How Judge Begged DSS Boss After Being Confronted With Evidence Of N500million Bribe

…Bank officials under probe

More revelations have continued to emerged following the arrest of some Federal Judges over the weekend.

One of the arrested Judge is said to have begged the the Director General of the Department of State Security Service (DSS), after he was confronted with evidence that he received a bribe of over N500million in the course of dispensing justice.

According to  DSS source, the judge refused to unlock the safe in his house for DSS operatives to have access to its contents.

The source who said “Corruption in the Judiciary was based on intelligence gathering and alerts from informants and petitions,  adding that investigations into some of the Judges started since 2015.

“For instance, we started probing one of the seven judges in detention since the Ramadan period of 2015. When we got sufficient intelligence on him, bordering on over N500million bribe, we invited him.

“The judge was given a copy of our report on him. By the time he read it halfway, he prostrated, held the legs of the security chief and begged for forgiveness. We captured the way he was reeling on the floor.

“We later sent a security brief on him to the National Judicial Council (NJC) with enough evidence. But he was cleared by the NJC as having committed no wrong. Since the NJC could not do the needful, we have decided to subject him to a judicial process.

“We also have a case of one of the judges who refused to unlock a safe in his house when our operatives went to his house. We may actually secure the leave of the court to relocate the safe to Abuja.

“Another detained judge got a contract from Bauchi State Government and obtained a loan from a bank. But when he defaulted in paying back the facility, the bank filed an action against him before the Federal High Court in Bauchi. What is the business of a judge with contract?”

Another source gave insights into the ongoing operation against 15 judges by the Service.

“We are digging more and getting fresh revelations from these judges. For instance, a Federal High Court judge in detention actually spread the N54million and $171,779 recovered from his residence in different rooms. He kept them in different parts of the rooms like a thief.”

Apparently referring to the criticisms against the sting operations, the source said:

“Some individuals have been bigger than Nigeria. If you are looking for one or two, go to the Judiciary.

The DSS mandate is to look into anything that is detrimental to Nigeria’s national security interest and to prevent it.

“There is no immunity conferred on judges, we are only duty bound to protect the court because it is a sacred place, a temple of justice. Once you have issues, you go to court but immediately a judge is outside the court, he or she is like you and me.

“There is nothing unusual about the arrest of judges other than it has not been the practice. But it is normal. Once a petition is lodged, it is normal that you just have to look into it as a security agency.”

There were indications yesterday that the DSS had started grilling some bank chiefs and directors on allegations of money laundering and involvement in huge bribery scandals.

The source said: “We have started looking into allegations against some banks; we have torn all banks apart. Some bank chiefs have been coming to the DSS office in Abuja for clarifications on some transactions we are investigating.

“Every week, not less than three bank officials come here. We will let you know the outcome soon.”

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Falae Tenders Evidence To EFCC Linking Jonathan To N100m Election Fund Scam

A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae, has submitted to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission an email correspondence between him and a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party’s Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih.

Falae tendered the email as an evidence in the probe linking him to N100m election funds

It was learnt that Anenih, in the email, mentioned that he was acting on the instruction of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

A source at the EFCC told our correspondent that in the email dated March 2015, Anenih, who played a supervisory role in the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, informed Falae that N100m had been approved by Jonathan and would be handed over to him (Falae).

A source at the EFCC said, “In the email, Anenih told Chief Falae, who is the Chairman of the SDP that N100m had been approved by President Jonathan as part of the agreement between the PDP and the SDP ahead of the presidential election.

“He further urged Falae to provide an account which the money would be paid into.”

The N100m, which was given to Falae by Anenih, was said to have emanated from the imprest account of the Office of the National Security Adviser in the Central Bank of Nigeria.

It was eventually paid into the account of Marreco Limited, where Falae is chairman. The fund was credited into the company’s United Bank for Africa Plc account, 1000627022, on March 25, 2015.

When contacted on the telephone, a spokesman for Falae, Mr. Alfa Mohammed, confirmed that 78-year-old Falae had submitted all correspondence between Falae and the PDP.

