jonathan to intervene in the party’s leadership crisis.

The women, led by Ambassador Nkoyo Toyo, made the appeal on Monday at a meeting with the former President in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Ambassador Toyo stressed the need for a peaceful resolution of the crisis which according to her, threatens to polarise the party.

“The PDP Women’s Forum is a forum that has been in existence since October last year, and it’s been building its constituency, holding women together.

“We come from all sides of whatever divide you think exists or struggle that exists, because we don’t believe that we have a faction, we are united as one body.

“We remain a very formidable constituency and we recognise the fact that we represent one strong constituency; one that can build the peace of the party,” she stated.

The Deputy Senate Minority Whip, Senator Biodun Olujimi, also stressed the need for an amicable resolution of the crisis ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Senator Olujimi explained that they have decided to seek former President Jonathan’s intervention in the crisis, because they believe he is the only  only voice that can bring all warring factions together.

“He is the leader of the party. As it is, he is the only former President still within the party and alive. So we believe that he is the only voice that can bring all warring factions together and that’s exactly what he has decided to do.

“He even told us that there is a major stakeholders’ meeting on Thursday, whereby most of these issues will be resolved,” the Senator said.


Source: Channels TV

Those who took money from Jonathan turned against him – Bishop Kukah

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Mathew Hassan Kukah, has criticised the perception that he was close to former President Goodluck Jonathan for what he could get.

“Despite my friendship with Jonathan over this long period of time, we never discussed a penny, we never discussed one dollar; we never exchanged a penny, and we never exchanged a dollar,” Kukah said.

In an interview in the current edition of The Interview, Kukah said those who thought they could smear him by warming up to President Muhammadu Buhari were responsible for fantasizing his relationship with Jonathan.

“Suddenly, journalists whom I knew were writing, hoping they would be given positions (by Buhari) and all those who were abusing me have gone full cycle,” he said.

He continued: “Those who should be ashamed of themselves are those who took money from Jonathan, tons of it, and have decided to lie, buried under the table; they have decided to change course in the middle of the race. Those are the guys who you should be talking about.”

In a statement, the MD/Editor-In-Chief, Azu Ishiekwene, said, “This is Kukah with his gloves off. Anti-Kukahs of every stripe have their match in this issue.”

The clergyman revealed that “certain people in the PDP” have been telling him that Jonathan should have had a long-drawn-out exit, like the disgraced Gambian President Yahaya Jammeh.

He spoke about the continuing detention of the Shiite leader, El-Zakzakky, and the bill for a Christian court, expressing concern that, “We are going back, we’re not getting better.”

The edition also explores the love language of public figures, including advertising icon, Lolu Akinwunmi; journalist Funke Treasure-Durodola; the director of Leventis Food, Tasos Amanatidis; and author and celebrity, Teju Babyface.

Oil firm returns N62 billion to NNPC after controversial crude swap deal under Jonathan

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, said on Monday it had reached a final settlement with AITEO Group over an outstanding $202.4 million (about N62 billion) debt in respect of under-delivery of petroleum products under the crude swap contract between 2012 and 2014.

Under the crude swap deal by the NNPC during the Goodluck Jonathan administration, the NNPC allocated crude oil to trading companies in exchange for processed petroleum products. That deal was criticised by several analysts who argued that the oil firms were, in collusion with top public officials, cheating the Nigerian government. The government had said it embarked on the deal because, among others, the local refineries were not working optimally and so as to reduce cash payment for imported petrol.

On Monday, the NNPC spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu said following extensive reconciliation of records between their business transactions and subsequent agreement, AITEO Group paid in full all its outstanding indebtedness to all NNPC downstream entities totalling about $202.35 million.

Mr. Ughamadu said the amount included AITEO’s share of the total $184 million indebtedness by three companies on crude swap obligations, which included Televeras Group of Companies and Ontario Oil Gas Ltd.

Although Televeras Group, at the end of negotiations with the NNPC, agreed pay an initial $17.2 million and $10 million subsequently, there was no earlier information on the offer by AITEO, which also agreed to settle its debt.

The NNPC spokesperson said on Monday that AITEO’s agreement to settle the $202.4 million debt following its engagement with the NNPC on the issue was a demonstration of its cooperation and commitment towards a successful recovery process.

AITEO Energy owned by Benedict Peter and Francis Peter was one of the seven major Nigerian fuel importers identified by the Swiss non-governmental advocacy organization, the Berne Declaration, as the worst culprits in schemes employed by Nigerian and foreign fuel importers to swindle the country.

The Lagos-based AITEO Energy, which is a subsidiary of Geneva-based Aiteo Suisse AG, was asked by the then Technical Committee on Payment of Fuel Subsidy to reimburse the Nigerian government over N578 million in subsidy fund it falsely collected.

The company was one of the three oil marketing firms whose offshore processing agreements were terminated on August 26, 2015 after the contract was found to have been ridden with corruption.

Mr. Ughamadu said as part of the debt recovery process, negotiations were still ongoing with the management of Ontario Oil & Gas Limited to make a formal commitment to settle all its outstanding debts under a crude oil swap contract that existed between 2012 and 2014.

Although Mr. Ughamadu told PREMIUM TIMES, Saturday, that the company, which was convicted recently for subsidy fraud, had offered its tank farm at Oghara in Delta state in lieu of the debt, he said the amount arrived at after the valuation of the facility was said to be far below an acceptable figure.

The NNPC spokesperson said the Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Maikanti Baru, has vowed to ensure that the ongoing recovery process was completed and all debts settled.

“The Management of the Corporation under the leadership of Dr. Maikanti Baru is committed to ensuring transparency and adequate public information on the ongoing recovery effort. The Corporation shall continue to provide further update on the recovery process,” he said.


Source: Premium Times

OOTC: How it came to be that Jonathan is an option in 2019 – By Chude Jideonwo

I got a lot of panicked responses after my last piece; the panic focused on one small nugget of information buried within it: the fact that, as things stand today, former president Goodluck Jonathan is the strongest candidate that the People’s Democratic Party can present in 2019.


So I decided to run slight interference, and do a follow up.


What I apparently have taken for granted – not just as a result of insight into Nigeria’s political space cleaned from years of first, activism, then consulting; but also as a result of any number of PESTLE analyses that I have been involved in over the past 10 months – was a surprise to many.


It stood out especially for some respondents because my assessment of Jonathan’s presidency has been consistently, unshakably – and remains to this moment – harsh: he was, in my opinion, an ineffectual leader; one whose feckless cost the country greatly in corruption and insecurity at the minimum.


But personal desires are one thing, and honest political calculation is another. If anything, the latter is needed if the former will be fulfilled in any meaningful, practical way.


So let’s take some time to talk about how people get elected in a country like ours.


Actually, no, that’s a matter for another day’s piece. What this actually will do is try to explain the three broad categories that lead people to emerge as candidates in the primaries of the major Nigerian political parties, at least the gubernatorial and presidential elections.


There are three basic requirements:

  1. Name recall
  2. Access to finance
  3. Establishment consensus


Name recall

I call this the test of ‘If we should your name in the market place, will people know who it is’?


It’s amazing how many sophisticated, intelligent people searching for complicated answers to simple questions often overlook this crucial factor in the way candidates are selected.


And it’s not just about countries like ours with primitive electoral environments. The singular reason Donald Trump was a viable candidate for the American president elections without previously holding any political office, or belonging to any political structure, was simply because Americans knew his name.


And the reason Sarkozy, the former French president, returned as party leader and then made another run for the presidency last year, despite what was a les than glorious first term, both locally and internationally, is because he possesses an electoral asset that it is immensely difficult for new players to quickly gather: the voting public knows his name.


This is why America’s politics can seem like a dynasty: political operatives impatient with experiments routinely look for tried-and-tested surnames like Bush or Clinton or Obama (if Michelle runs, which – for everything we know about American politics – is a distinct possibility) is because everyone knows their name.


And that applies even more significantly in a largely illiterate country like ours, where citizens do not have access to the body of information that is usually necessary for making informed choices. They typically have to employ shorthand to make decisions i.e. Does this person lay claim to Awo’s legacy? Does this person have an Igbo mother? And usually the most important question can be this – Do we know who this person is?


This is the fundamental driver behind the massive, and unshakeable electoral margins that President Muhammadu Buhari continued to rack in the North of Nigeria. They knew his name, they ‘knew’ what that name stood for; they were familiar with it. It was easier for them to vote for it.


It is the same reason Odimegwu Ojukwu continued to rack up wins for the All Progressives Grand Alliance through election cycles, despite having no realistic chance of winning anything beyond a gubernatorial election – you could call his name in any part of the South-East, at any day at any time, in any market; and they knew exactly who you were talking about.


It is the reason the PDP confidently presented the now-quickly-forgotten Hilda Williams as gubernatorial candidate for Lagos after her husband died. We knew the name Williams. It was easy to connect with.


No strategist worth his salt plays with the power of name recall.


Access to finance

If you think this only applies to startups and businesses looking to expand, you haven’t been paying enough attention to the politics of your country, at least over the past 17 years.


Access to finance is distinct of course from personal wealth. You can, like Olusegun Obasanjo, emerge from prison dirt-poor and yet find the critical mass of people and institutions ready to pool the resources you need for you to win electoral contests.


But, whether it is you money or it is other people’s money, there is no chance in heaven or hell that you are able to win elections in any part of this country without significant financial resources.


Now, while naivety or self-deception can lead people into viewing this as essentially negative, there is nothing at all wrong – ab initio – in the idea that it takes money to win an election.


By the very nature of democracy, it is inevitable that it will be expensive. And this can be said without even referring to the $1.2 billion Hillary Clinton spent last year or the $1.12 billion Barack Obama spent in 2012.


You just need to be a reasonable person looking at the reasonable steps that any reasonable person would have to take in winning a typical election.


To be governor in Lagos state for instance, you need a few things in order to communicate your personality and your ideas to the 1,678,754 who voted in the last elections.


You need to print banners, and you need to print fliers. You need to print posters, and you need to print your manifesto. And in doing this, you are thinking about reaching the about 2 million people, or at least the 1milloon half of it that you will need to thumbprint for you in order for you to win the election. And that is just basic printing cost. Without talking about the ‘excitement tools’ e.g. t-shirts, face-caps, and other livery.


We have not factored in the planning and hosting of the events you will have to do, repeatedly, across the Local Government Areas where people will vote. A typical event has sound, canopies, decoration, food and drinks, and others. Multiply this by the number of local governments and by the number of the times you need to make the visit to consolidate gains.


On and on and on – campaign buses, campaign offices, campaign staff, road shows, and all of this minus the modern imperative for TV and radio adverts, as well as online exposures. This is without the personnel costs that attend to running any mid-size enterprise.


There is a reason politics is called the art of ‘selling’ yourself and your ideas.


So if there are people that think financial resources in elections only come down to buying party forms, bribing whoever they think is usually bribed and distributing rice to random voters, they are talking about incidental costs rather than actual cost of sale.


Without the financial resources, or the ability to get those who have those resources to part with said resources, you are a non-starter.


Establishment consensus

To be honest, I have sat in any number of establishment meetings; by this I mean, meetings by the ‘movers’ and ‘shakers’ of Nigerian politics, from across the two major parties and some of the fringes, and here is the truth of discovery – there is not a lot of sophistication that goes on in those spaces.


That is one of the shocking revelations I have had from seven years of engagement from multiple angles in this space.


Most of the decisions come from gut, and perception – perception mostly coloured by location, experiences, interests and relationships. In essence, many of these decisions are narrow and parochial. They are not well thought out, and don’t exist based on verifiable facts.


That, of course, is why our country is the way it is. Think about it: if the minds that have been manipulating our affairs for 50 years have been engaged in the art of sophistication and depth, is this the kind of country that would result from that process?


Unfortunately, whether these are the brightest or not, they are the ones who determine our political affairs, and they are the ones who largely make decisions as to candidates, candidacies and political reflexes.


Many times their decisions come down to – ‘it is the turn of this part of the country’, ‘this is the guy that won’t upset the apple cart’, ‘a woman cannot win in that part of the country’, or ‘we just don’t like that guy’. That’s the kind of thinking that leads to political decisions in this country.


I remember being shocked at the beginning of my professional life about 15 years ago years ago, to be seated (they ignored me because I was 17 and they knew I was harmless) in a discussion, from whence one of the ‘powers that be’ in a South-Western state simply decided he wanted a woman to run for one of the offices under his influence. And that’s she was elevated for life into a force to reckon with.


That’s the consensus that gave us Goodluck Jonathan as president, ultimately, in 2010. Those principalities in the PDP decided that Peter Odili could not be Vice President to Umaru Yar’Adua and Donald Duke could not be Vice President, and any number of people couldn’t be – not for reasons of capacity, competence or character, but simply because they were too ambitious. The least ambitious person was selected, and the least ambitious person, by default, became the president of this country for 5 years and ended it by losing large swaths of Nigerian territory to terrorists and 276 girls from Chibok.


So how will Jonathan again become a potential presidential candidate in 2019? Well, because these powers that be will come together and finalise a year before those elections that he is the best bet to unify that party, without alienating any of those groups.


They will conclude that having him as candidate will help complete the second term that the South-South is ‘entitled’ to and he will have the experience to run the office and run the country simply by the fact of having been there before.


They will look around and they will most likely find nobody else who can fill that position. Nobody else whose name you can shout on the main-road of Onitsha market and random people will know his or her name. Nobody who is so ‘formidable’ that he or she will immediately attract cross-regional resources to wage an electoral war, and nobody else whom the powers that can be can establish an unsophisticated consensus around.


The calculation will fall on: Who can face Buhari in 2019 and neutralize his huge advantages in the North?


And that is how; if Buhari decides to run for president again in 2019, the old fault lines will re-emerge, and we will probably end up with Buhari versus Jonathan again for the presidency of the federal republic of Nigeria.


When that happens, we will have no choice but to play the hand that we are dealt.


Unless something gives now. Unless someone else builds the momentum to cross at least two of these three imperatives. Unless someone else has the kind of Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Marine Le Pen (yes), Olusegun Mimiko, Peter Obi-guts to stare the dragon in the face, and to decide that this thing is not further mathematics, and this kind of history can, should, and must be made.


There is no such person on the scene as we speak.


And, as you and I know, two years before the next general elections as we are today, time is already running out.


*Jideonwo is co-founder and managing partner of RED (www.redafrica.xyz), which brands including Y!/YNaija.com and governance communication firm, StateCraft Inc. Office of the Citizen (OOTC) is his latest essay series.

Obasanjo and Jonathan are alive, they have not denied their roles in Malabu – Adoke

Mohammed Adoke, former attorney-general of the federation (AGF), has written a letter to Abubakar Malami, minister of justice, maintaining his innocence in the controversial Malabu oil deal.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has alleged that Adoke exchanged more than $2.2 million in a bureau de change in Abuja as part of his own share, an allegation he denied.

Adoke wondered why the anti-graft agency singled him out for prosecution when he did not commit any illegality.

He said at least three presidents were involved in the deal, and that apart from Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan have not denied scrutinising the terms of settlement in the deal.

Adoke said he was being vilified for choosing to serve his fatherland.

“I anxiously want to know where I went wrong that I have been singled out by the EFCC for prosecution,” he wrote.

“I also want to know the effect of section 5 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended with respect to the vesting of all the executive powers of the federation in the president to exercise by himself and or through his ministers and appointees.

“What is the effect of section 5 of the constitution on persons who act pursuant to lawful Presidential approvals? This is more so as two out of the three presidents that had the opportunity to scrutinise this settlement (Presidents Obasanjo and Jonathan) are alive. Have they disowned the settlement? Has our predecessor in office, Chief Bayo Ojo, SAN distanced himself from the settlement he brokered?

“Have the honourable ministers of petroleum resources and finance at the time of implementation of the settlement (Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke, CON and Dr. Olusegun Aganga, respectively) disowned the settlement or their signatures? It is my respectful view that Nigerians deserve answers to these questions as it will help them and my humble self to understand the actions and the machinations of the EFCC masquerading to be acting in the national interest while surreptitiously deploying state resources and machinery to promote the personal agenda of their cohorts.”

Adoke appealed to Malami to ensure that state institutions are not hijacked and used as a tool for vendetta.

He also said he was ready to face justice if anything incriminating is found on him.

“I wish to use this medium to appeal to the honourable attorney-general of the federation to be mindful of his overarching powers over public prosecution and the need to ensure that state institutions do not become persecutors or instruments in the hands of those pursing personal vendetta,” he said.

“The constitution and the traditions of our noble profession demand your oversight over public prosecution.

“Consequently, if you find that I had breached my oath of office or abused my office, please do not hesitate to bring me to justice.

“However, if it is the contrary, as I strongly believe, that certain individuals who had vowed to even scores with me are now being aided by state institutions such as the EFCC; I deserve protection from these unwarranted attacks and dehumanising treatment that I am being subjected to merely because I chose to serve my fatherland.”


Source: The Cable

“Adopt Jonathan’s method to save the Naira”, Doyin Okupe tells Osinbajo.

Doyin Okupe, former aide of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, has advised Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to wholly adopt a crude-oil-swap arrangement to conserve foreign exchange.

Crude-oil-swap was an arrangement in which the government exchange crude oil for refined petroleum products through third party traders.

The arrangement, which was adopted by the Jonathan government, was allegedly replete with corruption.

The Buhari government then replaced it with a direct-sale-direct-purchase of crude oil initiative which removed the cost elements of middlemen.

In an open letter to the acting president on Thursday, Okupe urged the government to fully adopt the crude-swap arrangement even though the previous leadership of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) abused it.

“Nigeria is nearly totally an import dependent economy, we earned about N4.6 trillion from export of crude oil in 2015, while our total import bill was in the region of about N6 trillion; 30 percent of which was dedicated to the import of petroleum products. Actual figure was about N1.8 trillion or $5bn,” he wrote.

“It is obvious that if we can remove or substantially decrease this demand of $5bn from our forex pull, the value of naira will significantly appreciate further.

“Your Excellency, I want to submit that this is achievable through a responsibly and transparently organised crude swap scheme.

“I am not unaware that this administration has undertaken a limited crude oil swap arrangement, but this will not suffice. We need to carry it to the level at which we will not commit any significant amount of forex to import of petroleum products anymore.

“No doubt this option was also tried and to a large extent poorly executed and abused by the previous NNPC leadership. The errors in its manner of implementation can be corrected to give a major relief to the demand for dollar in our economy.

“The statutory allocation of 450,000 barrels of crude oil daily for domestic consumption which has been on for several decades needs to be readdressed for better productivity.

“In this dispensation, the government can start by committing the seven oil majors to the new scheme and after a period of about one year of successful implementation, qualified indigenous companies can be brought in, to join and participate.”

Okupe said the crude-oil-swap arrangement was a sustainable alternative to the current intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the forex market because it would conserve foreign exchange.

“The current intervention of the CBN, though highly successful, which is based on injecting hard earned forex (to the tune of over $1bn a month) into the forex market through the banks, also grossly reduces the amount of forex inflow from sales of crude oil to the federation account; for sharing by the state and federal govt. The crude oil swap is a better sustainable alternative as it does not affect in any way our revenues from crude oil sales,” he said.

“Your Excellency, with all humility, I submit that while the above may not exactly represent the actual details in the suggested transactions, I strongly believe that this proposition of mine, if fine tuned by experts, will give results with much commendation to your administration and more importantly, improve the strength of our national currency further and relieve some of the current hardship in the nation.”


Source: The Cable

“Stop the buck-passing on Chibok girls”, FG tells Jonathan.

The Federal Government has urged former President Goodluck Jonathan to stop passing the buck over the Chibok girls who were abducted under his administration.

It described Jonathan’s blame game as an unnecessary distraction from ongoing effort to secure the release of the girls who remained in captivity long after they were abducted.

A British newspaper had during the weekend reported that the British armed forces offered to help the country to rescue the girls but such offers were rebuffed by Jonathan.

In a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said while Jonathan reserves the right to defend his administration, he should not engage in finger-pointing because if anyone ever played politics with the issue of Chibok girls, it was the Jonathan’s administration under whose watch the girls were abducted.

He said: “After the girls were kidnapped and the Jonathan administration did nothing for 15 days or made any determined effort to rescue them, the then opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) told the nation that the Boko Haram crisis was allowed to escalate by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government so they can use it as a political tool ahead of the 2015 elections.”

The minister added that the APC had in a statement on September 8, 2014 said that PDP’s political manipulation of the Boko Haram had to be understood as part of its poker-like calculus for clinging to power ahead of the 2015 elections.

“The Boko Haram crisis was used by the PDP to rationalize the government’s abdication of its constitutional responsibilities, including visits and assistance to areas affected, as well as effective response to abductions. For instance, the then government was silent over the kidnap of the Chibok girls for over 15 days,” he added.

“Two-and-a-half years after that statement, we have been vindicated by the report that claimed that Jonathan rebuffed an attempt by the British government to help rescue the girls. We hope Jonathan will now refrain from stoking further controversy over the lingering abduction issue and allow the government of the day to focus on its ongoing negotiations to release the Chibok girls,” Mohammed said.


Source: The Guardian

It’s politics, I never rejected British offer to rescue Chibok girls – Jonathan

Former president Goodluck Jonathan has denied reports that his administration refused help from the British government to rescue the abducted Chibok girls.

A foreign newspaper had reported that the Jonathan-led administration rejected the offer of British armed forces to help in rescuing the girls, who were abducted in April 2014.

In a statement signed by Ikechukwu Eze, media adviser to Jonathan, the former president said the ‘lies’ in the report were self-evident.

“Our attention has been drawn to a report that has been trending, without proper attribution, to the effect that the last administration rebuffed British offer to rescue the kidnapped Chibok school girls,” he said.

“We wish to promptly point out that nothing can be further from the truth, as Nigerians are conversant with the effort made by the Jonathan administration towards rescuing the Chibok girls, especially in relation to collaborating with the international community.

“We can confidently say that the lies in this report are self-evident. This is because the international press as well as the Nigeria media actively covered the multinational efforts and collaboration which involved some of the major powers deploying their crack intelligence officers to work with our own security operatives, and those of our neighbours.”

The statement further said there were meetings between local operatives and those from other countries including Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

“In fact, the Jonathan administration was so genuinely supportive that the foreign powers involved were granted permission to overfly our airspace, while conducting the search and rescue missions,” he said.

“We would wish to recall that this collaboration was made possible following letters personally written by former president Jonathan to Barack Obama, former president of the United States; Francois Hollande, president of France, David Cameron, former British prime minister, as well as personal contacts made to the Governments of Israel and China, seeking their assistance in the search for the abducted Chibok girls.”

Jonathan attributed the “concocted story” to people “who have been playing politics with the issue of the abducted girls”.

“We are not surprised that this kind of concocted story is coming out at this point in time, as it appears that some people who have obviously been playing politics with the issue of the Chibok girls will stop at nothing to further their interest,” he said.

Jonathan, PDP Governors meet over crisis in party

Former President Goodluck Jonathan Tuesday met with governors elected on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) over the leadership crisis rocking the party.

Although agenda of the meeting was not made public, it was gathered that the festering leadership crisis in the party was top on the agenda.

Governors that attended the meeting included Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa); Ibrahim Dankwabo (Gombe); Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta); Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia); Dave Umahi (Ebonyi); Benedict Ayade (Cross River); Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom); Darius Ishaku (Taraba); Ayo Fayose (Ekiti); and the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Ipalibo Banigo.

The meeting, which was being held in Jonathan’s private office, located in Maitama, Abuja was said to have started about 6pm.

Let’s stop disturbing God, my successors are resposible for Nigeria’s economic woes – Obasanjo

“I banned importation of toothpick in 1977, because it was the most stupid thing to import when we can produce it here. But, about 40 years after, one of my successors, I won’t mention his name, unmanned toothpick. Then, I put on my Babanriga and went to Abuja to express my shock about the policy, but to my greatest surprise, the President told me, he signed the document unbanning toothpick without reading it.”

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday took a swipe at his successors, blaming them for the nation’s economic woes. He said God was not responsible for the problems hindering the development of Nigeria.

Obasanjo spoke while chairing the 38th Kaduna International Trade Fair Seminar with the theme: “Promoting Public Private Partnership as Panacea for Accelerated Growth and Development”.

The ex-President said “that Nigeria is where it is today is a question of leadership and not God”.

According to him, “somebody came to me and said we need to pray to God and I said, for what? He said, so that God can do for us, what we cannot do for ourselves. And I said, no, let us stop troubling God, because God has done all we need for us, we only need to play our own part.
“But, if we must pray to God, our prayer should be that God should not take away all He has given us as a nation.

“God, in His mercy, has given us all the needed resources, both human and natural, but we have not been able to put them together and manage them effectively. The countries that have developed and are performing better are not better than Nigeria in terms of resources.

“One problem that must be corrected is the problem of leadership. This is because our leaders lack focus, commitment, continuity and sometimes proper knowledge about economic and development issues, hence we have not been able to achieve meaningful result.

“Another problem is that, we take one step forward and two backward. Nigerian leaders must be tough and ready to bite the bullet, because Nigeria cannot have it easy. Until we get the right leadership, the problem will continue”, he said.

Registering his displeasure over inconsistency in policies, Obasanjo said: “I banned importation of toothpick in 1977, because it was the most stupid thing to import when we can produce it here. But, about 40 years after, one of my successors, I won’t mention his name, unmanned toothpick. Then, I put on my Babanriga and went to Abuja to express my shock about the policy, but to my greatest surprise, the President told me, he signed the document unbanning toothpick without reading it.

“Another thing is that, he came in saying he will generate additional 30,000 megawatts to the 3,500 megawatts we left behind, and I told him, don’t trouble yourself, if you can add 3,000 megawatts to the one we left behind, you will receive awards. But, to my greatest shock, he couldn’t add one megawatt before leaving office”, he narrated.

Speaking on the public-private partnership, the former President said lack of synergy in public-private sectors was responsible for the set back in the nation’s economy and growth.

He said: “The public sector perceives the private sector as a profit making industry that reaps where it does not sow, but in actual fact, they are two legs that when brought together can accelerate development in all sectors of the economy.

“Public and private sectors must work together to accelerate growth and development. When we were in office, we privatised the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and sold to Dangote and partners, but the government that succeeded me revoked it and that is why till today, NNPC cannot work optimally.

“But, today the same Dangote that was denied ownership of NNPC is building a refinery that can produce in excess of what NNPC can produce and what Nigeria can consume. So, it means he will even export.”

In his lecture, former Minister of Finance Shamdudeen Usman said Nigeria was facing backwardness in economic growth and development because of the lack of continuity in governance and poor will by political leaders to complete projects started by their predecessors.
According to him, “delay in budgetary approval process and also padding of the budget contribute to the slow acceleration of growth and development experienced in the nation.

“Short term policies affected PPP projects across the country due to inconsistencies in government. Though several governments gave high support to PPP, only President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration recorded about 90 per cent completion of PPP projects and they include the Garki hospital in Abuja, Lagos International Airport, port terminals, amongst others.

“However, the Jonathan administration took a huge step in adpoting a 30-year National Integrated Infrastructure master plan, which targets core infrastructure in the country, but nothing much has been achieved so far,” he said.

PDP Crisis: I did not endorse Sheriff – Jonathan claims

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has denied endorsing Ali Modu Sheriff as the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Since Friday when the appeal court recognised Sheriff as chairman of the opposition party, he has been consulting stakeholders.

He visited Ibrahim Babangida, former military ruler, over the weekend, and was with Jonathan on Monday.

After the meeting, there were reports that Jonathan had endorsed the PDP leader. But in a statement issued on his behalf by Ikechukwu Eze, his media aide, the former president said he only received Sheriff in the interest of peace.

The statement said Jonathan met Ahmed Makarfi, chairman of the other faction of the PDP, and Walid Jibrin, chairman of the party’s board of trustees (BoT), after Sheriff left.

“Jonathan as a former president and foremost leader of the party welcomed Sheriff and some of his supporters to his house, in line with a mediation role he is playing towards unifying and strengthening the PDP,” Eze said in a statement.

“Indeed, it may interest you to know that after meeting with Sheriff, the former president also met with Senator Ahmed Makarfi, leader of the PDP caretaker committee, and the party’s board of trustees chairman, Senator Walid Jubril, later in the evening.

“As a peace-loving leader of the party, the former president’s interest is to help reposition PDP to enable it play a constructive role in the affairs of the nation, in view of the imperative of deepening the nation’s democracy.

“I wish to let those spinning this falsehood know that it just doesn’t add up to fly a contrived banner of endorsement in one breath, and in another, concede that the former president explained his commitment in meeting with different interest groups, towards resolving the differences in the party.”

Eze reproduced the  exact words of Jonathan in the meeting with Sheriff.

He also appreciated the interest shown in covering activities of Jonathan, but urged journalists to avoid misleading the public.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the following are the former president’s exact words during the interview with newsmen, as had accurately been reported by most online and major national newspapers, as well as broadcast organisations: ‘We (PDP) are not factionalised. We are one. We are solving our problems. There are bound to be differences in politics. It is the way we resolve these differences that make us human beings and that is what makes us leaders. I have met with Sheriff. And I have met with others.

“While we appreciate the interest of journalists in the coverage of the activities of the former president, we urge accurate and constructive reporting, as it is a known fact that we cannot truly develop our nation, if journalists continue to twist and fabricate stories with the intent of misinforming the public.”


Ex-President Jonathan declares support for Ali Modu Sheriff as PDP Chairman

Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday declared support for Ali Sheriff as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party.

The former president spoke after a meeting with Mr. Sheriff and some members of his group in Abuja.

Mr. Sheriff, was affirmed the party’s national chairman by the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division, last week.

Those at the meeting held behind closed doors at the former president’s home in Maitama District of Abuja were the Deputy National Chairman, Cairo Ojougbo, the National Secretary, Wale Oladipo, the acting National Publicity Secretary, Benard Mikko, the Financial Secretary, Adewole Adeyanju, and the National Youth Leader, Dennis Alonge-Niyi.

