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Posts tagged ‘Independent Corrupt Practices Commission’

Oduah: Civil Society Groups Demand Release Of Presidential Panel Report On N255m Bulletproof Cars Scam.


Stella-Oduah-003

The political stormy weather for Aviation Minister, Ms. Stella Oduah seems not to be over yet as Civil Society Groups have launched fresh demands into the immediate release of the report of the presidential panel that investigated the N255 million BMW bulletproof cars scam.The three-man administrative panel set up by President Goodluck Jonathan submitted its report on November 13, two days after its deadline but as earlier feared by skeptics, the outcome of the panel’s investigation has been closely guarded by the presidency. This is just as the House of Representatives adopted a recommendation of its Committee on Aviation which advised the president to review the continued terms of engagement of Ms. Oduah as a member of the Federal Executive Council, FEC.Leaders of the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, and the Campaign for Democracy, who spoke to SUNDAY PUNCH asked the Presidency to make the report available to the public, the way the lower legislative chamber made its own known recently.The Executive Director, CACOL, Debo Adeniran, urged the Presidency to release the report if it had nothing to hide.He said, “When they set up all these panels, we said it was like doing the funeral for the issues that led to the controversy. Up till now, we are still raising the question.  They didn’t need to set up the committees. It was a case for anti-corruption agencies such as Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Code of Conduct Bureau, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, or the special fraud unit of the Nigerian Police.“We are demanding that the report be made public. We said it from the beginning that when the panels finish their work, they should make their reports available to whoever wants it. We are still demanding that if the Presidency has nothing to hide, it should not treat the report of the panel with secrecy”.Also the Coordinator of CD, Joe Okei-Odumakin, said civil society groups would reject any attempt to cover up the bulletproof car scam.She said, “We have said any attempt to sweep the matter under the carpet will be met with stiff opposition. We shall resist it with all our might and within the ambit of the law. Time has come for those who are holding onto the report to release it. We must get to the root of this, because we cannot continue to cure the symptoms and allow the cause of the problem.“If an amount of money

was spent in the purchase of bulletproof cars and we said we are interested in due process; they have refused to release the report, it shows that there is no political will on the part of those in government who claim they want to fight corruption. We are demanding the release of that report and those found culpable must not only be shown the way out, they must be made to face the full wrath of the law.”The groups also called on President Jonathan to implement the recommendation of the House of Representatives committee that probed the scam.

Source: Radio Biafra.
by: daniel

Press Release: Aviation N255m car scandal: Why Pres. Jonathan Should Sell Armored Cars—SERAP.


By Adetokunbo Mumuni

A civil society group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has issued a public appeal to President Goodluck Jonathan to “urgently order the sale of the two armored BMW cars reportedly bought with funds from the Aviation Ministry, and to use the accrued funds to provide compensation to families of victims of recent air accidents and use part of the funds to set up a Trust Fund to jump-start genuine reform of the aviation industry.”

The organization said that, “Selling the cars as proceeds of corruption and using the funds to pay compensation to families of victims of persistent air accidents would also have the great additional benefit of reining in endemic corruption in the sector as perpetrators would know that they would not be allowed to profit from their crime.”

The organization also asked the president “to publicly assure Nigerians that the whistleblower that leaked the information of the two BMW armoured cars bought for the Aviation Minister, Ms. Stella Oduah, will be fully protected from any harassment, intimidation or persecution by the authorities.”

The organization said it would offer “free legal services to ensure full protection and safety of the whistleblower in line with international standards. We appeal to the whistleblower to get in touch with our organization, and assure whoever this may be our full support and confidentiality. The whistleblower should be celebrated and not persecuted.”

In a public appeal dated 20 October 2013 and signed by SERAP executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni, the organization said that, “The reported diversion of $1.6 million (N255 million) to pay for two cars by someone that should normally be the number one safety official in the aviation ministry illustrates the level of corruption in the sector, and explains why people’s lives have been repeatedly messed with by those entrusted with air safety and security in the country’s aviation industry.”

According to the organization, “The cost in human lives of this diversion of critical funds is incalculable, and the president can no longer continue to treat this as normal as corruption in the aviation industry continue to cause so much suffering and misery for millions of families across the country.”

“As the overall supervisor and boss of the Aviation Ministry, President Jonathan should now show leadership not only by ensuring full accountability in this case but also making sure that the management of the Ministry is fully compliant with anti-corruption legislation and treaties that Nigeria has ratified, and to proactively ensure the full implementation of these laws and treaties for the sake of safety of millions of Nigerians who daily travel through our airports,” the organization also said.

According to the organization, “This report of corruption and mismanagement in the Aviation Ministry is not just an isolated incident but shows a complete lack of transparency and accountability in the aviation industry that starts from the very top. Diversion of critical funds from the Aviation Ministry for personal use has unarguably made the aviation sector unsafe, messed with people’s lives and brought so much suffering and misery to many families and the public in general.”

The organization said that, “A corrupt Aviation Ministry clearly will lack the moral authority to effectively carry out important oversight functions or to ensure due diligence regarding the registration and operation of aircraft with safety concerns.”

“Without addressing corruption in the aviation industry the country will continue to struggle to meet global standards in the sector. In this respect, the president should ask anticorruption agencies and civil society to monitor the spending by Ministry of Aviation on everything from airport safety to fleet maintenance and pilot training and certification,” the organization added.

“This diversion constitutes a serious breach of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Act and the UN Convention against Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party. High ranking corruption in the Ministry can only continue to make the aviation sector unsafe for Nigerians and thus exacerbate the increasing level of violation of the citizens’ human right to life and to security and dignity of the person,” the organization also said.

The organization further said that, “The endemic corruption within the aviation industry exposes the Achilles’ heel of this government supposed people-oriented agenda for economic reform and development.”

Signed
Adetokunbo Mumuni
SERAP Executive Director
Lagos Nigeria
20/10/2013
www.serap-nigeria.org

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

E-Governance: A Weapon For The Fight Against Corruption In Nigeria By John Danfulani.


 

John Danfulani
By John Danfulani Ph.D

AbstractCorruption is the major vice militating against good governance and societal development in Nigeria. Several solutions have been advanced in the fight against corruption in Nigeria but none have been able to nip in the bud or even remotely check the menace of corruption and its resulting consequences. The fight against corruption in Nigeria have taken different forms from the forming of anti graft agencies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Commission (ICPC)  down to waging massive campaigns against corruption by other governmental agencies and nongovernmental outfits like the churches and mosques.

Despite these measures by government, the virus of corruption keeps spreading like bush fire in the public and private sectors. At some points, e-governance was introduced to heighten transparency in conduct of government businesses.  Implementation of E-governance in Nigerian was made possible with ICT revolution. The entire process started like a pilot scheme by some ministries and parastatals at the federal level. In a nick of time other tiers of governments joined the bandwagon. Through this process multiple fraudulent avenues of siphoning public resources by public servants like double payment of contracts and crowding of pay vouchers with ghost workers were blocked.  Much resource has been saved by the three tiers of government through implementation of e-governance. The entire philosophy is still at its tender age and facing operational difficulties due to lack of expertise and equipments desirable for its successful implementation. With the rapid growing of ICT across the country and increasing expertise, there is light at the end of the tunnel and the country will sooner than later reap dividend of e-governance in running government businesses and on its war against corruption.