He said, “We had a letter of agreement between the PDP and the SDP regarding cooperation between the two parties for the election. There was an email from Anenih stating that Mr. President (Jonathan) told him to transfer the money to that effect.

“We have submitted everything to the EFCC, but the EFCC has not deemed it fit to invite Anenih which shows that it is people within the All Progressives Congress that are just trying to rubbish the image of Chief Falae, who has served meritoriously as a permanent secretary, a SGF and a finance minister.”

Mohammed said the PDP still owed the SDP about N70m and it was unrealistic of the EFCC to ask Falae to return the N100m.

He said Falae could not have known that the money emanated from the ONSA and thus could not be held liable.

The commission had finalised plans to charge the ex-SGF with conspiracy to indirectly retain the sum of N100m which he ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an “unlawful act to wit: stealing.”

The EFCC had alleged in March that about N3.145bn was mysteriously transferred from the account of the ONSA to the account of Joint Trust Dimensions Limited, a company allegedly owned by the Director of Finance of the Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Senator Nenadi Usman.

Usman was said to have transferred N840m to the account of the Director of Publicity of the organisation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, in Maitama branch of the Zenith Bank with number, 1004735721, on February 19, 2015, while she allegedly gave Falae N100m on the instruction of Anenih.

A former Governor of Imo State, Achike Udenwa, and a former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Viola Onwuliri, according to some documents, got N350m in two tranches. The first tranche of N150m was paid into their joint account with Zenith bank on January 13, 2015. The second tranche of N200m was credited into their account with Diamond bank.

Usman and Fani-Kayode had been arraigned before the Federal High Court in Lagos and their accounts frozen while Udenwa and Falae are expected to be arraigned soon.

Attempts to reach the Media Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. Ikechukwu Eze, were not successful as repeated calls to his mobile phones did not connect.

Similarly, a text message sent to his phones had yet to be delivered as of press time.

All attempts to speak with Anenih’s spokesman, Mr. Ojeifo Sufuyan, also proved abortive as his line did not connect, while a text message sent to his telephone had yet to be responded to as of 7pm on Sunday.

However, in a letter he had personally written to the EFCC in January, Anenih admitted that he received N260m for Jonathan’s election campaign out of which he gave Falae N100m.

He, however, maintained that the ex-President still owed him N180m.

Anenih had said, “I was not in a position to ask the former President how he was going to source the fund. I was not a direct beneficiary of the sum of N260m that was a part refund of the money I spent on the president’s instructions.

“A sum of N63 million was disbursed to a northern group, led by elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, for mobilisation and post-election peace advocacy in that part of the country.

“N100m was given to the National Chairman of the SDP, Chief Olu Falae, to enable the party to mobilise support and votes for the PDP presidential candidate since the SDP did not have a candidate for the election.”

Credit: Punch

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CCT: Witness Fails To Provide Evidence Against Saraki

The prosecution witness and an investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Michael Wetkas in the ongoing trial of the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki stunned everyone at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) yesterday when he said part of the evidence against the Senate President had been destroyed in a fire incident.

The witness also admitted before the tribunal that Senator Bukola was not investigated on assets declaration before bringing him on trial.

The witness told the tribunal chairman, Mr. Danladi Umar that Saraki was only investigated through his bank accounts on money laundering.

Wetkas, who was cross-examined by Saraki’s counsel, Paul Usoro, SAN, also told the tribunal that though, Saraki was charged with foreign accounts operation, the EFCC never had the opening package and financial statement of the alleged foreign account.

During the trial yesterday, the witness also said though he led the team that investigated Saraki, he never met Saraki for interrogation or obtaining statement from him.

Specifically, Wetkas was cross examined based on count 11 of the charge which bothered on foreign accounts operation when Saraki was the governor of Kwara State.

He admitted the count did not bother on assets declaration, but money laundering.

Answering questions on the alleged transfer of funds into foreign accounts by Saraki, the witness said that some documents and telex relating to the transfer of funds from Saraki’s GTB account to foreign banks had been burnt.

He further told the tribunal that the bank sworn to an affidavit and obtained a police statement in respect that there was an inferno and part of the documents burnt were Saraki’s relating to the foreign transfer.

