What Buhari Told Experts, Others At The Emergency Economic Retreat

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, September 15, held an emergency meeting with experts and ministers of the federation, to look into ways exiting the present recession facing the country.

Delivering his speech, the president gave insight into what to expect in the 2017 budget being proposed by the ministry of budget and national planning.

The president said the proposed budget, which has already been approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) but has not yet been presented to the national assembly, is focusing largely on pumping funds into capital projects to get the economy running again.

Below is the full text of his speech:

I am delighted to be here with you at this Ministerial Retreat on the Economy and the Budget.  The theme of the Retreat which is “Building Inter-ministerial Synergy for Effective Planning and Budgeting in Nigeria” is very apt and timely, especially as we are in the process of developing the 2017 Budget.

Over the years, there has been a mismatch between planned targets and budgetary outcomes at the National and sectorial levels.  The Federal MDAs have not also benefited significantly from working together and building consensus around common national objectives.  This has impeded growth and development of the country.

It is in this context that this Retreat has been designed to discuss issues around the State of the Economy and build consensus amongst Cabinet Members and top Government officials.  The Retreat will also serve as an opportunity to have a general overview of the economy and discuss the framework for the 2017 Budget, its key priorities and deliverables.

This Retreat is coming at a critical time in our economic history, when the Nigerian economy is in a recession, with significant downturn in performance in various sectors.  It is with regard to the importance of this Retreat that I decided to sit through the first part of the session to listen to the views from experienced economists and development experts on how best to implement our plans to rid the country of its oil dependence and to diversify the economy and bring the country out of the current economic recession.

This is in line with our Administration’s determination to lay a solid foundation for growth and development as outlined in the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) of our Change Agenda.

Given that this Retreat is a lead-up to the 2017 Budget, my expectation is that we will come out of the these sessions with a determination and common position on how to have improved synergy amongst the various Ministries and Departments for the effective formulation and implementation of the 2017 Budget.

I also trust that the breakout sessions will enable you to discuss extensively amongst yourselves, the details of the four sub-themes and come up with practical solutions on the way forward in order to come out with a set of prioritized projects and programmes that will fit into the 2017 Budget.

In this regard, let me inform you that because of the need to focus on our key priorities, some Ministries may get significantly less capital allocation than they received in 2016, while others may get significantly more.

You may notice that some key non-spending agencies, such as the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the National Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and the National Pension Commission (PENCOM), are participants at this Retreat.

This deliberate inclusion underscores the commitment of this Administration to leverage on private sector resources, through Public Private Partnerships (PPP) and other arrangements, in order to augment the scarce budgetary resources at our disposal and to accelerate investments in building critical infrastructure.

Indeed, the challenges we face in the current recession require ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking, to deploy strategies that involve engaging meaningfully with the private sector, to raise the level of private sector investment in the economy as a whole.

We are confident that the level of private investment will grow as we are determined to make it easier to do business in Nigeria by the reforms we are introducing under the auspices of the Presidential Committee on Ease of Doing Business.

Let me reiterate that this Government will continue to strategize on how we can turn the current challenges into opportunities for our nation and especially for our vibrant youth on whose shoulders lies the future of this nation.  This is why we have embarked on measures and actions that will open up the opportunities we have seen in the Power, Housing, Agriculture, Mining, Trade and Investment, Information Communication Technology (ICT) Sectors, Tourism, Transport and other sectors.

I wish to reassure its teeming youth that this Government would remain steadfast in its effort to ensure greater progress and prosperity for you.

While Government is taking the lead in the task of repositioning our economy for Change, we cannot achieve this completely by ourselves. We will need, and we ask for the support and cooperation of the private sector’s domestic and foreign investors, the States and Local Governments, the National Assembly and the Judiciary as well as all well-meaning Nigerians in this important task. We are confident that working together, we shall succeed.

Finally, I trust that the cabinet members will learn from the experiences of the Resource persons and facilitators to prioritise their sector programmes and projects to bring the country out of the current economic recession and place it on the path of growth and development.

I therefore urge the Honourable Ministers and other senior government officials here present, to actively participate in the Second Technical Session, which I believe will provide you with deeper insight into the complex issues that will open opportunities for you to identify critical priority projects and programmes for the 2017 Budget.

At this juncture, may I formally recognize and acknowledge the presence of the array of experts invited to serve as resource persons and facilitators at this Retreat.  I am confident that Ministers and Senior Government officials will benefit immensely from your expertise and wealth of experience.

I wish you all fruitful deliberations and look forward to receiving the report of the Retreat.

Thank you.

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What I Told EFCC About The Several Millions Ex-NSA Dasuki Gave Me — Doyin Okupe

A former presidential side, Doyin Okupe, has just sent the statement below to PREMIUM TIMES explaining what he told operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, who recently quizzed him over the several millions he received from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

Mr. Dasuki is being prosecuted for allegedly mismanaging $2.1billion earmarked for buying equipment for the Nigerian military as it fights insurgency in the North-East.

Read full statement below.

MY RESPONSE TO MEDIA REPORTS ABOUT EFCC SUMMONS

I am constrained to issue this statement in response to certain publications contained in some National dailies about my recent summons by the Economic and Financial Crimes commission, EFCC

In my interactions with the EFCC, I have been asked to explain only three issues so far:

1. Why I received N50m from the office of the National Security Adviser at the onset of my appointment, and what I used the money for.

2. Why I was paid N10m monthly by the Office of the National Security Adviser.
3. Why I received another sum of N50m from the NSA in October 2014.
These are the ONLY subject of interrogation with the commission so far. My explanations were as follows:
1. The initial N50m was approved by the President to be paid to me from His Security vote. N10m was to furnish my rented living apartment and another N10m for my office.

The balance N30m was approved as take off grant for my office.