INTRODUCTION : For a long time local and international anti corruption crusaders ranked Nigeria one of the most corrupt nations in the world. There is no tacit agreement between analysts on when the deadly virus set into the soul of the nation. Some piqued corruption rolled in immediately after the lowering of the Union Jack on 1st October 1960 while a horde of others believed it started when the military crossed the borderline of their constitutionally and traditionally given responsibility of defence of territorial integrity of the nation into politics. In the whole attempts of discussing the issue of corruption in Nigeria, there is always an attempt to scale regimes based on perceptions not necessarily judgements of reputable global and local anti graft agencies.

The two military regimes of Gens Ibrahim Babangida and Sani Abacha were seen as the most corrupt in the history of the nation yet during their combined 14yrs reign bodies like Transparency International did not rank them the most corrupt nations in the world (www.tranparency.org 1999-2007). Ironically the regime of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo that resolved onset to make war against corruption a major agenda got the worst ranking in the history of the nation. Throughout his 8years reign from 1999-2007 Nigeria was atop the chat and never left the first five most corrupt nations in the world. One impeccable realism and feature of Nigeria is that, the more the revenue a regime has at its disposal the more the scale of corruption. It is on record that the revenue that accrued to the nation’s coffers between 29th may 1999 to 29th may 2007 surpasses what accrued to Nigeria from 1st October 1960 to the day Chief Obasanjo took over.

From 1st October to date Nigeria had civilians and military regimes, and virtually all their coup speeches and inaugural addresses, the fight against corruption was promised as a cardinal principle or advanced as a reason for toppling a regime. The tough talk against corruption is followed by setting up of special committees or bodies to combat or investigate corruption charges. In 1975 Gen. Murtala regime set up an investigative panel which indicted all the twelve military governors that served under Gen. Yakubu Gowon (Akinola, 2002). Gen. Muhammadu Buhari toppled the regime of Alh. Shehu Shagari and set up special tribunals that investigated political office holders in the Second Republic. The kleptocratic regime of Gen. Sani Abacha that was viewed one of the most corrupt in the history of the nation as not left out in attempts to cleansing the system of corruption by establishing the Failed Banks Tribunal that investigated unethical practices in the country’s banking sector.

The regime of Chief Obasanjo stretched the war on corruption farther than predecessors. He established two bodies viz Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and Economic and Financial crime Commission (EFCC) to purge the system of corruption. These bodies were given broad powers to arrest and prosecute suspects and partner with foreign bodies in hunting down trans-national fraudsters. These bodies were showered with local and international supports bordering financial assistance, training of personnel in modern crime detection and fighting, prosecution knowhow etc. Despite much ado and great expectations the virus of corruption kept spreading like bush fire and the nation recorded one of the worse scenarios where public official were caught in foreign countries on money laundering and other related offences (EFCC ACT 2004/ICPC ACT2000)

 

E-GOVERNANCE IN NIGERIA

According to UN e-government survey of 2004, 2005, and 2008 e-government is the use of internet technology as a means of exchanging information, providing services and transacting with citizens, businesses, and other arms of government.  Akunyili, (2010), defined e-government as the use of information and communication technology to enhance access to, and delivery of government services for the benefit of all. It is also said that e-governance is a process whereby the use of information and communication technology and service is deployed and employed by the government in the delivery of services to members of the public and the use of same in the internal running and linkages among different government department and agencies. It’s the art of using tools offered by information technology in various aspects of the process of governance with objective of achieving efficiency, transparency, accountability and user friendliness in all the transactions that the citizens and business conduct with the government.

E-government have four primary delivery tracks namely: Government-to-Citizen or Government-to-Customer (G2C); Government-to-Business (G2B); Government-to-Government (G2G); Government and Government-to-Employee (G2E) (Adeyemo, 2010).

E-governance came as a result of revolution in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) which finds expression in digital technologies like personal Computers, the internet, mobile telephony, and different electronic applications. A confluence of these technologies eased the flow of information, its accessibility and delivery. This came with numerous advantages because citizens were connected with government, government became more efficient and robust, cost of governance and transaction were scaled down, and transparency was enhanced.

Nigeria boarded the ship of e-governance like any other developing nation as in the middle of the last decade, and since then, virtually all facet of life has experienced unprecedented transformation. At the initial stage of e-activities in Africa, Nigeria was assessed low compared to countries like Kenya, South Africa, Egypt and the rest. With the deregulation of the sub-sector and direct capital investment by foreign firms, the country experienced a quantum leap and overtook  all other countries in the continent principally because of the largeness of the population which is roughly put at about 170 million people and the share wealth of the nation which gave a sizeable number of the citizens and governments at the three tiers of authorities the capacity to buy Personal computers, Smartphone, and other internet related appliances and run internet programmes that integrated governmental ministries and departments (Akunyili,2010).  Because of this massive growth in communication and the virginity of the market in Nigeria has become a preferred destination of international telecommunication investors from Asia, Middleast, South Africa and Europe (Adeyemo,2010).

In response to this growing reality and to move along with the global drift the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) adopted a national policy on Information technologies and is prepared to integrate Agriculture, health, education etc. Federal Government of Nigeria launched data and research satellite in 2003.  These and other sundry policies rolling in the pipe have indeed set Nigeria on the path of countries exploiting ICT for governance. And more government parastatals, ministries and departments are communicating within and outside their organisations using e-channels of communications.

In the last few years all federal government Ministries, Departments and Parastatals have opened web-sites with full details of their mission, programmes, staff strength, and activities within and outside the country. No single sector is left out in this transformation. The State and Local Governments have since followed suit by linking their ministries, departments and parastatals to the web. This has given them a clear understanding and easy communication channels within and outside their States or Local governments

The private sector also took full advantage of this development to expand their businesses through speedy transaction and delivery of services. The banking sub-sector now operates with ease and transfer monies within and outside the country within seconds. Their integrated data bank of customer’s information is providing convenient means of withdrawals and payments out branches where individuals or governments opened their accounts. This also allowed trading in shares and monitoring prices rise and fall in prices, knowing full exchange rate of currencies in the second tier market, and buying and selling from the public. Organised private sector because that improved their efficiency and expand their profit margin due to the massive cut in cost of administration and conducting of businesses. Physical movement of personnel and messages were reduced to barest minimum, except in extreme instances where all other options fails and it becomes the last option.

 

 

E-GOVERNANCE AND WAR AGAINST CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA

Introduction of e-governance in the country has/ is played/ playing a vital role(s) in the herculean war against the cancer of corruption in the Nigeria. Through e-governance public and private sectors adopted measures that strangulated corruption to a comatose degree in certain sectors and in some instances annihilated it permanently. It started at the Federal Government level and private sector, State and Local Governments followed suit.