The meeting held while the Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the party met at the Ekiti State Governor’s Lodge in Abuja where it resolved to challenge the judgement of the Court of Appeal.

Mr. Sheriif had on Sunday met with a former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, in Minna, the Niger State capital.

At the end of the meeting, Mr. Jonathan, who had referred to Mr. Sheriff as “my chairman,” said there were no factions in the party though members could have disagreement.

“We are not factionalised. We are one. There are bound to be differences in politics. We cannot run away from that,” he said.

“It is the way we resolve these differences that make us human beings and that is what makes us leaders. I have met with Sheriff. And I have met with others. I will still meet with others, so that we will be able to do what is expected of us as a political party.”

Also speaking, Mr. Sheriff said he and his team were at the home of the former president as part of the moves to unite the PDP with a view to providing credible opposition to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

“We are putting everything together to ensure that the party is united,” he said.

“We are not fighting and this is no time to join issues with people. We want everybody to come back to the party. Very soon I will get back to you when I finish my consultations. I won’t tell you anything before I finish consultations.”

(he national chairman insisted that the party’s constitution does not have a place for a caretaker committee, saying, “There is only one PDP and there is only one national chairman. A group of people has the right to sit and discuss as only a group of people but not as PDP. If I go down to their level to exchange words with them, then I would not be different from them.

“We don’t have anything like caretaker committee in our party. As father of the party, I will make sure everybody is united. I will make sure that everybody gets what they want in PDP.

“By the time I finish my convention, Nigerians will know that we mean well for the party.”


Source: Premium Times

Jonathan: I’m happy PDP is planning to regain the presidency.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday described the loss of the 2015 general election as a temporary setback for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Speaking when he hosted stakeholders of the party at his Abuja residence, Jonathan said he was happy with the plans of the party to regain the presidency.

He said the PDP remains the strongest political party in Nigeria, and that every other party knows that “PDP is leading”.

“Yes we lost the presidential election but that doesn’t diminish us. Every other party still knows that PDP is a leading party,” he said.

“Losing the presidency is something temporary. We should be able to get that position back as long as we are able to get our acts together.

“I am happy that you people are working towards that.”

He said he had the strong belief that for a nation to grow, its institutions must be very strong.

Making reference to the court’s rejection of President Donald Trump’s executive order, Jonathan said such a measure is needed in Nigeria at the moment.

“There is no way a nation will grow with weak institutions, because everything about politics is about the people, not about the individuals,” he said.

“As long you are interested in the people, you are interested in the growth of the society and the development of the nation.

“The only thing that will make this possible is that the institutions must be strong.

“As powerful as America is, President Donald Trump took a decision and the court said `No you can’t do this’ and of course, they have to shut down the decision to move forward.

“That is the strength of an institution. That is the only way individuals could be regulated so that you can grow.”

The former president also said direct primary, especially under presidential system of government, was the ultimate and best way of selecting candidates for elections.

However, he said the greatest problem was how to manage the direct primaries.

Jonathan said for a party like PDP, with true membership across all polling units, it meant that voting would take place at wards or local government levels.

“The best way to stop imposition is to make sure that people don’t control the delegates,” he said.

“How to select delegate is that at least 70 percent of the delegates should not be under the control of anybody.”

Jonathan said if the party could not do direct primary, it should make sure that it increased the number of statutory delegates with people who had held elected or party offices at different levels.

He said the party could come up with criteria where its national chairman, state chairmen, senators and others in offices that controlled the government were made statutory delegates.

“All these group of people if they are still in the party should be automatic delegates,” he said.

“These are people that are known by everybody and nobody can go and manipulate them or their names.

“By the time we have a reasonable number of statutory delegates who are more than 75 per cent of total delegates that will vote, then, it will be difficult for somebody to go and manipulate the list.”

Jonathan commended the committee for the report as well as the caretaker committee under the leadership of Ahmed Makarfi, a former governor.

“This is the only way to strengthen political parties. It is a clear sign that PDP will win in 2019,” he said.

Presenting the report earlier, Jerry Ghana, chairman of the committee, said they had submitted the report to the party leadership on Tuesday and were directed to submit a copy to the former president.

Gana said the report contained thoughtful recommendations that would help PDP to be strong and win future elections.

Lai: There was ‘mindless looting’ under GEJ. We’ve recovered another $151m, N8bn

Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, says the whistle-blowing policy has started yielding results less than two months after it commenced.

He said three sources of through the help of whistleblowers have assisted the government to recover the sums of $151m and N8bn.

Mohammed said some Nigerians found it difficult to believe that there was “mindless and primitive looting of the national treasury” under the government of former President Goodluck Jonathan, but that recent revelations have proven that.

“When we told Nigerians that there was a primitive and mindless looting of the national treasury under the last administration, some people called us liars,” Mohammed said in a statement issued by Segun Adeyemi, his media aide.

“The federal government’s whistle-blower policy has started yielding fruit as it has so far led to the recovery of $151m and N8bn in looted funds.”

The minister said the recovered monies were not part of the $9.8m and £74, 0000 allegedly found in the house of Andrew Yakubu, former group managing director (GMD) of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Mohammed said the monies were recovered from “sources who gave actionable information to the office of the minister of justice and attorney-general of the federation”.

“The biggest amount of $136,676,600.51 was recovered from an account in a commercial bank, where the money was kept under an apparently fake account name, followed by N7bn and $15m from another person and N1bn from yet another,” he said.

“When we told Nigerians that there was a primitive and mindless looting of the national treasury under the last administration, some people called us liars. Well, the whistle-blower policy is barely two months old and Nigerians have started feeling its impact, seeing how a few people squirreled away public funds. It is doubtful if any economy in the world will not feel the impact of such mind-boggling looting of the treasury as was experienced in Nigeria.

“Yet whatever has been recovered so far, including the $9.2m by the EFCC, is just a tip of the iceberg.”

He appealed to Nigerians with useful information on stolen funds to continue to provide the authorities with such information, saying confidentiality would be maintained.

The minister also reminded Nigerians of the financial reward of the policy, saying “If there is a voluntary return of stolen or concealed public funds or assets on the account of the information provided, the whistleblower may be entitled to anywhere between 2.5 percent (minimum) and 5.0 percent (maximum) of the total amount recovered.”

Ali Baba: Jonathan was betrayed by many of his foot soldiers.

Ace comedian, Ali Baba, has said former president Goodluck Jonathan was betrayed by his trusted advisers and foot soldiers.

The comedian on Saturday took to Instagram to state that the former president was repeatedly given bad counsel which resulted in faulty decisions.

The social media post read: “I’m further convinced that the people who President Jonathan entrusted with authority in different sectors of the economy and government did him in. And they did this smoothly & strategically.

“The crop of people I’m talking about were those ones who were more concerned with their goals to enrich themselves, so they were going about doing everything they could to amass wealth. Then there was this other group who were building their political dreams will turning GEJ’s administration to a nightmare.

“They tactically made sure they alienated all those who had superior reason and better advice, away from him. They strategically put him on a war path with those who he should have had as his backbone in the unpredictable storms of Nigerian politics. They knew that if he listened to those people they (the vultures) would starve.”


To buttress his point that Jonathan was more than often, led down the wrong path, Ali Baba gave “two examples” of instances where he believes Jonathan was misled.

He wrote: “After an event, ADC sent word to see GEJ. While waiting, at about 1:30am or later, 8 or more senators came to inform him of the plans by members of National Assembly to cross carpet with their Governors. Some leaders of PDP were there. They told GEJ to forget them. Good riddance! one of them said. The devil is in the detail.

“If governors who fund the party machinery cross carpet, it exposes your party. When they take their reps and senators, it endangers your President. So, 3 weeks after that meeting, there were(sic) mass defections. That was when PDP rushed to court to stop them. Another instance, this time it was a phone call, when I was in Abeokuta.”

“Baba had just come back from a UN envoy trip. He told GEJ, to think very well & beyond the 16/19 elections of Gov’s Forum. That if 19 govs voted Amaechi, then you have enemies in your camp. Baba said accept the result, deal with it later because the world was watching. For wia? The advisers, said call his bluff. Now, it is clear, they were all fighting for themselves. Not GEJ.”

“They all enriched themselves to the detriment of his administration. Bet he is shocked at some revelations. I have known him since Deputy GOV days and I can say, he was betrayed by many of his foot soldiers.”


Source: The Cable

National Confab Is Solution To Nigeria’s Crisis – Goodluck Jonathan

Former President Jonathan says the solution to the violence in the Niger Delta is true and fiscal federalism and not the interventionist agencies such as the Niger Delta Development Commission.


Dr. Jonathan said this during a meeting with the United States house sub-committee on threats of religious intolerance in Nigeria and the Niger Delta question.


According to a statement by the former president’s media aide, Dr Jonathan was invited to speak in his capacity as the chairman of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation.


He also hinges the solution to the continued ethnic and religious violence in parts of Nigeria, especially the Southern Kaduna killings, on the implementation of the resolutions of the 2014 national conference.


While identifying impunity as a factor that contributes to the reoccurrence of such violence, Dr. Jonathan said that he supports the 2014 national conference’s recommendation for an independent religious equity commission to address issues of ethnic and religious violence.


Source: Channels TV

Malabu $1.1 billion Scandal: Court orders OPL 245 returned to Nigerian government

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has secured a court order mandating the return of OPL 245 to the Nigerian government.


The order was granted by Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court on Thursday morning, pending “the conclusion of investigations…” by the EFCC.


OPL 245, considered the largest oil block in Africa with over 9 billion barrels of crude, has been a subject of investigations in at least five different countries.


Two oil giants, Shell and Eni, in 2011 paid about $1.1 billion into a Nigerian government account in London to take control of the oil block.


Over 70 per cent of the money was subsequently transferred in controversial circumstances into Malabu accounts controlled by a former petroleum minister, Dan Etete. Mr. Etete transferred over half of what he got into accounts of phoney companies controlled by Aliyu Abubakar, a man wanted for fraud in Italy and whom the EFCC already charged for fraud.


Mr. Abubakar is believed to be a front for several top officials of the Goodluck Jonathan administration including Mr. Jonathan and his attorney general, Bello Adoke.


Both men have denied any wrongdoings.


The EFCC had in December last year filed fraud and money laundering charges against Messrs. Etete, Abubakar, and Adoke.


A week after, Italian prosecutors also indicated their decision to file charges against Shell and Eni, their officials, and Mr. Etete for their roles in the scandal.


Source: Premium Times

Ijaw Youth Council urges FG to stop investigation into Malabu Oil deal

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has denied media reports that he received gratification before approving the controversial Malabu Oil deal.

A statement by his spokesperson, Ikechukwu Eze, in Abuja yesterday said Jonathan did not send a businessman, Abubakar Aliyu, or any other person to receive a bribe on his behalf during or after the negotiation.

The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to news reports published mostly by online media which insinuated, rather than presenting factual evidence, that Jonathan received kickbacks in the $1.3bn OPL 245 oil block involving oil giants ENI and Royal Dutch Shell.

“We wish to state that the negotiations and transactions for the oil block predated the Jonathan’s presidency, which began on May 6, 2010 and ended on May 29, 2015. It may interest those promoting this false narrative to also know that the documents relating to the transactions are in the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.”

The spokesman further stated that Jonathan did not hold any secret meeting with the parties in the transaction, nether did anybody work for him.

“As President of Nigeria, Jonathan met with the executives of all the oil majors operating in the country to solicit support in the oil industry,” the statement added.

He urged the media to use the Freedom of Information Act, which Jonathan signed into law, to investigate stories before publication.

Meanwhile, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has urged the Federal Government to stop an investigation into the Malabu oil deal.

The group’s President, Udengs Eradiri said in an interview that it was designed to witch-hunt the Niger Delta region, because an Ijaw man was involved.

According to him, it was worrisome that other oil blocks that were awarded through the same process were exempted from a similar probe.

Malabu: I met officials of oil companies but didn’t receive kickback, says Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has responded to allegations of receiving kickbacks in the $1.3 billion OPL 245 oil block deal involving oil giants ENI and Royal Dutch Shell.

Some Italian investigators had indicted Jonathan, alleging that Claudio Descalzi, ENI chief executive and his predecessor Paolo Scaroni, met with the former president to thrash out the deal “in person”.

But Jonathan said he met with executives of all the oil majors operating in Nigeria in his capacity as the number one citizen of the country, and no illegality was involved.

The prosecutors said ENI and Shell executives worked with Dan Etete, the oil minister during the military administration of Sani Abacha.

“Our attention has been drawn to news reports published mostly by online media which suggested through innuendo, rather than factual evidence, that former President Goodluck Jonathan received kickbacks in the $1.3bn OPL 245 oil block deal involving oil giants ENI and Royal Dutch Shell,” read a statement issued on Jonathan’s behalf by Ikechukwu Eze, his media aide.

“As President of Nigeria, there is no doubt that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan met with executives of all the oil majors operating in Nigeria and urged them to, amongst other things, support the growth of the Nigerian oil industry by ramping up their investments and comply with the Local Content Act that he promoted and signed into law.

“We however wish to state, for emphasis, that at no time did the former President hold private meetings with representatives of ENI to discuss pecuniary issues. All the meetings and discussions former President Jonathan had with ENI, other IOCs and some indigenous operators were conducted officially, and in the presence of relevant Nigerian Government officials and were done in the best interest of the country.

“With regards to the publication, we wish to make it clear that former President Jonathan was not accused, indicted or charged for corruptly collecting any monies as kickbacks or bribes from ENI by the Italian authorities or any other law enforcement body the world over.

“In the first place, we have to categorically state that the negotiations and transactions for the oil block deal predate the Presidency of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan which began on 6th May 2010 and ended on 29th May 2015.”

Abubakar Aliyu, who was described as an “agent” of Jonathan, was said to have withdrawn $54 million out of $801.5 million allegedly transferred to Malabu’s accounts.

But Jonathan denied the allegation, saying the records of the transactions in Malabu deals are in the office of the attorney-general of the federation.

“It may interest those promoting this false narrative to know that all the documents relating to the transactions, issues and decisions of the Federal Government on the Malabu issue, during the Jonathan administration, are in the office of the attorney general of the federation/minister of Justice,” the statement read.

“We make bold to point out that the former President never sent any Abubakar Aliyu, as the innuendoes in the false report suggest, to ENI, the IOCs or any indigenous operator to seek favour or collect any gratification on his behalf.

“We will like to point out for the umpteenth time that whether in office or out of office, former President Jonathan does not own any bank account, aircraft or real estate outside Nigeria. Anyone with contrary information is challenged to publicly publish same.

“As the President who signed the Freedom of Information Act into law, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan lifted the veil on governance and encouraged transparency knowing that evil breeds in secrecy. It is the opinion of the former President that journalists and media houses should take advantage of this law in their investigative journalism, rather than rely on hearsay.”

Malabu Oil Deal: Jonathan, Diezani Recieved Part Of The $466m Kickbacks – Italian Prosecutor

Italian prosecutors have alleged that Nigeria’s former president Goodluck Jonathan and his oil minister received kickbacks as part of a $1.3 billion deal involving oil giants ENI and Shell.

Court documents filed late last month in the city of Milan and seen by AFP outline a case against 11 people, including senior executives from the two oil majors and the companies themselves.

Jonathan, who left office in May 2015, and Diezani Alison-Madueke, his long-time petroleum minister who was also the first woman president of OPEC, do not feature on the list.

But they are alleged to have played a central role in the deal, which saw ENI and Shell make a $1.3 billion payment in 2011 for an offshore oil block in Nigeria.

No formal charges have been brought and the parties usually have 20 days to respond to the conclusion of the preliminary investigation report before any formal prosecution.

ENI chief executive Claudio Descalzi and his predecessor Paolo Scaroni met Jonathan “in person” to thrash out the deal, which also involved former British intelligence agents working as advisors for Shell, it was alleged.

Prosecutors allege ENI and Shell executives worked with Nigerian businessman Dan Etete, who was oil minister under the military ruler Sani Abacha from 1995 to 1998.

Etete’s company Malabu was the “fraudulent holder” of the OPL 245 block, according to the court documents.

After talks in Milan and Abuja, the block was bought illegally by the oil majors in contravention of domestic laws, “without competitive tendering” and with “full, unconditional exemption from all national taxes”, prosecutors said.

A total of $801.5 million was allegedly transferred to Etete’s Malabu accounts, of which $466 million was converted into cash in Nigeria and used for remunerating government officials, including Jonathan and Alison-Madueke, prosecutors said.

A further $54 million was withdrawn by Abubakar Aliyu, whom prosecutors describe as an “agent” of Jonathan.

The beneficiaries of the money went on a shopping spree buying “property, aeroplanes, armoured cars,” prosecutors added.

– ‘No basis’ for prosecution –
ENI and Royal Dutch Shell have both denied wrongdoing.

Shell said in an email: “We are aware of the investigation and we hope to show the prosecutor that there is no basis to prosecute Shell.

“Shell takes this matter seriously and is co-operating with the authorities.”

Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has also recently pressed charges in connection with the same oil block deal.

Charges were “filed towards the end of last year”, EFCC spokesman Wilson Uwujaren told AFP, without elaborating.

Anti-corruption campaigners view the case as a classic example of graft in Nigeria but also an indication of the difficulty in tackling the problem when it crosses international borders.

Alison-Madueke is facing a flurry of graft allegations in Nigeria and was arrested by Britain’s National Crime Agency on suspicion of bribery and money laundering in 2015.

She has denied the allegations.

Last week, the Federal High Court in Lagos ordered Alison-Madueke to temporary forfeit $153 million that was allegedly syphoned from state coffers.

For his part, Jonathan has denied that his government was corrupt and contested his successor Muhammadu Buhari’s claim that he inherited a “virtually empty” treasury.

Buhari secured a historic first win for an opposition leader in Nigeria’s history when he defeated Jonathan in presidential elections in March 2015.

He campaigned on a platform to target endemic corruption and has said “mind-boggling” sums of money have been stolen from the public purse.

His government has arrested a series of high-ranking officials from Jonathan’s administration on corruption charges but few have been convicted.

Jonathan, Diezani, Gusau, Adoke, Shared $1.3b In Malabu Oil Fraud – Italian Prosecutors

An investigative report by Italian prosecutors has alleged that ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, former Minister of Petroleum Diezani Alison-Madueke, former Attorney Generals Mohammed Adoke and Bayo Ojo, former Minister of Defense and ex-National Security Adviser, Aliyu Gusau as well as numerous other senior government officials shared hundreds of millions of dollars. In an indictment obtained by SaharaReporters, Italian prosecutors alleged that Mr. Jonathan and several officials of his government as well as top corporate officials of international oil firms, Eni and Shell, met several times between 2010 and 2011 to seal the fraudulent Malabu deal and split a massive loot running into hundreds of millions between Nigerian government and public interests as well as corporate officials.

The indictment shows that former Abacha-era Minister, Dauzia Loya Etete, better known as “Dan Etete” and his Malabu company were at the center of the scam that involved the sale of an oil bloc named OPL 245 he illicitly acquired in 1998. According to Italian prosecutors, Mr. Etete had engaged Zubelum Chukwuemeka Obi to source for buyers of the oil bloc. Subsequently, Italian oil giant, Eni, the parent of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company Ltd (NAOC) and Royal Dutch Shell, contracted to acquire 100 percent of the 245 oil block for a deal that totaled $1.3 billion. However, Italian prosecutors are alleging that much of the funds was set aside for fraudulent payments to Mr. Jonathan and other government officials as well as corporate executives working for Eni and Shell.

Apart from naming numerous officials of the global oil firms, the indictment also fingered Mr. Jonathan, Mr. Etete, Mrs. Alison-Madueke, Mr. Adoke, former NSA Gusau, Mr. Obi, Mr. Ojo, and Alhaji Abubakar as beneficiaries from the Malabu fraud.

Among the corporate players named in the Malabu deal are Paolo Scaroni, Eni’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, and Claudio Descalzi, the Managing Director of Eni’s Exploration and Production Division since July 2008. The indictment states that Mr. Scaroni “agreed to intermediation by Obi,” and was constantly informed by Mr. Descalzi of the progress of developments in the deal. In addition, he and Mr. Descalzi met then President Jonathan in person twice, “both during the finalization of the agreements (13 August 2010) and at the final stage, during an electoral campaign rally in Nigeria on 22 February 2011.”

According to the indictment, Mr. Descalzi maintained steady contact with Mr. Obi and two key Eni employees in Nigeria, Roberto Casula and Vincenzo Armanna, who helped coordinate a deal in which Mr. Jonathan and other senior officials of his government would receive illegal commissions in exchange for approving the Malabu oil deal. Mr. Descalzi also coordinated with his Shell counterpart, Malcolm Brinded, on the $1.3 billion price tag for the oil block.

Other Eni and Shell officials also attended meetings with President Jonathan in Abuja on August 13, 2010 regarding the OPL245 deal and, again, on February 22, 2011. In addition, the indictment states that the two oil companies’ executives attended meetings from November 18 to 25, 2010, at Mr. Adoke’s offices in Abuja. Apart from Mr. Adoke, Alhaji Aliyu Abubakar also known as “AAA Oil” was also present at the meetings during which, according to Italian prosecutors, “the financial conditions of the deal (1.3 billion) were agreed.”

The firms’ executives also met with Mr. Dan Etete in Milan, Italy from November 30 to December 1, 2010 and finalized issues “relating to the commissions.” Mr. Armanna, the Senior Advisor of Nigerian Agip Oil Company Ltd and as Eni Vice President for upstream sub-Saharan activities, reportedly played a major role in the scam. The indictment accuses him of maintaining contact with Mr. Obi and Mr. Etete, even though he was “fully aware of the destination of most of the sums paid by Eni to the political sponsors of the operation” and that some executives of Eni and Shell, himself included, were to receive “significant sums” from the deal. He is also accused of coordinating the fraudulent deal with his Shell counterpart, Peter Robinson, and hosting meetings at his residence in Nigeria with Shell executives. Mr. Armanna reportedly “supervised the Eni negotiating team’s drafting of the ‘resolution agreements.’” In addition, he met with Mr. Adoke numerous times to discuss the illicit transfers.

Italian prosecutors accuse Mr. Armanna of facilitating the Nigerian government’s active role in the Malabu deal, including the payment “of €1,092,040,000 intended for Etete, in addition to the ‘signature bonus’ of $207,960,000.” The indictment states that he coordinated with Gianfranco Falcioni and Bayo Ojo to transfer funds paid by Eni to the account of the Nigerian government at JP Morgan Chase London. As part of his reward, Mr. Armanna “subsequently received from Bayo Ojo the sum of €917,952 with the false payment reference of ‘Armanna inheritance.’”

The indictment states that, on October 30, 2010, Ciro Antonio Pagano, the NAE’s Managing Director, signed his firm’s offer to Raffeisen Bank, Obi’s advisor, for the company’s 100% acquisition of Malabu’s “participating interest” in OPL 245. The payments comprised $207,960,000 to the Nigerian government as the signature bonus and $1,053,000,000 directly to Malabu.

The indictment names Mr. Obi as shareholder in the company Energy Venture Partners Ltd (EVP), and as the person “assigned by Etete to find a buyer for block 245.” Italian prosecutors allege that Mr. Obi agreed with Etete that the “so-called ‘excess price’ – between the sum that Eni/NAE was undertaking to pay and the amount accepted by Etete, would be withheld by Obi, with the expectation that the aforementioned premium would be distributed among Mr. Obi, his sponsors, Di Nardo and Bisignani, Eni and Shell executives and “Nigerian government officials, in particular the Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke.”

According to the indictment, Mr. Obi having met several times with Attorney General Adoke, and maintained direct relations with the AGF as well as with “persons connected to him, specifically Roland Ewubare and Oghogo Akpata.” He also maintained relations with Ms. Alison-Madueke and NSA Gusau, said the indictment.

The document also accuses Ednan Tofik Ogly Agaev of agreeing to a fee of 6% for his work as intermediary between Mr. Etete and Shell. It said Mr. Agaev, a Russian and former MI6 operative, subsequently worked for Shell as Senior Business Advisor and Strategic Investment Advisor. He is accused of meeting NSA Aliyu Gusau “on a number of occasions and having obtained information from him on the expectations of President Jonathan and other members of the government.”

The document describes Mr. Etete as “the fraudulent holder of the OPL245 exploration license since 1998.” He is also accused of “having received authorization from Minister of Petroleum Alison-Madueke to dispose of 100% of OPL245, following the decision of President Jonathan.” In addition, he “conducted confidential negotiations with Aliyu Abubakar, who acted as an agent of Goodluck Jonathan,” and “accepted, under government pressure, the total sum of $1.3 billion, established by Eni and Shell.”

Italian prosecutors also reported that Mr. Etete “received $801.5 million from the Nigerian government under the FGN Resolution Agreement, and having transferred to Abubakar Aliyu, directly or through companies attributable to him, funds of approximately $520 million, intended to be paid to President Jonathan, members of the government and other Nigerian government officials.”

The indictment also states that the Malabu deal involved an agreement that Dan Etete would use much of the funds from the sale of the oil bloc “for his own benefit and that of a large number of other beneficiaries to purchase property, aeroplanes, armored cars, etc.).”

The indictment added that “President Goodluck Jonathan and other members of the Nigerian government in office at the time, including Mrs. Alison-Madueke, Attorney General Muhammed Bello Adoke, National Security Advisor Aliyu Gusau, a member of the House of Representatives, Umar Bature, former Senator Ikechukwu Obiorah, and “holders of influence over President Jonathan and other members of the government” received huge payoffs from the Malabu deal.

Italian Prosecutor’s Office document detailing how GEJ and others were paid off in Malabu oil block deal  Italian Prosecutor’s Office document detailing how GEJ and others were paid off in Malabu oil block deal 

We are not aware of raid on Patience Jonathan’s house – EFCC, Police.

Some men of the Nigeria police on Wednesday evening raided the family house of Patience Jonathan, former first lady, without a search warrant.

A source, who confirmed the development to TheCable,  said the house is located at Igbeti Rock Street, Maitama, Abuja.

TheCable learnt that the police officers did not have a search warrant, and that house was unoccupied at the time of the raid.

Although, the first lady does not stay in the building, her younger brother lives there.

No incriminating item was found in the house.

TheCable called Wilson Uwujaren, spokesman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to confirm if the anti-graft agency was behind the raid.

But he said the EFCC did not carry out the operation.

Also, Don Awunah, police spokesman, said he was not aware of the operation, but that he would make further inquiry.

“I am not aware, but I will make further inquiry,” he said in a text message to TheCable.

$1.6 Billion Malabu Oil deal: I Acted on Jonathan’s Instruction – Adoke

A former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), yesterday faulted the charge of alleged involvement in a $1.6billion Malabu Oil deal against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He said although the charge was irrational, he was prepared to make himself available to defend it at the appropriate time.

He said he did not benefit in any way from the auctioning of Oil Prospecting Licence 245(OPL 245), popularly referred to as Malabu Oil Block.

Adoke, in a statement, said he got requisite approvals from the former President Goodluck Jonathan to broker the settlement and execute the OPL 245 Settlement Agreement.

The statement reads: “My attention has been drawn to the charges filed by the EFCC against me and other named individuals and companies in respect of OPL 245 Settlement Agreement involving Malabu Oil & Gas Limited and Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited.

“The charge of aiding the commission of money laundering offences preferred against me has finally confirmed the orchestrated plans to bring me to public disrepute in order to satisfy the whims and caprices of some powerful interests on revenge mission.

“I wish to reiterate that I acted within the actual and ostensible authority of the office I occupied to broker a settlement between Malabu Oil & Gas Limited and Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited in order to ward off the over $2billion liability in damages for breach of contract which the country would have been exposed to in the likely event of the success of Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited’s claim before the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

“The Terms of Settlement ensured that the interests of the Federal Government of Nigeria, Malabu Oil & Gas Limited and Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited were duly acknowledged and provided for in the Settlement Agreement.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria was entitled to the Signature bonus which was duly paid; Malabu Oil & Gas Limited surrendered its title to OPL 245 for a consideration and Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited was re-allocated OPL 245 which it had previously substantially de-risked in consideration for withdrawing their over US$ 2billion claim for breach of contract against the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

Adoke gave more insights into why the Jonathan administration executed the Settlement Agreement.

He added: “Since the Parties aforementioned, faithfully discharged their respective obligations under the Settlement Agreement, one cannot comprehend how the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation which brokered the Settlement was expected to renege from the agreement by denying Malabu Oil & Gas Limited the benefits associated with the relinquishing of their title to OPL 245 already warehoused in a joint FGN/Shell Escrow account, or to prevent the subsequent re-allocation of the relinquished OPL 245 to Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited when the company had already furnished consideration for it to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“I am of the respectful view that it should be clear to any person dispassionately reviewing the transaction to confirm that I had no personal interest in the transaction; I did not take any benefit from it, I had requisite approvals from the President and Commander in Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to broker the settlement and execute the OPL 245 Settlement Agreement.

“I am therefore unable to rationalise the charge of aiding the commission of money laundering offences preferred against me by the EFCC. But be that as it may, I hope to at the appropriate time make myself available to defend the charges for what whatever its worth.”

Fayose: Buhari has destroyed Jonathan’s legacy of free and fair elections.

Ayodele Fayose, governor of Ekiti state governor, says President Muhammadu Buhari has destroyed the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) legacy of free and fair election.

Fayose described Saturday’s rerun national and state house of assembly elections in Rivers state, as a “sad reminder of the level of destruction already done to the country’s electoral process by the All Progressives Congress (APC) government of President Mohammadu Buhari”.

“Free, fair and credible election is dead in the country and that whatever victory that is recorded by any political party in the Rivers state election will be nothing but victory at gun point,” he said.