2. The N10m I received from the Office of the National Security Adviser monthly was to run my office, pay salaries of staff, including overheads, pay expenses for our numerous press conferences, pay for publications in newspapers, magazines, local and foreign, television programs, bulletins, and media consultants who assist and facilitate our work. I had about 23 staff, 11 were graduates out of which 5 were Masters degrees holders. Details were submitted to EFCC

3. The second N50m was approved again by Mr President when I reported to him that the monthly allowance has been cut from N10m to N5m and that I was no longer in a position to keep running a 1hr NTA network program called INSIGHT which was aired 9-10am every Friday and some other days of the week. We paid NTA about N1.2m monthly for airtime. Two presenters were paid N600,000 monthly. We paid for tapes and Editing per program. Besides we also pay honorarium for guests either directly or inform of hotel bills for those outside Abuja, or transportation. This cost averagely N500,000 weekly or about N 2m monthly. All in all we spent about N4m monthly on the program. Mr President promised to help with the expenses. About a few months later when we had incurred some debts, the NSA sent me a sum of N50m which was to cover the cost of the program for 12 months(12×N4m=N48m)

The News paper Trial

I saw strange figures like N 162m fraud, N85m fraud in the Media. Also mention was made of some alleged dubious payments of N13m and N65m from contracts supposedly obtained from chachanga LGA in Niger state.

The Fact however is that my company Romix soilfix was one of the over 20 construction companies who were duly awarded contracts for rural roads some 5yrs ago by the Niger state govt. Due to lack of funds, contractors were paid irregularly thus making the job to drag on for long. The job is still on going. The relationship of this to my service as Senior Special assistant to President is still not clear.

My Health status.

I confided in the officers of the commission about my health situation for them to understand why where and how I sleep was important to my overall well being.

Without clearance or authorization by me this information was revealed to the media. I woke up to hear it on radio broadcast nationwide and was published in many newspapers. This is a sad development and a definite breach of the confidence I reposed on the commission as an institution of government.

I was born with sinus bradycadia, a non disease based slowness of the heart. It precluded me from vigorous exercise from childhood but I have by God’s Grace been able to live a normal and active life. With age the slowness grew worse and life threatening. I sought medical help and went through a procedure at the Arrhythmia cardiac Research center in Atlanta, where this defect was corrected. Its just a year ago and I am still under satellite monitor from the USA. This is what I revealed to the EFCC and they made it a public issue.

I have been in public service in more than 20years. Because of my pedigree, I have by deliberate policy avoided anything that will bring shame to me and my family.

In spite of my high level involvement in politics and government, I have never done directly or indirectly any federal government contracts. In the whole of this world, I have only two houses. One in Lagos and another in my home town. I have no house elsewhere including Abuja.
It is a pity that the situation in the country is so bad that everybody believes that there are no men with honour in politics or government. It is not true. I have submitted all my personal and company accounts to the EFCC. I have nothing to hide.
I am proud of who I am and how far the Lord has taken me. My present travails and trial will become a good testimony for me and my family in Jesus Name.

Dr Doyin Okupe

Former Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs ( 2012-2015)

Credit: Premium Times

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What I Told Buhari During Our Meeting At The Villa – Wike

Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, on Monday, opened up on his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Wike said he told the President that his administration would tackle cultism and insecurity in the four local government areas of the state.

President Buhari on May 16, 2016 had a closed-door meeting with the Rivers State governor.

Though not much was heard about the outcome of the meeting, Wike said in Port Harcourt during a town hall meeting tagged, “Accounting for Governor Nyesom Wike’s Administration: One Year After,” that measures had been put in place to tackle the problem of insecurity.

Wike said he told the President that his administration would combat insecurity in Abua/Odual, Ahoada-East, Ahoada-West and Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local government areas.

“Measures have been put in place to tackle cultism across the state. When I met with the President, I told him that we would tackle cultism and insecurity in the four local government areas.

“They are Abua/Odual, Ahoada-East, Ahoada-West and Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local government areas,” the governor emphasised.

The governor declared that his administration had stabilised the economy of Rivers State with the strategic release of funds for the payment of salaries and release of funds for key projects.

Wike explained that he started with the rehabilitation of infrastructure in the Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor local government areas because both towns were supporting a majority of the population of the state.

The governor also assured the people of the state that his government would execute a key project in each of the 23 local government councils of the state, stressing that no local government area would be denied the impact of good governance.

He also said no project would be abandoned by his administration, promising that his administration would only award projects that would be completed within its lifespan.

He said, “We have stabilised the economy of Rivers State since we took over the reins of leadership in the state.

“We achieved the stabilisation of the economy by injecting N151bn as salaries and payment of contractors. These funds have helped us to rebuild our economy, which was badly damaged by the immediate past administration.”

He said the renewal of infrastructures in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor local government areas had enhanced the economy of the state as more investors had become confident to invest in the state.

The governor noted that 46 roads had been reconstructed under the “Operation Zero Potholes” while 15 roads abandoned by the immediate past administration were completed.

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Transcript: What Aisha Alhassan Told #BringBackOurGirls Movement

I want to tell you here, maybe there is information that you do not know. When Mr President made the promises he made to you, he did not just make them, went back and sit without doing anything.

Mr President is not that kind of person; we all know. Mr President with all of us have been on deck, working to see that our children are brought back.

The security people who are making effort to make sure we bring back our girls alive are all here with us. and everything Mr President is doing is to give them directives to work towards bringing back our girls alive. And that he has done, he has given then instruction, the mandate to bring back our girls alive.

And they have been working; they will tell you by themselves what they have been doing. But mind you, I need to tell you that this is a security issue. It is not everything they are doing that they are going to tell us, including me. Because of operational whatever, they will tell you.

On the part of social networking which is under my ministry; the Ministry of Women affairs and social development. I have been directed and I have spoken with the Honourable member representing Chibok in the House of reps, I have told her the effort we have made on the instruction of Mr. President. And I have spoken with my namesake Hadjia Aisha Yussuf on it, I had looked for my Sister, Dr. Oby on the issue to tell her what we have done, what we are still doing and what we intend to do – I did, before the Christmas. It is not as if Mr President made the promise to you and went and sat down.

I have been instructed to open a Chibok Girls’ office which will serve as a liason office between you and the government. I have been instructed to do that and I have informed my namesake Hadjia Aisha Yussuf that I have done that and we have a Deputy Director heading the office – just one office on Chibok girls issue to show you how important the issue is to the government. The government can never open an office for just one single item. But that has been done, that is one.