Before the advent of e-governance in Nigeria, understanding the real workforce in the three tiers of authorities (Federal, State, and Local Governments) was a mystery and hard like rocket science. Personnel in Administration in league with their colleagues in Finance inflate the workforce with ghost workers running into hundreds of thousands. And perpetrators of such crime created a system where most staff are not paid in the banks using workers functioning accounts, they pay cash using their ministries cashiers. The amount oozing through this channel into the pockets of these fraudsters surpasses the real salary bills government pay to workers. Successive governments battled with this menace through setting up special staff audit committees and what they called “TABLE PAYMENT” and physical appearance of staff without getting to the root of the matter.

The palaver lingered until the introduction of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) by the three tiers of governments across the nation. Recently, the Federal Government made further discovery of ghost workers after scrutinising 215 Ministries, Departments, and Agencies. About 45,000 ghost workers were uncovered making the Federal government to save 100b in salaries of the said workers alone. Similar scenarios unfolded at state and Local Government levels, many told stories of how the introduction of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System saved them billions in salaries only(www.cnknigeria.com 14/2/2013).

Introduction of e-governance and transaction in financial transactions like e-mail, e-verification of payment, e-transfers etc eliminated corrupt practices bordering following of files and cheques from one desk to the other and from one accounting officer to another. It has been established that the unfortunate culture of physical following of files and other contract papers breeds unholy cum corrupt practices between the contractors, internal monitors, and the banks. E-measures ended some of those practices and cleansed the system to some level of decency. (www.negst.com.php). Public officers were left with working on papers and pushing their assessments without knowing owners or seeing them. The pace of files and assessment papers movement instilled confidence in the heart of owner thereby making them resist temptation of seeking of avenues to bribe their ways through.

The financial sub-sector witnessed extensive cleansing impact of e-governance. Their integrated data system and interconnectivity checkmated fraudulent practices. It also scaled down unnecessary delays associated with clearing of transactions, which take days or weeks before customers get them or services are delivered.  With the introduction of e-payments, cheques and other payment orders are ready within minutes or hours (depending on the nature or quantum of the transaction). Before this period papers in form of orders and cheques are physically carried from one branch to headquarters and down to the branch of customers. This snail space shuttle instigates people to break laid down rules just to get services in time. Breaking due process comes with palm greasing of the officers in charge of the process.

Introduction of automatic teller machines helped immensely because people transfer or withdraw cash without necessarily going through the ritual of signing cheques and queuing in long lines in branches where their accounts is. Such long queues often make people corrupt the process by cutting corners using bank staff who are products of the same corrupt system.

Recruitments and examinations in schools, ministries, departments, and parastatals are electronically done. Candidates apply online; write examination online via buying well secured scratch cards and their scripts marked electronically. Within days results of examinations are out and candidates told his fate. The practice wasn’t like that before now; they were slow, esoteric, and manipulatable due to excessive involvement of personnel rather than machines. This process also nips in the bud inconsistencies associated with age and other academic claims by candidates, issues very essential for recruitments. In each recruitment exercise especially into Nigerian Armed Forces, so many candidates are rejected or recruitment offer withdrawn because of phantom claims that contradicted regulations associated with the recruitments which are noticed due to employment of e-governance.

E-governance has helped the country’s most active anti graft body Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in tracking financial fraudsters and international money launderers. EFCC partnered with other global crime fighting bodies and law enforcement agencies of other countries to trace inflow and outflow of monies and the possible sources. Through their eagle eye operations, many top government functionaries and captain of industries were caught in money laundering and other financially related crimes at home and abroad. E-measures like instant sending of alerts messages which includes photos and other claims of customers by banks to EFCC on individual’s withdrawals that are up to Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500,000) and  One Million Naira (N1, 000, 000) for cooperate bodies. This measure instigated massive arrests of fraudsters and money launderers even before they left bank premises.  And those who succeeded in escaping arrest from banks, proper investigations are carried out and most times clues are gotten that ultimately leads to arrest and prosecution. It is not an easy task for money launderers to head straight banks because of almost 100% risk involved in such acts. Bank staffers abetting fraudulent and subversive practices have developed cold feet or resisting the temptation because of the high risk and possibility of falling into the net of EFCC.

Nigeria’s electoral body Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) boarded the e-governance plane by introducing biometric registration of voters and compilation of results (www.nigeriaintel.com ). Before this era, electoral register are compiled manually which was open to various forms of manipulations in terms of double registrations in the same centre and in other centres. There was also the problem of results compilation and delay in doing so. But today election results are transferred through their well organised site from either the Local Government or Zonal collation centres to their state offices or national headquarters in Abuja. This stopped the menace of election officials changing figures on transit. Elections results now reach headquarters within seconds. This has reduced to the minimum corrupt practices of politicians of violating electoral laws that promotes credible electoral contests. INEC has a well functioning website with information of their electoral calendars, results of previous elections, and everything that has to do with them.

With the transfer of the country’s capital from the coastal city of Lagos to the Abuja land became an issues. Black marketers and other racketeers started trading in none existing lands or selling same plots of land to various people. Another level of corruption perpetrated by public officers in the lands department of Federal Capital Authority is selling of green zones and other strategic locations not earmarked for residential or commercial purposes. Criminals involved in this unholy business of lands buying and selling became super rich and their heinous business running into a multi-billion Naira empire. The former minister of FCT took a bold step of establishing Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS) in 2003. AGIS was to: provide a comprehensive, all-inclusive, state-of-the Art, foolproof, computerized, Geospatial data infrastructure for the FCT; and computerize the cadastral and land registry for the FCC (Federal Capital City), the Area councils and the satellite Towns of the Federal Capital Territory. Integrating the entire lands of Federal Capital Territory into a single data bank sent the illegal land cartel involved in duping people and causing monumental legal tussles in various FCT courts between individuals and between government and citizens. AGIS was able to tell buyers whether such lands exist for sale and what each piece of land stands for. Cases of developing lands outside the original master plan stopped in a nick of time.

Many State’s Boards of Internal Revenue have developed functional data base of monitoring individuals and cooperate taxes by knowing when they are due for payment. Corrupt ways of declaring profit and loss at the end of each financial year just to evade taxes or get complete tax holidays have been drastically reduced. Recklessness associated with revenue collectors whose trademark was siphoning of public monies because of improper records has made way for a more transparent collection and remittance procedure. States Chief Accounting officers now tied most of the revenue accounts with alerts showing payments and withdrawals from such accounts. And they can with a simple pressing of a computer key stop illegal withdrawals or query unauthorized withdrawals from key signatories to such accounts. Apart from boosting the revenue base of governments, this has scaled down the level of corruption in the system.

