Jonathan Not Finished With Nigeria? An Expensive Joke – MURIC

Former Nigerian President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was recently quoted as saying that he had not yet finished with Nigeria.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) takes this statement with a pinch of salt. It is an expensive joke. Coming at a time when Nigeria faces fuel shortages and poor electricity output, the former president must have read the signs upside down.

Jonathan’s latest remark is pregnant with meanings. It exposes the cunning subterfuge behind the reluctant handover of power on May 29, 2015. That handover was never meant to be and the ex-president had meticulously laid landmines on all paths that led to Aso Rock.

A vivid example is the twilight appointments and sacks ordered by Jonathan on the eve of his exit from office. He was deliberately packing the civil service with his own loyalists in order to make things difficult for the incoming administration. Jonathan at the time was not thinking or building Nigeria. He was destroying his fatherland.

Another glaring instance is the refusal of the Jonathan administration to pay oil marketers thereby amassing debts for the incoming Buhari regime. Nigerians will recall that oil marketers refused to lift oil by the middle of May 2015. There were long queues at filling stations all over the country and a liter of petrol sold for as high as N300. It was a well-rehearsed maneuver to scuttle the incoming administration and a cruel parting gift.

This explains the recent fuel crisis and Jonathan’s statement which coincided with the fuel shortage was a coded message. But the wind has blown and we have seen the ruff of the hen. Nigerians are not fools. They remember ‘the evil that men do’.

Jonathan’s party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) supervised the destruction of the Nigerian economy for sixteen years. They turned Nigeria into an orange, squeezed out all the juice and left nothing but the peel for the Buhari regime. That is why we are where we are today.

However, the new regime is picking the seeds and replanting them. Seeds do not grow into trees overnight. That is why Nigerians need to be patient with the Buhari administration. We just cannot afford to go back to those who wasted this generation. There is very little choice in rotten apples.

We disagree with those who ask President Muhammadu Buhari to abandon the war against corruption. We believe that this is a war that must be fought to a logical conclusion if we must save coming generation from ruination. The fight against corruption is a priority and it must be steadily prosecuted because corruption is at the root of all challenges facing Nigeria today.

What is killing the power sector? Why can’t Nigeria fix its roads? What is responsible for falling standards in education? Why have our hospitals turned into public mortuaries? Why are Nigeria’s gallant security agents unable to nip crime in the bud? Why are Nigerian judges compromising on matters of principle? Why can’t the average Nigerian get three square meals per day?

It is all due to the cancer called corruption. Cancer destroys anything it touches. It also spreads fast and only a good surgeon will remove a cancerous tumor to save the rest of the body. Nigeria is bedridden with the cancer of corruption. Let the surgery operation continue otherwise total collapse of the anatomy will follow.

That is why we cannot consider the possibility of Jonathan’s return to mainstream Nigerian politics. This is a man under whom massive plundering of Nigeria’s economy took place and he did not bat an eyelid. What did Jonathan do despite loud outcries against former aviation minister’s scandalous purchase of bullet proof cars? What did he do about the fatal immigration recruitment exercise?

Jonathan’s reaction to the monumental kleptomania during his administration was to institutionalize corruption. He dined with drug barons, hobnobbed with ex-convicts and dashed out our national honours to bail-jumpers on a platter of gold.

He said stealing was not corruption. He followed up this preposterous statement by describing public officials as goats and the tax payers’ money as yam! He reportedly said “You cannot stop a goat from eating yam”. So the ‘impossible’ task of keeping a goat away from eating yam became Jonathan’s parable of corruption. Jonathan is an interesting study for political scientists.

It is just two days to the anniversary of the abduction of more than 200 Chibok girls. Those girls would have been found had Jonathan reacted early enough. The whole Northern Nigeria would have been history had Jonathan won a second term going by his lackadaisical attitude to the war on insurgency. Allowing $2.1 billion arms money to be frittered away during his administration is culpable treason.

How then can Jonathan be thinking of coming back for an unfinished business? Nigerians are chanting ‘Bring back our girls’! Jonathan and PDP are singing ‘Bring Back Corruption’! It is unacceptable. We reject any attempt to bring back corruption. We denounce Jonathan’s glorification of stealing and his trivialisation of kleptomania.

What is Jonathan coming back for? What did he do with Nigeria’s money when Nigeria was producing 2.4 million barrels per day and selling at $93.61 per barrel. He was making $224 million per day, $81billion per annum (a whopping N12.8 trillion naira)). What did he do with that money? Where is Niger Bridge? Where are Ore-Benin and Lagos-Ibadan Expressways? How much of all that money did he save? So come back for what?

Let no one be under any illusion that corrupt public officials should be treated with kid gloves just to please saboteurs and bourgeoisie cabals. Islamic liberation theology rejects economic oppression. We will rather be free men in our graves than live as puppets and slaves. The fact remains that greedy people will never willingly let go one kobo from their massive loots unless ‘by fire by thunder’. Neither will there be any genuine moral reformation in this country unless thieves who plundered our common wealth are made scapegoats.

Nigeria’s current setbacks are temporary. It is corruption fighting back. Bad times do not last but strong men do. How do you shoot an arrow from a bow? Is it not by bending the bow backwards? We are simply bending back our bow to shoot the arrow. Nigeria is not finished. We are not finished except with looters and clueless leaders.

