SarakiGate: In Defence Of NANS By Ibrahim Kabiru Dallah

Last night, @YeleSowore of SaharaReporters published a fabricated report that Saraki hires NANS President High Chief (Dr.) Tijani Usman Shehu to protest against Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on its website. In that same false report, the publisher of the Sahara Reporters alleged that the Senate President, @BukolaSaraki paid the President of NANS to protest against the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR.

In as much as there is freedom of expression as enshrined in the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria but there is a limits to the level of that expression. We are all aware that the essence of journalism in the world is to educate and bring out the truth to the public. Sadly, it seems the ethics of journalism means nothing to @YeleSowore and his media outfits Sahara Reporter.

I am not unmindful of the fact the purpose of every publication was for the interest of the general public, now I ask, has @YeleSowore carried out real investigation on the authenticity of its report before publication? If NO, then the main reasons for the publication is to destroyed the image of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and that of its President before the general public.

READ: NANS Split Over Planned Protest Against Saraki’s Trial

I am totally disturbed that how would someone like @YeleSowore that has direct mobile number of the NANS President High Chief (Dr.) Tijani Usman Shehu, stooped so low in blackmailing NANS before the general public instead of phone calls.

I have known @YeleSowore for a long time now, we all know what he stand for and who he’s protecting in the media, though, we are not surprised on his recent outburst based on his antecedents as the former Financial Secretary and President of the Students Union of the University of Lagos, he collected money from the management of the University of Lagos and betrayed the students constituency for his selfish interest.

As a matter of fact, What on earth would @YeleSowore and his media outfit Sahara Reporters benefit from such fabricated report? However, This recent propaganda in the name of news is an indication that @YeleSowore is out to tarnish the image of the President of the Senate and NANS.

I am still trying to figure it out what might be the problem between NANS and @YeleSowore because it is fresh in our memory that the same SR published false news that the then President of NANS @YinkaGbadebo was impeached, Infact, the last time I checked they said the incumbent NANS President High Chief (Dr.) Tijani Usman Shehu is 45years old. Enough is Enough of this series of blackmails.

Be as it may, we are all aware of the fact that Sahara Reporters is doing the bidding of its pay masters which is well known to all Nigerians as the man behind the scene will soon be exposed and brought to the public domain.

For record purpose NANS as an umbrella body of all Nigerian Students both at Home and in the Diasporas was at the forefront that fought against the military juntas that gave us the democracy we are enjoying today in Nigeria, as such, we don’t expect NANS to keep mute while things are not moving in the right direction.

Our hard earned democracy must be protected with our last pint of blood, inasmuch as I want @BukolaSaraki to appear before the CCT to clear his name, and we shall take it from there because it is visible to blind and audible to the deaf that this is a pure witch-hunting of the President of the Senate @BukolaSaraki.

Therefore, now that the entire public has clarity on Sahara Reporters and it’s criminal indulgence, based on the fact the same @YeleSowore collected huge amount of money from the power that be in Nigeria and blackmailed the then President of Nigeria Goodluck Ebele Jonathan GCFR.

If things are not in order, NANS will be left with no option than to lead the protest against CCT and I will join them or am I paid too.

On this note #iStandWithSaraki to defend our hard earned democracy.



@ik_dallah On Twitter


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In Defence Of The NYSC, By Osita Odafi

When in 1973 the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) was introduced, it was to ensure unity and integration between the mainly Muslim northern parts and mainly Christian southern parts of the country in the aftermath of the 30-month long civil war. It was also to ensure the participation of youths in national development. From an annual enrolment of 2,364 participants to the scheme at inception in 1974, the scheme now has an annual enrolment of 229,016 participants with a projection to hit 300,000 participants by 2020.

Forty-two years have since gone since the scheme was introduced. But calls for its scrap have gained currency recently more than any time in the life of the scheme. Politicians, celebrities, and even ex-corps members have joined the growing antagonists of the scheme. As a young graduate participating in the mandatory one year national service in Benue State, I think I should join this all-important debate.

The extent to which the scheme has fostered national unity is certainly debatable. While some have argued that the scheme has achieved national unity, others have differed. I do not think the scheme has done perfectly well in fostering national unity. But the scheme’s failure in fostering national unity could be attributed partly to the Nigerian factor. Prospective corps members and their parents have over the years connived with some corrupt NYSC officials to influence their postings. Some prospective Corps members even know well beforehand states, and institutions or organisations where they would be deployed for the national service! The failure of the scheme to foster national unity therefore stems from the willingness of its officials to subvert the system and not a defect in the original plan of the scheme.

Fostering national unity is however not the only goal of the scheme. The NYSC has facilitated infrastructural developments in many places in the country especially in rural areas. This may not be clearly seen if one evaluates developments brought by the scheme in the mega cities of Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.  It is however important to note that the number of places where government presence is felt in Nigeria is less compared with those with government-funded infrastructures. Corps members have through personal initiatives instituted and completed developmental projects such as boreholes, street lights, classroom blocks, renovation of health and educational facilities etc. It would have been difficult, if not impossible for indigenes of these communities to succeed in enlisting the support of the locals for such projects given that corps members are seen as people of integrity and could come under sanctions from the NYSC management should they mismanage such projects. Many of these societies are poorly governed and have little or no government attention. Such projects provided by the corps members go a long way in ameliorating the plight of the people of their host communities.

The involvement of the corps members in national exercises such as the conduct of elections, census and immunization exercises etc is another milestone in the series of achievements so far recorded by the scheme. The scheme has in years past provided ready adhoc staff for such exercises. The NYSC has become the last resort for the supply of qualified manpower needed for such exercises. Moreover, the existence of sixteen Community Development Service (CDS) Groups in the scheme has taken its relevance to the peak. Some of them include the disaster management group, MDGs, anti-corruption group, road safety group etc. The main tool used by many of these groups in actualizing their developmental efforts is advocacy and sensitization exercises. In a country characterized largely by dysfunctional agencies like Nigeria, the NYSC scheme becomes the agency at the grassroots through which people at that level could be reached. Many of the government agencies saddled with handling such issues already being tackled by the NYSC CDS groups unfortunately do not even have offices in many of these remote areas where corps members are posted to. Corps members have successfully filled the gap created by these docile governmental agencies. The corps members themselves learn in the process of the advocacy programmes.

