Monthly Archives: April 2010

IBB: What I Forgot in Aso Rock


By Chinedu Eze and Zacheaus Somorin, 04.26.2010

Former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, said yesterday that there were certain things he did in office 17 years ago that he wanted to do again by contesting in 2011.
Responding to a question on what he forgot in Aso Rock that he wants to go and pick, he said: “'Seventeen years ago, when I left Aso Rock, I Ieft so many things that I think I should go and bring back. I left for example, the value of Naira, I left, again for example stable price of fuel.
“I also left a whole lot of reforms, and I need to go back and get them back. So there are lot of things that I left behind that I want to go and pick up for the benefit of ordinary Nigerians.”
He also said by accepting responsibility for the annulment of June 12, he has already apologised to Nigerians.
Babangida who has already thrown his hat into the ring for the forthcoming presidential election spoke in an interview with journalists after attending the wedding of the daughter of Globacom Chairman Dr. Mike Adenuga (Jnr).
Reminded that he has been asked to tender public apology over the annulment, he responded: “I want the definition of public apology. I [already] said that I accept full responsibility.”
“Here I am - I conducted the best election and I annulled it. Every president, a leader, must be respected for taking responsibility for anything good or bad. As a leader I accepted it. Every leader makes mistake, I am not an exception,'' he said.
Nigerians have always asked IBB why he annulled the freest and fairest election ever conducted in this country and demanded an apology from him for annulling the election.
Apart from June 12, IBB also said he is conscious of the usual allegations against him, telling journalists that,”You would talk about June 12, you would talk about $12.4 billion, which ''I stole''; they would talk about Dele Giwa; they will always talk about the negative ones.”
Then, he said: “Anybody who is a follower of events in the country with a little common sense would know that the money that accrued to the Federal Government then in eight years was $12.4 billion, and not Gulf oil wind fall.
“Please get the issue correct because windfall is the money you never expected. So the money was the money that accrued to the Federal Government and the money was properly used to meet the demands of the government as at that time. Agreed, there was an interregnum period of Gulf war in Iran. So, there was an additional grant of $1.4 billion. So we did not indict the government of that time, so those issues are matters of opinion, the money should have been sent to the reserves, but I said no, as I don't like keeping money, because there are things I want to do with  them, so what do we do? And those projects were itemised, they are there, they are verifiable, you could see it, you could feel it.''
Meanwhile, while fielding questions at the Murtala Muhammed international Airport, Lagos, Babangida condemned the moves by some stalwarts of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) called PDP Reform Forum, to remove the party’s chairman, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, asking them to follow due process.
He also spoke against the action of the PDP National Working Committee, which suspended 19 senior stalwarts of the party who are members of the forum for their activities.
The former president said he did not believe in arbitrary removal of party executives, noting that if the party is sincere in what it wants to do, it must have to follow due process.
“The PDP as a party must work by the rules, for I hope that whatever happens among them (the members), they should allow due process to take place. I don’t believe in the changing of chairman for the sake of chairmanship, and taking members out just like that. Due process must be followed in the handling of issues; therefore if some executives were brought in by the national party convention, the only people who could remove them are the convention and not any other arrangement.”
He said as a ruling party, PDP must have to lead by example and should not take arbitrary action, insisting that the party should be democratic and liberal enough to allow views that may be contrary to popular expectations.

 

Cracks in opposition group kills plot against Bankole


From JAMES OJO, Abuja
Monday, April 26, 2010

Bankole

Photo: Sun News Publishing
 
A crack in the camp of opposition to the leadership of Speaker Dimeji Bankole in the Nigeria First Forum (NFF), the latest pressure group in the House of Representatives, saved the speaker from impeachment last week.
The group met in a popular hotel in Abuja ahead of last week’s resumption of the House from the Easter break to plot Bankole’s removal, but a disagreement on the modality to move against the leadership stalled the plan.

Investigation revealed that argument canvassed by NFF members from South-West not to single out the Speaker for punishment frustrated the agitation to effect a change in the leadership of the House.
As at the time the plot to sack the Speaker peaked, he was held up in Europe because of the closure of airports across Europe due to the effects of the volcanic ash from Iceland.

A ranking member of the House, who is a strong member of NFF revealed that an Action Congress (AC) member from Lagos State argued vigorously against singling out the Speaker for removal.
“It was Hon. Amunikoro from Lagos State, who spoke extensively on why Bankole should not be made the scapegoat of the rot in the leadership of the House. He was able to convince members not to take steps which will further dent the image of the House.

“To single out the Speaker for sack, he explained at the meeting, would send wrong signals to the public at a time when the nation expects the House to show seriousness in the passage of the Electoral Act and the conclusion of the review of the constitution,” the member said.

Amunikoro, it was also gathered from another member of NFF, said he would only support Bankole’s removal if the whole leadership would be swept aside because isolating Bankole for punishment would amount to witch-hunting.
An aide to Anumikoro said it was true that the position of his boss actually threw spanners into the works of the group planning to remove the Speaker, while denying that the group was divided on ethnic lines.

Apart from the crack in the NFF, it was gathered that the resolve of members of the South West caucus to rally support for the Speaker and the caucus of the North East to defend the Deputy Speaker took the heat off the leadership.

Although the meeting of the South West caucus few hours before the resumption was described as rancorous Hon. Ayo Adeseun, who chaired it was able to convince members to bury the hatchet and stand by the Speaker.

New ‘Cabal’ Emerges In Abuja


  • ACF To Visit Jonathan Over Direction Of Politics
  • Roadblock For Yar’Adua’s Removal, As ‘Old Briigades’ Re-strategise
    From Martins Oloja Abuja Bureau Chief
  • WHAT is clearly becoming the ‘Goodluck Jonathan’s administration’ is consolidating its foothold in the nation’s capital, Abuja. There has emerged a new clique, which observers fear is already running a new ring around the Acting President, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
  • In Abuja’s political circles, including the volatile governors’ forum, it was gathered that fears are being expressed about the increasingly visible activities of a brand new ‘cabal’, whose activities may derail the lofty objectives and agenda of the Jonathan interventionist administration, which the federal legislature designed recently.

    According to some reliable sources, “the new onslaught on the ruling party, the unleashing of the law enforcement agencies on the chairman of the party, who has spoken in favour of the North for the 2011 presidential elections, and the Speaker of the House, who is generally suspected to be an influential member of the defeated ‘cabal’ and some governors some of whom are generally believed to have worked against the spirit of ‘Doctrine of Necessity’ smacks of return to a regime of repression of opponents.”
  • As a corollary, even the very organised socio-political group, the Kaduna-based Arewa Consultative Forum, (ACF) had, at a recent meeting in Kaduna, proposed to pay the Acting President a courtesy visit, where the discussion on a possible strategy to fill the apparently vacant position of `Vice President could be discussed.

    The Guardian confirmed from part of the available minutes of the meeting that the young Turks at the meeting of the Political Committee, chaired by Alhaji Mohammed Ahmed Gusau, had proposed the agenda for the planned meeting with the acting president. The restless youngsters wanted the lingering issue of presidential infirmity be put to rest and the office of the president be filled by Jonathan and then a vice president should emerge from the North.
  • But, according to the minutes excerpts, two of the elders, retired General IBM Haruna, and former Governor Hammid Ali, were said to have overruled the young ones, who had proposed the deal to end the Yar’Adua’s era.

    The Guardian was told by sources at the crucial meeting that the elders at the ACF meeting are still concerned by the taciturnity and silence of the acting president, who has been accused of nursing secret ambition to scuttle the PDP arrangement and then run for president in 2011.

    The ACF chieftains are now to meet the Jonathan as a reciprocal visit by the Ijaw National Congress to ACF recently. “Then, if the issue of VP comes up in the course of discussion of the Ijaw National Congress details, then we will respond to it,” said an SCF insider.

    Similarly, some elements within the governors’ forum have already expressed fears that there is a new ‘cabal’ in Abuja generally suspected to be the brains behind the new raw deal against the Chairman of the ruling PDP, Chief Vincent Ogbulafor, who may be arraigned for an offence allegedly committed in 2004 when he was a minister, and the Speaker of the House, who may be removed very soon “for his bad verses” and obstinacy on the politics that brought Jonathan to power and possibility of opposing the politics of transmuting soon to be substantive president.
  • In the same vein, it is suspected that the new ‘cabal,’ believed to have caused some delay in allocation of portfolios to the new ministers because of vested interests, is suspected to be the power behind the dirty politics of frustrating former vice president Atiku Abubakar from returning to the PDP, “even when they know that it is not possible to block a person from returning to the party, as hundreds return to the party every day in all parts of the country.”

    The new cabal should note that you cannot prevent any free agent from returning to the PDP; you can only enforce the rule on when to contest election there, but then that too can be waived as it has been severally done.”
  • Another powerful but worried element within the divided presidency and PDP said the new ‘cabal’ should note that we know that they are only confused about how to manage the return of IBB, the planned return of Atiku, the rumoured but veiled ambition of the National Security Adviser, (NSA) General Aliyu Gusau and how to manage this mix within the context of Dr Jonathan’s hidden agenda to run.”

    It was also learnt last night that the routed Yar’Adua cabal’s “snake is only scorched and not killed” and therefore has not given up. Apart from a recent spin in a newspaper that president Yar’Adua has recovered and would be back to office soon, the cabal now strengthened by some unreturned former ministers are said to be waiting for the declaration of Jonathan, who is expected to be tackled on Tuesday April 27 when the National Executive CommPDP NEC meeting will hold.
  • The Yar’Adua cabal, sources said, ” has been planning counter-measures to use the hidden agenda of the Jonathan’s cabal to haul their own missiles on them when the agenda is unveiled.”

    A corollary to this is the reaction of some PDP members to a recent development whereby the office of the NSA was credited with a statement of the NSA’s presentation at a Retreat on Security the office organized for ministers last week. The statement quoted the NSA, General Aliyu Gusau, as berating the performance of the anti-corruption agencies and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

    “Such a statement is newsworthy but unexpected from the office of the NSA that has since 1999 remained very, very conservative. It is a sign of the new era in Abuja,” another worried observer of the new deal in Abuja said.

    According to sources within the presidency and the governors’ forum, “members of the Jonathan’s cabal are more diverse and more influential as they cut across the political divides, quite unlike the provincially minded cabal paraded by the ailing president Yar’Adua. There is a security/intelligen ce chief among them, there are a few powerful members of the executive council of the Federation and a powerful principal of the Council Secretariat, who also coordinates the Executive Council. There are some retired Generals from the Niger Delta and there is a powerful media baron from the South South, who is a card-carrying member of the PDP and, of course, the wife of the Acting President.”

    But a visibly worried political leader from the North Central said: “There is nothing wrong with having a kitchen cabinet in any government. The kitchen cabinet members help the president or prime minister to shape the direction of governance for the public good…even Jesus Christ is reported in the bible to have had His own clique, called members of the Inner Circle – Peter, James and John.

    “But the way the members of the new kitchen cabinet are seen to be steering the delicate ship of this country, sharing and allocating values anyhow, encouraging culture of impunity can be very tragic.

    “Now, some minors in the polity are already dropping the names of both the acting president and the wife for political ends…Some are already intimidating ministers and permanent secretaries because they claim they are Niger Deltans and this is our time and that is what may have led to printing of posters for Goodluck Jonathan 2011, a development that portends something ominous for the health of the delicate country striving for nationhood.

    “In Abuja too, most politicians are said to believe that the invitation to Mallam Nuhu Ribadu is purpose-driven, as many of them are already peddling rumours that “Malam Ribadu has been invited to do what he did well for Obasanjo: catch thieves that may want to contest presidential election in 2011. Although we believe that Ribadu can be put to better use as a patriot, if they carry on like this, they will demonise Malam Ribadu again.”

Ibori’s cat and mouse game with EFCC


By WILLY EYA
Sunday, April 25, 2010

•Ibori
Photo: Sun Publishing

According to Ernest Benn, a great thinker, politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy. Since the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) declared him wanted over fresh allegations of corruption and money laundering to the tune of N44 billion in relation to his tenure as Delta governor, the land is increasingly becoming slippery for Chief James Onanafe Ibori popularly referred to as “Odidigborigbo” by his political associates and legion of supporters.

For the former governor, these are not the best of times. He is in the eye of the storm and the flambouyant politician seems to be swimming in turbulent waters. Things are gradually falling apart for the man who superintended over the oil-rich Delta for eight uninterrupted years. But the experience by the Oghara born politician shows that even the rich also cry.
In a statement on Tuesday April 13, 2010, the EFCC invited him for interrogation following persistent public enquiries over the status of the case involving him.

For followers of events in the country, Ibori’s invitation came to many as a surprise considering that the former governor who had had a running legal battle for almost two years with the anti-graft agency was in December last year cleared of a 170 count charge by an Appeal Court in Asaba, capital of his home state, Delta. However, the judgment was received with mixed feelings as the clean bill of health handed the influential politician continues to raise dust.

Before President Yar’Adua was incapacitated by illness, Ibori was informally a key member of his administration with many having the perception that he was being protected by the powers that be. It will be recalled that Ibori was also tried in London where a case against him was dismissed on grounds that the evidence did not emanate from the Nigerian government and a day after the Court of Appeal in London ruled on the matter, the then Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Michael Aondoakaa (SAN) had said his trial would continue in Nigeria.

Andoakaa had said that the evidence of the London Metropolitan Police and the trial of Ibori were abuse of Nigeria ‘s bilateral agreement with the UK, stressing that his office would seek the evidence with a view to studying it.

“We have no intention to protect any corrupt person in the country. The case against James Ibori would run its natural course in the court. We protested against what the Met Police did, not because it was Ibori, but it was against the sovereignty of the country. We have to look at the treaty which says that such evidence must have the permission of the government as not doing that could lead to anarchy as several people could just come here and take evidence and use it to prosecute people anyhow”, he had said.

Critical observers had argued that Ibori was being shielded from the law by the Benue born former Attorney General and Minister of Justice. But at the moment, the thinking is that his recent travails in the hands of the EFCC are coming because President Yar’Adua is yet to recover and Aondoakaa has been relieved of his seat.
But the question is- should the former governor or anybody lose sleep for a mere invitation by the EFCC? In legal parlance, an accused remains innocent until proved guilty.

However, pessimists reason that anybody in Ibori’s shoes ought to be scared for several reasons.

Fear of incarceration

Many believe that EFCC has a good case which could send the former Delta State governor to jail. The former Minister of information and Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark had in a petition signed by 10 leading citizens of Delta State demanded for a probe of Ibori over alleged illegal disposal of 528 million shares belonging to Delta State, in Oceanic Bank. The shares were said to have been disposed in 2007 by government officials.

In the petition, which was also published in some national dailies, the group asked the anti- corruption agency to hold the former governor liable for the disposal of the shares. He was alleged to have unlawfully used the 528.01 million units as a collateral for a loan from Intercontinental Bank for his private company, Ascot Offshore Nigeria Ltd.

In 2007, the EFCC had slammed a 170-count charge of corruption on Ibori but on December 17, 2009 a trial judge, Marcel Awokulehin, ruled the case in favour of the former governor in a Federal High Court in Asaba, Delta State. However, the EFCC immediately filed a notice of appeal against the December 17, 2009 judgment which absolved Mr. Ibori of all wrong doing.

Analysts argue that the fear in the camp of the former governor is that with President Yar’Adua out of the way, his trial may be a different ball game this time hence the desperation to avoid the claws of the EFCC.

The Yar’Adua/Jonathan angle
Not a few argue that the fresh manhunt for the former Delta State governor by the EFCC is the continuation of the power game between the camps of the Acting President, Goodluck Jonathan and President Yar’Adua. The calculation is that Ibori is paying for subtly working against the emergence of Jonathan at the nation’s helm of affairs.

It is common knowledge that the former governor was instrumental to the emergence of Yar’Adua in 2007 with unconfirmed reports that he was one of those that bankrolled his presidential election. For political observers, Ibori’s effort and gesture were reciprocated by the former Katsina governor who ensured that he remained very close to the corridors of power.

Before Yar’Adua became ill and indispose

d, speculations were rife that Ibori would be his running mate in the 2011 presidential election. Many argue that the influence he enjoyed under Yar’Adua and ambition to be the Vice President in 2011 largely contributed to his efforts to scuttle the emergence of the former Bayelsa governor as the Acting President.
There are those who also add that right from when Jonathan was nominated as running mate to Yar’Adua, the former Delta governor has never recognized him as a major power broker. People in this school of thought believe that Ibori perceives Jonathan as an opportunist who strolled into power, hence does not deserve respect from a politician of his caliber.

So, based on this assumption, many believe that it is pay back time for Ibori. In the estimation of observers, the fresh move by the EFCC against him is a ploy by the Acting President to get back at his political opponent. The calculation is that as the man who calls the shots in the nation today, Jonathan is adopting the strategy popular during the administration of the immediate past President, Olusegun Obasanjo when the anti-graft body was used to haunt perceived political opponents.
In the estimation of many, the Acting President is merely using the EFCC to clip the wings of Ibori who, hitherto walked like a giant in the nation’s political landscape.

The Sacrificial Lamb
For some people, especially those he enjoys their sympathy, Ibori is being used as a scapegoat by the EFCC chairman, Mrs Farida Waziri for her inefficiency since she assumed headship of the anti-graft body. Since Jonathan took charge of the ship of state, there had been fears that the retired police officer may be relieved of her seat if she failed to sit up. According to sources, the pressure on the EFCC boss to live up to expectation informed the renewed effort to prosecute Ibori who is perceived as a highbrow politician. So, the calculation is that Waziri was forced by circumstances to prosecute Ibori to save her job and appease the Acting President who reportedly is not excited with how she runs the anti-graft agency.

The EFCC chairman, had held a meeting with Jonathan, during which the Acting President re-emphasised the determination of the federal government to wage a vibrant anti-corruption campaign. Also in his recent trip to the United States, he stressed the resolve of his administration to aggressively tackle the issue of corruption. With all these added, it was not surprising that Ibori was invited for interrogation.

Ibori flees Nigeria


Former Delta State Governor, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, may have fled Nigeria in the wake of the intense manhunt for him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and security agencies.
The ex-governor has apparently become a fugitive after a two-week standoff with the EFCC, which had invited him over allegations bordering on misuse of millions of Delta State shares running into billions of naira during Ibori’s tenure between 1999 and 2007.

But the immediate past Delta chief executive had spurned the invitation, claiming that the EFCC breached due process by declaring him wanted four days before the April 17, 2010 date on his invitation letter.
He also alleged political vendetta by the Acting President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, who he said was using the anti-graft agency to witch-hunt him because of alleged political differences.

Besides, Ibori expressed fears that the EFCC was planning to extradite him to the United Kingdom where he is still on trial for alleged money laundering. Sunday Sun investigation however revealed that he may have stealthily beaten the security dragnet around him and escaped in a boat through the Oghara River en route the Escravos area of the state initially to one of the neighbouring countries.

Sources say he left Oghara in the wee hours of Wednesday after the botched police raid on the community the previous day and that his escape was facilitated by a well-known Itsekiri former militant leader in the state.
His destination is still uncertain but it was gathered that he may be headed for Dubai in the oil-rich United Arab Emirate, where the ex-governor reportedly has a home.

In the last one week, a combined team of the police and soldiers attached to the military Joint Task Force (JTF) in Delta had made futile attempts to arrest him at his Oghara country home.
Thousands of youths, women and children had last Tuesday and Wednesday mounted barricades that prevented the police from entering the community, following a directive by the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ogbonnaya Onovo, that Ibori be fished out.

The harried ex-governor was initially suspected to be holed up in the creeks of the Niger Delta and was being allegedly shielded by fierce-looking armed militant youths.
But a JTF source informed that this was unlikely, as the security outfit had reportedly combed the creeks of Delta and Bayelsa states in the bid to smoke him out.
According to the source, “we have searched everywhere, including some of the camps used by former militants. But the man (Ibori) is not there. As I speak to you, we are not sure he is still in Oghara. But we have not given up our search and we are sure we will get him.”

Delta government officials panic
The Ibori saga has caused a scare among officials of the state government as some of them have reportedly gone underground to escape arrest by the EFCC.
Sunday Sun learnt that fear has gripped top officials of the state Ministry of Finance following the invitation of a director in the ministry by the EFCC. At the time of this report, it was gathered that the director in charge of investments in the ministry was still being detained almost two weeks after he was invited by the anti-corruption agency.

The permanent secretary in the ministry and Auditor-General of the state are also said to have gone into hiding. Their whereabouts were unknown when EFCC operatives visited their ministry and department in continuation of the agency’s investigation on the allegations of fraud against the former governor.

Why we’re defending Ibori – Oghara chief
In an unprecedented development, Ibori’s Oghara community had on Tuesday resisted his arrest when EFCC operatives and a security team led by Deputy Inspector General of Police, Mr Udom Ekpoudom, stormed his country home.
A septuagenarian and well-respected chief in the community, who does not want his name in print, however defended the action of the youths, saying they believe Ibori was being witch-hunted.
“No matter what happens, Ibori is our son. We cannot fold our arms and watch him being disgraced for reasons that border on political vendetta.