He said it was worrisome that “the legacy of free, fair and credible election left by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been destroyed less than two years that the APC assumed power”.

“We thought that we had gone past this era of manipulated electoral process after the 2015 general election, which brought the APC and President Buhari to power, but the Buhari’s administration has taken us back to the Stone Age by merging his party, APC with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the police, military, and other security agencies,” he said.

In a press statement issued on Sunday by Lere Olayinka, his special assistant on public communications and new media, Fayose said what happened in Rivers on Saturday is a clear indication that Nigeria is under siege and that “only prompt intervention by the international community can save democracy in the country from this imminent collapse”.

“It is sad that snatching of ballot boxes, hijacking of voting materials and electoral violence, which had become a thing of the past, have now become part of our electoral process,” he said.

“It is even more worrisome that despite that votes are counted openly at the polling units, electorates are no longer sure of the results of elections until announcement by INEC, which has become an organ of the APC.”

He described Buhari as “a pretender who has only paid lips service to the sustenance of democracy in the country”, adding that “any president that looks the other way while the rights of his people to freely elect their leaders is being snatched at gunpoint by his own party men is not worthy of being associated with democracy”.

He reiterated his call to the US president-elect, Donald Trump, to focus his attention more on Nigeria, with a view to saving the country from disintegrating, saying.

“God forbid, if Nigeria disintegrates, the entire continent of Africa will disintegrate,” he said.

“The order of the day in Nigeria now is disobedience to court orders, abuse of human rights, extra judicial killings and mass burial of innocent Nigerians killed by the army.

“The reality we must all face is that should all these be allowed to continue, Nigeria faces imminent danger and the international community must not allow the country to get to that level of total collapse before it begins to call President Buhari and his APC to order.”

Lagos lawmaker urges Jonathan to take leadership position in PDP

A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos state, Mr Victor Akande, has urged former President Goodluck Jonathan to take leadership position in the party to stem crisis rocking the party.

Akande, who is also a lawmaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday.

Akande, also legal practitioner, said,”It is a pity my party, PDP has not got its house together and it has not really harmonised all problems in order to forge ahead.

“Things have fallen apart, the centre cannot hold.

“There is only one solution to our problems and the solution is that, former president Goodluck Jonathan should come out of his cocoon and put the party aright.

“If Jonathan has come forth to lead the party in the right perspective, and take over the mantle of leadership, our story would have been different by now,’’ he said.

According to him, by the virtue of PDP constitution, the former president is supposed to be the Chairman, PDP Board of Trustees which is the highest decision-making body of the party.

Akande, who is also the Chairman, House Committee of Central Business District, said that every member was clamouring for power in the party because there was no one to lead the party.

“Anywhere there is no leadership, anarchy and struggle for leadership, as it is bedeviling the party, will be the situation.

“I challenge President Jonathan to come forward and give the direction. Everybody will fall in line.

“Having risen to the peak on the platform of the party, he has the responsibility to nurture the party and prevent it from dying.

“There are some cabals who are hell bent on killing the party, only Jonathan can make the party survive.

“If we don’t want people to decamp again from the party, there must be somebody to give a sense of direction. A commander cannot sit back and be commanding.

“Someone who has benefitted from the party cannot allow that party to die. He must come forward, I am challenging him.”

Akande, who said that the crises in the party were not unexpected, however, said that ‘’PDP is learning through the rope.’’

He said that the poor performances of the party in recent elections after defeat in 2015 general election were by-products of lack of leadership.

The lawmaker, however, expressed optimism that the party would come out strong from its present predicaments.

North East Committees: Jonathan’s PINE under probe, not Buhari’s PCNI – Alkasim Abdulkadir

Newspaper reports on the ongoing probe by the Senate Ad hoc Committee on the Humanitarian Crisis in the North East of the now defunct PINE have continuously misrepresented PCNI as PINE.


The Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 26thof October this year, while PINE was an initiative of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.


The PCNI was established to provide effective coordination and guidance towards addressing the humanitarian crisis, the resettlement and reconstruction of the North East region.


In a statement released to the press by the Head of Media and Communications of the PCNI Alkasim Abdulkadir he said “It is embarrassing the continuous couched headlines purportedly referring to PINE as the organ established by President Muhammad Buhari. The deliberate and overt sensationalism to misrepresent PCNI as PINE has gone on for several months and distracts from the task of rebuilding the North East”.


The statement further stated that “It is hoped that with this clarification journalists and newspapers reporting the North East will henceforth stop misleading the general public.”


The PCNI draws its membership from other humanitarian and response organizations like NEMA, NCFRMI, VSF, State representatives and CSOs and it is headed General TY Danjuma.


Alkasim Abdulkadir
Head, Media and Communications

Finally, Jonathan Speaks On Niger Delta Militancy

Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday counselled aggrieved Niger Delta youths to embrace peace, saying it was the only means to usher in the needed development in the region.
Jonathan spoke when he visited the troubled Gbaramatu kingdom in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, the hotbed of renewed militants’ activities in the Niger Delta.
The ex-President, whose visit was greeted with jubilation and excitement, also assured Nigerians that the problems facing the country, especially the dwindling economy, would soon be a thing of the past.
Jonathan was in Oporoza the traditional headquarters of Gbaramatu kingdom for the official presentation of the staff of office to the Pere of Gbaramatu, His Royal Majesty, Oboro Gbaraun II.
The immediate past President appealed to all stakeholders in the region to embrace peace, noting that there could never be development in an atmosphere of crisis. Jonathan said, “At this period, there are challenges in the country; there are challenges in the Niger Delta; there are challenges in the kingdom, but all these are temporary.
Surely, the society will get over it. I believe Nigeria is still a great country and will continue to move on. The kingdom will succeed, the Niger Delta will succeed and Nigeria will succeed.
“The governor has given his charge, I don’t want to add more, but I always say there cannot be development without peace and the duty of every traditional ruler is to ensure that there is peace in his kingdom and you should be able to mobilise your sons and daughters for the social and economic development of the people and especially for Gbaramatu kingdom, where a lot of oil industry activities are going on, where you have people from all over the world coming to do one thing or the other.”
Also, the state Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, appealed for peace, lamenting that the continued destruction of pipelines had affected revenue generation in the country.
The governor, while presenting the staff of office to the 26th Gbaramatu monarch, said “I’m happy the Ijaw could put themselves together for an occasion like this. I look forward to a greater community of love, peace and development.
“It’s time to heal the wounds for the state to move forward. You have reasons to feel bad, but it’s also possible to carry out agitations through dialogue and non-violent manner. It’s time to embrace peace; forgive those who need to be forgiven. We need to partner others to move forward. I’ve come to plead with you to embrace peace. It’s time to think back and reconcile.”
However, in his welcome address, the spokesman for Gbaramatu Kingdom, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, lamented the unnecessary and incessant invasion of Gbaramtu communities by military operatives urging the Federal Government to accord the monarch the needed respect.
Gbenekama said, “Countless men, women, and children have lost their lives to these invasions. As chief security officer of the state, we plead with you to help reduce the presence of the military and stop the raids forthwith. We don’t deserve to die because oil was found in our land.”

Jonathan’s ally, Ima Niboro, joins APC

A former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, Ima Niboro, has joined the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Mr. Niboro was ushered into the APC on Monday at his residence in Udu Local Government Area of Delta.

He told NAN that, “My membership of the APC is true.’’

Mr. Niboro, a former Special Adviser on Media to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, said his joining the APC was meant to align Delta with the government at the national level and to galvanise development.

“It is not a sudden switch. I have had 18 months to study the situation as it concerned my ward, local government, community and even my state.

“I have to conclude that there is time for everything. This is the time for us in Delta to link up with the Federal Government in order to bring development to our land.

“We cannot at this critical point of our history be left out of Federal Government’s development agenda.

`There is no synergy between Delta and the Federal Government and we cannot achieve that synergy when we are working at cross-purposes.

“We must work together to achieve that synergy,” NAN quotes him as saying.

Mr. Niboro, a former Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, member, decried the level of infrastructure decay in Delta.

He was formally received by APC stalwarts in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta, where he hailed from.

EFCC to grill Jonathan’s ex-ministers, perm secs over N450bn unremitted fund

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is set to grill some ex-ministers who served under the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan as well as some serving and ex-permanent secretaries and directors of budget and finance in charge of revenue-generating Ministries Departments and Agencies, according to report.

The fresh investigation, it was learnt, was sequel to a report by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, that the Federal Government would prosecute any official of revenue-generating agencies indicted in the audit report, which revealed that N450bn was not remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund Account.

The unremitted amount, which involved about 33 revenue-generating agencies of government, was for the 2010 to 2015 fiscal period which falls under the leadership of Jonathan.

Some of the agencies are the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Shippers’ Council, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, National Health Insurance Scheme, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and Nigerian Communications Commission.

Others are the Nigerian Postal Service, National Information Technology and Development Agency, Nigerian Television Authority, Bureau of Public Enterprises, National Pension Commission and Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc.

The list also has the Raw Materials Research and Development Council, Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, and the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria.

It was gathered that the commission would this week interrogate the affected officers, a majority of whom served between 2010 and 2015.

A source at the EFCC said, “We will invite the permanent secretaries of some of the agencies because the permanent secretaries are the chief accounting officers. We will also invite the directors of finance and budget in some of these agencies while the ministers that we believe may have approved such spending will also be invited.

“We discovered that many of these infractions had been taking place but never received much attention from the Federal Government because of the excess oil money during the Jonathan administration. Now that the Federal Government is cooperating fully with us, we will look into the matter thoroughly.

“We discovered that many agencies have never paid any money and never generated any operating surplus including some whose salaries, overheads and capital are paid by the Federal Government. In addition to that, they generate revenue which they spend without any form of control.”

The EFCC said that many of the heads of the agencies were already under probe or were already being prosecuted.

The detective noted that a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi, and some directors of the agency were already being prosecuted for an alleged N34.5bn fraud.

The source at the EFCC said, “We are aware that money which was meant to be deposited into the Consolidate Revenue Fund Account was diverted while agencies were making extra-budgetary expenses. In some instances, such was done with the collusion of ministers.

“You are aware that a former Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah, gave approval to the NCAA to spend N255m on two cars. We have already charged her.’’

The National Assembly had argued that the 31 agencies listed as revenue-generating had their budgets shrouded in secrecy which had let to abuse.

For instance, in the case of the NCAA, the purchase of the two vehicles for Oduah was not listed in the budget by the agency.

The ministry’s own budget too had no plan to purchase any car for the minister or other officials.

Oduah’s spokesman, Joe Ibi, had said that the cars were to protect Oduah from “imminent threats” bred by the minister’s purported radical reforms in the aviation industry.

It was the secrecy that had ostensibly helped NCAA and others spend freely with little or no oversight.

All the funds used by the NCAA were internally generated from charges on airlines, passengers and fines etc as stipulated by the Civil Aviation law.

Between 2009 and 2012, the agency raised N35.3bn and spent all of it on its internal needs, according to the National Assembly Budget and Research Office.

Adeosun had said, “Some agencies have never credited the Consolidated Revenue Fund despite having salary, capital and overhead (expenditures) financed by the Federal Government. Indeed, cost to income rates of 99.8 per cent has been the average, meaning that they spend all their internally generated revenue and subventions released to them.”

2019: Jonathan’s Loyalists Seek Lifeline For PDP

Loyalists of former President Goodluck Jonathan are trying very hard to end the crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the 2019 general elections, it was learnt Saturday.

The loyalists especially former ministers and governors during former administration of Jonathan were said to be visiting different state chapters of the PDP to seek reconciliation among aggrieved PDP members.

It was was gathered that Jonathan’s men were working under the auspices of the Ministers’ Forum (MF), comprising former governors, former ministers and PDP stalwarts.

There were indications that if their mission yielded expected fruits, they would either mount pressure on Jonathan to return for a second term or support the presidential ambition of former Jigawa State Governor, Lamido Sanusi.

The team alongside some former PDP governors was in Bayelsa State for a similar purpose, though they were said to have seized the opportunity to tour some ongoing projects of Governor Seriake Dickson.

Read More:

2019: Jonathan’s loyalists seek lifeline for PDP

You Risk Jail Parading Yourself as Chairman – PDP Warns Sheriff

As  the supremacy battle in the PDP lingers on, the Ahmed Markarfi led faction has come out with strong words, denouncing Ali Modu Sheriff as the Chairman of the party and threatening him with jail time.

In a signed statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Dayo Adeyeye, the continuous claim by Sheriff as the chairman of the party is a continuation of plans to sustain mayhem in the party which was evident in the elections of Edo and Ondo states.

The full statement reads: ” Our attention has been drawn to another set of garbage and tissues of lies put together by the discredited loyalists of  Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff in the name of a press statement on Monday, November 28, 2016, wherein, the group tried to sustain it’s illegal claim to the leadership of our Party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“The National Caretaker Committee which has been confirmed severally by the Court as the authentic body saddled with the task of providing leadership for the Party pending the hosting of an elective National Convention, would have ignored the ranting of these men of dishonour but leaving them to continue deceiving Nigerians at this time would not be in the interest of democracy.

“First and foremost, we wish to state categorically that in consonance with Judgment of various Courts, which Ali Modu-Sheriff and his team of confused travelers have not bothered to appeal, the former Borno State Governor is not the Chairman of our Party, the PDP. His consistent claim to the Office is a continuation of their plans to sustain mayhem in our Party, but nature and fair justice have taken care of his desperation.

“We wish to draw the attention of all Nigerians to the Judgment delivered by Justice Valentine Ashi of FCT High Court in Apo, Abuja on June 29, 2016, which states clearly that Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff was never and is not the PDP National Chairman; and equally, this Judgment was upheld by the Ruling of Justice Nwamaka Ogbonnaya also of the FCT High Court in Kubwa, Abuja on August 17, 2016.

“It is instructive to note that Senator Modu-Sheriff and his team of circus performers have not deemed it fit to appeal the Court Judgments. It is tripartite in law that a Judgment not appeal is binding on the defendant. The Courts have spoken, and their pronouncements are binding. However, those who wish to spend the rest of their lives behind prison bars may continue to utter heresy against the Court.

“We hope their children would be proud to bear the family names of convicts. It is also morally wrong to accuse the National Caretaker Committee of being the reason why the Party  is facing challenges in terms of unfavourable election results especially in Edo and Ondo States. Everyone knows the real enemies of the PDP. We won’t also forget in a hurry the ignoble role Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim played in scuttling our campaign for the Ondo Election.

“We also know those who pushed him forward for the hatchet job. We are amused that the agents of darkness used by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to cause confusion and frustrate our campaign for the Ondo Election, can accuse the National Caretaker Committee of impunity. However, we simply want them to define what impunity is, using their acts of betrayal as a case study.

“What they are doing is the worst form of impunity, lawlessness, greed and avarice. Their call on the National Caretaker Committee to self disband is uncharitable and unconstitutional. If they have any shame, they are the ones that should quietly disband. But honours can’t be expected from impostors. No matter what they say, we are determined as a political Party to forge ahead and put our house in order even without their inputs.

“The National Caretaker Committee has not called for their expulsion against the claims they are making, the time for that has not come. But the rain of vengeance will not hang forever in the clouds. The National Caretaker Committee wish to appreciate all loyal Party members, urging them to keep the faith as the Appellate Courts will do justice to the various appeals pending before it at the appropriate time; to put an end to the antics of these enemies of progress masquerading as members of our Party”.

Over N420 billion projects ‘abandoned’ in Niger Delta by Jonathan

Project worth over N420 billion have been abandoned in the Niger Delta region.


The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Usani, made the disclosure during a chat with reporters yesterday.


He said that on assumption of office, he saw “organised chaos and a deliberate action of disorder. There was an amorphous organisation called a ministry. But there was no ministry. So, attempting to get things in proper perspectives became the first responsibility, which, so far, is beginning to take proper shape.”


According to Usani, “it was a situation where people thought that the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs was a platform for collecting and sharing. That is the reason we had more than N420 billion disbursed in the ministry and the rate of project completion was just 12 per cent. There was so much waste.”


He categorised the projects into sectors, saying: “In every state of the Niger Delta, there are housing estates of two-bedroom and three-bedroom units. They have skills acquisitions centres. Only one has been completed and donated to the Federal University Otuoke.


The rest are not complete, like the popular East West road, which seems to characterise the image of the ministry.”


Usani, who said he would not like to refer to the projects as abandoned, said: “What we are trying to do is reward contractors who have shown true diligence in execution and should be encouraged by being mobilised further to return to site. And those who are in liability against the recent mobilisation are requested or advised to return to site until they get to the level of project execution that will be commensurable to what they have gained financially.”


On the East West road, he said: “It was first awarded in 2006. One decade has passed and it has not been completed. Yet, it is of so much economic and social importance to the region.”

Jonathan misappropriated N420 billion meant for Niger Delta projects – Usani

Niger Delta affairs Minister, Usani Uguru Usani, has disclosed how previous administrations collected over N420 billion for projects in the Niger Delta but ended up not executing any.


Usani was speaking to journalists in Calabar over the weekend, where he noted that Niger Delta Affairs Ministry never existed until now.


According to him, “There was an amorphous organisation called a ministry. But there was no ministry. So, attempting to get things in proper perspectives became the first responsibility, which, so far, is beginning to take proper shape.”


He said he met on ground an “organised chaos and a deliberate action of disorder.


“It was a situation where people thought that the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs was a platform for collecting and sharing.


“That is the reason we had more than N420 billion disbursed in the ministry and the rate of project completion was just 12 per cent. There was so much waste.


“In every state of the Niger Delta, there are housing estates of two-bedroom and three-bedroom units. They have skills acquisitions centres. Only one has been completed and donated to the Federal University Otuoke.


“The rest are not complete, like the popular East West road, which seems to characterise the image of the ministry.”


“What we are trying to do is reward contractors who have shown true diligence in execution and should be encouraged by being mobilised further to return to site.


“And those who are in liability against the recent mobilisation are requested or advised to return to site until they get to the level of project execution that will be commensurable to what they have gained financially.”


He recalled that the East West road, “was first awarded in 2006. One decade has passed and it has not been completed. Yet, it is of so much economic and social importance to the region.”

I Never Said “Buhari Is Worse Than Jonathan” – Femi Falana

I was privileged to have delivered the 2016 Convocation Lecture of Oduduwa University at Ipetumodu, Osun State on November 18, 2016. In the said lecture I had cause to advise the Muhammadu Buhari administration not to further plunge the nation into debt by taking a fresh loan of $29.6 billion. In opposing the proposed loan I urged the federal government to muster the political will to recover the several billions of dollars withheld from the Federation Account or criminally diverted by the parasitic ruling class that has mismanaged the economy of  Nigeria since 1999. My views on the proposed loan were well reported by credible print and electronic media.


However, out of sheer mischief and cheap blackmail, some dubious fellows twisted my views and reported that “Falana says Buhari is worse than Jonathan”.  Since the image launderers of the ancien regime have a short memory, I am compelled to advise them to google “Falana asks the national assembly to reject Jonathan’s request for  $7.9 bn”. In my letter of November 10,  2012, I had urged the national assembly members to advise President Jonathan to jettison the loan option and recover ” the billions of dollars which the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and some oil companies have refused to remit to the Federation Account”. But the national assembly approved the request for the loan.


A  year later,  I  pleaded again with the federal legislators to reject the request for another loan of $1 bn for procurement of arms and ammunition for counter-insurgency operations. On that occasion, i asked the legislators to demand an account of the over N3 trillion appropriated for the nation’s defence from 2010-2013. Once again, the loan request was approved by the national assembly.   In the course of defending 58 out of the 70 soldiers who were charged with mutiny for legitimately demanding for weapons to fight the well-equipped Boko Haram terrorists, I confirmed that the $1 billion loan had been diverted. In fact, one of the reasons why the trial was held in camera was that our defence was anchored on the criminal diversion of the huge fund.


In a bid to justify the looting of the defense fund the young men were convicted and sentenced to death.  In justifying the fraudulent death sentences passed on the soldiers, Marshal Alex Barde (rtd), the then Chief of Defence Staff, said that the boys deserved to die for having the temerity to demand weapons when they could have fought the terrorists with their bare hands! My plea for a presidential pardon for the convicted soldiers was ignored by President Jonathan. Even though President Buhari has granted our prayer and has since commuted the death sentences to 10 years imprisonment, I believe that the convicts ought to be granted unconditional pardon and freed from further incarceration in prison custody. More so, that the Presidential Panel on Arms Procurement has confirmed that the $15 billion earmarked for the procurement of arms and ammunition from 2007-2015 was diverted and cornered by a coterie of military officers. Some of the suspects are currently facing trial for fraud, money laundering and other allied offences.


Having strenuously opposed the recolonisation of the country through questionable loans with unfavourable conditionalities  procured by successive regimes I could not have said that President Buhari is worse than Jonathan who presided over a rogue regime. Convinced that there are alternative economic policies I shall remain as constant as the northern star in opposing the mortgaging of the future of the nation. Therefore, let those who are desperately looking for credibility to justify the call for a  return to  the era of official prodigality count me out of their ill-fated agenda.

Rejoinder: The Second Coming of Goodluck Jonathan – By Ayantunji Benjamin Gbenro

I have refrained myself from reading Chief Dele Momodu’s weekly articles for some months simply because of his penchant for churning out outright lies or half truth and my allergy to misinformation. I once responded to his article and the furor my response generated made me to resolve out of respect as a well brought up Yoruba to avoid his articles. My reason for doing that is what you don’t know won’t hurt you.


His latest article with the above title first came to my notice via comments that strayed into my TL on twitter but I never bothered to read it. I knew the penchant of our dear Chief to do PR job for the highest bidder without really being convinced about the things he writes. I cannot fault him for this because it is his job, believe me, he is very good at it. My opinion changed however due to calls I received from friends about the said article. I was forced to read it to know what could have so much infuriated a gentleman of honour to that extent. The article is riddled with misinformation as expected and I will try to correct them.


The article went through memory lane to justify his assertion that the Former President Goodluck Jonathan can become President again in 2019. Though I don’t have power of clairvoyance to be able to predict what will happen or not, I can say the premises for the assertion were faulty. Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe loss to Alhaji Shehu Shagari in 1979 cannot be said to be a surprise or be compared to Trump’s triumph, at the recent US election. Shagari was clearly the candidate of the military establishment, which made the two political colossi to be engaged in an apparently unwinnable fight.  Aside that, the two political juggernauts hardly have any identifiable political structure beyond their respective regions. The political dexterity of Awolowo and the philosophical mind of Azikiwe all disappear into oblivion in the face of the factors above. Not to sound disrespectful, Dr. Jonathan has neither the political dexterity of Awolowo nor the philosophical mind of Azikiwe. His electoral value even within his region and beyond is questionable. He might also be fighting against the establishment. All this factors will make Chief Momodu’s conclusion almost impossible.


The writer also tried to draw a parallel between the victory of Chief Kashimowo Abiola at SDP’s convention in Jos in 1993 and his subsequence victory at the national poll without recourse to factors that may help the younger ones in understanding the time in reference. First, MKO Abiola was not a political neophyte as the article portrayed. He took on Chief Awolowo in the Southwest in 1983 and his party, NPN, won some states against all odds. Whatever means that was employed, the fact is NPN won some states and MKO was an active player. MKO was also a close friend of General Ibrahim Babangida who invited him to join the Presidential race in 1993. He was one of the richest Nigerians, if not the richest, as at that time. His philanthropic gesture extended to all regions and religions. He was arguably the most visible and popular civilian of that time. All these combined to make his emergence not a surprise as portrayed. Dr. Goodluck doesn’t possess these qualities and that makes the comparison a daydream.


The emergence of Trump in the US can also not be said to be a surprise to some of us though we silently wished it never happened. To those that are close to me or follow my ideas, I said before the election in the US that there is a silent majority that saw Obama’s Presidency as an aberration. These silent majorities are intrinsically racist, bigoted and wanted a closed nation. These sentiments were what Trump appealed to and it worked for him. What are the national sentiments that Jonathan will appeal to? There is hunger in the land no doubt but Nigerians are not as stupid as assumed. When the chips are down, blame will be apportioned appropriately. Nigerians will remember the bazaar that preceded Buhari. The wastage of national resources. The fact that at inception of Buhari’s administration he had to bailout twenty eight states across the federation that couldn’t pay salary despite coming out of a period of record oil sales in price and volume. We will remember the infrastructural deficit despite record earnings from oil. We will remember the killing field that was Nigeria before Buhari. We will remember that there was a time that stealing was not corruption. We will remember there was a time that the measure of our national prosperity was the number of private jets that landed in Kenya when our President went for a State visit while majority at home languished in abject poverty. We will remember there was a time we were laughing stock in the comity of nations. We will remember so many things. The fact that we demand more from Buhari does not mean we forgot where we were.


The writer also made it to look as if this administration has been fighting Jonathan. This is far from the truth. President Goodluck Jonathan has visited Aso Rock on several occasions since he left office and it has never been reported that the meetings ended in fisticuffs with Buhari or that he was not accorded the respect due to him. Just as the visit of Trump to Obama never resulted in a brawl. Are we applauding that because it is Obama and turning blind eye to happenings in Nigeria because it is Buhari. President Buhari is an honourable man. He is trying hard to keep whatever agreement reached before handing over; else, I cannot fathom why neither President Jonathan nor his wife has been brought in for questioning despite odiferous revelations of financial recklessness against them. Many of Buhari’s supporters are not happy about this but we still accuse him of going after Jonathan. President Obama recently said he will go against the tradition of former Presidents not publicly going against incumbents if Trump decided to carry out his campaign rhetoric, but we are blind to that. Like Obama, Buhari’s loyalty should be to the nation and not an individual. If a crime is committed against the state it is his responsibility to ensure such criminals are brought to justice.


The writer also alluded to the economy inherited by Buhari’s administration. Which economy are we talking about? Are we talking of the economy that was borrowing over 400 billion naira to pay salaries despite record oil sale in price and volume? The economy where millions of barrels of oil was stolen daily without solution? Economy where large chunk of our arable land was taken over by insurgents? Which economy did Buhari inherit? Let’s not pretend about it Buhari inherited a carcass. It is actually a miracle that the carcass is stuttering.  He was supposed to be an undertaker.


The funniest of all alluded to by the writer was the placard carrying crowd in Sokoto urging Jonathan to come back as a sign of rising popularity. How much does it take to rent a crowd anywhere in Nigeria? How much will it cost the likes of Bafarawa from the over four billion naira for spiritual consultation to put up such a show? Anyway, let’s pretend we don’t know.


To conclude, I will like to advise three sets of people. First, I want to advise PDP to please give its party presidential ticket to former President Jonathan come 2019. It will save the party the hassles of primary election and give him ample time to campaign. Secondly, to President Goodluck Jonathan, please don’t allow bootlickers to hoodwink you into an exercise in futility. Remember the billions of dollars they pushed you to spend in 2015 that went into their private pockets. Now that you no longer have access to national treasury, they will strip you naked and you will be left to rot away. You will be sixty by next year (Happy 59th Birthday in arrears); please don’t allow the hawks to deceive you.  Finally, I want to advise President Muhammadu Buhari, you’ve done much, but more is still expected. Do all you can to get us out of recession. Kudos for the two hundred thousand youths employed under N-power but it’s just a drop in the ocean. We need massive infrastructural development. There are three sets of people criticizing you, those whose access to national till has been blocked, and those whose parents, leaders or financiers have lost access to our common patrimony and those genuinely interested in the progress of this country. Please listen for the sake of the third group and posterity.


Ayantunji Benjamin Gbenro (PhD) can be reached via Twitter handle @bengbenro

Jonathan is one of the greatest presidents Nigeria ever produced – Abba Moro

Former Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, has described the immediate past President, Goodluck Jonathan as one of the greatest Presidents Nigeria has ever produced.

In a statement he personally signed, Morro said Jonathan was a great leader, who contributed in no small measure to the advancement and sustenance of democracy in Nigeria and Africa.

Felicitating with the former President on his 59th birthday, the Benue-born grassroots politician said Jonathan recorded tremendous achievements as President through his transformation agenda.

He recalled how the former President created a solid foundation in the country’s electoral system by conceding defeat to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.

The ex-Minister further noted that the current clamour and appeal by Nigerians for the return of Jonathan to power, was an indication that the people have come to realize their mistake in voting him out in 2015, despite efforts he was making to take Nigeria to the ‘promised’ land.

According to Moro, “Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is a great icon and hero of democracy in Nigeria, Africa and the entire world. He subordinated personal interest to the national interest when, even before the votes for the presidential election were tallied, for the first time in the history of democracy in Nigeria, called his challenger, General Muhammadu Buhari to concede defeat.

“This doused the pent-up tension and shamed the West’s orchestrated prophecy of Armageddon and the disintegration of Nigeria. By this singular act of statesmanship, a rare political demonstration in Africa, indeed the world, President Jonathan stabilized the polity and ensured a smooth transition of power, again for the first time in the history of democracy in Nigeria from the candidate of the ruling party to the candidate of the opposition party.

“By putting in place a platform of credible, free, fair and transparent elections, Jonathan laid the foundation for sustaining and deepening democracy in Nigeria.

“Today, he remains one of the greatest presidents ever produced by Nigeria since the country’s attainment of Independence in 1960.

“Congratulations to a worthy Nigerian symbol of democracy at 59; a man who via good governance and sterling leadership style brought Nigeria to the path of glory and made significant impact in the lives of the Nigerian people. ”

Saheed Animashaun: Six Shades of The Buhari Presidency

Different Nigerians view the performance of the Buhari-led administration with diverse lenses.

To some, Buhari is The Immaculate, The Perfect! while to others, he is the worst thing to have happened to Nigeria after the civil war!

After careful speculation, I present to you the top six categories of Nigerians you will find in the Buhari dispensation.