Education, especially primary and secondary in the remotest parts of this country would have suffered were the scheme to be scrapped. Government and proprietors of schools in a bid to save cost have persistently resorted to employing inadequate number of teachers despite burgeoning number of new intakes in primary and secondary schools. In these ‘corps members-driven’ communities, much of the teaching staff are corps members. In some of these communities, the teachers are not just inadequate but also improperly trained. Corps members have been filling this gap to say the least.

For the corps members themselves, the scheme has become an empowerment scheme through its entrepreneurial programme which gives loans to corps members with good business proposals. The Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development Scheme (SAED), which forms part of the three weeks pre-deployment orientation programme is another avenue to provide skills to the corps members. The SAED programme has the capacity to reduce drastically unemployment in Nigeria if properly coordinated.

President Buhari’s recent assertion that the Federal Government would not scrap the scheme is heart-warming. While I am on the same page with the President on this, I think the scheme should keep on evolving with a view to making it a truly 21st century organization that is biometrics-driven to reduce incidences of ‘ghost corps members’. More innovations should also be adopted by the scheme’s management to make more Nigerians benefit from the services rendered by the scheme as a development agenda driven by the youth is bound to be successful. Scrapping the NYSC will amount to throwing the baby away with the bath water.


Osita Odafi

Lagos, Nigeria.

Twitter: @thisisosita


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Akwa Ibom Tribunal: PDP Closes Defence Abruptly, Abandons Incident Forms

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which is the 2nd Respondent at the Akwa Ibom State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal on Monday, September 14, 2015 closed its defence abruptly after failing to call more witnesses at two previous sittings of the Tribunal.

When the case came up on Monday, the lawyer to the PDP, Mr. Tayo Oyetibo, SAN informed the Tribunal that a representative of the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Akwa Ibom State by name Obinna Ayogu, who had failed last Friday to produce one remaining bag of Incident Forms allegedly used during the election was in court.

Mr. Obinna Agogu told the Tribunal that he later realised that the one remaining bag was for Nsit Ubium Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State and not for Ini LGA as he had earlier said on the 10th September, 2015. At this point, the counsel to the PDP Tayo Oyetibo, SAN informed the Tribunal that they have closed their defence.

A member of the three man panel of judges hearing the petition reminded Mr. Oyetibo that the Incident forms which the representative of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) brought to the Tribunal following the subpoena the PDP caused to be issued on the Akwa Ibom REC was not before the Tribunal because same has neither been tendered nor admitted. Mr. Oyetibo agreed that the Incident Forms has not been admitted in evidence. He submitted that they will decide on what to do with the Incident Forms subsequently. It is however not clear why the party refused to tender the said Incident Forms. With this development, the PDP which had listed 23 persons as witnesses and called only 4 has abandoned the remaining 19.

However, a lawyer for one of the parties who spoke in confidence said that the forms have no relevance to the case at hand. “The Respondents may have realised that the Incident Forms will not fly or assist their case in anyway. That is why they have refused to tender same in evidence before the Tribunal and the implication is that the forms are worthless, but even if same were to be admitted, it will still not do any magic because non of the witnesses called by them presented any of the forms as his own. In any case, the INEC guidelines had clearly prohibited manual accreditation”. The lawyer stated.

On his part, Counsel to INEC, Mr. Tobechukwu Nweke, Esq. informed the Tribunal that the Commission will not be able to open their defence until Tuesday when the Electoral Officers (EOs) that they intend to call as witnesses are available. He stated that the EOs are on their way to Abuja. He then applied that the case be adjourned to Tuesday.

Responding, Mr. Solomon Umoh, SAN, counsel to the Petitioners, Mr. Umana Okon Umana and the All Progressives Congress (APC), said that although he was not opposing the application for adjournment, it had expected INEC to open their defence today since all the Respondents are working together which implies that the counsel to INEC ought to have known before hand that the PDP will not present more witnesses.

Mr. Dayo Akinlaja, SAN a member of the Petitioners team who later addressed the media said it was interesting that the 2nd Respondents were only able to present just 4 witnesses in addition to the 19 witnesses earlier called by the 1st Respondents. This according to him means that the two Respondents have only called 23 witnesses in all as opposed to the 52 witnesses called by the Petitioners. He expressed confidence that the truth about what took place in Akwa Ibom State on April 11, 2015 will prevail and that justice will be done at the end of the day.

The case has been adjourned to Tuesday 15th September, 2015 for continuation of defence.

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Akwa Ibom Tribunal: PDP In Disarray, As Party’s Defence Falters The More

For the third day in a row, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday, September 11, 2015 failed to proceed with their defence at the Akwa Ibom State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal despite the assurances earlier given to the Tribunal the previous day by Mr. Tayo Oyetibo, SAN, the counsel to the 2nd Respondent, that they will close their case on Friday.

At the resume hearing of the petition filed by Mr. Umana Okon Umana the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State on Friday, Mr. Adekunle Oyesanya, SAN who represented the 2nd Respondent informed the Justice A. S. Umar-led panel that they will not be able to proceed with their defence because a staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Obinna Ajogu, has not been able to bring the remaining one bag of Incident Forms to the Tribunal as promised.

This excuse which didn’t seem to impress the Tribunal cause murmuring in the Tribunal. Mr. Oyesanya then pleaded with the Tribunal to adjourn hearing in the case to Monday, September 14, 2015 to enable the Respondents put their house in order. Mr. Paul Usoro, SAN the counsel to the 1st Respondent informed the Tribunal that he has no objection to the application and assured the Tribunal that the Respondents will not exceed the 14 days period alloted to them for defence.

On his part, Mr. Tobechukwu Nweke, the counsel to the 3rd and 4th Respondents, INEC and the Resident Electoral Commissioner Akwa Ibom State, apologised to the Tribunal for the inability of the INEC representative to be in court with the remaining one bag of the Incident Forms. He told the Tribunal that the bag which was kept at the INEC warehouse is yet to be located and that a search for same was ongoing.