“Besides, it will amount to betrayal of Ibori if we had kept quiet and allowed the police to pick him just like that. Ibori is our hero and we are very proud of him. If not for Ibori, Oghara would not have known development. Come to Oghara and see what I’m talking about.
“Today, Oghara has a stadium, a well-equipped general hospital, polytechnic, college of education and other social amenities. It was during the Ibori administration that the road to Oghara was dualised with street light. At night, people say Oghara is small London. Do you now want us to abandon such a person at a time like this because of an allegation that has not been proved? Oghara people are ready to die for Ibori and we mean it,” the elder said.

He’s not on the run – Aide
When contacted on the telephone, Ibori’s media aide, Mr Tony Eluemunor, said the former governor was not on the run and that he had no reason to flee the country.
He defended his principal’s refusal to turn himself in to the EFCC, saying Ibori stands by the ruling of the court that all parties must maintain the status quo. Excerpts…
We hear Ibori has fled the country…
First of all, Ibori has no reason to run from anywhere, from anybody. We went to court and it ruled that all parties in this case maintain the status quo. So he is not running from anybody.
So is he still in the country and when is he likely to hand himself over to the EFCC?
Hand himself over to where? I just told you that everybody was asked to maintain a status quo, including the EFCC. So can’t somebody ask EFCC to leave Ibori alone?
So what is his stand?
Ibori stands on that court ruling. Every party should maintain the status quo. I’m sure your paper had Ibori’s position on Wednesday or so.
So what you are saying is that he has no reason to leave Nigeria
God bless you for this. He has no reason to be on the run because there is a court ruling and the EFCC woman is a lawyer. I know she knows the right thing to do. The IG, (Ogbonnaya) Onovo, may also be a lawyer. But most of all, I know that Onovo is a gentleman. Anybody who now says he is looking for Ibori is breaking the law. That is it.
If Ibori runs abroad, he will be playing into the hands of his enemies. This is persecution and not prosecution. It is close to the election year, so some people want him out of the way. Ibori said he does not want to contest for anything but they want him completely out of the way. That is why they are after him. There is no case against him. EFCC itself has not mentioned one single charge against him. Nothing. They just declared somebody wanted without a charge. People are wanted for bank robbery or for murder. For him, nothing. Ibori is the first person in the whole wide world who has been wanted not for any reason.

Why Jonathan, Obasanjo Are After Bankole


Ex-President Enslaved Yoruba – Tinubu
By Tunde Abatan, Maxwell Oditta and Akinwunmi King (Lagos)

Former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, has accused ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of enslaving the Yoruba nation in the guise of leading them to the mainstream of Nigerian politics.

Tinubu made the remark at the weekend in a public lecture organised by the Wale Oshun-led Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG).

It was a day it also emerged that Obasanjo and Acting President Goodluck Jonathan have started ganging up against a prominent Yoruba son, Dimeji Bankole, who is the Speaker of the House of Representatives, because of their political interest in 2011.

At the event, Tinubu’s successor, Governor Babatunde Fashola, also urged Yoruba leaders to determine the future of the Yoruba nation in the Nigerian context. He told Yoruba leaders that they have one more chance to decide the Yoruba cause.

Tinubu described Obasanjo as a renegade Yoruba son whose political stream has no known source. He likened the former Nigerian leader to a brigand whose invasion into another’s homestead went entirely unchallenged, leaving him with all the time to plunder the entire household without remorse or discomfiture.

He disclosed that the plot of the PDP and their ilk ahead 2011 general election is to carry out electoral fraud through disenfranchising majority of voters, a cryptic reference to the outcome of the February 6 governorship election in Anambra.

Tinubu urged Action Congress (AC) stalwarts and participants at the occasion to physically resist any attempt to disallow them from having their name in the voters register.

“If you allow them to deny you the right to legitimate electoral franchise, you have enslaved yourself forever. Don’t come crying that they have denied you the right to register. That man that won’t allow us register, let us break his head. Let’s us be ready to use our electoral power to liberate our states. Let’s tell our elite to invest in the liberation of our people.

“The struggle against enslavement is an investment, and that investment must be made now. Let us start the crusade,” Tinubu said.

Before then, overseas-based journalist, Remi Oyeyemi who read Banji Akintoye’s keynote address, Oodua Know Thyself, had pointed out that the Yoruba have an identity problem they have to resolve at this moment when there are ongoing debates on the future of Nigeria.

Fashola raised the critical poser about what future association the Yoruba desire with other ethnic nationalities in the country.

“What is our status as a nation within the Nigerian federation? Do we want to be a nation within the federation? Do we want to be a nation outside the federation? Our leaders, you have one more chance of deciding for us what the Yoruba cause should be. Let us evolve the Yoruba way,” Fashola pleaded.

Dignitaries at the lecture, which took place at the Lagos City Hall, included the AC National Chairman, Bisi Akande, former Ggovernors of Ondo and Ekiti states, Bamidele Olumilua and Niyi Adebayo, one-time senator, Biyi Durojaiye, governorship candidate of the AC in Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, and his Democratic Peoples Alliance (DPA) counterpart in Lagos State, Jimi Agbaje.

The plot to oust Bankole, is part of the larger strategy to end the Umaru Yar’Adua Presidency and then crush the opposition for the plan to ensure Jonathan gets the ticket of the PDP to run in 2011, findings have shown.

Bankole has long been viewed as a “Yar’Adua loyalist,” a perception fuelled by what his detractors feel was his foot-dragging in the heat of the leadership crisis Yar’Adua’s absence created and the clamour for Jonathan to be Acting President.

Sources told Sunday Independent that the opposition to Bankole leadership simmered down in the House because of the need to re-strategise.

The project ‘Jonathan for President,’ allegedly being mid-wifed in the House by the Nigeria First Forum (NFF), was part of a larger offensive on the party by the sponsors who have tentacles in the Presidency and across some states of the federation.

Besides, Obasanjo was said to have resolved to punish Bankole for not buying into the conspiracy to impeach Yar’Adua.

Bankole’s offence is also said to be his favourable attitude to the passage of the electoral reform bill which his accusers fear might undermine the return of most of the NFF members and the plot to have Jonathan take a shot at the Presidency next year.

Top members of the NFF are also believed to be working closely with the associates of the Acting President to perfect the plot to remove the Speaker and PDP National Chairman, Vincent Ogbulafor, who is due to stand trial for alleged corruption while he was Minister of Economic Planning under Obasanjo.

Obasanjo’s resolve to curtail Bankole, sources claimed, also flowed from the politics of who governs Ogun State in 2011.

The former President is believed to be routing for his daughter, Senator Obasanjo-Bello, to succeed incumbent Gbenga Daniel. Bankole and Iyabode come from the same Senatorial district, a political configuration that threatens her governorship bid and informs the clamour for Bankole’s ouster.

The Speaker, representing Abeokuta South Federal Constituency, is also said to be facing stiff opposition from Governor Gbenga Daniel, with whom Bankole has been at loggerheads for the past two years now culminating in the Governor accusing the Speaker of being a curse to the state.

Daniel’s grouse against the Bankole was also informed by the latter’s attitude to the politics of the state, particularly the belief that the Speaker also wants to govern Ogun next year – an ambition that runs counter to Daniel’s desire for the Ogun West to mount the saddle since they have not had a shot at it since the creation of the state in 1976.

To give bite to this arrangement to oust the Speaker, Kayode Amusan and Gbenga Oduwaiye  – both members of the House of Representatives from the state – have reportedly been promised the position of the Speaker should they work for Bankole’s fall.

Also allegedly sympathetic to the anti-Bankole plot is former Speaker Honourable Patricia Etteh, who allegedly had a meeting in Ota last week alongside Amusan and Oduwaiye to perfect their plan.

The trio were also alleged to have been financially mobilised by their backers to enable them entice their Northern backers in the NFF.

Besides Etteh is Abbas Anas Adamu (PDP, Jigawa), a loyalist of Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State who has reportedly been penciled down for the Vice President slot in case Yar’Adua is impeached.

Lamido was said to be among Jonathan’s entourage to the United States recently

How Bankole survived impeachment plot


By Festus Owete

April 24, 2010 10:33PM
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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, came close to impeachment proceedings last week, but for the intervention of the Deputy Speaker, Usman Nafada, and some members of the opposition parties in the House of Representatives. If not for this group, including House members of the Action Congress (AC), a motion for a vote of no confidence on the Speaker and other members of the leadership would have been tabled on the floor of the House last week.

Mr. Nafada, who held forte for Mr. Bankole, who was stranded in London due to the volcanic ash which halted flights across Europe, begged the aggrieved members of the Nigeria First Forum (NFF), a pressure group in the House, to soft pedal on their action until his boss returns, to address some of the issues raised.

But before the deputy speaker stepped in, some members of the AC who belong to the NFF, were said to have insisted at a meeting of the group last Monday night, that rather than passing a vote of no confidence on Mr. Bankole alone, it should be passed on all members of the leadership. The no confidence vote would have been the first step to their removal from office.

The NFF was floated in February to canvass the installation of Goodluck Jonathan as Acting President, via a resolution of the National Assembly, following the prolonged absence of President Umaru Yar’Adua, who was receiving treatment in Saudi Arabia for acute peridicatitis.

Some lawmakers who formed the group, criticised the refusal of the leadership of the House to entertain a motion making Mr. Jonathan acting president.

Although a resolution was eventually passed on the floor installing Mr. Jonathan as acting president, NFF was not dissolved as its members resolved to maintain it as a pressure group in the lower legislative chamber.

With about 120 members in its fold, the group, at a recent meeting, hatched a plot to unseat Mr. Bankole over what they described as a poor leadership style and alleged financial mismanagement on the part of the Speaker.

Although NFF chairman, Abas Anas Adamu, and one of its prominent members, Eziuche Ubani, denied the plot, they confirmed that the group members were not impressed about the way the House is run.

In spite of the denial, it was gathered that at the group’s meeting last Monday at Valencia Hotel, located in the Wuse District of Abuja, some members of the group demanded that a motion of no confidence on Mr. Bankole, to kick off the process of his impeachment from office, should be tabled on the floor the following day.

However, some AC members who belong to the group, were said to have rejected the plot to single out the Speaker alone for “punishment” and insisted that if the motion must be moved, all the members of the leadership should also be affected.

“It was some members of the opposition that aborted that motion because they didn’t want the Speaker to go down alone. They wanted all the members of the leadership to be included in the motion,” our source said on Friday.

The lawmakers were also reported to have complained that though Messrs Bankole and Nafada attempted to frustrate the moves to make Mr. Jonathan acting president, the two presiding officers benefited hugely from the outcome, as they nominated ministers last month. Mr. Nafada reportedly nominated his Chief of Staff, Abubakar Sadiq Mohammed, while Mr. Bankole nominated Nurudeen Alao into the new cabinet.

Although they failed to agree on the issue, it was gathered that some members of NFF resolved to go ahead with the motion, but were checkmated by Mr. Nafada who, shortly after the resumption of the plenary, dissolved the House into an executive session for 45 minutes.

During the executive session, the deputy speaker reportedly assured the aggrieved lawmakers that the issues they raised would be addressed.

At the end of the executive session, Mr. Nafada, perceived to be more popular than his boss among the members of the House, announced that the lawmakers only discussed the approach to the consideration of the report of the House ad-hoc committee on the review of the 1999 Constitution, which he (Nafada) heads.

It was learnt that the lawmakers agreed not to mention the issue of impeachment threat, not only to douse tension, but also to discourage the media from further reporting it.

Despite the deputy speaker’s plea, executive sessions were also held on Wednesday and Thursday, obviously to stave off the possible impeachment of the Speaker.

During one of the executive sessions, Mr. Nafada also informed the members that Mr. Bankole had been sending emissaries to some aggrieved members to calm them down. The Speaker had earlier on Tuesday sent text messages to the lawmakers appealing for calm.

The AC Leader in the House, Femi Gbajabamila, said he was not aware that his group scuttled any motion of no confidence vote planned by the NFF, neither was he aware that there was a serious move to impeach Mr. Bankole. But another member of the leadership, Mohammed Ali Ndume, confirmed that the impeachment threat was real.

Mr. Ndume, the minority leader of the House, who failed to disclose those involved in the plot, said they (plotters) expressed dissatisfaction with the leadership style of the Speaker.

Aso Rock connection

NEXT reliably gathered that the move against Mr. Bankole was initiated by some hawks in Aso Rock who were not pleased with the role played by the Speaker and some members of the leadership, prior to the February 9 resolution making Mr. Jonathan as acting president.

Besides, the individuals were reportedly afraid that the House leadership might be a major obstacle to the alleged bid to make Mr. Jonathan a substantive president, or to the acting president’s ambition to run in the 2011 presidential election.

Another source claimed that the hawks in Aso Rock also reached out to former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, who has never been a political ally of the Speaker, especially since the ouster of the former Speaker, Patricia Etteh.

Mr. Obasanjo was said to have recruited some members of the House from the South West and other zones, some of who are members of the NFF. Among the lawmakers who reportedly met with the former president on his Ota farm, were Mrs. Etteh, Gbenga Oduwaiye, Kayode Amusan, and Dino Melaye.

It was further gathered that one of the ‘weapons’ the Aso Rock players were going to use against the House leadership was the N2.3 billion car scam, which was investigated and concluded in 2008.

Mr. Bankole and members of the House leadership were alleged by a Lagos lawyer, Festus Keyamo, to have benefitted from the transaction. But investigations conducted by the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges, chaired by Sani Saleh Minjibir, to which the allegation was referred, cleared them of all the accusations.

In the alleged attempt to nail the leadership of the House, Mr. Nafada was reportedly invited last week by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for questioning. But Hameed Bello, spokesperson to the deputy speaker, denied the report, saying it was meant to embarrass his boss.

Mr. Bello added that the EFCC authorities have also denied inviting his boss, wondering “what did they (EFCC) forget to ask then that they want to ask.” A member, Independence Ogunewe, was also reported to have been invited by the anti-graft agency, in connection with the matter. Mr. Ogunewe was a prominent member of Transparency Group, which demanded probe into the car scam. He was later suspended for two weeks.

EFCC spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, however, told NEXT in a telephone interview on Friday, that he was not aware of the invitation.

Jonathan’s Presidential Posters Flood Abuja


 

THISDAY

Jonathan’s Presidential Posters Flood Abuja

•Presidency denies knowledge

From Chuks Okocha in Abuja, 04.24.2010

Goodluck Jonathan

Residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, awoke to find a rash of campaign posters in strategic places proclaiming Acting President Goodluck Jonathan as a Peoples Democratic Party presidential aspirant in the country’s 2011 general elections.

The posters were seen at the Garki Area 11 junction in Abuja and read: “For Positive Change, Goodluck Jonathan for 2011 presidential election.” But when contacted the acting president’s Senior Special Assistant on Media, Ima Niboro, said he had not seen the posters and was not aware how they got there.

Coming barely one week after the acting president’s interview on Cable News Network where he had given a vague response with regard to his political future, the posters tend to give credence to some analysts’ view that he may run for the presidency.
In an interview with Christianne Amanpour of CNN in the United States, Jonathan neither ruled himself out completely nor categorically said he would run for presidency in 2011.

He, however, declared that there are options for him such as running for Vice-President.
Jonathan also said that he is currently preoccupied with the numerous challenges facing the country in order to make an impact in the shortest time possible.

When asked pointedly by the CNN correspondent if he was considering running for election, he replied with a rhetorical question.
“If the country is not moving, what will I tell Nigerians if I want to contest?”
He then went on to narrate the circumstance of his emergence.

“I came in as the vice-president to run with President Yar’Adua, of course, getting close to period of election, he took ill. And I have to take over under somewhat controversial circumstances. So let us see how Nigeria will move forward first. I had a similar experience when I was governor of my state.” he said

Jonathan said the most pressing problem Nigeria faces is basic infrastructure particularly electricity. The next, in his view, is the conduct of free and fair elections where the votes of the citizens would count.
However, with the ruling PDP’s decision that its presidential slot will be retained in the north, Jonathan has apparently been ruled out.

Jonathan had also commented on the fate of the Chairman of the Indepe-ndent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Professor Maurice Iwu. Jonathan said the issue is whether the present electoral body can conduct free and fair election or not.
He added that within the period that he has been Acting President, three elections were conducted by INEC and “it was free and fair.” This, he argued, proves that the issue goes beyond the INEC commissioner. Anyone can conduct a free and fair election, he opined.

Asked if Iwu is competent, the Acting President said: “I know that this question continues to come up. What I’ve said is… the issue is beyond Mr. Iwu.”
He continued: “I agree that within the period there are quite a number of controversies. I agree. There are quite a number of concerns. There are quite a number of controversies.
So I know what I’m telling you; that this very Iwu, I’m not trying to argue for him. The Iwu we are talking about has conducted free elections these past three elections that I’ve made reference to that are credible.”

EFCC AND IBORI: HOW NOT TO FIGHT CORRUPTION


The assumed fight against corruption within the Nigerian polity is as old as the existence of the country itself. Various regimes have claimed to fight against corruption. Pooh!! The fight against corruption between 1999 and now as we can see is laughable. The systematic and professional fraud at high places make one to wonder who deserve the dubious title of the king of corruption in Nigeria between  some public office holders, past and present and 419 fraudsters .

When Former President Obasanjo instituted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission some years back, many Nigerians applauded his effort. But the applause did not last long. The hope of Nigerians then was that all those who had a hand in the looting of the nation’s treasury, thus depriving ordinary Nigerians their share of the national cake, would be brought to book, irrespective of their social, economic or political standing. Pooh!! For where? With the present state of things in Nigeria, EFCC has shown its obvious ineffectiveness. EFCC has done enough to convince Nigerians that it is nothing but a figurehead that is being used as a tool to hound and discredit political opponents.

The issue of Ibori and the EFCC should be making every right thinking Nigerian to burn with anger. EFCC has announced to Nigerians that it has declared Ibori wanted once again over alleged official corruption and money laundering.  However, Ibori has described his current problem with the EFCC as political harassment that demands a vigorous legal challenge so that Nigeria is not ruled like a fiefdom. Ibori’s camp have cried out against the renewed onslaught against him, alleging that it was ordered by Aso Rock to pay Ibori back for remaining in the camp of President Umaru Yar’Adua instead of Acting President Goodluck Jonathan.They claimed that Waziri has been told that the only way she would retain her job is to hunt down and imprison Ibori, in a scheme said to be geared towards getting him out of the way ahead of the 2011 elections

Ibori’s camp claimed that it is a matter of public record and judicial decisions that the EFCC has at various times on behalf of the Attorney General vigorously investigated every aspect of Ibori’s tenure as Governor of Delta State and failed to find any crime committed, inclusive of allegations of conspiracy, official corruption, diversion and misappropriation of public funds, stealing and money laundering for the period of May 29, 1999 to May 29, 2007.

They sited a Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State were Ibori was discharged and acquitted of all 170 charges of corruption brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The case, which had dragged on for two years with the judgment date postponed no less than three times, was  rested by the trial judge, Marcel Awokulehin.The judge threw out all the charges against Mr. Ibori on the ground that there was no clear evidence against the former governor.

To my mind it is good news that the Presidency wants to review criminal cases against past public office holders. It is a good thing for the presidency to have the courage and the candour to begin to review criminal cases against past public office holders. However, whatever the case is, what is good for the goose is also good for the gander.It has been widely reported that Mallam Nuhu Ribadu’s  case, which is pending before the Code of Conduct Tribunal is about to be discontinued. Why ?  The Presidency has not publicly told Nigerians whether the charge against Ribadu is being withdrawn on compassionate grounds or because he has reviewed the case and discovered that Ribadu actually declared his assets on assumption of office as EFCC chairman. Who re-looted Tafa Balogun’s loot?

Nigerians will also not forget when The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC)  released the names of 56 Nigerians it alleged collectively removed over N243 billion from the nation’s treasury. The names, some of which the EFCC  Chairman, Mrs. Farida Waziri, referred to as politically revered people in the international community, were contained in a list handed over to the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).The list contained names of well-known politicians, former governors, ministers, permanent secretaries, civil servants, chairmen and members of parastatal agencies, local government chairmen, members of the House of Representatives and senators.

From the list EFCC told Nigerians that Saminu Turaki stole 36 billion naira,Joshua Dariye  of Plateau state stole an amount not stated; Orji Uzor Kalu of Abia state stole 5 billion naira; Rasheed Ladoja of Oyo state stole 6 billion naira ; Jolly Nyame of Taraba state stole 180 million naira; Chimaroke Nnamani  of Enugu state stole 5.3 billion naira; Boni Haruna of Adamawa state stole 93 million naira and Michael Botmang stole 1. 5 billion naira : Nyeson Wike of Rivers State stole 4.7 billion naira ;Iyabo Obasanjo stole 10 million naira ;Babalola Borishade stole 5.6 billion naira ;Femi-Fani-Kayode stole 250 million naira.Why are these men walking the street of Nigeria as free men? Does it mean that EFCC does not have the capacity to bring them to justice?The fact that most of the above named political leaders are walking freely on the streets while Ibori is being made a scapegoat casts serious doubt on the credibility of the present EFCC clamp down as championed by the Jonathan led government .