He further told the tribunal that the bank told him there was a fire, but quickly recounted that he would not want to commit himself as to whether there was a fire or otherwise.

He, however, said he believed that there was fire incident and the burnt documents formed part of the documents which the bank sworn an affidavit to.

When Wetkas was asked to show the tribunal a copy of the affidavit, he said he could not find it.

When asked which bank issued the foreign account to the defendant, he responded that it was American Express Bank, New York and that it was an existing bank.

He, however, admitted that he did not find out the country of incorporation but he knew that the bank existed through open source information.

Cross-examined further, the witness admitted that the name of the beneficiary bank in the document he submitted to the tribunal upon his investigation was different from the bank he mentioned under cross examination.

The document submitted to the tribunal had indicated Standard Chatered Bank, New York as the beneficiary and not American Express Bank, New York as earlier testified.

He informed the tribunal that the two banks were agents, but when asked to show from the face of the document where it was written that the banks were agents, the witness said he could not find such.

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Arms Deal Scam: Jonathan Can Be Prosecuted If There Is Evidence – Presidential Committee

The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay, has faulted a former Minister of National Planning, Dr. Abubakar Suleiman, regarding the culpability of former President Goodluck Jonathan in the current anti-corruption cases.

Suleiman, who is the spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party Ministers’ Forum, had said in an interview with Punch on Suday that Jonathan could not be held liable because no stolen funds had been traced to the ex-president’s personal bank accounts.

The ex-minister had said, “All these issues of corruption under Jonathan happened between March and April last year. It was purely an election issue. Nobody has traced any money to Jonathan’s account up till now, but money was traced to Abacha’s accounts.”

However, Sagay told one of our correspondents during an interview on Sunday that although he could not say if there was a case against Jonathan or not yet, the ex-President could be held liable if it could be established that Jonathan made illegal approvals for funds to be paid into other people’s accounts.

He said if, for instance, it could be established that Jonathan gave the Central Bank of Nigeria a directive to pay someone money and the person was not deserving of that money, then the ex-President could be indicted.

Sagay, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, added, “Only the EFCC can say if Jonathan is culpable. Guilt in criminal law requires proof and there must be evidence. So, what I would say is that if a case can be established against Jonathan as regards public funds, then he has a case to answer.

“I don’t know if that has been done. I have not seen anybody who says he was given the money by Jonathan himself although one can say that instructions to any institution that public funds should be released to other people for purposes, which those funds were not designated, is in itself a criminal affair.

“So, it is not only when money is found on you that you have a case to answer. If you are a person in authority, and you issue directives to people under you, who are keeping public funds like the Governor of the Central Bank, and an illegal order is given to him for the release of funds, that, in itself, will raise a case for Jonathan to answer if in fact he issued such an order.”

Another SAN, Mr. Yusuf Ali, said it was too early to exonerate anyone as investigations into corruption that took place under the previous administration were still ongoing.

Ali stated, “The whole process is ongoing. Investigations are still ongoing. Until somebody is convicted, nothing bad can be said about such person. I believe when we get to the bridge, we shall cross it.

“There is no point for anybody to be excited or be happy for now until the whole story is in the open. Investigations are ongoing.”

On his part, a Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Jiti Ogunye, described Suleiman’s statement as provocative and highly irresponsible.

Ogunye said the fact that a number of persons, who served under the Jonathan administration, were facing criminal trial was enough grounds to charge the former President with conspiracy.

According to Ogunye, Jonathan, as the head of the executive arm, had liability for everything done by his subordinates because the buck stopped at his table.

Ogunye said, “That statement by him is provocative and highly irresponsible. And the reason I say that is that former President Goodluck Jonathan was the head of the executive arm of government at the time he presided over the affairs of the country.

“All the officials that are being held to account and during whose trials, as we speak, Nigerians are now learning about the mind-boggling  stealing or looting of public treasury, were answerable to him; they were running his errands and therefore Nigerians expect that being the person on whose table the buck stopped as of the time he was the President, that he would be able to superintend them and ensure that those his subordinates didn’t loot the nation’s treasury.