Secondly, We have been drawing programmes, I had told the representative of Chibok in the house of Rep and I had told my namesake Hadjia Yussuf of the programme that we intended to do before Christmas. But it was too tight and we decided we should have it during the Christmas period and we should wait until after the New Year. And we still intend to have that programme, and the programme is one of…(edited out)

So, for us my Dear Sisters and Brothers from Chibok and my sisters and brothers from the movement, It is like you feel the government is insensitive to this cause, because if the government is, when you hear the things that are being done from the security agencies, the little that they can tell you because they can’t tell you everything that is being done to bring back the girls, that is one, and secondly you have heard that this is what we have done and thank God I had informed the leadership of the movement, Hadjia Aisha Yussuf, and even the member of the house of Rep representing you that “this” is what we have done so far on the social welfare part and “this” is what we intend to do. I told them and I write a letter at the time. But you (Hadijia Aisha Yussuf) told me that we should take it to the Unity Fountain, that we will meet you. My officer went there 3 times without meeting any member of the group. But I said well, it was Christmas and New Year period (lots of “it’s a lie” “at what time?” murmur from the crowd).

I have no reason to lie to you, if I didn’t do it, I will tell you I didn’t do it. Because we wrote a letter, they went there three times because I had actually told your leader Mrs Aisha Yussuf that I was going to write a letter and I asked her I wanted an Address to which I should send the letter, and you told me to send it to the Unity Fountain. If I didn’t intend to write a letter, I wouldn’t have looked for your number, called you and asked where to deliver the letter.
Because your people are shouting that “it’s not true, It’s not true” and I have no reason to lie to anybody here.

So, my brother and Sister, the government has not left you, the government has not rescinded on the promises they made to you for you to say you are going to sit here until Mr President comes. With due respect, I think it’s not nice enough because in the first place, Mr President is a busy person and he has a schedule. If we had been told earlier than you told us, we would have made Mr President present here and speaking to you. We still intedn to have that programme we didn’t have at the end of the year so that Mr President can be there to see you and talk to you.

What Mr President will tell you is not more than what he told you before that we are making effort and the promises that he made which he had directed us and the security people to do, so I plead with you to talk with us, Mr. President sent us here, the Minister of Defence is here, the National security Officer is here, the Chief of Defence staff is here, I am here on the social welfare part representing the government. I think Mr president has done especially with the short notice that you have given for today’s programme. Today is your programme and it is not too good to say you will just come and very short notice and see the President, so I am begging you, I’m pleading with you to agree to see us. Tell us whatever you can, whatever you want to tell us. and we will tell you what the government is doing. So that when we arrange that programme, Mr President can still come see you tell you what the govt is doing, and we can still tell you what the government is doing because these are the officers responsible for bringing back the girls and we want them back alive.

And the social welfare aspect, I am responsible. My ministry is responsible, I have the office, I have the desk, the desk officer is here, Mrs Bulus, (to Mrs Bulus) can you come forward please? Mrs Bulus is the Deputy Director and in the letter we write to you, we gave her number, my number, you have our numbers and we say you can reach us 24/7 on whatever you want to find out. we are the liason, that office in the Ministry of Women Affairs is the liason between the government, you the group, and the parents. And we said 24 hours you can call us, 7 days a week.

You can call us at any time and ask your questions or tell your grievances to us and we will forward it to the government. Ok?

So, I will now hand over to the Minister of Defence, to tell you… and in the budget for this year we have planned mobile consulting clinics to be visiting you, to be counselling you, to be talking with you so that you can feel some relief before our children are brought back. We pray that we get them today but it’s not within our making, these children have been gone long before this government came to power, and you have heard promises. We don’t want to bring them as corpses to you to bury. We want to bring them alive, and we have to go slowly to make sure that they are brought alive..

Click the image below to watch the video:

Video: What Women Affairs Minister, Aisha Al-Hassan Told #BringBackOurGirls

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Video: What Women Affairs Minister, Aisha Al-Hassan Told #BringBackOurGirls

On Thursday, members of the BringBackOurGirls group alongside parents of the over 200 girls kidnapped from Chibok, Borno state went to the villa to meet with the president.

Before the president eventually met with the group, several government officials including the Minister of Women Aisha Jummai Alhassan and her Defence counterpart, Dan Ali had met with them.

During the meeting, the Women Affairs minister was said to have made uncomplimentary remarks at the Chibok parents, a development that drew criticisms from the social media.

OakTV has a video of the minister’s comments during the meeting and we hereby reproduce for your viewing pleasure.

Click the video below to watch:

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What Buhari told IMF Chief, Lagarde — Presidency

President Muhammadu Buhari said Tuesday in Abuja that his administration will look inwards, enforce regulations to stop financial leakages and adopt global best practices in generating more revenue to mitigate the effect of dwindling oil prices on the Nigerian economy.

Receiving the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ms Christine Lagarde at the Presidential Villa, President Buhari said that his administration will also enforce greater discipline, probity and accountability in all  revenue generating agencies of the Federal Government, the presidency said in a statement.

“We have just come out of budget discussions after many weeks of taking into consideration the many needs of the country, and the down turn of the economy with falling oil prices and the negative economic forecasts,” presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, quoted Mr. Buhari as telling Ms. Lagarde.

“We are working very hard and with the budget as our way forward, we will do our best to ensure that our country survives the current economic downturn.

“We have also told all  heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government that on our watch, they will fully account for all funds that get into their coffers.”

The President said the Federal Government was reviewing its operational costs and had directed all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies to cut down on their overhead costs.

President Buhari said the Federal Government will welcome  the technical support and expertise of the IMF for its plans to diversify the Nigerian economy and further unleash its growth potentials.

In her remarks, Ms Lagarde said that the IMF will be willing to assist the Federal Government in plugging revenue leakages, tracing stolen funds and restructuring its tax system.

She said Nigeria had all the potentials to overcome the current economic challenge of falling commodity prices without resorting to the IMF for financial support.

Ms. Lagarde had earlier given insight into what she discussed with Mr. Buhari, saying contrary to widespread perception, she was not in Nigeria to negotiate a loan for the country.
“I am not here to negotiate loan with conditionalities because Nigeria does not need a new IMF programme,” the IMF chief said.

Ms. Lagarde, who addressed a press conference at the State House, Abuja, said she had a fruitful discussion with Mr. Buhari on the state of the Nigerian economy in the light of dwindling oil prices.

She said she also discussed how Nigeria could face the challenges associated with global economic downturn.

She said her meeting with the president also dwelled on Mr. Buhari’s fight against corruption and his commitment to transparency and accountability in governance.

Ms. Lagarde said the IMF considers Nigeria a key player in global financial structure, adding that ongoing reforms in the country would definitely have a great impact on Nigeria’s neighbours.