We will never forget the EFCC report on the looting of Rivers State treasury during the regime of Dr Peter Odili.The EFCC report on the high level looting of Rivers State Nigeria is available to media men. EFCC received and responded to numerous petitions against the ex-executive Governor of River State, Dr. Peter Odili and some officials of  his government.  After careful investigation, major findings were made pointing to severe implications of fraud, conspiracy, conversion of public funds, foreign exchange malpractice, money laundering, stealing and abuse of oath of office.Why is Peter Odili walking the street of Nigeria as free man? More than 100 million Nigerians will feel good if  Kalu, Tinubu, Odili and the rest of them  are sent behind bars since EFCC said they are corrupt. Let us also stop being bias as to who we will choose to punch so hard and who we will spare as a no-go-area.

The EFCC told us that they have evidence to prosecute Orji Uzor Kalu and his likes. They named Tinubu along with him. Hence, on the 10th of October 2006, the EFCC undertook what easily went as its single largest crackdown on corruption in Abia State  The crackdown even involved Kalu’s mother! Ribadu told the then Senate that Kalu’s Abia State topped the list on the corruption table, not just because the state is first in alphabetical order, but indeed. He alleged that corruption in Abia State spanned three generations of the governor, including the former governor’s mother and daughter. To elaborate, On Abia State, he said: “Abia is number one not because it is number one alphabetically but because we have one of the biggest established cases of stealing, money laundering, diversion of funds against Governor Kalu,” adding that the governor used his mother, daughter, wife and brother to divert billions to build his business empire, including Slok Airlines, Slok Pharmaceuticals, and a newspaper house. This is a very strong statement coming from Nuhu. Yet Orji Uzor Kalu  and Tinubu are walking the street of Nigeria as free men.

 Where is Dariye? Why is he a free man?   Mr President and indeed the Chairman of EFCC have the daunting task of fighting corruption under the arm-bit of the rule of law. For the fight against corruption in Nigeria to succeed, the EFCC must treat all suspects equally. The agency must ensure that in all cases  of corruption involving politically exposed persons, justice must not only be done but must be seen to have been done.

-Kenneth Uwadi writes from Mmahu-Egbema, Imo state

PDP Moves against Masari, Odili, Nnamani


The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday moved to wield the big stick against the arrowheads of the plot to oust its National Chairman, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, accusing them of engaging in anti-party activities.

PDP also accused prominent Ijaw leader and Second Republic Information Minister, Chief Edwin Clark, of plots to destabilize the party due to alleged pecuniary interest.

Apparently toeing the line of governors elected on its platform, which on Monday upbraided those moving against Ogbulafor, the party asked those concerned to appear before its National Working Committee (NWC) tomorrow in Abuja at 12 noon.

Those summoned to appear before the NWC include former House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Bello Masari, former Senate Presidents Adolphus Wabara and Ken Nnamani, ex-Rivers State Governor Peter Odili and former presidential aspirant, Owelle Rochas Okorocha.

Others included former Imo State Governor Achike Udenwa, former Abia State governorship candidate of the party, Chief Onyenma Ugochukwu, former Transport Minister Abiye Sekibo, former House Chief Whip Bawa Buhari, ex-House member Awwal Tukur, Chief Sonny Iroche, Chief Tony Ukasanya, Senator Agboti, Senator Sylvanus Ngele, Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, Chief Chris Ekpeyoung, Prof. ABC Nwosu and former Edo State Commissioner for Works Kelechi Igwe.

A statement issued last night by PDP National Publicity Secretary Prof. Ahmed Alkali said: “The said members and others, meeting under the umbrella of PDP Reform Group, are reported to be engaging or to have engaged in conduct likely to cause disaffection among members of the party or likely to disrupt the peaceful, lawful and efficient conduct of the business of the party or otherwise engage in anti-party activities or precipitate faction and belong to a group under the guise of the party by whatever name called, not being one provided for in the constitution of the party.

“In consonance with our commitment to the principles of justice and fair hearing, the National Working Committee of the PDP at its emergency meeting of 20th April, 2010 acting under and by virtue of powers conferred on it in Article 21.4 of our party constitution resolved to invite the following PDP members to appear before it on Thursday 22nd April, 2010 at 12 noon to clear themselves of allegations linking them to these plots.”

Apart from summoning them, the party also strongly condemned what it called “the distractive activities of Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari and his cohorts operating under the aegis of an amorphous group, which goes by the name “PDP Reform Forum”

PDP: Jonathan’s Camp Moves To Replace Ogbulafor With Eze Bernard


INDEPENDENT

PDP: Jonathan’s Camp Moves To Replace Ogbulafor With Eze

By Adetutu Folasade-Koyi , Assistant Editor, Abuja

National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Vincent Ogbulafor, may be on the way out of office as Aso Rock is resolute on his removal, two years after he was elected into office.

If the script being crafted for his ouster works according to plan, Bernard Eze, another party man, has been tipped to replace him.

Ogbulafor is from Abia State while Eze is from Enugu State.

Eze was the party’s National Auditor during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The national chairman, it was learnt, talked himself into trouble in the wake of ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua’s return to the country from his medical treatment in Saudi Arabia on February 24.

Shortly after the President’s return, Ogbulafor visited Aso Rock and issued a declaration that “power remains in the North”.

This statement reportedly irked close associates of Acting President Goodluck Jonathan which set off political calculations for the Presidency in 2011.

Another factor which weighed against Ogbulafor is the inability of the party apparatchiks to trust him “to coordinate the party for the 2011 general elections”.

“Ogbulafor talked himself into trouble when he declared after Yar’Adua’s return to the country that the Presidency remains in the North.

“Another factor against him is that he is a consensus candidate of the governors, as he was foisted on the party by a governor from the North central.

“This statement angered the Jonathan camp which eventually got to Ogbulafor and he moved to pacify the Acting President.

“He quickly scheduled an appointment with Jonathan who reportedly upbraided Ogbulafor for stoking the embers of distrust in the party with his comments.”

The Acting President told the chairman that rather than divide the party, he ought to “look for ways to unite the party and seek after the restoration of the health of Mr President.”

Although Ogbulafor pleaded for understanding with the Acting President, Jonathan was reportedly unimpressed.

Feelers from the Acting President’s camp indicated that “Ogbulafor could no longer be trusted” and thence, the search for a replacement began.

To finally nail the coffin of his removal, an old case pending against him in the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) was exhumed. The case had to do with N104 million campaign donations in 2004.

Meanwhile, senior members of the National Assembly have weighed in on Ogbulafor’s removal as at Monday.
———— —
THIS DAY

Govs Back Ogbulafor

•Plot against Bankole heightens

From Chuks Okocha and Onwuka Nzeshi in Abuja, 04.20.2010

Amidst tension in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over moves to remove Prince Vincent Ogbulafor as the National Chairman, governors elected on the platform of the party have warned that it would not support such a step except the constitution of the party is followed.
It also emerged that intrigues have been intensified in the House of Representatives to effect a change of leadership and remove the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Dimeji Bankole, in what is interpreted as a ploy to stall the amendment of the 1999 constitution.
Rising from a meeting in Abuja last night, the PDP governors said they had noted how the media had been inundated with corruption allegations against Ogbulafor, “none of which has been proved”.

They wondered why some are calling for the removal of the chairman despite the fact that no allegation has been proved against him.
“The Governors condemn any move to remove the Party Chairman or members of National Working Committee, other than as laid down or stipulated in the Party’s Constitution,” the statement said.
Governors also asked members of the party to ignore moves being made by an “illegal group” to hold a meeting.
The statement said: “Governors noted the activities of an illegal group called PDP Reform Forum who has sent out letters purportedly signed by one Rt. Hon. Aminu Bello Masari, former Speaker, House of Representatives and one High Chief Aleogho Dokpesi calling for a meeting.

“The action of the group is not inline with the Party Constitution; we condemn the action very seriously. We urge the Party to take disciplinary action against these members in line with the Party’s Constitution.”
The governors called on all party members and supporters across the country to disregard the proposed meeting.
THISDAY had, yesterday, reported that there were fears in the PDP hierarchy over the planned re-opening of a case file against Ogbulafor by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
The case, which borders on campaign donations, had already been investigated and closed in 2004 when he served as the Minister for Economic Matters under President Olusegun Obasanjo and was running for the office of National Secretary of the PDP.

The move to reopen the case is believed to be part of the calculations for the 2011 election in order to change the PDP leadership and install those who are more likely to work with Acting President Goodluck Jonathan.
Ogbulafor is said to be very loyal to the PDP governors who installed him two years ago at the expense of Dr. Sam Egwu, Obasanjo’s preferred candidate. Obasanjo is a known backer of Jonathan.
A former aide to Obasanjo, Chief Andy Uba, is allegedly co-ordinating the move to remove Ogbulafor. He is said to be well funded and has already identified Chief Bernard Eze as Ogbulafor’s replacement.
However, close aides to the Acting President told THISDAY that he is not be aware of the moves against Ogbulafor.
The same forces are said to be behind the move to impeach Bankole in a bid to stop constitution amendment which has already been passed by the Senate.

“The plot is not aimed at Bankole,” a source told THISDAY last night. “It is aimed at unsettling the House and making sure no work is done on constitution amendment and electoral reform in order to buy time for 2011 plans. It is clear that some of these hawks do not want Professor Maurice Iwu removed as chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and would do everything to frustrate change.”
There is yet no direct link to Jonathan in the unfolding intrigues, but the forces behind the moves are said to be working ahead of the presidential election in 2011.
Meanwhile, Nigeria First Forum (NFF), the 140-member strong pressure group of lawmakers in the House of Representatives, yesterday debunked claims that it was plotting to impeach Bankole.

The group said that though the House had in recent times fallen short of the expectations of the Nigerian public on account of lapses in leadership, its major concern at the moment was putting the House back on track in terms of setting the right agenda rather than embarking on leadership change.
The clarification came just as the House reaffirmed its plans to commence the consideration of reports of its special Ad-hoc Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution on “A Bill for an Act to Amend the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and for Other Matters Connected Therewith, 2009.
Chairman House Committee on Climate Change and a member of the NFF, Hon. Eziuche Ubani said that reports in some national dailies insinuating that the group was gunning for the impeachment of Bankole was wrong as the forum had been meeting regularly over the past few months to consider issues of common interest in a bid to chart a positive direction to the legislative functions of House of Representatives.
———— –
TRUST

Alleged theft of N104m: ICPC files charges against Ogbulafor, others

Written by Isa Umar Gusau

Monday, 19 April 2010 23:35

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has slammed a 16-count charge of alleged N104million fraud against PDP national chairman Prince Vincent Ogbulafor in his days as minister of state for special duties in 2001.
Prosecutors filed the charge yesterday at the FCT High Court, Maitama alleging Ogbulafor and four others, Emeka Ebilah, Henry Ikoh, Jude Nwokoro and Emmanuel C. Bosah, used three fictitious companies to siphon the money from government coffers.

According to the court papers, principal prosecution witness would try to prove that Ogbulafor and the others used Henrichiko Nig. Ltd, DHL Consultants, and Chekwas Industries to siphon N82.6 million, N11.5 million and N6.2 million respectively.

The prosecutors alleged that Ogbulafor, as head of the National Economic Intelligence Committee (NEIC), set up to verify debts owed local contractors, along with the others forged contract documents to show that the three companies had executed jobs worth N104 million.

Ogbulafor was also alleged to have received N2 million directly from the second accused person, Ebila, and another N28 million through Chris Nwoke.

The case will be assigned to a judge today by the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory Justice Lawal Gumi.

The ICPC will be seeking court warrant to arrest Ogbulafor and the four other accused persons for prosecution, Daily Trust learnt.

———— —
NATION

Governors condemn plot to remove Ogbulafor

By Vincent Ikuomola Published Today News Rating: Unrated

•Masari, Dokpesi accused of anti-party activities

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors rose from a meeting this morning, condemning any plan to remove the National Chairman, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor.

They also deplored the activities of a group, PDP Reform Forum, led by former House Speaker Aminu Masari, which they accused of anti-party activities.

A communiqué issued after the meeting reads:

“Governors noted the activities of an illegal group called PDP Reform Forum which has sent out letters purportedly signed by one Rt. Hon. Aminu Bello Masari, former Speaker, House of Representatives and one High Chief Aleogho Dokpesi calling for a meeting.

“The action of the group is not in line with the party’s Constitution; we condemn the action very seriously. We urge the Party to take disciplinary action against these members in line with the Party’s Constitution.

“The Governors call on all their party members and supporters across the country to disregard the proposed meeting and not to attend.

“The Governors also noted recently how the press has been inundated with allegations of corruption against the National Chairman of the party, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, and that none of

those allegations has been proved. Despite this, some are calling for his removal.

“The Governors condemn any move to remove the Party Chairman or members of National Working Committee, other than as laid down or stipulated in the party’s Constitution. “

The meeting rose at about 12.15a.m. It was attended by Bukola Saraki (Kwara State), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Gabriel Suswam (Benue), Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa), Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Michael Elechi (Ebonyi), Segun Oni (Ekiti), Sullivan Chime (Enugu), Danjuma Goje (Gombe), Ibrahim Shema (Kebbi), Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Gbenga Daniel (Ogun), Jonah Jang (Plateau), Danbaba Suntai (Taraba).

Others are: Deputy Governors Olushola Obada (Osun) Taofeek Arapaja (Oyo) and their counterparts from Bauchi and Zamfara states.

The move to remove Ogbulafor is seen by many in the party as an avenue for its restructuring to pave the way for some members’ ambitions in the 2011 elections.

PDP to Pick Presidential Candidate September 11


Fears mount over Ogbulafor
From Chuks Okocha in Abuja, 04.19.2010

In the event that the 1999 constitution is successfully amended and the general election is fixed for January 2011, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) plans to pick its presidential candidate on September 11 this year, THISDAY has been informed.

The ruling party has also slated August 21 in its tentative timetable as the final date for the governorship primaries to elect its flag bearers in the 36 states of the federation.

Meanwhile, there were fears in the PDP hierarchy at the weekend over the planned re-opening of a case file against its National Chairman, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

The case, which borders on campaign donations, had already been investigated and closed in 2004 when he served as the Minister for Economic Matters under President Olusegun Obasanjo and was running for the office of National Secretary of the PDP.

According a PDP document exclusively obtained by THISDAY, entitled “Revised Version: PDP Tentative Programme and Timetable for the Congresses and Convention”, the party slated Senate primary election for August 14 while that of the House of Representatives is slated for July 31 and the one to elect the candidates for the State Houses of Assembly is slated for July 17.
The document stated that by this timetable, all aspirants for the various elections are expected to have been screened by the first week of July this year.

Because of the rumoured interest of Acting President Goodluck Jonathan in the presidential race, pressure is being mounted on him by some hawks in his circle to make sure there is no constitutional amendment before the next elections.

This would automatically mean elections would hold around April 2011, in accordance with the current constitution, and provide Jonathan with enough time to prepare for the elections. It is being reasoned that if elections have to hold in January, Jonathan would not have enough time and space to manoeuvre.

But the Acting President is said to have insisted that the constitutional amendments must be seen to a logical conclusion because of his promise to carry out electoral reform and pave the way for credible polls.
In its plans for picking its candidates, the PDP wants any member seeking to be the Presidential candidate of the party to pay N1 million fee for “Expression of Interest” form Code PD002/P and N10 million as fee for the nomination form Code PD003/P.

For the governorship candidates of the party, all aspirants are expected to pay N250,000 fee for Expression of Interest and N5 million for the nomination form, while the senatorial aspirants of the party are expected to pay N150,000 and N3 million for expression of interest and nomination respectively.

Aspirants seeking to be candidates for the House of Representatives are expected to pay N2 million and N150,000 as fees for nomination form and expression of interest while for the State House of Assembly, the aspirants are expected to pay N500,000 as fee for the nomination and N50,000 for fee for the expression of interest.

According to the document, all fees are non-refundable, but all female aspirants at all levels will not pay at all as part of the party’s policy to encourage more women to participate in politics and seek elective positions.
PDP said the decision of its National Working Committee (NWC) on all its recommendations on the primary election will be binding on all aspirants subject only to the right of appeal by any aggrieved aspirant.

The party said that all aspirants should obtain the nomination form and pay the fee for the expression of interest from the national secretariat of the party in Abuja or any other place as designated by the National Working Committee and evidenced by a letter signed by the National Chairman and National Secretary of the party upon paying the prescribed fees.

These dates for the national convention and state congresses, it said, are consequent of the tentative dates released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the ground that the 2011 general election will hold on January 22 2011 for the presidential election and Governorship/ State Houses of Assembly election on January 15 2011 and the National Assembly election holding on January 8 2011.

The party directed all appointed officers wishing to contest the primary election to resign from office at least 30 days from the date of the primary election.
On prerequisite qualifications, the party said that all aspirants contesting the elections must have been members of the party for at least two years from the date of the primary election, except if waived by the appropriate executive committee of the party.

PDP further said that the mode of election for the primary election at all levels shall be by the Modified Open Ballot System (MOBS).
All presidential aspirants, it said, must be 40 years above and governorship aspirants must be 35 years.
In another development, the ICPC is being pushed to reopen the case file against Ogbulafor so that he can be re-investigated.

The move to reopen the case is believed to be part of the calculations for the 2011 election in order to change the PDP leadership and install those who are more likely to work with Jonathan.
Ogbulafor is said to be very loyal to the PDP governors who installed him two years ago at the expense of Dr. Sam Egwu, Obasanjo’s preferred candidate. Obasanjo is a known backer of Jonathan.

A former aide to Obasanjo, Chief Andy Uba, is allegedly co-ordinating the move to remove Ogbulafor. He is said to be well funded and has already identified Chief Bernard Eze as Ogbulafor’s replacement.
“It’s shocking that the ICPC under Justice Emmanuel Ayoola could make itself available to be used against Ogbulafor this way,” a senior PDP figure lamented to THISDAY last night.

However, close aides to the Acting President told THISDAY that he may not be aware of the moves against Ogbulafor.
“I can confirm that the Acting President is unhappy that Ogbulafor zoned him out of the 2011 presidential election by saying the next helmsman must come from the North, but Dr. Jonathan is not the kind of man to use ICPC against anybody,” an aide said.
THISDAY learnt that the move is the brainchild of some close associates of Obasanjo who may want to cash in on the situation to effect a change in the PDP leadership.
 

Tentative Timetable

Presidential    11 Sept
Governorship   21 Aug
Senate    14 Aug
House of Reps    31 Jul
House of Assembly    17 July

http://www.thisdayo nline.com/ nview.php? id=171313

Fears mount over Ogbulafor
From Chuks Okocha in Abuja, 04.19.2010

In the event that the 1999 constitution is successfully amended and the general election is fixed for January 2011, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) plans to pick its presidential candidate on September 11 this year, THISDAY has been informed.

The ruling party has also slated August 21 in its tentative timetable as the final date for the governorship primaries to elect its flag bearers in the 36 states of the federation.

Meanwhile, there were fears in the PDP hierarchy at the weekend over the planned re-opening of a case file against its National Chairman, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

The case, which borders on campaign donations, had already been investigated and closed in 2004 when he served as the Minister for Economic Matters under President Olusegun Obasanjo and was running for the office of National Secretary of the PDP.

According a PDP document exclusively obtained by THISDAY, entitled “Revised Version: PDP Tentative Programme and Timetable for the Congresses and Convention”, the party slated Senate primary election for August 14 while that of the House of Representatives is slated for July 31 and the one to elect the candidates for the State Houses of Assembly is slated for July 17.
The document stated that by this timetable, all aspirants for the various elections are expected to have been screened by the first week of July this year.

Because of the rumoured interest of Acting President Goodluck Jonathan in the presidential race, pressure is being mounted on him by some hawks in his circle to make sure there is no constitutional amendment before the next elections.

This would automatically mean elections would hold around April 2011, in accordance with the current constitution, and provide Jonathan with enough time to prepare for the elections. It is being reasoned that if elections have to hold in January, Jonathan would not have enough time and space to manoeuvre.

But the Acting President is said to have insisted that the constitutional amendments must be seen to a logical conclusion because of his promise to carry out electoral reform and pave the way for credible polls.
In its plans for picking its candidates, the PDP wants any member seeking to be the Presidential candidate of the party to pay N1 million fee for “Expression of Interest” form Code PD002/P and N10 million as fee for the nomination form Code PD003/P.

For the governorship candidates of the party, all aspirants are expected to pay N250,000 fee for Expression of Interest and N5 million for the nomination form, while the senatorial aspirants of the party are expected to pay N150,000 and N3 million for expression of interest and nomination respectively.