Responding, the counsel to the Petitioners, Mr. Solomon Umoh, SAN expressed his disappointment with the way the time of the Tribunal was being wasted. He wondered why the 2nd Respondent should even ask for an adjournment because a subpoenaed witness has not been able to produce a document when they still have 19 remaining witnesses. He however said that it was not his business if they have decided to abandon their remaining witnesses as it is their case.

Mr. Umoh finally submitted that though he was not opposing the application for adjournment, INEC should be ready to open their defence on Monday by bringing their witnesses to court should the 2nd Respondent fail to continue with their defence. In his reply, the counsel to INEC told the Tribunal that he cannot guarantee that they will open their case on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Respondents have so far spent 7 out of the 14 days period alloted to them for defence. Ruling on the application for adjournment, the Chairman of the Tribunal stated that there will be no extention of time for defence. He then adjourned the matter to Monday, September 14, 2015 for definite hearing.

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Akwa Ibom Tribunal: PDP’s Defence Suffers Setback Due To Lack Of Credible Witnesses

By our Correspondent

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which is the second Respondent at the Akwa Ibom State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal on Wednesday September 9, 2015 suffered a setback on its second day of defence at the Tribunal as it failed to call more witnesses as expected.

When the case was called, Mr. Tayo Oyetibo, SAN the counsel to the PDP informed the Tribunal that they have no witnesses for the day because the persons they expected to call in their defence are yet to arrive from Akwa Ibom State. He applied that the matter be adjourned to Thursday 10th September, 2015.

The application was not opposed by the other parties. However, Mr. Dayo Akinlaja, SAN submitted that the 2nd Respondent should not expect any extension of time due to their inability to present witnesses. The Tribunal agreed with him and restated that whatever the Respondents wishes to do must be within the 14 days period alloted to them for defence.

However, reliable sources within the PDP revealed that the PDP actually has other witnesses in Abuja but that the party was in serious confusion following the shameful outing of the first four witnesses they called on Tuesday which practically supported the case of the Petitioners, Mr. Umana Okon Umana and the All Progressives Congress (APC), that there was no election in the state. He further stated that the party’s legal team have discovered that even the remaining witnesses have fatal defects going by the contents of the statement on oath of the witnesses which had already been filed.

He said that this prompted the legal team to seek for an adjournment to enable them see if they can coach the witnesses to put up a more consolatory performance when they are eventually called. A member of the Petitioners legal team who spoke in confidence however insisted that what is incurably bad cannot be remedied by even a month’s coaching and that they are battle ready for any antics the Respondents may introduce.

It was also reliably gathered that the PDP have brought some of their chieftains from Uyo to Abuja to testify at the Tribunal if their application to call additional witnesses is granted. Mr. Oyetibo, SAN had informed the Tribunal on Tuesday September 8 that they had filed an application to call additional witnesses and served same on the Petitioners and the other Respondents.

However, Mr. Solomon Umoh, SAN the Petitioners counsel, had indicated his intention to opposed the application because the time for such application had passed and that the 1st Respondent’s counsel, Mr. Paul Usoro, SAN, had equally filed a similar application at the Tribunal but later withdrew it having argued against a similar application at the National Assembly Election Tribunal and won. Mr. Umoh had further stated that he hopes that the 2nd Respondent’s counsel will also follow the step of Mr. Usoro, SAN and allow wisdom to prevail by withdrawing the application. The Tribunal will hear arguments on the application on Thursday September 10.

Amongst those brought from Uyo to testify if PDP’s application to call additional witnesses is granted from the documents filed at the Tribunal are; Mr. Bassey Albert, a serving senator, Mr. Emmanuel Ibok Essien, a former senator, Atuekong Idongesit Nkanga, a former governor of the state and the Chairman of Mr. Udom Emmanuel’s 2015 campaign organisation, Mr. Anietie Okon, a former senator, Mr. Chris Ekpenyong, a former deputy governor of the state, among others. A PDP source revealed that the above PDP chieftains who are already in Abuja are all being lodged at the presidential wing of the Transcorp Hillton Hotel in Abuja.

A member of the Petitioners legal team however insisted that no amount of desperation can remedy a defence that is incurably bad and that the Respondents themselves have already seen the hand writing on the wall.

Hearing in the petition which has attracted national attention will continue on Thursday September 10, 2015.


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Boko Haram, Alex Badeh, Jonathan And The Stolen Defence Trillion- By Farooq Kperogi


I thought I had become inured to the scandal of brazen corruption in Nigeria until I watched the interview former Chief of Defense Staff Alex Badeh granted to Channels TV on August 1. It’s the worst form of self-indictment I’ve ever seen in my life.

Badeh told Channels TV that the last time the Nigerian military bought equipment was 9 years ago, that is, in the twilight of Obasanjo’s second term. “If I go down memory lane, I think the last time any piece of equipment was bought for the Nigerian army was some APCs that were bought in 2006, and how many were they? They were few,” he said, pointing out that the Nigerian military flies “the oldest fighter aeroplanes in the whole world.” The Alpha jets that form the backbone of the military onslaught on Boko Haram, Badeh told Channels TV, were bought in 1981.

If Badeh is right (and I have no reason to think he is wrong since he was Nigeria’s most senior military officer until his sack) that basically means that, from Musa Yar’adua’s administration when the Boko Haram menace started, to the end of the Jonathan presidency when it reached a crescendo, not a single piece of equipment was purchased for the Nigerian military. The military depended on obsolete equipment at best and no equipment at all at worst to fight a determined and sophisticated Boko Haram.

If I didn’t hear this directly from Badeh himself, I would have dismissed it as some wacky conspiracy theory. But it isn’t the revelation by itself that is scandalous; it is the fact that the neglect of the military is coterminous with the extravagant ballooning of the Nigerian military’s budget. In 2010, for instance, government budgeted N836,016,773,836 (which translates to $5.07 billion at 165 naira to a dollar) for the military. In 2011 the amount ballooned to N1,080,894,801,178 ($6.55 billion). In 2012 it increased to N1,154,857,159,110.00 ($6.99 billion). It increased even more in 2013 to N1,178,832,576,309 ($7.14 billion). Last year, it was scaled down a bit to N1,174,897,477,334.00 ($7.12 billion). That’s trillions of naira gone down the begrimed pockets of corrupt government officials in the name of fighting Boko Haram!