“It’s too early in the day for any Suleiman or anybody to give the former President or any other member of that administration a clean bill of health. When you are talking about no money has been traced to former President Goodluck Jonathan, what does it mean?

“On his instruction and while he was running for office, people turned our national security vote into a bazaar and they were giving this money out to his allies and acolytes. So, whose errand were those people running when they were distributing the money? Who wanted to become the President then? And based on those revelations alone, he is culpable, contrary to the claims of Suleiman that nothing has been traced to him.

“Can’t the former President be charged with conspiracy? He can, on the basis of those revelations because for what purpose was the money given to those people? On the strength of that alone, a charge of conspiracy can be sustained against the former President.

“For anybody to be annoying Nigerians with such a statement that nothing has been traced to the former President, one wonders what he was thinking. This is not theatrics, we are talking about things that have wrecked this country and then people are engaging in ludicrous polemics.”

Source: Punch

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I stand By Ranking Of Kings, Alake Replies Awujale… Produces Documentary Evidence

The royal diatribe between the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo and the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, worsened yesterday with the Alake insisting that the Awujale remained the last in the echelon of major Yoruba traditional rulers.

Alake said his earlier listing of the Awujale as occupying the last position after the quartet of the Ooni of Ife, Alaafin of Oyo, Oba of Benin and Alake of Egbaland “was supported by documentary evidence and I therefore stand by my position”.

Oba Adetona, at an event in Lagos last Thursday, claimed among other things that the Alake was a junior chief in Egba forest under the Alaafin and that Alake is also of the same status with some Ijebu obas such as the Ebumawe of Ago -Iwoye who are under his (Adetona’s) jurisdiction.

But yesterday, Oba Gbadebo, who spoke through 22 Egba chiefs, including 15 Ogboni chiefs who gathered in Ake Palace, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, to reply Adetona, said the ranking of the Yoruba traditional rulers was carried out in 1937 by the then Ooni of Ife.

Reading a prepared speech signed by the Balogun of Egbaland, Chief Sikirulai Atobatele at a briefing, the Baaroyin of Egbaland, Chief Layi Labode, said the ranking took place at the Central Native Council meeting in Lagos and was chaired by the Governor – General, Sir William Macgregor.

Labode added that those in attendance at the said 1937 meeting in the Government House, Lagos, were the Ooni of Ife, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba of Benin, Alake of Abeokuta and the Awujale of Ijebu – Ode.

He said their concern about Awujale’s comment is predicated on the monarch’s “self – indulgence to churn out outright historical falsehoods in the presence of knowledgeable Nigerians”.

Labode said “historically speaking, Alake was higher by salary differentials paid by the Colonial Government” at the time.

According to him, the Alake of Abeokuta earned £2,250 while the Awujale of Ijebu – Ode earned £1,700 during the colonial era.

“Awujale (claimed he) made several calls to Alake to confirm if Alake actually made the statement on Yoruba Obas ranking. Awujale also claimed that Oba Rilwan Akiolu, the Oba of Lagos, also contacted Alake on the same issue which Alake again denied.

“(The fact) both Awujale and Oba of Lagos actually called Alake on the ranking of Yoruba Obas, Alake responded that his ranking was supported by documentary evidence and he therefore stands by his position,” Labode said.

The Baaroyin of Egbaland and Media aide of the Alake also refuted claims by Oba Adetona that the Alake was a junior chief in Egba forest under Alaafin where he (Alake) fled to Ibadan and later to Abeokuta and met the Osile, Olowu, Agura and Olubara on ground.

Labode said, on the contrary, 20 Alakes had reigned in Egba forest prior to the founding of Abeokuta, explaining that that there was also no Alake who fled to Ibadan or took refuge there.

According to him, the Egba arrived and settled in Abeokuta in 1830 with the first Alake installed in 1854 followed by the Olowu in 1855, the Agura in 1870 and Osile in 1897.

He stressed that by the Egba United Government Proclamation of February 1, 1898, and approved by the then Governor of Lagos, the Egba cabinet had Alake as President, Osile Minister of Justice, Agura Minister of Communications and Works and the Olowu, the Minister of Finance.

