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Posts tagged ‘Corrupt Practices’

Group Calls On Government to Establish Electoral Offences Tribunal.


Transform Nigeria Citizens Initiative has called on the National Assembly to pass a legislation to establish a special Electoral Offences Tribunal to dispense justice in all cases of electoral malpractice, ahead of the 2015 general election.

In a press statement released today, the global group popularly known as Transform Nigeria Movement, TNM, noted that the 2015 polls should be more transparent and more credible than that of 2011 as Nigeria cannot afford to have elections or general governance slide back in terms of peacefulness, fairness, transparency, or credibility.

TNM said that starting from April 2014; they will start a mobilisation campaign to ensure that such Tribunal is established in all the 36 States of the Federation and Abuja before the 2015 election.

“We stand with Nigerians who say loudly that they will not accept crooked tactics, electoral tampering, over-heated rhetoric, vote selling or buying, or violence”, the group said, adding that “anyone who engages in such election chicanery should be held accountable”.

“We call on Nigeria’s National Assembly to pass legislation enacting an Electoral Offences Tribunal legislation that President Jonathan himself proposed when he was vice president.”

Frowning at a situation where persons indicted of electoral malpractice in a cancelled election that was marred by rigging still goes ahead to contest again in the rescheduled elections and win, the group called it an anomaly and should no longer be tolerated.

“Such persons should be handed over to the law enforcement agencies for prosecution and if found guilty, be barred from contesting in all future elections for at least 10 years”.

TNM said that if Nigeria’s security agencies are allowed to do their jobs professionally like they did during the Anambra governorship poll, the elections would be safely held in states with gubernatorial elections this year and in 2015.

“Credible elections are the responsibility of every citizen,” The group said and urged voters to vote according to their conscience and not sell their votes, which would amount to selling their future and the future prosperity of their children.

“You must hold your politicians, your electoral commission, your judiciary, your media, your political parties, your security services, and one another accountable.  You must vote according to your conscience.  Anyone who witnesses fraud must peacefully report it to the INEC and the Nigerian judicial system for resolution.

“Nothing justifies violence.  Most importantly, Nigerians should vote.  The ballot is your means to select your leaders and determine your futures,” The statement said.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

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How 45 Directors At The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Colluded With Nigeria’s Attorney General And Minister ToReverse Their Retirement.


Prof. Viola Onwuliri
By SaharaReporters, New York

Some 45 directors at the federal ministry of foreign affairs have colluded with the highly corrupt Attorney General of the federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke and the supervising minister of foreign affairs, Professor Viola Onwuliri to frustrate their retirement from plum foreign ambassadorial positions in a situation that may yet redefine retirement of federal civil servants in Nigeria.

The AGF interfered in their retirement after receiving hefty sums of bribe money from the career civil servants.

AGF Adoke, who is one of the most remarkably corrupt ministers in the cabinet of President Goodluck Jonathan, issued a memo to the president requesting that 45 directors who are currently acting as ambassadors in several foreign missions who had earlier retired in December 2013 after completing an 8 year tenure be recalled to continue as directors.

The directors had been asked to proceed on retirement according to a federal civil service directive, but a source knowledgeable about their plot to sit tight in power told SaharaReporters that the directors, instead of retiring met and contributed millions of naira which was passed to the AGF and minister of justice Adoke, who then advised them to sue the federal government to frustrate their retirement and removal from their plum positions.

After receiving the bribe, Mr. Adoke then reportedly recommended to the 45 directors lawyers that would file a lawsuit in Abuja to the ambassadors.

Soon as the ambassadors filed a bizarre lawsuit he wrote a strong memo to President Jonathan asking that he recalls the directors pending the determination of the lawsuit, last week President Jonathan reversed the retirement of the 45 director based on Mr. Adoke’s recommendation, however, the federal civil service commission rejected his legal advice saying it portends danger for the civil service as more civil servants would engage in such acts of insubordination to frustrate their retirement from service.

President Jonathan then turned to the supervising minister of foreign affairs, Professor Viola Onwuliri to carry out to the order.
With few hours left in the position, Mrs. Onwuliri then requested the permanent secretary in the ministry to implement Attorney General Adoke’s advice but the Permanent Secretary reportedly refused the directive citing the position of the federal Civil service commission on the matter and urging the minister to recall the directors to Abuja while the minister of justice is pressured to fight the lawsuits.

Our sources stated that since Mrs. Onwuliri was part of the scam she bypassed the Permanent Secretary by issuing a poorly worded telex riddled with spelling errors to foreign missions asking that the missions maintain the “ status quo ante”  by retaining the retired directors at their respective positions. The telex a copy of which was obtained by SaharaReporters had to be corrected in some instances with a red pen.