My head spun as I looked at the figures. Now, Badeh says in spite of these trillions that the Jonathan government budgeted for the military, “the last time any piece of equipment was bought for the Nigerian army was … in 2006!” So what happened to the trillions of naira? Every Nigerian should be asking this until we get an answer.

After a whopping $32.88 billion in military budget to fight Boko Haram in the last five years, we don’t have a single piece of military equipment to show for it. This simply boggles the mind. It’s beyond scandalous; it’s unacceptably and insanely criminal.

In spite of all that money, hundreds of thousands of our compatriots in northeastern Nigeria have been murdered—and are still being murdered daily— by Boko Haram, and thousands more are internally displaced and writhe in unspeakable hardship. Lives have been disrupted, businesses have collapsed, and thousands have lost even the will to live. Yet one of the men who superintended over the criminal enterprise that was military budget goes on TV, without a tinge of moral compunction, to gloat about the incompetence of the government he was a part of.

I am angry, very angry. This sort of criminal impunity should never go unpunished. We are talking here about the twin evils of unconscionably mindboggling theft and of the heartrending destruction of the life of an entire region of the country. I know President Buhari is aware of the scale and depth of the criminality that characterized the military budgets in the last 6 or so years, but we should still prod him to not only recover the stolen trillions but bring to justice the criminals who masterminded this astonishingly conscienceless heist.

This is all the more unpardonable because from Badeh to former President Jonathan, and all the minions in between, the fact of the Nigerian military’s unpreparedness, which was all too obvious to even a perfunctory observer, was intensely denied. Military officers were court-martialed and sentenced to death for refusing to fight Boko Haram with bare hands. In other words, they were condemned to death for refusing to commit suicide. Fighting a well-armed enemy with bare hands is suicide. Pure and simple. But, in press conferences, Alex Badeh passionately defended the death sentence passed on soldiers who mutinied and ran for their lives. Now he admits that the military he headed had no equipment to fight Boko Haram.

Former President Jonathan also once threatened to withdraw soldiers from Borno State when the state’s governor said Boko Haram was better armed and more motivated than the Nigerian military—a fact Badeh has now admitted. During a February 25, 2014 presidential media chat, Jonathan said, “The statement is a little bit unfortunate because you don’t expect a governor to make that kind of statement and if the governor of Borno State feels that the Nigerian Armed Forces are not useful, he should tell Nigerians. I will pull them out for one month; whether he will stay in that his Government House; just one month, but I will fly back to take over the state.”

When you add all this to the recent revelation by SaharaReporters of a N1,751,864,867 ($8,853,600) fraud in the Office of the National Security Adviser over purchase of arms and ammunition to fight Boko Haram, which never made it to Nigeria, all lingering doubts that the Jonathan presidency was a massive criminal enterprise are removed. I don’t know what would have become of Nigeria had Jonathan won another term.

Dr. Farooq Kperogi is a professor, journalist, newspaper columnist, author, and blogger based in Greater Atlanta, USA

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In Defence Of The Truth: Sahara Reporters Suspicious Motives For Attacking Saraki

On Thursday, August 6th, 2015, SaharaReporters published a totally fabricated report entitled: “Nigeria’s Senate President Saraki Lied In His Official Election Forms” on its website. In that dubious and utterly false report, SR alleged that the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, is not a Nigerian citizen. The article went further, based solely on suppositions to infer that Dr. Saraki intentionally avoided question 10 on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) form for candidates contesting National Assembly elections and by so doing must have sworn to an oath of allegiance to another country, such as United Kingdom, the report concluded. The article also suggested that the Senate President avoided stating his place of birth on the INEC form, and that he is intentionally concealing his UK citizenship to avoid being disqualified in any way from political office.

One is not unminful of the obvious fact that freedom of expression may be absolutely basic human right, but it is pertinent to state that it is not without limits. This obvious fact has brought to bear, what is the essence of journalism which is meant to educate, orientate and bring out the truth to ensure justice, equity and fairness in every human endeavor.Unfortunately, it seems the tenets of professional journalism means nothing to Sahara Reporters.

As it stands, a detailed perusal of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, clearly indicates that the point Sahara Reporters is attempting to raise is moot – especially with regards to holding UK citizenship. The ready question at hand to ask is; why Sahara Reporter has intentionally remained silent and avoided to look into the constitutional Provisions of right to hold dual citizenship, especially where the party in question holds Nigerian citizenship by birth. The second relevant question is, if in fact, the purpose of such a publication was for public interest, has Sahara Reporters carried out diligent investigation on the authenticity of its report before publication? If the answers to the above questions are in the negative, then the rationale behind the report is for obvious reasons.

For the avoidance of doubt and for record purposes, Section 25(1)(c) of the Nigerian Constitution discredit Sahara Reporters’ argument that Dr. Saraki is ineligible for public office. The section clearly stipulates that “every person born outside Nigeria either of whose parents is a citizen of Nigeria” are considered “citizens of Nigeria by birth.” What this means is that even if the Senate President were born in the UK, he will qualify as a citizen of Nigeria by birth under S.25(1c) – citizen by birth through parentage.

Also, there has always been a flawed misconception on the issue of dual citizenship vis-a-vis a holder of public office in Nigeria. S.28 of the 1999 Constitution (as (amended) deals with this wherein it highlights the fact that only those who are Nigerians by registration or naturalization shall forfeit their citizenship if they acquire the citizenship of another country. It is important to state at this juncture that the requirement to forfeit Nigerian nationality/citizenship upon acquisition of the nationality/citizenship of another country, does not apply to persons who are Nigerians by birth within the definition of Section 25 of the Constitution. This section also acknowledges and protects the right to hold citizenship by birth of another country – as citizenship by birth is an inalienable right under the Constitution

Furthermore, to put this particular issue to rest, the import of S.66(1)(a) of the Constitution can not be underestimated. The section clearly states that: “Subject to S.28 of the Constitution, any body who has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of another country must be disqualified. The key word here is ‘voluntarily’, and is subject to the provisions of S.28, which protect the right to hold the citizenship of another country if such citizenship is acquired by birth.