Some State’s Governors developed a syndicate accounting system that linked accounts of all states ministries and parastatals to single alarm system that tell them withdrawals and deposit of monies. This trap has made fraudsters within the civil service especially men and women in the Account Department deter from the usual style of open robbery of the treasury in league with top brass of the civil service. Fraudsters now have to think twice before attempting to dip their thieving fingers into the common treasure. The North East State of Gombe is a classical example of where this integration of all accounts within the State to a single alert in the governor’s handset is working. Governor Dankwambo’s style is replicated in many States now and the system has checkmated fraud from public servants.

 

CHALLENGES OF E-GOVERNANCE IN FIGHTING CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA

There is no contesting the fact that introduction of e-governance have massively downsized the level of corruption in the public and private sectors. The indices show that there is improvement in the cleansing processes in the system. Local and international anti graft watch dogs gave introduction of e-governance much of the credit in the war. Through this remarkable improvement confidence is gradually returning and local and international investors are taking the risk of investing in the country and donors are once more reconsidering making their facilities available to government and businessmen in the country. This is by no means piquing that the cancer of corruption has been cut off or successfully healed through the introduction of e-governance.

Despite the tremendous boom in ICT in the country a commanding sizeable number of people are not in the world of ICT. Those outside the ICT curve are not only those without Western education, we have highly placed government functionaries without a simple knowledge of operating a PC, the best they can do is handle a small cell phone. This low level of knowledge of is still giving criminals some rooms to wangle through their heinous schemes due to the gullibility of the people. Many are still falling on the booby trap of fraudsters because of lack of knowledge to simply verify bogus claims of criminals.

Content management by government and organisation is another cog in the wheel of progress. Ministries and parastatals web sites are sometimes dead zone with outdated information to satisfy the need of the moment. The problem is not only associated with lack of latest equipments or gadgets but the knowledge of simple information management by officers in charge of such units. And since they can’t manage theirs, they can’t also help out in answering questions forwarded to them by either law enforcement officers or other anti graft bodies. This is also affecting the inter-agency connectivity in synergising effort is so hard like rocket science. There are cases where criminals manipulate sites or break into control systems of government sites and manipulate information for heinous reasons. Many a times people received messages from official government sites or addresses just to later realise that such message though coming from them are not genuine.

Nigeria is a very large country with a three different physical geography. Till today, most parts are yet to be connected to the Global system for mobile communications and other ICT facilities. Even some Local Government Areas which are headquarters of the lowest layer of administration are not connected. By this a large part of the country is not incorporated into e-governance, making those corrupt practices concomitant in the system glow. Manual means of verification and transmission of messages that encourages corruption is still the standing order. People still follow files and lobby for their speedy movement from one desk to the other and files are still shuttled by messengers within and outside their areas of administrative jurisdictions.  At this level of authority government clients that is contractors are still in the usual game of corrupting public officials and getting things don’t outside laid down set rules and procedures.

Power supply is one of Nigeria’s serious problems next to corruption, though corruption created the problem of power supply. Solving this problem is still a far cry and affecting effectiveness of its contribution on the war on corruption. Shortage of power supply is so chronic that most States spends days without seeing power. The federal capital territory is not left out of the problem. E-governance can’t be effective because it is a process that uses power round the clock. And once there is no power for a second, much is lost and the system’s capacity to perform is given complicated fractures. Instances abound where banks were forced to halt because of lack of power, business were put on slow motion, and delivery of services delayed all because of lack of power. Consequent upon these CCTV cameras that supposed to pick pictures of criminals on streets and within business premises are rendered useless and ineffectual. And other sundry means of gathering information are suffering thus sometimes making corrupt practices flow with impunity.

Another problem associated with this is weak financial muscle of government at all layers of authority and the private sectors. There is no doubt Nigeria is one of African’s strongest economy and the continent’s largest market due to its population. However, protracted corruption in the public and private sectors, policy vacillations, and misplaced priorities has rendered the country financially week. This has denied the country the needed capacity to install all equipment needed for a robust e-governance, training of personnel to man the equipment and the political will to implement laws enacted by the parliament in response to e-governance in the country.  Much of the problem now does not know what to do but having the strength to do what is needful.

CONCLUSION

There is not stretching the fact that introduction of e-governance in public and private sectors in Nigeria has enhanced the capacity of government and other anti grafts agencies in fighting corruption. Measure like speedy dissemination of information and files through e-mails, inter-agencies and banks connectivity, CCTV cameras, e-payment, e-examination, e-banking have helped nip in the bud corruption in public and government quarters. The country is winning some battles but the war is not yet over. The situation is like that of birds and hunters, which the bird have learnt to fly without perching and hunter have learnt to shoot without mistake. According to Malam Nuhu Ribadu the former EFCC boss “when you fight corruption, corruption fights back”, this is a true statement going by the avalanche of how fraudsters are fighting back, inventing novel ways and exploiting weaknesses in the system to continue with their crimes.

What is needed most in Nigeria is the political will to execute the war on corruption not minding whose ox is gored. The usual ways of providing soft landing to political cronies through influencing sentences delivered by the judiciary must end for the good of the country and its citizenry. Those caught in the act must be made to face the full wrath of the law which will serve as a deterrent to others aspiring to steal from the public treasury or abet looters through subverting the system for personal economic aggrandisement.

In this war the judiciary must live up to its billing by shedding off technicalities that often set criminals free due to some simple procedures not observed by the prosecuting teams. Substances of cases before them should form pillars of their consideration and judgment not technicalities. By doing this they will help in the overall war on corruption. The judiciary is also another branch of government that e-procedures are not enshrined in court or tribunal proceedings. Judges are still taking minutes like secretaries instead of using modern recorders that will transcribe spoken words into hard papers in a matter of seconds. This procedure is defeating one of their very adages that “justice delayed is justice denied”. Their anachronistic style is delaying and denying justice for the accused and prosecutors.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

ICPC Arraigns Former Ebonyi State Commissioner, Henry Aloh, Over N79 Million Contract Scam.


By Saharareporters, New York

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has arraigned before the High Court of Ebonyi State Dr. Henry Aloh, a former Commissioner for Health, in connection with an alleged N79 million contract scam. Docked alongside Aloh was Sam Agbo, a manager of one of the branches of Intercontinental Bank Plc (now Access Bank), in the State.
According to a statement by Folu Olamiti, ICPC’s Head of Media, the offences were committed in 2005 when the Ebonyi State Government awarded a contract for the renovation and construction of Amasari General Hospital for N79 million.

Aloh is alleged to have conspired with Mr. Agbo to divert the sum to an account opened in the name of one John Okoli, who was falsely presented as a representative of the company awarded the contract to renovate the health institution.

The ICPC further alleges that Aloh procured Okoli, who was his patient, and Patrick Chukwu, his Personal Assistant, to be signatories to the account opened in the name of the company.

The Chief Judge of the State, Justice A.N Nwankwo, presiding, granted bail to the two men in the sum of N50 million and one surety in like sum, and adjourned the case to October 22 and 23 for hearing.