He also noted that some of the comments on Alake by Oba Adetona were “uncalled for and neither civil nor decent,” but said the Egba chiefs would not “defile the sacred Yoruba traditional institution and therefore, refrain from trading insult with a highly regarded monarch of his (Awujale’s) status”.

Also present were Bameto of Egbaland, Chief George Taylor, Balogun of Ilaho, Chief Adebayo Soyoye, and the Ilagbe of Egbaland, Chief Akin Akinwale.

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Video Evidence Shows The “Go And Die” Statement Credited To El-rufai Was Fabricated

Malam Nasir El-Rufai has watched with consternation the misrepresentation of the comments he made during the question and answer segment of the Kaduna State Government Town Hall meeting of Saturday, 17 October 2015.

These monthly meetings reflect Malam El-Rufai’s strong belief in engagement with the public; to report on the government’s activities and plans and obtain feedback, criticisms and comment.

As the video clip clearly shows, El-Rufai did not ask any one to die. Not over appointments or anything. He was emphatic about need for frank talk, explaining that:

READ: Beyond The “Go And Die” Rhetoric Attributed To Governor Nasir El-Rufai, By Na-Allah Mohammed Zaga

“All of us in the Kaduna State Government have sworn with the Quran; Christians with the Holy Bible to do justice and we will do justice.

“We better stand and tell ourselves the truth. Everyone knows the truth. No matter the noise, the truth is one. And as I stand here, no matter who you are, I will face you and tell you the truth. If you don’t want to hear the truth, you can climb Kufena Hills and fall.”

Only one newspaper, the Sunday Vanguard, inserted the word “die” into what was an avalanche of fabrication dressed as a direct quote. Malam El-Rufai addressed the audience largely in Hausa, but translation into English cannot be a cover for fabrication.

We have therefore written to Vanguard to seek a retraction and suitable apology. Their reporter was not even at the event, although he has been fervent in trying to use his “stories” as a vehicle for his ethnic and religious prejudices, in a state like Kaduna that has suffered terribly from incitement and reckless passions.

Everyone knows that Malam El-Rufai is frank and forthright in his views. But even a man of strong opinions deserves accurate reportage.

Signed

Samuel Aruwan
Special Assistant, Media and Publicity
19 October 2015

Click to watch the video: 

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Shocking Video Evidence Of Boko Haram Water Poisoning Plan in North East

Information reaching the Theatre Command, OPERATION LAFIYA DOLE indicates that Boko Haram terrorists have now resorted to poisoning water sources like wells and streams in areas they were dislodged by gallant troops or areas threatened by offensive operations.

The latest being the poisoning of the cattle water ponds in KANGALLAM village along MARTE and ABADAM axis in Borno State where a large number of cattle died after drinking water from the ponds. Credible information available to the Theatre Command indicates that though no human life was lost as a result of the barbaric act of the terrorists, however, some cattle were killed after drinking water from some poisoned sources.

The action of the terrorists is no doubt aimed at taking their own pound of flesh on the innocent citizens and livestock as a result of the unbearable offensive operations through the combined effort of the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Air Force to route them out completely from their enclaves and hide-outs all over the North East.

In view of this development citizens are called upon to avoid as much as possible drinking water from unverified sources especially in locations that troops routed out Boko Haram terrorists.

You are please requested to disseminate this information to the public through your medium.

Thank you for your usual cooperation.

Colonel TUKUR GUSAU
Deputy Director Army Public Relations
PRNigeria

 

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Despite Video Evidence, Saraki Denies Ilorin Attack, But Kwara State Govt Said Politicians Sponsored It

Despite the video evidence which showed Muslim faithfuls at the Ilorin Eid prayer ground was booing and calling him a thief, Senate President Bukola Saraki, has denied being attacked.

This is even as the Kwara State government is blaming politicians in the state for sponsoring the attack.

A statement from the media office of the senate president reads: “The attention of the Media Office of the Senate President has been drawn to media reports that the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, was allegedly attacked at the Eid Prayer Ground during the prayers to mark the Eid-el-Kabir in Ilorin.