In other words, Section 28 states clearly that dual citizenship is allowable where one qualifies as a Nigerian by Birth as contained in Section 25 (1) (a), (b) and (c) of the Constitution. The only instance in which forfeiture of citizenship becomes applicable under the Constitution is by holders of: i) citizenship by registration under Section 26; and ii) citizenship by naturalization, under Section 27 of the Constitution.

The Court of Appeal decision in the case of Dr. Willie Ogebide v. Mr. Arigbe Osula {2004} 12 NWLR Part 886 pp 127 paragraphs D-G says it all. Adeniji JCA reading the lead judgment held that:
Holding the citizenship of another country does not preclude, disqualify or nullify a person from having, acquiring or retaining Nigerian citizenship by birth. This is even more prevalent where such citizenship has been acquired by birth. Furthermore, there is no requirement for a dual citizen of Nigeria (by birth) and another country to renounce either citizenship.

In view of the above, holding dual citizenship does not mean that a public office holder, like the Senate President had earlier changed his nationality in the past; it simply means he has held both citizenships simultaneously without the need to acquire one after the other. As both were acquired by birth, the Senate President automatically had both citizenships ‘bestowed’ on him from the moment of his birth.

To this end, citizens of a country by birth do not need to swear to an oath of allegiance to that country; it is only citizenship acquired through naturalization and registration that have the requirement to take an oath of allegiance. Above all, there is no evidence that Dr. Saraki took an oath of allegiance or intentionally attempted to conceal his UK citizenship – especially as he has never denied holding the citizenship in question.

One is however uncomprensible, as it beats ordinary sense of imagination of how Sahara Reporters went to extent of producing and pasting fake UK passport claiming it to be that of Senator Bukola Saraki. What on earth would Sahara Reporters benefit from such “pull him down at all cost” syndrome? This is an indication that the online media outfit is out to tarnish the image of the President of the Senate. It is a confirmation of the fact that Sahara Reporters is doing the bidding of its pay masters which is well known to all and sundry as the man behind the scene will soon be exposed and brought to the public domain.

It is also of importance to state categorically here that Senator Saraki’s UK passport as posted on the website of Sahara Reporters is a forged document that deserve thorough investigation by the UK Home and passport Office. Senator Saraki on the 19th of July 2015, has instructed his Solicitors in UK to write the UK Home Office to commence immediate investigation into this act of criminality .There is no doubt that this is a typical criminal offence against the State and also an act of defamation of character against the President of the Senate and whoever is found responsible should be prosecuted. The question that needs to be unravelled thereof by the UK Home and passport Office, among other things; where did Sahara Reporters get a forged or fake UK passport which it claims it belongs to Senator Saraki and decided to post same on its website?.

To this end, it is no longer shocking, based on the antecedents of Sahara Reporters, the extent to which Sahara Reporters and its sponsors are willing to go to malign the person of Senator Saraki; passing off a forged/fake document as authentic is no doubt a criminal offence in every jurisdiction. Now that the entire public has clarity on Sahara Reporters and it’s criminal indulgence, Sahara Reporters needs to explain the source of this fake document to the UK Home Office. Sahara Reporters, its cronies, allies and sponsors must be ready to face the full course of law upon conclusion of the investigation by the UK Authorities. We hereby urge the public to remain vigilant and be watchful of reports and and stories published by Sahara Reporters as they may be laced with blatant lies, deceit and criminality devoid of any iota of truth. We shall make public, the outcome of the investigation by the UK Home office and passport office.

Bamikole Omishore

Special Assistant on New Media
Office of The Senate President

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Jonathan’s Govt Was Not Committed to Anti-terror War – Ex-Chief Of Defence Intelligence Agency

Major-General Abdulmalik Halidu-Giwa is the former Chief of Defence Intelligence oftheDefence Intelligence Agency (DIA), during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. In this interview with MUSA SIMON REEF, AUSTIN JOHNSON and NSA COBHAM, the retired military intelligent officer, who also has the traditional title holder of TaimakonNupe, goes down memory lane to recall that the Jonathan’s administration was not committed to resolving the Boko Haram quagmire; the erroneous assumption that insurgency was basically a Northern problem and why the present government of President Muhammadu Buhari must act fast to ensure the de-radicalisation of insurgents, among others. Excerpts;

How would you assess the handling of Boko Haram by the past administration of President Goodluck Jonathan?

I dare say that, personally I felt frustrated with the manner the last administration handled the issue of murderous Boko Haram. During the last administration, we were consulted and we saw the need to form a security cell to advise the then president on what to do in order to tackle the insurgency. Most of the things that we recommended, regrettably, were not given any attention. The first thing we suggested was the sealing off of the borders as it affect the Maghreb states and the destabilisation that followed the Arab Spring which affected countries like Tunisia, Algeria and Libya, among others. Libya was the main thing, because there were arms in the hands of numerous groups, following the sacking of the Ghaddafi’s government. We felt that we needed to seal off the borders so as to control the influx of arms into the country. The armaments that were made available to Boko Haram members were from Libya, so much that they destabilised the Nigerian Army that is known and reputed all over the world. We tried our best to advise the government, but when there was no commitment from the past government, we disbanded the cell. Since the body language of the last administration was that the problem was northern, the last administration felt the Northern region should be allowed to solve the problem.

So, when you are not in government and you give an advice and it is not considered, you then feel a sense of frustration. I have also used other forums to give advice on how best to tackle the prevailing insurgencies ripping this country apart. The situation got so bad that Abuja was not left out, as Nyanya and other close targets in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) became persistent targets by the insurgents.

It is said that corruption frustrated the fight against Boko Haram as funds meant for the purchase of arms and other logistics were misappropriated by the top echelon of the military command. What is your view on this?