In another case, Chief Judge Nwankwo fixed September 29 for the ICPC’s arraignment of the Provost of the College of Agriculture, Ishiagu, Dr. Paul Ajah and the Bursar, Mr. Samuel Aloi. The two senior officers of the College face an 18-count charge of conferring unfair advantage on a public officer, contrary to and punishable under Section 19 of  the ICPC Act 2000.

Top PHCN Official In ICPC Net: Demanded N100,000 To Install Official Transformers.


 

By SaharaReporters, New York

An Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) sting operation has netted a top official of the Power Holding Companies of Nigeria (PHCN), Engineer Omololu Olusesi Gabriel, who allegedly demanded a bribe of N100,000 from a PHCN customer to install two transformers.

Omololu, who held the position of Principal Manager, PHCN Abuja Distribution Company Wuse Zone 4, is to be prosecuted for contravening Sections 8 and 10 of the ICPC Act 2000.

A statement by ICPC’s Head of Media, Folu Olamiti, said the petitioner had applied to purchase and install two transformers: a 100 KVA/33/0.415 KV and a 50 KVA/33/0.415 KV, and had filed his application through the Principal Manager (PC and M) at the PHCN office.

Upon receiving the application, the petitioner alleged, Omololu demanded a bribe of N100,000 for the release of one of the transformers, and subsequently took a down payment of N50,000.

Infuriated by Omololu’s insistence on collecting the balance of N50,000 as a condition for releasing the second transformer, the petitioner then turned to ICPC, which put the sting operation into play and arrested the engineer after he collected marked money.

“Mr. Omololu’s schedule of duties as a public officer, include among others: protection of PHCN installations, testing of electrical equipment and preparation of permission letter for release of transformers, none of which required him to demand a fee from customers,” Mr. Olamiti said.

He added that the ICPC operatives were able to establish that the petitioner had indeed submitted two applications for permission to purchase and install the two transformers, and that he collected one of the approvals upon payment of the N50,000.00 demanded by the suspect.

They also established that the petitioner was denied the second approval because he would not provide the balance of N50,000.00.

Olamiti urged members of the public who face a similar situation to call the commission for immediate support on their toll-free lines:
•    0803120280
•    08031230281
•    08031230282
•    07056990190 and
•    07056990191.

 

Edwin Clark’s Group, Others Drag Orubebe Before EFCC.


 

Godsday Orubebe
By SaharaReporters, New York

The political troubles for Godsday Orubebe, Nigeria’s Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, appear to be intensifying as a coalition of groups loyal to Edwin Clark, a prominent Ijaw figure and one-time Minister of Information, has demanded that the Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency investigate Mr. Orubebe.

Mr. Clark and Mr. Orubebe have been enmeshed in a lingering political feud, with both men and their associates lobbing attacks at each other. The brewing conflict has assumed a more serious dimension with Clark’s group, known as Delta State PDP Elders, Leaders and Stakeholders Forum, dragging Mr. Orubebe before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

SaharaReporters found out that the group petitioned the EFCC on June, 3 2013. Titled “A Petition On Persistent Corrupt Practices, Flagrant And Continued Disobedience of Laws of The Land By Godsday Peter Orubebe, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs,” the document was signed by Godwin Ogbetuo, Brown Adasen, Cairo Ojougboh, Hope Erute and more than twenty others, including several retired military officers.

The petitioners accused the Minister of various acts of corruption, including inflation of contracts.

Addressed to the EFCC chairman, the petition was also copied to President Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, Senate President, David Mark, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, and chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, Ekpo Nta. The document alleged that Orubebe had used his ministerial position to corruptly amass wealth for himself.

“First, we wish to express our gratitude to you and all members of your commission for granting us audience and [to] discuss, protest the over protection of Elder Godsday Orubebe of the serious and wanton corrupt practices under the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs,” the petition stated. It added: “We understand several other bodies [and] groups had petitioned your commission but till date your silence had not helped coupled with the boasting of Elder Godsday Orubebe that ‘with his closeness to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’ he has effectively pocketed your commission and no amount of petitions no matter how serious can see the light of the day.”

The petitioners asserted that Mr. Orubebe spent N1.2 billion “on a worthless canalization project which connects to nowhere.” He reportedly also spent “more than N3 billion on building a concrete foreshore wall in his village, using contractors who are fronting for him, with a view of appropriating the money to himself.”

Mr. Orubebe’s ministerial tenure has been marked by controversy, with numerous groups and persons from the Niger Delta accusing him of embezzling funds that should have gone to infrastructural development in the Niger Delta. His closeness to President Jonathan as well as his declared interest in becoming the next governor of Delta State have provoked his political foes to expose what one of them called “his rise from rags to riches at the expense of the Niger Delta people.”

The petition to the EFCC stated that the minister hails from a small community, but has concentrated several over-inflated projects in his area. According to the petition, “The Skill Acquisition Center meant for Delta State is also been built in [Mr. Orubebe’s] ward of which his small village is part of it. Apart from the main contractor, all other contractors are his blood relatives who are fronting for him to collect billions.”

The petitioners accused the minister of acting against the recommendation of public procurement office when he terminated the contract for the Edo State Acquisition Skill Center that was awarded to Halgold Nigeria Limited. They stated that Orubebe re-awarded the contract to Messrs. TDCI-Sew Consortium for personal reasons of greed and self-aggrandizement rather than the good of the people.”

The signatories to the petition implored the EFCC to live up to its billing by proving to all Nigerians that there are no sacred cows in the fight to eradicate corruption. They added that further investigation of the minister would unearth more shocking revelations of how a pauper like Mr. Orubebe became super rich a few years after his appointment as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.

The petitioners disclosed that the initial contract for the Edo State Skill Acquisition Center was awarded in March, 2010 at the cost of N2.7 billion. But after the contract was voided by Mr. Orubebe, he re-awarded it to Halgold for more than N3 billion in March, 2012. “However, in 2012, the Minister cancelled the contract and awarded it to TDCI-Sew Consortium on June 15, 2012” for more than N4.6 billion. “Why the frequent cancellation and re-awarding?” the petitioners demanded. “Why the inflation of cost each time these contracts are re-awarded? These are issues to be resolved if EFCC must win the war against corruption.”

Explaining their long history of fighting corruption in Delta State, the signatories stated that they “continuously fought corruption and…forwarded a petition on James Onanefe Ibori and stood by our position despite the obstacles we encountered.

“James Ibori had used N800 million shares of Delta State in Oceanic Bank to obtain a loan of N44 billion from Inter-continental Bank. He later sold part of these shares to service the loan. It was our petition to the EFCC that made the anti-corruption agency declare James Ibori wanted and that later made him [flee] the country.

“It would be recalled that when EFCC refused to probe James Ibori on the fictitious Delta State supplementary budget, which was not passed by the then House but signed by the clerk of the House in 2007 to give a false erroneous impression that the house debated and passed the budget into law, amounting to N120 billion, we took James Ibori to court and Elder Godsday Peter Orubebe, the present Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, was one of the plaintiffs including Chief Godwin Ogbetuo and Chief Sunday Iyawa and this case is still in court. It is, therefore, ridiculous that Godsday Peter Orubebe who was among us fighting corruption should be the one to soil his hands as a Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.”

