EFCC Vows To Prosecute Patience Jonathan If Found Guilty

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Wednesday vowed that the wife of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, will never go scot-free if its investigation against her produces evidence that she was involved in any corrupt practices.

The EFCC Deputy Director of Operations, Mr. Iliyasu Kwarbai, said this after receiving a petition against Patience and the ruling All Progressives Congress from a group of protesters, under the aegis of Human Rights Defenders and Advocacy Centre, who marched to the EFCC office in Ikoyi, Lagos.

The group submitted a petition titled, “Demand for arrest, prosecution of Patience Jonathan, probe of the APC campaign funds and no more sacred cows in the anti-corruption crusade.”

In the said petition signed by its President, Queen Ameh, and the Chairman of its Board of Trustees, Innocent Agbo, the HRDAC accused the EFCC of being selective in its anti-graft war, and wondered why Patience was still walking freely in spite of the evidence, which they said the EFCC had against her.

The HRDAC asked the EFCC to change its slogan, “Nobody is above the law,” since it had found it difficult to go after the likes of Patience, ex-Presidents, including Ibrahim Babangida, Abdulsalami Abubakar, Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan.

The protesters also challenged the EFCC to probe the source of the election campaign funds of the ruling APC in the 2015 elections, while also demanding a probe of the national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and the ex-Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi.

Addressing the EFCC, Agbo said, “You have found evidence incriminating Patience Jonathan but we are surprised that Patience Jonathan is still allowed to be walking freely, and even had the audacity to take the EFCC to court to demand the release of her money to her.

“I have been to this same EFCC to bail several people over the issue of N500,000 passing through their accounts innocently. They were invited, they came voluntarily and you people held them. But we have somebody with our money, $15m which is N6bn, walking freely. We have the issue of Badamasi Babangida; it is open knowledge that N12bn gulf money was missing under his regime, nothing is done; we are aware of Obasanjo and the $16bn power funds, you people are not investigating it; we are aware of the petition against Amaechi to the EFCC; we are aware that the APC did not get the funds for its election campaign from only Buhari’s account. We are aware that you are probing the Peoples Democratic Party, why are you not probing the APC?”

In response, Kwarbai said the EFCC was not selective in its anti-graft fight, explaining that it does not arrest people arbitrarily but worked based on petitions submitted to it.

He also said the general public might not understand that investigation of crime was a long process, which he said, involved visit to so many establishments and institutions.

He said, “Let me tell you, there is no sacred cow; anybody who is found wanting, who involves himself or herself in corrupt practices will not be spared. I have received your petition, it is here and what  do we do? We go into investigation immediately. Now we have seen the name of Patience Jonathan; it is here. If she is found wanting, she will never go scot-free. So also any other person no matter how highly placed he is.

“We must sanitise our country and provide a very good environment that people can come and invest in; an economy that is devoid of any economic and financial crime. So, we are happy to see you here; we have received it and we are going to go into action. I am going to inform my chairman that you were here and that we’ll commence investigation immediately.”

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Who Really Betrayed The Niger Delta Region? Jonathan, Amaechi Or Wike? By Eze Chukwuemeka Eze

The main aim of this treatise is to unearth, among (Jonathan, Amaechi and Wike) three key sons of Niger Delta region of Nigeria who is or are the detractor(s) and betrayer(s) of the region. For avoidance of doubt, Niger Delta region comprises nine states, namely:  Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Ondo, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Imo and Abia.

On the other hand, this treatise will concern itself with the major political actors and actions in Rivers State, as the state was the main theatre of the political war in the Niger Delta region, both now and in the past. The State is one of the 36 States of the federation, while its capital, Port Harcourt is the largest city in the region and is economically significant as the centre of Nigeria’s oil industry. The fact remains that Rivers State has over the years evolved as the oil and gas nerve-centre of Nigeria. It has a growing population of about 5.1 million (the sixth most populous state in the country) and an impressive GDP of 21.07 billion USD – which is bigger than that of most African countries, such as Botswana, Rwanda, Nambia, Lesotho, etc. The enviable economic and socio-political scorecard of Rivers State has made it a war theatre, occasioned by some unscrupulous politicians that use the youths to cause deaths and mayhem among the citizenry of the state and the region at large. Because of the significance of this city, the Niger Delta region is confronted with security challenges, especially illegal bunkering, piracy, cultism, oil pipeline destruction, kidnapping, armed robbery, political killings, etc.

In this treatise therefore, I will be relying mainly on three key releases: the Rivers State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) press statement alleging or rather accusing Rt. Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi as betraying the Niger Delta region; the reaction of Rivers State All Progressives Congress (APC) refuting the PDP stand, stating that instead it is Dr Jonathan Goodluck and Governor Nyesom Wike, that are the main culprits in this regard. I will also present the communiqué issued by the Amaechi-influenced peace imitative aimed at finding solutions to the restive state of the Niger Delta region, which was the issue of confrontation between the PDP and APC promoters. At the end of your reading, you will be left to judge who among these three key sons have actually betrayed the region.

PDP’s allegation against Amaechi

Now that the aim of this study is defined, let me for avoidance of any doubt state that the idea to write on this issue of betrayal stemmed from the PDP statement of Tuesday, September 27, 2016, issued by Jerry Needam on behalf of his boss, Bro Felix Obuah, chairman of the Rivers State chapter of PDP. Though the statement was not titled, it was the party’s reaction to the peace initiative engineered by Rt. Hon Amaechi, erstwhile governor of Rivers State and current Federal Minister of Transportation, to restore peace to the restive region of Niger Delta.

According to PDP, “The vaunted Niger Delta Peace Initiative by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, is another hidden device to test the waters for his political ambition in 2019. The purported peace initiative is a ruse, as the forum is an assemblage of All Progressives Congress’ members put together to try to see if Amaechi’s huge credibility problem could be redeemed. The people of Niger Delta whom Amaechi has grossly betrayed can never be deceived again and need not be told that the purported peace initiative is true to speculations, the mechanism Amaechi hopes to use to actualise his 2019 political ambition.

“Though he is day-dreaming, we are however, shocked that Amaechi, who has shamelessly brought so much insult to the people of Niger Delta, playing a major role in pushing out the son of the Niger Delta as the president of this country, in preference to his new-found love, and killer of his kinsmen (no thanks to the military invasion of Rivers State) will, against all odds, be nursing the ambition to launch a come-back to the region, after inflicting so much pains and agony on the people.”

Rivers APC’s reaction

The Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress aptly replied the venomous statement of PDP – on a man well known for his peaceful disposition – in its release of Wednesday, September 28, entitled “R/S PDP ‘Basket of Deplorables’ Must Leave Chibuike Amaechi Alone’ – R/S APC,” issued by its state publicity secretary, Chief Chris Finebone, which reads: “The attention of the Rivers State Chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, has been drawn to a press statement by the Chairman of Rivers State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party, Felix Obuah, and signed by his media aide, Jerry Needam, claiming that the recently convened Niger Delta stakeholders engagement meeting under the auspices of the Initiative for Peace, Governance and Development of the Niger Delta, was a platform for the Minister of Transportation, Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, to burnish his political agenda. Ordinarily, the temptation is to ignore this PDP basket of deplorables who delight themselves with all manner of obscene immoderation every now and then. However, it is important to protect innocent Rivers people and Nigerians from the malevolent propaganda these diminished characters shamelessly place in public domain, by rolling back their mischief with discreet facts. A cursory reading of the PDP statement reveals an incoherent and disjointed write-up that can only come from authors who so urgently require medical look-in by the best hands that can be found around here.

“The few issues that can be pieced together from the statement point to the fact that Obuah and the PDP in Rivers State are still hurting from the exit of former President Jonathan from power. The APC would like to advise the PDP people to take another look at the national voting demographics of 2015 elections, and it will dawn on them that nothing [including massively rigged votes from Rivers State] would have saved the former president from defeat. Much more than that, the statement, in some ways, underscores the nexus between the hurting of 2015 election to wailing wailers, the spate of destruction of oil installations by the Avengers and other restive youths in the Niger Delta, and the recent blowing up of Shell trunk line to Bonny Export Terminal. Little wonder the PDP in Rivers State fails to see the need for peace, which the Abuja meeting was meant to bring about in the Niger Delta. Is anyone still wondering those behind the ongoing bombing and bursting of pipelines in the Niger Delta?