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Uduaghan And Okowa Innermost Confession: What They Individually Told Me That You Don’t Know About – Fejiro Oliver

“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”  – Martin Luther King Jr

Meeting Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa (SIAO) gives you an idea on the work that he does, looking down consistently on papers while answering calls. On the day that we met, it dawned on me that he’s most times not with his phones; hence no one should be angry that the governor no longer picks calls. I have told some friends who told me that SIAO no longer pick or return calls like he does before he became a governor, and I play out the scenario for him. I was not there to see for personal gains, for a time for that will come, but to see him to ask questions which my immediate constituency (Online and Social Media) always wanted to seek clarification for.

And face to face the questions flew and not a single one was dodged but SIAO, but in a cool, composed, collected and calm manner; he answered every single one, so well that one would think that he was prepared for them. But No, this was an unscheduled meeting, with questions carved straight from the Airport.

For months, the rumor of his defection to the All Progressive Congress (APC) travelled round the State. His journey to India with President Muhammadu Buhari just a day after his court case at the tribunal fueled the speculation as well as his closeness to Ibe Kachikwu, the Minister of Petroleum (State) and his two time visit to Buhari, and while it raged, none of his media appointees could tell us the mind of the number one man, for they do not know. Now this is authoritative, SIAO is not going to be a member of the APC family, at least not now; he told me. He wondered why he should be thinking of joining a party which he stated is highly factionalized into four. Even though he made it known that his party is facing a serious leadership challenge; he’s not going to abandon them now. To him, it’s too early for a governor to begin to think of 2019 election and the party to join when the fresh mandate given is yet to be fulfilled.

He went down memory lane on how close he has been with Kachikwu many years ago. “Kachikwu is not a politician but a technocrat”, he told me, “and party must not separate us who are friends”, he ended. On Buhari, SIAO did not visit him for personal gains but for the good of Deltans. He was there to plead with the President concerning the dredging of the escravos river, which when done will enable the Warri Seaport function effectively, and bring economic good to the state. He was there to draw the attention of the President concerning the gas plant in the state and the $16 billion oil investment of EPZ, which cannot be allowed to go moribund simply because the party is no longer in power. None of these visits centred on his decamping to the APC, he assured Deltans as we discussed.

I was not going to leave there without asking him what he intends to do to the flood ravaging the State, including the front of the government house. SIAO spoke so slowly now, in pathetic tone, admitting the challenge before him. But he has a solution to it, a permanent one that will cost the State over N9 billion. He did not blame the past administration, but acknowledged the efforts to make Asaba a flood free area, which was thwarted by others, not necessarily by the man at the helm of affairs. He recalled that the James Ibori regime built a dam to curtail the flood, even though the dam is too small for the kind of rain that has fallen in the past years. He will not leave Asaba the way he met it, but stop the flood. The big question is, will Deltans ever understand that over N9 billion will be used to solve this problem once and for all, as estimated by the company brought to evaluate it?

Done with SIAO after demanding for a favor to remember the lady who lost a five month old pregnancy campaigning vigorously for her, who he promised to do something about, I left the man who sees me as a son and I call “daddy” to see the former governor, Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Since the part one of my meeting with Uduaghan hit the public, I have received more condemnation than condemnation. Many were bold to send me text messages on how they were informed that the former governor gave me the money which I used to put up my new mansion, for me to do the public relation stunt. For the records, the first series was NEVER  a PR neither will this be. It’s a sincere account of what transpired between us and I will not add or remove to please the crowd of men who wants to stone him. Again, I have never received a dime from the Medical Doctor turned politician prior to then, to enable me live a luxury life or have my apartments. Those who the former governor empowered and are now fighting him know themselves. The only Deltans who can take the glory of some of such assets and luxury life are the woman we fondly call ‘Mummy’, Dr Mrs Ngozi Olejeme, the current governor and my friend, Hillary (They deserve mention at this stage before the year ends). The many questions I have received from Deltans to Uduaghan will be thrown to him when next I meet him.

I will not disclose where we met, but it was an encounter that when his book is published will be an eye opener for all. I am only a forerunner to the yet to be published book.

For those who may not know, Okowa ought to have been the Deputy to Ibori, but destiny never wanted him. Uduaghan revealed to me the intrigues that played out, on how two names were submitted from Anioma. Benjamin Elue was not even known to Ibori, but providence brought his name on the list. I will leave Uduaghan to personally tell the world the role of Faith Majemite (positively) in the emergence of Elue who was sleeping when she met him as the Deputy Governor. But one thing was clear that if Okowa had been Deputy Governor, his chances of being the governor today would have been very slim.

As the Commissioner for Water and Natural resources, Okowa was so powerful in the Ibori government, Uduaghan made me know. However some Urhobos who were scared of his larger than life political future conspired to split the ministry. It was Uduaghan who told Ibori not to do so, reminding him that Okowa ought to be his Deputy, but for fate that played out and that was how the plans of the evil commissioners failed. These same people who had long plotted his fall politically are still around him today, maybe known or unknown to him.

Uduaghan opened up to me on the 2006 primaries which threw him up as the candidate, where he and Okowa agreed that whoever emerged as winner will support each other. Mother luck made him win, but the manner in which he won never went down well with Okowa. A day after the primaries, he drove to meet Okowa in the hotel, where the current governor bared his mind and Uduaghan pleaded with him to be his campaign Director General, which he accepted.

After the general election, Okowa was made the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), a position that Uduaghan refused to tamper with, giving Ekwueme so much power that he could literally do and undo. It was in that era that Uduaghan will minute to Okowa and Okowa will minute back. It was a battle of intellectuals, where “Yes Sir” was not the order of the day or the governor having the final say.

I listened with rapt attention as Uduaghan took me down memory lane on how he personally told Okowa to resign as his SSG to contest for Senate, telling him clearly on how he cannot make him SSG for two tenure and therefore must climb up politically. This was not an easy decision as Uduaghan met a hard rock in the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan whose wife who Mariam Ali while he preferred another against Okowa. Against all odds, even when Jonathan gave a marching order to give the ticket to any other person but not Okowa, Uduaghan could not imagine doing so, not after telling his friend and political ally to resign as SSG. Again, I will let us read it in his books how he pulled the string through.

I expect to be asked why he never supported Okowa initially to be governor in 2015. Permit me dear readers to go back and ask him which will be given to you raw when I do.