Regrettably, corruption is so pervasive and the military is not an exception. You could see that when the last administration postponed the general elections by six weeks, they did all in their power to get equipment and the fight against terror gained tremendous leverage during the period just before the elections. Compare that period to any time before that time and also compared that to the budget on anti-terror war. You could see the period. You do not need any rocket science to read the signs of the time and what was needed to accomplish the war against terror. The military is part of the society and corruption has pervaded all sectors of life. Fortunately, we have a government that everyone believes that the country is on the right path in tackling the monster of corruption. Corruption is the basic problem confronting this country. Once you can tackle corruption, then you can be assured that everything will fall in the right place. Kill corruption in Nigeria and you will solve the problem of this country. It was a fact that there were no equipment and soldiers resorted to the media to cry out their frustration. Some of them spoke to the media on their problems. These were some of the problems the military members encountered. What we saw during the last administration, you could not have seen such under the Obasanjo government. Now we have another general that is popularly elected and you can see that there are changes in the way and manner the campaigns against terror is being waged. Even in the United States, you have to have someone with a regimented background of the military before you are elected into power.

Are you saying that for someone to be an effective president in Nigeria, he needs to have a military background?

I am saying that it is the norm across the world and Nigeria should not be an exception. I am not saying that it should be the total preserve of the military, but I am saying that someone with a regimented background is needed to deliver effective governance. Look at former Governor Fashola of Lagos. See how he has performed in terms of developing the state. He is a model. He was in the Man ‘O War and also a member of the Boys Scout. That is a regimented background. This helped him to discharge the functions of his office.

Many Nigerians were made to believe that the abduction of the Chibok girls was just an allegation that was promoted by anti-Jonathan campaigners to sink him politically. As someone with deep insight on security matters, did the abduction take place?

Of course, the abduction took place. We saw the parents of the abducted girls and they came to Abuja and cried out. We saw them expressing their anguish and the media was awash with their anguish. But the handling of Chibok girls was enmeshed with total lack of commitment and we saw what happened at the end of the day. The government never had the commitment to resolving the Chibok girls’ saga and you can always see that when there is no commitment, nothing is achieved.

Nigerians witnessed the saga of ferrying millions of dollars to South Africa and the accompanying seizure of same by the South African authorities. Do you think it was needful for the last government to have embarked on such an action? Was there any other way the country could have followed to get the arms it needed for the war against terror?

Unfortunately, it was something that brought embarrassing moments for Nigeria and South Africa. There are always the right way in doing things. All what was needed was for the right approach to be adopted. I do not know the workings and how we got entangled in that unfortunate situation.

Some military sources reveal that the need to get the arms on time made it impossible to follow the due process which would have taken a longer time and time was of the essence for the last administration to beat back the insurgents.

Invariably, at the end of the day, it was the same money that was used to get us the arms when the due process was followed. It is the same arms we got from Western countries and it was same arms that we used to deal with Boko Haram. It is neither here or there.

Despite the hues and cries against some perceived failings of the military command, the Jonathan administration refused to effect changes in the military top command, was that a wise decision?

Again, like I said before, it is all about political will and determination that is of the essence here. As I have said, the last regime did not display the political commitment and wisdom in dealing with the problem. That was the main issue. Once the commitment was not there, then any other failing takes place.

What about this theory that the last administration was being sabotaged for political end?

Again, it is the bane of the Nigeria’s political system. We still have not gotten it right after a leadership has emerged after an election. It is normal to hear all such of arguments. The opposition was so engaged that we forgot that Nigeria is our country. We have no other country than Nigeria, so we need to come together and fight for its unity and stability. No matter the billions that you have, you can only be a foreigner when you live in another country. No amount of money at your disposal will change the fact that you are a Nigerian living in a foreign land. Here in Nigeria, with my pension, I am a Nigerian and can go anywhere. If you place premium in the unity of this country, no force can defeat us.

How would you react to the occasional violence by insurgents in some parts of the North despite the intense efforts being play by the Buhari administration in defeating Boko Haram?

Let me start by saying that what you are seeing of Boko Haram now is efforts by drowning man to try to survive by all means. Members of Boko Haram are simply trying to show that they are surviving even when they are being defeated. What is happening largely is that they have been contained by the military. Right now, they do not hold many grounds again. Have you heard that they are holding unto a caliphate? No. Number two, what is remaining now is the pocket of them who are simply engaged in guerilla warfare. My take on the solution is for the government to galvanise the entire military command, with the assistance of the people, to tackle the problem once and for all. This group has a negative indoctrination and the government should look into it. That is why a woman with a little girl will strap a bomb and detonate it to kill several people. We must engage the media and religious leaders to give members of Boko Haram a new orientation and de-radicalise them towards attaining peace in Nigeria.

The activities of Boko Haram have portrayed Islam in bad light and we must note here that Islam does not allow you to kill yourself. It is abhorrent for Muslims to kill themselves and others. How they get this idea is the process of wrong indoctrination. If we must change them, then we need to give them a new orientation. We must work against dangerous indoctrination and get people who know the problem to be involved in taking initiatives against insurgency. If you look at the appointments of Service Chiefs, you will agree with me that the present administration is walking its promises to deliver this country from the claws of insurgents and other violent activities of dangerous elements. In Islam, if you kill someone, the verdict is straight: hell. So, the government should assist in de-radicalisaation of the insurgents. When growing up, we were taught as Muslims not to tell a lie. If you tell a lie, we were taught you will go to hell. As little as that, massive efforts must be deployed to de-radicalise and give new orientation to members of Boko Haram. Recently, I learned that some members of Boko Haram submitted themselves to the Borno State Government. If this campaign is sustained and carried to the grassroots, I can assure you that the war will change.

Recently there was a protest in the East over the transfer of Boko Haram suspects. Some people have alleged that these suspected insurgents could indoctrinate inmates. Do you see this transfer as a needful option in tackling the problem of insurgency in this country?

First of all, I was shocked as to how the information on the transfer was leaked. I am not in the complete know on how the entire process was handled. But let me state this: I suggested that a facility be built for members of Boko Haram in the North-east so that we take suspected members to that facility. The facility was also to assist in getting them to be de-radicalised and also get Muslim preachers to assist in giving the insurgents new orientations to their indoctrinations. All these funds that you have mobilize for the anti-terror war, if you take a little fraction of it and build a facility and get all the suspects into such facility, you will not have what we recently saw in the South-east where people poured into the streets to protest against the transfer of Boko Haram suspects in that part of the country. After getting a facility for the suspected insurgents, you can get Muslim preachers to de-radicalise the members for peace to return to the country.

This is not the first time that the Nigeria Prisons Service is moving prisoners from one part of the country to the other. How comes this prison transferof Boko Haram suspects to the South-east caused such an uproar?