“The only other issue that can be deduced from the infantile seven-paragraph statement makes reference to betrayal of the Niger Delta by Amaechi, because the latter joined the APC and contributed his bit to the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. It is sad that an individual that sold his soul to Satan and connived with Wike to steal a political party structure in broad daylight could muster the courage to talk about betrayal. What betrayal can be more than that exhibited by a man that was shot and left to die but was rescued and flown abroad to save his life. The same man turned around later to bite the hand that God used to save him. Indeed, Obuah should not forget to tell his children the true story of his miserable life.

“For the avoidance of doubt, let it be known to all that Amaechi as governor of Rivers State never had differences with former President Jonathan over personal matters. Whether on the vexed issue of NLNG Train 7, which the former president refused to approve or the matter of Soku oil wells that were taken and handed to Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Abia states, and many other touchy issues, Amaechi was only driven by the oath of office he took to protect lives and property of Rivers people as governor. No more!

“If really the issue is about betrayal, it was, indeed, former President Jonathan that betrayed Amaechi, Rivers people and Niger Deltans. His betrayal is typified by the state of the East-West Road during his administration, the Bomu-Bonny road, the Port Harcourt International Airport, Soku oil wells, refusal to refund N105 billion spent on Federal Roads by Rivers State Government, and many other issues too numerous to be listed here. On the ridiculous reference to Amaechi’s supposed ambition for 2019, such contemplation only exists in the terribly deluded mind and helplessly battered imagination of Obuah and his cohorts. Amaechi does not harbour nor has he told anyone that he is nursing any political ambition come 2019. That is not how the minister is wired politically.

“The APC wishes to advise Bro Obuah and the PDP to find a more meritorious pastime to engage themselves in, so as to subdue the cheap craving to drag an innocent man down – a task that is clearly beyond their station and reach.”

Below is the Communiqué issued at the end of the Niger Delta Stakeholders Engagement Meeting Under the Auspices of the Initiative For Peace, Governance And Development of The Niger Delta Region on 24th September, 2016 at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja to discuss pressing issues relating to peace and sustainable development in the region and collectively fashion out pragmatic strategies to chart a way forward.

After very frank discussions and extensive deliberations, the meeting agreed to focus on coordinating, as well as deepening efforts to restore peace and ensure sustainable development in the region. The meeting reiterated the fact that insecurity still remains the biggest challenge to development in the region and that concerted efforts must be made to restore security and peace in the region; while recognising the constitutional responsibility of the Federal Government as the ultimate guarantor of peace and security anywhere across the nation.

To this end, the meeting resolved as follows:

1. To resume a robust and comprehensive engagement strategy with all levels of government and service providers in the Niger Delta region, in pursuit of projects and programs that will promote the aforementioned objectives.

2. To engage citizens, traditional institutions, non-governmental and other relevant organisations to foster relationships and partnerships to promote crisis resolution and guarantee peace in the short-to-medium-term as a means to sustainable development.

3. To identify relevant sub-themes and form clusters for action (C4A), to advance solutions to the challenges in the region.

4. To inaugurate a technical committee to engage with all stakeholders, especially the aggrieved and agitating youths, to ensure sustainable peace, security and development of the region. The meeting acknowledged and commended the contributions and efforts of the Chief E K Clarke’s committee in pursuit of dialogue and peace in the region and to urge the technical committee to work with Clarke’s committee for the actualisation of this objective.

5. That it be, and was indeed, set up a 3-man committee to examine the issues relating to the proposed Maritime University in Okerenkoko and advice the meeting and the Ministry of Transportation for the purpose of engaging the Presidency on a way forward.

6. To reconvene every other month to evaluate progress and respond to any emerging issues.

The meeting also resolved as follows:

i. That the Statutory contributions due to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) from the Federal Government and all stakeholders should be paid.

ii. That the Niger Delta Development Commission should rebrand, reform and refocus to become the Regional Development Commission that it was envisaged to be rather than the contract awarding body that is now appears to be.

The communiqué was duly signed by both political leaders across the political divides, religious and traditional, business men and stakeholders from the region on 24th September, 2016.

Why this Task?

Not minding the appropriate reaction by the APC on the misguided statement by the Rivers State PDP, the aim of this treatise becomes imperative as I attempt in this write-up to present the facts for you the reader to ascertain out of these three great sons of Niger Delta (Jonathan, Amaechi and Wike) who truly betrayed the Niger Delta region and her people. I am carrying this task after working at close quarters with these three key characters and most importantly being propelled with the burning patriotic desire to always educate the public on related issues and politics of Niger Delta region but before I go further on this task, let me take permission from you the reader, particularly those who may not know these characters properly, to present them to you accordingly.

Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCON

Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is of the Ijaw nation extraction in the South-south region of Nigeria and the first Head of State of Nigeria from the region. He graduated from University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) with a second-class upper division degree in zoology. A university don and first Nigerian Head of State with a doctorate. He is Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger, GCON and was President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for five years. He has the singular honour to be the first and only Nigerian to be a Deputy Governor, Governor, Vice President and President of Federal Republic of Nigeria for less than six years; a feat that does not come easy.

A quiet and unassuming gentleman but a deadly tactician when pushed to the wall: many great politicians who have tasted his bitter pills can attest to this. His strength leans more on his perceived weakness. He is not the ambitious type but fate continues to thrust on him higher responsibilities that he never schemed for. His refusal or inability to control the excesses of his wife, Dame Patience Jonathan and Nyesom Wike, his erstwhile Minister of State for Education, caused the termination of his second bid for the office of President of Nigeria during the 2015 general elections. Also, his inability to keep his distance or rather act as a statesman in the macabre dance that took place in Rivers State where the then Governor Amaechi was so undermined, contributed so much to his current political travail and ouster from office. He made history by becoming one of the very few African leaders and first Nigerian President to hand over power peacefully to an opposition political leader, President Muhammadu Buhari on May 29, 2015, after losing the general elections. He has since leaving office monitored general elections in some African countries.

Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, OON

Rt Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi is an indigene of Ubima-Ikwerre in Rivers State. His rise to his present political status is as mysterious and unexpected as that of President Jonathan. A Master’s Degree holder, Amaechi was the first Nigerian to be the Speaker of a State House of Assembly for eight years and later became chairman of Conference of Speakers Forum an umbrella body of all Speakers of the State Houses of Assembly in Nigeria. His assumption of office as the Governor of Rivers State, though his political party PDP dumped him after convincingly winning the ticket of the party during the primaries of the party until the Supreme Court restored him as the Governor of Rivers State still seems a mystery to many political watchers in the country. By May 2015 he spent eight years as the Governor of Rivers State. He stands as the only Nigerian to be the chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) for two terms. He is currently the Minister of Transportation of Nigeria. His unprecedented feats in transformation of Rivers State have won him many international and local awards and respect of great world and Nigerian leaders.

He was the rallying force behind mobilising the governors under PDP to support the presidential aspiration of President Jonathan during the PDP Presidential Primaries that produced Jonathan as the PDP Flag-bearer and during the 2011 presidential election proper ensured that President Jonathan got over 2million votes from Rivers State the highest by another state in Nigeria. A misunderstood but an amiable personality; his forthrightness and boldness to stand by the truth attracts so much enemies to him particularly those who can’t withstand his manner of approach to result oriented feats.

Amaechi, holder of the national honour of the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON), is a Christian of the Catholic faith where he is a Knight of St John. Amaechi was appointed Director-General of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organisation. The team led the party to victory in the March 28, 2015 presidential election in which a sitting president was defeated for the first time. He is currently the Minister of Transportation.