His private affairs was not left out, especially as I accused him in one of my reports of laundering N2 billion through the Warri Regional Manager of Sterling Bank, Juliet Mowarin, who I also accused him of paying his bride price. He laughed as we discussed it, acknowledging that Sterling Bank manages DESOPADEC account, but how untrue it is that he has married Juliet. As an Urhobo man, he noted how foolish it will be to launder money through a woman if he must; explaining the source of the story linking him and Juliet to me. And now don’t ask me if he’s dating her; for he’s in a better position to answer it. But when I do get the answers, I will be here telling us the details of it.

These little things matter…

 

Fejiro Oliver is Editor In Chief of Secrets Reporters News, Investigative Journalist, Media Consultant and Human Rights Activist can be reached on +2348022050733 (SMS ONLY) or secretsreporters@gmail.com. Engage him on twitter on @fejirooliver86

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What Fmr Delta Gov. Uduaghan Told Me That Deltans Never Knew About – Fejiro Oliver

“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”  – Malcolm X

It is a general knowledge in Nigeria that apart from Bola Tinubu who has control of the media, the only man who was able to penetrate the media and hold them in his hands like his pawn is former Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan. This is clearly evident in his winning almost of the newspapers man of the year award, and when he fails to win, he carts home the award of health, security and micro credit scheme section. In one of my article, I penned down how the credit of the trio mentioned cannot be washed away, even by the most wicked pen.

Despite having a hold of the online news media just as he held the print and broadcast medium, it must really have come as a shock when in the tail end of his ‘finishing strong’ tenure, he received the worst negative media publicity caused by the political situation at the time. In all these malicious attack on his government, family and personality including his private life, yours sincerely spearheaded it. It was a season of political warfare and every arsenal had to be used to win the war; and here was a nice man under the radar of Secrets Reporters. In all of this, we never gave him the chance, I must admit. The former governor who had strong control of the online media could no longer hold all, as we had a splinter group, with main objective of exposing what the government was doing wrong. After the election, it ought to have stopped but for some reasons; it continued. And then I met the former number one man in Delta.

The day was 27th November 2015, when I just finished having a private discussion with my father and principal, Senator Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa (SIAO), the sitting governor. A call was placed to Uduaghan (not by Okowa) that his ‘boy’ is around and he demanded that he speak with me. In a voice devoid of opulence, the immediate past governor spoke with me and decided that the “prodigal son”, should come and see him. For the records, this is not a public relation stunt for the former governor, but a sincere account of what transpired between us. Various attempts had been made in time past for me to meet him, which will be discussed later.

At exactly 4:43pm, a protocol officer came to pick me in my hotel room to meet Uduaghan. I expected to be brought before a palace, but no, I was in a common place found everywhere in Delta State. I looked around to see if I could find anything extra ordinary about the place as I was led upstairs, and I found none. As a door opened, I appeared before the very man, whose words were law, and at his signature, the humanly impossible were made possible. Before me was His Excellency very casual and eating the popular Urhobo Banga soup and Starch. I greeted him in the native dialect which he answered, asking if I speak Urhobo. He finished eating and exactly 5:36pm, we began discussion. It was not an interview but a father and son discussion. He opened up on how he needed to correct some negative impressions which I wrote on him, including using my very good friend Reuben. He also knew that the only person who could easily talk to me is Hillary but according to him, there were insinuations that I have been told not to see him, hence he gave up. This write up is not influenced by money and never can be, for if I needed money from Uduaghan, I would have gotten it while he reigned through honest means. But the truth must be told to us from him.

UDUAGHAN FACE HIS FIRST SECURITY CHALLENGE

The ex governor is currently writing a book, which will certainly shock the political class when it’s released, right from his days as a Commissioner under the Ibori’s regime. When he decided to make peace and security one of his three point agenda, it was because he had experienced insecurity in its closest form and dealt with it. His first experience of dealing with insecurity was as a Commissioner when students of the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) protested that they must be included under the scholarship scheme, a protest which later turned bloody when Ibori visited, which he admitted led to the death of a student shot by security details attached to Ibori.

Ibori was truly worried over the death of the student, which the papers erroneously referred to as three, he told me. After much persuasion, the 1999 governor allowed him to mediate between the students and the government. It was in the course of this problem that he met Reuben Izeze, then a PTI student and Mike Akpobire also a student of Delta State University (DELSU) but rusticated for leading protest against the school and Elijah Oloje. With the help of the trio, he set out to bring peace. In several of such meetings, he entered into the venue without any security detail, at the risk of his life until a truce was reached, which was that Ibori must visit all the hostels affected with his ADC and CSO who must not carry a pin, with him carrying the children of the slain student as he address the students. The Vice Chancellor of DELSU who had just four months to retire refused to accept Akpobire back because he still felt pained that he was put inside the boot of a car by Akpobire. After his retirement, Akpobire was back to DELSU. With this done, Uduaghan successfully handled the crisis that would have built a gulf between the students, and brought in the trio into government where they remain till today. How he entered the creeks alone surrounded by gun welding men with bullets hanging on their shoulders on both side with him in the middle just to see that there is peace in the oil state will be read in his coming book.

MY REPORTS THAT NEVER WENT DOWN WELL WITH HIM

For those with sharp memories or patient enough to still go through my Facebook timeline of October 2014 when he celebrated his birthday, one of my tribute to him was his ability to still have a human heart to accommodate criticism and dangerous reports and not think of hunting down the writers. The Uduaghan I met is not different from the Uduaghan in office, but again, he admitted that there are some things he would have done differently. He got to know about Fejiro Oliver more in the course of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries gubernatorial campaign. At first he thought I was just a normal Facebook user but when he saw that I was consistent in my ‘attack’ which later metamorphosed into news reports and articles, he had to take me serious and added me as a friend on Facebook.

In his humorous nature, he said I unfriended him, and even when I did (unknown to me that it was him, since there are many people using his name to dupe), he stated that he found a way of reading my opinions on his government. At this stage, I began to wonder what manner of man will find means to read the reports of a journalist who is constantly on his neck. This is not the nature of the Nigerian politicians that I know who will not only unfriend critics but block them. In his human nature, Uduaghan bared it all on how many people advised him to get rid of me, but he would do no such, giving credence to what I wrote about his harmless nature.