1. The Praise Singers – Just like a golden fish has no hiding place, this group is easily identifiable. They are the Buhari-can-never-be-wrong crew. In their eyes basically, Buhari is a demi-god who is infallible. In fact, it doesn’t matter to them that they have believed something to be wrong all their lives. The moment Buhari does it, it becomes right!

 They have employed all sorts of tactics to advance their bizarre standpoint. Anybody that dare criticizes the President is tagged “Corruption-fighting back”, “wailing wailer”, “enemy of progress” , or some other names. They have gone to incredible lengths to defend many seemingly indefensible actions and inactions of the President. This group are masters in the art of conspiracy theories. They preposterously posit that GEJ created Boko Haram to decimate the North.

They would have left no words unsaid if a GEJ had skipped the burial of fallen heroes (Late Lt. Col. Abu Ali amongst others) for a visit to Edo.

Another instance is when Buhari failed to fulfill his promise of releasing details of looted funds recovered (including the name of looter and amount returned). This group conjured up the flimsiest of excuses to defend this act. While the Shiites definitely have a huge portion of the blame, they have stoutly defended the massacre of Shiites in Kaduna and some other parts of the North.

Dodoism is the new epidemic in Nigeria.  The presidential cluelessness inherited from the previous administration is fast becoming airborne and this group of psychopathic sycophants are the most vulnerable

If the Buhari government ends up failing after four years (and I sincerely hope that this doesn’t happen), this group would have contributed immensely to the failure. Many of his close aides belong to this group.

2. The Die-Hard Ranters  –

This is another group highly susceptible to dodoism.  This group is a ready made tool for any opposition politician.  Beg them,  sermonize them, bring  Jesus Christ to show them any good side of the PMB’s administration,  LAYE LAYEdem no go gree. They are die hard ranters!

This set of people, even after eighteen months, have not gotten over the loss of their hero (GEJ). In their warped thinking, they believe that the recession wouldn’t have occurred if Uncle “Clueless” was still in power. They still do not realize that with their hero still in power, Nigeria would have definitely been put up for auction.

This group of people are specialists in churning out conspiracy theories. The most of recent of their depravities are their spreading of the outrageous claim that Buhari sponsored Hilary’s campaign with $500M!

If you believe this, you are definitely an illiterate; it matters less if you have a Ph.D.

To this group, everything Buhari does is wrong. Anytime an official of the previous government is arrested on an allegation of corruption, they fill the air with chants of ‘witch-hunting’. Even when it’s clear that such individual has returned a portion of the loot, they still claim that it’s witch-hunting.

To this group, the activities of Boko Haram have dwindled because to them their sponsor “Buhari” is in power. Another common nonsense they spew out is to say that Buhari promised to make $1 = N1. Till date, none can provide an exact quote of Buhari where he supposedly made this promise! Even after some Chibok girls have been released, they still stick to their theory that they were never kidnapped!

They are happy that this government is failing and hope and pray hard that it remains so till 2019. The goal is that they want to be able to boastfully say “we told you, Jonathan is the best president Nigeria has ever had”. They hope to be able to add the annoying cliché “you do not know the value of what you have until it is lost”.

3. The Tinubuists – The average member of this group does not give a damn about the state of the country. All they are concerned with is whether Buhari is on good terms with Tinubu. Their only worry is that Tinubu remains influential and is not sidelined at the federal level. Even if Buhari performs well, they are ready to move with Tinubu to any party he forms.

 A significant chunk of this group were instrumental to the ludicrous #IStandWithTinubu walk that was held recently in Lagos. I find chronic members of this group pathetic! How on God’s earth is how you perceive the Buhari-led government tied to how close he remains to one man!

4. The covert wailers – This is a group fast gaining followers. They are “wailers” by heart but temper it with occasional lauding of some of Buhari’s feats so far. They would criticize 99% of what the President does and reserve a lame mention for any glaring feat achieved by the government in power. They hate being tagged “wailing-wailers”; this is why they have resorted to faintly highlighting some positive actions of this government.

This group always gladly anticipate blunders of the government and release their ever-ready vitriolic when it happens.

 5. The Humble Pie Eaters – This group of people campaigned vigorously for Buhari during the last elections. They did not necessarily view him as an ideal candidate; they only saw him as better than the clueless GEJ. So far, they have been roundly disappointed. Some have resorted to taking fort in silence, practically retreating into a shell in shame.  Some others have relentlessly launched tirades of criticisms at this hope-sapping administration. They staunchly support the anti-corruption war, even though they believe that it may be one-sided.

They are also quick to dismiss The Die-hard Ranters and Praise-singers.

6. The “No-be-my-business” crew – This is a group that houses perhaps the majority. Due to successive government failures, they have completely given up hope in any government. Governance to them is simply a tool for the powerful to exploit the weak. They believe nothing can be done about the status quo and have resigned the fate of Nigeria to prayers.

They hardly vote; however, they ensure they milk politicians as dry as possible, especially during campaigns. They see it as the only opportunity to get back a chunk of their national cake, however small.

A number of them would only vote when their ‘son’ is contesting. They would rather have their son loot the national treasury than any other person.

Ultimately, the change that Nigerians crave isn’t likely to emanate from any government house. It begins with getting it at right at the micro level.

Saheed Animashaun (@ani_gene) is an Accountant and Social commentator.

He can be reached via saheed.animash@gmail.com

Views expressed are solely that of the author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates .

PDP: Nigerians want Jonathan back as president.

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has claimed that Nigerians are yearning for the return of former President Goodluck Jonathan just two years after he left office.

The party stated this on Sunday in a message to the former president as he celebrates his 59th birthday.
In the message, signed by its spokesperson, Dayo Adeyeye, PDP said Nigerians want Mr. Jonathan back because his successor, President Muhammadu Buhari, has failed.

“Your Excellency Sir, in less than two years of leaving office, Nigerians are yearning and crying for your return especially as your successor who won the 2015 Presidential Election on the altar of propaganda and lies against your administration has done no better since he took over from you on May 29, 2015”.

The PDP said all the legacies of Mr. Jonathan such as electoral reforms for free, fair and credible election “have been eroded and quickly replaced with inconclusive elections, electoral apathy, voter inducement, intimidation, harassment and unfair incarceration of judges and squeezing of opposition at all levels.

“This reversal of your achievements is also visible in all sectors of our economy as the vibrant and largest economy you left behind in May 2015 is today in great recession and near depression,” it said.

PDP said it is congratulating the former President on his legacies and achievements in “academia, politics, governance and social life”, which, it said, remains indelible and worthy of emulation by well-meaning people.

“You are a shining light during and after office as one of the Heads of State in Nigeria and Africa in general who willingly conceded power to the opposition in the interest of peace and democracy.

“Your Excellency Sir, this is your 59th Birthday Anniversary, and so let us allow you celebrate instead of bothering you with the sick and comatose state of our economy.

“We pray the Almighty God to bless you with good health and many more years of service to your home State, Bayelsa, Nigeria, Africa and the world in general. We wish you 59 hearty happy cheers,” the party said.

Dele Momodu: The second coming of Goodluck Jonathan

Fellow Nigerians, before I get into my main gist of today, let me quickly apologise for my inability to write this column last week. Truth is I had a mental block, pure and simple. Contrary to speculations that I couldn’t write because my great heroine, Hillary Clinton, lost her election, I was just so physically and mentally fatigued because this is one year that I’ve worked so hard on every project at hand. There was no doubt that I was solely disappointed that Donald Trump won the American presidential election but I was able to adjust quickly. My darling mum had taught me about the wisdom of the ancient. You can put your all into any project but the results ultimately remain the exclusive preserve of God. Only God determines the winner or the outcome.


There is so much to learn from the political trajectory of Nigeria. What happened in America had happened repeatedly in our dear beloved country. I will explain in a jiffy. Who would have expected Alhaji Shehu Usman Shagari to defeat a political colossus like Chief Obafemi Awolowo? Who would have expected a Shagari to beat a political philosopher like Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe so black and blue? Who would have expected a stupendously wealthy man like Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, without any political experience to take on the likes of Baba Gana Kingibe and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and come out victorious?


What Abiola did in Jos at the National Convention of the Social Democratic Party in 1993, when he mesmerised and hypnotised the party chieftains was what Donald Trump did recently in the United States of America when he razzle-dazzled the Republicans and virtually hijacked their party. Trump was lucky that he and Abiola belonged in different realms and climes. Abiola was not able to realise his dreams of running government like a business but Trump is set to take power and display the wizardry he flaunted endlessly before the elections. The world is waiting to see if Trump would plunge America into the abyss or perform the miracle of turning water into wine.


The main reason many of us non-Americans opposed Trump so vehemently was because of his supposed bigotry and divisive rhetoric on all fronts. But on a personal note, I’m not too bothered. I have learnt my lessons. Politicians can tell any ignominious lie just to grab power. Voters can believe obvious scams and vote for artful pretenders out of foolish emotions and live to regret it. There is nothing we have not seen before. It is very obvious even this early that the millions of Americans who voted for Trump may never get a quarter of what he promised. Every man has the right to change his mind or beliefs and no one can hang him for it. Trump obviously knew what the Americans wanted to hear and knew how to sell a dead horse at a premium. That is politics. His message resonated with his core base no matter how retrogressive it sounded. As a matter of fact, it became even more attractive the crazier it sounded. Politics and religion are quite similar in that they thrive on pure faith.


The same Trump that appeared a rabid hater of President Barack Obama has since visited his “sworn enemy” in the White House. You would have expected both former warriors to exchange some terrible blows but far from it; they came out behaving like two newly joined love birds. Trump now says Obama is actually a nice guy. Obama also reassures a jittery nation and a confused global community that Trump would actually behave decently and that their allies have nothing to fear. The two opponents must have known that it was all a game all along while their followers actually believed and embraced the charade. One of the things I love about America is the ability of its leaders to rise above pettiness. Every leader comes in after a bitterest electioneering campaign to embrace the one who lost. I do not hear sing-songs of wasting too much energy on the past. Who would have thought Obama and Bush would become as close as they are now? American leaders are wise enough to know that we are all actors and must quit the stage after playing our assigned roles. We may have sharp differences but we must be able to calculate the cost of war-war against the price of jaw-jaw.

When tomorrow comes, I’m sure Donald Trump would have calmed down and welcome everyone in the true tradition and character of America. No American leader can ever be allowed to transfigure into an Adolf Hitler or a Benito Mussolini. Americans collectively are stronger than their leaders. This is one of the major reasons I’m not worried about Donald Trump and his tantrums. If he returns to the giddiness of his pre-election period, Americans across party lines would know what to do. That is the power of their democracy.


This now brings me back home. I have been reading about the rising profile of our former President, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, and wish to state without equivocation that no one should rule him out of the 2019 presidential race. I first hinted this possibility about two months ago and wish to reiterate that Nigerians should prepare for the shock that awaits us. The story of Donald Trump should bring us back to our senses. Nothing is impossible. The second coming of Goodluck Jonathan may be so far-fetched or even belong in those categories of impossibilities but I wish to plead with our government and my fellow citizens not to rule it out. As one of those who made our modest and humble contributions to the coming of this Buhari government, I’m pleading with trepidation.


Jonathan’s popularity is rising not because of anything he has done to atone the sins that must have led to his waterloo but as a result of what our change government has failed or refused to do. The obsession of our government with going all out after Jonathan is the main reason the Otuoke man is beginning to smell like roses after the odoriferous position he landed himself last week. Only if our government had succeeded in maintaining the economy it met, Nigerians would have been ready to enter fire with Buhari. But there are just too many unresolved problems and challenges. The excuses that Jonathan and company left this peculiar mess behind has refused to fly. The groans might not be loud enough to reverberate all the way to the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, as of now, but trust me it may become deafening, sooner than later. I do not care if men and women of power dismiss my submission with a wave of the hand but they should mark my word, there is a thickening conspiracy in the clouds. It would be a shame if we inadvertently play into the hands of those hovering and ready to pounce on Buhari.


I read about “persecution complex” long ago and I understand how it works. If you beat your own child so ruthlessly as if you want to kill him, the tilt of public opinion would always go against you. Many would wonder why you want to kill your own child. In our anger, let us pick our fights. There is too much tension in the land. I would be delighted if anyone could educate and convince me that Nigeria has gained much more than we’ve lost to this war of attrition. If we haven’t, we may need to retrace our steps urgently.


The BBC reported on Friday how Jonathan caused a stir in Sokoto State during his visit to the state to pay his respects to Ibrahim Dasuki, the late former Sultan of Sokoto. According to the report, Jonathan was received by a large crowd of admirers, some holding banners bearing the words “Come Back Baba Jonathan”. The same voices that chanted “Sai Baba” and “Jonathan Must Go” are now fiddling with the tunes of the possibility of a Jonathan to stage a comeback. Here lies the irony of political triumph and the paradox of high expectations.


The euphoria and momentum that saw the exit of Jonathan and the emergence of the Buhari change administration has since begun to wane following the inability of the new government to hit the ground running with the tenacity of a government in a hurry!


There are many who believe that the poor management of the ensuing economic recession didn’t help matters. Suddenly, Nigerians who had high hopes and voted massively for change are now caught in a limbo between confusion and uncertainty. As it stands today, the average Nigerian is confronted with the reality of an economic recession they never planned for; a situation they did not experience under the Jonathan administration and under previous governments.


Many of President Buhari’s supporters are worried that the humongous goodwill that engineered the Buhari change mantra is now being frittered away at the speed of light. The unfolding plot has now thrown up former President Jonathan as a new protagonist in Nigeria’s theatre of the absurd. For many of us who are ardent students of history, we have since learnt that nothing is impossible in the game called politics. Will history repeat itself again? Time is pregnant with answers!

Fayose Reacts To Trump’s Win, Says Obama Got What He Did To Jonathan

Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has hailed the victory of the Republican Presidential candidate, Donald Trump in the United States of America (USA) election, describing it as “the beginning of a real change in Nigeria because those who imposed the present All Progressives Congress (APC) government on Nigerians just lost out.”

The governor said; “Now that Trump has won, it portends hope for Nigerians that the excesses of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government will stop as the road has ended for those who conspired to impose Buhari on Nigerians.”

Reacting to Trump’s victory, Special Assistant to the Governor of Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka quoted the governor as saying in a statement issued in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday that he believed that Trump will be able to tell President Buhari to respect rule of law and sit at home to solve the country’s economic problems instead of junketing around the world. The governor said: “Trump presidency symbolises different things to different people and nations. It symbolises God at work and a clear departure from the old order.

“It is also a turning point for Nigeria and Nigerians, particularly those controlling the federal government that must have to change their ways as their allies who imposed them on us just lost out.

“Most importantly, President Barack Obama got what he did to Dr Goodluck Jonathan. God bless President-Elect Donald John Trump!”

Describing the conduct of the elections as a lesson for Nigerians, Governor Fayose said; “The US elections started and ended seamlessly. The electoral umpire never meddled; the military, police and SSS did not provide cover for ballot snatchers. No printing of doggy result sheets. I think Prof Mahmood Yakubu and his INEC should learn from this for posterity. They should stop aiding unpopular politicians to rob the people of quality leadership.” Speaking further, Governor Fayose said the election of Trump signals the hope of a possible defeat of the APC government foisted on Nigeria by the USA influence.

The governor said; “I prayed to God that if Trump will be the one to save us from this present state of hopelessness, God should give him victory. I prayed that God should let Trump win so that another change can begin in Nigeria. I am happy that God answered my prayers and gave Trump a resounding victory.

“I am also happy that God has humbled those who conspired to impose the present APC government that has brought hunger, suffering, abuse of human rights and destruction of the Electoral system on Nigeria and its people.”



JUST IN: Jonathan told Metuh how to share N400m – Witness

A witness, Mr. Richard Ihediwa, in the ongoing trial of former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisah Metuh, said on Thursday that the N400m Metuh got was disbursed as directed by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

Ihediwa, led in evidence by the counsel to Metuh, Mr. Emeka Etiaba (SAN), told the Abuja High Court that Jonathan gave the directive on how the amount was to be spent.

He said that N21m was paid to former PDP Chairman, Chief Tony Anenih, for a property acquired for use by the party as its media intervention centre.

He added that although the property, located in Asokoro area of Abuja, did not belong to Anenih, he assisted the PDP media team headed by the accused in securing it.

He said, “The amount covered the cost of hiring the structure, utility vehicles as well as security gadgets at the centre.”

The witness also told the court that various sums were paid to some groups coordinated by some government functionaries, including the late Oronto Douglas and Abbah Dabo.

He said he was not very certain about the amount released to late Douglas, but added that N25m was released to Dabo as mobilisation fee for advocacy groups, in line with the directive.

Ihediwa said the former president also approved different amounts for some other groups and Metuh disbursed the funds to them accordingly.

He said because of the tension and high level of insecurity across the six geo-political regions of the country then, there was the need for government to mobilise various advocacy groups to stabilise the system.

Meanwhile, Justice Okon Abang has reserved ruling for November 15 on applications filed by the defence counsel.

Empty treasury: I almost absconded when I took over from Jonathan – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday said he almost abandoned Nigeria when he assumed office on May 29, 2015.

Buhari made the remark while receiving annual report from the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, Kuru, Plateau State at the presidential villa, Abuja.

The President explained that his decision was due to empty treasury he inherited from his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan.

He disclosed that he was bewildered to notice that despite the rising cost of crude oil from which Nigeria made a fortune, the treasury was empty.

“I felt like absconding from the country due to the economic challenges.. We inherited a badly managed economy”, he said.

Buhari had recently said the ?administrations of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which ruled Nigeria for 16 years, failed in all areas .

Goodluck Jonathan told Metuh How to Share N400m –Witness

A witness, Mr. Richard Ihediwa, in the ongoing trial of former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisah Metuh, said on Thursday that the N400m Metuh got was disbursed as directed by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

Ihediwa, led in evidence by the counsel to Metuh, Mr. Emeka Etiaba (SAN), told the Abuja High Court that Jonathan gave the directive on how the amount was to be spent.

He said that N21m was paid to former PDP Chairman, Chief Tony Anenih, for a property acquired for use by the party as its media intervention centre.

He added that although the property, located in Asokoro area of Abuja, did not belong to Anenih, he assisted the PDP media team headed by the accused in securing it.

He said, “The amount covered the cost of hiring the structure, utility vehicles as well as security gadgets at the centre.”

The witness also told the court that various sums were paid to some groups coordinated by some government functionaries, including the late Oronto Douglas and Abbah Dabo.

He said he was not very certain about the amount released to late Douglas, but added that N25m was released to Dabo as mobilisation fee for advocacy groups, in line with the directive.

Ihediwa said the former president also approved different amounts for some other groups and Metuh disbursed the funds to them accordingly.

He said because of the tension and high level of insecurity across the six geo-political regions of the country then, there was the need for government to mobilise various advocacy groups to stabilise the system.

Meanwhile, Justice Okon Abang has reserved ruling for November 15 on applications filed by the defence counsel.

I Felt like Absconding When I Assumed Office – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari says he felt like “absconding” after seeing the enormity of the challenges facing the country when he assumed office in May 2015.

He was speaking on Thursday during a parley with participants of the Senior Executive Course 38 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS) at the state house in Abuja.

He again blamed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Nigeria’s economic woes.

Buhari said: “For 16 years and eight consecutive governments of the other party… there was unprecedented revenue realised, the oil projection which can be verified was 2.1 million barrels per day. From 1999-2015 the average cost of each Nigerian barrel of oil was $100 per barrel.

“When we came it fell to less than $30 per barrel and is now between 40 and 50. Actually I felt like absconding because 27 out of 36 states in Nigeria cannot pay salaries and we know they have no other source than to depend on salaries.

“And I asked any savings? I was told there were no savings. And I asked what have you done on agriculture, power, rails, roads? Nothing. You know more than I do because you move around. I have not been moving around since after elections but you do. How many of the Trunk A (federal) roads are still good enough?

“How much power do we have although there are some elements of sabotage. I was told the money was users to import food and fuel. I didn’t believe the answer and I still don’t believe it. Until now substantial number of people in the east eat garri and groundnut, in the west pounded yam, cassava, vegetables, in the north tuwo which is made from any of the grains, millet, sorghum. They eat it in the night and warm it in the morning and eat it and take fura dinunu in the afternoon. How many of those people can afford foreign food?

“Then they said I should check out the petroleum sector. The legislature dedicated 445,000 barrels per day to the refineries and that is just 60 per cent of our requirements.

“I said OK, what of the 40 per cent? The marketers that are bringing it just present documents, papers are just stamped and monies are taken away. This is the type of things that the Nigerian elites are doing for our own country. When you go back look at your colleagues and encourage them to be truly Nigerians.”

APC Blasts Jonathan For Defending Dasuki

More knocks came for former President Goodluck Jonathan over his defence that his erstwhile National Security Adviser (NSA) Col Sambo Dasuki couldn’t have stolen $2.1 billion funds.

The latest knock was from the local chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC) which carpeted the former President of trying to cover what has been exposed for all to see.

The party wondered why such defence came from Dr. Jonathan at a time some of those partook in the funds have not owned up but refunding their shares to the federal purse.

It said the former President’s claim only confirmed that he knew how the funds approved to buy arms for troops fighting insurgents in the Northeast was diverted under his watch as the Commander-in-Chief.

In a statement by its spokesman Joe Igbokwe, the APC said there should be a limit to which a leader should rise in defence of his lieutenant with the mind-boggling revelations and overwhelming shreds of evidence that the arms purchase cash was diverted.

The party described as regrettable that the diversion of the security vote led to the loss of thousands of lives of both civilians and soldiers who were ill-equipped to face well-kitted Boko Haram insurgents.

It urged Jonathan to refrain from playing on the intelligence of Nigerians, whose future have been compromised by maladministration, betrayal of public trust and corruption that characterised governance under him.

The statement reads: “Even as we concede that Jonathan is 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 the horrid details that are emanating from the Dasukigate issue with shocking evidence, 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 the 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. We think that Jonathan knows more than he admits about the unseemly corruption that he presided over and should be brought in for questioning. It’s becoming indefensible for Jonathan to pretend he was innocent of the corrupt acts of his subordinates.

“While we condemn Jonathan’s cheeky defence of Dasuki, even in the face of monumental damning evidence, we want to state that the anti-corruption war is incomplete until Jonathan justifies his defence of corrupt subordinates.”

Arms deal: Goodluck Jonathan Ready to Appear in Court for Dasuki

All is now set for Nigeria’s former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, to appear in the ongoing trial of his former NSA, Col Dasuki, to testify in favour of the former NSA.

He had earlier faulted the charges slammed on Dasuki, claiming that the ex-NSA could not have stolen $2.2billion.

He was quoted to have said, “We bought warships, we bought aircraft, and we bought lots of weapons for the army. It’s not possible that he stole $2.1 billion.”

The ex-NSA’s counsel, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), said Tuesday that, “Dr. Goodluck Jonathan will testify in court. He is one of those who will testify and that the statement he made in London appears to be the first phase of the war chest of the ex-NSA.”

“You know the ex-NSA said he acted on Jonathan’s instructions in disbursing some of the cash, and from the look of things, the ex-President is now ready to accept responsibility for whatever Dasuki did. So far, we have secured the consent of Jonathan to appear in court for Dasuki. This will make the trial worth it.”

He also said, “Dasuki has a list of highly-placed beneficiaries from the arms cash. A particular traditional ruler got about N500million as a gift from the government through the Office of NSA. There are many hidden beneficiaries whom Nigerians must know.

Nigerians will be shocked by some revelations. Nothing short of open trial will let Nigerians know the truth. We are ready for this.”

Stop Harassing Patience Jonathan – Kinsmen Caution EFCC

Okrika community, the hometown of the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan in Okrika local government area, has expressed worries with alleged harassment of the first family by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

At a press briefing in Port Harcourt, Tuesday, Chief Sunday Kalaowolo who was flanked by 15 other chiefs wondered why the anti-graft agency would subject the former first family to all forms of harassment when it was not under any form of criminal investigation.

Continuing, the chiefs said no former first family had been so harassed and ridiculed, stressing that the anti-graft agency should respect the laws of the land in its relationship with the former first family.
They said, : “It is a matter of great concern to us that whereas every former first family of Nigeria has not been disrespected, harassed and ridiculed , that has not been the lot of His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR and his darling wife Her Excellency, Dr. Mrs. Patience Ibifaka Jonathan Having conceded that the Jonathans are not even under any criminal investigation, there is absolutely no justification for their constant harassment by our law enforcement agencies , more so outside the ambits of due process and the rule of law.

As their law abiding traditional leaders, such unbecoming conduct of our law enforcement agencies is completely unacceptable to us “,

Jonathan was never committed to defeating Boko Haram – Osinbajo

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo said on Monday that despite what his administration might want people to believe, former President Goodluck Jonathan was never committed to ending the Boko Haram insurgency during his tenure.

Osinbajo said this in a lecture titled, “The unraveling of Boko Haram and the rebuilding of the North-East of Nigeria” which he delivered at the Harvard University’s Weatherland Centre for International Affairs, United States.

The Vice-President’s media office made the speech available to journalists on Monday.

While attributing his position to many factors, Osinbajo said it was politically convenient for the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party to claim that the Boko Haram sect was sponsored by a northern-Muslim political elite to discredit the government led by a Christian.

He recalled that when the All Progressives Congress was formed, the then ruling party was also quick to paint it (APC) as the political wing of the Boko Haram sect.

He said it was not until President Muhammadu Buhari who was then the leader of the opposition, was nearly killed in an attack in Kaduna that the false narrative began to lose credibility.

The Vice-President added, “Secondly, the ruling party also somewhat cynically seemed to have considered that since BH attacks were actually in the heartland of the opposition it was not necessarily an unwelcome development as it could only weaken the opposition.

“Third, extensive corruption in arms procurement estimated at about $15bn, ensured that the military remained poorly equipped and demoralised.

“A number of well-publicised mutinies occurred and troops involved were taken through widely unpopular court-martials.

“As the government dithered and equivocated BH proceeded to realise the objective of occupying territory and establishing Islamist states in Nigeria and in the Lake Chad basin.

“In Borno State alone, it occupied and hoisted its flag in 20 of the 27 Local Government Areas that constituted the state. In Adamawa State, BH took Mubi and some villages in Yobe State.”

Osinbajo said it was not until the abduction of more than 200 secondary schoolgirls from their dormitories in Chibok that public outrage against Jonathan’s government’s inept handling of the insurgency reached its peak.

He added that the government then incurred widespread anger when it denied that an abduction took place and suggested that the opposition had simply invented the story.

Osinbajo, however, said Buhari’s assumption of office changed the tide.

He said the strongest reasons for Buhari’s victory in the March 2015 presidential election was the expectation that going by his reputation as a no-nonsense soldier, he would defeat Boko Haram and restore peace to the North-East.

True to type, he said within six months of Buhari’s Presidency, the sect had been effectively dislodged from all the local governments they once held and had retreated into the Sambisa Forest and the northern border towns and villages.

He said the terrorists’ military capacity had been severely degraded and their supply lines effectively blocked.

Osinbajo said the ability of Boko Haram to get willing suicide bombers remained a mystery.

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.”

$2.2bn arms scam: Dasuki wants Jonathan to testify in court.

Former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki who is currently on trial for allegedly stealing $2.2bn arms funds is planning to invite former President Goodluck Jonathan to serve as witness.

Jonathan while speaking at the Oxford Academy had said Dasuki could not have stole $2.2bn as claimed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

“We bought warships, we bought aircraft, we bought lots of weapons for the army,” he said.

Dasuki’s counsel, Ahmed Raji (SAN) said the ex-NSA wants Jonathan to appear as a witness in court.

Raji said: “It will be desirable for Jonathan to testify for the ex-NSA. It will throw greater light into grey areas. And it will serve the interest of Justice.

“It will be fantastic for him to go to court to testify. Dasuki is an agent of a disclosed and known principal.”

He added, “But, frankly speaking, I pray for a political solution to the problem because of the characters involved.

“Both the accused and the government should embrace a political solution to the problem.”

A source also confirmed that Dasuki is hoping Jonathan will agree to appear before the court.

“All is set for the defence of Dasuki, who is still insisting on an open trial to let Nigerians know the beneficiaries of the arms cash.

“One of those who may testify is ex-President Goodluck Jonathan whose remarks in London appeared to be the first phase of the war chest of the ex-NSA.

“You know the ex-NSA said he acted on Jonathan’s instructions in disbursing some of the cash. And from the look of things, the ex-President is now ready to accept responsibility for whatever Dasuki did.

“We believe it has reached a level that Nigerians must know what really happened, how funds were disbursed and who got what.

“This is why a secret trial is not a viable option, with the way things are going,” the source said.

Marriage Ceremonies Of The Daughters Of PMB Vs GEJ: The Difference – By Lawrence Ibe

Do you know that President Buhari’s daughter got married last Friday (28/10/2016) in Daura, but the President stayed back in Abuja to attend to issues of national importance? He later joined them in the night to meet with guests and flew back to Abuja early Saturday morning to continue his work.

Do you also remember two years ago (12/04/2014) when former President Jonathan’s adopted daughter got married? A huge jamboree of an extravagant wedding was staged while billions of Naira were expended. Customized gold plated iPhones were given as gifts to everyone privileged to be in the reception hall. The best of foreign wines were served. Abundance of  food was in offer and the best of entertainers were hired to keep guests entertained while they dined and wined. In return, the bride was “dashed” over 80 exotic brand new cars, including houses by those her father bragged to have made wealthy.

The worst of it all was that state functions nationwide were suspended, all government activities were put on hold because Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s daughter was wedding; all roads led to Bayelsa. That weekend was madness because the entire administration of governance in Nigeria was suspended because the President’s daughter was getting married. People were falling over themselves to show favour to the President’s daughter in an anticipation that their goodwill would be reciprocated by GEJ.