Mrs. Onwuliri hurriedly sent the telex instead of waiting for the new minister ministry to properly interpret the AGF’s directive. Her action was described as  a breach protocol according to our sources.

Mrs. Onwuliri is expected to be replaced by a new minister of foreign affairs; Ambassador Aminu Wali, who is currently Nigeria’s ambassador to China.
The Nigerian Senate cleared Wali yesterday after President Jonathan nominated him as minister early this year.

 

EFCC Press Release: N8.9m Scam: Court Jails Ex-Banker 115 Years.


 

By Wilson Uwujaren

A Lagos High court sitting in Igbosere, presided over by Justice Adebisi Akinlade on Monday February 17, 2014 sentenced Jamiu Seun Odunayo, a former banker, to One Hundred and Fifteen Years (115) imprisonment with no option of fine over an offence which borders on fraud. Stealing, and obtaining money by false pretence.

The convict was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on 39-count amended charge for fraudulently obtaining money by false pretences, stealing and suppression of funds to the tune of Eight Million Eight Hundred and Twenty Nine Thousand, Six Hundred and Fifty Naira, (N8, 829,650) belonging to a customer and diverted it for personal use.

One of the counts reads: “Seun Jamiu Odunayo sometime on the 7th day of March 2011 in Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division whilst being a staff of Skye Bank Plc stole N848,690.00 (Eight Hundred and Forty Eight Thousand, Six Hundred and Ninety Naira) property of Skye Bank Plc”.

The convict had earlier pleaded not guilty to the 39-count charge that was preferred against him but later changed his plea following a plea bargain.
However Justice Akinlade, in her ruling on Monday, sentenced the defendant to one Hundred and Fifteen Years imprisonment, (115) – three years on each of the 39 -count charge. They are to run concurrently. The sentence is to start from the date of his arrest.

The journey to prison began on May 19, 2011, when the commission received a petition from a bank, alleging that one of its staff who was a Cash Pick up Officer to one of its customers, did not credit the customer’s account. The customer alerted the bank, when she discovered that the sum of Eight Million Eight Hundred and Twenty Nine Thousand Six Hundred and Fifty Naira, N8, 829,650 was not credited into her account. The convict consequently absconded from his duty post to evade arrest.

However, Odunayo in his statement stated that, he started stealing from the customer’s account in November 2010, due to delay in payment of his salary. He started with N50, 000 (Fifty Thousand Naira) and later increased it till it reached the sum of N848, 690.00.

The convicts confessed that he used part of the money for his wedding; built a 4-bedroom bungalow in Mowe, Ogun state; bought a car, and used the rest for clubbing.

Wilson Uwujaren
Head, Media & Publicity
17th February, 2014

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Jonathan’s 2015 Onslaught By Charles Ofoji.


By Charles Ofoji

Only the naive would still be waiting for President Goodluck Jonathan to formally declare his intention to seek reelection in 2105. The body language of the president and his calculated speeches, inactions and actions leave no one in doubt that he will not only ask the Nigerian people to renew his mandate, but in fact he has started campaigning for reelection. The firing of his Chief of Staff and four ministers last week are unmistakable canons, kick starting a reelection bid.

At last, Jonathan, albeit reluctantly, sacked his controversial political ally, Stella Oduah. Undoubtedly, if not the fact that 2015 is dangerously too close, he would never have fired the woman, who not only played a pivotal role in his emerging as president in 2011, but also, despite her malfeasance, arguably did a good job in the aviation industry as minister. Jonathan was awfully disinclined to sacking Oduah for the two reasons I have mentioned. Her discharge is a loss to Jonathan personally and the Nigeria people. The Aviation Industry will miss the vision this ambitious woman had for it. She wanted to reform the rotten industry and she did well in this direction. I guess her greatest undoing was that she failed to realize that no matter how well you mean or how well you might be doing your job, public service has rules which are sacrosanct.

Oduah got carried away. In that way, she unwisely played into the hands of her enemies, who are predominantly the cabal holding aviation industry hostage – those who want business to remain as usual. At the end, she paid the price for not playing by the rules and her enemies rejoiced. Her greatest mistake was that you cannot be a reformer and live below board. Reforms hurt special interests. The owners of such interests would naturally fight back to retain the status-quo which guarantees their profit.

I was one of those who personally admired Oduah. I had wished she did well, being a woman. It would have gone a long way in bridging gender inequality in Nigeria. I also, on a personal note, wished her well, being a friend of her brother during my times in Cologne, Germany. Nevertheless, her misbehaviour was not tolerable, neither was it pardonable. You don’t bend the rules because people you like broke them.