Chief Barr. Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike

Chief Nyesom Wike, an indigene of Rumuwike Ikwerre, is a lawyer by profession, a political tactician of note and strategist of the first order. He was the National President of All Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) from 2003 – 2006, the umbrella Forum through which all the 774 Local Government Council Chairmen in Nigeria interface and interact on issues affecting the Politics and policies of Nigeria, while from 1999-2007 he was the Executive Chairman of Obio-Akpor Local Government in Rivers State, an office he used to redefine and exhibit his special brand of governance. He constructed the Local Government Secretariat that stands as one of the best in Nigeria and a great edifice to behold. His tenure witnessed various developmental initiatives in the local government and he is remembered most especially for empowering a lot of youths, elderly women and men, the physically challenged. An ardent hand at grassroots mobilisation, He is credited together with former Governor Amaechi of founding the formidable political vanguard in Rivers State – the Ikwerre Youth Movement (IYM) that decides and determines to a large extent the political tide in the state. He was later appointed Chief of Staff to former  Governor Amaechi from 2007 to 2011 and from 2011 appointed by President Jonathan as the Minister of State for Education, based on the recommendation of Amaechi. His efforts to be a pivotal and rallying point in PDP are becoming a very difficult task. He was at the centre of the macabre dance and political upheaval in Rivers State. He is currently the Executive Governor of Rivers State, based on Supreme Court ruling.

What is Amaechi to Jonathan?

Reminiscing to the facts available to me show that Jonathan and Amaechi – raised in humble families and experienced the pains of being educated by poor parents. President Jonathan won the hearts of Nigerians with his expose that he was that student who trekked to school without a pair of shoes, while Governor Amaechi also won hearts by revealing that he had a sandal and one pair of trouser which he washed every weekend to be used the following week for the major part of his undergraduate days. The two political leaders are products of UNIPORT and are among the Port Harcourt big boys.

Although President Jonathan is the older of the two, Amaechi has greater political experience. He has been in politics right from his days in the university, eventually becoming the only Nigerian that was Speaker of a State House of Assembly for eight years and at the same time Chairman, Conference of Speakers in Nigeria, while later becoming Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF). President Jonathan, on the other hand, is the first PhD holder (not honorary) to preside over the affairs of the country and the only Nigerian that left the academic environment where he was a lecturer after having a stint with the defunct OMPADEC and rose to become a deputy governor, governor, vice-president and president – all without contesting a single election, apart from the general election of 2011. He lost that of 2015.

Talking of the significance of their names, Chibuike means “God is all Powerful” and “Rotimi” an abridged version of “Oluwadurotimi” meaning “the Lord stands by me”, while Amaechi means “who knows tomorrow?” On the other hand, Ebelechukwu which is the native name of Dr Jonathan means “God’s Mercy”. Remember the popular phrase, what is in a name? One does not need to be a sage to know that all the meanings embedded in their names are playing out nicely in their lives.

While former President Jonathan as the Vice President of Nigeria was suffering every humiliation in the hands of the cabal during the Umaru Yar’Adua-led administration, Amaechi proved to be a reliable pillar of support behind him. When President Yar’Adua passed on and Jonathan was being pushed around, Amaechi was among those in the forefront of ensuring that the then Vice-President Jonathan assumed office as the President when the National Assembly out of their wisdom came up with the ‘Doctrine of Necessity.’

During the 2011 general election, Amaechi, not minding some other options available to him, opted to rally other governors to ensure that President Jonathan won the PDP ticket; and during the election proper, Amaechi delivered two million votes from the state to ensure that Dr Jonathan got elected as the 14thPresident of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Not done with all this affection to his own brother with whom he shares some invisible bond not known to many Nigerians, Amaechi went ahead even while Jonathan was the Vice-President to ask him to nominate candidates to his cabinet in Rivers State. This resulted in the nomination of Prof Israel Owate, who was once the President’s classmate, as Commissioner for Education. Unfortunately, Owate could not drive the vision of the governor on education as fast as he wanted, so he was dropped. Amaechi requested a replacement from Jonathan, who this time nominated Mr Moses Ahubele, who manned the Ministry of Empowerment and Employment Generation till he died after an illness in the later part of 2010. After the 2011 general elections, Amaechi requested from Jonathan and he graciously nominated Mr Charles Okaye, who served as the Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Community-related Affairs till he left office on 29th May, 2015.

What is Amaechi to Wike?

That Chief Wike’s ambition to succeed Amaechi as the governor of Rivers State started from his days as chief of staff may be shocking to most political watchers, but the fact remains that while Amaechi was busy providing dividends of democracy to the people, Wike, on the other hand, was busy undermining him and using the connections and goodwill of the Rivers State Government not only to station his men in strategic positions in government, but to empower most of them financially through award of contracts, initiation and other means. He tested the ground of his ambition when he was appointed director-general for the re-election of Amaechi as governor of Rivers State in 2011. He ensured that only his men were appointed to strategic fields to serve as key mobilisers at the grassroots’ level. By the time he was appointed minister of state in the Ministry of Education, based on the recommendation of Amaechi to Dr Jonathan, Wike went further with his gubernatorial ambition plot by forming the Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI), a political pressure group he used to deceive the public, that it was formed to assist in the re-election of then President Jonathan; but, in fact, the outfit was formed to pursue his gubernatorial ambition. He used the outfit to formally recruit his foot soldiers for the battle ahead. This body was heavily financed and motivated, and its presence was established in all the constituencies of Rivers State.

It was this group that he used to dislodge over 11 key Peoples Democratic Party members that wanted to contest the 2015 governorship election under the PDP platform. Those that wanted to play games were properly beaten up and molested at the party’s national secretariat at Abuja. Before this time, Wike, based on political exigency, tactfully suppressed his gubernatorial ambition from public view. Instead, he offered himself as a tool to spearhead the political battle between Jonathan and Amaechi. He gave everything within him to execute this, with the PDP ticket as a target.

How the plot against Amaechi was hatched

Genesis of the creation of and manufacture of the in-fight with Amaechi, by Jonathan and Wike, stemmed from claims and rumour developed and spread around by members of their camp to win the hearts of Niger Delta people to their devious plot. That is, that the then Governor Amaechi will contest the office of the president or vice president with a candidate from the northern part of the country in 2015, thereby truncating the second-term ambition of President Jonathan who is from the same geo-political zone (South-south). This strategy sold like wild fire in the region. And, based on this evil assumption, Jonathan, using Wike as a tool, created the type of Rivers State and Niger Delta region where lives make no meaning, and the economy of the nation is being destroyed

Further acts of hostility by Jonathan and Wike

Despite Amaechi’s show of love to former President Jonathan, in order to humiliate and annihilate him politically, the following steps, among others, were adopted: A private jet of the Rivers State Government was grounded for no just cause; the PDP structure in Rivers State was taken away from Amaechi; his election as Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, which was duly certified and widely acknowledged, was annulled by President Jonathan and his cohorts; he also supported the destruction of the once vibrant NGF by supporting 16 governors against 19. Besides, on May 27, 2013 Amaechi was suspended from the PDP, a party he so much loved and spent so much to build. They followed this up with his expulsion. Indeed, if not for divine providence, he would have been illegally impeached by five legislators (Chinda, Kelechi Godspower Nwogu (Omuma), Evans Bapakaye Bipi (Ogu/Bolo), Martins Amaewhule (Obio/Akpor I) and Victor Ihunwo (Port Harcourt III) who were loyal to the then Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, in a House of 32 members. Jonathan withdrew the security details attached to Amaechi. As if these were not enough, the ex-president used state power to prevent Amaechi, then a sitting governor, from reaching Ekiti, in the South-western part of the country, to support the re-election of Dr Kayode Fayemi, because they were in the opposition then. Above all, a Police Commissioner, Mr Joseph Mbu, was posted to Rivers State to haunt, harass, torment, insult and abuse Amaechi publicly.

How Jonathan and Wike forced Amaechi out of PDP, thereby ending the presidential ambition of Jonathan

The desperation of the PDP leadership to completely destroy Amaechi led to his departure, alongside six other PDP governors, to form the New PDP, with five of them later joining the opposition parry, APC. Explaining why he joined APC, Amaechi said: “Unfortunately, recent events within the PDP have given me reason to reconsider our collective interest as people of the South-south and, indeed, as Rivers people. At various times, as the one whom you gave your mandate, I had cause to complain about the marginalisation of our state and our people, despite our huge contribution to the national coffers and our unflinching commitment and support for the ruling PDP. While the political and economic importance of Rivers State cannot be contested, we continue to hold the shorter end of the stick.