Now the case is different. The contrast is that, here we have another sitting President whose daughter got married and you did not even know about it because it wasn’t made a state function. It was a very modest wedding and simply family affair. This is what leadership is: a leader not using his political position to attract wordly gains to himself. I can also tell you that some people wanted to make this wedding a state affair, a lavish, expensive and glamorous wedding; but President Buhari rejected that proposal and only insisted it must be modest and a family affair devoid of waste and ostentation.

This post is not meant to praise anyone but to sample an attitude every political office holder must emulate. A life of modesty, simplicity and not abusing ones political office for self aggrandizement. This time around, all roads did not lead to Daura.


If this is not change, what is it?

Why we’ve not arrested Jonathan — Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has responded to calls by some Nigerians for the arrest of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Mr. Osinbajo said the Buhari administration does not arrest “anybody, anyhow”.

Answering a question at a session in the United States on Friday, on when Mr. Jonathan would be arrested, Mr. Osinbajo said the Buhari administration was not in the business of arresting just anyone anyhow.

He said all the Buhari administration does is to empower the security agencies and the anti-corruption agencies to do their jobs, without the administration trying to teleguide them.

He also added that the fight against corruption in the country was not fought on ethnic, hasty or premediated grounds.

“Corruption is not an ethnic thing, there is an equal representation in the stealing as no one operates with his/her ethnic group alone, the culprits are in every case seen so far, united by greed to steal and not by ethnic or religious interest,” he said.

He frowned at a situation where for instance as much as $15 billion has disappeared from the national coffers into private pockets, saying no responsible government would wave that aside so as not to offend people.
Mr. Osinbajo also said that security agencies in Nigeria have arrested about 800 suspected violent herdsmen across the country.

Mr. Osinbajo said this in Houston, Texas in the United States at a Townhall event where he interacted with U.S.-based Nigerians who asked questions live at the event and also via the internet, according to a statement issued by his spokesperson, Laolu Akande.

The vice president fielded about 30 questions at a well attended townhall event moderated by Rudolf Okonkwo of Sahara Reporters and Nimi Wariboko of Boston University.

Asked about the issue of Fulani Herdsmen attacks in certain states across the country and what the Federal Government was doing to curb the problem, the Mr. Osinbajo said “the President has given firm instructions to the security agencies to arrest not only herdsmen who are attacking communities anywhere in the country but anyone of them or anyone at all in possession of firearms”.

He added that “there are about 800 of suspected violent herdsmen in the country that are currently in custody.”
The vice president however decried the slow pace of the criminal justice system that affects the prompt trial of such suspects.

Mr. Osinbajo reminded the audience however that the issue of killings by such violent herdsmen has been a perennial issue especially as grazing lands continue to disappear over the years and the cattle feed on peoples crops on the farmlands. He said that the matter just did not crop up when President Buhari assumed office.

Vice President Osinbajo urged against the tendency of interpreting the herdsmen issue as a religious issue, stressing that it is important for all Nigerians to refuse such divisive narratives and tendencies.

He reminded his audience that there has always been conflict between herdsmen and communities across the country and that people should disabuse the notion that the problem has just started because President Buhari, a Fulani, is currently at the helm of affairs in the country.

Answering a question on the need for community policing, the Vice President said that community policing via state police is indeed a cardinal program of the ruling APC. He said the party’s agenda cannot be introduced until there is an amendment to the nation’s constitution.

The current situation where police activities are controlled at the federal level sure has some limitations, he said, adding that “ the federal government is currently working to introduce community policing that would be in line with the constitution.”

Commenting on the recent arrest of judges in the country, Mr. Osinbajo told his audience that impunity could be very dangerous in any sector and that the federal government was only exercising its executive function in attempting to check excesses.

He said the important thing was that due process was followed as the judges were released about 24 hours after their arrest and once they had given their statements.

The Vice President also responded to a question on the state of the nation’s economy and attributed the current recession to the loss of about 60 percent of government revenue due to pipeline vandalisation and endemic corruption in the system.

He however said that getting back oil production is a sure way to get out of the recession and the federal government is working to sort it out.

EFCC grants bail to Reuben Abati.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has granted bail to Reuben Abati, reports say.

Abati was the presidential spokesman during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

He was arrested by operatives of the anti-graft agency on Monday, October 24, 2016.

Abati was accused of collecting N50m from the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki.

As part of his bail condition, he was required to submit his International Passport and also produce a surety who is a Level 16 civil servant, according to Vanguard.

Dasuki is currently standing trial for allegedly diverting funds meant for the purchase of arms for the Army to prosecute the war against Boko Haram.

Olisa Metuh Funded PDP publicity During Jonathan’s Campaign – Witness

A witness, Richard Ihediwa, told a Federal High Court on Thursday that embattled Olisa Metuh, solely funded publicity activities during Jonathan’s re-election campaign.

Metuh, a former National Publicity Secretary of Peoples Democratic Party, is being tried for alleged N400m money laundering.

Ihediwa, who was Metuh’s Personal Assistant on Media, disclosed this while being led in evidence by the defence counsel, Mr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN).

He said that it came to a point that the ‘situation room’ was not funded by the party, and Metuh decided to pick up the burden and funded the activities of the publicity team from his pocket.

The witness said the financial status of the publicity arm was so bad that at a point they could not pay companies that ran adverts for them.

He said, “But Metuh begged and asked me to understand that the office was not funded.

“That was when it was decided that extra hands be hired but he (Metuh) said he will pay them from his pocket.

“The nature of our schedule was so tight that I literally broke down because of pressure of work. I couldn’t cope because I was alone.

“I told Metuh I would not be able to continue except he hired other professionals.

“He reminded me that funding was an issue in the party and said he had severally made a case to the national working committee to no avail.

“He pleaded I should continue but I said I couldn’t under such conditions.”

The witness further told the court that when he sought to know why his boss was using his personal funds for the party, he explained that he didn’t want to fail as a publicity secretary.

He said, “He (Metuh)  bought laptops, cameras, video cameras and was the one paying the monthly allowances of the five new media aides he engaged.

“As I speak, the party has not refunded him that money.”

The trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, adjourned the case till Oct. 31 for continuation of trial.

Tony Ademiluyi: Unmasking Jonathan’s Speech

The defeat of King Harold by the Norman William the Conqueror in the Battle of the Hastings in 1067 saw the ascent of French culture in England. French became the language of the court with the English language being reduced to the vernacular not to be spoken in public by the Nobles.

Cultural nationalism slowly began a decade later with the subtle push for the English culture to regain its pride of place. The nationalists saw education as an effective tool for the rapid diffusion of ideas. Around 1096, Oxford University became the first institution of higher learning to be established in the country which later became the world’s largest empire. From 1167, it gained immense popularity as King Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris that was the then popular destination. It was a surreptitious victory for the nationalists as the King was more French than English as he had more lands in France. His later estranged wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine was permanently domiciled in France where minstrels composed poems in her honour.

Less than a century after its establishment, it became the pre-eminent citadel of learning in the entire Europe and had the admiration of Kings, Popes and the thought leaders throughout the continent.

After the defeat of former President Goodluck Jonathan last year, some pundits wondered how he would spend the rest of his time! He didn’t have the gift of the garb and so we weren’t expecting another Bill Clinton or Tony Blair.

His speech to students of the University of Oxford on the 24th of October this year is not surprisingly generated a lot of interest from within and outside the country. As the former leader of the most populous black nation in the globe, he was bound to be in the spotlight.

Some of the key points made are worth examining carefully. He acknowledged the critical role that entrepreneurship plays in the continent when he said ‘This discussion is topical for our global search for development and security. The issue of youth entrepreneurship in Africa is very critical, as Africa is the only continent in which we will witness a population boom in our lifetime’. It is a well-known fact that other continents of the world most notably North America and Europe are experiencing an ageing population. Africa has the potential to give a combination of China and India a fierce run for their population size which explains the more than passing interest in the investment opportunities in the world’s second largest continent. The massive youth unemployment is a combination of bad leadership and the inability to prepare the youths to key into the changing times. The sinister role of corruption in Africa and by extension Nigeria’s underdevelopment has already been well rehashed but how prepared are these youths in Nigeria for the challenges of living in the fast-paced 21st century which is largely characterised by disruptive innovations?

He mentioned that he gave education top priority both as the Governor of Bayelsa State and President of the country when he said ‘After much soul searching, my conviction in regards to these questions is this: wealth is a creation of the human mind properly prepared by education.

It is my firm belief that any Nation that does not spend its wealth and resources to developing the capacity of its youth  will eventually be forced to devote its resources to fight insecurity amongst those same youths.

As a leader, you can decide through your policies to educate the youths, or face the consequences of failing to do so. The problem all African leaders have is how to manage the youth bulge. Do we consider this a ticking time bomb or an opportunity?’

He went on to reel out the achievements of his administration when he massively built schools in virtually all parts of the country most especially in the northern part which has the infamy of being the most backward despite the fact that they have produced the most political leaders. We don’t dispute his adding to the number of already existing educational institutions but we are at a loss on how it has solved the major problem of poverty that is the tragic fate of many Nigerian youths. Getting a postgraduate is insufficient to ward off the hunger pangs in this day and age. Many youths go abroad to obtain very expensive degrees which have still left a sizeable number of them economically handicapped upon their return home. The avalanche of institutions of higher learning both public and private has done little to ameliorate the plight of the unemployed.  Of what use is it to create a system that proliferates the establishment of higher learning institutions and not prepare the minds of these graduates to do things differently so that they don’t become liabilities. A major flaw of the Nigerian educational system is the sense of entitlement that it makes its graduates possess. This worked in Jonathan’s generation when the oil boom and the fewer number of graduates got car loans and had job picking options. The educational system tragically has failed to evolve to tune the minds of the graduates to not see a job as a meal ticket but to see their stay in school as an opportunity for self-development to unleash their hidden potential that may be answers to recurring challenges. By 2020 according to the Fast Company magazine, half of the entire workforce of Americans will work on a freelance basis and the independent worker bug is spreading like wildfire throughout the wall. Nigeria is not isolated from the globe. The relationship between modern day employers and employees is one of partners with mutual interest and is well explained in Reid Hoffman’s ‘The Alliance.’ Is it realistic to still be preaching that getting a higher education is enough to succeed as his speech seemed to suggest? Will the cheaper reality of independent contracting make it the employer’s best interest to create more jobs with monthly pay checks? How did his school project which focused on building more schools and exporting some to study in foreign climes create a new independent mindset in the graduates to be solution providers? Did it reduce the heart wrenching queues at job interviews? There was no mention of a government backed philosophy that fuelled an ideology of self-reliance in such a way that the psyche of an average graduate is worked on to get their hands legitimately dirty. We remember the Winneba Ideological Institute which Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah built shortly after independence to entrench a national philosophy of hard work in all Ghanaians. Everyone from student, civil servant and politician were required to attend and it ended up as an enduring legacy because the culture of hard work was taken by his countrymen to all the ends of the earth when harsh economic situations forced many of them into exile. I recall the preference of Ghanaian workers while growing up. Jonathan failed to work on the minds of the youths. The increases in educational institutions have done nothing to abate the ticking time bomb and that is a colossal failure as a policy maker.

He mentioned the You win programme as his solution to providing entrepreneurship opportunities for the ill equipped youths. How many jobs did the ‘lottery’ create? What was the vision of the extravaganza? What was the incubation process? Why did it collapse even under his Presidency? Did his administration create the enabling environment for entrepreneurs to thrive? He tried to link the success of the Co-Creation Hub to the creation of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology. If Bosun Tijani and Femi Longe had waited for the ministry’s backing, it would have been worse than Waiting for Godot. What about the mind boggling corruption allegations that dogged his administration? Did that create opportunities for the youths?

It is hilarious that Jonathan has now morphed into a tragi-comedian for some bored folks in the land of our erstwhile colonial masters who need some warmth to brace up squarely for the impending winter.

History can never be re-written even with the best public relations stuff. Stalin, Hitler with the best propagandist machinery failed woefully in that attempt.

The late afrobeat maestro, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti had a major titled where he said ‘Dem don release you but you never release yourself.’ The same colonial mentality that the Bard-Prophet sang decades back played itself out when Jonathan had to seek validation of a wise use of his mandate from a foreign audience.

The loud mouthed Donald Trump may have been right when he said Africa needs a second round of colonalisation.

Tony Ademiluyi

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates


$2.2 Billion Arms Cash: Military Rejects Jonathan’s Claim

Military sources yesterday rejected former President Goodluck Jonathan’s claim that his administration bought warships and aircraft.

The former president, who spoke at a lecture he delivered on “Youth Entrepreneurship” at the Oxford Union in the United Kingdom (UK), tried to exonerate former National Security Adviser (NSA) Sambo Dasuki of corruption allegations involving $2.2 billion voted for arms procurement.

Jonathan said he did not believe the former NSA stole the money because weapons were bought for the military to fight Boko Haram.

Jonathan said: “I don’t believe somebody can just steal $2.2 billion; we bought warships, we bought aircraft, we bought lots of weapons for the army and so on and so forth and you are still saying 2.2billion, so where did we get the money to buy all those things?”

Investigations however revealed that the former President might have been deceived by his officials on the type of weapons that were bought for the military.

According to several military sources who asked to remain anonymous because of the “sensitivity” of the matter, many of the weapons bought under the former president were “unserviceable and useless”.

One said the Jonathan administration bought at least three fairly used (Tokunbo) Alpha Jets for the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and two helicopters. But the jets were , the sources claimed, “not worth anything because they were not weaponised and the helicopters were cannibalised.”

NAF recently reconfigured two demilitarised Alpha jets in its inventory. According to the NAF website, the jets were bought from the United States in 2015 to help in the fight against Boko Haram.

“The two aircraft are among the four Alpha Jets bought from the United States in 2015 by the immediate past administration to enhance the operational capability of the NAF to combat Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast.

“The aircraft, however, before now, could not be deployed in the theatre of operation due to the inherent weapon delivery deficiency, hence its limited use for training purposes. The urgent need in recent times to commit all NAF available platforms to OPERATION LAFIYA DOLE to enhance the success of the counter insurgency operation necessitated the Service to look inward to seek ways of achieving its drive for self reliance through research and development.

“ A number of vendors invited to Nigeria to assess the platforms had concluded that it would be difûcult or almost impossible to undertake the project since the Original Equipment Manufacturer had long closed down the production line. A few others who agreed to the possibility of having the aircraft reconfigured to carry munitions have also submitted proposals for initial assessment fee ranging from $20,000 – $30,000 before they could come up with the actual cost for the project. Convinced that the project would work, the NAF consequently assembled a team of technicians to develop a feasible model for the project. The model worked on ground, and has since been mounted on the Alpha Jets, and test fown successfully. This feat is a major research and development breakthrough for the NAF and the nation as a huge foreign exchange saver, given that the project only cost about N4,000,000.00 compared to what would be required to have it done abroad,” NAF said.

However, the former President may have been referring to the purchase of six decommissioned Norwegian battleships, bought purportedly on behalf of the Navy by former Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, also known as Tompolo.

The purchase had caused a huge row in Norway forcing that country’s military leadership to apologize to the lawmakers. The battleships were said to be used for anti-piracy operations on Nigerian waters. The Director of Information, Nigerian Navy, Commodore Christian Ezekobe, did not respond to our correspondent’s questions on the whereabouts of the battleships.

However a search on the Navy website revealed that the service has 24 battle ships purchased over several years while it still awaits one battleship built in China, NNS Unity.

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is seeking to add an additional C295W military aircraft to its fleet as the battle against Boko Haram reaches an advance stage. NAF has been crucial to the recent victories recorded by the military in the Northeast, through series of sustained aerial bombardment of camps and locations of Boko Haram militants.

The aircraft is to be purchased from Airbus Defence and Space Company (Spain), which had earlier in the year made proposals to the NAF.

The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, had played host to Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, Alfonso Barnuevo Sebastian De Erice, who led two executives of Airbus Defence and Space Company to the NAF Headquarters and held discussions on the company’s proposal to sell the C295W military aircraft to the NAF.

According to NAF, based on its operational capabilities, the aircraft was considered suitable to meet some of its operational needs, including Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and airlift operations.

The air force has also recommended the aircraft for acquisition and provisions have been made for this in the 2017 budget proposal.

The CAS urged the visiting team to start looking into training areas for NAF pilots and technicians on the aircraft.

This, he said, is with a view to ensuring a smooth take-off for the operation of the aircraft in the event of its approval by the Federal Government.

Allow Dasuki face his trial – PDP faction tells Jonathan

A faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) under the leadership of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff has asked Jonathan to allow Dasuki to face his trial.

The PDP said it was happy that neither Dasuki nor any other suspects claimed that they gave part of the money under investigation to it during the last general elections.

Spokespersons for the Sheriff-led faction of the party, Mr. Bernard Mikko, stated this in an interview on Tuesday.

Mikko stated, “We don’t want to take issue with the former President on this matter, but we will want to say that the suspect and others like him, should be allowed to face their trial.

“Let the court determine if they are culpable or not. It is not our duty to defend or castigate anyone.

“It is also gratifying to know that none of these suspects has said he or she paid money to the PDP. So, we don’t have issues with that.”

Why Jonathan’s ex-aide, Reuben Abati, was arrested.

Dr Reuben Abati, Special Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan on media and publicity was detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for allegedly collecting about N60 million from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA under the leadership of former NSA, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, (retired).

Sources, who confirmed this, said the former presidential spokesperson was still being queried on what the money was used for, hence his detention overnight.

Abati thus joins a long list of former appointees of the former President who have been arrested or already undergoing prosecution for allegedly receiving funds illegally from ONSA.

Dasuki himself is being tried for fraudulent disbursement of $2.1 billion meant for procurement of weapons for soldiers fighting Boko Haram in North East Nigeria to officials of the former ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP for the purpose of campaigning for 2015 general elections.

Abati was arrested on Monday evening EFCC.

Dasuki did not steal $2.2 billion – Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday said it was impossible for the National Security Adviser (NSA) during his administration, Sambo Dasuki, to have stolen $2.2 billion as claimed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Mr. Dasuki, who has been in detention since December 1, 2015, was arrested by the State Security Service for allegedly misappropriating $2.2 billion meant to purchase equipment for the Nigerian military in its battle against the terrorist Boko Haram group.

A Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja, last Friday granted an application by the EFCC to consolidate two separate cases against the former army Colonel.

A statement by the anti-graft commission said Mr. Dasuki would be re-arraigned on November 16.
Mr. Jonathan, who spoke at the famous Oxford Union, Oxford United Kingdom, on youth entrepreneurship, argued that it was “not just possible” for Mr. Dasuki to have stolen $2.2 billion after his administration procured several equipment for the country’s military.

“They said the National Security Adviser stole $2.2billion. I don’t believe somebody can just steal $2.2 billion. We bought warships, we bought aircraft, we bought lots of weapons for the army and so on and so forth and you are still saying 2.2 billion, so where did we get the money to buy all those things?” he asked while responding to a question about the alleged missing arms procurement fund now referred to as Dasukigate by the Nigerian media.

While admitting that corruption was an issue during his administration, the former president said some of the allegations were “exaggerated”.

“Yes, there were some issues; yes, there are still corruption issues; but some of it were blown, I’d say exaggerated, and they give a very bad impression about our nation. You cannot say the national security adviser stole $2.2billion. It is not just possible,” he said.

He, however, said that as some of the corruption cases were still in court, he would rather allow the legal processes to reveal the facts of the matter and that he did not want to appear as challenging the incumbent government.

“One thing about the issue of corruption is that these matters are in court, let’s allow some of these processes to end. Lately some judges’ (homes) were also invaded. There are so many things involved and we have to follow up these matters to conclusion before we know the fact.

“I don’t want to be seen as a former president challenging what the sitting government is doing so I have decided to keep quiet for the court to look into them,” he said.

He said allegations of corruption were not unique to his administration.

He explained that governments had been overthrown in the past because they were accused of being corrupt, only for the new administration itself to be pushed out by another junta touting the anti-corruption mantra.

“You will see that it has become a major topic whenever there is a change of government,” he said.

He further argued that corruption was a global problem, but said the perception of corruption was greater in Nigeria due to the Nigerian media’s obsession with reporting on corruption.

“I am not saying there is no corruption in Nigeria, there is corruption. If you look at corruption there is almost no country that is free, the degree varies, the perception varies,” he said.

“Transparency International talks about the way corruption is being perceived in different economies, why do we talk about the way corruption is being perceived, it depends on the issue raised in the media every day.”

“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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Chibok Girls: Saraki Seeks Safe Return of Others

Senate President Bukola Saraki has commended President Muhammadu Buhari, the security forces, Switzerland and the international community for the combined efforts that led to the release of the girls.

Saraki, in a statement by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja, however, expressed the hope that the release of more of the girls is imminent, admonishing security forces to remain vigilant in the face of the renewed security breaches in the North East.

He said: “We join all Nigerians to rejoice on the return of our daughters. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families of those who have returned, and those girls who remain in the hands of the terrorists.

“The release of the 21 girls is a testament to the perseverance of our men and women in uniform, the civilian joint task force and a clear indication that this government has been relentless in securing their release,” the Senate President said.

“Moving forward, we need to ensure that the girls that have been returned back to us are re-united with their families, and rehabilitated to become full members of our society,” he added.

He cautioned: “We must also not take our foot off the gas, Nigerians must continue to be united and insistent on the safe return of the other girls that are still in the hands of Boko Haram,” he said.

The Senate President restated the commitment of the 8th Senate to continue supporting the Federal Government to secure the release of the remaining Chibok girls, highlighting the fact that their abduction still represents a dark notch in the history of the country.

“On our part, the Nigerian Senate has been clear that we will continue to do everything within our powers to support efforts aimed at securing the release of the rest of the girls,” Saraki said.

Only Jonathan Deserves Credit For Conceding Defeat – Gov Dickson

Bayelsa State governor, Hon.  Seriake Dickson, yesterday, said only former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan should take the credit for conceding defeat in the 2015 presidential election.

Governor Seriake Dickson, who was reacting to the conferment of the joint award of ‘Person of the Year 2015’ on the former president by the LEADERSHIP Newspapers, in a statement by his chief press secretary, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said though the award was well-deserved of the former President, the singular action put him miles apart from other leaders, within the African continent and beyond.

He also used the opportunity to call on Nigerians at home and in the diaspora to always accord Jonathan the respect and honour of a true statesman that he is, while also calling on him to always stand up and show leadership.

Governor Dickson also commended LEADERSHIP Newspaper for the honour done Dr. Jonathan and described the former President, as a distinguished statesman of inestimable quality.

The governor noted that democrats all over the world would continue to appreciate him for his exceptional display of sportsmanship in the 2015 election as an incumbent president.

Dickson believes that the action taken by Jonathan saved thousands of lives that would have been lost and kept the unity of Nigeria intact, particularly against the backdrop of predictions of the nation’s disintegration.



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.

PDP Looks Up To Jonathan, Lamido, Mark To Lead Reconciliation

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has initiated moves to end leadership tussle between senators Ahmed Makarfi and Ali Modu Sheriff.
The move came on the wake of a meeting by various stakeholders of the party scheduled to hold today in Abuja.

Consequently, the PDP had established a 24-man joint reconciliation committee and started shopping for prominent party chieftains to steer affairs of the committee.

The Daily Trust, yesterday, gathered from reliable PDP stalwarts that the party had penciled down the names of former president Goodluck Jonathan, former Senate president, David Mark and former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido for chairmanship of the committee.

A reliable source close to Sheriff and Makarfi, told our correspondent in a telephone interview, yesterday, that the Board of Trustees (BoT), National Assembly Caucus, PDP Governors’ Forum and other organs and stakeholders of the party, were shopping for a neutral person, who possessed impeccable character, integrity and was generally accepted, to chair the committee.

He said that Jonathan, Mark and Lamido were accepted by Sheriff and Makarfi, explaining that the three eminent politicians were chosen because of their understanding and workings of the party and politics in Nigeria.

He said that the Sheriff’s camp and the Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee agreed to nominate 12 persons each to form the reconciliation committee.
“We have learnt our lessons since after the general elections,” he said.

When contacted on telephone, the national legal adviser and member of the Sheriff-led National Working Committee (NWC), Barrister Bashir Maidugu, said that the 12 persons were nominated by the Sheriff’s camp to serve in the committee.

Maidugu said that the names of the committee members would be made public when the Makarfi-led caretaker committee made names of its representatives known.

However, as at press time, Senator Makarfi and the spokesman of the PDP Caretaker Committee, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, were yet to respond to a text message sent to them on why lists of their nominees were not yet ready.

On the Abuja meeting, a chieftain of the party, ?Prof. Tunde Adeniran, told our correspondent yesterday that the BoT, PDP governors, National Assembly Caucus and the NEC would meet today at the Yar’adua Centre.

CACOL urges EFCC to take action over $40m linked to Patience Jonathan

The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, has requested the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to invite former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, to explain how she came about the $40m found in bank accounts linked to her.

Speaking through its Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, the group noted that recent media reports claim that Mrs Jonathan was involved in acts of money laundering and forgery, which became public knowledge after the EFCC froze bank accounts belonging to the former first lady with a total balance of $15m.

The wife of ex-president Goodluck Jonathan however reacted to this by giving the Economic and Financial Commission, EFCC a 14 day-ultimatum with effect from September 18 to lift the embargo placed on her accounts and also tender a public apology. http://dailypost.ng/2016/09/20/15m-scandal-patience-jonathan-gives-efcc-14-days-unfreeze-account/

But Adeniran, in a statement on Tuesday, pointed out that, “during the tenure of the Jonathan administration, there was no constitutionally recognized office for the first lady; hence, there was no financial allocation to that effect. This opens a door of questions on how such funds ended up in the control of Mrs. Jonathan.”

“We demand a logical explanation from Patience Jonathan to these allegations and discoveries. It should not be a case whereby those who go into government with nothing come out with the wealth of the nation as their only accomplishments. And we are reiterating our call to the EFCC to carry out its constitutional duty by inviting Mrs. Jonathan for interrogation over these obviously inexplicable funds.”

While commending the EFCC for it efforts over the past one year, the Chairman of CACOL said, “the Commission must wake up to its constitutionally backed duties, because the fight against corruption must achieve convictions which will serve as deterrent to other corrupt elements in the country”.

He continued, “The Patience Jonathan case is another test case for the anti-corruption drive of this regime, it will reveal whether indeed some ‘criminals’ are superior to the others in the battle to rid our country of corruption. We assert that Madam Jonathan has no constitutional immunity to interrogation, investigation and even prosecution!”

“It is time to not just say ‘enough is enough’, we must act it out, to give the bite needed to confront corruption, as long as our actions are within the ambit of the laws. The former first lady has a lot of explaining to do as regards these allegations and hopefully this would not be another corruption case that would be established by the EFCC in the media only to be forgotten about like so many others.” Adeniran concluded

Obasanjo Blames Jonathan For Recession

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday took a swipe at the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, declaring that his advice on the prevailing economic crisis was ignored two years ago.


Obasanjo also blamed Jonathan for lifting the ban on importation of products like toothpick, which he said could have been taken over by local industries without encumbrances.

At the official opening of the National Council on Finance and Economic Development (NACOFED) in Abeokuta yesterday, Obasanjo said the only way Nigeria could urgently step out of the current economic recession is for it to seek foreign loan.
Obasanjo, who was the Father of the Day at the opening session, said he had warned the former President on the impending recession in November 26, 2014 When he joined others to celebrate the birthday of retired Justice Akanbi.
I reminded the government that we were spending more than we were earning. that very soon, the country would not be able to fund the budget. Unfortunately, the government then refused to listen to my advice,” he told the gathering.
Obasanjo shocked the gathering when he recalled how it was discovered that the ban on the importation of toothpick was reversed by the Jonathan administration, saying he had visited Jonathan in Abuja to ask why he lifted the ban on toothpick and Jonathan said he did not read before he approved.
Speaking further on the way out for Nigeria, Obasanjo said there were three options, explaining,
“The three options are we have to spend less, we must endeavor to earn and then the last one is to borrow, and this if we must, we do it fast and now. “


He however cautioned against doing the bidding of the World Bank and Inernational Monetary Fund (IMF).

Flood Takes Over Road To Otuoke

A section of the Onuebum Road leading to Otuoke, former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s home town in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, has been taken over by flood.

Motorists, especially private car owners, are now forced to travel through Elebele Road to access Otuoke community, host to a federal university.

Also, petty traders operating along the Otuoke-Onuebum Road have been sacked by the rising water level from the adjoining forest. The road is the closest route for residents of Azikoro, Agbura, Otuokpoti and several other communities in Yenagoa to access Otuoke.

Some community youths had done palliative work on the failed portion of the road before flood submerged it. The youths were sighted, yesterday, directing vehicles away from the deeper parts of the flooded area.

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No One Is Above The Law Including Patience Jonathan, Says APC

The Acting National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Timi Frank, has dismissed recent protests by some groups in the Niger Delta in support of the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience.

He said it was disheartening that any group in the region could hold a protest in favour of Mrs. Jonathan at the Port Harcourt zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, over the freezing of her account containing about $31.4m.

This was contained in a statement by Frank in Abuja, on Sunday.

Frank described threats by the groups as empty and baseless.

He said, “My candid advice to Mrs. Patience Jonathan is to apologise to Nigerians for the current economic hardship which Mr. Jonathan’s regime could have easily averted instead of sponsoring shameless protests against the government. Anyway, Nigerians are still waiting for the apology.”

The statement warned youths to desist from such shameless act of defending politicians for a pot of soup, adding that the current APC administration was fighting corruption so as to secure future.

He explained that it took the intervention of the current administration to inaugurate a water project in Otuoke, Bayelsa State where Jonathan was born.

“The show of shame called protest at the Port Harcourt office of the EFCC to demand the unfreezing of Mrs. Jonathan’s dollar accounts was uncalled for. And there is nothing wrong if the former first lady explains the source of the $31.4m to anti-corruption agencies.