Jonathan had tried to bend the rules for Oduah until he found out that the heat was unbearable. She had only become an agonizing political liability. This is why I refrain from congratulating this president for sacking those enmeshed in corruption, who dined with him. There is no sincerity in their sacking. They were not sacked because Jonathan was interested in ethics or in the fight against corruption. It was only onslaught towards 2015 – a selfish move aimed at winning back the trust of the Nigerian people.

It is useless to inquire if Jonathan would be successful in getting Nigerians to trust him again. Even if Nigerians would not trust him again, who would they? The so-called Alliance for Progressive Change (APC) has not presented Nigerians with a viable alternative. It takes only an extraordinary candidate to defeat an incumbent anywhere in the world, more so in Africa, where it rarely happens. The names I hear of in the APC do not come near to even being average candidates. In fact, they are worse than Jonathan.

Based on the covenant between Nigerians and Jonathan and his performance as president, he should not bother asking for another mandate. He failed to deliver on his promise – a breath of fresh air. The air got worse under his watch. For those who love Nigeria, it saddens to know that he would remain president beyond 2015. There is simply no credible challenger.

This cast a big question mark on Nigeria’s recruitment and reward system. The mere fact that all those within a touching distance of challenging Jonathan are people of questionable character simply goes to underline that something is terribly wrong with the country. No thanks to a dubious recruitment and reward system bequeathed on the Nation by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, those who are competent and those who genuinely love Nigeria and have something to contribute to her forward-march never get a chance to serve their fatherland. As a result of godfatherism, mostly unqualified people and charlatans ambled their way up Nigeria’s political ladder.

Recently, I listened once more to the brilliant speech of former Prime Minister, late Tafawa Balewa before the United Nations. Again I cried for Nigeria. You could only ask yourself, where did people like Balewa, Azikiwe and Awolowo go? Nigeria did not stop producing such people. The truth of the matter is that there is an abundance of people like them. The only thing is that the sycophants the military handed over power to, so that they could protect their interests, hijacked the country. And they would do all, including assassinating, to make sure that people like Balewa are prevented from coming close to power.

Jonathan is the biggest beneficiary of a system that encourages mediocrity. He should never have been president in the first place. He was propped up by a dubious system. Unfortunately, as he said recently, he is still better than those calling him names.

*checkpointcharley@yahoo.de

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

Nigerian Police Look Away As PDP Flouts Directive Banning Gatherings At Airports – PREMIUM TIMES.


 

By Nnenna Ibeh

Three months after the Nigeria police banned ‘political, socio-cultural, or religious gatherings’ within and around all Nigerian airports, the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, violated the directive, while the police looked away.

The ruling party flouted the directive on February 1 when hundreds of its members gathered to welcome its new National Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, on his first official return to Bauchi State after he emerged the party’s chairman.

Mr. Mu’azu, a two-term governor of Bauchi, was appointed PDP chairman on January 20.

The airport carnival

When the party chairman decided to visit his state, he was accompanied by another PDP leader and Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed. Mr. Mohammed, a former senator, is a governorship aspirant in Bauchi.

The leader of the delegation that received the two PDP heavyweights at the Bauchi Airport was Governor Isa Yuguda, also a member of the PDP.

It was a carnival-like atmosphere at the airport as Mr. Yuguda, different dance troops, mascots, praise singers and people dressed in colourful uniforms – “aso-ebi” – could barely wait for the plane to land. There was also a massive banner bearing the pictures of President Goodluck Jonathan and Messrs Mu’azu and Yuguda. The airport was beautifully decorated with fabrics made in PDP colours (red, white and green).

Mr. Yuguda, leading hundreds of people who waved their party flags and posters of the politicians, danced towards the plane as Mr. Mu’azu joyfully strolled down the airplane waving both hands to the party faithfuls.

As shown on national TV networks, and in an exclusive video sourced by PREMIUM TIMES, the crowd surrounded the plane as they welcomed their illustrious son, who had just emerged the leader of Nigeria’s ruling party; a party that describes itself as Africa’s largest.

Mr. Mu’azu and his entourage left the airport and went to the palace of the Emir of Bauchi, Rilwanu Adamu, to seek blessings for what he expected to be a result-oriented reign as PDP chairman.

“Without the blessings of the royal father, I may not make much impact. I need your prayers and blessings to succeed in this very tasking national assignment. Bauchi is my home, and you are our farther, as such, I am in dire need of your support to succeed,” Mr. Mu’azu said.