“A few instances may suffice: Our demand that the Federal Government return oil wells belonging to Rivers State to us has gone unheeded and been treated with levity under this administration. Rather, our oil wells have been ceded to Bayelsa, Abia and Akwa Ibom states. Even after we got a judgment that the oil wells were wrongly ceded to Akwa Ibom State and should be returned to us; only dry wells that were no longer producing oil were returned.

“In the specific case of the Soku oil wells, despite a decision reached that the monies should remain in an escrow account till all matters concerning it are resolved, the Federal Government continues to pay neighbouring Bayelsa State the revenues meant for Rivers State in a classic case of robbing Peter to pay Paul. It is indeed noteworthy that we have made several representations formally and informally on this matter.

“A second instance is the total absence of federal presence in Rivers State. The ‘National Good Governance Tour’ provided a good opportunity for the Federal Government to showcase its presence in Rivers State. The tour, if nothing else, proved that there was not much to show in a state that is the cash-cow of the federation. The East-West Road remains abandoned, work has been deliberately slow on the Port Harcourt International Airport, the third busiest airport in the country, while all airports started along with it have long been completed and commissioned. The Bonny-Bomu Road that leads to the only functional liquefied natural gas project remains uncompleted. In the midst of all these, our administration went ahead to fix federal roads to the tune of N103 billion. Several representations and letters after, not one kobo has been repaid. The Federal Government is actively discouraging investments in Rivers State.”

Apart from all the listed attacks against Niger Delta region because of his hatred for Amaechi, Jonathan took the proposed biggest dockyard in Africa meant for Bonny in Rivers State to Lagos State. When he lost the election, he revoked the project that was already 40 per cent done. He equally stopped the implementation of the cleaning up of Ogoni land, renovation of the Port Harcourt International Airport as well as repair of major federal roads in the state. To Wike and his misguided Rivers State PDP, Dr Jonathan is the hero of Niger Delta!

Wike’s desperation

Wike, through the then infamous CP Joseph Mbu, heartlessly dispersed 13,000 teachers who gathered to receive their employment letters, aided the five renegade lawmakers to attempt the impeachment of the then Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, barricaded and sealed the State Assembly for one legislative year and even blocked the access road to Government House on one occasion, preventing Amaechi and his visitors from using the road. Wike, with the backing of the then First Lady Patience Jonathan, ordered his thugs to stone state governors who visited Rivers in solidarity with Amaechi for the humiliation he suffered under the watchful eyes of then-President Jonathan. Wike later used the police and the army to forcefully break into the newly-constructed stadium, just to prove his powers.

Wike’s desperation to drag Amaechi’s name in the mud, in order to frustrate his nomination or appointment as a minster, made him (Wike) to sponsor a satanic documentary on Amaechi, aired on Africa Independent Television (AIT). This documentary was part of Wike’s propaganda war against Amaechi, for which he earmarked billions of naira in his plot to destroy the person and character of Amaechi. Other propaganda tools planned and deployed during this period, in the war against Amaechi, include sponsored publications such as advertorials, columns, editorials and Op-Ed articles in major international, national and local print media; sponsored personality discussion programmes in the electronic media and sponsored special documentaries on television and radio through independent groups and organisations.

Other insidious plots by Wike to undermine Amaechi include commissioning a team made up of persons within and outside Rivers State to initiate, formulate and contrive false, damaging reports bordering on alleged corrupt practices by Amaechi, which were circulated to individuals and institutions within Nigeria and abroad with a view to damaging the character and rising profile of Amaechi, in order to blackmail and put pressure on President Buhari not to appoint him into his government. These cooked reports, to the shock of many Nigerians, was sent to the Senate and presented through one misguided former Senator Thompson Sekibo, which the Senate referred to its Ethics Committee, which caused the delay in Amaechi’s screening and confirmation as a minister. Amaechi has through both the immediate past Secretary to the Rivers State Government, George Feyi, and the Commissioner for Finance, Dr Chamberlain Peterside, and others denied any form of corruption against him by Wike and his cohorts.

Wike did not stop at these but went further to set up Justice George Omereji Panel, to investigate the administration of ex-governor Amaechi. Though the panel did not found any wrong-dealing, or corrupt practices by Amaechi, Wike went ahead to issue a white paper indicting him of embezzling the sum of N53 billion, How on earth can someone in his right senses describe funds withdrawn with the approval of the legislature and spent as prescribed by the state budget to be missing? Wike, in his desperation to stop Amaechi’s appointment as a minister, resorted to dancing naked in the market place.

But, as God will have it, and contrary to the expectations of Governor Wike and his gang of ingrates, their ferocious campaign to blackmail, disparage and portray Amaechi as a very corrupt person unfit to be appointed as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria failed to achieve the desired objective. On September 30, 2015 President Buhari went ahead to list and submitted Chibuike Amaechi along with 20 other Nigerians as ministerial nominees to the Senate for confirmation.

And to the shock and chagrin of Wike and his cohorts, the Senate, after three sittings on the screening of the ministerial nominees, screened Amaechi on October 22, 2015 and formally confirmed him on October 29, 2015. He was subsequently sworn-in with the 35 other ministers on Wednesday November 11, 2015, by President Buhari, who as a further mark of confidence in the ‘Lion of NIGER DELTA’ assigned to him the strategically important Ministry of Transportation.

Apart From the Niger Delta Region, Jonathan Refused To Develop the South East

According to the Vanguard Newspapers of 7th, October, 2016 titled “Jonathan did not treat the Igbo well – Ekwueme! – http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/10/jonathan-didnt-treat-igbo-well-ekwueme/

Dr. Alex Ekwueme, Vice President of Nigeria from 1979-1983 captured the feelings of the South Easterners thus, “He told me this himself. So, he had every reason to be fair-minded and equitable in his distribution of resources. But we could not go from Enugu to Onitsha on a federal road, you couldn’t go from Enugu to Port-Harcourt on a federal road, we couldn’t go from Aba to Okigwe on a federal road; you couldn’t go from Owerri on the federal road. None of the federal roads in the Southeast was motorable”.. This is the height of the type of administration Jonathan rendered to Nigeria.

Conclusion

I am ashamed that some disgruntled elements can take pleasure in destroying the facilities that convey oil, the mainstay of our national economy, because of politics. It is disheartening to note that the myopic leaders of PDP in Rivers State instead of praising Amaechi for assembling such South-south stakeholders under the umbrella of the Initiative for Peace, Governance and Development of the South-South in order to proffer solutions to the current destruction of the oil pipelines and ecosystem of our region, they are instead attempting to become obstacle for peace to be restored to the restive region because of their involvement and promotion of the insecurity situation in Niger Delta.

I commend all those working with Amaechi on this latest peace move, urging them to be guided by the biblical admonition found in Matthew Chapter 5 verse 9: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

I totally agree with Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, a recipient of the national honour, Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON), that “Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi is the new face of the emerging leadership in tackling the challenging issues of the Niger Delta. His emerging leadership of the South-south is by popular acclamation.”

Finally, let me concluded this treatise by quoting the Nation Newspaper in its editorial of July 12th, 2014 entitled ‘Jonathan’s rivers of shame’ that: “The theatre of the absurd unfolding in Rivers State should give any patriotic and peace-loving Nigerian a sense of foreboding. With impunity in the air, the Constitution in peril and official stamp from the high office of the Presidency, the moral legitimacy of this republic is fast sliding downhill. By the week and recently by the day, the conflict between Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, and President Goodluck Jonathan, imbues the nation with nausea. Respect for law has swapped places with brigandage, and the average Nigerian watches as the President engages in a bestial war of proxies. The recent development has all the trappings of déjà vu. The first open show of power was the order to strand Governor Amaechi’s aircraft. The Presidency failed to cloak it as a matter of technical procedure without political undertone. Findings from investigations have exposed not only the imbecilities of the aviation authorities but also revealed them as couriers of malicious orders. The Nigeria Governors’ Forum election has showcased, more than any other evidence, the desperation of the President. After defying the rules of aircraft landing, the necessity for peace, he and his proxy governors defied the purity of arithmetic by making 16 superior to 19 votes. He executed that anomaly purely in bungled bid to remove Governor Amaechi as chairman of the NGF. He also inspired the factionalisation of the group such that his loyalists now formed a parallel forum.”