At a time, he feared for my life, praying that nothing should happen to me, caused by supporters and sympathizers who will harm me in his name. At this stage, he recalled on Ogbe Onokpite who was killed and accusing fingers were pointed to him even when he knew nothing about it. Did I believe him? Yes, I believe him and will defend this, even though you can’t trust Nigerian politicians. In the course of the guber debate which Ogbe partook in, the judges who are still alive will bear witness on how he told them to allow Ogbe sit down when he noticed that he was sweating profusely, and being medical doctor, he drew their attention to it. A man who wants to kill will do no such.

I had done numerous reports on him, but one of those which he felt was below the belt and callous of me was mentioning the women he had slept with. He sure do have more of Urhobo blood flowing in him, and should have eyes for women, but one of the women mentioned in my report was the wife of late Sunny Ofili, his Special Assistant on ICT. His concern was not about his image but on the woman who had just lost her husband, and linked to him even when nothing of such was happening. “The report held my hands back from rendering help to her”, he told me. I understood his pain and how inhuman I must have been then, but the political scenario at that time warranted him which he understood.

Uduaghan got me trapped in our discussion and even when Richard Mofe Damijo came in later to check on him and left, he continued from the exact place we stopped, when in all honesty I could not even remember it. He has the memory of an elephant and the brilliance of Micheal Faraday. In the almost two hour nonstop chat with him, I saw the Uduaghan whom I wrote about on a different scale.

***Keep tab on how Okowa missed becoming the Deputy to Ibori, and how some key government officials attempted to make him lose relevance by splitting ministry of water and natural resources into different ministry, as well as connection with Juliet Mowarin of Sterling Bank, including how Okowa went to the Senate against the forces that be. All these and more breathe taking revelations from the man who should know best, Emmanuel Uduaghan.

These little things matter…

Fejiro Oliver is Editor In Chief of Secrets Reporters News, Investigative Journalist, Media Consultant and Human Rights Activist can be reached on +2348022050733 (SMS ONLY) or secretsreporters@gmail.com. Engage him on twitter on @fejirooliver86

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30 Minutes Exclusive Discussion With Gov. Okowa; What He Told Me That Broke Our Hearts

By Fejiro Oliver

I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. – Will Rogers

I take this oath this day 27th of November 2015 that everything I will pen down here will be the truth and nothing but the truth. So help me God.

The day was Friday, and I had just left my Hotel in Ikeja, called Bovey Hotel, one of its very best in Lagos straight to the Murtala Muhammad International Airport, local wing to catch up with the 11.00 am Dana Airline flight that will connect me to catch up with an event. The flight was supposed to be by 4pm but it was rescheduled for 11am which I was not so happy with.

Done with my check in and with my boarding pass, I decided to call my friend, Hillary, just to know what’s happening and pass information across. When I told him I was in the airport, his voice sounded low and said “I be think say you fit come meet oga for lodge”. After some time of thinking, I decided to cancel my flight with extra fare paid though and went straight to the Delta State Governor’s lodge. This palatial building outweighs that of Abuja, where I had lodged during my trip to Abuja. Homely and welcoming, I was brought before the number one man in Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa whom I christened SIAO and he wore his customary blazing white native cloth. The journey of our discussion that opened his bosom to me began.

“Na wa, e don till wey I see you”, SIAO said to me and I answered in the affirmative. “Abi Hillary don hide you from me too”, he said again and I laughed saying “Daddy if I have seen Hillary, I have seen you”. I was led to the private discussion corner and exactly 1:05pm, the governor came to sit in a sofa close to me and we began to talk. The tone was set for heart to heart discussion as I called him “daddy” in my usual self, while he sees me as a son.

I opened up to him on my personal desire to be the first to have an exclusive interview with him, following an article I wrote in June 2014 titled “What Governor Uduaghan personally told me about 2015 elections”, where the desire was expressed and want him to grant the desire and secondly for private discussions, which he agreed to and the gear kicked.

Firing the first question stating how he feels knowing that he didn’t expect to meet a near empty treasury when he was making those lofty promises and how he intends to achieve it, it dawned on me that I had met a rock interviewee who when unprepared will give the best answers under the sun, calmly and truthful, without the usual “erm erm erm”, you hear from government officials.

SIAO agreed that times are ahead but removed the blame from his predecessor, Governor Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan, but attributed it to a national issue. Like a Shakespearean speaker, he reeled out his hearts on how he would have loved to do all he promised in record time, but will still “do it, even though they may not be fast like we expected. We really wanted to empower youths as can be seen through our skills acquisition programme and while we would love to have everyone onboard, the current challenge makes it hard to expand the programe to cover all, but we will do our best.

For a man who should protect his fellow ‘big me’, I’m surprised that he’s planning the days of Sodom and Gomorrah on them just to side with the poor. He could not imagine why “the poor man who earns just Thirty Thousand Naira will pay tax yet you see all these men with big cars not paying. We are trying so hard to increase the Internally Generated Revenue, but we will do it in such a way that it will not affect the ordinary men. The rich among us should pay their tax”, SIAO shocked me. I immediately scanned my heart for all the big men in Delta State with intimidating cars to begin to find the nearest state where they will run to evade tax, as Delta will soon be too hot for them.

With smile in his face, the governor opened up to me on how the state was being run with little funds, so much that official cars are yet to be completely bought, against the standard norm practiced in true democracy. He told me how he pleaded with the Commissioners to cope with the below standard furniture’s in their ministries for now, while using some of his campaign cars for government duties. As we spoke, there was no sign of a man unprepared for the job, but a man born ahead of 2015, who knew from the womb that a time such as this will occur when the burdens of Delta will rest on his shoulders.

“I am not surprised at the turn of financial events in the country. As a matter of time, in the course of the election, I saw that this will come, and my team and I planned ahead of it. Going to the Senate also helped me in knowing some of this things and hence not overwhelmed by the duty of the job”, he told me. SIAO is not in government for frivolities or to enjoy the pecks of office, for if it was so, he won’t give out his campaign office that is well furnished for government use, without collecting rent like some state governors do with their properties. If he wanted to loot the treasury, he won’t allow his wife, as First Lady to use his office for government use. May I shock you; his wife has no official car, but uses his own private vehicles.

His heart is humane, ever ready to know the least details. This came to be again when I told him about a lady who was in protocol and worked all for him despite being pregnant. Yes, I did tell my governor that the lady in question lost her five months old pregnancy working for him, and the lady seems to have been forgotten. Surprise he was as he admitted not knowing of such and demanded some answers from me which I provided. The man who should be bearing the toga of ‘my governor, my governor’, gladden my heart when he said “tell your friend to remind me”. No excuse on why he cannot help was given, neither was unrealistic promises made, and then I knew; this governor is not a politician, but first a father and then a servant ever willing to lead and help.