All efforts to contact Mr. Orubebe did not yield any result as his mobile line was not picked up. He also did not respond to our text messages as at the time of filing this story.

The vanishing war against corruption.


As Nigerians celebrate Democracy Day, there is a need to look at the scorecard for the fight against corruption, writes CHUX OHAI

 

Sometime in July, 2012, the Chairman, Governing Council of the University of Ibadan, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), spoke the minds of millions of Nigerians when he said the military should tender an apology to the nation for introducing corruption to the country on the pretext of fighting social vices.

Olanipekun also noted that the entrenchment of good governance rooted in the rule of law would go a long way in eliminating the challenges confronting the country.

Corruption, no doubt, is one such challenge and a huge one at that. For many years, Nigeria and her teeming masses have been straining under the yoke of corruption. This cankerworm has not only burrowed deep into the fabric of the society, it has inflicted a serious damage to the national psyche and grossly undermined successive developmental efforts aimed at placing the country at par with the rest of the modern world.

Although Olanipekun’s statement, coming at a time the country’s centenary celebration is at hand, provides a necessary prism through which Nigeria’s future can be pre-determined by a careful and self-critical review of her not-so-impressive past.

 

The problem with Nigeria

In his book, titled The Trouble with Nigeria, Chinua Achebe provides an answer to the Nigerian predicament. The renowned writer and political activist said the reason why the country was still backward and largely undeveloped, in spite of its enormous resources, was the quality of its political leadership.

“The trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership. There is nothing basically wrong with the Nigerian character. There is nothing wrong with the Nigerian land, climate, water, air, or anything else. The Nigerian problem is the unwillingness or inability of its leaders to rise to their responsibility, to the challenge of personal example, which is the hallmark of true leadership,” Achebe wrote.

Just as Olanipekun insinuated, corruption has flourished beyond imagination and the leaders of the have further entrenched it, not only in the body politics of the country; but in the fabric of society.

Successive governments had found themselves suddenly in control of the country’s huge resources and lacking the will or the wisdom to exploit it for the good of all, they have repeatedly either robbed the nation blind at every opportunity or frittered it away.

With the eventual ‘ousting’ of the military in 1999 and the return to democratic rule, Nigerians were filled with hope and great expectations. A new civilian government was elected and charged with the responsibility for initiating much-needed changes in the country. The new helmsman, Olusegun Obasanjo had just escaped certain death by the whiskers from a roguish military junta that held the entire nation hostage for a spell.

Nigerians trusted Obasanjo to effectively lead the quest for change. More important, they wanted him to find a lasting solution to corruption. With corruption effectively out of the way, the country could move forward, even catch up with the rest of the world.

A few years later, it turned out, to the chagrin of the electorate, that the return of democratic rule in 1999 had brought a sad dimension to the fight against corruption. It dawned on all well-meaning Nigerians that despite the efforts of the elected political leaders to check the social vice, corruption had become endemic and eaten into the foundation of governance.

 

Endless fight against corruption

The Olusegun Obasanjo Administration actually made an effort to set up some structures that would be useful in the fight against corruption. The government, no doubt, was conscious of the urgent need to rid the system of corrupt practices. It was also aware that over the years successive leaders of the country had soiled their hands with corruption.

The government knew it had to do something about it or cushion the negative effects on the national psyche. The first thing it did was to strengthen existing anti-corruption laws.

Second, it established the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Both agencies were given the task of fighting corruption and eradicating it from the society.

While the ICPC was established to handle cases of corruption and corrupt practices in the public sector, it was the responsibility of the EFCC to carry out investigation on people, in the private and public sectors, suspected to be living above their means.

Ever since they were created, both agencies have been very active in the fight against corruption. Under the leadership of Nuhu Ribadu, the EFCC did take notable strides towards eradicating corruption and restoring sanity to the public and private sectors. The commission made some high-profile arrests, which eventually resulted in jail terms for the culprits. Its actions, thus, signaled the dawn of a new era in governance.

Unfortunately, recent developments in the country has caused the people to doubt their ability to lead Nigeria out of the dark woods of corruption.

It is suspected that the anti-graft agencies are gradually losing steam and their leaders appear to be succumbing to manipulation from elements within the political leadership of the country. A few illustrations suffice.

It is curious that despite the fact that many top government officials are believed to be desperately corrupt, none of them, say in the mould of a governor, has been properly sanctioned. While the Obasanjo administration managed to get the former Governor Diepriye Alamieyeseigha feebly jailed for corruption, the Jonathan government has not gone any close to this. Rather, it shocked many sanity-loving people across the world when he granted the executive convict – who is the President’s professed benefactor – state pardon.

Shortly after the Federal Government announced that it had granted Alamieyeseigha and the former managing director of the Bank of the North, Shettima Bulama, as well as five others, pardon, Nigerians across different walks of life had swiftly responded with a flurry of protests.

The United States of America also condemned the decision to pardon Alameyeiseigha and Bulama, who were both indicted for corruption, describing it as a setback in the fight against the social evil.

Critics of the decision across the country had felt it would undermine ongoing efforts at eliminating corruption in the country, as well as promoting a culture of impunity in official circles.

It was argued that if the government was sincere about solving the problem of public corruption, sanctions against public officials indicted for betraying the public trust should be strengthened and not relaxed.

Many people were of the opinion that the action cast doubts on the commitment of the Jonathan-led civilian government to fighting corruption.

Such an instrument, they think, would go a long way in forestalling abuse of power and the recurrence of armed insurgency in the country.

Beyond this, more Nigerians tend to conclude that no amount of effort to check corruption will yield the desired results unless appropriate checks and balances are put in place to prevent elected state governors from exercising absolute control over the financial resources of the 36 states of the federation.

By far, corruption remains the biggest challenge facing democratic rule in this part of the world. Although there are other challenges, which collectively pose a serious threat to Nigerian democracy, such as abuse of power and insurgency, they are also seen as off-shoots of the systemic corruption plaguing the nation.

Although many people believe the judiciary is also grossly culpable in this regard, cases of former governors standing trial for corruption have only been dragging in and out of the courts. It took the United Kingdom government to jail Delta State former Governor, James Ibori, for the kind of criminal enrichment for which Nigeria had, in futility, attempted to nail him.

 

Abuse of power in high places

Considering the recent developments in the country, it is evident that most members of the ruling class have a common goal, which is to enrich themselves, their relations and friends instead of giving selfless service to the nation.

In order to fulfill their sole purpose of attaining political power, which is self-aggrandisement, highly placed government officials resort to actions that amount to abuse of power. All of a sudden, power has become a veritable tool in the high-and-mighty to embezzle public funds entrusted in their care and to intimidate their political opponents. This is the worst type of corruption.