Not finished with Nigeria? We advise Jonathan to perish the dream. In what capacity is he coming back? To pick the annual million naira cutleries he forgot in Aso Rock or to finish the job of rocking the Rock? Not finished with Nigeria? This must be a joke and an expensive one at that. The truth is that if Jonathan thinks he has not finished with Nigeria, Nigeria is finished with Jonathan.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Saraki: Senate Integrity At Stake – MURIC

The trial of Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, began at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) two days ago (Tuesday 5th April, 2016). Since then, shocking revelations have been made at the proceedings. But the last nail in the coffin is the implication of Saraki in the recent Panama papers where the Senate President allegedly has hidden assets in safe havens abroad.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) is constrained to call the attention of honourable members of the Nigerian Senate to the serious and damning implication of this ugly development. The integrity of Senate is at stake here and something needs to be done and very urgently too.

It is on record that more than sixty senators accompanied Dr. Bukola Saraki to the CCT on his first day of appearance. The picture has been largely the same during other appearances. The business of Senate was grinded to a halt on each occasion with the attendant waste of tax-payers’ money.

While we salute senators for this manifestation of camaraderie, several attempts by the embattled senate president to resist trial suggest that he probably has skeletons in his cupboard. The recent revelations during court proceedings where staggering amounts of money were alleged to have been surreptitiously deposited in bank accounts or siphoned outside this country by the Senate President through his agents also call for caution, concern and sober reflection.

The fact that huge sums were reportedly split into smaller amounts and paid fifty (50) times into the same bank account on a single day is quite worrisome. Somebody somewhere knew that the source of the money he intended to deposit in a bank account was illegal. Somebody somewhere wanted to avoid detection. Somebody somewhere knew that he could be detected if the whole amount was paid in bulk and at a go. Somebody somewhere has been a smart Alec.

Can honourable members of Senate beat their chests and tell Nigerians that this somebody somewhere is not occupying the highest seat in the hallowed chamber? Is this not desecration of the highest office in Senate? We know that there are honest men and women in Senate. We know there are people of integrity who occupy well-deserved seats in our Senate today. Are our senators waiting until Nigerians start judging all senators by the same parameter?  Are our Senators tarrying until Nigerians start invoking popular proverbs like “Birds of the same feather…?”

MURIC therefore calls on Senate to do the needful. The Nigerian public is disenchanted with a legislature that cannot satisfy all righteousness. A legislative arm which condones stinking corruption at the leadership level can never be in tandem with Nigeria’s new elixir for anti-corruption.

Saraki must go. Those who come to equity must come with clean hands. We cannot afford to have an icon of credibility at the Nigerian apex of the executive only to have the exact opposite in the higher chamber. Perhaps that is why very little progress has been made since May 29, 2015. Saraki is a Trojan horse.

The Nigerian masses will know their true friends in Senate in the next few days. They will know those who are ready to sanitise the system and those who are in Senate to pursue the wicked agenda of the super rich against extremely poor Nigerians. The practice whereby ‘monkey dey work, barboon dey chop’ must stop.

Workers’ salary cannot take them home even on the day they receive it. Some states are yet to pay the N18,000 minimum wage. Some states also owe as much as three months salary arrears. Our graduates of ten years ago are still roaming the streets. There is hunger and starvation in the land. The average Nigerian lives on less than one dollar ($1) per day. Ourper capita income is less than $300. More than 70 million Nigerians are poor.

How then can the masses stomach reports of a single person depositing between N600,000 and N900,000 fifty times in a single day? This wide gap between the rich and the poor is nothing short of social economic injustice. It is responsible for the rise in violent crime, particularly armed robbery. Robbers see no difference between robbing with the pen and stealing with the gun. It kills workers’ morale and frustrates the few honest people we still have around. Students use this same socio-economic disequilibrium as an alibi for jettisoning academic pursuit. The youths use it as justification for going into Yahoo-Yahoo and other fraudulent activities.

MURIC therefore calls on senators to save Nigeria from the impending doom. Our senators must prove to Nigerians that no single person is greater than Nigeria. It is time for pendulum swing. Distinguished Senators, are you going to be loyal to a particular person or to Nigeria?

As a concluding remark, countries like Switzerland and the United States with questionable latitudes in their banking laws which allow kleptomaniacs from Africa to hide their loots must own up, stop the eye service and take urgent steps towards transparency, probity and accountability. Those who make it easy for thieves to hide their loot (and also benefit their economy from the proceeds of looting) live with a moral burden.


Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

#PanamaPapers: Nigeria’s Senate President Saraki’s Secret And Undeclared Family Assets Uncovered In Tax Havens

By Premium Times

At least four assets belonging to the wealthy and famous Saraki family of Nigeria, all tucked away in secret offshore territories, have been uncovered.

But the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, failed to declare them to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) as required by Nigerian laws.

This revelation, made possible by internal data of the Panama-based offshore-provider, Mossack Fonseca, obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) with PREMIUM TIMES and over 100 other media partners in 82 countries, could worsen Mr. Saraki’s case as he battles to extricate himself from allegations of corruption.

Mr. Saraki is yet to respond to PREMIUM TIMES’ request for comments. His spokesperson, Yusuph Olayinonu, did not return calls or respond to a text message seeking comments.

But in a written response to ICIJ, the Senate President insisted, through his UK lawyers, that he “declared his assets properly in accordance with the relevant legislation,” and that the charges against him “are both unfounded and politically motivated.”