Mr. Yuguda, who accompanied the PDP chairman to the Emir’s palace, pledged his support to the latter saying Mr. Mu’azu’s success is the success of Bauchi State and the entire North-East zone.

A Bauchi-based journalist, who accompanied Mr. Yuguda’s convoy to receive the guests at the airport, narrated the events to PREMIUM TIMES.

“We left for the airport at 11.30 a.m in the convoy of the governor, Isa Yuguda. When we got to there, the place was actually jam-packed. There were lots of dancers and praise singers, praising all (the politicians). The security there was also tight; a lot of police officers. Many youths were also there, dancing with posters of politicians that they think want to contest for governorship, like Abdul Ningi, the FCT minister, posters of Jonathan, Isa Yuguda and Mu’azu.” The journalist sought anonymity for fear of being victimized by his employers.

The Police directive

On November 6, 2013, the Nigeria Police announced the ban of all political, socio-cultural, or religious gatherings within and around the premises of all Nigerian airports.

In a statement, the spokesperson of the Nigeria Police, Frank Mba, said the ban was part of efforts towards averting any security breach and the need to protect critical infrastructure, travelers, aircrew, airport staff and personnel at the nation’s local and international airports.

“As part of deliberate efforts towards averting any security breach and the need to protect critical infrastructures, travelers, aircrew, airport staff and personnel at the nation’s local and international airports, the Nigeria Police High Command has placed a total ban on political, socio-cultural or religious gatherings within and around airport premises, including tarmacs, lounges and other sensitive security points,” Mr. Mba announced.

Mr. Mba said the decision was taken by a strategic security meeting at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, on November 5, 2013. The police also vowed that legal actions would be taken against anyone who failed to comply with the directive.

The decision by the police to ban receptions and carnivals fell on the same day security personnel at the Port Harcourt International Airport clashed with supporters of Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi.

There was confusion when security personnel barred the governor’s supporters, who besieged the airport to welcome the leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC. The APC delegation had come to invite Mr. Amaechi to join the opposition party.

Mr. Amaechi has since joined the APC and is the party’s leader in Rivers.

See no evil, hear no evil

After failing to sanction the PDP for violating its directive, the Nigerian police lied to this newspaper that the Bauchi event did not happen.

When PREMIUM TIMES contacted Mr. Mba over the matter, the police spokesperson said he was not aware of it and asked for time to enable him make enquiries.
He later told PREMIUM TIMES that the Bauchi Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Ladan, said no celebration was held at the airport.

“I just spoke with the Commissioner of Police in charge of Bauchi. The information at my disposal is that the reception that took place at the airport was within the bounds of the law,” Mr. Mba said. “What simply happened at the airport was that the governor and other politicians just came and received him and they joined the vehicle and drove off.”

The police spokesperson said he was told by the Bauchi police that no dancing and drumming took place at the airport, and that the ceremony was held at the Government House in Bauchi where Mr. Mu’azu was treated to a state reception.
This video sourced by PREMIUM TIMES has since exposed the police’s claim to be false.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

ICPC Seizes 372 International Passports.


By Folu Olamiti

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has in its custody 372 international passports recovered from several persons and agents.

The recovery is part of an ongoing clampdown on corruption-prone processes in the acquisition of visas.

The Commission has directed owners of the recovered passports to appear at its headquarters, located at Plot 802 Constitution Avenue, Zone A9, Central Business District Area, Abuja between 19th and 28th February 2014 from 10am to 3pm each day, excluding weekends.

The  affected persons are  to come along with proof of ownership and the travel documents supporting their visa applications to respective embassies to collect their passports.

It will be recalled that ICPC operatives, had in October 2013, arrested 18 suspects in Abuja and Lagos. Three of them were allegedly involved in the production of fake documents to satisfy visa requirements, while one was in possession of suspicious travel documents. The rest were either arrested with forged public documents or for allegedly colluding  with someone in India to procure a fake invitation letters from an Indian Hospital. Culpable ones have since been arraigned in courts.

ICPC had initiated several arrests after receiving an ever increasing number of petitions from prospective students seeking educational placement and patients seeking medical attention abroad who were duped by some agents.

It will be recalled that ICPC had issued a “Visa Scam Press Advisory” last year warning intending travelers of the consequences of patronising and using dubious travel agents and touts to obtain visas through corrupt practices.

Travelers were further advised to use verifiable documents and only deal with official and registered travel and appropriate government Agencies.

ICPC is delighted that these investigations and arrests have led to significant changes in visa administration by respective government departments, Travel Agencies, embassies and travelers.

Folu Olamiti
Resident Consultant

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

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