“The country is presently going through recession as a result of mismanagement of the economy left behind by Patience Jonathan’s husband led administration which the APC is working hard to correct as soon as possible.

“It should be made clear that there is nothing wrong for the EFCC to invite Mrs. Patience Jonathan for questioning if the organisation suspects a foul play in the accumulation of such big amount of money.

“Again, the era of ‘I’m above the law’ is over. This is a change government of accountability where the rule of law is paramount.

“The number four citizen of this country today, Senate President Bukola Saraki, whose office is prominently recognised by the constitution is facing trial and why not one former first lady that is not recognised by the Nigerian constitution?”

Stop persecution of Jonathan’s family, IYC tells EFCC

The umbrella body of Ijaw youths, the Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide, has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to stop the persecution of former President Goodluck Jonathan and his family members.

The IYC advised the anti-graft agency to carry out its duties through due process instead of engaging in media charade and blackmail.

The President of IYC, Mr. Udengs Eradiri, who spoke at a news conference in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State on Thursday, expressed sadness at the manner the EFCC was denigrating the former first family.

He wondered at how the EFCC had yet to learn from its poor handling of the alleged graft case involving former Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo.

Eradiru said instead of the EFCC to focus on facts and do their job via due process, they quickly went to the media and that incident had led the country to its current economic mess, noting that the country had lost about N2trn.

He called on the anti-graft agency to stop blackmailing Dame Patience Jonathan, saying that the call on her to explain how she made her money was a witch-hunt.

He said, “First Ladies in Nigeria do not do any work. You know what it is; a woman naturally attracts a lot of gifts from men, let alone the First Lady who has the power to recommend people for something.

“They receive a lot of ‘Thank you’ and gratification because in most cases they recommend people. Those they recommended usually come back and say thank you ma. Even when they do not recommend, people can go and say thank you with a million dollars.

“The scenario did not start with Dame Patience Jonathan. We know how influential the former First Lady before her was and other first ladies – how powerful, how rich, how wealthy they were as a result of gratification because they were Presidents’ wives. That is how they amass their wealth.

“If you say Patience Jonathan should go and show how she made her money, then, you must first start with all the other former First Ladies before her, otherwise it is a witch-hunt.”

EFCC Freezes Patience Jonathan’s Personal Account

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has frozen Patience Jonathan’s personal account, titled ‘Patience Ibifaka Jonathan’, which is domiciled in Skye Bank Plc.

Impeccable sources within the agency told our correspondent on Wednesday that the move had become necessary due to the prima facie case established against the former President Goodluck Jonathan’s wife.

As part of investigations into alleged diversion against a former Special Adviser to ex-President Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, Waripamowei Dudafa, the anti-graft agency had frozen four companies’ accounts in Skye Bank with a balance of $15,591,700.

However, before the EFCC could arraign the four companies in court, Jonathan’s wife deposed to an affidavit, claiming that the money belonged to her.

Despite Patience’s claims, however, the EFCC arraigned the four companies –Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited; Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Limited; Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited; and Globus Integrated Service Limited.

EFCC Traces 3 Properties In Lekki, 1 In Bayelsa To Jonathan’s Ex-Aide, Dudafa

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has traced properties worth N1.5bn to a former Special Adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, Waripamowei Dudafa.

It was learnt on Sunday that as part of investigations into an alleged case of money laundering, the EFCC discovered some properties, which Dudafa had not been able to explain where he got the money to buy them.

The commission discovered a mansion in the Agungi area of the Lekki-Epe Expressway, allegedly belonging to Dudafa, said to be worth over N300m.

The anti-graft agency also traced a plot of land around the Chevron Estate, off the Lekki-Epe Expressway and a twin duplex within the same area said to belong to Dudafa.

Apart from the Lagos properties, an edifice in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, was also traced to Dudafa.

A source in the EFCC said, “When we are probing a person, we usually investigate his lifestyle and see if he or she is living above his means. Since Dudafa has already been arraigned for money laundering, we decided to launch further investigations into his lifestyle.

“We found a white mansion in the Agungi area of Lagos, very close to Lekki. He has about four exotic cars in the compound. We did not seal it off because people live there. So, we just placed a sticker on the fence to indicate that the property is a subject of investigation.

“Dudafa also has a twin duplex around the Chevron Estate. We did not seal it off because he has rented the property out. However, he has a parcel of land around the place, which we have sealed off.

“We have arraigned Dudafa and if he is found guilty, he will forfeit the properties.”

Dudafa first became a subject of EFCC investigation when a former Aide-de-Camp to Jonathan, Col. Ojogbane Adegbe (retd.), told detectives that he handed over N10bn (converted to foreign currency) to Dudafa on the eve of the 2014 Peoples Democratic Party presidential primary in which Jonathan was the sole aspirant.

The money given to Dudafa was allegedly used in bribing PDP delegates.

The money was allegedly diverted by the Office of the National Security Adviser under Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.) from a Signature Bonus Account in the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The N10bn is believed to have been diverted from oil receipts as follows: $5m (November 14, 2014); $47m (November 27,  2014); €4m (December 3, 2014) and €1.6m (December 24, 2014).

While Adegbe was arrested but later released, Dudafa was said to have fled to either Dubai or a Caribbean country where he stayed for several months.

Dudafa was finally arrested by operatives of the Department of State Services upon arrival at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, on April 18, 2016.

The anti-graft agency said the former presidential aide returned N900m to the Federal Government.

Dudafa is also believed to be a front for Dame Patience Jonathan, the wife of the former President.

Patience had said in a sworn affidavit two weeks ago that she gave Dudafa some money to help her open an account at Skye Bank.

She, however, stated that Dudafa used the money to open five accounts of which only one bore her name while the other four were opened in the names of Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited; Seagate Property Development & Investment Co. Limited; Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited and Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited.

The current balance of the four accounts is $15,591,700 while the money in Patience’s personal account stands at $5m.

The four companies last week pleaded guilty to money laundering.

Patience risks losing the $15m to the government.

One Sammie Somiari, who deposed to an affidavit on behalf of Patience, claimed that the former President’s wife was the rightful owner of the $15m and that Dudafa helped her to open the bank accounts in 2010.

The deponent claimed that Patience was the sole signatory to the accounts.

Source : Punch

Patience Jonathan Must Forfeit $15m – EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission says it is heading to court to file an application seeking the total forfeiture of $15,591,700, belonging to former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan.
The money is currently lodged in the Skye Bank account of four companies: Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited; Seagate Property Development & Investment Company Limited; Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited and Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited.

The EFCC had frozen the four accounts, which were linked to a former Special Adviser to the President on Domestic Affairs, Waripamowei Dudafa.

However, Jonathan’s wife had claimed in a sworn affidavit that the money in the four accounts
belonged to her even though there is no paper evidence to establish a link between her and the companies.

She also urged the court to compel the EFCC to lift the restriction on the accounts.

The EFCC had arraigned the four companies on Thursday and the companies pleaded guilty to money laundering charges.

Punch quoted a senior EFCC official as saying that the commission would subsequently apply for the total forfeiture of the funds.

“The four companies, in whose accounts the monies were lodged, have pleaded guilty to money laundering. We are therefore filing an application, seeking the complete and total forfeiture of the money to the Federal Government.

“The $15,591,700 should go (be deposited in) into the Treasury Single Account of the Federal Government of Nigeria,” Punch quoted the EFCC source as saying.

On Thursday, the four accused companies pleaded guilty to conspiring with Dudafa; a lawyer, Amajuoyi Briggs; and a banker, Adedamola Bolodeoku, to launder the sum of $15, 591,700 on or about November 13, 2013.

The EFCC, while arraigning the seven accused persons before a Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday, admitted to the court that the $15.6m were proceeds of theft.

Though Dudafa, Briggs and Bolodeoku pleaded not guilty to the amended 15 counts pressed against them by the EFCC, the four companies, charged along with them, owned up to committing the offence.

The guilty plea was entered on behalf of Pluto, Seagate, Trans Ocean and Avalon by one Friday Davies, Agbo Baro, Bioghowri Frederick and Taiwo Ebenezer, respectively.

The EFCC had since frozen the $15.6m found in the four companies’ accounts with Skye Bank Plc by placing a ‘No Debit Order’ on the four accounts.

But Patience had filed a fundamental rights enforcement suit against the EFCC and the bank, claiming that the money, which the EFCC said were proceeds of theft, belonged to her.

Patience is also seeking damages against Skye Bank in the sum of N200m for what she termed a violation of her right to own personal property under Section 44 of the 1999 Constitution.

But Patience’s suit against the EFCC and Skye Bank has yet to be heard by any judge.

However, the EFCC arraigned Dudafa, Briggs, Bolodeoku and the four companies before Justice Babs Kuewumi on Thursday for money laundering and conspiring to retain proceeds of theft.

The EFCC also alleged that the seven accused persons conspired to forge Skye Bank mandate cards, purporting that they were signed by Friday Davies, Kola Fredrick, Taiwo Ebenezer and Agbo Baro, to prejudice Skye Bank in their bid to launder the $15.6m.

They were also accused of forging a Wema Bank Corporate Account mandate card, purporting that it was signed by Taiwo Ebenezer and Chima John to prejudice Wema Bank.

PDP chief, group disagree over Buhari’s style

A chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau State, Nde Alexander Molwus, has carpeted President Muhammadu Buhari over his recent claim that he inherited no enablement from the 16 years of the political grouping’s leadership of the country.

Molwus said it was time for Buhari to admit that he was bereft of ideas on how to run the country.

But a group, Global Excellence Foundation (GEF), has tasked Nigerians to make the best of the ‘Change begins with me’ campaign by setting direction for government at all levels.

In a statement issued by its country director, Prof. Yemi Ola yesterday in Abuja, the body noted that Buhari has returned the key to good governance back to Nigerians who must now leverage it to demand accountability from the current and subsequent governments.

It said: “We must now as conscientious Nigerians improve on the way we do things so that those in office have no option than to follow the dominant mindset and prevailing national attitude that would arise from such.

“The less than optimistic reception to this campaign from a few quarters is understandable considering that many Nigerians have never known of a well-articulated national ethos for their entire lifetime. Those who have such mindset must however realise that this is an opportunity they must snap up as there may not be another government that would leave citizens with the initiative for change in the immediate future.

“By cashing in on this invitation to drive the change Nigeria needs, we would be able to set standards for those in public office in accordance with the personal benchmarks we are willing to impose on ourselves in our individual capacities. The major task therefore is for us to do critical stocktaking that will ensure we upgrade our national psyche to beat even the best of global standards.”

In a chat with journalists in Jos, Molwus said: “It is most uncharitable for Buhari to make such a claim, and it appears whenever the President speaks, he does not rely on truth or verifiable information in the public domain.

“How would any person agree that in 16 years, there is no one or single positive thing that happened to enrich the profile of legacies in this country? Why is he limiting the socio-economic stagnation to the past 16years and overlooking his coup constituency that took over from him in 1985?”

Molwus said it was regrettable that a whole President will lie to the nation and misinform the citizenry, “even when he has not been able to come up with any intervention programme as workable and effective as the SURE-P programme which he inherited from the Goodluck Jonathan administration.”

Molwus went on: “Besides, Buhari is talking of bumper agricultural harvest this year because of the brilliant turn around articulated and implemented in that sub-sector by the Goodluck Jonathan administration, and he has been commissioning projects in other sub-sectors as railway transportation which were neither conceived nor initiated by his administration. So, what is Buhari really talking about?”

He advised Buhari not to “continue to bore the citizenry already disgusted with his dismal performance by attempting to hold past administrations responsible for his ineptitude, but should rise to the occasion by exhibiting some pragmatism in governance such as arresting the outbreak of Kwashiokor epidemic in the North East region caused by the fraudulent diversion of relief materials by a corrupt All Progressives Party (APC) leadership.”

Molwus alleged that Buhari’s mismanagement of the war against corruption has led to investor fright and investment flight with negative implications for the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

He warned that the economic recession would worsen in the days ahead because the Buhari administration has not known how to go about reversing the trend.

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.”

Jonathan approved virtually everything his aides brought to him – Committee

The Chairman of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Transition Committee, which interfaced with former President Goodluck Jonathan’s team, Ahmed Joda, has revealed that a major undoing of Jonathan when he was in office as president was that he gave presidential approval to virtually everything his aides came to seek from him.

Speaking recently with select journalists in Yola, Adamawa State, the retired permanent secretary regretted that this even extended to the affairs of state which ought to have been handled independently of the Presidency’s consent.

He stated that despite the perfidy committed by some persons during the administration, then Finance minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, always sought presidential approval, pointing out that such tactfulness from her made it difficult for anyone, including the EFCC, to be able to link her with fraud.

The elder statesman stated this while responding to a question on whether or not Buhari could bring back the likes of the former Finance Minister to help the administration fix the economy.

According to him, “Okonjo-Iweala is a professional and she guarded herself, if you look at what she did. Whenever, they said this happened she was able to produce papers to say, ‘look oh!’ We had a meeting, presided over by the President and attended by the National Security Adviser and others. And we agreed.

“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.”

Joda stated that he was surprised that the recession in the country was not as worse as envisaged, given the “character of the country which consumes without producing.”

His words, “We were pretending, given our character as a consumer country, even the oil and gas we are not producing; if we are to tell ourselves the truth. We have four refineries. We can’t refine; we are importing. We don’t have enough facilities to import the quantity of fuel that we require. We are badly managing our affairs, we are destroying our economy.

“I’m not surprised that we are in this situation. I’m only surprised that we are not even worse.”

He held that the current economic challenges bedevilling the country should not necessarily be blamed on the immediate past administration and that the problem was traceable to “What we failed to do as a nation.”

According to him, no one can excuse himself from the blame.

While maintaining that Buhari’s presidency as a civilian was bound to face some governance challenges because democracy was a different terrain, Joda said, “When he (Buhari) was a military president, he could jail people and order people to queue up. But today he can’t; because he didn’t come through the bullet, he came through the ballot box.

“And this ballot box says okay, Mr. Buhari you are no longer a General, if you like you can call yourself Alhaji or Mallam. But here are the courts, here is the National Assembly and this is the way you are going. You cannot jail anybody or even lock them up for even one hour. You have to follow due process,” he added.

FRESH: EFCC quizzes Jonathan’s ex-chief of staff, ex-BPE DG over N27bn scam

Jones Arogbofa, a retired brigadier and former chief of staff to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, has been detained and quizzed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), TheCable understands.


Also detained and quizzed are Benjamin Dikki, former director-general of the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), and Godknows Igali, former permanent secretary in the ministry of power.


They were detained on Friday, September 2, by the anti-graft agency. They are being investigated over the payment of “phantom” insurance premiums totalling N27 billion for cover allegedly not provided to the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).


Arogbofa was also questioned over an Abuja mansion he allegedly bought for N150 million. His role in the premium payment could not be ascertained.


Investigations in June 2015 had uncovered retrospective payments of the insurance premiums in suspicious circumstances.


In insurance parlance of “no premium, no cover”, there can be no insurance cover if premium is not paid ab initio.


Sources at the ministry of  power said that the N27 billion payments were made for covers not provided but memos were initiated, backdated and secretly executed.


The premiums were ostensibly made to insurance firms thought to be fronting for powerful figures in the ministry and at BPE.


Eventually, the money was shared among senior government officials, with some getting as much as N1 billion in the dying days of the last administration, insiders informed.


A director at the ministry had said then: “The secrecy that accompanied the development shows that the individuals involved know that when it comes to the open, it will be greeted with outrage. I doubt if the regulators in the power and insurance industries, the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), diligently looked into these transactions which have ethical and criminal dimensions.”


In December 2015, a former BPE director wrote to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo alleging fraudulent practices at the agency.


In a letter dated November 2, 2015, Ibrahim Muhammad Kashim, who retired in June 2015, alleged N27bn premium payments for a “non-existent insurance cover”. Kashim also alleged that a phantom N1.5bn contract was awarded to a “prominent PDP lawyer” by Dikki to wind up PHCN even when there was no work for the lawyer to do.


It was learnt that the detained trio have been released pending further investigations. No EFCC official was willing to comment on the development.


Source: The Cable

Pictures: Buhari, Jonathan, Shonekan, Others At Council Of State Meeting

The Council of state meeting took place at the state House Abuja today. It was presided over by President Buhari and had in attendance were former president Goodluck Jonathan, former interim president Ernest Shonekan and former military leader Abdulsalami Abubakar.

Also in attendance were some state governors and former Chief Justices of the Federation. 

Jonathan, Abdulsalami, Shonekan Attend Council Of State Meeting

Former President Goodluck Jonathan, ex-Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar and former Head of the Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan, are present at the ongoing Council of State meeting at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja.

 They are the only past leaders attending the meeting as of the time of filing this report.

 The meeting, which commenced at exactly 11.10am, is also being attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal.

 This is the second meeting of the Council of State convened by President Muhammadu Buhari.

 Senate President Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara who are also members of the council are absent.

The meeting is expected to consider names of nominees to fill vacant positions of National and Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The INEC currently has six national commissioners out of 12, while 21 out of 37 Resident Electoral Commissioners are yet to be appointed.

President Buhari is also expected brief the council on the nomination of Ibrahim Idris as acting Inspector-General of Police. The Nigerian Police Council (NPC) is expected to ratify the appointment thereafter.

The Nigerian Council of State is an organ of the Nigerian government whose functions include advising the executive on policy making.

The council comprises the president as chairman; vice president (deputy chairman); all former presidents and all former heads of the government of the federation; all former Chief Justices of Nigeria; President of the Senate; Speaker of the House of Representatives; state governors and Attorney-General of the Federation.

The responsibilities of the council include advising the president in the exercise of his powers with respect to the appointments of  INEC commissioners, members of the National Population Commission, the National Judicial Council, prerogative of mercy and award of national honours.

The council also advises the president whenever requested to do so on the maintenance of public order and on such other matters as the president may direct.

Read More: dailytrust

PDP Deceived Nigerians by Borrowing to Fund Stealing – Garba Shehu

Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, says the Federal Government is determined to enforce fiscal discipline across the states, to check wasteful spending.

Shehu, in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday, said the Federal Government was not limiting its economic and financial reform programmes to the centre alone.

He said that the Federal Government would force the state governments to reform their spending and build savings and investments.

The Presidential aide was reacting to the current economic and financial challenges facing the country. He said the reform would include blockage of leakages that allowed government’s revenues to be siphoned into private hands.

He said that the ongoing probe into the finances of the military authorities was part of the reform aimed at checking corrupt practices in the military establishment.

According to the Presidential aide, government is also increasing spending on capital projects, especially on infrastructure needed to make Nigerian businesses competitive and create jobs.

“Currently, there is focus on key sectors (apart from oil) that can create jobs and or generate revenue such as Agriculture, Solid Minerals and Manufacturing.’’

He said that if these things had been done when the oil price was as high as 140 dollars per barrel, Nigeria would not be in the current predicament.

“We would not be suffering now if we had no cash reserves, but we had regular supply of power, a good rail system, good roads and good housing.

“Now that the oil has fallen as low as 28 dollars per barrel, it is very difficult to do what is needed but they must be done to save Nigeria.

“There is no other way if we want to be honest.

“If PDP were still in power they would have continued deceiving people, by borrowing to fund stealing and wastage and the problem would have simply been postponed for future generations to face. The truth of the matter is that the previous administration only had one issue, which was how to spend money (oil revenues and borrowed money).’’

He said that the spending was focused on “the wrong things and even though the economy seemed to be growing it was not sustainable as described by Minister Adeosun.

Why We Took Over Jonathan Cousin’s Firm – Army

The Nigerian Army has explained why the men of the Army Headquarters Garrison, Mogadishu Cantonment, Abuja, took over the premises of a company belonging to Mr. Robert Azibaola, a cousin of former President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday.

The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, said that the land in question belonged to the Army.

Usman said the Army decided to take over the property because the service did not want any further encroachment on the property.

He stressed that the Nigerian Army would not tolerate any encroachment on its land.

“The said property is on Nigerian Army’s land and the Army will not allow anybody to encroach on its land.

“Consequently, the property has to be sealed to prevent further encroachment,” he stated.

Soldiers had taken over the premises of Kakarta Civil Engineering Limited, owned by the former President’s cousin, located along the Kubwa/Asokoro Expressway on Saturday.

The company shares boundary with the Luigi Barracks of the Nigerian Army.

Meanwhile, a Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), on Sunday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to caution the Nigerian Army for alleged arbitrary use of its powers and use of brute force on innocent citizens. Falana made this call in a statement, which he made on the heel of the invasion of the premises of Kakarta Civil Engineering Limited on Saturday.

The lawyer said the Army took possession of the property, owned by Azibaola, without a court order.

He said, “Sequel to the illegal action of the Army of occupation, the innocent workers in the company have been sent to the unemployment market. Although the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has charged Mr. Azibaola to court for alleged criminal diversion of $40m from the office of the National Security Adviser, he pleaded not guilty to the charge and has been granted bail.

“The implication of the plea is that he is presumed innocent until the contrary is proved by the prosecution.

“Therefore, if the Nigerian military authorities had wanted to dispossess him of the property in question, they ought to have applied for a court order. But by taking over the property under the pretext that it constitutes a threat to a nearby military barracks, the military authorities took the law into their hands.

“The forceful seizure of the property should not be tolerated in a civilised society which operates under the rule of law.”

Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Jonathan’s Reckless Decisions, Cause Of Recession; APC Tells PDP

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on Thursday hit back at the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), accusing the party and Nigeria’s past presidents produced under its platform of bringing the current economic recession upon the nation.
Faulting PDP’s call for Present’s resignation, the APC said the 16 years misrule of the PDP plunged Nigeria into the current economic chaos. PDP’s several years in power produced ex-presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umar Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan.
It said, the statement by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday “is the latest in the party’s insensitive plot to deflect attention from the voodoo economics and reckless fiscal policies the country was subjected to during its 16-year rule.
“The warning signs were glaring to the immediate-past administration but it choose the path of economic sabotage by looking the other way and squandering the country’s commonwealth – a reckless decision that has brought the country to its knees”, APC stated.
The party in the statement signed by its national scribe, Mai Mala Buni was formally reacting to attacks by the PDP on the President Muhammadu Buhari’s lack of capacity to steer the economy.
Following the official declaration by the National Bureau of Statistics NBS that Nigeria’s economy was in a recession, the PDP had taken APC to the cleaners, saying the ruling party is confused as to how best to manage the economy and reverse its dwindling fortunes.
Two former governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Charles Soludo and Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II had recently taken a swipe at the economic trajectory of the APC-led administration, describing it as archaic, indefinite and rudderless. ‘President Buhari Committed To Resuscitating Economy’ However, the APC assured Nigerians that the President Muhammadu Buhari APC-led administration remains solidly committed to resuscitating the economy in the quickest possible time and in the best interest of the people.
“For the umpteenth time, the PDP lacks the moral basis and credibility to comment or condemn the government on the economy after the mess it left behind. Instead, the PDP must apologize to Nigerians.
“Nigerians will recall that even the immediate-past finance minister and coordinating minister of the economy, confessed that the zero political will to save under the immediate-past administration is responsible for the challenges facing the country”.
APC listed several achievements of the Buhari administration, saying the nation was well on the path to quick economic recovery.
It added, “Happily, the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has embarked on well- thought economic agendas, policy actions, appropriate fiscal, governance, and socio-political reforms to revamp the economy and tackle the nation’s current challenges in the short to long term.
“Under the new flexible foreign exchange policy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in June 2016, we now have a single market-determined exchange rate which enables suppliers of foreign currencies to bring in their money and take the same out at market-determined rates. The new foreign exchange policy being implemented will ensure our economy recovers in the medium to long term.
“As contained in the assented 2016 National Budget, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is aggressively formulating and implementing policies aimed at diversifying Nigeria’s economy from oil to other sectors such as agriculture, mining and manufacturing.
“The administration is also proactively tackling increased attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta region which has led to disruptions in crude production.
“The President’s shuttle diplomacy has yielded positive effects on the country’s economic policies. As a result, several agreements concluded during the visits are positively impacting on key sectors of the Nigerian economy including power, solid minerals, agriculture, housing and rail transportation.
“The fight against corruption remains a top priority for the President Buhari APC-led administration. In spite of desperate attempts by some partisans to discredit anti-corruption efforts in some quarters, the war against corruption is being won and has been well-received and supported. The generality of Nigerians agree that the days of impunity are over.
“Through the full implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) by the President Muhammadu Buhari APC-led administration, revenue leakages have been greatly plugged.
“The new petroleum products supply and pricing framework which eliminated corruption-tainted subsidy payments has among others greatly solved fuel scarcities by ensuring availability of products at all locations in the country; reduced hoarding, smuggling and diversion substantially and stabilise price at the actual product price; encouraged investments in both Refineries and Retails; provided Government more revenue to address social and infrastructural needs of the country.
“In line with the critical infrastructural focus of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, an unprecedented 30 per cent of 2016 budgetary provision has been committed to capital projects.
“As the administration works assiduously to build a new solid foundation, credible image and pull the country out of the present hardships, the APC appeals for patience and cooperation from Nigerians”, APC pleaded.

PDP Is Dead and Buried – Oyegun Says As 3000 Defect To APC

National chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) John Oyegun, said this while received two former leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oredo LGA of Edo State on Wednesday.

Some of the defected members of the party included Mr. Ebima Ogbeide, Tony Anileh, Madam Goldenpenny, Pius Izemwingie, Ikponmwonsa Usiobafoh, Mrs. Vero Aguebor, Wilfred Enabulele, secretary ward 5, and Mr. Ebima Ogbeide.

Oyegun said:

“Massive development has already started in the state, and we welcome people who have the interest of the state and are progressive minded to join to continue with this development.

“Looking at the calibre of leaders defecting, I laugh when I see PDP boast of winning. Honestly, they are dead and buried in Edo.”

Erosion Threatens Road Linking Jonathan’s Home Town

Erosion is now threatening to cut off the failed Onuebum Road linking Otuoke, former President Goodluck Jonathan home town in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

The road, which straddles Otuoke, Agbura, Azikoro communities and the Julius Berger axis of Sani Abacha expressway in Yenagoa, has been a source of concern to motorists in recent times.

Though riddled with several craters, it remains the quickest route to Otuoke, which also hosts a federal university.

Findings revealed that the eroded section of the route between Onuebum and Otuoke, which was rehabilitated after the 2012 devastating flood that sacked the state had gradually being washed away.

It was further gathered that but for a volunteer, an elderly man, maintaining the eroded portion, the road would have been cut into two.

Aside motorists plying the ailing route, who have had to contend with the several failed section, traders operating on the route are also disturbed by sad turn of turn and the attendant low traffic.

“Goodluck Jonathan Told Anenih To Transfer N100M To Me,” Falae Confesses.

Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief Olu Falae has said that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Chief Tony Anenih transferred N100 million to him on the orders of former president, Goodluck Jonathan.


Falae is being investigated for money laundering by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after he was accused of benefitting from the arms deal fraud.


The former SGF made the disclosure to the EFCC by submitting email correspondence between him Anenih to the agency, Punch reports.


In the email, Anenih told Chief Falae, who is the Chairman of the SDP that N100m had been approved by President Jonathan as part of the agreement between the PDP and the SDP ahead of the presidential election,” a source said.


He further urged Falae to provide an account which the money would be paid into,” the source added. The submission of the email thread as evidence has been confirmed by Falae’s spokesman, Alfa Mohammed.


We had a letter of agreement between the PDP and the SDP regarding cooperation between the two parties for the election. There was an email from Anenih stating that Mr. President (Jonathan) told him to transfer the money to that effect,” Mohammed said.


Mohammed also said that it was unrealistic to demand a refund of the money from Falae as he had no idea where the funds were sourced from.


He also said that the PDP was still owing Falae N70 million out of the money in question.


Several members of the PDP have been accused of money laundering by the EFCC and the funds are alleged to have been used in a bid to secure a re-election for Jonathan in the 2015 polls.

Avoid The Jonathan Error, Sanusi Warns Buhari

The current Buhari-led administration may end like the Jonathan administration if it fails to retrace its footsteps, the Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi II, has warned.

Sanusi, who was the chairman, Special Session at the 15th Joint Planning Board and National Council on Development Planning, said if the Federal Government toes the way of the last administration, it will end up like it.

He said the economy created terrorism, following the government’s inability to create employment opportunities for the over 80 million youths in the country.

He lamented that the country has not been able to attract investments, saying that the example of Lagos State typifies what Nigeria can achieve.

He warned those he described as “clamouring to break up the country because of oil” to stop the agitation, stressing that oil would soon become insignificant globally.

The emir said, “There is nothing we are facing today that we did not know would happen. We made mistakes, many of them deliberate. We ignored every single warning.

”We should not continue to blame the previous administration, as we have also made some mistakes in the current administration.

“We must retrace our steps; otherwise we may fall into the same trap we fell the last time when the government was always right.

“The bottom line is that if your policy is wrong, it is you that must change.”



Jonathan, Wife, Under Probe Over Alleged Link To Niger Delta Bombings

The Nigerian presidency has ordered a discreet investigation of former president, Goodluck Jonathan, and his wife, Patience, over the spate of bombings of oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta.

A top government source, quoting intelligence reports, said that it had now been established that some of the oil installations bombed in the Niger Delta had actually been mined while President Jonathan was in power, just before the 2015 election, by some of the militants and operatives known to be very close to him.

“The mining was meant to be a “Plan B should they be removed from Aso Rock,” said the official, who requested not to be named because of the sensitive nature of the matter.

“The plan then was to cause confusion if the 2015 presidential election did not go as expected, in favour of the then incumbent.”

“However, when the former president surprisingly conceded the election to President Mohammadu Buhari, according to the source, there was both disappointment and confusion in the camp of those who had designed the plan, causing a suspension of the whole agenda.

“But by February this year, it was learnt, the plan was reopened as several of the backers were getting investigated on different corruption cases.