Last September the CCB slammed false asset declaration charges on Mr. Saraki, accusing the Senate President, among other things, of failure to declare his assets in full.

Under the code of conduct law, a public office holder is required to declare his own assets, those of his wife as well as assets in the names of his children below the age of 18.

In his declaration form, Mr. Saraki listed property owned by his wife, Toyin Saraki, to include a plot of land at Lekki valued at N5 million, which he said was a gift he received in January 1989.

Mrs. Saraki was also listed as the owner of property at 15 Bryanston Square, London W1 and 69 Bourne Street, London.

While the first, which rental income was put at £48,000 with a value of £900,000, was acquired in January 1989, the second, which value was put at £2m and had a rental value of £150,000, was acquired for business in April 2000.

However, a fresh investigation by PREMIUM TIMES and its media partners has uncovered a hidden London property in the name of Toyin Saraki but which was left out among the assets declared by the Senate President.Embattled Senate President Bukola Saraki and his wife, ToyinSenator Dino Melaye accompanies Toyin Saraki to the EFCC

The hidden property is located at #8 Whittaker Street, Belgravia, London SW1W 8JQ. It has title number NGL802235.

Similarly, the Senate President stated in his assets declaration form that his wife held an account in Eco Bank Broad Street, Lagos, where she had N1.5 million at the time he became governor in 2003.

She also maintained an account in Coutts & Co Strand, London, where she owned £450,000 and $125,000 in addition to $3 million in Northern Trust International Banking Corporation Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner.

Mrs. Saraki was also listed as maintaining substantial shares in European and American Trading Company, Tyberry Corporation and Eficaz Limited just as she held 500,000 shares, valued at £500,000, at P.C.C (U.K) Ltd. He was, however, silent on the number of shares the former first lady had in Haussmann and Tiny Tee (Nig) Limited.

Elaborate as the declaration in the name of Mrs. Saraki appeared to be, PREMIUM TIMES can authoritatively report that apart from the undeclared London property, three additional overseas assets in the name of the wife of the Senate President were hidden from the authorities and are missing from the assets declaration form.

Our investigations reveal that Mrs. Saraki owns secret companies in some notorious tax havens.

The hidden assets

The first, Girol Properties Ltd, was registered on August 25, 2004 (a year after Mrs. Saraki’s husband became governor of Nigeria’s north-central state of Kwara) in the British Virgin Island (BVI).

Company documents show that Mrs. Saraki owns 25,000 numbers of shares with a par value of US$ 1,00 each, and was appointed the first and only director of the company.

It, however, remains unclear what businesses Mrs. Saraki transacted with the company. Mrs. Saraki however, in a letter to ICIJ, through her lawyers, denies ever owning any shareholding in Girol Properties.

The second company, Sandon Development Limited, was registered in Seychelles Island on January 12, 2011, and has Mrs. Saraki and one Babatunde Morakinyo, (a long-term personal aide and friend of Mr. Saraki) of 11 Okeme Street, Lagos, as shareholders.

While incorporating that company, documents show, Mrs. Saraki bought a curious service from Mossack Fonseca & Co, the Panamanian firm that helped her to register the firm.

Perhaps to avoid being identified as the beneficial owner of Sandon, the Senate President’s wife asked Fonsecca to provide nominee directors for the company. Nominee directors are sometimes used in tax havens to conceal real owners of companies and assets.

She then made an undertaking indemnifying the Panamanian company “in respect of all claims, demands, actions, suits, proceedings, costs and expenses whatsoever as may be incurred or become payable by you in respect of or arising out of any member or employee or associate of your company or associated companies holding any of?ce, directorship or shareholdings in the company or by reason of or in consequence of any act or decision made by any such person or company in connection with the management and/or administration of the said company.”

Shortly after the company was incorporated, Mrs. Saraki used it, in July 2011, to buy the property on Whuttaker Street, Belgravia, London SW1W 8JQ.

The property, acquired from Renocon Property Limited, a company registered in the British Virgin Island, was never disclosed to Nigerian authorities as required by the country’s code of conduct law.

The third hidden company in the name of Mrs. Saraki is Landfield International Developments Ltd., a company registered in the British Virgin Islands on April 8, 2014. It’s registration number is 1819394 while its registered office is 1 Akara Blog., 24 De Castro Street, Wickhams Cay 1, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Island.

According to Mossack Fonseca, the registered agent of the company, Mrs. Saraki, at least, until January 27, 2015, was sole shareholder and beneficial owner of the company which had two nominee directors – Glaisd Alie Limited and NewGombe Limited – both appointed on September 2, 2014. Its agent says Landfield is authorized to issue a maximum of 50,000 no par value shares.

“In so far as is evidenced by the documents filed at the Registered Of?ce, the Company is in existence and, in good standing,” Mossack Fonseca recently said of Landfield in response to an enquiry by one Laura Templeman, a Senior Associate for Ogier Group, a law firm based in the British Virgins Island. “According to the documents ?led on the Company’s ?le as at 27th January 2015, there are no actions, pending or threatened against the Company and no action has been taken to wind up the Company or to appoint a receiver or manager.”

Mrs. Saraki said she sold her shares in the company to a third party in January 2015, but PREMIUM TIMES is yet to sight any document to that effect.

On July 28, 2015, Mrs. Toyin Saraki, who was the first lady of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011, was interrogated by Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), concerning awards of contracts during her husband’s tenure as governor.