Will SIAO defect to APC? Why is he now a favorite of President Muhammadu Buhari and a close ally to the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu? What is his plan to curb the flood ravaging Asaba and what is his plan towards the Warri Seaport? These and many more, beyond what you ever imagined and all the gossip you ever read that SIAO revealed to me. In 30 minutes private meeting with him, I met a governor who Deltans and Nigerians never knew as one who plays politics beyond party lines. “I am not elected for the PDP but the people”, a word that still rings even as I pen this down.

WATCH OUT FOR PART TWO & MY EXCLUSIVE 1 HOURS 30 MINUTES HEART TO HEART DISCUSSION WITH FMR GOV. EMMANUEL UDUAGHAN…

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What Buhari Told His Ministers At The Kick-off Of A Two Day Retreat In Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday instructed his new ministers to ensure they run a lean government at all levels, to avoid wastage of public funds.

The president charged them to key into the change agenda of government, as they are the vehicle that will administer the change to Nigerians.

He gave the charge when he opened a two-day retreat for the 36 ministers who are yet to be sworn into office yet.

The event held at the old banquet hall of the presidential villa in Abuja.

Mr. Buhari said the administration would be assessed based on the number of Nigerians it is able to lift out of poverty.

The retreat, themed, “Delivering change from precepts to practice”, was attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, all ministers-designate and other presidential aides.

Speaking at the opening ceremony before the retreat went into closed session, President Buhari said the ministers must be the drivers of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, APC’s change mantra.

“You are coming on board the ship of governance at an interesting time. So much has been said about the state of our economy. It is expected that we make the running of Government at all levels as lean as possible, avoid waste and conserve resources. As ministers, you must be the vehicle that will administer the change,” he said.

“Our main task is to turn our manifesto promises to practice and results. Over the next two days I expect you to have a better understanding of the context in which we have taken the challenge of serving our country, as well as the strategies we have adopted to tackle them. I would also expect you to be even more determined to work as a team, and to live up to the high standards of probity and integrity which Nigerians expect of us.”

Mr. Buhari said the major focus of his administration would be diversification from oil.

“We will intervene in mining and agriculture and upgrade the country’s physical and social infrastructure, which will broaden our revenue base and significantly improve the level of employment, especially among the youth. Our economic focus will be policies that will ensure inclusive growth and we will count our achievements based on the number of Nigerians we move out of poverty,” he said.

He reminded the ministers to establish effective communication with their colleagues, and to rout all communication and appointments to the presidency through the Office of the Chief of Staff “as is normal in this Presidential System”.

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Alleged Interference In Akwa Ibom, Rivers States Election Tribunals: Let The Truth Be Told, By Inibehe Effiong

The sustained vitriolic attacks and despicable campaign of calumny against the Nigerian judiciary and the presidency over the judgments delivered by the Governorship Election Tribunals of Akwa Ibom and Rivers States by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its appendages in the media and the civil society should be deprecated by every truth loving person in Nigeria. It is beyond political partisanship and affiliation.

Those who violently raped and emasculated this country for several years before the historic election of President Muhammadu Buhari in the last presidential election should be reminded that Nigerians rejected their criminal proclivities resoundingly at the polls and voted overwhelmingly for change.

The endless cries of the sons of perdition and the daughters of the Philistine against the nullification of the internationally condemned make-believe governorship election in Akwa Ibom and Rivers States amounts to dancing on the graves of the innocent citizens of this country who were cruelly murdered by the agents of election robbers on April 11, 2015. Those seeking to subvert the course of justice through mischievous propaganda and premeditated attacks on the judiciary should know that they have the blood of innocent Nigerians on their hands.

We cannot forget so soon the indisputable fact that the so-called governorship election in the two States was characterised by snatching of election materials, mass disenfranchisement of eligible voters, violence, arson, blood letting, murders, kidnappings and other illicit acts unprecedented in the history of elections in Nigeria. The Tribunals of both States was confronted and presented with hard facts and incontrovertible evidence. In Akwa Ibom State, two security agencies, namely; the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) wrote compelling reports on what they observed during the purported April 11 election in the State.

For emphasis and clarity, the observation part of the NSCDC report which was tendered and admitted as Exhibit 12 at the Tribunal is reproduced below:

“It has been observed clearly, that the general conduct of the April 11th Gubernatorial and State Assembly Elections was not properly conducted by (INEC) by all standard, it appears INEC to have had a close dealing with the sitting authority in the State. Thuggery, killings, snatching of election materials was above average. Therefore, the general conduct of the Election in April 11th, 2015 Gubernatorial and State Assembly Elections was marred with high level of violence and killings.”

Also tendered and admitted by the Akwa Ibom Tribunal was Exhibit 337 which is the Certified True Copy of the report of the Nigeria Police Force on the said election duly signed by AIG B. A. Bolanta, NPM, fwc, supervising AIG, Akwa Ibom State Command. The report is littered with incidences of violence, killings, kidnappings, macheting, snatching of ballot papers, etc. It is instructive to note that the Nigeria Police Force, the 5th respondent in the case, did not defend the petition. Despite being served with processes, the Police declined to defend the ‘election’ at the Tribunal.

No evidence was led by the Respondents (Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, PDP and INEC) to discredit or contradict Exhibits 12 and 337.

In the case of Rivers State, officers of the Nigerian Army who monitored the election in the State gave irresistible evidence at the Tribunal of how violence, murders, arson and the wanton brigandage scuttled the April 11 election in the State. Their testimonies was effectively corroborated by Mr. Charles Okoye the Head of Election and Party Monitoring Department of INEC who insisted while testifying at the Tribunal that the Rivers governorship election was “a sham and a mockery of democracy”.

Is it not true that the then PDP-led federal government of Goodluck Jonathan aided the rigging of elections in Akwa Ibom and Rivers States? What is the pretensions about? Were people not killed and houses and properties destroyed during the so-called governorship elections in these States? Why are some people talking as if they were in the moon when democracy was massacred on April 11 in Akwa Ibom and Rivers States? Or did the Nigerian Army, the Police, NSCDC; international and local observers all conspire to velify and castigate the so-called elections in Akwa Ibom and Rivers States?.