“Mr. Jonathan himself was concerned that himself and his wife could be prosecuted, including on money-laundering charges where investigators said evidence against the wife has already been amassed.

“It was at that point that the bombing activities under the banner of the Niger Delta Avengers started.

 “Even the former President himself had been reported while on a foreign trip as saying he knew he was under probe. This was after the plan to start the bombing had become fully operational according to intelligence reports.”

Read More:


Rot Of The Past, Not Totally Jonathan’s Fault – Akiolu

The Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwanu Akiolu, said on Monday that President Muhammadu Buhari needs to change his leadership style and listen more to advise as he is not a military ruler.


The monarch was also not convinced about the measures being taken by the government to tackle the decay in the country.


All of us just have to support the president and I advise him to know that he is no more a military man. I am not afraid to say that. On the measures they are taking to tackle the rot of the past, honestly, whether they like it or not, it was not totally the fault of Jonathan,” said Akiolu in a speech at opening of SunTrust Bank Limited in Lagos.


Akiolu described the former president Goodluck Jonathan as his personal friend.


All that happened was not totally his fault. But it is not too late to make amend. With Prof. Yemi Osinbajo as head of economic team, with people like Mrs. Nike Akande as the President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and others, they (the federal government) should listen to advice from people in commercial sector of the economy,” he said.

$15bn Arms Deals: Panel Traces Funds To Five Children Of Ex-Army Chief

The Presidential Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement (CADEP) has traced about N2billion, meant for the purchase of vehicles for the Nigerian Army, to the accounts of five children of a former Chief of Army Staff.


The accounts were said to have been frozen as at the time of filing this report.


Also, the panel discovered that about 42 units of Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) rejected by Iraq were resold to Nigeria to fight Boko Haram insurgents.


It said the poor equipment accounted for the loss of lives and soldiers in the North-East.


The panel’s findings are contained in a brief which was  obtained by The Nation.

The outcome of the panel’s investigation suggested that the children of the ex-Chief of Army Staff allegedly used two companies for the deal.


The panel said: “The committee reviewed the procurement carried out by Chok Ventures Ltd and Integrated Equipment Services Ltd, two companies that shared the same registered office, had one name as common controlling shareholder and sole or mandatory signatory to the various banks accounts of the companies.”


The committee further established that between March 2011 and December 2013, the two companies exclusively procured various types of Toyota and Mitsubishi vehicles worth over N2, 000,000,000.00 for the Nigerian Army without any competitive bidding.


Most of the contracts awarded to the companies were also split, awarded on the same date or within a short space of time at costs and mobilization higher than the prescribed thresholds.


For instance, on February 13 and 15, the two companies were awarded contracts worth N260, 000.000.00 and N315, 000,000.00 respectively for supplies of various vehicles. The Nigerian Army could not justify the exclusive selection of these vendors against other renowned distributors of same brands of vehicles procured.


More seriously, the committee found no credible evidence of delivery of the vehicles by the two companies as there were no receipt vouchers, but only unauthenticated delivery notes, invoices and waybills that were purportedly used for the deliveries.


Nevertheless, the vendors were fully paid based on job completion certificate authenticated by the then Chief of Logistics, Maj Gen D.D. Kitchener (rtd). The payments were also made without deduction of Withholding Tax (WHT). Furthermore, analyses of the various bank accounts of the two companies showed transfers to individuals , some of who are believed to be children of the army chief.


Thus, the committee recommends further investigation to determine delivery of the vehicles and relationship of funds beneficiaries with the former COAS and the two companies. Furthermore, the panel said that Lt Gen O. A. Ihejirika (rtd), Maj Gen D. D. Kitchener (rtd), Col A. M. Inuwa and Mr Chinedu Onyekwere should be held accountable for the issues arising out of the contracts.”


The panel observed that the award of contracts in the Nigerian Army was fraught with irregularities.


It said a company was registered on November 17, 2014 and awarded $125,179,299.10 on the same day.


It said: “The Nigerian Army, between April and August 2014, entered into four contract agreements with Societe D’Equipmenteux Internationale  (SEI Nig Ltd)  for procurement of Cobra Armoured Personnel Carriers, Shilka Self-Propelled Artillery Guns, Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs) as well as various ammunition and spares funded by the ONSA.”


The contracts for the Cobra APCs and Shilka Guns were not executed as they were not funded. However, the costs for procurement of the AFVs; ammunition and spares were $398,550,000.00 and $484,765,000.00 respectively totalling $883,315,000.00.


In November 2014, the ONSA awarded contract to Conella Services Limited for procurement of 72 various arms and ammunition that included MRAP vehicles, Mi-17 helicopter at the cost of $125,179,299.10.


The committee observed that the company was registered in Nigeria on 17 November, 2014 and awarded the contract on the same date, while the EUC for the procurement was issued a day later on 18 November, 2014. Furthermore, the ONSA paid $36,996,530.00 and N2,209,582,296.00 to the vendor between November 2014 and 15 April, 2015.


However, the Nigerian Army denied receipt of any procurement from Conella Services Ltd.


Similarly, the committee tried in vain to reach officials of the company to confirm execution of the contract. There is, therefore, the need for further investigation of Conella Services Ltd.


The committee observed that SEI and its two associated companies, APC Axial Ltd and HK-Sawki Nig Ltd, were incorporated in May 2014 with two Nigerien brothers, Hima Aboubakar and Ousmane Hima Massy as the only directors.


Between May 2014 and March 2015, the ONSA mandated CBN to release various sums totaling $386,954,000.00 to SEI and the two associated companies for ‘procurement of technical equipment’, without tying the money to particular items of procurement.


Thus, the allotment of the funds was left at the discretion of the vendor without input or consultation with ONSA or the Nigerian Army.


Furthermore, some of the funds transferred preceded the formalization of SEI contracts with the Nigerian Army. There was also no evidence of any contract to justify the payments made by ONSA to the SEI associate companies. Consequently, it had been difficult for the ONSA, the Nigerian Army and SEI to reconcile the accounts vis-a-vis the equipment delivered.”


The panel also uncovered that 42 units of Armoured Personnel Carrier(APC) which were rejected by Iraq were later sold to Nigeria to fight Boko Haram insurgents.


It claimed that some of the APCs were either expired or unsuitable leading to loss of lives.


It added: “The committee observed that one of the new equipment SEI procured for the Nigerian Army from Ukraine was BTR-4E APC.”


However, according to the Ukraine’s state enterprise, Lviv Armour Repair Plant, the designers of the equipment, “some of the products sold to Nigeria in 2014 were actually among 42 units designed for Iraq which subsequently rejected them due to poor performance rating”.


The Nigerian Army did not also undertake the mandatory pre-shipment inspections provided for in the contract agreements. Instead, the NA deployed an infantry officer, who lacked the technical knowledge to assess the capabilities and shortcomings of the equipment, to oversee the shipment of the items for the Nigerian Army from Ukraine.


Additionally, the two-week training availed the technicians and operators was inadequate for them to comprehend the technical workings of the newly introduced equipment.


The committee’s interactions with the field operators revealed that although the platforms and ammunition procured by SEI were deployed for the NE operations, some of them were aged or expired, lacked spares and prone to breakdown without immediate recovery equipment.

Therefore, failure to carry out pre-shipment inspection and inadequate training resulted in procurement of some unreliable equipment that reduced the capacity of the Nigerian Army in the North East operations and resulted in the loss of lives and equipment.”


On some payments to SEI on T-72 Tanks, the panel said the company made about $93,000,000.00 profit without paying the mandatory 5 per cent Withholding Tax(WHT).


It said: “SEI submitted a document to the committee reconciling the items it delivered to the Nigerian Army vis-a-vis the payments made to it by ONSA.”


According to SEI, the total value of the contracts it executed amounted to $909,065,824.00 and not the  $883,315,000.00 reflected in the two contract agreements it signed with Nigerian Army.


Furthermore, SEI claimed that it delivered goods worth $697,718,168.00 whereas only $198,289,672.00 was paid to it by ONSA.


Credit: TheNation

Buhari Will Not Fail, APC Replies Mbaka

The Enugu State chapter of the All Progressives Congress has assured that President Muhammadu Buhari will not disappoint Nigerians in the task of fixing the country.

It stated this in a statement by its spokesperson, Kate Offor.

The party was reacting to recent remarks about the president by a clergyman, Ejike Mbaka.

Mr. Mbaka, the Head of the Adoration Ministry, Catholic Church Enugu State, who predicted Mr. Buhari’s victory in the March 2015 presidential election, had said life was no longer easy for Nigerians as there was hunger everywhere.

“It is not easy everywhere. Hunger is everywhere. Hunger is in the atmosphere…………. There is sword moving about in the country. People are dying like flies. The sword of hunger is eating the land,” the clergyman said.

But the APC said though it agreed with Mr. Mbaka, the president was committed to fixing the country.

“We wish to reassure Fr. Mbaka that President Buhari will not in the fullness of time disappoint Nigerians or fail to fix our dilapidated social and physical infrastructure. Never! Buhari is devotedly committed to pull Nigerians out of poverty, hunger and squalor,” it said.

The party however agreed with Mr. Mbaka that the past Peoples Democratic Party administrations should be blamed for Nigeria’s woes and that if they had done what was expected of them, the nation would not have been in its current situation.
It said, “For us yesterday and for true reality is the architecture of today, and nobody can wash yesterday away.

“Therefore, Fr Mbaka is correct in stating that the past regimes sowed the whirlwind we are regrettably reaping today.

“If the $16 billion expended on power supply was prudently expended, if the 3 Greenfield Refineries awarded on 13 May, 2010 was not dead and fund decayed in the sand, if the $8.3 billion spent on the old gauge Lagos-Kano Railway were for standard gauge, if the Enugu-Onitsha, Enugu-Port Harcourt, 2nd Niger Bridge the and other federal roads monies budgeted were not eaten by locust, if the monies meant for Enugu Coal were nor embezzled and if the billions budgeted for our schools and hospitals did not grow wings; hunger couldn’t have been in the land, unemployment could have been drastically reduced and our prosperity could have been guaranteed.”

The APC said for the avoidance of doubt, its members and by extension Nigeria, feel the pains, pangs of hunger, gruesome hardship and abject poverty ravaging the land.

It said its members were not immune to hunger nor the gross unemployment dislocating of the country’s teeming youth.

The party said Mr. Buhari had repeatedly disclosed that he was not unaware or unconcerned about the sordid economic situation and that was the reason he was waging strident war against corruption.

“His solution is to effectively and prudently implement 2016 and subsequent budgets, so as to fix the decayed infrastructure,” it said.

“On the issue of being slow, Mr President pointed out that the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Procurement Act and other extant laws make it impossible for any official to expend monies not appropriated by the National Assembly. Otherwise, he could have dipped his hand into the trillions budgeted and hit the ground running.
“It is pertinent to inform as well that Mr President is embarking on economic diplomacy, travelling the length and breadth of the globe, utilizing his huge goodwill to attract foreign investors to fulfill the solemn pledge he made to the good people of Nigeria.
“It is common knowledge that destruction is very easy and reconstruction very difficult. This is the ordeal that Mr President is facing in fixing Nigeria.”

The APC assured Mr. Mbaka and other Nigerians that in the fullness of time, nobody would ever regret voting for Mr. Buhari, adding “ All he needs is prayers patience and support.”

MEND Accuses Jonathan For Using Avengers To Destabilise Buhari’s Govt

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta says it has been vindicated by the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers’ allegation that former President Goodluck Jonathan is a grand patron of new militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers.

MEND claimed in a statement on Tuesday that Jonathan was sponsoring the NDA to destabilise the government of his successor, President Muhammadu Buhari.

The statement signed by one Jomo Gbomo was MEND’s response to Jonathan’s denial of the allegation by the RNDA, linking the ex-President with the new militant group.

The full text of the statement was made available to online news platform, SaharaReporters by MEND.

MEND said it was highly infuriated by Jonathan’s rebuttal of the RNDA earlier claim, particularly his declaration that Henry Okah was after his life rather than clear the air on the allegation.

The statement said, “MEND cannot hold brief for the RNDA, which pointedly accused Mr. Jonathan of complicity in fueling the ongoing Niger Delta crisis and patronising the NDA, apparently for political reasons.

“We are, however, quick to point out the fact that the RNDA has merely vindicated MEND’s belief and conviction that the former President and his cronies, who lost the 2015 presidential election, were using the illegal and treasonable NDA platform to destabilise President Buhari’s government.”

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MEND Wants Me Dead- Jonathan

Former President, Goodluck Jonathan has raised the alarm, alleging that the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) wants to assassinate him.
But President Jonathan said he was prepared to do anything within the ambit of the law, to ensure that he enjoys a well-deserved peaceful post-presidential life without any hindrance.
He raised the alarm in a statement signed by his media aide, Ikechukwu Eze, in response to a story linking him to the renewed militancy in the Niger Delta region.
A group, the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA) recently alleged that many notable Ijaw and other Niger Delta leaders and elders, especially those perceived not to be too close to the Presidency were sponsors of the current crisis in the oil-rich region.
But Jonathan dismissed the allegation, saying his intervention is to the extent that the hidden intent poses a violent threat to his life.
Part of the statement reads: “We, have no doubt in our mind that MEND, as a group contracted to go after Jonathan with the mind of assassinating him, is yet to abandon this criminal and ignominious craving. It is in this light that we view the purported statement issued by ‘Cynthia White’ as not only a sadistic continuation of this sick desire, but also a futile attempt to instigate the Federal Government to needlessly go after the former President…”

Read More: SunOnline

“There Is Nothing Wrong With Restructuring Nigeria, I Did It In 1967” – Yakubu Gowon

Former Head of State, General Yakubu  Gowon (retd), has said there was nothing wrong with restructuring the country, provided it was done within the context of one Nigeria.
Gen. Gowon
Gowon said this, yesterday, when Shehu Sani, Vice-Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.
He recalled that Nigeria was restructured under his leadership as the head of state with the creation of states in 1967.
He said: “We can restructure within one Nigeria context. I did it in 1967; we created states to stop eastern Nigeria from seceding. We had to do something to ensure the fear of their seceding did not exist; a serious issue of a part of the country wanting to breakaway when we already lost a part to
“If we had allowed the eastern region to go away, the map of Nigeria would have looked funny; it would have been tilted one way. So, we decided overnight to break the fear through the creation of states. If we had to save the country, that was the only way to do it. We also ensured that no state was too big or too small to threaten the unity of the country.”

On his time as the number one citizen in the country, Gowon said: “Accident of history made it possible for him to become head of state. What happened was the accident of history. When you have lost your leadership and there was crisis and you don’t know what to do and it happened that those within your constituency chose you, what would you do?
“I was lucky enough within the military at that time and all the officers knew me by reputation. I had no intention to become head of state but it is the opportunity, if opportunity presents itself and people ask you to do it then do it.
“What I have achieved is (because of) God. I had never thought of becoming head of state but there was a coup and all my senior colleagues were killed and I was the only one that survived.
“My plan was to rise in my profession and hopefully become a head in my profession but that did not happen. I didn’t know what happened but I had the duty and responsibility to ensure the coup in Lagos did not succeed.”
He advised younger Nigerians to prepare themselves academically and morally to take advantage of opportunities when they presented themselves.

Source: Vanguard

What We Discussed With Buhari, Jonathan Reveals

Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday said he was against the disintegration of Nigeria, saying he was working with other leaders to find solutions to the renewed crisis in the Niger Delta.

Mr. Jonathan spoke to journalists at the presidential villa after a private meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.

The former president, who met with Mr. President Buhari for about 15 minutes, said he was at the villa to report his international engagements to the incumbent president.

“One key thing is that having been a head of a government, a former president you become a state property, that’s the privilege you have. But every privilege has its corresponding responsibility, and once you become a state property, most of your international engagement, that has to do with public addresses and some international assignment becomes a national assignment, you brief the president. Even when I was here the former presidents used to do that and see me. I have been coming but most times I come in the night that’s why you don’t see me.

“I came to brief the president about some of my engagements. As you are aware I will be leading the AU elections monitoring team to Zambia, I came to brief the president about some of this external engagement. It is the tradition,” he said.

Mr. Jonathan said he was staunchly opposed to the secession of any part from the country.

He said Nigeria was only termed “great” because of its size and diversity and not necessarily because of its oil.

“It’s not just about me but about all the traditional rulers, elders and opinion leaders that are of the Ijaw ethnic nationality; we have been in touch to see that peace reigns in the country,” Mr. Jonathan said. “Those of you that have followed my talks when I was here, my emphasis is that we need a united Nigeria and I always emphasize that Nigeria is great not just about the oil – so many countries produce more oil than Nigeria nobody notices them.

“We are great because of our size, the human resources we have, the diversity we have, if we fragmentise the country into small components we will be forgotten by the world.”

A group known as Adaka Boro Avengers had threatened to declare an independent Niger Delta Republic on Monday, but said it cancelled the plan following the intervention of Mr. Jonathan and other leaders in the area.

“That has been my focal position and without peace, there cannot be development anywhere in the world,” the former president said. “We are all working collectively to see that issues are resolved.”

On the ongoing anti-corruption campaign that has seen several of his former appointees arrested and prosecuted, Mr. Jonathan said he would speak when most of the court cases are resolved.

“I don’t want to talk about that one because there are too many cases that are in court, it will not be fair to make comments, I will talk at the appropriate time when most of these things are resolved,” he said.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Jonathan Leads AU Election Observer Mission To Zambia

Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan is to lead the African Union Elections Observation Mission, AUEOM, to the Zambian general elections scheduled take place on October 11, 2016.

Recall that former President Jonathan was named to lead a 33-nation observer mission to the Sunday, October 25, 2015 General Election held in Tanzania.

A statement posted on AU’s website yesterday stated that Jonathan would be leading members of the short term mission to join the continental body’s deployment of long term election experts who are already on ground in Zambia, adding that the chairperson of African Union Commission, AUC, approved it. The statement read: “The Chairperson of the AUC has approved the deployment of African Union Elections Observation Mission, AUEOM, to the General Election scheduled to take place in the Republic of Zambia on October 11, 2016.

“The deployment of the AUEOM will take place in two phases. The first phase comprised the deployment of long term election experts and took place from July 14 to August 22, 2016 and is made up of 10 observers.”

“For the first time, the AU long term experts include election/ legal political/media/campaign analysts.

“The objective is ensure that the AUEOM approaches its work with added professionalism and factual analysis of the legal, political, electoral, media and campaign aspects of the electoral process in Zambia.

“At the second phase of the Mission, the long term experts will to be joined by Short Term observers from the August 1 to 15, 2016.

“The Short Term Mission will be headed by Goodluck Jonathan, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The AUEOM draws its mandate from various African Union instruments, most importantly: (a) the AU Guidelines for Elections Observation and Monitoring Missions, 2002; (b) the OUA/AU Declaration on Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa, 2002; African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, 1981, and (c) African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, 200), among others.

“The objectives of the Mission is (a) to provide an accurate and impartial reporting or assessment of the quality of the 25th October General Elections in the United Republic of Tanzania, including the degree to which the conduct of the elections meets regional, continental and international standards for democratic elections; (b) to offer recommendations for improvement of future elections based on the findings; and, and (c) to demonstrate AU’s interest to support Tanzania’s elections and democratisation process to ensure that the conduct of genuine elections contributes to the consolidation of democratic governance, peace and stability in Tanzania in particular and the East African sub-region in general.”

Credit: Vanguard

There Was Recession During The Last Administration But It Was Covered Up – Rotimi Amaechi

Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi says during the Goodluck Jonathan administration, Nigeria went into recession but was covered up by the government who preferred to call it cash-strapped.? Amaechi said this in an interview on the Osasu show:

“People just pick up words without knowing what words mean. Even under Goodluck we went into recession. I am one of those who participated in the budget. We looked at what happened in the past and we discovered that actually if recession means three times, we have done more than the three times before we came in. The difference is that while our government is transparent and open, we are able to admit that, federal government was saying even to me as chairman of governor’s forum, ‘Amaechi, don’t say that again.

If you remember as Governor, I said we’re broke. 

The minister for finance came to my office in Abuja here and pleaded with me that I shouldn’t say it again. That if I said it, it would affect Nigeria in terms of investment that investors will run away. That I shouldn’t say we are broke. I should say we are cashed strapped. That was what Ngozi Okonjo Iweala told me. So I knew as chairman of Governor’s forum, that we had gone into recession under Goodluck. I knew as chairman of governor’s forum. 

And when I open my mouth to say it, that we are broke, she spoke to me not to say it.”?he said


Buhari Clueless On How Jonathan Successfully Managed Economy – Senator Urhoghide

Senator representing Edo South senatorial district, Matthew Urhoghide, has lamented the worsening economic situation in the country saying President Muhammadu Buhari is at a loss on how former President Goodluck Jonathan was able to manage the economy successfully.


The naira fell to an all-time low of N335 against the dollar on the inter-bank market last Friday
The Central Bank of Nigeria had announced a hike in the benchmark interest rate from 12 per cent to 14 per cent last week, a move seen by analysts as tailored towards braking the downward slide of the Nigerian currency by inducing a return of foreign investors back into local assets.


When asked if he is satisfied with the way the economy is being managed, Urhoghide, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism in an interview with Independent said no right thinking Nigerian will be satisfied given the negative effect the worsening economic situation is having on the citizens.


“How can I be satisfied with the way the economy is being managed? No right thinking Nigerian will be satisfied. Even the illiterates that are in the market places are not satisfied because what it does is that it puts negative effect on everything that is monetary which touches every facet of our life”.

“Because of the ripple effect, even those who are local farmers in the village will tell you ‘don’t you know what the exchange rate is; even when they are selling products that are not denominated in foreign currencies”.


“The multiplier effect of the very negative effect of the high exchange rate cannot be overemphasized. It only means today, that the way with which the Jonathan administration or previous administrations managed the economy is completely unknown to this present administration”.


“That is why even when they said market forces will determine, we are talking of what we know in basic economy, supply and demand; but now things have gone haywire. It tells you that this whole business about governance cannot be pursued from the platform of ignorance and very wrong assumptions. Now, governance is right before you.


“The states have become a bit rudderless because of the people who do not have expert advice and deep knowledge of management of the economy of a state or country. That is what we are faced with,” he said.

Abuja- Kaduna Rail Partially Executed By Jonathan- Amaechi

The Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, on Tuesday admitted that the Abuja-Kaduna rail project was partially executed by the Goodluck Jonathan administration, but added that the President Buhari’s government was responsible for executing the final stages that were crucial to the project’s completion.
The line, first of its kind in Nigeria, was commissioned amidst fanfare by Mr. Buhari in Kubwa, a suburb of Abuja and major terminal for the route, on Tuesday.
But no latter had the commissioning ceremony got underway than arguments about who deserved the most credit for what is now widely acknowledged as one of the most consequential improvements to Nigeria’s rail transportation in a long time ensued.
The social media became awash with arguments between supporters of Mr. Buhari, who said he had scored another major developmental achievement barely a year in office, and admirers of Mr. Jonathan, who said the former leader completed the project before leaving office in May 2015.
The PDP released a statement detailing how the project was conceived and completed through counterpart funding by Mr. Jonathan’s administration.
In an apparent bid to douse the tension flaring between the two camps, Mr. Amaechi took to his Twitter handle to weigh in on the matter, saying the project was, in fact, conceived by President Olusegun Obasanjo, who left office nine years ago, and received contributions from successive governments.
“The rail contract was awarded by President Obasanjo, partially executed by President Jonathan and completed by President Buhari,” Mr. Amaechi said.
Mr. Amaechi’s tweet elicited criticism from mostly PDP supporters, who said the minister was being disingenuous.

They said Mr. Amaechi left out the fact that the train project was awarded by Mr. Jonathan in 2011 through counterpart funding with a Chinese construction firm at the rate of $874 million.
The PDP also posted a link to a December 2014 Chinese news report suggesting the project was completed in December 2014, after Mr. Amaechi’s predecessor in the ministry reportedly bolted the last knot on the tracks.
But Mr. Amaechi held his ground, saying a lot of efforts were put into the completion by the APC government.
“The rail stations, the signaling, the communications and part of d tracks were done and completed by the Buhari administration,” he said.

Credit: PremiumTimes

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.

Opinion: Obasanjo Initiated Abuja-Kaduna Rail Project Not Jonathan

People tend to forget continuum in governance! Supporters of former President Goodluck Jonathan have been giving the credit of the Abuja-Kaduna rail project to him. It was commissioned yesterday by President Muhammadu Buhari.


Here is the historical timeline on the project:


? The Modernisation programme commenced in 2006, with the signing of agreement between Nigeria and the CCECC for construction of a new standard gauge rail network Lagos-Kanoand Port Harcourt – Maiduguri and the Lagos Calabar lines to replace the existing narrow guage lines, at a cost of $8.3 billion, over a 25- year period.


? The counterpart funding was faulty on the part of Nigeria, while it contravened the law.


? The government of late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua discovered that the contract did not follow due process and that the project was inflated.


? Yar’Adua visited China and re-negotiated and re-scoped the entire project. Partners agreed to first, get the services back by rehabilitating the two narrow guage lines first, then construct the standard guage lines thereafter. The standard guage project was segmented and the Abuja -Kaduna component was added. The completion date of rehabilitation of Lagos-Kano and Port Harcourt-Maiduguri lines was December 2011…


? Rehabilitation work started while a Chinese delegation came to Nigeria to commence on-site assessment and preparatory work on first phase of the now segmented standard gauge Abuja-Kaduna line in July 2008 and to finalise it in 2009. When Yar Adua died, Jonathan rescoped the Lagos-Calabar line by adding Otuoke to it.

? Contract for the Abuja-Kaduna standard rail project was awarded in 2010 but the actual construction did not start till 2011. It is an 874 million dollar project with the Exim Bank of China’s facility of $500 million, while Nigeria was to pay the rest. The Project was scheduled for completion in 2014.


? But Jonathan’s administration reneged on counterpart funding of the project, leading to extension of completion period. It was typical of the Jonathan’s government. Almost all capital projects inherited by the administration were not adequately funded in spite of their strategic importance to the nation, and in spite of the large amount of monies Nigeria made from the high price of crude oil throughout his regime.


? Jonathan did not initiate the project, not to talk of completing it. He indeed, inherited it and had the opportunity of completion to take the glory, but he blew the opportunity.


? When Buhari came in 2015, there were outstanding payments which stalled the project. Buhari paid off and worked commenced and is now completed due largely to the seriousness Buhari attached to it.


? The Second phase of betrayal of terms of agreement befell the Rail Modernisation project, Lagos-Ibadan dual track standard gauge line. The contract was awarded in 2012 and to be completed in 2015…


? Federal Executive Council on July 18th, 2012 approved the sum of $1.457 billion as the project contract sum on 36 months completion period. The project was abandoned by Jonathan after 13 billion naira was appropriated in the 2012, 2013 and 2014 budgets with nothing to show for the sums.

Jonathan Ordered Dasuki To Give Me N100m– Okupe

A former Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Doyin Okupe, says the embattled former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), gave him N100m on the instruction of Jonathan.

Okupe, who served as Jonathan’s spokesman from 2012 to 2015, added that he received N10m monthly from Dasuki to pay salaries and run a weekly programme on NTA.

The former presidential aide said this in a Facebook post on Sunday while reacting to his arrest and interrogation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The EFCC had alleged that Okupe received N85m from Dasuki at different times.

In his reaction, Okupe said, “The initial N50m was approved by the President (Goodluck Jonathan) to be paid to me from his security vote. N10m was to furnish my rented living apartment and another N10m for my office. The balance N30m was approved as take-off grant.

“The N10m I received from the ONSA monthly was to run my office, pay salaries of  members of staff, including overheads, pay expenses for our numerous press conferences, pay for publications in newspapers, magazines, local and foreign, television programmes, bulletins, and media consultants who assist and facilitate our work. I had about 23 (members of ) staff, 11 were graduates out of which five were Master’s degree holders.

“The second N50m was approved again by Mr. President when I reported to him that the monthly allowance had been cut from N10m to N5m and that I was no longer in  a position to keep running a one-hour NTA network programme called INSIGHT which was aired 9am to 10am every Friday.

“We paid NTA about N1.2m monthly for airtime. Two presenters were paid N600,000 monthly. The lead presenter on INSIGHT earned N400,000 and the second presenter earned N200,000. Total N600,000.

“We paid for tapes and editing per programme. Besides, we also paid honorarium for guests either directly or in form of hotel bills for those outside Abuja, or transportation.

“This cost averagely N500,000 weekly or about N2m monthly. All in all, we spent  about N4m monthly on the programme. Mr. President promised to help with the expenses. About a few months later when we had incurred some debts the NSA sent me this N50m which was to cover the cost of the programme for 12 months.”

Okupe further clarified that his monthly allowance was not his salary but meant for the running of his office. He said out of the N10m given to him by Dasuki monthly, 40 per cent went on salaries.

“Salary sheets with names and offices of employees were submitted to the EFCC. I was paid my salary of N853,000 per month through the office of the Secretary of the Government of the Federation,” he said.

Okupe, who was also quizzed for allegedly receiving some dubious contracts from a local council in Niger State to the tune of N76.5m, said his company, Romix Soilfix, was one of the over 20 construction companies who were duly awarded contracts for rural roads some five years ago by the Niger State Government.

He explained that due to lack of funds, contractors were paid irregularly making the job to drag.

“The job is still ongoing. The relationship of this to my service as senior special assistant to President is still not clear,” Okupe said.

The former presidential aide criticised the EFCC for allegedly releasing details about his health.

Okupe confirmed that he suffered a heart problem and he only explained this to investigators to prevent him from being detained.

Credit: Punch

Dasuki Authorized Payment Of $40m To Jonathan’s Cousin’s Company– Witness

A prosecution witness, Ibrahim Mahir, has testified that retired Col. Sambo Dasuki authorised the payment of 40 million dollars in favour of One Plus Holdings.