The EFCC has not taken further actions since her interrogation, and nothing has been heard of the case since then.

A troubled husband

Mrs. Saraki’s husband, Bukola, who is Nigeria’s third most powerful official by virtue of his position as Senate President, is facing a 13-count charge of alleged false declaration of assets.

He is being tried by the Code of Conduct Tribunal, a special court that tries public officers for any contravention of the Code of Conduct for Nigerian public officers as spelt out in the Fifth Schedule of the Nigerian constitution.

The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) were established to enforce “a high standard of morality in the conduct of government business, and to ensure that the actions and behaviour of public officers conform to the highest standards of public morality and accountability.”

The Code of Conduct Bureau had on September 16, 2015, slammed charges on Mr. Saraki, accusing him of offences ranging from anticipatory declaration of assets to making false declaration of assets in forms he filed before the Bureau while he was governor of Kwara state.

The Senate President was also accused of failing to declare some of his assets, acquiring assets beyond his legitimate earnings, and operating foreign accounts while being a public officer – governor and senator.

The offences, the charge said, violated sections of the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended.

Mr. Saraki is also said to have breached Section 2 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act and punishable under paragraph 9 of the said Fifth Schedule of the Constitution.

The Senate President has denied wrongdoings, saying the case was politically motivated and that he was merely being persecuted for emerging the President of the Nigerian Senate against the wishes of his political party, the ruling All Progressives Congress, which preferred a different candidate.

But this fresh revelation regarding hidden assets in tax havens might fuel the allegations against Nigeria’s third most powerful official and strengthen the prosecution’s case against the politician.

The Saraki family and ownership of offshore companies

Apart from Toyin Saraki, another member of the Saraki family popped up repeatedly as PREMIUM TIMES and its partners conducted a year-long investigation into the leaked Mossack Fonseca internal documents, which contained 2.6 TB files, involved 214,488 entities, and revealed hundreds of details about how former gun-runners, contractors and other members of the spy world use offshore companies for personal and private gain.

Laolu Saraki, a brother to Senate President Saraki, also has several footprints in offshore financial havens, documents show. A number of shell companies are connected to the younger Saraki.

He is sole shareholder in some of the companies while sharing ownership with some business partners in others.

For example, documents show that Laolu is the owner of Polly Capital Holdings Ltd registered in Niue, a small island nation in the South Pacific Ocean.

Another document showed that after some years, Laolu brought in another person as co-owner. The company is now co-owned with a certain Richard Pembroke, who has 25,000 equity shares, just like Laolu.

Laolu’s other offshore companies are co-owned with his associates. Among the co-owners are Kojo Annan, son of former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan; Obi Asika; Olufela Ibidapo, who are all known figures in Nigeria.

Laolu and Kojo Annan hold equal shares of 25,000 in Blue Diamond Holding Management Corp. The duo, along with Mr. Asika, also own Sutton Energy Limited, registered in the British Virgin Island.

Mr. Asika owns 15,000 units of shares, the same amount owned by Laolu Saraki and Kojo Annan. Mr. Asika was a Senior Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan and is closely connected to the Sutton Group.

Mr. Asika’s profile on the website of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), of which he is Board member, refers to him as Founding Partner & Executive Director, Sutton Group from June 1999 to October 2002.

The connection between Mr. Annan and Mr. Asika seems clear, as Mr. Annan sits on the Board of Mr. Asika’s another company, Dragon Africa. Additional documents show that the trio – Laolu, Kojo, and Asika – also co-own Sapphire Holding Ltd., a company located in Samoa, a tiny Island of an estimated 194,320 people in the South Pacific.

Company documents also indicate that Ensol Limited (Environmental Solutions), registered in the Republic of Seychelles, with registration number 028376, partly belongs to Laolu.

The company is co-owned with Ama Annan, a relative of Kofi Annan (former UN Secretary General), who was appointed director on May 19, 2006, but ceased to be a director on July 2, 2008.

Another Nigerian, Olufela Ibidapo, was then appointed to replace her on January 4, 2010.

Mr. Ibidapo is the current Head of Corporate Affairs at Heritage Bank, a successor bank to the defunct Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria, largely owned by the Saraki family but whose operational license was revoked by the Central Bank of Nigeria in January 2006 following the re-capitalisation policy in the banking sector.

The bank, however, returned with a new name (Heritage Bank) in 2012 following the order of the Federal High Court, compelling the central bank to restore its operational permit after it declared that it had amassed the required capital base to return to business.

It, however, remains unclear why the Saraki’s incorporated the offshore companies linked to them or what businesses they transacted with the entities.

While that may not be the case with the Sarakis, some business people in Nigeria and elsewhere are known to have created Shell companies offshore for a host of dodgy business reasons, which include hiding assets, avoiding tax or as fronts for illegal deals. Shell companies are however not entirely illegal, and not all owners use them for dubious purposes.

We have done nothing wrong – the Sarakis

Mr. Saraki and his wife denied any wrongdoing.

Responding to separate written demands for comments, the couple maintained that it is not illegal to hold shares in offshore companies.

In a letter to ICIJ by the London-based law firm of Discreet Law, Mr. Saraki said he declared his assets properly in accordance with the relevant Nigerian legislation.

Mrs. Saraki, in a separate letter to the ICIJ through another London-based law firm, Harbottle & Lewis, also insisted that she “made all required disclosures in relation to her shareholdings.”