Aspirants seeking to be candidates for the House of Representatives are expected to pay N2 million and N150,000 as fees for nomination form and expression of interest while for the State House of Assembly, the aspirants are expected to pay N500,000 as fee for the nomination and N50,000 for fee for the expression of interest.

According to the document, all fees are non-refundable, but all female aspirants at all levels will not pay at all as part of the party’s policy to encourage more women to participate in politics and seek elective positions.
PDP said the decision of its National Working Committee (NWC) on all its recommendations on the primary election will be binding on all aspirants subject only to the right of appeal by any aggrieved aspirant.

The party said that all aspirants should obtain the nomination form and pay the fee for the expression of interest from the national secretariat of the party in Abuja or any other place as designated by the National Working Committee and evidenced by a letter signed by the National Chairman and National Secretary of the party upon paying the prescribed fees.

These dates for the national convention and state congresses, it said, are consequent of the tentative dates released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the ground that the 2011 general election will hold on January 22 2011 for the presidential election and Governorship/ State Houses of Assembly election on January 15 2011 and the National Assembly election holding on January 8 2011.

The party directed all appointed officers wishing to contest the primary election to resign from office at least 30 days from the date of the primary election.
On prerequisite qualifications, the party said that all aspirants contesting the elections must have been members of the party for at least two years from the date of the primary election, except if waived by the appropriate executive committee of the party.

PDP further said that the mode of election for the primary election at all levels shall be by the Modified Open Ballot System (MOBS).
All presidential aspirants, it said, must be 40 years above and governorship aspirants must be 35 years.
In another development, the ICPC is being pushed to reopen the case file against Ogbulafor so that he can be re-investigated.

The move to reopen the case is believed to be part of the calculations for the 2011 election in order to change the PDP leadership and install those who are more likely to work with Jonathan.
Ogbulafor is said to be very loyal to the PDP governors who installed him two years ago at the expense of Dr. Sam Egwu, Obasanjo’s preferred candidate. Obasanjo is a known backer of Jonathan.

A former aide to Obasanjo, Chief Andy Uba, is allegedly co-ordinating the move to remove Ogbulafor. He is said to be well funded and has already identified Chief Bernard Eze as Ogbulafor’s replacement.
“It’s shocking that the ICPC under Justice Emmanuel Ayoola could make itself available to be used against Ogbulafor this way,” a senior PDP figure lamented to THISDAY last night.

However, close aides to the Acting President told THISDAY that he may not be aware of the moves against Ogbulafor.
“I can confirm that the Acting President is unhappy that Ogbulafor zoned him out of the 2011 presidential election by saying the next helmsman must come from the North, but Dr. Jonathan is not the kind of man to use ICPC against anybody,” an aide said.
THISDAY learnt that the move is the brainchild of some close associates of Obasanjo who may want to cash in on the situation to effect a change in the PDP leadership.
 

Tentative Timetable

Presidential    11 Sept
Governorship   21 Aug
Senate    14 Aug
House of Reps    31 Jul
House of Assembly    17 July

http://www.thisdayo nline.com/ nview.php? id=171313

Vincent Modebelu’s Comment

These Cabals are now on home stretch !!!!
I have insisted that AP Eberechukwu stop traveling and get down to the business of awarding all the contracts to fix EAST  as a whole and South-South in particular and Rivers to be specific.

From this dates they have published… They want him to be worried by these side show so as not to get anything meaningful done.

They had wanted him to be VP till Sept 11 after they had picked a replacement candidate effectively making him a ducky-ducky that is very lame. they will then know he will be leaving and will not respect him in any way. They want him to be very very very distracted by the selection politics from now till then.

I am sure after that sept 21…if they happen to have a different person. ..
   ..WE WILL SEE A LOT OF ANTI AP JONATHAN PEOPLE IN THE SENATE !!
Just to be on the side of the next incoming person.

AP Jonathan should handle these ministers like special advisers…. meet with them every two-two days with updates on projects.  No 36 state tours…it is not needed. No minister must travel out.

He is on a timetable ..he can do great things. 

AKWA IBOM & THE NEED FOR DECORUM


Sir,

AKWA IBOM & THE NEED FOR DECORUM

I feel Akpabio and Attah should cease fire. Akwa Ibom needs some breather. The State needs the peacefulness it used to have, especially now that more funds are accruing to her; and should be spent judiciously.

The use of “seeking relevance”, “ethnic jingoist”, “great tribalist”, etc to describe the former governor Obong Victor Attah, is seen in bad light by many. The many argue that Attah made Akpabio politically relevant. But at the same time there are those who argue that what Akpabio is doing to Attah was merited because Attah ignored good counsels to sack (then) Commissioner Akpabio from his cabinet after certain behaviours were noticed in the latter.    

Apart from Attah appointing Akpabio as Commissioner for consecutive six years and even at a point touted him a replacement for Dr. Chris Ekpenyong as Deputy Governor; but for the intervention of other founding-members of PDP in Akwa Ibom State that saved the day. Furthermore, all the developmental projects initiated and taken to appreciable levels by Attah are what Akpabio continued with, few of them now to conclusion; but surprisingly Akpabio now claims total-credit for them all: The Airport/Hangar project; the Ibom LeMeridien Hotel and Golf Resort; the Independent Power Plant project; the Science Park project; the free education up to JSS-III which Akpabio though made, not only free but compulsory, up to SSS-III; etc.

Nevertheless, there were other areas like roads, which Akpabio has greatly improved upon and the Tropicana, which people are asking “at what cost, specifications and why it has not materialized as promised?”

Again, Akpabio could not establish any financial impropriety against Attah; he would have been the first to report him to EFCC if he did because of the supposedly strained relationship. For this, Akpabio would have used his present SSG, Obong Umana, who was Attah’s Finance Commissioner as Akpabio was Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs. It is believed that Umana must have squealed to Akpabio; there is nothing holding against Attah else all would be shooting themselves at the foot.  

-Samuel O. Bassey, Goldie St., Calabar, Cross River State.

SENATOR LADY EME EKAETTE NOW CHALLENGED


Dear Editor;
SENATOR LADY EME EKAETTE NOW CHALLENGED

Now it has become very clear to our dear Senator Eme Ekaette that her seat is up for grab. As a politician who allowed (self) to be fooled on Governor Akpabio’s support in her quest to return to the Senate, as reported in the media, she went to officially solicit for his support. The reply which the governor gave her was very instructive that she needed no soothsayer to tell her that she is on her own.

I read many pieces cautioning her that her idea would not fly. It is a common knowledge that Governor Akpabio co-opted the services of Mrs. Helen Esuene in his fight against opposition; that led to her being a signatory to the jabs in a 3-paged advertorial in the media, against Attah and some others who called the attention of the nation to the deteriorating security situation in once most peaceful state called Akwa Ibom. Mrs. Esuene has been rewarded with a shot at the Senate through Eket senatorial district platform (see Sunday Independent April 11, 2010, page 21), a position Senator Ekaette presently occupies.

I pity Senator Eme Ekaette because it is not only Mrs. Esuene that would confront her at the ‘PDP primary’; there is also the AKPF de facto boss, Bishop Samuel Akpan, who has also indicated interest in the seat. Between Mrs. Esuene and Bishop Akpan, it is only time that shall tell who actually Governor Akpabio has further fooled. As for Senator Eme Ekaette, the game is up for her; she should look for another thing to do. Her husband has also been dropped from the acting President Jonathan’s cabinet.

-Johnbull O. Okon, Mariam Extension, Calabar

STAR QUESTION: Who Wins the English Premier League


Dear All:

 We are down to three to four games – and a tight race for who
wins the EPL.

 My tea leaves? At the end, it will be this order:

> 1. Chelsea
> 2. Arsenal
> 3. Manchester United
> 4. Mancehester City
> ———— ——— ——— ———
> 6. Aston Villa
> 5. Tottenham City
> 7. Liverpool
Over to you……..

Chelsea, Man U. or Arsenal? Who Comes Fourth – Man. City ? Who will win the English premiership?

What do you have to say? Lets have your views……………

A colleague said that the reason our students are failing the
NECO/WAEC exams is because of their existential preoccupation with the
English leagues… they’ll rather get a ‘A’ in English league

-Ohima Oliha

1
> Arsenal
> 38
> 48
> 86 or 84
>
> 2
> Chelsea
> 38
> 63
> 85 or 83
>
> 3
> Man Utd
> 38
> 55
> 83 or 81
>
> 4
> Man City
> 38
> 35
> 74 or
> 69
> Â
> Amos Akin Adejinmi

Bolaji,
> You gave yours now here is mine.
> 1. Arsenal
> 2. Chelsea
> 3. Man. U
> 4. Manchester City
> ———— ——— ——-
> 5. Tottenham City
> 6. Aston Villa
> 7. Liverpool
> Â
> Chelsea will lose one more game and a tie.
> Â
> Ejike Arizor
> ( a die hard Arsenal Fan)

THE EFCC-IBORI ISSUE IS SILLY


This is silly! On what basis is the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) declaring Ibori wanted when they deliberately botched his prosecution at the Asaba Federal High Court? It is either they are appealing the Asaba court ruling or they are bringing fresh charges against him. They cannot just wake up and say they want him for interrogation. When did they inform him of this need for him to appear for interrogation? Where did they send the notice(s) or letter(s) requiring him to attend the interrogation? Who signed for the letter(s)? Did they call his numbers and couldn’t get him? Did they leave a message with any of his assistants that they should inform him they want to interrogate him and he didn’t get back to them? If, as the EFCC claims a court warrant has been issued for his arrest, on what basis was this warrant issued? When was it issued and was it issued before or after letters of invitation had been sent to Ibori?

Look, anyone who has followed my commentaries on Ibori knows that I fully support the idea of him being properly tried. What I would not accept and what any decent Nigerian should not accept is a kangaroo process or a trial by media. You can accuse Ibori of anything, even accuse him of manipulating the courts if you like; but we operate a democracy and the court (and its processes) remains the way to follow.

Let’s be clear – Ibori is not a favourite guy with the controllers of the political terrain today. As a firm supporter of Umaru Yar’Adua and a key, even if subterranean opponent of Goodluck Jonathan, no one expects that he would be given any leeway now. But if Ibori has to be brought to book, if those in control think there is a reason to bring him to book, then why are they not pursuing this lawfully? Why begin to use the EFCC in an unlawful and arbitrary way, just like it was used during the Obasanjo era, to haunt political opponents on the basis that they have been adjudged in the media or elsewhere as political criminals?

What I see here is not an attempt to get justice for the Nigerian people; but a cowardly attempt to clip Ibori’s wings or give him something to worry about while the powers that be do their political arrangements, which, from what I can see, cannot be in the interest of the ordinary Nigerian anyway. What I see here is a case of thieves striving to keep others of their kind away from the trough by unlawfully using the instrumentality of state powers while these thieves in control bury their talons deeper into the Nigerian flesh as their displaced thieving opponents dance around to get their talons in too as before. I think we should all let them know that we are tired of them giving us the run-around in the name of justice.

The EFCC is not above the law. Let them either pursue the appeal from the Asaba court decision or prepare fresh charges based on what they have already or/and new evidence in their possession and take this to court – and this time they should be honest about prosecution. If the court needs Ibori to appear, it will say so. If Ibori does not appear, then a bench warrant will be properly issued against him. The EFCC who have had Ibori in the dock for a long time and who still have an outstanding appeal against a decision favouring him from Asaba cannot turn round to declare him wanted on the basis that they are doing so because there have been “persistent public enquiries over the status of the case involving the former governor”. What they need to be doing is answering the public’s queries on the status of the case, not play a media game of hide and seek to hoodwink Nigerians.

Yes, we all want Ibori to stand trial properly for what we think he has done against the commonwealth; but we do not want an abuse of the court process (as happened in Asaba) or a kangaroo process as now being engineered by the EFCC and possibly controllers of political power today. Enough of using Nigerians as pawns! Let the law be used properly! Let the rule of law truly prevail, because we are either a nation of law or of beasts!

By Kennedy Emetulu

Ibori Denies Receiving EFCC Invitation. Vows To Challenge EFCC’s Political Persecution


Chief James Ibori Onanefe Ibori’s has decried the Gestapo tactics being employed on his matter by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and calls this a “political harassment that demands for vigourous legal challenge so that Nigeria is not ruled like a fiefdom – and that is what I will give”. In a press statement signed by his Media Assistant, Mr. Tony Eluemunor, Ibori calls the claim in the EFCC that “letters of invitation have been sent to his known addresses in Lagos and Abuja while a court warrant has equally been obtained for his arrest”, is a wicked lie as no such letter was ever received.

Ibori asks his supporters not to panic because up till today Tuesday 13th April 2010, no letter inviting him for questioning from either the EFCC or any other security agency, has been received” in any of his houses both in Abuja or Lagos. EFCC knows this to be the truth that is why it did not mention the dates of those alleged invitations – because no such letters of invitation were ever sent to him.

Instead, it is on record that Ibori’s counsel, Mr. J. B. Dauda (SAN) wrote a petition to both the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Chairman of EFCC, dated Monday 12th April, 2010, (and this was reported in some national and internet publications of 13th April 2010) over the unsubstantiated media reports of the past two weeks that Ibori had been on the run from the EFCC. Also, it is on record that Ibori has instituted a suit against the EFCC over this same issue.

Ibori’s statement said that surprisingly, immediately after EFCC received Ibori’s petition and also learnt that Ibori had filed a suit against the agency in court, it applied its Gestapo tactics and rushed to the news media with the malicious falsehood that the agency had invited Ibori for questioning.

Ibori maintains that EFCC’s action is just political and not criminal, and it shows that the arm-twisting that defaced the final years of the last administration has been allowed back into Nigeria as the country enters an election year. Ibori’s lawyer made this clear in the petition to both the Attorney-General and the EFCC that this matter had been thoroughly investigated in the past and the case rested. According to the petition: “It is a matter of public record and judicial decisions that you have on behalf of the Attorney-General vigourously investigated every aspect of our client’s tenure as Governor of Delta State and failed to find any crime committed inclusive of allegations of conspiracy, official corruption, diversion and misappropriation of public funds, stealing and money laundering for the period 29th May, 1999 to 29th May, 2007. The said investigation covered among other issues the purchase of Wilbros by Ascot and the role of the
Applicant in respect thereof.

“It is also a matter of record that the head of the investigators, YAHAHA BELLO, and contained in his counter affidavit filed in Suit No. FHC/B/CS/862/ 2007 AG Delta v. EFCC& Ords, admitted that all these facts have been investigated and the matter charged to court. In very simple elementary terms what your Organisation is doing is seeking to reinvestigate a matter you have already investigated and discharged (which in this instance amounts to an acquittal) amounts to not only a complete infraction of the Nigerian Constitution but as a breach of our client’s fundamental human rights. Nowhere in world except in except of course in some notorious Banana Republics is the rule of law and the constitutionalism trampled upon so aggressively as you are doing in this instance.

“It is neither fair nor decent to criminalize our client on the pages of the newspapers without any formal invitation to clear his name, which the courts have already done for him.“Take notice therefore that if there is any attempt to interfere with our client’s liberty merely because you control the coercive forces we shall have no option but to have recourse to judicial redress before the courts which is the last hope for the defenceless man such as our client”.

Signed: Tony Eluemunor.
Media Assistant to Chief Ibori.

Mr Eluemunor ,
 
You are a disappointment with this attempt to defend a collapsing man . Mr Ibori is a wanted man and him and you knows it . Few people have seen him in public for the last few months ( some doubt if he’s still in the country ) and this is for a man who likes the limelight . Tony , can we get a fresh photograph of Mr Ibori ? For him to be talking to his supporters ( through you ) is a fabricated case of deception  .
 
The final chapter of James Ibori has not been written , but we already know the outcome . I believe actions have consequences , can you defend your actions tomorrow ?  
 
Anokute ,
New York , New York . .

Mimiko’s Mimicry


By Pius Adesanmi

Ok, folks, I’m tired. O su mi. Something happened in Ondo state recently that made it into only two or three newspapers as a minor story. In the theatre of the absurd that Nigeria has become – pardon the cliché – only the outrageously absurd makes it to the forefront of national discourse. As we grapple with Turai Yar’Adua, Jos, and other national traumas, a million little absurdities crawl daily beneath the radar and pursue their corrosive course through our system.

I have written a lot about the psychology of the rulers of Nigeria. They are mimic men and women. They copy and magnify bad examples from one another.  That ritual of petty mimicry has been going on for a while in Ondo state. The Legislature does something really stupid. The Executive enters mimic mode and begins to look for ways to repeat and magnify the stupidity. In the end, they put Ondo state in the news for the wrong reasons, smile to the bank, and the people of Ondo state, like ordinary Nigerians all over the country, remain the eternal victims in this unending game of elite rape and plunder.

First, a necessary recap. Late last year, members of the Ondo state House of Assembly dreamt up a jibiti scheme to milk the people of that state dry. They were all going to travel to the US to attend what they called a “two-week seminar on law making”! The United States Embassy in Nigeria came to the rescue of the people and treasury of Ondo state by denying twenty-two of them visas. I wrote to thank the Embassy at the time for rendering that great humanitarian service to the people of Nigeria. I wondered where Governor Olusegun Mimiko was and what his role might have been in the sordid affair. I had a hunch that he would not be outdone by the lawmakers. Sooner or later, the mimic virus that afflicts the rulers of Nigeria would make him come up with his own brain-dead scheme. I was sure of that.

Governor Mimiko has not disappointed me. He has delivered. Here is how Punch reported things on Friday April 2, 2010: “Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko has approved the payment of N866m to former political office holders that served in the 18 local government councils in the state between 1999 and 2007. The Commissioner for Special Duties, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in the state, Mr. Niran Sule-Akinsuyi, who stated this at a news conference on Thursday, said the decision was ratified at the state’s weekly executive council meeting held on Wednesday”.

The story continues: “Sule-Akinsuyi, who addressed journalists in company with{sic}his counterparts in the Ministry Information, Mr. Ranti Akerele, and that of physical planning and urban development, Mr. Sikiru Basaru, said the payment would begin next week, and that it would be in five tranches. He also explained that chairmen, their deputies, councilors and supervisors, who served within the period, not minding their political affiliations, would benefit from the largesse. He said, “All political office holders in all the 18 local councils in the state during the administration of the late Chief Adebayo Adefarati from 1999 to 2003 to that of Dr. Olusegun Agagu from 2003 to 2007, will benefit and there will be no discrimination in the payment.”

If you are tempted at this point to ask why it has become a matter of life and death for Governor Mimiko to divert money that could be spent on health, education, and rural development to make past looters and political jobbers happy, wait for this part of the story: “Basaru also told journalists that the governor had approved N70m as housing loans for all categories of civil servants in the state and that N17.5m of the amount had been released to his ministry for immediate disbursement to the first batch of beneficiaries… Basaru, who said a committee that would disburse the fund would soon be inaugurated, added that the state government planned to spend N604m this year to construct low cost housing estates for interested residents of the state. He said the estates, which will comprise of 454 housing units and constructed on 302 plots, would be handled by the state housing corporation”.

Here then is Governor Mimiko’s sense of initiative and priority. He has approved eight hundred and sixty six million as payment to former political office holders, seventy million as housing loan for civil servants (halleluyah! ), and plans to spend six hundred and four million to construct low cost housing estates. Remember to place the emphasis on “plans to…” One does not need to write a long treatise on this subject. The picture is sufficiently clear. There is something awfully wrong with a Governor who considers the happiness and comfort of past looters a priority and proceeds to allocate more financial resources to them than he allocates to housing for his civil servants. This brings me back to my persistent advocacy of craniology as a pathway to understanding why political office holders in Nigeria are so prone to irresponsibility. Permit me to quote extensively from the op-ed I wrote for NEXT newspaper on the matter of the aborted US trip of the Ondo law makers:

“Often, I try to teleport myself imaginatively into the heads of our government officials. I try to understand the neural/electrical activities going on in their brains; how certain ideas that are outrageous by every standard to the ordinary Nigerian somehow germinate in the heads of our officials; and which parts of their brains rationalize such outrage and make them exclaim: “oh, that’s a great idea”. This trip germinated as an idea in somebody’s brain in Akure, who sold it to his or her colleagues in the House. Twenty-six of them discussed and it all somehow sounded nice to them? Not one of them thought of the drain on the scarce resources of a poor rustic state like Ondo?”

“I have even recommended craniology in our quest to understand why we are so blest (apologies to Ayi Kwei Armah) in the area of leadership. We need craniology and I’m dead serious. In the collusion between science, racism, and imperialism, western scientists tried to prove that the craniums of Blacks and Native Americans were smaller than those of white people. They went about collecting and measuring the skulls of dead black and Native American people to prove their foregone conclusion. A smaller cranial cavity meant smaller brain matter and hence less intelligence.”

“We have reached stage in our national crisis where we need to measure the skulls of people going into government and take the measurements again when they leave office. My theory is that there is something in government that shrinks the skulls of these people and reduces the size of the human brain. I can’t think of any explanation for the action of the Ondo lawmakers other than smaller craniums and smaller grey matter. We usually evoke wickedness and insatiable greed as explanations for the congenital corruption of our rulers. I am no longer satisfied with that explanation. Whatever is wrong with them goes much deeper.”