All said and done, it is left to you the reader to decide who among these three leaders from Niger Delta region truly betrayed the region based on the above documentations. Is it Jonathan who publicly acknowledged during the last general elections that he did not develop or embarked upon on any meaningful project in Niger Delta region to avoid been accused of developing his region of origin by people from the other regions of Nigeria or Wike who has turned the peaceful Rivers State to Rivers of blood where your membership of APC marks you as an animal to be slaughtered whenever he wants or Amaechi who assembled great sons and daughters of Niger Delta region to find a way out of the restiveness of the region? The judgement is yours the READER!

Eze Chukwuemeka Eze is a Media Consultant based in Port Harcourt and can be reached throughezemediaconcept2020@gmail.com

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Buhari Hails Jonathan Again, Says He Shamed The Prophets Of Doom

President Muhammadu Buhari has again hailed former president Goodluck Jonathan, saying he contributed to the success of the 2015 general election.

Speaking while being honoured with the Leadership Person of Year award in Abuja on Thursday, Buhari said the Jonathan shamed the prophets of doom by his patriotic zeal towards the 2015 election.

Others honoured alongside the president includes Jonathan, and former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).Attahiru Jega.

“I am most delighted to be part of this occasion organised by the Leadership Newspapers Group to honour Nigerians who have excelled in their chosen fields of endeavour,” he said.

“Let me hasten to congratulate my joint award winners, my predecessor, His Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR and Professor Attahiru Jega, the former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, as ‘Leadership Person of the Year.’

“The events of 2015, which the Leadership newspaper has chosen to bring to the fore today, marked a watershed in the political history of our country.

“Those of us who were participating actors in the elections were led by the higher ideal of the future of our great country and the well-being of our people rather than the mere desire of politicians to win elections.

“It is therefore our commitment to this ideal, the patriotic zeal of President Jonathan, the impartiality of the electoral umpire, INEC, and exemplary conduct of the political parties, foreign pressure and other actors that we collectively disappointed the prophets of doom who had predicted the disintegration of the country after the 2015 general election.”

Buhari added that Nigeria’s democracy had been strengthened by the outcome of the 2015 election “as our people now have more faith in the electoral system in the sense that their votes would count when choosing political leaders at various levels.”

“We, the political class, should build on the experience of the 2015 election to nurture our democracy,” he said.

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Buhari Has Letters Implicating Jonathan For Corruption – Paden

President Muhammadu Buhari is in possession of some letters, written by former President Goodluck Jonathan, to request “off-budget funds.”

This was contained in Buhari’s authorised biography, ‘Muhammadu Buhari: The Challenges of Leadership in Nigeria’, written by Prof. John Paden and presented to the public on Monday.

An online dictionary defines “off-budget funds” as funds not provided for or included in the regular Federal Government budget; funded by sources other than the federal budget.

In the ongoing anti-corruption war of the present administration, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had arrested and quizzed many of Jonathan’s former ministers and aides for alleged diversion of funds.

Most of them, including the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), are being prosecuted for allegedly diverting funds meant for arms procurement and using the funds for the prosecution of the 2015 presidential election in favour of Jonathan who was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party.

It is generally believed that the former government officials could not have spent the funds in question without Jonathan’s instructions.

The author captured the travails of the former office holders in Chapter 20 of the book, which is titled ‘Corruption and law in military procurement’.

Under the subheading, ‘The role of PDP leaders in the diversion of funds’, Paden said although the letters, written by the former President, were in Buhari’s possession, the President’s purpose of waging the corruption war was not to jail former top government officials but to retrieve the stolen funds.

He said the stability of the nation’s political system seemed to be at stake if the EFCC should go after Jonathan or any former President or military leader for that matter.

He, however, said such former Nigerian leaders could trade their knowledge for immunity and help the government identify patterns and sources of corruption.

Paden added, “The fact that Buhari was enlisting the help of international community in the probes lent weight to the seriousness of his effort – and also meant that alleged offenders had nowhere to hide.

“Would the trail lead to former President Jonathan himself? As of the early months of 2016, it appeared that the EFCC was not going after Jonathan. Nor was it going after former President Obasanjo.

“The question of the stability of the entire political system seemed at stake.

“In addition, a number of senior military officers, who had served as Heads of State – from Babangida to Abubakar – seemed off-limits.

“Indeed, rumours swirled that if the probes went after senior officers, they might push back because they had extensive networks in the active military services.

“At the same time, the knowledge such heavyweights possessed could well be traded for immunity and would help to illuminate the patterns and sources of corruption.

“Buhari had letters in his possession showing Jonathan’s requests for off-budget funds. But Buhari’s larger purpose was not to put former high-level officials in jail.

“Rather, it was to retrieve stolen funds and to change the political culture of the country.”

Meanwhile, the author also revealed that a total of 184 civil servants were disciplined for their different roles in the padding of the 2016 budget.

Of the 184, Paden said 22 top officials were dismissed from service.

He said the President viewed the padding as an attempt to scuttle his administration’s innovations, hence his decision to wield the big stick against the culprits.

The author wrote, “Buhari himself was frustrated by earlier padding of the budget by bureaucrats in some of the ministries.

“This was interpreted by the Buhari team as an attempt to scuttle the innovations proposed by the President by inflating their costs.

“When Buhari found out, he was reported to be angry and ordered a purge of the ministries involved from the Director-General down.

“Twenty-two top officials were dismissed, including the budget director. In all, 184 civil servants were disciplined.”

He added that even after the budget had been adjusted downward by the National Assembly, the country would still have to borrow $3.5bn, as a result of the drop in oil prices.

In February, Buhari had while addressing the Nigerian community in Saudi Arabia, vowed that all those involved in the padding of the 2016 national budget, which led to the discrepancies in the document, would face severe punishment.

He had said the alterations, which he described as embarrassing and disappointing, made the document, being debated in the National Assembly at that time, completely different from what was prepared by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.

Describing those responsible for the distortion of the budget proposals as entrenched interests, the President had said since he had been holding public offices, he had never heard about budget padding before the incident.

Buhari had added, “The culprits will not go unpunished. I have been a military governor, petroleum minister, military Head of State and headed the Petroleum Trust Fund.

“Never had I heard the words budget padding. Our Minister of Budget and National Planning did a great job with his team.

“The minister became almost half his size during the time, working night and day to get the budget ready, only for some people to pad it.

“What he gave us was not what was finally being debated. It is very embarrassing and disappointing. We will not allow those who did it to go unpunished.”

Reaffirming his government’s zero tolerance for corruption, Buhari said the war against corruption was a monumental task that he was determined to tackle successfully.

Punch

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Twist As Patience Jonathan Says Funds In Her Accounts Belongs To Her Late Mother

A twist has occurred in the alleged slush accounts traced to the former First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, with claims by her counsel that two of the accounts belonged to her late mother, Madam Charity Fyneface Oba.

The counsel, Mr. Charles Ogboli,  also admitted that only three of the five accounts in dispute could be traced to the ex-First Lady and her mum.

But there were indications yesterday that some senators of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held a meeting on Thursday, where they vowed to back the former First Lady in her suit against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the freezing of about $19.8 million in her accounts.

At press time, it was gathered that Mrs. Jonathan was in Abuja where she was strategising on how to win her case.

The ex-First Lady’s counsel spoke on the Channels Television discussion programme, Sunrise.

The defence of the First Lady has also gone viral on YouTube to underscore her readiness for a fight to the finish with EFCC.

Ogboli is however the third lawyer in three weeks to speak on behalf of Mrs. Jonathan.

Ogboli said:  “That is not true. The First Lady did not hold five accounts. They are three accounts. The First Lady was  the signatory of one account and the mother was a signatory to the other two accounts.

“These accounts were not on a company’s name; it is on a personal data name of the First Lady. If you check, the BVN showed clearly on a personal name.

“And if you go through the BVN, it shows that it is her personal account; it is not connected with the companies facing trial.

“The First Lady was never privy to the companies standing trial. The money that is in the account ($5 million) should be left to the First Lady.”

Responding to a question, Ogboli added: “I am explaining on behalf of the First Lady that this is what transpired.”

He maintained that the former  First Lady had protested between 2013 and 2014 against the  use of unknown companies to open accounts for her by the former Senior Special Assistant (Domestic / Household and Social Events to the former President), Dr. Dudafa Waripamo-Owei Emmanuel.