In their separate letters, the couple threatened to sue should the ICIJ and its partners proceed to publish information about the undeclared offshore assets, with Mrs. Saraki saying any publication concerning her private financial information infringes on her privacy and breaches the Data Protection Act 1998.

Will Fitzigibbon (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists), contributed reporting to this story.

Security Agents Prevented Us From Attending Juma’at Prayers In Katsina And Kebbi States – Shiite Group

A combined armed security team on Friday, 1st April has prevented brothers of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN from conducting the usual post-khutba preaching session at the Central Juma’at Mosque in Katsina. They besieged the mosque from the early hours of the morning chanting “no more Shi’ah in Katsina! ”

Even though the brothers of IMN took the decision to cancel the preaching session in order to avoid spilling of blood of innocent unarmed Muslims by the military and other security agents, the security agents dispersed worshipers from the mosque immediately after the Juma’at prayers.

Worship places are supposed to be held in high regard,  but the team of Nigerian Army and other security agents chose to violate the sanctity of the mosque and right to religious freedom by their

Thereafter, there was a heavy security patrol across the main streets of the town ostensibly to provoke and instill unnecessary fear in the residents. Such a horrendous situation continued throughout the night.

Also in Yauri town in Kebbi state, there were similar measures taken by the security agencies there. And just like in Katsina, brothers of the Islamic Movement in the town suspended their preaching session in
order to foil the determined efforts by the authorities to kill innocent Muslims.

Also, the Divisional Police Officers, DPOs in various towns in Kebbi state gave written order to the brothers of the Islamic Movement in their domain that they should cease all their educational activities
or they face the wrath of their might.

The Islamic Movement is particularly worried with this unfortunate development, especially in Katsina, where the Governor is reported to have vowed not to trample on the rights of worship by citizens. If
what happened in Katsina is not a denial of our right to worship, what then is it?

We wish to state here categorically that we don’t usurp other people’s right to usage of any mosque where we conduct our educational programs because hold our sessions on convenient times and nobody is forced to attend. Hence, since this has been going on peacefully for over the past two decades, those trying to stop it are the persecutors and perpetrators of breaching public peace.

It is now vividly clear that there are some people hiding under the auspices of security agencies of our great country to achieve a sectarian agenda of a particular religious group. They need to be reminded by all peace loving Nigerians that we are in a secular country, and any attempt to persecute some people because of their religion, will not augur well for the well-being and development of our dear country and its democratic ideals.

These people, who do not believe in what they are saying, who are busy professing that one’s right stops at the doorstep of another, are the same people using the security apparatus to persecute brothers of the
Islamic Movement for their personal whims. Other Nigerians must be wary of them, especially the Christians, because if they ‘finish with the Shi’a,’ as they keep on echoing, who will be next?

We dismiss as blatant lies that the movement is intending to usurp the Friday mosques, the Islamic Movement has never and will never usurped any mosque for its usage alone. We believe mosques belong to Allah not to any particular sect, as it is enshrined in the holy Qur’an. In fact we don’t even build our own mosques, just to preserve the unity and oneness of the Islamic community.

We are forced to ask the government and its agencies, whose interest are they serving trying to stop us from going to the various mosques in our communities? We believe that true developmental progress of any nation results from peace, understanding and harmonious coexistence of the citizens. Hence, any attempt by the government to launch a genocide on a particular group in not in the interest of the nation.

We wish to call on the authorities, Katsina and Kebbi state governments in particular, to let peace reign in their states. Denying others of their constitutional rights is an open invitation to violence, which the Islamic Movement strongly opposes.

It is pertinent to state here that the Islamic Movement in Nigeria is a peaceful movement that does not accept any form of violence in achieving any of its ideals. As a result of this we condemn the unnecessary instigation to violence perpetrated by the government.

We are still re-echoing our demand that our leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and all other brothers and sisters of the Islamic Movement who are now languishing in different prisons and Army barracks across the country be released unconditionally.

0805 078 6093

Buhari’s Apology For Dissolving Governing Councils: A Strong Trait Of Democracy  – MURIC

President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) last week apologized for dissolving the governing councils of some universities. The dissolution which occurred about two months ago was criticized by many on the basis of illegality as the tenure of some of the councils had not expired.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) lauds PMB’s decision to eat the humble pie. It is a strong indication that the new administration is determined to tow the path of democracy.

This apology is quite significant as cynics had insisted during the 2015 presidential campaign that PMB planned to return with the same military dictatorship that he was known when he served as military head of state between 1983 and 1985. PMB has proved critics wrong with this apology.

MURIC urges all government officials at Federal, state and local government levels to emulate this democratic feature in PMB’s administration. Impunity and arrogance in matters of public concern ignite tension among citizens and stoke the fires of rebellion whereas humility and transparency repose confidence in government and encourage the people to support government’s policies.

The Glorious Qur’an warns against insolence, “Swell not thy cheek at the people. Nor walk arrogantly on earth; for Allah does not love the arrogant boaster. Be moderate in your pace, lower your voice; for certainly the harshest sound is the braying of the ass” (Qur’an 31:18 – 19)

This advocacy for humility in office can benefit Nigerians from all walks of life: from directors of agencies to school administrators; from directors in ministries to heads of departments; from large scale entrepreneurs to small scale company directors; from the ordinary class teacher to the university lecturer and from the artisan to the husband at home.