Some of my readers claimed that recommending craniology was a tad extreme. I ask them now: how are we ever going to be able to account for the unbelievable irrationalities of these folks at all three tiers of governance in Nigeria? Has Governor Mimiko not made an even stronger case for craniology than the Ondo law makers I was writing about? Other than a severely diminished cerebral capacity, how else does one explain one man’s crazy decision to dole out N866m to past political office holders at a time like this? Just like that! This is the same Governor who recently lost forty-two nursery school pupils to a road accident in Ore. It was reported that most of those children would have been saved had the local hospital been properly equipped.

I therefore call on Governor Mimiko to rescind his outrageous decision to waste so much money on past looters. I call on him to spend that money – N866m – renovating all or select general hospitals throughout Ondo state in memory of the forty-two deceased pupils of Aricent Nursery and Primary School. If he fails to do this and proceeds with this crazy waste of the scarce resources of the state on past looters, I call on the good people of Ondo state to rise up against him and say: No!

2009/2010 ENGLISH PREMIERSHIP TOP SCORERS AS AT 12 APRIL 2010


2009/2010 ENGLISH PREMIERSHIP TOP SCORERS AS AT 12 APRIL 2010

Wayne Rooney
Didier Drogba
Darren Bent
Carlos Tevez
Fernando Torres
Jermain Defoe
Frank Lampard
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Emmanuel Adebayor
Gabriel Agbonlahor

Dirk Kuyt
Florent Malouda
Nicolas Anelka
Andrei Arshavin
Dimitar Berbatov
Carlton Cole
Bobby Zamora
Steven Fletcher
Hugo Rodallega
Craig Bellamy
Damien Duff
Kenwyne Jones
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Yossi Benayoun
Gary Cahill
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Matthew Taylor
Charles N’Zogbia

Man United
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Liverpool
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Man United
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Burnley
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Liverpool
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26
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22
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18
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11
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9
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Empty Noise!!! Extradite Ibori to the UK Now


Dear Mr. Mohammed Adoke, SAN

Please accept my congratulations on your recent appointment as the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice. A former Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Fatayi-Williams, advised in the case of The State v. Ilori that: “It is of paramount importance that when an Attorney-General is being appointed, the appointor should, at all times, bear in mind the integrity, ability, experience, and maturity required of the person holding this high and important office.” Therefore, your appointment is a testament to the Acting President’s belief that you have these great qualities.

However, in view of the desecration of this noble office by your predecessor, Mr Michael Aondoakaa, the need to take immediate and credible steps to restore public confidence in the office and in the country’s justice system cannot be overemphasised. It is against this background that I bring to your attention the matter of James Ibori, which provides you with a perfect opportunity to put into action your recent declaration that “there would be no cover up and there would be no sacred cow” in the all important fight against corruption.

The Case of the UK Government against Ibori

You will be aware of the ongoing trials of Mr Ibori’s mistress (Udoamaka Okoronkwo), his sister (Christine Ibori-Ibie) and his former personal assistant (Adebimpe Pogoson) for conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering at the Southwark Crown, London and the forthcoming prosecutions of his wife (Theresa Ibori) and his solicitor (Bhadresh Gohil) for similar offences in the same court. At a preparatory hearing in October 2008, Judge Rivlin summarised the Crown’s case against James Ibori and his associates as follows:

“All the money laundering offences arise in this way. These defendants are all closely connected with a man named James Onanefe Ibori. Mr James has a chequered history. At one time, in the early 1990’s, when living in England and working as a cashier, he and his wife were in debt and also in trouble for minor offences of dishonesty; but by 1999 he had risen in the world, and in that year he took office as the Governor of Delta State of Nigeria. In that capacity he was required to make asset declarations, which are said to have been false. He was also paid a salary and expenses, which were expected to his only source of income.

“Notwithstanding these limitations of his office, which were anti-corruption measures, according to the Crown it was not long before Mr James came into personal possession of very substantial wealth, running into millions of pounds sterling. The main thrust of the case against these defendants is that each of them then assisted him in a major money laundering operation, whereby these monies or at least part of them were paid into various bank accounts in the UK and/or used towards the purchase in this country of a number of properties, and/or to fund the luxurious life-styles of one or more of the defendants.

“As it happens, very substantial sums of money have already been frozen pursuant to Restraint Proceedings initiated by the Crown in 2007. The prosecution say that virtually all of this money had been dishonestly plundered from the Delta State or in other ways fraudulently obtained by Mr James Ibori.”

The reference to “minor offences of dishonesty” in Judge Rivlin’s statement relates to Mr Ibori’s previous double convictions in the UK for theft on 25 January 1991 and for handling a stolen credit card on 7 February 1992. It is therefore a matter of great concern to Nigerians at home and abroad (particularly the people of Delta State) that their government continues to assist a man known to the whole world as a double-convict to evade justice in the UK. A particular cause for worry is the implication of this blatant breach of international law on any efforts to recover the billions of pounds hidden in the UK by corrupt Nigerians officials like James Ibori.

Extradition of James Ibori to the UK

As the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, it is your responsibility to ensure that the government complies with its obligation under section 172 of the 1999 Constitution to “abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power” and with similar obligations under international treaties. The Agreement Between the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of Nigeria concerning the Investigation and Prosecution of Crime and the Confiscation of Proceeds of Crime, also known as the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (‘MLAT’), which was signed in London on 18 September 1989, requires both countries to afford each other, upon request, mutual assistance in criminal matters, including identifying and locating suspects, obtaining information and evidence, and tracing and confiscating the proceeds of crime.

You will be aware that Mr Aondoakaa refused a request by the UK government under the MLAT to extradite Mr Ibori to the UK to take part in the ongoing prosecutions of his associates. Under the MLAT, the “Central Authority” for each country is responsible on the one hand for making requests and on the other for executing the requests. The Central Authority (in this instance the ‘Requesting Party’) in the UK is the Home Secretary. In, Nigeria, the Central Authority (in this instance the Requested Party) was Mr Aondoakaa. Mr Aondoakaa was quoted in Vanguard newspaper of November 21, 2007 as defending his decision not to extradite Ibori on the grounds that “a trial in any other jurisdiction other than Nigeria would inevitably tarnish the image of Nigeria as a nation and send the message that the integrity of its criminal justice system cannot be relied upon.”

Moreover, the MLAT does not prevent or restrict any assistance or procedure available under other international conventions. Therefore, the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), which is the first legally binding international anti-corruption instrument, is also relevant to this matter. The UNCAC, which came into force on 14 December 2005, was ratified by Nigeria and the UK on 14 Dec 2004 and 14 February 2006 respectively. Thus both counties are obliged to assist each other in every aspect of the fight against corruption, including the provision of mutual legal assistance in gathering and transferring evidence for use in court, extraditing offenders, tracing, freezing, confiscating and repatriating the proceeds of corruption. Specifically, article 46 provides that “States Parties shall afford one another the widest measure of mutual legal assistance in investigations, prosecutions and judicial proceedings in relation to the offences covered by this Convention.” In criminal matters, such cooperation is mandatory.

In light of these treaties, Mr Aondoakaa’s refusal to extradite Ibori on the purported grounds that his trial in the UK would damage Nigeria’s image or undermine the integrity of Nigeria’s criminal justice system is at best ignorant and at worst dishonest. It is unclear whether Mr Aondoakaa considered the damage that breaches of bilateral and multilateral treaties would have on Nigeria’s image. In the event, the dismissal of the 170-count indictment of James Ibori purportedly for lack of evidence by Justice Marcel Awokulehin of the Asaba High Court has damaged the integrity of Nigeria’s criminal justice system. The report of the infamous judgement by the Associated Press on Thursday December 17, 2009, which was published in many international news media, questioned the integrity of both our criminal justice system and our government in unmistakeable terms. According to the report:

“Ibori represented an opportunity for Nigeria to hold to account government officials long criticized for lining their own pockets instead of helping the poor, especially in the restive Niger Delta. As an associate of Yar’Adua, he also stood as a test of the President’s vow to crack down on corruption … That widespread corruption led U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to lump Nigeria with Cuba … as governments ‘able but unwilling to make the changes their citizens deserve’”.

Under the circumstances, extraditing Mr Ibori to the UK as a matter of urgency to participate in the criminal proceedings that are primarily against him will send the right signals both to Nigerians and the international community about the Acting President’s stated zero tolerance policy on corruption.

Release of Evidence to the UK Authorities

In August 2007, the UK authorities also sent a request under the MLAT to Mr Aondoakaa for Nigeria’s assistance in the provision of evidence in connection with Ibori’s case. However, on 12 November 2007, Mr Aondoakaa responded saying that he could not accede to the request because it had not emanated from the Home Secretary and refusing to authorise the use of other evidence obtained from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by officers of the Metropolitan Police Proceeds of Corruption Unit who had travelled to Nigeria for that purpose. Mr Aondoakaa’s clear intention was to frustrate the prosecution of Mr Ibori’s associates in the UK. Thus at the preparatory hearing before Judge Rivlin at the Southwark Crown Court on 22 October 2008, the defence lawyers asked the court to refuse the Crown permission to introduce this evidence, which the judge described as “a considerable body of evidence” in the trials of the defendants on account of Mr Aondoakaa’s objections.

The evidence in question was obtained pursuant to two letters of request. The first, dated 23 August 2006, was issued when Mr Bayo Ojo was Attorney-General of the Federation. The second, designed to supplement the evidence received as a result of the first request and dated August 2007, was issued under Mr Aondoakaa’s watch. Therefore, under the MLAT, the “Central Authority” for Nigeria (in this instance the Requested Party) was Chief Bayo Ojo (in relation the first letter of request) and Mr Aondoakaa (in relation to the second letter).

Judge Rivlin confirmed that “there has been no communication from the former Attorney-General Chief Bayo Ojo in relation to the first letter of request in 2006”. Consequently, he held that there was “nothing to suggest that the material so gained should not be used in a criminal trial in this country.”

However, in relation to the evidence obtained following the second letter of request, the judge ruled that Mr Aondoakaa “was mistaken” in his contention that the letter must be written by the Home Secretary but agreed that he has “never agreed that it should be handed over to the Requesting Party for its use in criminal proceedings.” Accordingly, the judge ruled, with “considerable reluctance”, that this evidence would be inadmissible in UK courts without Mr Aondoakaa’s approval. This decision was upheld by the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal.

Consequently, eleven boxes containing copies of this excluded evidence was delivered to Mr Aondoakaa by the UK authorities in late 2008 for his approval. Under article 6 of the MLAT, Mr Aondoakaa could only refuse a request on very limited grounds, including where it relates purely to an offence of a political character, or where the alleged crime would not constitute an offence under Nigerian law or relates to conduct in relation to which the accused person has been acquitted or convicted by a court in Nigeria, or if compliance with the request would be contrary to Nigeria’s Constitution or would prejudice national security, international relations, public policy, or other essential national interests, or where compliance could prejudice an investigation or proceedings in Nigeria or impose an excessive burden on the resources of the Nigerian government.

The fact that Mr Aondokaa’s predecessor, Chief Bayo Ojo, approved the request made following the first and main letter of request indicates that none of the evidence obtained from the EFCC following the second and supplementary request breached the requirements of article 6 of the MLAT. However, Mr Aondoakaa refused to approve the use of the evidence contained in the eleven boxes sent to him by the UK authorities.

As a result, although the evidence obtained following the first letter of request, which Chief Bayo Ojo did not object to, was allowed to the Crown for use in the ongoing trials of Udoamaka Okoronkwo, Christine Ibori-Ibie and Adebimpe Pogoson, the eleven boxes of evidence obtained following the second letter of request are not being used in these proceedings because Mr Aondoakaa refused to authorise their use. Consequently, should James Ibori be extradited, this particular body of evidence will also not be available to the Crown in his prosecution unless you authorise its use.

More significantly, none of the evidence obtained from Nigeria will be available to the Crown in the forthcoming trials of Theresa Ibori and Bhadresh Gohil unless you intervene as a matter of urgency. This is because section 9 of the UK Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003 provides that evidence obtained pursuant to a request for assistance “may not without the consent of the appropriate overseas authority be used for any purpose other than that specified in the request”. At the time, the appropriate overseas authority was Mr Aondoakaa. Since both Mrs Ibori and Mr Gohil were arrested on 1 November 2007, after both letters of request were issued, criminal proceedings against them were neither mentioned nor contemplated in both letters as required by the 2003 legislation. Therefore, the Judge ruled that in the absence of any specific authorisation by Mr Aondoakaa of the use of this material in their cases, the Nigerian evidence cannot be used by the Crown. He therefore advised that the evidence should be sent to Mr Aondoakaa for his approval. This was done but Mr Aondoakaa also refused to approve the use of the evidence.

The decision to approve this considerable body of evidence now falls to you as the Central Authority under the MLAT. I am confident you will fulfil the Nigerian people’s expectations and follow the good example of Chief Bayo Ojo by approving the use of this evidence. Since the MLAT does not prevent or restrict any assistance available under other international conventions or under Nigerian laws, in addition to the MLAT, you can equally approve the use of the evidence under the UNCAC or under the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004 (the “EFCC Act”).

Section 6((j) of the EFCC Act charges the EFCC with responsibility for “collaborating with government bodies both within and outside Nigeria carrying on functions wholly or in part analogous with those of the Commission” while section 6(k) of the Act specifically provides that the Commission “shall be responsible for dealing with matters connected with the extradition, deportation and mutual legal or other assistance between Nigeria and any other country involving economic and financial crimes.” Clearly, even solely under Nigerian law, as opposed to the MLAT which the UK courts were primarily concerned with, Mr Aondoakaa should not have interfered with evidence provided to the UK authorities by the EFCC in the lawful exercise of their powers under the EFCC Act. It is true that section 43 of the EFCC Act authorised the Attorney-General to “make rules or regulations with respect to the exercise of any of the duties, functions or powers of the Commission under this Act” but Mr Aondoakaa did not enact any such subsidiary legislation purporting to require the EFCC to submit any evidence relating to a mutual legal assistance request to him for clearance at the relevant time.

Cooperation with the UK is in Nigeria’s Interest

It is important to note that the UNCAC makes the return of illicit assets to their countries of origin a fundamental principle and spells out how cooperation and assistance will be rendered in this regard to redress the worst effects of corruption while sending a message to corrupt public officials all over the world that there will be no place to hide their loot. Specifically, in the case of embezzlement of public funds, the illegally acquired property would be confiscated by the host country and returned to the country of origin upon request. With an estimated £220 billion stolen by our corrupt officials between 1960 and 1999, much of which remains overseas, you will agree that these provisions are of utmost importance to Nigeria.

As you will be aware, the UK plays a major role in global money laundering, particularly in relation assets looted from Nigeria. In the case of the late General Sani Abacha, the UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) revealed in 2001 that more than $1.3 billion of his estimated $5 billion loot was laundered through 42 UK bank accounts held by members of his family and their close associates between 1996 and 2000. As no member of the Abacha family or their associates was convicted of any offence either in Nigeria or in the UK in relation to the matter, most of the money remain overseas after they reneged on an agreement to return US$1 billion to the Nigerian government under a plea bargain of April 2002.

However, following its ratification of the UNCAC in February 2006, the UK government has enacted a raft of domestic legislation and effected significant institutional reforms in order to comply with its obligations under the Convention. A significant legislation in relation to assets recovery is the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (External Requests and Orders) Order 2005, which allows it to freeze and confiscate assets located in the UK which are subject to criminal investigation or prosecution or civil recovery proceedings overseas. Unlike previous law, the new legislation does not require prior conviction in the foreign country. These legislative and institutional advances, which resulted in the present proceedings against Mr Ibori, illustrate the importance of mutual cooperation with the UK government in the efforts to combat transnational corruption and to facilitate the much needed recovery of illicit assets hidden in that country by corrupt Nigerian public officials like Ibori.

Conclusion

Mr Ibori’s extradition and prosecution in the UK will not prejudice any subsequent criminal proceedings against him in Nigeria. In fact, his immediate removal from Nigeria will ensure that ongoing investigations against him are not interfered with. Moreover, in view of the spate of bizarre rulings he has enjoyed from all levels of the Nigerian Judiciary over the years, his temporary absence from the country would provide a good opportunity to rehabilitate that arm of government to ensure that justice is done and seen to be done in any future prosecutions against him.

Yours sincerely

Osita Mba

Dear Wale Adedayo,
Ordinarily, I will not waste my time writing a reply to a post like yours, because there are certain steps before someone can be extradited to another country for trial. I am writing this because ANY MAN CAN BE A FOOL, so some persons may actually make fools of themselves by taking you seriously.
 
So far, Ibori has no case against him in the entire UK, or in fact anywhere else in this wide world, except the appeal EFCC filed when he floored the agency on the atrocious and malicious case the loud-mouthed braggart brought against him – owing to his loquacious one’s virulent politics.
 
So, if there is no case agaist Ibori in Britian, how on earth will the issue of extradition arise? That is why I said anyone CAN BE A FOOL. And everyone has a right to be if he so chooses. But we need to be SERIOUS while discussing in public.
 
By the way, the Ibori associates on trial in London have been in court for over seven weeks now, while the Prosecution has been making out its case against them. What has been the report of the court sessions? What are the earth-shaking revelations? Almost nothing, except the regurgitating of somebody’s statement to the Police months or years back. And is that not the case that some persons promised to be the mother of all trials?
 
I recognise your constitutional right to make any call, no matter how outlandish that is why I have not addressed this reply to you. It is aimed at others, so that they do not waste their time, OVER NOTHING!!!!
 
Thanks.
Tony Eluemunor

Afe,

Why do you join in infecting these fora with that toxic waste of a write up. I know that you should know, but Mr. Osita Mba may not know because he lacks adequate knowledge about what he wrote, that the article is a sham. If Ibori is not on trial in Britain, then who would anyone approach the issue of extraditing him to Britain? That is the question!!!

And when Mr. Mba writes about the second tranche of evidence that the London court ruled were defectively sent from Nigeria, does he know that if that tranche of evidence is accepted in the London court, then the case against Ibori’s associates would be automatically over in London? This is because of the victory Ibori won at the Asaba Federal High Court. Iboir’s associates’ counsel raised that argument in London, that a case that had been tried in Nigeria should not be retried in Britian, but they were remanded about the alleged evidence from Ribadu that could not be used in court, and that the London case is different from the Asaba case as the UK case is not on proof of evidence but inference. But why should I be forced to revisit such ABCs of that case? Any writer who takes himself serious should first master his topic before ridiculing himself.

So, why would someone with little understanding of the case make noise over that same case? The answer looks like the reason for the existence of Onitsha market literature to me.

Thanks.

Tony Eluemunor.  

PDP Crisis Deepens Over Jonathan, IBB, Atiku


By Sunny Igboanugo

Had National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, known the full weight of his comment that Acting President Goodluck Jonathan would not contest next year’s presidential election, he would perhaps, have been more circumspect, or at least not expressed it with such glee or audacity.

That pronouncement, made after a meeting with the PDP hierarchy and the Governors’ Forum, is now central to the life-threatening rumble in the ruling party, Sunday Independent has learnt.

Indications show that the declaration may not only lead to his sack from the exalted position, but also the re-jigging  of the PDP as presently constituted, because Jonathan, its victim, and a powerful force in the party are working hard to reverse it.

Analysts say the planned return to the party of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and his agenda to contest for President and former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida, also wanting to have a go at the Villa are a sure recipe for implosion within the party

Sunday Independent gathered that all options, including raw force, are being contemplated in a mix of strategies being packaged by the camp of the Acting President and former President Olusegun Obasanjo, which would incorporate massive local and international campaigns, to ensure Jonathan gets the 2011 presidential ticket.

That would run foul of the long-standing PDP zoning formula which rotates the power between the North and South which had it between 1999 and 2007 – an arrangement not known to the Constitution but which the party’s founding fathers believe suits the ethno-religious peculiarity of Africa’s biggest democracy.

Sources said Jonathan’s planned visit to the United States and the rumoured return of former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman, Nuhu Ribadu, are all part of the mix.

While the U.S., which has not hidden its disdain for the government of President Umaru Yar’Adua for allegedly not committed to the anti-graft campaign, is already throwing its weight behind Jonathan, Ribadu is said to be coming home to drive the anti-corruption process in manners which critics call a Gestapo-like approach targeted at shouting down anyone opposed to Jonathan’s rumoured presidential ambition.

As EFCC helmsman, Ribadu was believed to have singled out Obasanjo’s political enemies for prosecution.

Through Obasanjo’s foreign connections and a massive propaganda by his allies in the media and civil society, sources claimed, America had been substantially sold the idea that it is only Ribadu that could fight corruption and had been hounded out of the country because Yar’Adua was uncomfortable that his friends and benefactors would be victims of the campaign.

The campaign for Ribadu’s return emerged amid revelations of alleged massive fraud in the EFCC during his tenure, including allegations of his buying up seized properties of corrupt officials through proxies and non-remittance of sales to government coffers, as contained in a recent interim report of the Commission.