He said: “What I am trying to say is that the domestic servant, Dudafa, who was asked to open accounts, went ahead to use a company’s  account which the First Lady discovered and said I am not part of this.

“She said ‘I am not a director of this company, neither am I a shareholder. I did not present any certificate of incorporation, I didn’t ask them to open any  account using a company or companies’. The discovery was made between 2013 and 2014 and immediately she kicked against it.

“ So, you don’t link her with the company that she does not know anything about.”

As at press time, some PDP Senators had resolved to rally round Mrs. Jonathan in her battle with the EFCC.

A source said: “Some PDP Senators have been meeting on a daily basis on how to give support to Mrs. Jonathan. They even met on Thursday and the battle will involve a bit of propaganda too.

“At the appropriate time, we will reveal the identities of the affected  senators based on intelligence report. The corrupt will always protect their own.

“Some of these senators  are even the ones bankrolling a part of this  battle between the former First Lady and the EFCC.”

A report of the EFCC investigative team had implicated the former First Lady.

The report of the investigative team said in part: “Based on the investigation so far carried out, it has revealed that the four fraudulent VISA Platinum USD Card accounts used by Mrs. Patience Goodluck Jonathan  has a cumulative balance of $14,029.881.79 which has been swept Post No Debit Card category.

“Again, her personal account, different from the four fraudulent VISA Platinum USD Card accounts, bears the balance of $5,841,426.17.

“Considering the above stated findings, we can safely conclude that a prima facie case of conspiracy to retain proceeds of unlawful activities, retention of the proceeds of unlawful activities, money laundering contrary to Section 15(3) and 18(a) of the Money Laundering ( Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and forgery contrary to Section 1(2) (c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act,  Cap M17, Laws of the Federation, 2004 have been established against the aforementioned suspects.”

The EFCC claimed that all the funds traced to Patience Jonathan’s accounts were proceeds of gratification.

The report said: “The intelligence revealed that Dr. Dudafa Waripamo-Owei Emmanuel fraudulently received various sums of money, being proceeds of gratification and retained same on behalf of the then First Family and for himself .”

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Patience Jonathan And Her $31m; Of Crass Idiocy, Naivety And Honest Arrogance, By Nkannebe Raymond

Throughout the duration of her stint in the plum office of the First Lady (an office unknown to our constitution by the way), which she almost brought to a parallel with the more exalted office of the presidency evidence of which is had in the manner we are told she flexed her muscle around the seat of power something that reminds one of the late strong woman of Kenyan politics, Mrs. Lucy Kibaki (while her husband, Mwai Kibaki held sway in that east African nation), Dame Patience Ibifaka Jonathan has never left anyone in any doubt as to her stupendous senility and capacity to confound.

Ever since she lost the vantage position from which she thrilled Nigerians in her unofficial office as the chief comedian of the federation, Mama Peace as she is fondly called, with her notorious distaste for “Blood sharing” has obviously lost the spotlight of the media, for a woman who arguable love to make the headlines. But the lull in media attention was to end soon; only that when it came, it wasn’t for her infamous usage of the English language and the therapy it became for a nation that finds a way to make a joke out of anything.

Early last week, news filtered in that she was fingered to have lined millions of dollars to the tune of $31 million, in a certain dollar account she operates with four commercial banks, including Skye Bank Nig. Plc by the anti-graft agency EFCC. Reports also had it that the EFCC had since frozen the accounts albeit without a court fiat in order to secure the allegedly stolen funds while investigations continue. But Mama Peace is not the type to be silenced by the antics of the EFCC. She has since mounted a loudspeaker telling anyone who cares to listen how the EFCC is “finding her trouble”. She has also instituted a Fundamental Right enforcement action at the Federal High Court in Lagos claiming 5 billion naira in exemplary damages through her legal practitioners, First Law and Associates.

Never mind, she was only a permanent secretary and the first lady in those good days and God knows no one could have amassed a quarter of that sum, within that slim period without engaging in, and overseeing a never-seen-before-bazaar of sleaze and thievery. Could it be her own moiety of the DasukiGate? Or was she also engaged in the business of snake husbandary as events of the recent past in our polity has proven snake-rearing another cash-cow but which i wonder why many of our people are not making frisk investments in it .

But Mama Peace was not done: she said part of the money was for her medical bills which leaves us wondering whether she is an out-patient at some foreign health facility battling Pneumonia, ovarian cancer, HIV and Tuberculosis at the same time. One writer said, may no body ever spend such a sum on health concers. How much serving and ex public officials like to wave the health flag at the least prodding. Remember that Dasuki has sought times without number to be allowed to travel abroad to take one or two doses of paracetamol. Even Olisa Metuh at one time or the other waved the health flag before he finally secured his bail.

And so what do all of these tell us about this woman and the administration that ‘gifted’ her to us? Our good man, Sam Omatsaye has the answer. Writing in his column for The Nation Newspaper of 19th September, 2016, on the same character, he said, “…her revelations tell us two things among others. One, she unveiled how people in high places take away money in stealth, except that she is not prepared to hide hers, because she believes it is her money. Two, that her husband was not able to tame the wife. She is the shrew that got away. An English newspaper once wrote that President Jonathan lacked the ability to control his wife. He could not play the tamer in Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew where Catharine is made from a wild woman into a model of obedience…”

Mama Peace’s open admission of being the proprietress of these humongous sums which she has been barred from having access to, and the manner in which she has carried on about it, shorn of any remorse is both astonishing and mindboggling. It is the poster of her drunkenness with impunity. Her utterances for one, has made her come across as one who feels that her years of (dis)service to the nation earns her some perpetual immunity no matter the height of her undoing. This must be the delusion that leads her into throwing unveiled tantrums here and there prevailing on a beleaguered nation to believe that she earned such amount of money from doing almost nothing and hence shouldn’t be dispossessed of it. What only a palpable delusion and incurable idiocy can beget. Perhaps Mama Peace deserves to be told a thing or two. The GEJ era is long gone with its good and its bad, and a new administration has since taken over the affairs of the nation. While she obviously has eluded being tamed by her spouse, the Law is not the respecter of persons be they how ever so high.

Not only is she naive in her dispositions, she is also unskilled in her thievery. Of course she might have gone away with ‘her’ money. If she was subtle, calm and clinical, she might have carted away the money in guise as did others. She could have been a step or two further than the EFCC but even that too was so difficult to come by leading her into raining fire and brimstone like one cursed and struck by the gods.

But can we ever say a thing about Patience Jonathan, without mentioning his Goodluck whom she loves so much, but who also must bear the burden of the cacophony and otiose commentary generated by these revelations? At a time when the man is crowned and honoured across the globe for his democratic credentials; the only takeaway of his rudderless leadership, a wife who obviously proved difficult to tame continues to be a source of embarrassment even in his post- Aso Rock days.

Rather than go about in vainglorious chest thumping and a show of puff and ego, Mama Peace should rather go on her knees and apologise to Nigerians for the part she took in the pillaging of our common patrimony. She deserve to wake up from her trance and come back to reality whatever might have stung her. The law suits she has lined in virtually every court in the federation, would only serve to exacerbate and compound her woes. A better path is a visit to the EFCC to explain the circumstances bringing her in connection with such staggering sums and at worst, cutting a bargain. Anything short if this can only be at her peril.

We trust the anti-graft agency to follow this particular matter to a logical conclusion and once a prima facie case is made out, drag to court this unabashed and garrulous matriarch who carries on like one citizen whom the nation cannot call to order. Her arrogance offends. Her naivety, sui generis!

The writer, a legal practioner and public affairs commentator Writes from kano. Comments and reactions to Raymondnkannebe@gmail. Com

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Niger Delta Group Vows To Bomb NNPC Towers If Patience Jonathan Is Arrested

The Niger Delta Peoples Professional Volunteer Force (NDPPVF), a group which says its members are workers in the oil and gas industry, has threatened to bomb the headquarters of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) if the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrests Patience Jonathan.

Accusing the anti-graft agency of witch-hunting the former first lady, the group advised EFCC to lift the No Debit Order imposed on her Skye Bank accounts.