We must all learn to be humble. We must know when to say ‘sorry’. Humility in the leadership is an essential ingredient for smooth administration, industrial harmony and higher productivity.


Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)


Easter Message: Be Patient With Buhari Administration – MURIC  

Nigerian Christians are currently celebrating Easter with their counterparts throughout the world. This year’s Easter festival began yesterday, Friday 25th March 2016 and will end on Monday 28th March, 2016.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) felicitates with Nigerian Christians on this occasion.

We charge our Christian neighbours to spend the period in sober reflections on the current situation in the country. Nigeria, a nation blessed with abundant human and material resources, the numero uno producer of crude oil in Africa, cannot supply enough for its citizens.

Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa (about 180 million people) with vast arable land, cannot feed its population. Nigeria, the ‘giant’ of Africa and a country that has helped other nations in Africa to quell disturbances, is today ravaged by a 5-year insurgency which has claimed thousands of lives while smaller and weaker countries now rally to save it from going under.

But many Nigerian politicians are committed to a culture of waste and a dogma of ego. Only a few are altruistic. How else can we explain a single politician who has 170 aides; a top military officer who stores $1 million in a septic tank in his home; another who fraudulently collects N554 million monthly while $2.1 billion meant for purchase of arms to fight insurgency is shared among politicians?  

These are issues we must reflect on. We must seek to build this country. We must not destroy it. Religious leaders must preach love. We must be models in tolerance and forgiveness. We must eschew hate speeches and all acts capable of inciting our followers. We must avoid extravagant and flamboyant life in order to teach our followers simplicity and the need to avoid greed and avarice. These are the things we must do to get out of the doldrums.

Look at where the greed of a ‘tiny cabal’ has led this country. Nigeria, a nation that became independent 56 years ago is still crawling like a 2-year old baby. There is darkness in the land, stomachs are empty and the youths are roaming around the cities.

4,500 pregnant women die in pregnancy yearly in this country. 52,000 Nigerian women die in childbirth annually. 11 million Nigerians are malnourished. 55 million Nigerians lack access to education. Nigerian roads are a collective apology. Nigeria is the 26th poorest and 20thhungriest nation in the world.

Unfortunately, just at the time we found a forthright leader, the economy was hit by an unprecedented downturn and oil, the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy which used to sell at $93.61 per barrel, crashed to less than $28!

But all hope is not lost. Stolen funds are being recovered. Hitherto sacred cows are being made to vomit their loot. Transparency, probity and accountability are on the front burner once again. The price of oil has started rising and governments at both federal and state levels are tightening their belts. There is cause to believe that Nigeria will rise again.

MURIC therefore calls on Nigerians to be patient with the present administration. The essence of Easter is patience, fortitude and tolerance and these are the expected take-aways from Easter.

Finally, we invite Nigerians to compare President Muhammadu Buhari’s impeccable character, his frugality and his unbeatable pedigree to the greed, recklessness and selfishness of past leaders. Whereas a past leader insisted that stealing is not corruption and that there was nothing wrong if a goat eats yam, Buhari has zero tolerance for stealing. This is the barometer we should use when taking our decision. Let us all imbibe the lessons of Easter, namely, patience, fortitude and tolerance.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Public Petition To Prosecute And Punish Dr. Laolu Ogunkunle

I, Alaaka Tobi Jibola, of the Department of Demography and Social Statistics wish to publicly express my sadness at the physical assault I endured in the hands of one Dr. Laolu Ogunkule, a lecturer in the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, and to briefly relive the torturous experience in writing, even as I appeal for quick intervention and seek redress.

On Wednesday, 16th of March 2016, at 1000SLT, at a little past noon, Dr. Ogunkunle accosted me on the unsubstantiated suspicion that I was an impersonator in an examination he was co-ordinating – CHM 102; when I had merely been mistaken about the venue of my actual exam — an elective course which I had registered for, expected to hold at the same hour. But as I was making to leave for the exit, Dr. Ogunkule called me back, to which I respectfully responded.

But in a dramatic turn of event, the so-called “Dr.” – evidently intolerant of dialogue, or maybe incapable of such civil resolution to a minor misunderstanding – and with only his indiscretion as proof of my impersonation, resorted to the lowly depths of a street urchin when he thundered violently, and landed repeated slaps on me. And in a manner disturbingly reminiscent of the activities of a lynch mob, the heavily-built Dr. Ogunkunle dragged me by my belt buckle, pushing angrily – in an attempt to shove me to the ground, eventually ripping my shirt to shreds: a public humiliation greeted by shock from the about 500 on looking students waiting to write their exam, and even the younger lecturers assisting in the exam supervision — some of whom pleaded with him, as I tearfully did the same. Ogunkule, however, was relentless in his mindless attack, after which he handed me over to the security who, so to speak, rescued me and later apologized to me on his behalf.

Nonetheless, Dr. Laolu Ogunkule by his actions has not only violated the principles of mutual respect, proper conduct, and elementary human decency of our civilization and culture; he has also proven to be a big stain on the Nigerian education system in general, and the academia in particular, with some of his colleagues already describing this incidence as “barbaric” among other colorful terms. But name-calling is not enough. It is partly because of men like Ogunkule, who routinely affront clearly stated laws, that the wider Nigerian society has degenerated into unspeakable lawlessness, now encroaching into our ivory towers. But even more, because men like me, the abused and trampled upon, keep quiet in the face of such cruelty, which partly, and most importantly, stem from the fact that the appropriate authorities and, indeed, the public are often either unpardonably silent or inexplicably lenient in their discharge, or rather perversion, of justice.