Sources said the allegations are likely to be brushed aside, as has been shown by a recent U.S. stance on the former EFCC boss, on which Washington hinged its continued partnership with Nigeria on anti-graft crusade.

One of the sources added: “But we all know that this is a dummy. Ribadu is actually coming to co-ordinate the effort to install Jonathan as substantive President in 2011. The move is either going to continue attracting the support of the U.S. and other members of the international community, because they don’t know the truth or they have been told that Jonathan is the only one capable of fighting corruption and engendering good governance in a plausible manner.”

The source said Ribadu would be appointed the Special Assistant to Jonathan on Anti-corruption, a platform from which to launch an assault against the governors thought to be the stumbling block to the Acting President’s presidential ambition.

The source added: “And because you know these governors are not clean, they are going to buckle under the weight of evidence against them and if he succeeds with the type of impeachment he got under Obasanjo, the rest will be easy. “And you know, if you get the governors, you are already made in the PDP, because they control the delegates. And you know what happens once you get the PDP ticket at any level. The only antidote to that is if the governors are able to call his bluff or device their own strategy of outsmarting him.”

The need to perfect Jonathan’s ambition – and the issues surrounding Atiku’s return and Babangida and Aliyu Gusau’s ambitions – are said to have informed the postponement, twice, of the PDP National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, sources added.

The NEC meeting has not held because Jonathan and Obasanjo are said to be bent on changing the leadership of the party, particularly Ogbulafor, who they want to be replaced by former Ebonyi state Governor, Sam Egwu. The latter was Obasanjo’s choice until the Governors shot down his ambition in the wake of Yar’Adua’s presidency.

A NEC meeting now will frustrate the plot to give the 2011 presidency to Jonathan, as it would ensure the return of Ogbulafor whose fate currently lies with PDP Governors, all of whom have made clear that the presidency should stay in the North till 2015.  

“The (Jonathan) camp doesn’t want the timetable to be released just yet. But because there is no time again, they are likely to give in. We hear that Ogbulafor and his team would meet with Jonathan immediately he comes back from the U.S., which he has been using as an excuse to delay the NEC meeting. There is the time factor so I don’t know how he is going to get around that,” a source close to the horse-trading said.

If the effort to cow the governors and seize the present machinery fails since about 90 per cent of the state chief executives is said to be in support the PDP boss, Sunday Independent gathered that there is already a plan “B”, which includes a possible splitting of the PDP.

“They might split the party with the likes of Obasanjo, Jonathan, IBB on the one side and the governors and the rest on the other. In that case it will be a big clash between the federal might and the state. I can tell you this may not be a piece of cake,” he added

A Warning To Nuhu Ribadu


Nuhu Ribadu is a man after my hearth. I admire his integrity. I admire his work. I am inspired by his courage. I give him a generous benefit of the doubt in just about everything, because Ribadu is the one man who managed to tease outstanding results out of an impossible political environment.

Consider: as EFCC chairman, Ribadu had no independent power base -he pretty much served at the mercy of the tyrant in power.  Obasanjo is as indulgent,  as corrupt, as hypocritical, and as over-bearing as they get. Yet, somehow, the EFCC managed to flourish under Ribadu.

We are now hearing that Jonathan want’s to import Ribadu into his government. But WHY does Jonathan want Ribadu? Is Mr Goodluck interested in the anti-corruption fight, or is there more to it?

In his years as Governor, Goodluck Jonathan did NOTHING outstanding.

In his years as Vice President, he did NOTHING outstanding either.

Ever since he became Acting President, Jonathan has not really done much, besides sharing out the monies and politicking every-which- way to to cover his own ass. For a man with a controversial and slippery hold on power, Jonathan has not even made any effort to appease the Nigerian people. 

We don’t see him pushing hard for electoral reform – perhaps the ONE item on which, more than anything else, our national future hangs. From all indications, it appears that the 2011 elections will be another ‘business as usual’ if not worse.

We dont’ see Jonathan even pushing for internal democracy in his own party. Jonathan, himself a beneficiary of rigged elections, has in fact already started manipulating the primaries in his own party. That’s always the first prelude to a rigged and flawed election.

We don’t see him pushing to make the EFCC Independent and free of whimsical executive interference … pretty much the first thing that a genuine anti-corruption crusader would have done.

We don’t see him working hard for Nigeria -the cabinet he has appointed is as political as it is nonsensical – so many square pegs in round holes.

We don’t see Jonathan pampering and wooing 150 million Nigerians. We see him putting the structures in place to loot the nation blind and enhance his own personal ambitions.

So what does Jonathan want with Ribadu? Does he want Ribadu because he is tired of these criminals robbing Nigeria? Or does he want Ribadu to work as his political hit man?

In my book Ribadu is, by orders of magnitude, a far better Nigerian than Jonathan and his ilk can ever hope to be. No matter how tempting, he should not subject himself to the indignity of becoming a hit-man for another cheap politician. If Ribadu is going to make powerful enemies; if he is going to put his own family at risk by going after the mafia, I advice him to do so only on behalf of something worthwhile, such as GENUINELY PROTECTING the interest of of 150 million Nigerian citizens.

With Dora Akunyili, Jonathan has already hinted that he is a typical politician who will use and dump as he pleases.  Ribadu should take a cue and not sign on to an agenda that he doesn’t understand. Nobody knows if Jonathan will survive more than one year, and if he does, nobody knows if he has the competence and integrity to work for 150 million Nigerian citizens.

A word is enough for the wise.
-Dominic Ogbonna

2011: Jonathan’s Ambition Stalls PDP Timetable – Expression of Interest Form Sales Delayed – I’ll Contest Presidency in 2011 -IBB


Written by Abubakar A. Ibrahim

The hitches being experienced in convening the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may not be unconnected with Acting President Goodluck Jonathan’s desire to contest the 2011 presidency, Sunday Trust gathered at the weekend. It is not only the NEC meeting that is being stalled. All the party’s programmes in preparation for the 2011 elections, which, Sunday Trust gathered, had been submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), have been stalled.
A document obtained exclusively by Sunday Trust shows that the party would have set in motion the machinery leading up to next year’s election. The failure to hold NEC meeting for the second time in three weeks has therefore thrown a spanner in the works of the party, ahead of the elections According to the document, the party should have approved the commencement of sales of interest forms by state, NASS members, gubernatorial and presidential aspirants by April 1, 2010. The process would have ended on April 30 with the return of the forms.

Being that his campaign machinery is not properly on ground and with the challenges ahead of his aspirations, a source revealed, the Acting President chose to stall the meeting so as not to be excluded from the process.

The PDP spoke person, Professor Ahmed Rufai Alkali, announcing the postponement of the NEC meeting, last Tuesday, did not give any reason but, said a “new date will be communicated to all members in due course.”

Another activity affected by the postponement, according to the document, includes the planned purchase, collection and return of nomination forms for aspirant into various elective positions under the party’s platform.

The document shows that the party is also planning a retreat for principal officers/stakeholde rs on strategies for transparent primaries scheduled for May 29th as well as screening of aspirant to have been held June 21 and 22, while screening appeals would have been entertained June 24 and 25.

Other items on the time table for gubernatorial aspirants include, screening of applications (June 21-22), screening of appeals (June 24 -25), primary elections (July 3), run-off elections (July 10), election appeals (July 12). The time-table for presidential aspirants include publication of notices of PDP congresses/primarie s to party members (June 28), screening of aspirants (July 8 – 10), screening appeals (July 12 – 13), national convention/presiden tial primary (July 24).

Also, those of elections into the National Assembly are supposed to commence on April 28 and run through June 10, 2010, while those of state assembly are supposed to commence on May 20 and run through June 28, 2010.

Our reporter gathered that the Acting president is seriously considering running for presidency in 2011. To this effect, he has been holding meetings.

The PDP has zoned the presidency to the North for the next term, in accordance with its zoning formula and Acting President Jonathan, who is from the South-South, is yet to perfect his plans to upturn the party’s decision.

Our sources revealled that Jonathan wants to garner enough support from party stalwarts for his cause before heading into the crucial meeting.

Sunday Trust gathered that moves by some seasoned politicians from the north who want to contest the presidency on the party’s platform have unsettled the acting president and he feels if the NEC meeting holds now, his ambition may be scuttled.

Already, there have been speculations as to who will be running alongside Jonathan in next year’s elections as vice president”.

Reports have said that Senate President David Mark, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed, Katsina State Governor Ibrahim Shema, Kaduna State Governor Namadi Sambo, former Niger State Governor Abdulkadir Kure, and Senator Gbemisola Saraki were being considered for the position of Vice President.

However, the political adviser to the Senate President, Mike Omeri, faulted the rumour, saying, the Senate president is aware of the political implications of such moves.

“Such a report is a wicked one. Senate President David Mark has played a great role in stabilising the polity, and this, he has done selflessly. Any insinuation that he could be scheming to become vice president is just laughable,” Omeri told Sunday Trust.own a spanner in the works of the party, ahead of the elections

Donald Duke ko ,Donald Puke ni


Ụmụ nne Abaraham Abraham Aṅusiobi Madụ

Vote for Donald Duke!

Vote for Donald Duke!

Vote for Donald Duke!

Danald Duke ga achị Nigeria, HO! HA!

PDP Enough is Enough.

IBB Enough is Enough.

Obasenjo Enough is Enough.

We are taking our country back, HO! HA!

Ya gazie

Ụmụ nne Abraham Aṅusiobi Madụ

Is the above exclamation not funny?What has Donald Duke done to merit the presidency or even a senatorial seat ?.

Does it mean Nigerians hate credible leaders?

What has Duke delivered to any state or place, outside that MONUMENTAL mistake called TINAPA ,where he spent over 50 billion executing a project that will not cost up to 500 million.

Now people are singing his praise, anyway people are also singing the praises of IBB,OBJ and i am sure that very soon ,Atiku and ibori will also lace boot to play in 2011 .

Even those in exile are shameless and reasonless to say the least.

-Mazi Odera

IBB Rejects Tinubu’s Offer To Run On AC Ticket


 

OVERTURES by the Action Congress (AC) to present the former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, as its presidential standard bearer for the 2011 general elections hit the rock last week when the Minna general rejected the offer. 

A source in the uphill residence of the former leader told Saturday Tribune on Friday that a five-man team led by the former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, visited General Babangida to offer him the presidential ticket of their party. 

According to the source, the AC emissaries told the retired general that the party was prepared to concede the ticket of the party to him for next year’s presidential election, with Tinubu as his running mate.
But the former military leader, who recently said that he would not disclose his ambition until a nationwide consultation with his supporters and other stakeholders was concluded, declined the offer. 

General Babangida, it was  learnt further, told his guests that as a loyal Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) member, he was not prepared to leave the party, but preferred to actualise his political ambition in the party. 

While rejecting the offer, the source, who was at the meeting, said, “General Babangida, in his usual characteristic manner, listened attentively to the offer by the AC, but told them that he would rather remain a floor member of the PDP than to be the presidential candidate of the party.” 

Shame …shame…shame. ..
this is the level of sophistication Mr Idowubobo is taking about …on/of the Yoruba  race.

This is the APEX of its all. Political Prostitution. Remember…They offered…VP Atiku…who used them and abused the AC group…he has gone back to PDP.
They have gone to a ..what is called a red giant in astronomy… ..not a shinning star of any grade…just seeking to be a VP.

See how..Yoruba in their parties are on the Hausa + Yoruba relation…NOT  IGBO. But will want IGBO to come to their defense  when things go wrong.
             Then…. it will be DUBBED = South vs North !!!!!
No Hausa wants banbangia close …but Yoruba  + Afanifere + Academy is kissing his aazzz.. Remember Tinubu is an Alhaji too. They have all these Hausa titles for horse trading.
  
I wake up from my peaceful sleep every day to run into the shenanigans of these people.

Chei…ndia ga egbu mmadu. 

- Vincent Modebelu

Jonathan’s secret plot


• Prepares to run for 2011 election
• Jonathan-for-president agitation on the card

By HENRY UMAHI

Those who underrated Acting President Goodluck Jonathan may soon have the shock of their lives as the Bayelsa politician is proving to be a master strategist worming his way to the top. There are indications that the former governor is looking beyond completing the tenure of President Umar Yar’Adua, as acting president or substantive president. The signs are getting very clear that the academic who later found fertile turf in power play is actually preparing to contest next year’s presidential election and becoming the elected president.

Saturday Sun findings indicate that Jonathan, working closely with former President Olusegun Obasanjo, is angling, first, towards emerging as consensus presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for next year’s election and then winning the election. Feelers from the presidential villa indicated that the acting president has already foreclosed the possibility of Yar’Adua’s return to office and, therefore, using the opportunity of the interlude to put machinery in place to not only make it difficult for any other politician to emerge as the PDP presidential candidate but also to ensure that the party settles for him.

The new cabinet
The dissolution of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) is the first step the Jonathan group has taken to exercise full control of government, expand the acting president’s influence across the country and, therefore, prepare the ground for his 2011 presidential project.

Before the cabinet was dissolved, the Jonathan camp considered many options and finally settled for the one that would enhance his presidential ambition. First, the camp considered a partial dissolution of the cabinet, whereby ministers he did not want in government would be dropped, while the favoured ones would be left. This option was jettisoned, as the Jonathan camp reasoned that dissolving the entire cabinet and reappointing some ministers would ensure that the lucky ones would owe him a debt of gratitude and, therefore, work for his personal political interest.

Also, the acting president’s camp considered doing away with all the ministers in the former cabinet and constituting an entirely new cabinet made up of fresh ministers. This was later discarded as the advisers said that such move would work against him. Their reason was that the new ministers would be novices in the system and may not have the clout already garnered by the old ministers to play the role required of them in the Jonathan-for-president project.

Contrary to the belief that the new cabinet may invoke Section 144 on the constitution and, therefore, begin the process for the removal of President Yar’Adua from office on health grounds, there are indications that the rezal plot of the Jonathan camp is to have a cabinet whose members would rather influence his choice as presidential candidate for the PDP next year. Part of the mandate given to the ministers is to perform well, so that Jonathan would take the glory. And if the ministers deliver, they would be in a position to sell the proposed Jonathan candidature to the party later this year.

Retaining Prof. Dora Akunyili as Minister of Information and Communication is believed to be part of the 2011 presidential scheme, as the acting president’s group wants to ride on the popularity of the former director general of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), which she garnered because of her vicious attacks on the clique that held the nation hostage when Yar’Adua was away in Saudi Arabia for medical treatment.

The transfer of Mrs. Deziani Alison-Madueke and Mr. Odein Ajumogobia to the ministries of petroleum and foreign affairs respectively, is also towards this goal. Ajumogobia, specifically, has the mandate to sell Jonathan to the international community, especially since the acting president had got external support during the controversy over transfer of power from ailing Yar’Adua to him.

The fear
However, there are fears, among Jonathan’s supporters, that some members of the federal cabinet may be covertly working for Yar’Adua’s interest and pretending to be loyal to Jonathan. The group is, therefore, cautious not to be carried away by Obasanjo’s perceived promises and commitment to ensure his presidency, knowing that he would be running against the North. The followers adopt circumspection as a tiny core group actually works the details of the game in order not to rock the boat or let out the full plans of what it has in store for the project.

To get the North on his side, Jonathan had set out to please the geopolitical zone in his appointments into the new cabinet. The decision to assign the Ministry of Agriculture and Federal Capital Territory to the North is believed to be part of the grand design to curry the geopolitical zone’s favour. However, some elements in the North were said to be disappointed when the portfolios were unfolded. They have accused the acting president of appropriating the oil ministry and power as well as giving most of the juicy appointments to the South.

Obasanjo connection and running mate option
Saturday Sun impeccable sources reveal that Obasanjo is the anchorman in the Jonathan 2011 presidency project. The former president has promised to deploy all manner of tricks to ensure that Jonathan is announced as the PDP candidate, the same way he influenced the choice of Yar’Adua in 2007. He is also believed to be looking beyond the PDP presidential ticket, and working for the declaration of Jonathan as president in the election.

“Obasanjo plans to pair Alhaji Adamu Bello with Jonathan in the 2011 race. The choice of Adamu Bello, from Adamawa, is predicated on the comeback bid of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to the PDP. The former president intends to checkmate Atiku in the Adamawa axis, to prevent him having full control of the party. Adamu Bello is an influential PDP member in Adamawa and has large followership.

“However, if the Adamu Bello option fails, former minister, Alhaji Muktar Shagari, from Sokoto State, is on line to stand as vice presidential candidate to Jonathan”, a senator from Nasarawa State, who served between 1999 and 2007, narrated in an interview.

Currently, Obasanjo, the arrowhead of the gamble is said to have filed some irons in the fire to make sure as he juggles the game, it must pay off one way or the other. One of the strategies is to checkmate former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, who is reportedly interested in the race. He fears the possibility of an alliance of the National Security Adviser, General Aliyu Gusau and Babangida. Gusau is also interested in becoming president. However, Obasanjo plans to work on Gusau and Babangida, with the particular task of finding out their plan for 2011 before unleashing the Jonathan option.

The lobby to come
Before the first half of the year is over, many individuals and groups would start agitating for the Jonathan presidency. Prior to that, Jonathan is expected to take some impressive measures in addressing the energy crisis in the country. This explains why he is personally in charge of the power ministry. Also, the acting president is expected to use his proposed visit to the United States to canvass the erasing of the perception of Nigeria as a terror nation as well as ask for some direct aid from America. Securing such concessions and being the first Nigerian leader to meet President Barack Obama would make Nigerians believe that if he has a full tenure as president he would do well.

The Jonathan camp reasoned that such accomplishment would endear their man to the hearts of Nigerians and, therefore, would spark agitation for his presidency.

Royal endorsement
Since a Jonathan presidency campaign would be seen as an orchestrated attempt to deprive the North eight years occupation of Aso Rock, the Jonathan camp would soon embark on a tour of the North to persuade emirs to support the acting president’s presidential bid.
When the day comes, one of Jonathan’s aides, Hassan Tukur, is to handle the beat of working out a liaison for Jonathan to meet the cream and top notch of the northern emirs for their endorsement.

In the usual Nigeria’s political double speak, there are already signs that some northern leaders are even today secretly supporting Jonathan’s plot, but prefer to remain silent until when the PDP finally releases the timetable for the selection of its presidential candidate, so as not to incur the wrath of their people before the whole project is unfolded.

To prove his claim, our source advised: “Don’t get carried away by all the zonal interests and zoning arrangements you hear in the media. Secretly, these powerful individuals who influence the tide of our politics are more interested in personal benefits. Whether they are from the North, East or West, they prefer a ‘stranger from another zone’ whom they would benefit from his administration to that from their clan who would put them by the side while the goodies of the government are allocated.”

The North’s fear
The major worry of the Jonathan camp is how to sell the acting president to the North, against the backdrop that Yar’Adua is still alive and that he did not complete his tenure.
Also, another snag is that a Jonathan presidency would be against the gentleman agreement entered into by the PDP leaders for power to rotate between the North and South at eight years interval. Besides, some elements in the North are said to be angry with the ongoing scenario, which has indirectly pitted them against Obasanjo and have vowed to ensure that the former president does not have his way this time.

Another worry for the Jonathan camp is that the acting president is of the Nembe tribe, a small minority group within the Ijaw axis. “His Ijaw neighbours are not cooperating with him because the major Ijaw leaders are not carried along. Besides, his fight with the governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Timipre Sylva, has put the acting president on collision course with the Ijaw people of Bayelsa. That is bad politics for him, although not a prevailing factor”, an Ijaw rights activist explained.

IBB challenge
Although Ibrahim Babangida said he was still consulting on the role he would play in 2011, the retired General is believed to be very much interested in succeeding Yar’Adua next year. With some support he enjoys across the country, he is seen as the last man standing that could disorganise a plot against the North.
Babangida is reported to be holding series of meetings with stakeholders to announce his interest for the plum job soon. Reliable sources said Babangida is working on who would be his running mate, whether it would be from South South or South East. He is, however, said to favour Yar’Adua’s return to power for the expiration of his tenure and bow out. The retired Army officer is interested in running for one term and hand over to a southerner, in line with the unwritten agreement. If he makes good his plans, that would be a major threat to the aspirations of Jonathan.

The Atiku return
Another obstacle Jonathan faces is the return of Atiku to the PDP. Although, the former vice president has been out of the party for three years, he still commands respect among members. His return would reinforce the North’s claim to the presidency in 2011.
Atiku is believed to be interested in contesting the PDP presidential ticket in 2011. However, he might team up with Babangida to fight Obasanjo, who indirectly stopped them in 2007 election.

Let’s not over politicize UMYA’s condition


Following the uproar generated by the visit of some religious leaders to the ailing president, Saturday Vanguard has gathered why the family allowed the clerics to visit him.