Boko Haram is a serious problem. When you transfer suspected Boko Haram members from one area to the other, then that informs why we have these hues and cries. The solution to this problem can only to be realised when we get a virgin land and build a facility that will accommodate the suspected insurgents. Anything short of this will not solve the problem. For the sake of Nigeria, we should seek after efforts that are aimed at bringing peace to this country. I believe we have men and women of good will who are determined to ensure peace and prosperity of this country. If we all see our country as one and united one, we all can be happy and assist in the emergence of a new country of hope and abundant prosperity for all.

You earlier said that the Jonathan administration saw the Boko Haram as a Northern problem. Are you saying that the Boko Haram is not a Northern problem that requires the efforts of Northerners to tackle it?

Let me state here that Boko Haram is not a Northern problem. Anyone who says that Boko Haram is a Northern problem is missing out on the fact. Boko Haram is a national issue. To restrict the issue of Boko Haram to a regional problem will escalate the problem. I have earlier suggested that every part of this country has sincere intentions, and if we have such sincere intentions towards the development of this country, then, we can muster our way forward. The time has come for all of us to think as Nigerians and also unite for the common good.

Efforts are on currently to rebuild the North-east. What is your advice for the present administration?

Already I have been informed that the United States has promised over $2 billion to reconstruct the North-east. What we have now that is manifesting as Boko Haram is the head of the snake. The body has already been cut off and the government is sparing no efforts to ensure that the monster of insurgency is totally dealt a deadly blow so that we can have permanent peace. I also know that there were programmes earlier prepared by the last administration, I think the present government should build on it and ensure full implementation so that permanent peace can be realised for this country. On the part of the international community, I expect massive support in terms of funding and supporting the present government to reconstruct the zone devastated by activities of insurgencies.

The present administration of President Buhari has been inaugurated for about two months, and Nigerians have been told that appointment of ministers should wait until September. What do you make out of the decision to postpone the appointment of ministers to next month?

You should understand the present administration inherited a lot of things that were wrong. President Buhari has discovered that he needs time to clear some of the mess so that he can start on a clean slate. For the appointment of ministers, he has realised that he cannot just appoint ministers without conducting exhaustive security backgrounds on prospective ministerial nominees. That is why he has come out to inform the nation to tarry a while for the right people to be sought. In his own right, as a former Head of State, he knows the corridors of power properly and he does not want to be hurried into appointing ministers. I think we have spent so much on recurrent and we cannot continue like that. A minister has 20 aides and so much billions of Naira spent on maintaining them. It was a rudderless government that Buhari inherited and everybody was a government. He is taking his time to select and get a good team to deliver the goods. Nigerians should understand the task ahead and allow Buhari to properly form his cabinet. This government is less than two months, but it has saved over $5 billion. For your information, our Foreign Reserve rose by $2.8 billion, while the NLNG dividends was about $2 billion. If he had rushed into appointing new ministers, Nigerians may not have been availed of this. The truth of the matter is that even though Buhari left 30 years ago, he still has an in-depth knowledge of what is on the ground.

We have seen the National Assembly crisis and the leadership imbroglio that has thrown the APC into bitter war of attrition. What should be done to resolve the impasse?

As Buhari said, “I belong to all and I belong to no one.” What is needed is for members of the National Assembly and the APC to come together and resolve the problem. For now, the APC is not an amalgam of unified political force. Members of the National Assembly should be selfless and take into consideration the interest of Nigerians. Our politicians should avoid jumping from one party to the other. You cannot take everything and dictate everything. I think that is the problem.

The Amnesty International recently accused Nigeria military of human rights violations. Do you think that the military that you were part of could be guilty as alleged by Amnesty?

The military I am a part of is not a part of this military that flees from the presence of Boko Haram. The military that we had then was a strong, united and committed to its core mandate of defending the territorial integrity of our country. A colonel, a young officer that was my boy, was almost nearing Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, to capture Paul Biya before General Sani Abacha ordered him to return to base over the killing of a Nigerian soldier. You may also recall that when Chadian took over some villages in the North-east in the early 1980s, Buhari chased the invading armies into their country until former President Shehu Shagari ordered the Nigerian troops to return. In the military I serve, integrity was not compromised. Equipment and all that was needed for the Army to function was not lacking. But I do not know if the then military is still the present military. We have heard of stories of military men fleeing from insurgents. Corruption has pervaded every sector of our national life. So, let’s hope that the current Army headed by good leadership and the political will of the government will live up to its professional calling. Indeed, they need our support and we as Nigerians owe it to them to be supportive of all efforts to assist them secure our land. I have the hope that with our collective support and cooperation, we all can bring peace and development to our country and heal the wounds of violence brought by Boko Haram and other violent groups in our nation.

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57 Bullets Were Shot At Me, But None Penetrated, Former Civil Defence Boss Ade Abolurin Reveals

Immediate past Commandant General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Dr. Ade Abolurin, yesterday disclosed how 57 bullets were shot at him in his 10-year sojourn as head of the agency but known was able to penetrate his body.

He also disclosed that 20 petitions were written against him during his stay in office.

Abolurin said he faced several attacks in his determined resolve to serve God and humanity in the public service.

The former NSCDC boss was speaking at an interdenominational thanksgiving service organised for him at the National Ecumenical Centre, Abuja.

He said on one occasion, over 1,000 unused bullets were recovered from some attackers sent to kill him when he travelled to Plateau State on official duty.

Abolurin, who began his remarks with a song that Jesus will soon come back to judge the living and the dead, told the congregation that many people have said many things about what he had done but they did not talk about the efficacy of prayers in his life.

He specifically thanked God for shielding him from hired assassins, who he said, threw two grenades at his car in Plateau State, adding that God showed His enormous powers when the bullets shot at him refused to penetrate his body.

Abolurin, however, lamented that the incident led to the death of his driver.

He also gave testimony of how God saved him from a Bellview plane crash when the pilot announced that he had lost control, saying the prayers of the faithful kept him.

While acknowledging the number of Muslim faithful present at the event, Abolurin emphasised the need for more peaceful coexistence among believers of all faith.