Mahir made this known when he testified in the case of Azibaola Roberts, cousin to former President Goodluck Jonathan at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday.

He said that Dasuki, a former National Security Adviser (NSA), instructed him to prepare a payment mandate of 40 million dollars in favour of the company.Roberts and his wife Stella were arraigned on June 8 on a seven-count charge of money laundering.

Mahir, who was the first prosecution witness, told the court that Dasuki had endorsed a memo to him with details of the company’s account.

“On Aug. 20, 2014, the NSA endorsed a memo to me which originated from the director of finance and administration in the office of the NSA giving bank details of a company called One Plus.

“The memo also gave details of the purpose for which the company was to be paid the sum of 40 million dollars.

“The NSA instructed me to prepare payment and my understanding of that was that I should prepare the payment mandate for One Plus for his signature.

“After I got the memo, I prepared the payment mandate, sent it to him, he signed and sent it back to me.

“The subsequent necessary action was for me to countersign, which I did and I sent it to the CBN for payment,” Mahir said.

Earlier, Roberts’ lead counsel, Mr Chris Uche (SAN), had applied for a short adjournment.

Uche said the adjournment would give him time to meet with his client to prepare his defence.

He said that when bail was granted, his team had difficulties in perfecting the bail conditions, adding that the conditions were only perfected last week.

He said they needed more time to prepare their defence because there were some documents that they needed to subpoena from the office of the NSA.

Uche also sighted indisposition as part of the reasons his team was asking for an adjournment.

Credit: Guardian

Bade Adebolu: Judgement Scam; Why Okonjo-Iweala Should Not Be Blamed

Recently, a coalition of anti-corruption civil society bodies petitioned the EFCC that the erstwhile Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Muhaamed Bello Adoke to account for the sum of $3.2 billion allegedly belonging to the 774 local governments on whose behalf one Mr. Joe Agi SAN obtained the judgment.

According to media report, “…none of the local governments benefited from the $1.6 billion said to have been paid to the plaintiffs.”

The question on the minds of many Nigerians is: Who really authorized the disbursement of the funds?

I am not so good at mathematics, but I know for sure that a trillion is made up of several billions; and several millions makes a billion. If my knowledge of math is still with me, it is either this judgement is a sham or there is a deliberate distortion somewhere!

In a country with a reputation of corrupt judiciary doing the biddings of their pay master, one do not need to wait too long to buy “gbanjo” judgement using the Yoruba parlance language. We live in a country where the Judiciary that is supposed to be the last hope of the common man is providing no hope, but hardship. We all are witnesses to the fact that people like Justice Salami sold their conscience for their paymasters and were all ignominiously shown the way out of the famous institution.

At this point let us bring in former Minister of Finance, Dr (Mrs) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. She has to be brought in because, going by conventional wisdom, she served as the custodian of the nation’s treasury at the time so she cannot be “insulated” from the news. More curiously we ask: would Dr. Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala not have made the part payment of $1.6 billion? In her own case, did she collude with the Adoke because she too ignored the advice of the Debt Management Office? As the Coordinating Minister of the Economy at the time, did she not ought to have protected Nigeria by defending the position of the DMO instead of following Adoke’s dubious directive to pay the sum of a judgment debt of $3.6 billion?

While I do not envy the former finance minister at all for having to serve in the same administration with people like Adoke, we must resist the temptations to assume that everyone that served under Hitler was evil. After all, President Buhari served under one of the worst administrations in Nigeria’s history- General Sanni Abacha. So why should Okonjo-Iweala be guilty by association if Buhari is not guilty of the Abacha’s crimes?

The role of Okonjo-Iweala as finance minister is not to question expenditures or vouchers. Those are roles purely of the Offices of the Accountant-General and the Auditor-General of the Federation. For God’s sake, why should I, for instance perform the duties of a nurse just because I am the physician?

That leads me to my next point, even if the monies were misappropriated, why should we blame Okonjo-Iweala for that?

If we take this line of thought as gospel, then we come to an answer such as this: A young man started working with a Commercial Bank as a Financial Control Officer. He diligently focused on his job that other things do not bother about any other things going on in the bank. He closed his eyes on the fraudulent deals going on among the top brass of the Bank for not wanting to be seen as a whistle-blower since he wasn’t employed for that.

This man won several awards both within and without the organization, but he soon discovered his diligence was not enough to prevent the Bank from going bankrupt. Should we say this man was responsible for the organization’s bankruptcy? Should he have blown the whistle? Should he have resigned when he became aware of the bad deals his superiors are engaging in even though it all started before he took the job? Whatever your answer is to these questions, this was the case with Okonjo-Iweala.

On this issue, I believe the coalition of the civil society should turn the searchlight and the heat on the bureaucrats at the Ministry of Justice and the then Attorney General of the Federation, Mr, Adoke (SAN).

The Yoruba people have a saying that for a child not to commit crimes is the reason he was given a name.  Mr. Adoke has his own name which is definitely not Okonjo-Iweala!  Therefore, leave Okonjo Iweala out of this mess.

Bade Adebolu is an accountant based in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti state. He sent this piece via badeadebolu@gmail.com

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

Buhari Did Not Inherit An Empty Treasury – Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, defended his government’s record on fighting corruption and denied his successor’s assertion that the country’s Treasury was left empty when he handed over power last year. Jonathan, 58, was succeeded in May 2015 by President Muhammadu Buhari, who accused the previous administration of looting billions of dollars and leaving the country’s finances “virtually empty.”

“There’s no way he would have inherited an empty Treasury,” Jonathan said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in London, adding “It’s not possible.” Nigeria’s economy is contracting after a decline in the price of Brent by about half since the middle of 2014. Crude exports accounted in 2014 for as much as two-thirds of government revenue, with most state budgets relying on monthly handouts from the federal administration. Kemi Adeosun and implementation of 2016 budget Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, said last month that a long-delayed 2016 budget might not be fully implemented.


The cash crunch has dampened optimism around the election of Buhari who campaigned on an anti-corruption platform, beating Jonathan in the first election victory by an opposition candidate in the nation’s history. In a bid to plug the gap in the finances of Africa’s biggest economy, Nigerian authorities have gone after corrupt officials, recovering more than $500 million in cash so far.


Investigations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, have brought top officials of Jonathan’s government under scrutiny, such as his National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and then-spokesman of his political party, Olisa Metuh. Asked if he was being investigated for corruption, Jonathan said, “of course, obviously, they investigated and I’ve been investigated.” My administration did very well —Jonathan He declined to say what those investigations might reveal. Jonathan said his administration did “very well” in the fight against corruption. Former President Goodluck Jonathan expressed confidence that the authorities could reach an agreement with militants in the Niger Delta to stop their attacks that had slashed production of Africa’s biggest oil producer.


“Definitely, it will be resolved,” Jonathan, said in an interview at Bloomberg’s offices in London on Monday. “Yes, government can always overcome restive movements and so on, but the Niger Delta is too delicate.   The level of damage will be too much for the government to bear. We used dialogue.” Jonathan was vice-president when Nigeria’s government offered an amnesty and monthly stipends to militants to end years of instability, which had cut oil output. Cancellation of security contracts by President Buhari In February, Jonathan’s successor Muhammadu Buhari reduced the stipends and canceled security contracts with former militant leaders.

A militant group known as  Niger Delta Avengers has claimed attacks on facilities belonging to companies, including Chevron Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Agip Oil Co., causing Nigeria’s output to drop to an almost 30-year low of about 1.4 million barrels per day. The violence has deepened the crisis facing Africa’s largest economy, which is already reeling from a slump in crude prices. Nigeria gets as much as two-thirds of its revenue and more than 90 percent of foreign income from oil. On why he conceded defeat in the elections, Jonathan said that having helped to stabilise democracy in four other West African countries, including Niger, Mali, Guinea Bissau and Cote d’Ivoire, he decided to leave a stable country by ensuring peaceful transition of power in his belief that his “political ambition was not worth the blood of one Nigerian.”


Refecting on Nigeria’s future His words:  “Since leaving office one year and one week ago, I have had the luxury of time to reflect on the future of my great country, Nigeria. ‘’So, today (yesterday) is not about my personal memories or a litany of ‘what ifs’. No! Today, I would like to share with you what I believe are the key lessons from my experiences for the future of democracy not only in Nigeria but also across the entire continent of Africa. Conceding defeat and congratulating President Buhari “I said before the last election that my political ambition was not worth the blood of one Nigerian. I was true to my word when on March 30, 2015, just after the election, when the results were still being collated by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, I called my opponent, General Muhammadu Buhari, retd, to concede, in order to avoid any conflict and ensure a peaceful transition of power. “This was without precedent in my country and I am proud that it achieved my goal of no conflict arising from the result of the election. “Some may think, it is ironic that perhaps my proudest achievement was not winning the 2015 presidential election.  “By being the first elected Nigerian leader to willingly hand over power via the ballot box, to the opposition party; without contesting the election outcome, I proved to the ordinary man or woman in the country that I was his or her equal. “That his or her vote was equal to mine and that democracy is the government by the will of the people, and that Nigeria, and indeed Africa is ripe for democracy. It is my sincerest wish that democracy is being consolidated in the continent of Africa and it will even get better.”

Credit: Vanguard

Buhari Holds Secret Meeting With Jonathan

President Muhammadu Buhari has stepped up efforts to find a lasting solution to the renewed militancy in the Niger Delta by holding a private meeting with former President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday night at his residence in Aso Rock, Abuja.

As a follow up to the meeting with Jonathan, Buhari also met with former president Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday at the Presidential Villa.

The meeting with Obasanjo came on the heels of fresh attack on Forcados pipeline by the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA).

The destruction of oil facilities in the region by the militants had crippled Nigeria’s crude oil production and power supply, with crude production recovering from a loss of 1.1 million barrels per day to about 1.6 million barrels per day. By yesterday, power generation had dropped to 2,832.5MW.

A source very close to Jonathan said the former president’s meeting with Buhari lasted about 35 minutes and focused mainly on how to get the Niger Delta militants to agree to a ceasefire.

It was revealed that Buhari specifically requested Jonathan to intervene in the crisis.

Obasanjo arrived Aso Rock Villa yesterday in company of Otunba Johnson Fasawe at about 1pm.

His meeting with Buhari was held behind closed doors and the details were not made available to the media.

When Obasanjo emerged from Buhari’s office, he declined comments.

Credit: Thisday

I’m Not On Exile- Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has dismissed a report that he is on exile in Cote d’Ivoire.

The report, published yesterday by a national newspaper, claimed that Dr. Jonathan had been given asylum in that Francophone country. His associates were alarmed at the report.

But Dr. Jonathan yesterday said it was all false. He said on the phone: “I’m not on exile. I have no cause to go on exile. It is a wicked and malicious report.

“I was Vice President for two years and President for six years. I did everything I could and I served my country very well. This is what they keep saying anytime I’m outside the country. I was in Ecuador; they said I was on exile. This is my second time in Cote d’Ivoire and I’m rounding off my visit.

“It is a wicked attempt to link me with the renewed Niger Delta crisis.”

Also yesterday, Dr. Jonathan told his former cabinet members that he was not on exile in Cote d’Ivoire.

He said he could not have been running away from any problem in the country let alone going on exile.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said although Jonathan had been implicated in all transactions under its investigation, the ex-President was not yet its target.

The Federal Government is said to be looking into the rumour.

One of the intelligence agencies is believed to have sent its operatives to Cote d’Ivoire to verify the report.

According to a former Minister of National Planning, Prof. Suleiman Olanrewaju Abubakar, the ex-President spoke with him and others from Abidjan, following the report.

Abubakar said Jonathan was only in transit in Cote d’Ivoire being his second visit to the West African nation since he left office.

He said Jonathan actually spent his Christmas break in Cote d’Ivoire and his visit to “this country is not new”.

The ex-minister quoted Jonathan as saying: “I am not on exile, I can never be on exile, I am going to come back to Nigeria.

“I cannot run away from any problem, I am going to face whatever problem that exists in Nigeria.”

Abubakar added: “The ex-President assured me and others that he was only in transit in Cote d’Ivoire which he has visited thrice since handing over power to President  Muhammadu Buhari.”

Credit: TheNation

Jonathan Shared Ecological Funds To PDP Govs – Oshiomhole

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, on Thursday accused former President Goodluck Jonathan of favouring state governors elected on the platform of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, during his regime.

He specifically accused the former President of doling out N2bn from the Ecological Fund to each of the PDP governors without considering giving same to governors of the All Progressives Congress.

Oshiomhole made the allegation while speaking with State House correspondents after a meeting state governors had with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The state governors had approached Buhari on the need for the Federal Government to assist state governments to cushion the effects of the economic downturn.

Oshiomhole said they were lucky to have at this time a President they could approach on such issues.

He said it would have been impossible for them to approach Jonathan to seek support without being given lectures on fiscal responsibility.

The governor said despite Jonathan’s posture, wastage was more at the Federal Government level during his tenure.

He said Buhari was showing the difference the APC promised by accommodating their governors irrespective of their party affiliations.

He said, “We are very lucky to have President Buhari at this time. I have been here now for seven-and-half years and I have had the opportunity to work with three Presidents, that is the truth.

“Under the last President, it would have been impossible for us to approach Abuja to give us support because we have personal challenges.

“We would have been given lectures on fiscal responsibility and all those kind of talks, even though the wastage was more here (federal level) than any other place at that time.

“We now have a President who recognises that he is not just President of the Federal Government, he is the President of the federation of which the states are part and regardless of our political affiliations.

“This is very important. Everybody is able to ask this President to give him support and he is giving, whereas in the recent past, some PDP governors got N2bn from the Ecological Fund. We the APC governors were not given but we promised to be different and I am happy this President is showing that difference.”

When asked for his view on the proposed new minimum wage by workers, Oshiomhole who is a former labour leader, said, “I have not seen the document proposing a new minimum wage but believing in your judgment that it is a proposal, from my own experience there is always a difference between a proposal and a final agreement.

“Man proposes, God disposes and in the real world, nobody gets what he wants, you get what you negotiate. Any day any time, wake me up, I believe in a living wage.”

Jonathan’s Ex Top Aide Arrested At Lagos Airport

Nigerian security operatives have arrested a former Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic Matters, Waripamowei Dudafa, while attempting to travel out of the country through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.

A source at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said that Mr. Dudafa was on the anti-graft agency’s wanted list for his alleged involvement in the sharing of N10billion to delegates during the December 2014 presidential primaries of the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party.

Mr. Dudafa allegedly converted the money into US dollars, amounting to $47million, and distributed to delegates from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

Investigators say they believe the fund was part of the alleged $2.1billion meant for the purchase of arms but which authorities said was shared as slush funds to politicians through the office of a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

Sources at the EFCC said that Mr. Dudafa was arrested and quizzed by the operatives of the State Security Service, SSS, before he was handed over to the EFCC on Monday.

“He has been on our wanted list for a long time and he evaded arrest on several occasions,” a top EFCC official, who asked not to be named, said.

Contacted, the spokesperson of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, declined comment on the matter.

The anti-graft agency had recently arrested Mr. Jonathan’s Aide de Camp, Ojogbane Adegbe, allegedly on the directive of the Nigerian Army and later his ally, Jide Omokore, over a series of multi-billion dollar petrol import and crude export deals.


We’ve Jurisdiction To Hear Dasuki’s Suit – ECOWAS Court

The Community Court of the Economic Community of West African States has ruled that it has the jurisdiction to hear a suit filed by former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, to challenge his alleged unlawful detention.

Dasuki was arrested by the operatives of the Department of State Services on December 29, 2015, shortly after he was released on bail from Kuje Prison with respect to the various charges pending against him.

The ex-NSA has since then remained in the custody of the DSS.

In a ruling by a three-man bench on Monday, the ECOWAS Court dismissed the Federal Government’s objection to the hearing of Dasuki’s suit.

Justice Chijoke Nwoke, who presided over and read the court’s ruling, held that Nigeria’s Federal Government, represented by Tijani Ganzali, misunderstood the kernel of Dasuki’s case by arguing that it bordered on contempt of the orders previously made by the Nigerian courts.

The judge held that Dasuki’s case was mainly challenging the alleged breach of his fundamental human rights by agents of the Nigerian government.

He ruled, “In determining jurisdiction, the court is to look at the facts as stated by the plaintiff and the prayers he sought, not the defendant’s.

“A careful analysis of the facts by the applicant is that he was unlawfully detained without committing any offence, and that his continued detention was as a result of the defendant’s President’s statement that he will not be released.”

The judge also ruled that the Nigerian government’s argument that similar case was pending in local courts was baseless as the cases referred to were criminal and not related to rights abuse.

He added that from the facts available to the court, no similar case was pending before any other court which ordinarily would have denied the ECOWAS Court the necessary jurisdiction.

He said, “It is beyond contention that the issues raised in this matter border on human right violation. The defendant’s (Federal Republic of Nigeria’s) argument that a similar case is pending in Nigerian court is unfounded.

“The pendency of any similar case in Nigeria does not amount to lack of jurisdiction by an international court. An individual can maintain a fundamental rights enforcement case before this court even if he has not exhausted local remedies.”



Source – punchng.com

We Are Committed To Jonathan’s Deal With China- Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his government remains committed to contracts signed by his predecessor Goodluck Jonathan with Chinese firms on railway, roads and hydroelectric dam projects.
Buhari said this in an exclusive interview with Xinhua News Agency ahead of his 5-day state visit to China starting today.

China has the technical and financial capacity and the experience of development while retaining the goodwill to help Nigeria, said Buhari. “Really, this is an opportunity Nigeria cannot afford to lose,” the president told Xinhua in Abuja.
Buhari said Nigeria and China enjoy vast opportunities in cooperation in such fields as agriculture, mining, electric power generation, and railway and road construction.
He said Nigeria stands ready to expand the development of industries, especially in manufacturing and textile industries and speed up infrastructure construction, which presents huge opportunities for both China and Nigeria. “The opportunities that present themselves for us … are virtually limitless,” he said.

Credit: dailytrust

Ijaw Youths Warn EFCC Against Alleged Plan To Arrest Jonathan

As the four-day burial programme for the late former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, ended yesterday with a thanksgiving service in Ammasoma, the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) cautioned against an alleged plot by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arrest former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The umbrella body of Ijaw youths worldwide urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the anti-graft agency to shelve any such plan to persecute the former president, insisting that such a move would spell doom for the country and the government.

At a press conference to mark the end of the burial programme , the IYC President, Mr. Udengs Eradiri, said almost everybody that had close relationship with the former president had been arrested by the EFCC.

The IYC president particularly condemned the recent arrest and detention of Jonathan’s cousin, Mr. Robert Azibola , a contractor over an alleged $40million financial fraud.

Eradiri said Ijaw youths would not allow Azibola, Jonathan or any rising Ijaw leader to be persecuted by the EFCC the way the Federal Government dealt with the late Alamieyeseigha.

He said: “They have arrested almost all our people. Azibola was arrested by the EFCC and we are calling on the EFCC to stop persecuting him further and charge him to court if there are issues.
“They detained him for a long time forcing him to make statements to indict former President Jonathan. Azibola was a businessman, contractor and has the right like every Nigerian to get contracts. Why will the Niger Delta case be a different one?”

He added: “We noticed that the same way they persecuted Alamieyeseigha has continued. After Goodluck Jonathan, our people who contributed in that administration are being persecuted by this government.

“The recent one is the ploy to arrest Goodluck Jonathan which is unfolding everyday. This must stop. President Goodluck Jonathan is the most performing president that Nigeria has ever had. We are proud of him. Everyday there is a calculated attempt to whittle down the achievements of President Jonathan. We call on Nigerians to mount pressure on the government to focus on leading Nigeria aright rather than looking for ways to bring down the achievements of Jonathan.
“Buhari should please focus on governance rather than persecution of people who have added value. We are not happy about it and today we use Alamieyeseigha’s death as a point of contact. The world has seen that from Alamieyeseigha it has trickled down to all the Niger Delta people.”

Credit: ngrguardian

How CCB Uncovered Orubebe’s Hidden Abuja Property – Witness

The Federal Government on Thursday opened its case against a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Godsday Orubebe, who is being prosecuted before the Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja on one count of false asset declaration.

The first prosecution witness, Samuel Madojemu, an official of the Code of Conduct Bureau who testified on Thursday, accused Orubebe of failing to declare his property at Plot 2057, Asokoro District, Abuja, as a minister between 2007 and 2011.

Madojemu, who coordinates CCB’s “intelligence on observed breaches of the code and asset tracing investigation,” said Orubebe submitted five asset declaration forms to the bureau between 2007 and 2011, the period he served as a minister.

Orubebe submitted the five forms to the CCB, first, as Minister of Special Duties under the administration of the late President Umar Yar’Adua, and later, as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs up till 2011 under the former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

The witness said the Certificate of Occupancy for the property obtained from the land registry of the Federal Capital Territory administration showed that it was issued to Orubebe on April 10, 2011 but that the former minister failed to declare it as of the time he was leaving office on May 29, 2011.

The witness, who was led in evidence by the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Diri, said Orubebe refused to honour invitation by the bureau during the investigation of an intelligence report obtained concerning him.

Madojemu said, “The defendant declared his assets to the bureau by virtue of his position as a public officer and as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“I was instructed to invite him to the bureau for the purpose of obtaining his statement on the allegations and intelligence report that was being handled by the bureau concerning him.

“I invited him. He promised to respond by sending his legal team. He also promised that he might decide to come in person but he did not come.

“My lord, the bureau issued him with Form CCB 1 which is the bureau’s asset declaration form and he made his declaration between 2007 and 2011 – the period under investigation.

“The Code of Conduct Bureau issued the defendant the Form CCB 1 five times. For those five times, he made his asset declaration to the bureau.

“My lord, after we received the form, we examined the form as part of our procedures of investigation to ascertain if there was over-declaration or under-declaration.

“We conducted intelligence assessment on the declaration made by the defendant. We discovered that there were some other plots or properties that were traced to the defendant, Godsday Orubebe.

“We conducted record examination by writing a letter to the Federal Capital Territory’s Department of Land Administration.

“My lord, in their response, which was in writing, it was indicated that Plot 2057, Asokoro District, for which the Certificate of Occupancy was issued on April 10, 2011, belonged to the defendant.

“We thereafter compared the information arising from the response from the FCT Land Administration Department with the information on asset declaration forms submitted to the bureau between 2007 and 2011 and discovered that Plot 2057, Asokoro District, belonging to the defendant was not declared, even as of May 29, 2011 when he left office.

“Apart from the letter from the FCT Land Administration registry, we also received the Certified True Copy of the Certificate of Occupancy in respect of Plot number 2057 issued to the defendant.

“We also received the CTC of the Right of Occupancy for that same Plot No. 2057 issued to the defendant.

“Also received from the FCT Land Administration registry was a letter of authority given to one Rodney, an engineer, by the defendant, authorising him to collect the Certificate of Occupancy and the Right of Occupancy from the FCT Land registry. It was supported by the (passport) page of the defendant.”

Madojemu said the reason for inviting Orubebe was to ask him why he failed to declare the asset which he acquired about one month to the expiration of his tenure.

The two-man panel of the Code of Conduct Tribunal admitted as exhibits the certified true copies of all the five CCB 1 forms submitted to the bureau by Orubebe.

Orubebe’s lawyer, Mr. Selekowei Larry (SAN), did not oppose the admissibility of the documents.

But the lawyer opposed the admissibility of the Certificate of Occupancy, the Right of Occupancy, the letter of authority referred to by the witness, which were all attached to a letter dated February 18, 2016, by the Land registry of the FCT, in response to the request by the CCB.

Larry contended that the letter along with the documents attached to it was inadmissible under Section 83(3) of the Evidence Act, because it was authored by “a person interested” while the case against his client was already pending in court.

The letter dated February 18, 2016 was authored by an Assistant State Counsel in the Lands Administration Department, Mrs. Funke Audu, of the Federal Capital Territory.

“These are documents procured during the pendency of this case. The letter is dated February 18, 2016, whereas the suit commenced on October 18, 2015,” Larry said.

But the tribunal chairman, in a ruling, overruled Larry and upheld the argument by the lead prosecutor, Diri, who argued that Audu, who was an employee of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, could never be an interested party.

The documents were admitted as exhibits.

Orubebe, who was dressed in a white native attire and a black hat,  sat in the dock throughout the proceedings.

He was accompanied to court by a group of women and other supporters.

The trial was adjourned till April 14 for cross-examination of the witness.

Source – Punchng.com

Why Jonathan Lost 2015 Election- Sheriff

The Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Ali Modu-Sheriff has identified arrogance as one of the factors that contributed to the loss of former president, Goodluck Jonathan, in the 2015 presidential election.
In an interview, Sheriff said things would have been different if he was the one in charge. He said the former ruling party had the opportunity to win but squandered it.
“So many factors contributed to Jonathan’s failure to win the elections… I know that arrogance was one of such issues and I also know that some of our party men and women sold out,” he said.
“I may not be able to tell you everything now, but it is an open secret that even his own men worked against him. By the time we went into that election, so many things had happened which served as warning signals of failure, but they were ignored.
“If I were in charge, things would have been different. You can see even for the few weeks that we took charge; we have begun changing the old order of doing things
“If I were in charge, I would not have allowed our members, especially people who control strategic states with large voting population, to move out of the party massively in the build-up to the elections.”
He said the party would coast to victory in coming elections, saying one of his targets is ensuring that “PDP gets it right”.
Sheriff said those opposed to his emergence could not deny the fact that he enjoys popularity in the party.
“Recent activities in the country have put the PDP in a safe position to rework our strategies and bounce back to power. We are already on the drawing board and I assure you we are going to get it right next time,” he said.
“It is normal for people to express dissenting opinions in such situations. Some people may have spoken against my choice, which I consider to be their right, but I don’t think it is right for you to say I emerged against popular opinion, because those who identified with me were actually more in number, but they did not deem it necessary to join issues with those who feel otherwise.
“If we do not have our own ideas, which we plan to inject and turn things round, we would not have accepted the responsibility to lead at this time.”

Credit: Thisday

Nigerians Are Presently Paying For The Sins Of PDP – Tinubu, S-East APC

Nigerians are paying part of the sins of the 16-year rule of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, through the lingering fuel crisis in the country, All Progressives Congress, APC, national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, said yesterday. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu Tinubu’s assertion on the fringes of a reconciliation meeting of APC South-West leaders at the residence of Aremo Segun Osoba, was also echoed by the APC South-East caucus at an interactive meeting at Egede, Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State. Tinubu said: “For 16 good years, PDP destroyed the country. We should not be lamenting about petroleum queues today if they had seen what is necessary and done what is necessary for this country. “We can’t be emotional and in self denial.

If they had done Awolowo Road, if they had done Lagos/Ibadan Expressway, if they put priority on our rails, if they put priority on electricity generation and distribution, we will not be in this mess that we are today. “Nigerians are impatient for what? I research Nigeria,they just want to see the direction of the economic policy and want to be certain of the future that we will not continue in the direction of leaderless, directionless and hopelessness of the past 16 years.”

One year not enough to rectify the rot Spokesman of the South-East caucus, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, who echoed the point also at an interactive meeting said:  “We are paying, unfortunately, for the sins of PDP. I remember vividly in 2010, when Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, then Finance Minister and Coordinator of the Economy, announced to the whole world the award of $23 billion Greenfield Refineries, to a Chinese company. “The refineries were to be located at Bayelsa, Lagos and Kogi states. There was jubilation nationwide. If they had completed the refineries, today we won’t be talking of scarcity or astronomical increase in fuel pump price.

They squandered the money and put Nigerians in harm’s way.” While assuring that the problems were being fixed Okechukwu, however, said one year was not enough for the administration to rectify the rot. Among those present at the interactive session were Mrs. Juliet Ibekaku, Deputy Governorship candidate of APC, Philip Eze, senatorial candidate of the party, local government and Ward chairmen.

Challenged that Nigerians were running out of patience with the new administration, Okechukwu said:  “We can’t stop pointing out the unconscionable wreckage the PDP unleashed on our economy in the last 16 years. The wreckage keeps popping up at each junction, despite the efforts being made to suppress it.”

Why I Didn’t Call Jonathan After Chibok Girls Were Abducted By Boko Haram- Shettima

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State has said he did not call former President Goodluck Jonathan to brief him after Boko Haram abducted over 200 school girls from Chibok, because he knew that security agencies must have briefed the president of the development the day it happened.

Mr. Shettima said as president, Mr. Jonathan had wide resources to keep him abreast of serious national security issues on a daily basis.

Mr. Shettima was responding to an inquiry which sought to determine why the governor waited for almost three weeks expecting the president to reach out to him over a major incident that happened in his domain.

The governor had said recently that Mr. Jonathan took 19 days to telephone him to ask about the abduction.

He made the remark while receiving former President Olusegun Obasanjo whom he praised as having a better record of contacting governors of crisis- prone states on a daily basis.

“In our own case, Your Excellency, after the Chibok abduction of over 200 schoolgirls in April, 2014, it took 19 days for me to receive a call from the Presidency,” Mr. Shettima said to Mr. Obasanjo.

Analysts have accused the governor of not also taking the security of his state serious enough to have to wait for the president to call, and not contact him.

Mr. Shettima spoke through his Special Adviser on Communication, Isa Gusau, who assured that his comments were the governor’s position.

Mr. Gusau said he “had it on good authority that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was well briefed by security agencies soon after the abduction and this is to be expected given the magnitude and for the fact that as at that time, Borno was under a State of Emergency as declared by the president, which made him directly in charge of security issues in Borno and happenings there”.

“So, ?when the Chibok abduction took place on April 14, 2014, Governor Kashim Shettima who is Chairman of the State Security Councils remained within Borno State as he was expected to do, to build public confidence and presided over series of daily security council meetings held at the Government House in Maiduguri  to analyze the situation and developments, to identify strategies and to coordinate deployment of security responses to containing the emergency,” he said.

Credit: Premiumtimes