The accounts contained more than $15 million, but Jonathan’s wife has since explained that the money was meant for her medical bills.

Last week, the EFCC filed money laundering charges against Waripamowei Dudafa, Jonathan’s special adviser on domestic affairs, whom the former first lady directed to open the accounts Dudafa, Amajuoyi Briggs, a lawyer; and Damola Bolodeoku, a Skye Bank official.

On Tuesday, Ibrahim Magu, chairman of the EFCC, also told reporters that Jonathan’s wife was under investigation.

But in a statement by Parkinson George-Amabo, spokesman of NDPPVF, the group warned Magu that investigating Patience could result into “bad blood, embarrassment and possible unrest in the Niger Delta”.

The group said it is not in support of corruption, but against the manner in which the agency is investigating Patience who has had an “impressive and fortuitous pedigree”.

“As a matter of fact, the EFCC has launched a criminal investigation of Mrs. Jonathan and in the process, frozen her bank accounts domiciled with a Nigerian commercial bank without affording her opportunity to state her own side of the matter,” the statement read.

“Nobody is above the law. The NDPPVF does not support or condone corruption. If Mrs. Jonathan was found to be corrupt, we shall not hesitate to call for her prosecution.

“We, however, have a grouse with the modus operandi of Mrs. Jonathan’s investigation, given her status as the wife of a former deputy governor, former governor, former vice-president, former acting president and finally, former president. She is perhaps, the only Nigerian woman – dead or alive – with such an impressive and fortuitous pedigree; which accounts for why the EFCC needs to thread with caution.

“Recently, there have been calls on the attorney-general of the federation as well as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arrest and prosecute the former First Lady for alleged money laundering.

“We shall simultaneously bomb the 4 wings of the NNPC Towers the day it is announced that MRS. PATIENCE GOODLUCK JONATHAN has been arrested by the EFCC.”

The group added that before her husband emerged as vice-president in 2007, the EFCC investigated Mrs. Jonathan and cleared of any wrongdoing”.

TheCable

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Cossy Orjiakor Name Cats After Buhari, Jonathan

Barely one month after a man, Joachim Iroko, who named his dog Buhari, was arrested and remanded in prison, popular Nollywood actress, Cossy Orjiakor, has named her two cats Buhari and Goodluck.

Not withstanding the fact that the Nigeria Police arraigned Iroko of “committing an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 249 (d) of the Criminal Law of Ogun State, Nigeria, 2016, by writing a name, Buhari, on a dog and parading same in the Hausa section of Ketere Market, Sango, the nollywood actress did not hesitate in naming her cats.

“My cats, Buhari and Goodluck, (are) discussing the Nigerian economy (and) dollar rate,” the actress wrote on her Instagram page, @cossyorjiakor.

She expressed her readiness to be arrested for naming her cats after Buhari, Goodluck.

“All I want is a good-looking sexy police officer with Donald Duke’s (former governor of Cross River) face; Uti Nwachukwu’s eyes; PSquare’s chest and D’Banj’s ‘no long thing.’ He should come with sexy handcuffs.

“And he (the policeman) should have an English accent like Jim Iyke. All I want is a super-handsome police officer with six-packs and stamina to arrest me this morning (Saturday) and take me to Aso Rock prison; and serve me Aso Rock food because ‘Mummy Victor Market’ is too expensive these days.

“If it is a policewoman, then she must have fat, soft buttocks and big tits. I must be high on some cheap stuff this morning,” she said.

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Patience Jonathan In Fresh Trouble As EFCC Probes N5bn Abuja Hotel Linked To Her

There appears to be more trouble for former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan who has been in the news lately for over funds traced to some companies she is the sole signatory to.

Beside the $19 million frozen from the four company accounts the former first lady may also be explaining the source of fund for construction of an Abuja hotel said to be worth N5billion.

The EFCC is currently studying documents on how the Abuja hotel (names withheld) was built.

It has also dispatched a team of investigators to Yenagoa, Bayelsa State and Port Harcourt, Rivers State for the purpose of establishing the ownership of four properties in the two cities.

The anti-graft agency is likely to confiscate the five properties once it is able to confirm that they belong to Mrs. Jonathan.

One of the pieces of evidence the EFCC has in its possession in its probe of the ex-First Lady is her cumulative pay and perks as a civil servant in Bayelsa State where she rose to the post of Permanent Secretary.

Sources said the pay details are far below the $31million which the ex-First Lady claimed as her legitimately earned money.

The EFCC is insisting that Mrs. Jonathan must account for how she came about the cash wired into the five accounts to which she is a signatory or forfeit it to the Federal Government.

One of the sources familiar with the probe said the money used in acquiring the properties under investigation appears to be gratification to Mrs. Jonathan when her husband was in power.

The source said: “Based on intelligence report, we have isolated five properties allegedly identified with the ex-First Lady. These properties include a N5billion hotel in Abuja and four others in Yenagoa and Port Harcourt.

“A special team has gone to verify all these assets in the affected areas including the contractors engaged, the mode of payment to them, relevant land registration documents, and associates used as fronts.

“In the next few days, we will start questioning all those involved in the acquisition or building of the assets. We are lucky that this investigation has a lot of e-transaction and computerization components. There is no hiding place for anyone involved.

“If at the end of the day the five assets belong to the ex-First Lady, we will approach the court to place all these assets under Interim Assets Forfeiture in line with Sections 28 and 34 of the EFCC (Establishment Act) 2004 and Section 13(1) of the Federal High Court Act, 2004.”

Section 28 of the EFCC Act stipulates that: “Where a person is arrested for an offence under this Act, the Commission shall immediately trace and attach all the assets and properties of the person acquired as a result of such economic or financial crime and shall thereafter cause to be obtained an interim attachment order from the Court.”

Section 13 of the Federal High Court Act reads in part: “The Court may grant an injunction or appoint a receiver by an interlocutory order in all cases in which it appears to the Court to be just or convenient so to do.

“Any such order may be made either unconditionally or on such terms and conditions as the Court thinks just.”

Responding to a question, the source said: “If our investigation reveals that the assets are not owned by Mrs. Patience Jonathan, we will return them to their legitimate owners.”

On whether the commission is ready to defreeze the accounts where the $19million was freezed, the source said the commission is not close to doing so.

“We have retrieved documents on the pay package and monetized perks of Mrs. Patience Jonathan when she was a Permanent Secretary in the government of Bayelsa State. Her total emoluments do not tally with the funds remitted into the five accounts,” an EFCC source said.

“She owes us a duty to explain how she came about these funds. Our investigation showed that the funds came from gratifications; it is left to her to prove otherwise.

“The good thing is that the ex-First Lady was the one who sued EFCC demanding the release of her $31million. She has a duty as a former public officer to explain how she earned the funds. Did she declare these funds in her Assets Declaration Form as a Permanent Secretary?

“We are happy that the case is in court and the onus is on her to prove ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ that she is the owner of the funds. If we had initiated the action, some people by now will be accusing EFCC of witch-hunt.

“But she went to court to exercise her rights under the law. The same law demands that you must seek equity with clean hands. I think the press should take more than a passing interest in what is going on in the court.”

The anti-graft agency claimed last week that it has established a prima facie case of money laundering against the ex-First Lady and 10 others.

The 11 suspects may face trial for money laundering if the recommendation of the investigative team is upheld.

The EFCC declared that “preliminary investigation has also indicted Mrs. Patience Jonathan.”

The other 10 suspects indicted by the investigative team are a former Senior Special Assistant ( Domestic / Household and Social Events to the former President), Dr. Dudafa Waripamo-Owei Emmanuel; Damola Bolodeoku; Dipo Oshodi; Theodora Varinik; Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited; Seagate Property Development and Investment Limited; Globus Integrated Services Limited; Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited and Skye Bank Plc. The report said in part: “Based on the investigation so far carried out, it has revealed that the four fraudulent VISA Platinum USD Card accounts used by Mrs. Patience Goodluck Jonathan  has a cumulative balance of $14,029.881.79 which has been swept Post No Debit Card category.

“Again, her personal account, different from the four fraudulent VISA Platinum USD Card accounts, bears the balance of $5,841,426.17.