In his analysis of the connection between corruption and the political leadership in Nigeria, Michael Ogbeidi, who is an associate professor in the Department of History and Strategic Studies at the University of Lagos, notes, “During the first four years of the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, federal ministers allegedly stole more than N23 billion from the public coffers. An audit report released by Vincent Azie, acting Auditor-General of the Federation, showed that the amount represented financial frauds ranging from embezzlement, payments for jobs not done, over-invoicing, double-debiting, inflation of contract figures to release of money without the consent of the approving authority in ten major ministries.

“Rather than cautioning the ministers whose ministries were named in the fraud or invite the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission to further investigate the veracity of the alleged fraud, Vincent Azie was hastily retired by the Presidency for procedural offences.”

Sadly enough, similar tendencies have been associated with the present civilian government led by President Goodluck Jonathan. The government has been accused of shielding some members of the political class accused of corrupt practices.

There have been cases involving some members of the National Assembly. For example, Hon. Farouk Lawan, a member of the House of Federal Representatives representing the Bagwai/Shanono Constituency of Kano State, was accused of demanding and collecting $620,000 bribe from an oil magnate, Femi Otedola. While Lawan’s case is still pending in court, the former Speaker of the House of Reps, Dimeji Bankole and his erstwhile deputy were absolved of a 16-count charge bordering on alleged contract inflation during his tenure in office.

However, there is an indication that the anti-corruption campaign of the present government of the federation is destined to fail like others before it. If this happens, Nigerians are willing to put the bite on the political leadership of the country whose attitude to the fight against the social vice leaves much to be desired.

There appears to be an abiding lack of sincerity on the part of the present ruling class that makes it the least qualified to eradicate corruption. More so, it is increasingly becoming clear that the federal government is only interested in using the anti-graft agencies as instruments to intimidate its political opponents than to effectively supervise the war against corruption in the country.

Many Nigerians believe that this attitude is the reason why the government is agonizingly slow to deliver on the dividends of democracy on many fronts. Also, there is a tendency to see the government as lacking the will to fulfill its promise to the people to push the campaign against graft to a logical conclusion.

There is also the fear that power is being misapplied in various government quarters, a factor that is not only heating up the system but also fuelling corruption. It is only in Nigeria’s democracy that a state governor is the alpha and omega of the people’s fund. It is in the same country that the Central Bank Governor would wake up one day and donate as much as N100m to an institution or a people, without having recourse to any check-and-balancing authority.  On the political end, Nigerians are also witnessing a democracy in which the President can use every means to overwhelm a governor, while the governor too treats local government chairmen in his state whichever ways he likes.  The current travails of Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, readily comes to mind.

 

At the mercy of insurgency

Drums of insurgency and criminality are currently beating so loud across the country that it is difficult to appreciate the rhythm of Nigeria’s celebration of democracy. The Boko Haram saga and other related issues are threatening the unity of the country. Unfortunately, the problems are getting compounded at a time when a notorious US prediction says Nigeria will disintegrate in 2015. Currently, Nigeria is at war with itself.

 

Growing debt profile

By the time Obasanjo was exiting power in 2007, Nigeria was considerably off the claws of foreign debts. The administration had made a bold move of negotiating the debts owed international creditors, which included the London and Paris Clubs, and paid off its external debts owed to the tune of billions of dollars.

While some economists faulted this as being too desperate, the government had calculated that by the time the monies were paid off the amounts being used to service debts would now be used for development. About six years after, subsequent governments have failed to make this tall dream come pass. The worst part of the story is that the Jonathan government has practically thrown the door open for loans again, to the effect that the country is now said to be indebted to the tune of as much as about $6bn.

Source: Nigeria Punch Mobile.

Professor, Rev. Sister, Arrested Over Illegal University In Enugu.


By SaharaReporters, New York

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) in collaboration with the National University Commission (NUC) on Friday arrested the sole proprietor of the Richmond Open University, Enugu, “Professor” Mazi Chris Okoro, a self-appointed “professor of journalism,” for allegedly operating an illegal institution.

Also picked up by the law enforcement agents were a Reverend Sister of the Catholic faith, the son of the university’s proprietor, and four other members of staff of the institution as well as a

The ICPC officials interrogated the Reverend Sister in-charge of the Luminary International Centre for Health and Alternative Medicine which had metamorphosed into Society for Energy Health, with its headquarters at Mgbowo in Awgu Local Government Area.

The suspects were handed over to the Police at Uwani Police Divisional Headquarters, in the Enugu metropolis

Items recovered included a large quantity of WAEC and Diploma certificates, Doctorates, Masters and Bachelors’ degrees, as well as honourary doctorate degree.

“Professor” Okoro who claimed that he bagged his professorship by “convention” instead of merit, said he could not remember the total number of his graduates in each academic session, adding that he could not also recollect the names of the Vice Chancellor of his university as well as members the “Senate” of the institution.

Okoro further said that although his university was not registered or any of the courses offered in the institution accredited by the NUC, he was not perturbed since the Court gave him judgement to run the university as well as award honorary doctorate degrees to members of the public, adding that he was just rendering “humanitarian” service to the people.

“I do not have any registration with NUC because I opened this school as a distant learning institution,” he said.  “This university has been operating since 2005 [when] the court gave judgement in my favour. The NUC went on Appeal and failed. The Richmond University has nothing to do with NUC. It was formerly called Institute of Journalism and Continuing Education.  I have trained many people in this school and that is why I am a professor.  I teach journalism. I am a professor of journalism.”

But in a disclaimer by published in THISDAY of Wednesday (month?) 14, 2007, the NUC said: “The Management of the National Universities Commission wishes to draw the attention of all Nigerians, especially prospective candidates seeking admissions into Nigerian universities, parents and indeed all stakeholders, that the said Richmond Open University and its programmes are unapproved by the National Universities Commission/Federal Government.”

The ICPC/NUC Team Leader to Enugu, Chidi Orji, told reporters shortly after the inspection and subsequent closure of the affected institutions that the National Universities Commission is the only authority vested with the power under the National Minimum Standards and Establishment of Institution)Act CAP E3 LFN 2004 to process applications for request for licenses from private institutions for degree awarding programmes.

Orji, who stated that the clamp down on illegal universities would be a periodic exercise, said that the   suspects would be charged to court after full scale investigations, stressing that the law is no respecter of any person and that both Richmond University and the Luminar International would remain shut.

Last Thursday, the Regulatory team also stormed the Atlantic University, Okija, in Anambra State, now known as Legacy University, but met empty classrooms as none of the students or officials of the university was around.

At Triumphal University, Omogho in Orumba Local Government Area of Anambra State, one Godwin Ayogu was invited by the ICPC for interrogation.
Yesterday, the Chairman of ICPC/NUC Task team, Professor Olu Aina, announced the start of the joint nationwide crackdown on illegal “degree-awarding” institutions in the country.  The ICPC had previously announced the existence of 67 of such institutions throughout the country.