A source in the villa who informed Saturday Vanguard said the essence of the visit was to expand the sympathy base for the ailing president so that the contemplation of some political groups for the president to be declared unfit would be defeated.(vanguard)

Everyday in Nigeria, new story, day by day new story ,Yar ardua is sick ,is sick.All the so call people talking trash now where were they when he was smuggled out of Nigeria and smuggled in,it is now they will know why he never get well.Pls for God sake,they should allow this man to rest ,after all  his tenure remains few months to finish, they should let this man rest,sycophants….God will judge all of you.

Let’s not over politicize UMYA’s condition. Have we no sympathy for an ailing man? Only GOD has control over a man’s health, his predicament is in God’s  hands. Let’s show some loyalty and love, let’s pray for him. Acting President has made some good moves particularly taking charge (and consequently responsibility) for and of the power sector. It will be in the best interest of our country if we pray for our ailing leader and support what is looking to become a capable deputy.

Rabadu as a “lowly “SA or so to the Acting President?


I do not like the certainity with which you guys discuss Atiku’s Presidency ambitions and the suugestion that he would get to bear the presidency flag for either the PDP or the AC. Pray, what then are the duo of Ribadu and El’Rufai returning home for?

And where does that leave off the Acting President? I thought I read yesterday that Ribadu would be paring up the latests power in Aso Rock come 2011. Or was that pure wishful thinking by a guy in the pay roll of the loud-mouthed bragart. And by the way, it beats me how a man that is coming to be a “lowly “SA or so to the President, instead of  Police IG or National Security Adviser, his two wished for positions, would be lauded by his paid praise singers thatt he would supervise and security or anti-graft agency. SAs to the President do not suppervise anywhere outside their immediate office. Anybody who knows how the Presidential office in a Presidential system of government functions should not fall for such nonsense. I will see how he will begin to tell the man at ICPC what to do. Nonsense!

By the way, ribadu should bring an American handcuff just for Atiku. He should not forget that he vowed on the senate floor, that where it not for Atiku’s immunity, “I will jail him”.

Thanks.

Tony Eluemunor

Ibori at a Wedding Ceremony.


Please see the picture of Ibori, taken at an event as public as a wedding ceremony – on Monday, 5th April as published in at least four newspapers on Tuesday.

And this is a man propagandists have been shouting themselves hoarse, allegeing that he is on the run. Some say he has even left fled the countryt – Ribadu-like.

And they say this is happening because Nuhu Ribadu is returning to be an Aide of the President. Poor Fellows!!!

Thanks.

Tony Eluemunor

My broda Tony E:

This looks like a church in Ouagadougou to me o.

Pius

Tony:

You’re doing a great job for Mr Ibori.

I noticed one major forensic gaffe in the picture.
It is neither date or time stamped.
Hence it is not admissible as evidence that Mr Ibori was at the wedding
during the time frame that you cited:)

Bye,

Ola

Mr Tony E,
 
I just want to let you know that I viewed the picture just because I wanted to see ‘oju ole’ again.
 
Modupe

Doc,

That photograph was published in THE NATION, VANGUARD, DAILY INDEPENDENT, COMPASS, yesterday.

Sunny

Mr. Modupe O,

First, I do not understand what Oju Ole means. The little Yoruba I leanrt in St. Annes Crescent, Molete, and the football fields of Ibadan, could not help me there. But that i snot the issue. The real issue is that the man has never been on the run. And that means that all the reports about his disappearance is just hogwash.

And it is noteworthy that as Ribadu prepares to return, the propaganda machine has been buzzing nonstop. That guy will never learn. Before he coughs, it will be reported in the paper. Something must be wrong with him.

Thanks.

Tony Eluemunor.

No way he can ever enjoy the ill-acquired wealth hiding. I’m sure he would have wished in privacy of his bedroom that he was not born a THIEF.

If this represents the calibre of Elders in “their” community, I’ll forever prefer to be a commoner.

Tony it’s high time you saved your family name by living up to the family morals and ethics you were brought up with, and dissociate yourself from these high-brow rogues OR could it be that the price of dissociating yourself at this time might be too GRAVE? Na you bring dis upon yourself – I pity you.

Sooner rather than later you all shall answer to your deeds and misdeeds.

Oju Ole re………. …Ole   2x

O ji wa lowo lo…….Ole

Okotileta… ……… …Ole

Ogbewiri…. ……… …Ole

Oju Ole re………. …Ole

Oloye

-Sam Awo

Dear Sam Awo,

Sincerely, I want to be most civil while we handle this. So, please, be gentle with me and tell me exactly what your point is. My problem is that I pointed out that a man propagandists say is on the run and you wrote that he could not enjoy his wealth in hiding. Who is in hiding?

And as for me, what I am doing is more noble that what you are doing. You call a man names over a matter for which no court has convicted him. He just one a case in Asaba High Court. Another case is on against his associates in London and after seven weeks of hearing from the Prosecution, all that has come to light is that Ibori’s Sister should answer questions about mortagage issues. What of the looted billions of dollars? What about the Bombardiar jet?

You know, some people like you are going to be disappointed when that London case is over. So, where do I differ from you? Mine is a response to victimasation; IBORI’s VICTIMIZATION.

So, again, with all due respect, what dear brother, is your point?

Thanks

Tony Eluemunor.

Jonathan’s cabinet is a disapointment


The long awaited cabinet sworn in yesterday by Acting President Goodluck Jonathan does not , in my opinion , offer hope . Disappointed is an understatement . I am sad . Why is Nigerian leaders keep making the same mistake and keep asking us to wait for a different result ? Are we all morons that goes along ?

With the exception of Segun Agaga in Finance and Henry Ajumogobia in Foreign Affairs , the rest of the cabinet looks like Yar’Adua’s . And get this , half of the cabinet are motivated by politics , not national concern . There must be a few other countries on earth with such a glaring mismatch between their actual state and their extraordinary potential . An American friend calls Nigeria Africa’s slumbering giant . I say it more often behaves like the continent’s suicidal maniac .

The cause of all this is excessive corruption , mismanagement and poor leadership , coupled with a political culture that owes more to the principles of gangsterism than to any college textbook on democracy . So with this cabinet , I fear Jonathan may not make it . Although he was the principal beneficiary of the Yar’Adua’s health saga , his own legacy now is as stake . He is certainly been saying all the right things since he became the Acting President about the evils of corruption and the need for transparency . Does he have a receptive audience ? Nigerians sick of the looting of their country will back a leader who seems genuine about reform . Sadly ,  I am afraid , very afraid that Jonathan may not be that leader ….I pray to be proved wrong .

Anokute ,

New York , New York

Ikenna, 

I’m not sure you are a Nigerian. Perhaps being away from the country has clowded your perception. Why on earth are you surprised about the cabinet members?   Did Jonathan drop from Mars, or is he not a member of the PDP?  I dont understand. You expect him to recruit people elsewhere when these vampires only rely on patronage to ‘stabilise’ their system?.  Aganga or any other technocrat will fail under this system. Have you thought about the civil idiots or civil servants? The PDP have a system. the system is that governors nominate their persons for key positions. Jonathan can never upset this system. The man is not a revolutionary and we all know the circumstances of his emergence.    Please don’t lose any sleep over this. Understand the Nigerian system and your blood pressure will be normal. The only way things will change is when the rotten system of election rigging is solved and when when a revolution occurs. 

REVOLUTIONARY SALUTATIONS! !

- AKPAN OKON

SUN Newspapers Begins The Journey To The Golgotha


Business managers and very successful people know that it is difficult to manage success than failure. When you strive to get to the top, you just have to work extra hard to remain on top. When people who do not know this fact get to the top they relax, they begin to celebrate, they see themselves as special people directly connected to God, they think they are the best God ever created, they reject advice, they treat people with scorn, arrogance takes the centre stage as they assume they know it all and see it all. When success is abused, failure stares us in the face.

Few years back, January 18 2003 to be precise, the SUN newspapers Ltd managed to sneak into the already saturated print media industry that has witnessed heavy casualties in recent times. How the progenitors of this powerful newspaper managed to achieve the feat has remained a surprise to me. But it is not unconnected with the wonderful hands of the three musketeers in the industry: Dimgba Igwe, Mike Awoyinfa, Femi Adesina. These three giants brought in their wealth of experience you cannot buy with money from defunct Weekend Concord in the Concord stable. Former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu saw the proposal of these men and bought into it and the SUN newspaper was born. Since June 16 2003 when this great newspaper went daily, it has not looked back. SUN has become the darling of all. The unique style of reporting, the kind of stories the paper carry, the beautiful prose, the language, the presentation, the imposing headlines, the crime reports and its crops of wonderful writers appealed to Nigerians and they accepted the SUN hook, line and sinker. Looking back in the past seven years, I think the management of the SUN newspaper has done very well for themselves and has achieved what others could not achieve. I praise them for this, I salute their courage and I doff my hat for this great feat.

However, I am sad today. Sad in the sense that the SUN is going down the drain. Sad that a paper that was founded and pieced together by committed men and women with former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu as financier is losing focus. Sad that the people’s paper is derailing and moving out of track. I am shedding hot tears that a successful paper founded by somebody from the Eastern part of Nigeria is on its way to the Golgotha . Why am I saying all this? In the past few weeks, the SUN newspaper has been positioning IBB for President on the front page of the people’s paper without remorse, without considering the feelings of its teeming readers, and without reflecting on the past histories of Nigeria . Yesterday, it was IBB considers joining the race for 2011, today it is IBB eyes the Presidency, tomorrow it will be IBB should return. This is absolute nonsense, silly, foolish and totally irresponsible.

When the federal troops threw bombs in Aba market during the civil war, Biafra recorded a lot of casualties. The then Head of State Biafra, Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu went the scene to see things for himself. On seeing the number of casualties, he cried out in Igbo language, Anyi o foro one? (How many of are remaining?) If out of stupidity political irresponsibility, mediocrity and lack of foresight, the SUN goes down today, how many of such national newspapers owned by people from Igboland are remaining?.

If the SUN newspaper is positioning IBB for Presidency in 2011, I want to advise that they are trying to sell a fake product. If it is attempt to whitewash the failed General and politician in readiness for 2011, I want to advise that this is an exercise in futility. IBB failed in 2003, failed again in 2007 and I tell you, he will fail again in 2011. My only regret is that some people and institutions, like the SUN will go down with him this time. Impunity has eaten deep into the fabric of our society, our culture, our psyche, our thinking and I think this is dangerous. What this country has been suffering in the past 17 years since 1993 were the pains inflicted by IBB and his cohorts and they think we are foolish people. No, they are the ones that are foolish. Some writers wanted to write IBB back to power in 2003 and 2007 but we stopped them and now they are back again and they will fail. One school of thought has suggested that IBB should go into the business of wrecking cars if he is looking for what to do, because anything he touched during his nine years in office turned to ashes. He came in 1985, saw and destroyed Nigeria . If in 2011 we are still asking for the likes of IBB even after the disaster called OBJ, I think ours should be a hopelessly retarded country that is totally irredeemable. If actions carry consequences, those who created yesterday’s pains do not control tomorrow’s potentials.

Joe Igbokwe

Lagos

PDP Postpones NEC Meeting, Waits for Yar’Adua


From Chuks Okocha in Abuja, 04.07.2010

THIS DAY

For the second time in one month, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has postponed its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting scheduled for tomorrow.

The meeting was first fixed for March 25, 2010 but was later postponed.
No reason was given for the postponement of tomorrow meeting by PDP National Publicity Secretary Prof. Ahmed Alkali who announced it in a statement last night in Abuja.

But party sources said the postponement was to give room for ailing President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, who is said to be recuperating, to attend the meeting.

The meeting was also put off, it was gathered, to enable members of the National Assembly who are currently on Easter break to attend.
Over 36 members of the National Assembly, 18 each from the Senate and the House of Representatives are statutory members of the PDP NEC.

The NEC meeting, according to a circular by its National Chairman, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, may now hold next Thursday.
Alkali said in a statement postponing the meeting: “The meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) earlier scheduled for Thursday, 8th of April, 2010 has been postponed.

“A new date shall be communicated to all members in due course. The National Chairman, Prince (Dr.) Vincent Eze Ogbulafor, regrets any inconveniences caused by this postponement and looks forward to receiving members as soon as a new date is announced.”

Inside sources within PDP, however, said the postponement was to allow ailing President Yar’Adua to attend the meeting as his first public appearance since November 23, 2009 when he left Nigeria for medical treatment in Saudi Arabia.

A source revealed that Ogbulafor, some select members of the National Working Committee and principal officers of the National Assembly are billed to meet President Yar’Adua in his residence at the Presidential Villa.
The party officials and principal officers of the National Assembly are to meet the President as part of the ongoing meeting and prayer sessions, which the President has had with both Muslim and Christian leaders.

OKEY NDIBE, OTHERS AND ANAMBRA ELECTION


A lot has been said about the Anambra State gubernatorial election. The consensus of opinion is that it was the best election that has been conducted in Nigeria in terms of the votes by the people being counted the way it should be. Based on that election, a lot of people are asking for the retention of Prof. Maurice Iwu as the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission. Their logic is that he introduced a lot of measures that ensured that the election was not rigged, one of them being the announcement of results at the polling stations, unlike in the past, when a lot of things happened between the stations and INEC offices.

Recently, feeling triumphant, Iwu said that Anambra election marked the first time those that lost the election congratulated the winner. They did so because anybody sincere to himself knows that the election in Anambra State represented the popular wishes. For the first time in the uninspiring history of electioneering in Nigeria , observers, local and international, gave a Nigerian election a pass mark. After that election, countries, organizations and individuals of worth are falling over one another to congratulate Anambra people and Nigerians for an election that has met international standards in terms of conduct and being free and fair.

However, in spite of the universal rejoicing, a few of the contestants chose to challenge it. A few commentators wrote off the election as a charade. Thus, in an article entitled Atiku, Ojukwu, Iwu and the Culture of Expediency,   published in the Sun newspaper of March, 30th, Dr. Okey Ndibe, besides other issues, flayed at the call by Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu for the retention of Prof. Maurice Iwu,  provided Iwu who conducted a poll that represented the will of the people of Anambra State would likewise continue to conduct polls that will represent the will of the people of Nigeria any place. Ndibe described as unfortunate Ojukwu’s expression of happiness over the conduct of Anambra election.

 

Ordinarily, Ndibe is one writer I will not want to cross swords with. Right from his days in the Guardian, I have been following his write-ups. I still remember an article he wrote entitled Etiaba’s Father not Mine in the heat of illegalities that were taking place in Anambra in 2006. He is a writer without cant. When you read him, you are bound to be satisfied with the florid nature of his prose, his analytical skills and, most importantly, his detached opinion on issues. He is not afraid of his own voice nor does he shy away from the apostolate of the pen, that is the use of the pen for social crusade in his thirst for the dawn of a civilized nation.

What I have said in the foregoing does not at all amount to conferring literary sanctity on Okey Ndibe. Though we cherish him and his efforts to contribute to the growth of the country and his State , but we must remember that even Homer sometimes nods.  Sometimes Okey writes forgivably because he is not on ground in Anambra State . A good case was the Feb. 6th election, where some ballot snatchers who were not given the opportunity to carry out their nefarious acts are crying blue murder. If he were in the State and witnessed what happened in the past, them he will be in a better position to appreciate what happened on the 6th of February. Logicians may argue that whatever used to happen in the past should not be a yardstick of measurement, but such a logic is quite apart from the world of reality.

Past elections in our country did not pass one enduring test. In 2003 and 2007 what took place in Nigeria were not even qualified to be called elections.  In 2007, for example, voting did not take place anywhere in Anambra and yet results were announced and a winner declared. At that time, all the prominent people in the State, The Obi of Onitsha, the Catholic and Anglican Bishops in the State, Prof. Dora Akunyili, and others did not vote. Even the Governor stayed in his polling booth for the whole day but could not vote, yet at the end of the day a winner was announced.

 with the Anambra poll, INEC has made a 360 degrees turn. If all politicians in Nigeria will, like INEC, make such revolutionary changes, Nigeria will become a better place. It will therefore amount to intellectual dishonesty if we fail to commend INEC for that. Like Ndibe, Ojukwu is not afraid of his own voice, his support for Iwu is conditional and he made it clear: “I did not endorse Iwu for another term. What I said is that if he continues to conduct credible elections in the country, I will support him for another term.” If indeed we are all for credible poll, Ojukwu’s statement should be taken as a model.

Iwu has seen it all. We all know the type of political characters we have in this country. An Iwu has garnered a lot of experience about conduct of elections. There is no manipulative game among politicians that he does not know now. Such experience helped him to conduct a credible poll in Anambra State and will certainly help him in the conduct of future polls.

Indeed, contrary to Ndibe’s stand, Anambra was a case of election well conducted vis-à-vis what used to be. We have witnessed electoral tribunals where severed hands and maimed bodies were presented as exhibits. In Anambra we know that the complaints by some politicians were manufactured as scape goats to explain their failures.  Some believed that they were popular even when they used paid crowd most of the time. They reportedly made commitments to people that supported and lend money to them believing that they would win. When the result was announced, it was normal that it would be traumatic for them. Logically there must be one form of explanation or the other to their supporters why they failed woefully and one of them is by going to the tribunal.

Take one contestant for example, at first he said that his voters were disenfranchised. When it dawned on him that the administrative lapses were across board, he said that Obi won in 13 local Governments instead of 15. He wants a rerun, he also wants a cancellation. This confusion has been described as incipient signs of desperation.

In a saner clime, some of these people judging from their past has no moral standing to even complain. However, law is not morality. One of them through many paid agents said it was a shame that about 19 percent of total registered voters in the State returned Governor Obi.  If he did his home work well he should know that only 11.6 percent and 11.9 percent of registered voters returned Mr. Ikechukwu Obiorah and CID Maduabum as Senator and Federal representative, respectively.  He says that Obi made it in only 13 local Government areas by mischievously counting invalid votes. This is a clear case of deceiving the people and these are the sort of things we expect the likes of Okey Ndibe to question.

Wisdom is not the ability to write florid prose, but the ability to see things from richer, wider perspective; this is what Ojukwu has going for him. Some Nigerians may stay in their offices and condemn what Ojukwu said or did not say, but they may be too myopic to see things from his rich experience, the perspective of wisdom. I was reading Will Durant’s Story of Civilization, where he described an ancient Emperor who did not append his signature for the execution of the condemned persons until he had fasted for three days. We shall soon ban people from sitting in judgement over what Ojukwu said or did not say until they fast for seven days and get inspiration to understand Ojukwu’s view points.  

When St Paul underwent conversion, did he not end up as the foremost Christian? Granted that INEC may not have lived up to expectations due principally to the meddlesomeness of politicians, today, going by Anambra poll, INEC has shown very strong determination to cleanse itself and we must all acknowledge this. The way it is now, with our support INEC has the potential of becoming the best electoral body if as Ojukwu said, it conducts future elections the way it conducted Anambra election.

Obienyem wrote in from Awka

Behold the new ministers & their portfolio


Huhuonline.com can disclose that the Ag. President Dr, Goodluck Jonathan this afternoon assigned the ministerial designates to their respective portfolios and  will swear them into office soon. This development marks an end to the doldrums that inundated the polity since Nov 23.

As huhuonline.com previously reported, many of the ministerial designates are either broke professional politicians or are backed by bankrupt politicians in desperate need for financial rehabilitation. Hence their primary goal may not be of selfless service to their fatherland, but enriching their pockets.

Nevertheless, will the return Nuhu Ribadu, a man renowned to have brought the “fear of God” into corrupt politicians curb the excesses of the new ministers and their backers, only time will tell.

LIST OF MINISTRIES IN THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA   

No.  Ministry Name No. of Ministers
1. Agriculture 1.    Prof. Sheikh Ahmed Abdullah   2
    2. Mr. Awodele Najeem Adewale 
2. Justice     Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN  1
3. Aviation      Mrs. Fidelia Njeze  1
4. Commerce & Industry 1.    Sen. Jibril Martins Kuye  2
2.    Ms. Josephine Tapgun 
5. Culture & Tourism     Abubakar Sadiq A. Mohammed  1
6. Education     1.Prof. (Mrs) Ruqayyatu A.  Rufa’i  2
    2. 
7. FCT     1.Sen. Bala Muhammed  2
    2. 
8. Environment      Mr. John Ogar Odey   1
9. Finance 1.    Mr. Olusegun Olutoyin Aganga  2
2.    Mr. Aderemi W. Babalola  
10. Foreign Affairs 1.    Mr. Henry Odein Ajumogobia, SAN  3
2.    Dr. Aliyu Idi Hong 
3.        
11. Health       1.  2
      2. Alh. Suleiman Bello  
12. Information & Communication 1.    Prof. Dora Akunyili  2
2.    Mr. Labaran Maku 
13. Interior 1.    Capt. Emmanuel Iheanacho  2
2.    Mr. Humphrey Enemakwu Abah 
14. Labour & Productivity       Mr. Chukwuemeka Ngozichineke       Wogu  1
15. Mines & Steel Development       Arc.  Musa Mohammed Sada  1
16. Niger Delta Affairs 1.    Elder Peter Godsday Orubebe   2
2.    Hon. Samuel Ode 
17. Petroleum Resources 1.    Mrs. Deziani Alison-Madueke   2
   
18. Defence 1.    Chief Adetokunbo Kayode, SAN   
2.    Murtala Shehu Yar’Adua 
19. Power 1.       1
2.    Arc. Nuhu Somo Wya 
20. Police Affairs      Alh. Adamu Waziri  1
21. Science and Technology      Prof. Muhammed K. Abubakar  1
22. Special Duties      Navy Capt. Earnest Olubolade (Rtd)  1
23. Transport      Yusuf Sulaiman  1
24. Youth Development     Sen. Akinlabi Olasunkanmi  1
25. Women Affairs     Iyom Josephine Anenih, mni  1
26. National Planning Commission     Dr. Shamsudeen Usman  1
27. National Sports Commission     Hon. Ibrahim Isa Bio  1
28. Water Resources    1
29. Works 1.    Sen. Sanusi M. Dagash  2
2.    Engr. Chris Ogiemwinyi 
29. Lands, Housing & Urban Development      Hon. Nduese Essien

Ex-governors mobilise against Ribadu’s return


By Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja, Published: Tuesday, 6 Apr 2010

Moves by Acting President Goodluck Jonathan to appoint the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, into his cabinet has rattled some former governors, a number of whom are undergoing trial for alleged corrupt practices while in office.