I hereby call on the entirety of Obafemi Awolowo University students, on behalf of the students of other Nigerian universities, who quietly suffer similar harrassment – sexual, physical, or verbal – from their lecturers, to join their voice in pressing the university management (The VC, Deans of Faculties, members of the senate); the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Nigerian University Commission (NUC), other similar authorities, and every stakeholder in the Nigerian education system to ensure that this case between Dr. Ogunkule and I, indeed, the prevailing values of the civilized world is not swept under the carpet as usual, so as to serve as a notable deterrence of historical significance, and restore safety to our increasingly hostile academic communities. Of course, Dr. Laolu Ogunkule’s rights to fair hearing are yet intact, and he now has a moral obligation, if not a professional necessity, to come out and defend himself over his violent conduct and have this issue resolved as due. We wait.

Alaaka Tobi
Cc: The Vice Chancellor Obafemi Awolowo University Cc: Dean Division of Student Affairs
Cc: Dean Faculty of Science
Cc: Dean Faculty of Social Sciences
Cc: Dean Faculty of Law
Cc: Dean Faculty of Education
Cc: The Nigerian University Commission
Cc: Academic Staff Union of Universities (OAU Chapter) Cc:: Association of Campus Journal

Re: Umana Umana Launches Fresh Attack On Buhari

My attention has been drawn to a false, malicious and senseless publication in a local tabloid in Akwa Ibom State authored by the media directorate of the Akwa Ibom Government led by Mr Udom Emmanuel wherein it is reported that the 2015 governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State, Obong Umana Okon Umana, has launched a fresh attack on President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration.

The irresponsible report stated that Mr Umana did so through “his media coordinator” Barr. Inibehe Effiong by way of an Open Letter to President Buhari.

Ordinarily I would have ignored this criminal report by the criminal government of Udom Emmanuel. It is a known fact that the said newspaper is directly sponsored by the State Government. Two media aides of Mr Udom Emmanuel, including a dubious brother of the Commissioner for Information in the State, are the covert publishers of the mushroom tabloid.

It is common knowledge that Inibehe Effiong beyond his human rights advocacy is a consistent advocate for good governance in the country. As an activist, critic and lawyer, I have always projected the interest of the common man above every conceivable political persuasion. As the Convener of the Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (COHRD), I have consistently brought to the fore issues that afflicts the common man.

The authors of this falsehood are very aware of my vociferous support for the candidacy and the administration of President Buhari. They know that Nigerians rejected them and their political leaning because of their incurable proclivities for corruption, mendacity and other vices. They also know that Udom Emmanuel was NEVER voted for by the majority of Akwa Ibom people. It is within their knowledge that Udom Emmanuel became a governor through corruption and the blood of the innocent people of Akwa Ibom State.

Inibehe Effiong does not belong to any political party. He has never been “the media coordinator” of Mr Umana Okon Umana. It is on record that his strong opposition to the evil third term ambition of Senator Godswill Akpabio using Udom Emmanuel as a veil was out of conviction.

The attempt to link Obong Umana Umana who neither sponsored nor made any input whatsoever in my open letter to the President is the latest failed mischievous attempt by a criminal government of Akwa Ibom State to divert public attention from how they are looting the State dry and cause a disaffection between President Buhari and Mr Umana.

I strongly recommend a psychiatric test for members of the present government in Akwa Ibom State. I believe that their pathetic situation is redeemable as insanity is not without a cure. However, I appreciate the fact that since they came to power through electoral malpractices, bribery, killings and corruption, they may not find it easy to remain in power without resort to these evil ways of doing things.

While I will always express my mind on issues in the country; and offer criticisms and advise where necessary, I remain a supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari. The historicity of his emergence has not been lost.

Nigeria will be great again.


Inibehe Effiong Esq.


Troops Clear Bulasari Terrorists Camp

In continuation of the clearance operations of remnants of Boko Haram terrorists’ reported locations and hideouts by the military, troops of of 120 Task Force Battalion cleared the camp at Bulasari.

This is coming after clearing Golgore camp yesterday Tuesday, 15th March 2016.

During the operation, quite a number of the Boko Haram terrorists were killed while one of our soldier sustained gunshot wound.

The solder’s condition is stable and is currently being managed at Damaturu General Hospital.

One of the most significant aspects of the operation was the recovery of Nigerian Army Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) earlier captured by the terrorists during an attack on Buni Yadi on 9th July 2015.

The APC was discovered at Golgore River line and it has since been evacuated.

This operation has further proven our commitment to rid our country of the menace of Boko Haram terrorists and other criminal elements in the society.

PDP and Sokoto LG Poll: Ranting of Sore Losers – Sokoto APC

The attention of the Sokoto State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been drawn to a statement issued by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), one of the defeated parties that participated in the March 12, 2016 local government election in Sokoto State.

Apart from the apparent flaw in the grammatical structure, the statement was deficient in presenting the true picture of what transpired during the election in Sokoto State.