Drawing The Curtain On Nigeria…By Prince Charles Dickson.


By Prince Charles Dickson

No matter how stout, long and turgid a penis. It’s erection can not intimidate a vagina. In short, the rise and fall of a penis was masterminded by a vagina. Local axiom.

In the last few weeks, I have personally looked at the nation called Nigeria, I have carefully x-rayed thoughts, opinions, listened carefully to comments, and with deep analytical mind I share the following admonition.

A group in the US called something-one thing said based on hypothesis xyz, the nation’s terminal date is 2015, we have been sick even before the report, we are still sick but are we ready for war, disintegration, divide–my answer comes from an unusual source with the following caveats I have added.

Chief Edwin Clark in an open letter to the Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal stated “I repeat, there will be no crises, if President Jonathan  is defeated at the presidential election in 2015, but he has a right to contest the election if he so wishes.”

The curtain will fall when intelligent Nigerians and sane minds stop to bother about a certain Alhaji Dokubo-Asari or a docile Northern Elders Forum that have taken turns to make threats…on innocent Nigerians.

We remain a country fighting development and violent extremism in the face of under-development, marginalization and weak governance which has created a breeding ground for militancy, cultism and all sorts of deviant behavior at a very high rate but the curtain will not fall because we importantly need to find a synergy in our democracy that caters for development and our diversity and I irrevocably believe we are capable.

Never like before there is a combination of bad governance, poverty, insecurity, poor political and resource governance, a growing disgruntled segmentation of society, exclusion, entrenched corruption, abusive security forces, strife between the disaffected sections of the nation, widening regional economic disparity,  unemployment and socioeconomic deprivation, several external factors and add weak public institutions and people’s and governments’ loyalty to tribe and clan rather than the nation state and you think the curtain will definitely fall–No it won’t fall.

The curtain will not fall, if you count the number of security personal killed in one week and leave it at a conservative 100, break that down to the number of widows, orphans, parents and relatives that are grieving. You will appreciate with pain that this nation is one that after surviving a civil war has a structure almost unknown in contemporary times.

The curtain has not fallen with almost 40million young persons not sure of tomorrow, yet the economy is growing, champagne drinking is on the rise, almost 2million write an exam that only a quarter have assurances of further education and half that figure fail.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) has stated that it discovered 67 universities illegally operating in the nation and we have over a 100 legal ones and the curtain has not fallen.

EFCC said Timpre Slyva former Bayelsa governor was caught in a dingy part of his mansion–The curtain will only fall come 2015 if stealing governors, politicians and leaders are moved to bedimmed, broken-down, colorless, dark, darkish, dilapidated, dim, dirty,discolored, drab, dreary, dull, dusky, faded, gloomy, grimy, muddy, murky, obscure, run-down, seedy, shabby, smirched, somber, sullied, tarnished, threadbare, tired–DINGY jails away from the dingy comfort of their homes.

I implore my readers, look at your kids, your siblings and ask apart from the rituals of ramadam and lent…can they go hungry for three days, trek kilometers when the ‘there will be no Nigeria’ starts. When we are prepared for this maybe the curtain will fall…

How will Nigeria disintegrate, a nation where $15M cash was received by officers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from an undisclosed agent of a former governor in 2007.

The money was meant as bribe to compromise an investigation by the then Mallam Nuhu Ribadu-led anti-graft agency.

Enter Olalekan Bayode, an artisan, who repairs fridges, air conditioners and other things and lives in Alagbado, Lagos who prays a court to appoint him as the sole agent to be in custody of the money indefinitely for “proper management” following the dispute on the ownership of the fund by the federal and Delta State governments.

This kind of nation does not go to war, its’ people simply murmur, grumble, from time to time maim each, but somehow trudges on because it is ‘turn by turn’. IBB allegedly magnified looting, we hear of the alleged Abacha loot, Obasanjo allegedly got rich chasing corruption, Yardy by Nigerian standard alleged took just small, and under my friend Jona, OPC, and militants are getting contracts and even organizing press conference, and murderers forgiven without their consent because of institutional collapse.

Come 2015, it will be Jonathan, I declare it, or any other dude but trust me, I am no prophet–but nothing will go wrong. Maybe a riot here and killings there and the courts will be busy but Nigeria won’t collapse, no it won’t.

We need practical federalism, those idlers that make laws need to up the ante, politicians need to take a look at the electorates, the widening disconnect requires a filling. All these figures by NoI and Sanusi needs to have life. We need to put a blueprint to work.

The curtain is not near falling, until we are prepared, if a cult group, militia in a village can kill scores of police and security personnel, how many militia groups will a 160 million people nation produce with the police claiming there millions of small arms in circulation.

Are we are not citizens of a nation where recently out of the 5,000 police officers assessed for intelligence gathering, only 266 qualified. This was according to the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Force Intelligence Bureau, Solomon Arase, who added “Not every police officer can be an intelligence officer. After we carried out assessment test on the officers on ground, we discovered that a lot of them have to go.”

If 4,700 had passed that exam. The curtains to the Nigerian project would have fallen. Meaning a near solid police, meaning nothing to share, meaning people will vote, people will win, some loose and nothing will happen other than progress. The vagina of an old woman is not threaten by a penis, is Nigeria ready for war–No! But are we ready for peace only time will tell.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld.

Prince charles dickson

burningpot.com
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burningpot.wordpress.com

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

ICPC Docks Fraudsters Who Defrauded Korean of N57million.


 

By SaharaReporters, New York

A Port Harcourt High Court has remanded in prison custody two suspects, Aso Adasa Morrison and Frank Biobarakuma, who are charged with conspiracy, forgery and fraud, until the next hearing of their case on May 24 and 27.

Morrison and Biobarakumo were brought before the court by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), allegedly for defrauding a Korean, Jung Yongmin, of about N57m between March 2012 and February 2013.

According to the ICPC, the accused persons and others still at large conspired to receive from Mr. Yongmin, (trading under the name and style of Kunyang Frontiers Holdings Inc), the sum of USD 260,000 vide GTB Bank Account No 0123149230 of River Nun Marine Shuttle domicile in Port Harcourt under the pretext of the sale of two million barrels of Nigerian Light Crude Oil to the said company.

The suspects were also accused of fraudulently receiving another sum of USD120,000 vide UBA account No. 3001561734 of Charter Marine Ltd domicile in Port Harcourt under the pretext of the sale of two million barrels of Nigerian Light Crude oil to the said company, contrary to the provisions of the ICPC Law.
The accused are also alleged to have between March 2012 and February 2013, forged a document titled ‘Cargo On Board MT Front Scilla,’ addressed to Mr. Jung Yongmin, attesting to the authenticity of the sale of the two million barrels to company, as well as forging a document titled ‘Notary Letter of Guarantee.’

The two men pleaded not guilty to the charges.  In a counter application to their oral application for bail, the ICPC said the accused should be refused bail on the ground that the offence was serious and if let loose they could continue to commit similar offences.

Justice George Will agreed.

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