No fewer than 10 of the ex-governors have over N55.2bn graft cases pending in different courts.

Only Chief Lucky Igbinedion, a former governor of Edo State, has been convicted since Ribadu was eased out of office in 2008.

The Federal Government had last week withdrawn its case of non-declaration of assets against Ribadu at the Code of Conduct Tribunal. Saturday PUNCH edition of April 3, 2010 had reported that Jonathan was considering Ribadu for appointment as a special adviser on anti-corruption.

A national newspaper reported on Sunday that Ribadu confirmed that he had been contacted by government to occupy the position.

However, indications emerged in Abuja on Monday that some former governors had engineered a campaign against Ribadu’s return.

A source told our correspondents that some of them had started planning how “to join the battle” to frustrate Ribadu’s appointment.

Besides allegedly voting a financial war-chest for the campaign, the ex-governors reportedly agreed to mobilise different opinion leaders in the country to denounce Ribadu’s tenure as chairman of the EFCC.

According to the source, some ex-governors were jolted when the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation applied to the CCT for the withdrawal of the non-declaration of assets case against Ribadu.

In justifying the action, the Head of Press and Public Relations at the Code of Conduct Bureau, Mrs. Idowu Jokpeyibo, said the decision was made known at the resumed hearing of the tribunal on Wednesday in Abuja by Dr. J.O. Olatoke, the Special Assistant on Litigation to the immediate past AGF and Minister of Justice, Adetokunbo Kayode (SAN).

At the sitting, Olatoke had explained that the move to withdraw the case had nothing to do with a new application which the defence counsel intended to submit for the CCT to strike out the case.

But, the anti-Ribadu campaign began on Monday in Abuja with text messages. The unidentified sender urged recipients to spread the text, condemning government’s appointment of Ribadu.

One of the text messages reads, “Nigeria Alert: the acting president Jonathan Goodluck promised to fight corruption.

“He has started by withdrawing charges of corruption against Nuhu Ribadu and el-Rufai so as to admit them into (sic) his cabinet.

“This is coming at a time many senators, ex-governors and bankers are on trial for same. Is this how to fight against corruption or is it simply Obasanjo at work with Jonathan. Say no to this fraud. Pass on!!!”

However, calls to the number did not go through.

Ribadu had while in office stated that 32 out of the 36 state governors had questions to answer.

Ex-governors whose graft cases are still pending in various courts are Mr. Ayo Fayose (Ekiti); Joshua Dariye (Pateau); Senator Saminu Turaki (Jigawa); Orji Kalu (Abia); and Rev. Jolly Nyame (Taraba).

Others are Senator Chimaroke Nnamani (Enugu); Boni Haruna (Adamawa); Michael Botmang (Plateau); and Alhaji Rashidi Ladoja (Oyo).

 
 
Punch

UMYA has improved


Nigeria’s ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua, who has not been seen in public in five months, met Christian leaders at his residence in the capital Abuja on Monday, his second meeting with religious leaders in five days.

“Myself and three other Christians met him at his villa today. He invited us to pray with him,” said Pastor Emmanuel Kure, leader of the Throneroom Trust Ministry in Kaduna state.

The 58-year-old president has not made a public appearance since he left for medical treatment for a heart ailment in Saudi Arabia at the end of November. He was flown back to Nigeria two months ago but remains too frail to govern and his executive powers have been taken over by his deputy Goodluck Jonathan.

My People:

This shows that UMYA has “improved” since last Friday when the four Islamic leaders prayed with/for him.

Hmmm…..okay,  UMYA is not dead; he is not in an incubator

Bolaji Aluko

Shaking his head
and marvelling at the mismanagement of a President’s serious health challenges

Ribadu refutes EFCC claim on sold assets


By Ifedayo Adebayo

Lawyers to former EFCC chairman, Nuhu Ribadu, on Monday, reacted to reports suggesting that Mr. Ribadu, as Chairman of the commission, fraudulently sold assets seized from convicts such as Tafa Balogun, Emmanuel Nwude, and DSP Alamieyeseigha.

The reports quoted the EFCC as saying it has issued an interim report of the investigations on Ribadu, and that the report is currently before the Acting President, Mr. Goodluck Jonathan, and the National Security Adviser, Mohammed Aliyu Gusau.

“While it is easy to read into, and sympathize with, the extreme desperation that has led the EFCC into these bogus and orchestrated media campaign, Mr. Ribadu states categorically today, as he did late November 2008, when this same groundless rumour was advertised by these same forces, that he did not supervise the sale of any property with respect to the convicted former governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. DSP Alamieyeseigha, ” one of the lawyers, Charles Musa, said in a statement issued on Monday.

“While it is true that the painstaking investigations, the conviction, and the recovery of all the proceeds of corruption from Mr. Alamieyeseigha were done during Mr. Ribadu’s tenure, the disposal of the property was actually done at the instance of Mrs. Farida Waziri, the new EFCC boss.” Regarding Mr. Nwude, the statement said whereas Mr. Ribadu supervised the investigation and prosecution of Mr. Nwude, leading to his conviction in a court of law, neither he nor any EFCC staff had a hand in the disposal of his assets.

“It is a sad illustration of the collapse of competence at the EFCC that the agency could still speak of some “Emmanuel Nwude’s property,” knowing full well that these were proceeds of crime, and that a court of law actually gave a proper order of forfeiture against him,” the statement said.

Putrefied state

Mr. Musa said the court ordered the disposal of “Nwude’s property” as restitution to the rightful owners of the stolen assets, and the disposal was handled by lawyers to the complainants whom Mr. Nwude duped in the first place.

“The law firm is one of the leading firms of attorneys in this country who can be contacted for further reference if the EFCC has difficulties understanding the process of asset forfeiture,” Mr. Musa declared.

“Again, as in the case of Mr. Nwude, a clear court order was obtained to recover the assets of Mr. Balogun, and the process of disposal was again handled by some of the leading estate firms in the country. Mr. Ribadu did not partake in the asset disposal process, and did not know a single individual who bought or acquired any of the property.

Mr. Ribadu, his lawyer said, expressed dismay that an institution which, in its first four years of existence, garnered a lot of local and international esteem on account of its sterling reputation for dogged investigation, “has putrefied to this current state, where even basic reference records have become a challenge for the leadership of the agency. Mr. Ribadu earnestly looks forward to a timely return of those shaping values that gave meaning, pride, and honour to the EFCC we once knew and cherished so well.”

Ribadu’s Return

It is not clear if there is a connection between Mr. Ribadu’s imminent return and the recent allegations against him. In a NEXT on Sunday exclusive, we had reported Mr. Ribadu’s acceptance of a job as special adviser on anti-corruption, good governance, and sundry matters, to Mr. Jonathan.

His new designation will be to supervise Jonathan’s anti-corruption crusade in the country, which includes his former agency, the EFCC; the ICPC; the Code of Conduct Bureau, and other related agencies

WHAT DOES JOACHIM EZEJI WANT FROM CHIEF GOODLUCK OPIAH


It was Sunday 4th April 2010 that I went through Sahara reporters’ news site and other media sites and saw an article captioned which is worse, kidnapping or looting. Yes, I read the article as far as I can gather from several websites written by Joachim Ezeji. Apparently, Joachim Ezeji has sent another one of his so many write-ups against Imo state government officials and this one is about none other than the Speaker of Imo state House of Assembly Chief Goodluck Opiah. On the paper,  Ezeji said:

“I was amused to read that the Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Chief Goodluck Nanah Opiah had on a recent visit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Centre for International Cooperation (MASHAV), Tel-Aviv, Israel did solicit the assistance of Israel in curbing the inglorious menace of abduction of persons for ransom in Imo State. Chief Opiah was quoted as saying that the spate of kidnapping in the state has reached unimaginable crescendo and needs urgent attention. The Speaker had argued during the visit that since kidnapping has risen to a frightening dimension in Imo state, the state needs the services and expertise of the Israelis in security matters in combating it, adding that their role would complement that of security agencies in the state. The lawmaker was also quoted as pointing out that despite the death sentence imposed on culprits of the offence by the state legislature, the crime has continued to escalate unabated.”

There’s more… quite a bit more actually. Other notable quotes by Ezeji from the article as published in some websites:

“Did the speaker say the truth? In Imo State, the truth is the utter failure of the Chief Goodluck Nanah Opiah led Imo House of Assembly to ensure good governance in the state. The weakness of the Imo State House of Assembly to rein on the executive led by Mr. Ikedi Ohakim to tow the path of good governance will continue to exacerbate all sorts of crime in the state including kidnapping. That is the simply truth”

And this …

“A scenario where the executive exploits the gullibility of members of the legislature to achieve personal and private objective of its leadership is destructive. Also, the scenario where the legislature arm-twists the executive for individual or collective gain of members is evil. Both scenarios are an abuse of public trust upon which the foundation of government and the act of governance is itself built”

This one is the most funny:

“In Imo state, one would be interested to know the highpoints of Chief Goodluck Nanah Opiah led Imo House of Assembly and to what extent this has rubbed- off positively on the average poor in the state. As at today, with less than 12 months to end a 4-year tenure, no achievement has been recorded in such critical areas as high- yield agriculture (including improved seed varieties, chemical fertilizers, and small scale irrigation), educational development (as basic as classrooms and sanitary facilities for girls, scholarship for indigent students), health care facilities of all sorts, and modern infrastructure (all – weather roads, rehabilitated industries, electricity, safe drinking water, sanitation , internet etc”

Now you’re just trying to sell the game to me Ezeji.I love it when you raise the profile of your stupidity than if you’d just stayed in the corner, fiddling with the straps on your straight-jacket. I even heard you say you are a Christian. What a Christian you are Ezeji. Passing judgment on Chief Opiah because he did not join you and your shameless group to fight against the performing governor of Imo State.  You even said you will be interested to know the highpoints of Chief Goodluck Nanah Opiah led Imo House of Assembly and to what extent this has rubbed- off positively on the average poor in the state.

In rating the performance of the Imo State House of Assembly, I want to say the assembly has performed creditably with respect to the laws being passed  and with respect to the performance of each and every member of the assembly as it affects the House standings.

As  Speaker, it is  Opiah’s responsibility in conjunction with the principal officers to make  committees that is saddled with the responsibility of over seeing the various ministries and parastatals we have within the state. Each and every member of the assembly or Chairmen of committees with its members have been doing their best in visiting various ministries and parastatals to ensuring that the budget implementation is achieved. The basic responsibility of a legislature is to make good laws for the betterment of the citizens of the state and of course, the nation at large. Secondly, to perform oversight functions on the activities of the executive. Opiah has indeed performed well for his constituency and for Imo state.

For your  information, the Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly ,Chief Goodluck Nanah Opiah, is a distinguished man  of high integrity, who was elected based on his track records of competence, honesty and integrity. Opiah had a remarkable stint in the private sector before joining politics. He served in various positions of trust and proved himself to be an astute manager of human and material resources. From 1991 to 2003 when he joined politics, he had worked meritoriously with Bewac Auto Product Plc, an automobile firm in Nigeria, criss-crossing from one branch to another. From a humble beginning as a Senior Sales Executive with the UTC Nigeria Plc, Port Harcourt-Rivers State, he ascended to the post of General Manager, Bewac Auto products Plc, Port Harcourt.When in 2003, the people of Ohaji /Egbema Constituency were in dire need of a patriot, selfless and committed person to represent them in the State legislature, they beckoned on him .

In case you don’t know,Chief Goodluck Opiah,the Speaker of  Imo State House of Assembly you are criticizing has receive so many best performing speaker in Nigeria awards  including from theYishak Rabin Centre for African Development. The Speaker who emerged tops among his contemporaries noted that providing a rancour-free atmosphere for governance will enhance socio-economic and democratic growth . According to Opiah who dedicated all his awards to his colleagues, and the people of Imo State, peace is inevitable in human development. Said he: “We need peace and tranquility to ensure that the laudable programs of the present administration thrive. In as much as Governor Ohakim has shown respect for the independence of the legislature and a desire to take the state to the next level, the House we be supportive.

You and your cohorts hate chief Opiah so much for the peace between the Executive and the legislative arms of government in Imo State.Ohakim is performing very well so why should the House of Assembly fight against him?

What is wrong with Chief Opiah soliciting for Isreal assistance in Imo State? So Ezeji  is telling us that it is because our leaders in Imo state are looting the treasury of Imo state that is why people are being kidnapped in Imo State? Kidnapping for ransom is almost a national affair. Kidnapping has been reported in so many states of Nigeria. So who is looting what in those states?

Yeah I’ll bet Joachim Ezeji’s mom is proud of her Chemical Engineering son who’s literally a laughing stock everywhere. The only achievement Ezeji has made is only on the pages of newspapers and imaginary water treatment breakthrough. What’s your mom’s address? I think I’ll send her flowers and my condolences for having worked so hard to raise such a dumb, and briefcase entrepreneur.  I’m in a letter writing mood too!

Dear Joachim Ezechi’s Mom,

Your son is a joke, who has accomplished literally nothing in the past decade, except perhaps selling imaginary water treatment ideas and caring brief case posing as entrepreneur. You see Maria, (mind if I call you Maria?), your son, Joachim Ezechi, is an asshole.I know that’s tough to hear Maria. Joachim.  Your son…  An Asshole.

Perhaps you didn’t hug him enough, or maybe you bought him too many Bible-Ranger action figures, but whatever the reason, your son now has an insatiable appetite for character assassination, and a warped sense of reality.  On top of all of this, he wants us to support him and his group to run down a governor who is performing very well for Imo state.

Maria, at this point you might be wondering what comes next.  First, you need to accept that your son, Joachim Ezeji is an asshole.  Then I recommend you tell him that Imo people love their governor and that he and his cohorts should stop distracting the government and people of Imo state.Take a moment to reflect on all of your son’s successes.  It shouldn’t take but a few seconds.  Then hold on to those memories, as any other may remind you what a horrible parent you turned out to be, having raised such a total dumb asshole.God Bless You, Maria.  And may he have mercy on your asshole son, Joachim Ezeji

-Kenneth Uwadi writes from Mmahu-Egbema,Imo State,Nigeria

 

Why the noise about chief Iman visiting Yar Adua?


 

Some one was asking why some Awusa people reason through the anus ?.

Whether they think that Yara Dua was the president of ISLAMIC state of almajari or President of a nation ?.

That if they have sense ,they should known that as long as the president of a nation like Nigeria is concerned,that IMAN has no visiting right talk less of attesting to the health of the president.

Na wao for people ooo.Where  were they and their fellow Christian Taliban’s,  when Obasanjo was holding Mass Services at Aso Rock? Where were they when all those high class pastors and Reverends were visiting Obasanjo for eight years at Aso Rock?

Nwanna, make un take am easy o, before una plunge Naija into a Somalia. Yara’Adua is a muslim and if his people feel that his seeing his Imam would assist in his recuperation, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Imam visiting him at Aso Rock.

Nakwaecheki, my dear comrades.

-Nebukadineze Adiele

Dr Chris Ngige is opening a newspaper ?


News getting to us now shows that Dr Chris Ngige is opening a newspaper and magazine dedicated for attacking the brand new administration of Governor Peter Obi and prosecute 2011 agenda against APGA.

Funny thing about the magazine and newspaper is that it is being headed by a novice Socrates , the one that claimed to have made first class from Unizik but could not be employed there . What can you say about this?

-Ifeanyi Ogwe

There is nothing wrong about Ngige floating a MAGAZINE or Newspaper ,as long as na ojiro ego gi welu floatuo the thing.
His newspaper can write what ever he wants ,he can kick Gov Obi or Kiss him ,the masses are wiser now.
As for Socrates being the editor ,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,hmmmmmmm ,i will just ask ,what will happen to the warehouse where he is working as loader in lagos ?.
Maybe that must be the reason why he refused to meet with me ,so that i won’t  yab him in front of other loaders.

Mazi Odera

The Return of Ribadu


Ribadu

Nuhu Ribadu, the former chief of Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has accepted an offer from Acting President Goodluck Jonathan, to be his special adviser on anti-corruption, good governance and sundry matters.
Presidency sources said at the weekend that Mr. Ribadu is expected to resume “in a matter of weeks” in Abuja. As part of his remit, Mr. Ribadu will be the presidential anchorman supervising the broad anti-corruption platform of the country which includes his former agency, the EFCC; the ICPC; the Code of Conduct Bureau and other related agencies.

He’s back.O ooo,You guys had better not get too excited over Ribadu’s return. I have a feeling that Ribadu is going to be softer than ‘eko’ this time around. He has new paymasters, remember? 

By the way, whatever happened to that file on Patience Jonathan’s money laundering charges? Is he going to dig it out and start with that?

I am just wondering…
 

-Bimbola Adelakun

Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State is the biggest thief in Nigeria


 

Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State is the biggest thief in Nigeria. Since becoming a governor in May, 2007, Akwa Ibom State has earned over N1.5 trillion from oil allocations and internally generated revenue. Other than a few killometer of roads, some of which he has built at N1billion per kilometer, there is nothing in the State that Akpabio can boast of as using the money to do. Now, he wants a second-term. God forbid!

The biggest complaints to anyone who visit Akwa Ibom State now is certainly going to hear from the masses is that the masses are hungry. How can hunger be a big issue in a State which brings in more money per month than all the Northern States combined? And in case anyone who reads this begins to wonder where all the money goes, all one has to do is visit Akwa Ibom State.

The landscape of Uyo, for instance, has become an eye sore from ugly billboards with the dumb faces of Akpabio adorned everywhere. That is where the money goes. Every day we hear organizations splintering everywhere with “support Godswill Akpaio” slogan on everyone’s lip. That is another wasteful conduit because Akpabio will use the people’s money to fund all these groups, as long as they continue to sing his praises, a task, which those organizations are doing very well, anyway.

Another conduit for the waste is what seems like Akpabio’s constant bribe of federal officials in Abuja. He bribes federal officials to protect him from possible moves towards impeachment for his wrong conducts. Just last week, the States’ Commissioner of Police, Mr. Walter Rugbere, was summoned to Abuja. After the meeting with his boss, sources said Rugbere was  told to wait for information on his re-assignment out of Akwa Ibom State. As soon as he returned to Akwa Ibom and cried to Governor Akpabio, Akpbio flew to Abuja with bags full of money to pay-off whoever is supposed to effect the transfer of Rugbere out of Akwa Ibom State.

In case anyone wonders why Rugbere does not want to leave Akwa Ibom State; Akpabio has given Rugbere so much money that Rugbere, who came to Akwa Ibom with nothing, is now reported to own several landed properties both in Akwa Ibom and beyond. As of this writing, Walter Rugbere is probably the richest Police Commissioner in Nigeria.

 In exchange, Rugbere makes sure that he protects Akpabio from any crime committed in Akwa Ibom State on and in his behalf by his supporters, mostly his personal assistants, aides, and Commissioners. If no one believes me, just ask Walter Rugbere how many kidnappers have been charged to and convicted in any court of law, since he took over as the Commissioner of Police in Akwa Ibom State. Yet, kidnapping is a crime committed daily in the State. Because the crime is committed by people who work in Akpabio’s administration, Walter Rugbere does not want to offend his sources of income by charging the culprits to court.

With so much stealing and so much laundering of the people’s money, how can anyone in his right mind wants to support such a leader? That is why I shout that governor Akpabio Must Go and Akpabio Will Go, it’s just a matter of time. And I will continue to shout until the very day he leaves, which is just months away.

Thompson Essien

The Voice of the Poor Masses

Defender of the Oppressed

Social Critic

A native of Ibibio nation of Ubium Republic extraction, now living in the safe and beautiful city of Portland, Oregon, where no AKPF, ADUMA, ADV, and Akwa Ibom State politicians can reach.