“Considering the above stated findings, we can safely conclude that a prima facie case of conspiracy to retain proceeds of unlawful activities, retention of the proceeds of unlawful activities, money laundering contrary to Section 15(3) and 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and forgery contrary to Section 1(2) (c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act,  Cap M17, Laws of the Federation, 2004 have been established against the aforementioned suspects.”

Also, Mrs. Jonathan has admitted that she is the owner and signatory to the five accounts in which the Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC) found over $22.3million.

She said she has never received any monies from any unknown sources paid into the five accounts.

But she was silent on the sources of the cash wired into the affected accounts.

She however explained that the accounts were opened to facilitate her travel overseas particularly for medical treatment, sundry purchase for herself and her late mother Mrs. Charity Oba (Mama Sisi).

She indicted Wampemo-Owei Dudafa who was the Special Adviser on Domestic Affairs to the former President Dr. Jonathan, and Skye Bank officials for registering phony companies for four of the five accounts.

A statement by her Media Office said: “Sometime in 2013, following the advice of top officials of the EFCC then in the company of Wampemo-Owei Dudafa who was the Special Adviser on Domestic Affairs to the former President Dr. Jonathan, that she should not travel oversees with cash otherwise she may contravene Money Laundering laws, Mrs. Patience Jonathan agreed to open accounts with Skye Bank Plc and directed Dudafa to see to it.

“Dudafa came with two bank managers (Officials) of Skye Bank Plc with the account opening forms which she duly signed.

“These accounts were all dollar based Platinum Visa cards in respect of five accounts.

“When the bank officials brought the ATM cards for the said accounts of which she is sole signatory, she discovered to her surprise that only one of these accounts bore her personal name while four were in the names of companies not known to her.

“She immediately complained about this anomaly to Dudafa and the bank officials, Demola Doledeoku and Dipo Oshodi came back to the villa with forms to change and convert the said accounts to the personal name of Mrs. Jonathan.

“This was her firm request which the bank officials promised to effect immediately and she duly completed account conversion forms and signed the mandate forms as a the sole signatory, but as it would appear, the said bank officials did not change the Account names despite her request.

“It was in 2014 or thereabout that she was given the ATM cards for all the five accounts with the bank officials promising to exchange the cards for the four reflecting her correct names. This again, the banks officials failed to do despite her repeated request.”

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$15m Scandal: EFCC Summons DSS Officials Attached To Patience Jonathan

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has summoned some officials of the Department of State Services, who were attached to Dame Patience Jonathan, the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, for interrogation.

It was learnt on Friday that the invitation was part of investigations into the $15m frozen in four company accounts, which Patience had laid claim to.

Sources in the EFCC told our correspondent that a letter had been written to the DSS, requesting that the officials be allowed to honour the anti-graft agency’s invitation.

A detective told our correspondent that the commission had evidence that the DSS officials had, on several occasions, deposited money into some of the accounts in Skye Bank between 2013 and 2015.

The source said, “The $15m, which we have frozen in the four company accounts was not paid into the accounts at once. The money was paid into the accounts over a two-year period.

“However, we have evidence that it was DSS officials attached to Jonathan’s wife that deposited the money. We have gathered bank documents and we have invited them for interrogation.”

When asked why Patience had not been invited by the EFCC, even after she had openly laid claim to the money and dared the anti-graft agency to invite her for questioning, another source told our correspondent that it was because the commission was trying to build a solid case.

The source said, “We will not like to exchange words with her on the pages of newspapers. She says the money belongs to her but she has no evidence to show that she owns the money except the fact that she was given platinum cards to use in withdrawing money.

“Possessing an ATM card of an account that does not bear your name, signature or credentials does not give you the legal right over that account. We froze the accounts as part of investigations into a money laundering case.

“We are still investigating and we may invite her based on the outcome of investigations. We are still trying to build a solid case.”

The EFCC had stumbled on four company bank accounts in Skye Bank while investigating a former Special Adviser to Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, Waripamowei Dudafa.

The names of the four companies are: Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited; Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Limited; Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited; and Globus Integrated Service Limited. The joint balance of the accounts, as of the time it was frozen, was said to be $15, 591,700.

The four companies standing trial before a Federal High Court in Lagos have since pleaded guilty to money laundering.

Jonathan’s wife has, however, accused the EFCC of hiring mercenaries as directors of the company in an attempt to steal her hard-earned money.

Patience, who has sued Skye Bank for N200m, also has another account under the name ‘Patience Ibifaka Jonathan’ in the bank, which had a balance of $5m. The account was, however, not frozen by the commission.

In the suit filed by Patience, while laying claim to the $15m, which is the subject of prosecution of Dudafa and others, one Sammie Somiari, who deposed to an affidavit on behalf of Patience, claimed that Dudafa helped Patience to open the bank accounts in 2010.

According to him, Dudafa had on March 22, 2010, brought two Skye Bank officials to meet Patience at home to open five accounts.

The deponent claimed that Patience was the sole signatory to the accounts.

He, however, claimed that after the five accounts were opened, Patience later discovered that Dudafa opened only one of the accounts in her name while the other four were opened in the names of companies belonging to Dudafa.

Credit: Punch

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$15m Accounts: Patience Jonathan Accuses EFCC Of Hiring Mercenaries To Plead Guilty

Former First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan has picked holes in the authenticity of the representatives of the four companies who pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges of money laundering at a Federal High Court in Lagos, presided over by Justice Babs Kuewumi.

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants told the court through their counsel that their clients were challenging the validity of the representatives of Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited; Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Limited; Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited; and Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited on the basis that they failed to produce a letter of authority to represent the companies as required under section 477 (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.

The companies are facing a 15-count 2nd Amended Charge along with Waripamo Dudafa, a former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, and two others. While Dudafa and the two others pleaded not guilty, the fourth to seventh defendants whose authenticity as the true representatives of the company was challenged proceeded to curiously plead guilty and admitted culpability before the court.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has since frozen the companies’ accounts with Skye Bank, while Mrs Jonathan has sued the commission and the bank, laying claims to the accounts.

The former First Lady’s through her media aide, Chima Osuji alleged that the EFCC presented four unknown people as representatives of the companies, all of who did not show letters authorising them by their respective boards to represent them in the case. “This is a clear evidence of the desperation of the prosecution to pull down the former First Lady and confiscate her hard-earned money,” he quipped.

Osuji stated: “It is an irony. it was the former first lady who went to court for the repatriation of her confiscated money when she realised that the EFCC and its co-travellers were playing politics with this issue after she had come out publicly to say that the said money belongs to her and that she has all evidence to prove the sources of her money. Up till this very moment, EFCC has refused to interrogate or invite her for questioning.

He further said: “The biggest twist in court on Thursday was that the fourth to seventh defendants pleaded guilty to all the 15-count charges. It is clear that these unknown faces were agents of the EFCC, who have been stage-managed and tutored to come to court to complicate the case as a strategy to confiscate her money.”

The aide reiterated the respect of his boss for the sanctity and integrity of the judiciary as the bastion of hope for every citizen of the country.

He however expressed disappointment that Mrs. Jonathan well-earned image was being maligned in the court of public opinion through the “tissues of lies being churned out by the EFCC in respect of the matter.”

He continued that “Mrs Jonathan is not a Director, shareholder, promoter and/or participant in any of the four companies now under trial, and that she was the sole signatory to all the said accounts, contrary to the fabrication that she used her driver and cook as proxies”.

Finally, he said Mrs Jonathan has denied ever receiving any monies from any unknown sources into her accounts and that the accounts were opened in order to facilitate her travel overseas particularly for medical treatment, sundry purchase for herself and her late mother Mrs. Charity Oba (Mama Sisi).

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We Laundered $15m For Patience Jonathan, Indicted Companies Plead Guilty

The four companies charged alongside a former Special Adviser on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Jonathan, Waripamo Dudafa, and two others with money laundering have pleaded guilty to the offence.

The four companies pleaded guilty to conspiring with Dudafa and the two others to launder a sum of  $15, 591,700 before a Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday.

The companies are Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited; Seagate Property Development & Investment Co. Limited; Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited and Development Company Limited and Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had since frozen the $15.6m found in the four companies’ accounts in Skye Bank.

But wife of ex-President Jonathan, Patience, has sued the EFCC and Skye Bank, laying claims to the money.

Details later…

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