“The Senate President arrived at the venue this morning without any incident, prayed with other Muslim faithful, including the Emir of Ilorin, His Royal Highness (HRH), Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari, Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Ali Ahmad and a former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Alfa Belgore, among others.

“Before the Senate President left the prayer ground, he spoke to reporters who had asked him about his message for Nigerians to mark the Eid-el-Kabir.

“We want to say that nothing can be further from the truth as the Senate President was never attacked nor was there any attempt made on his life to warrant him being ‘whisked away’ as reported by a section of the media.

“We however observe that there was a protest allegedly staged by local government employees over purported non-payment of salaries which hoodlums attempted to hijacked but this development was immediately curtailed by security agents.

“Therefore, to say that the Senate President was attacked at the venue of the prayers is totally false and a figment of the imagination of those behind the story because the protest was never targeted at him, neither was any missile hurled at him.

“The Kwara State Government has since issued a statement in which it stated that majority of the workers in the state have received their salaries and that those yet to receive theirs will do so on Monday as Thursday and Friday of this week are public holidays.”

Meanwhile, a statement issued by the chief press secretary to the governor, Abdulwahaab Oba, acknowledged the event and accused aggrieved politicians of colluding with some local government council employees to embarrass dignitaries in the state under the pretest of protesting salary arrears at the local government level. They said it became aware of this plan about four weeks ago but continued to seek ways of resolving the salary crises at the local government level.

The government condemned the attack on dignitaries at the Ilorin Eid praying ground during Thursday’s Eid -el -Kabir celebrations, saying it was absurd, barbaric and unIslamic.

According to the statement, government went out of its way to negotiate and secure bank loans to offset the arrears pending the time when the federal government bailout will be released as a result of which the concerned workers promptly received their salaries as directed by the state governor”.

Government, therefore, is puzzled by the attack since the majority of state and local government workers, including primary school teachers, have received their salaries.

The state Government said those that are yet to receive their salaries will do so by next Monday as Thursday and Friday are public holidays.

The statement urged politicians not to turn the state of harmony into another theatre of violence, urging the police to bring to justice without delay those already apprehended while imploring the people to mark the Eid El Kabir holidays peacefully and with prayers for the quick resolution of the challenges facing the national economy.
READ: Another Video Of Muslim Faithfuls Chanting Saraki At The Ilorin Prayer Ground Surfaces [Watch]

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#DeltaTribunal: Lack of Proper Certification of Election Results by INEC Threatens to Render Evidence Inadmissible

The Delta State election tribunal proceeded with a hearing on Friday, 28th August. The counsel to the petitioner (Emerhor/APC), Chief Okpoko (SAN), drew the attention of the tribunal to the failure of INEC to properly certify results from polling units in 24 LGAs. He noted that certification is to be done by an authorized scripted signature rather than an unscripted signature, and further stated that INEC, being an electoral body, should be an unbiased umpire instead of playing to the gallery.

This was in response to the attempts made by counsels to the first to fifth respondents – Okowa, PDP and INEC – to have the results, despite improper certification, admitted as evidence. Counsel to the petitioner further stated that certification is important as stated in the 2010 electoral act, and improper certification is reason enough to render the results being considered inadmissible as evidence.

He described the plea to have the improperly-certified results admitted as evidence as “a Trojan horse”, as doing so would serve no purpose. Chief JT Okpoko then pleaded with the tribunal to give room for proper certification, saying that “justice calls for patience and proper consideration”. He also berated the second respondent (counsel to the PDP) for his poor choice of words after the latter made uncharitable statements in court.

The tribunal overruled the respondents and granted the petitioner’s plea by providing time for proper certification before the next hearing. The hearing was then adjourned until Friday, 4th of September, 2015.

It should be noted that the stipulated period of time for the tribunal is 180 days; 118 days have since gone by and this brings the remaining time left to 62 days. Also, it had previously been proven that the total number of voters who were duly accredited by INEC on the day of the guber poll was 715,393, while Okowa/PDP supposedly polled 724,680 votes.

The logical conclusion for the tribunal would be to have a re-election; as we wait, so do the people of Delta State. Will the Judiciary align with the people, and if this is the verdict issued, will change have its day?