To set the records straight, we wish to state the following:

  1. That the local councils’ election which held in Sokoto State on Saturday, March 12, 2016 was free, fair and credible, and met national and international standards required for conducting elections
  2. That all observers who monitored the election have adjudged it as free, fair and credible
  3. That the State Independent Electoral Commission deserves commendation from all stakeholders for maintaining its integrity throughout the preparations and the eventual conduct of the election
  4. That the Sokoto State Government, under the leadership of Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal CFR, Mutawallen Sokoto, should be commended for providing the enabling environment for Sokoto SIEC to conduct the election without any hitch
  5. That there was no any incidence of intimidation or harassment of party agents or supporters in any local government area of Sokoto State before, during and after the elections
  6. That the All Progressives Congress (APC) won the elections in a free and fair contest
  7. That rather than mobilize the few supporters it had in Sokoto State to face the election as is the global practice, the PDP resorted to cheap blackmail by impugning on the integrity of respected individuals and institutions in the state
  8. That insulting the media, the electoral umpire and the security agencies, exposed the PDP as desperate, and unworthy of the trust of the people of Sokoto State
  9. That after 16 years of shallow leadership, Nigerians booted PDP out of power in the 2015 general election. What happened in Sokoto was the reaffirmation of the state’s rejection of the PDP. Whether in 2015 or 2016, PDP has no place in Sokoto State.
  10. The question to ask is why is it that of the twenty nine (29) political parties that took part in the election, only PDP saw something wrong with it?

Rather than issue inciting statement, the PDP should join hands with the APC-led administration of President Muhammadu Buhari at the Federal level and Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal at the State level to deliver democracy dividends to the people.

Muric Supports Reps Action Against Telcoms For Indiscriminate Calls, SMS

The House of Representatives yesterday threw its weight behind the enactment of a bill aiming at reducing the incidence of unsolicited telephone calls and text messages received by consumers. The bill which was sponsored by Ali Madaki (APC Kano) has already scaled through the second reading on the floor of the House. It is now awaiting fine-tuning by the House Committee on Telecommunication.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) lauds the House of Representatives for taking action on unsolicited telephone calls and text messages. Current members of the House deserve our accolades because the immediate past House ignored the matter when MURIC raised it in a press statement issued on 14th December 2014.

Unsolicited calls and text messages constitute public nuisance, irritants of no small measure, threat to the health of Nigerians and drawbacks to productivity. Judged from its irritant perspective, mobile telephone services which began actively during the regime of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (1999 – 2007) is fast becoming a curse rather than a blessing unless something is done urgently.

Service providers have become extremely audacious. They exhibit no concern for the personal privacy and health of consumers. They call defenseless consumers by phone and send strange and unsolicited text messages to them at odd times. Those that are most disturbing and irritating are sent in the unholy hours of the morning between 1 and 4 am when hardworking Nigerians are fast asleep.  

The messages wake them forcefully from sleep. Many find it hard to go back to sleep hours after the satanic invasion of their privacy. This is not only irritating but provocative and exploitative. It is gross abuse of priviledge on the part of service providers.


These unsolicited telephone calls and text messages are not limited to nights and early morning hours alone. They also come during the day. The high volume of text messages sent by service providers has exposed these shylock business concerns as relentless capitalistcompradore bourgeoisie. Some customers receive as many as 40 messages per day.

MURIC is asking the telecommunication companies operating in Nigeria: If you can afford to send so many text messages to all customers at no extra charges to yourselves, why do you charge so high for the text messages sent by individual customers?

It is our contention that Nigerians are being taken for a ride by service providers. These capitalist-oriented companies are inflicting pain on innocent subscribers. Nigerians yearn for protection.

We call attention to the great havoc in the torrential outpouring of text messages from service providers to innocent tax-payers. The havoc is mainly in health hazards but what could be more damaging to a nation than threat to the health of its citizens?

Experts agree that sound sleep means ability to think clearly, to plan and to design the next line of action in day-to-day endeavours. The reverse is the case when sleep is brutally cut. There is no gainsaying the fact that stress and fatigue are certain to occur when people are stinted of sleep. We suspect that the current rise in mental illnesses all over the country is partly informed by this flagrant disregard for people’s privacy and the rate at which unsolicited calls and text messages have been disturbing Nigerians.

The impact of this phenomenon on the nation’s economy cannot be overemphasized. . If it is true that the health of the individual reflects on the performance of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), then we must agree that the telecommunication service providers are not serving the interest of our country.

MURIC invites the Consumer Protection Society to wake up to its responsibilities. We also charge the House Committee on Telecommunication to expedite action on the draft bill as Nigerians are eagerly awaiting the outcome of its deliberation on the bill. Finally, we urge President Muhammadu Buhari to give speedy accent to the bill as soon as it gets to the Presidency.  


Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

APYF Expresses Shock and Sadness Over Death Of James Ocholi, Wife And Son

The All Progessives Congress Youth Forum (APYF), wishes to express our deepest shock and sadness on the death of Mr. James Ocholi (SAN), the Minister of State for Labour and productivity, his wife and son in a ghastly motor accident along the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway.
James Ocholi was a great man who will be remembered as not only a passionate advocate for the quest to attain a new Nigeria under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, but also as a charismatic supporter of youth-centered policies and initiatives, and a man those who knew him could count on to “get things done” in the proper manner.
As we mourn his death, let us celebrate his life of public service to his immediate community, his State and his country.
Rest in peace Barrister, you served your country well.
Olu W. Onemola
National Public Relations Officer?

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