No matter how hard those lampooning the Judiciary and President Buhari may try to harass and blackmail the Justices of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court before whom the decisions of the Akwa Ibom and Rivers Tribunals will be tested, the facts of what transpired on April 11 remains indelible. They may have succeeded in rigging the elections but they will never succeed in their ongoing dispirited efforts to rig history.

The PDP, Governor Ayo Fayose, International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) and their surrogates in the media, etc, should know that apart from the judgment of the court of law, there are two other judgments; the judgment of God and the judgment of posterity.

In an attempt to discredit the judgments of the Tribunals, allusions have been serially made to the alleged “harassment” of the Akwa Ibom and Rivers State Resident Electoral Commissioners by the Department of State Service (DSS). The questions are: how did the investigation of these persons by the DSS affect the proceedings of the Tribunals? Did the DSS restrain or bar any INEC official from testifying at the Tribunal? Is it not true that the ballot papers purportedly used for the Akwa Ibom State governorship election was wilfully immersed in water to frustrate inspection and forensic analysis by the Petitioners as ordered by the Tribunal? Does such despicable action by a so-called electoral umpire not constitute an electoral offense to warrant him being investigated sequel to a petition by the Petitioners?

Where was Prince Olisa Metuh, Governor Ayo Fayose and their band of false alarmists when Akwa Ibom people were prevented from freely exercising their franchise on April 11?. Is Fayose who voted for himself during the June 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State aware that aside Mr. Umana Okon Umana of the APC, candidates of two other political parties, namely; Bishop Samuel Akpan of the Accord Party and Etebom Christopher Itiat of the DPP, gave evidence at the Akwa Ibom Governorship Election Tribunal that they were denied the right to vote for themselves which was upheld as the truth by the Tribunal or is he talking simply because he thinks that responsible leadership is all about moving from one local beer parlour to another and sharing rice in the name of “stomach infrastructure”?

Where was Intersociety when innocent Nigerians were killed on April 11, 2015 in Akwa Ibom and Rivers States? Intersociety’s petition to the Chief Justice of Nigeria on the so-called “interference” of the Executive with the cases at the Tribunals makes a mockery of the very values that a Non Governmental Organization with such name should represent. Intersociety’s petition is nothing but a by-product of ‘Stomach Activism’.

Again, it has been suggested that the relocation of the Akwa Ibom and Rivers States Governorship Election Tribunals to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja was in furtherance of a sinister plot to manipulate the outcome of the cases at the Tribunal. This is a very ludicrous and untenable argument. At whose instance were these Tribunals relocated and what precipitated the applications for their relocation? The President of the Court of Appeal relocated the Tribunals to Abuja because of apparent and manifest security threats and concerns.

In the case of Akwa Ibom State, the PDP had practically turned the premises of the Tribunal in Uyo prior to its relocation to a party secretariat. While the Tribunal sat in Uyo, the PDP consistently mobilised thugs and its supporters in buses to the Tribunal at each sitting. This created a rancorous and tensed atmosphere which deprived the Tribunal of the serenity and decorum that was required for the judges, lawyers and witnesses to effectively attend the Tribunal without fear. Both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court have ruled that the relocation of the Akwa Ibom and Rivers State Tribunals was constitutional, lawful and justifiable having regard to the security challenges in both States. So what is the cacophony about if the highest court of the land has agreed that there was security challenges to warrant the relocation?

How come that the PDP is completely silent on the judgment given in favour of its leader in the Senate, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, given that the Tribunal that delivered the judgment (which is now a subject of debate and controversy) in the Akwa Ibom North West senatorial election petition case of Inibehe Okori vs Godswill Akpabio also sat in Abuja? Or is the issue now about the specific part of Abuja where each Tribunal sat? If the Presidency is interfering with the Tribunals how come that other Tribunals, like that of Delta and Imo States, have given judgment in favour of the PDP?.

We all know that the PDP from inception despised the Card Reader with passion. The reasons are visible to the blind. With Card Reader, 16 will no longer be greater than 19 in Nigeria; with Card Reader, those who have been rigging elections in this country since 1999 will be consigned to the dustbin of history and political oblivion. For the PDP, cohesing and blackmailing the courts to reject Card Reader is a do or die affair.

Simply put, the Card Reader poses an existential threat to all that the PDP represents – rigging, murder, corruption and other vices inherent in the party. Prior to the election, the party had ferociously resisted the use of the Card Reader. All sorts of dubious propaganda was orchestrated against the Card Reader. In the end, PDP lost and Nigeria won.

Card Reader survived the Executive, it survived the National Assembly and I believe the Judiciary will be guided by the law and the overriding need to enhance our electoral process in reaching its verdict. From the legal point of view, I had previously written elaborately on why the Supreme Court should uphold the Card Reader therefore it is not necessary to re-argue that in this article. But suffice it so say that returning Nigeria to the pre Card Reader era will deal a deadly blow to our democracy and electoral process.

It is insulting to the collective sanity of the Nigerian people for the very cult of rascals who arrogantly deployed state apparatus, resources and institutions in rigging the shambolic April 11, 2015 gubernatorial elections in Akwa Ibom and Rivers States to be accusing the presidency of “interfering” with the judgments of the Election Tribunals. How come that the APC is unsatisfied with and is appealing against the controversial judgment of the Akwa Ibom State Governorship Election Tribunal if indeed the Tribunal’s decision was at the behest of the presidency or the APC?.

Nigerians should understand that these unsubstantiated, malicious and reckless accusations are aimed at infusing disaffection into the minds of gullible members of the public. Clearly, the principal objective of this sinful campaign is to intimidate and blackmail both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Nigeria into giving favourable judgments for the PDP.

May they never succeed.

Inibehe Effiong is a Legal Practitioner and the Convener of the Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (COHRD).

Reponses to this article can be sent to:

inibehe.effiong@gmail.com

 

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VIDEO: Radio Biafrans Told To Pick Up Guns And Fight For Nnamdi Kanu

The director of the radio station, British-Nigerian Nwannekaenyi Kenny Okwu-Kanu, aka Nnamdi Kanu has been arrested on charges of treason, sedition and terror.

In this video, radio listeners are told to stop talking out, due to publicity of terror broadcasts and speeches of the group.

The members are told that they know where the weapons are; they should go and pick them up and “defend,” fight Nigeria with deadly force.

Watch the video below:

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