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Delta Tribunal: Falsified Results from Ndokwa East LGA Admitted as Evidence

Following the commencement of trial on Tuesday, 25th August, 2015, the Delta State Gubernatorial Election tribunal sitting in Asaba, proceeded with witnesses’ accounts after the Tuesday adjournment. It should be recalled that during the Tuesday hearing, the testimony given by the Assistant Director of the ICT department, INEC, showed discrepancies in the accreditation records and the number of votes supposedly cast during the gubernatorial poll in the state.

On Wednesday, a clergyman and APC collating agent for Ndokwa East Local Government Area of the state, gave a testimony in which he identified results that were signed, altered and not signed as applicable to him and his duties during the election as a party agent. In the course of his testimony, he stated that most results from the local government (Ndokwa East) were falsified, and this informed his refusal to sign the result sheets.

The witness maintained this testimony, even while under a barrage of questions from the respondents’ counsels. The documents which were presented to the tribunal by the All Progressives Congress and its gubernatorial candidate, O’tega Emerhor, are the Polling unit by polling unit results of NDOKWA EAST LGA labelled: P5, P5a, P5b, P5c, P5d and P6, P6a, P6b, P6c, P6d respectively.

Counsels to the respondents initially claimed that they had not been served these documents in the petition, but Chief Okpoko (SAN), counsel to the petitioner (Emerhor/APC), was able to prove that the documents had been duly attached. At the end of the tribunal proceeding, T Kehinde (SAN) – counsel to Okowa/PDP – admitted that they were actually served with the original court papers and apologized.

The hearing was subsequently adjourned until 2 p.m. on Thursday, 27th August.

O’tega Emerhor is challenging the declaration of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of the Peoples Democratic Party by the Independent National Electoral Commission as the winner of the April 11, 2015 election in the state.

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Conversion Of Loans To FG Bonds Another Evidence Of Failure Of Governance In Akwa Ibom State – COHRD

On Tuesday 18th August, 2015 a letter of request with reference number GHU/AKS/S/104/VOL. V/650 submitted by Mr. Udom Emmanuel was read on the floor of the  Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly during the plenary session of the House seeking legislative approval to convert debts owed and obtained from commercial banks in the country by the immediate past administration of his political godfather and benefactor, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, to Federal Government Bond.

The Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (COHRD) views this development as another incontrovertible evidence of the gross failure of governance in Akwa Ibom State and the shameful, scandalous and criminal waste of public funds by the erstwhile administration of Sen. Godswill Obot Akpabio. For us, this is a tacit admission by Mr. Udom Emmanuel that indeed the state is in a state of financial crisis and comatose.

The proposal which seeks to convert and restructure the bad loans to bond with the assistance of the Debt Management Office (DMO) will have a tenor of between 15 – 20 years. The implication is that for the period, the state will have the responsibility of servicing the bond which will be a huge burden on the next generation.

Mr. Emmanuel in the letter explained that the arrangement centered on restructuring of State Commercial Bank Loans into Federal Government Bond as a measure to restore fiscal stability to the state. He further hinted that the National Economic Council meeting held on June this year with the title “Options for liquidating unpaid salaries by State government”, makes it possible for the state to take advantage of the initiative in partnership with the Debt Management Office (DMO) and the Federal Ministry of Finance.

Regrettably, Mr. Udom Emmanuel did not state in his letter the exact amount of money owed commercial banks in the country by the state government. This we believe is wilful and deliberate. It is a continuation of the culture of running government like a secret cult/criminal enterprise without any modicum of regard to the dictates of transparency, accountability and good governance.

However, it is common knowledge that Mr. Akpabio had obtained huge loans from banks to service his insatiable escapades and primitive ostentation and profligate lifestyle at the peril of the state. It is on record that recently, Diamond Bank Plc, one of the banks that the state is indebted to, published a bad loan of N5.8 billion obtained by Mr. Akpabio.

COHRD urges the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to consider requests by state governments to convert their loans to Federal Government Bonds on individual merit due regards being paid to whether such loans were properly utilised by the affected states in consonance with the accountability mantra of the government. It is on record that Akwa Ibom State ranks above other states in the federation in federal allocations for several years now.