In his remarks, Deputy Secretary, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Mr. Jayeola Daramola, who presented a bible gift on behalf of the association, described Abolurin as a dependable Christian, who he said served the nation honestly in his capacity as head of NSCDC.


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Don’t Depend On Other Nations For Defence Needs – Full text Of Alex Badeh’s Valedictory Speech

needed weapons are very instructive. Again, as I have always said, when a nation is at war, it is not the military alone that is at war, it is the entire nation. Accordingly, every segment of society must see itself contributing to the overall war effort, by presenting a united front against a common enemy.

Therefore, I appeal to the relevant agencies of government to mobilise the huge human and material resources we have in this country towards the development of a vibrant Defence Industrial Complex that would contribute to meeting our critical arms and equipment needs. This is crucial if we must reduce our total dependence on foreign sources of supply for critically needed arms.

That is the only way we can retain our dignity as a nation in order to have freedom of action in international affairs.
Permit me to also add here, that nation’s militaries are equipped and trained in peace time, for the conflicts they expect to confront in the future. Unfortunately that has not been our experience as a nation. Over the years, the military was neglected and underequipped to ensure the survival of certain regimes, while other regimes, based on advice from some foreign nations, deliberately reduced the size of the military and underfunded it. Unfortunately, our past leaders accepted such recommendations without appreciating our peculiarities as a third world military, which does not have the technological advantage that could serve as force multipliers and compensate for reduced strength. Accordingly when faced with the crises in the North East and other parts of the country, the military was overstretched and had to embark on emergency recruitments and trainings, which were not adequate to prepare troops for the kind of situation we found ourselves in.

It is important therefore for the government to decide on the kind of military force it needs, by carrying out a comprehensive review of the nation’s military force structure to determine the size, capability and equipment holding required to effectively defend the nation and provide needed security. This is based on the fact that without security, there cannot be sustainable development. The huge cost that would be required to rebuild the North East and other trouble spots in the country could have been avoided if the military had been adequately equipped and prepared to contain the on going insurgency before it escalated to where it is today.

As I conclude, I want to leave the current leadership and the entire members of the Armed Forces of Nigeria with my very best wishes. Thank you all and God bless.

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More Trouble For Dasuki Over Hijack Of Defence Budget

Former national security adviser (NSA), Col Sambo Dasuki (retd.) might be in soup for allegedly hijacking the budget implementation of the military and paramilitary agencies in the country under the watch of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) at the weekend invaded the personal residence of Dasuki, impounded all the cars they met in his premises, and went away with what were described as “sensitive and incriminating materials including some arms and ammunition.”

If the information at our disposal is anything to go by, Dasuki may be arraigned this week on various grave allegations bordering on alleged intent to commit treasonable felony, arms running and money laundering, among others.

“It is true Dasuki may be arranged this week but I reliably gathered that he two is making a fast move to pre-empt that plan by challenging the invasion of his residence by the DSS operatives at the weekend.

“But barring all unforeseen circumstances, Dasuki would be arraigned on allegations bordering on intent to commit treasonable felony, money laundering running to several billions of Naira, gun running and other sundry issues,” said a security source.

A top civil servant in the Defence Ministry, who does not want his name in print, disclosed to one of our correspondents how Dasuki hijacked the budget implementation of the three forces that make up the military, along with those of the para-military agencies and all the security agencies in the country

According to him, it was not only the civil servants in the ministry that were not happy with him; even the top echelons of the military and the agencies who used to buy their arms and ammunition through the Defence Ministry but he came and stopped the practice.

“Dasuki was and remains the most powerful and influential NSA since that office was created. There is no way Dasuki would not be found alone in the purchase of arms for the military, including the controversial purchase of arms in the black market in faraway South Africa under Jonathan,” a security officer disclosed.

“Let me tell you, Dasuki was responsible for the purchase of every arms bought for the military in the ongoing war against terrorism. And not only that; he had what he called ‘soft approach’ where he was recruiting some Islamic clerics to reverse the indoctrination of terrorists arrested – all were under his command and even that ran into several billion of Naira.”

According to him, the leadership of the paramilitary agencies like Customs and Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), and those of the service chiefs, would be willing to disclose how their funds passed through Dasuki’s desk.

“I remember the Cold War between him and the then Defence Minister, General Aliyu Gusau, over the matter. If he had known, Dasuki should have let go of the purchase of arms,” the source said.


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Busted! Financial Treason Committed By The Chief Of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh!

Following the inauguration of his Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigerians expected a significant decrease in violence and increase in security.

Unfortunately, that has not been the case. This is because the real Boko Haram command and control structure is being systematically dismantled by his Excellency, PMB. The military Boko Haram generals and their disgruntled DSS traitors are putting up a fight, and here is one of the reasons why, it is to do with financial treason.

The multi-billion mega estate shown in the picture below is not being built by Julius Berger or Dangote Group for that matter. CUPS is very reliably informed that it is actually being built by none other than the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, with Nigeria’s blood money, meant for fighting the Boko Haram insurgency.

Nigerians should now understand why the war against Boko Haram is not making tangible progress, and why there is sudden increase in bomb attacks in the North.CJYjzigWgAArTEF

Treasonous Badeh and his fellow conspirators have been doing everything in their powers for the insurgency to continue, so that more billions of blood money come their way to fund these kind of projects.
For the avoidance of doubt, this new mega estate is currently being built at Cambial road, off Kuje main road, opposite customs staff quarters, Abuja. We are reliably informed that the Chief of Defence Staff regularly visits the estate to inspect work progress, but always does so at nights, so as to avoid detection by the public.

CUPS is aware that grandeur theft of this scale under international law is deemed as war crime and crime against humanity. It may be the case that this mega estate is just a tip of the ice-berg from what this treasonous general has unlawfully amassed. According to our lawyers, the general has a lot to answer for.

On our part, the war to save Nigeria from corruption, tyranny, genocide and occupation continues unabated. We at CUPS promise fellow Nigerians that we will not falter. We will remain resolutely fearless and incorruptible. We will continue to expose tyranny, corruption, and all forms of criminality regardless of who the perpetrators are, and what positions they hold in society, until our people are completely free from bondage.

May God save Nigeria and Nigerians. Amen.

Dr. Idris Ahmed.

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