Unfortunately, COHRD has noted with concern the apparent failure by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to duly investigate plethora of factual petitions detailing serial embezzlement of state funds by the erstwhile administration of Godswill Akpabio. COHRD is of the strong view that the Ibrahim Lamorde-led EFCC may have been terribly compromised by the apostle of “what money cannot do, more money can do” – Mr. Akpabio.

We appeal to President Buhari to urgently come to the aid of Akwa Ibom State by including the state in its asset recovery and anti – corruption drive for the sake of justice and in the interest of future generations of the state.

Signed:

Inibehe Effiong,
Convener, Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (COHRD).

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EFCC Will Not Go After Tinubu, Amaechi Without Tangible Evidence – APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) said yesterday that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission would not act against leaders of the ruling party except it has solid evidence.

The party was responding to calls by PDP for the probe of the ruling party’s national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, director-general of the Buhari campaign organisation, former Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi, and others alleged to have funded President Muhammadu’s campaign at the last general elections.

APC also warned that being in the opposition does not grant PDP members immunity from prosecution, in an unmistakable answer to the opposition party’s allegations about a witch-hunt against its members by EFCC.
PDP had yesterday said its national publicity secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, had been under incessant and unnecessary attacks by those it called anti-PDP forces seeking to scare him off his statutory role as mouthpiece of the party. The former ruling party had been accusing the EFCC of bias against PDP members in its anticorruption campaign and challenging the commission to also beam its searchlight on APC chieftains, especially, those believed to have financed the party at the last elections.

PDP reiterated its allegations recently during a visit to the party’s national secretariat by leaders of its senate caucus in the 8th National Assembly led by the Minority Leader, Chief Godswill Akpabio. The acting national chairman of PDP, Chief Uche Secondus, drew the attention of Buhari to alleged one-sided arrests and prosecutions being conducted by EFCC.

However, the APC national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said yesterday that there was no justification for PDP’s allegations about a one-sided anticorruption campaign, dismissing the opposition party’s call for probe of APC leaders as cheap blackmail.

“Didn’t the EFCC arrest Governor Murtala Nyako and other politicians who are members of the APC?” Mohammed wondered, stressing, “So I don’t think the EFCC has been one-sided. There is no truth in what the PDP and the senators are saying. This is nothing but cheap blackmail.”

The APC spokesman said, “With what evidence will the EFCC go after Tinubu or Amaechi. What were they accused of? Why will they go after them if there are no petitions against them? If they have any evidence, let them show such evidence or petition against any of these people. They cannot just ask the EFCC to go after someone without concrete evidence of indictment against the person.”
On the allegation that EFCC was using scare tactics against Metuh for exposing wrong-doings of the ruling party, Mohammed said PDP was merely crying wolf. He said the APC government had no reason to persecute anyone on account of his or her political affiliation, adding, however, that no one can cheat or flout the law of the land and expect to hide under the cover of opposition party membership to evade justice.

“Why would he be complaining that someone is after him? As a matter of fact, no one is above the law and being in an opposition does not give anybody immunity from prosecution over corrupt practices,” APC spokesman said.
The statement yesterday signed by Metuh’s special assistant, Mr. Richard Ihediwa, alleged a coordinated assault by anti-PDP forces on the PDP spokesman for daring to speak out against the APC-led administration. But it said the opposition spokesman remained undaunted.

Ihediwa stated, “A credible intelligence information available to us has shown that apart from instigating some unsuspecting persons within our party to peddle lies and insults against Chief Metuh, there is a well-coordinated assault by anti-PDP forces who have engaged heavily paid consultants masquerading as writers and columnists, in addition to social media hirelings, some of who use pseudonyms to attack him for daring to speak out against the undemocratic actions and tendencies of the APC-led administration.”

Buhari had affirmed during an exclusive interview on July 21 with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that he will not cover up acts of corruption even among his party members, saying any of his associates found guilty of corruption will face the full weight of the law.

“If any of my associates or party members is indicted of corruption, they cannot escape justice. There is not going to be any APC member or any close personality found guilty that would escape justice,” he said.

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