Tag Archives: Obasanjo

Falana Backs Jonathan, Wants Obasanjo Probed

26 Dec

Femi Falana

Femi Falana

Constitutional lawyer and human rights activist, Chief Femi Falana (SAN) yesterday commended President Goodluck Jonathan for reeling out a detailed letter in response to the missive written by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to him. Accordingly, he told the president to direct the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to reopen investigation into the Halliburton Scandal, Siemens Scandal and other corruption cases involving Obasanjo.

In a statement he personally issued on Monday, Falana also urged President Jonathan to sack his Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah following her indictment in the alleged financial irregularities in the purchase of two bullet-proof cars to the tune of N225 million by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for the minister.

“In this regard, since the Aviation Minister, Ms Stella Oduah has been unanimously indicted by the presidential panel of inquiry, the EFCC and the Aviation Committee of the House of Representatives for illegally allocating N643 million for the purchase of two armoured cars, President Jonathan should remove her from office without any further delay”, he stated. Specifically, the legal luminary lauded the president for his decision “to request the National Human Rights Commission to investigate the allegation that snipers are being trained and armed to annihilate political opponents in the country”.

He, however, said “the investigation should cover the Killer Squad set up by Sani Abacha’s murderous regime whose members were not disarmed and de-mobilised by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration”. Falana also urged Jonathan to ensure that the allegations of official corruption and politically motivated killings are not swept under the carpet.

Ibori Recommended Waziri For EFCC Job, Says Former Preisent Obasanjo-PUNCH

12 Sep

ImageFormer President Olusegun Obasanjo has said the appointment of Mrs. Farida Waziri as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission slowed down the fight against corruption in the country.

 Obasanjo, in an exclusive interview he granted Zero Tolerance, a magazine published by the EFCC,  said Waziri was a wrong successor to Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the pioneer chairman of the anti-graft agency.

The former President, whose administration established the  EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other-Related Offences Commission, added that  he was aware that convicted  former Delta State Governor,  James Ibori, played a major role in  her  appointment.

He said, “I know that the woman they brought in to replace Ribadu was not the right person for that job  because I understood that one of those who head-hunted her was Ibori. If  Ibori, who is now in a UK (United Kingdom) prison for fraud, head-hunts somebody who will fight corruption in Nigeria, then you can understand what happened.”

  To buttress his argument that Waziri was a wrong person for the job, he challenged the publication to “go and look at her track record.”

 “Go and look at the condition or the qualification; go and look at the type of interaction that anybody holding that job will have with a similar organization elsewhere; did Waziri have that type. What connection did she have with the FBI, what relationship did she have with Metropolitan Police in London. It’s not a picnic,”Obasanjo  added.

Waziri, a retired senior police officer, was appointed head of the EFCC in 2008 after the controversial exit of  Ribadu, who was  also a former police officer.

Obasanjo  commended   Ribadu, saying his performance as the  EFCC boss helped reduce corruption in Nigeria and improved her rating by the Transparency International.

He said, “When I was there, the EFCC and ICPC worked tirelessly and we moved this country from the corruption perception index being number two from the lowest to number 45 from the lowest. We should have graduated from being number 45 to being number 50 to being number 60, to being number 100. But we are not doing that, rather we have started sliding down.”

The former President flayed  the manner Ribadu was removed from office, saying he cautioned  the late President Umaru Yar’Adua against  his  removal.

Obasanjo said if given the opportunity again, “I will reappoint Mallam Ribadu and I will not dismiss him the way he was dismissed from the EFCC.”

He, however, criticized  Ribadu for hobnobbing “with people he had declared as corrupt.”

Asked to rate the incumbent EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, on the fight against corruption, Obasanjo, said he did not know how to score him.

  But he recalled that Lamorde was directly involved  when he requested the anti-graft agency to investigate him.

He said, “I was investigated. I told  the EFCC to investigate me. I told the  EFCC to carry out clinical investigation and they did.

 “They also did same with all people on my farm. One of them was telling me the other day how Lamorde called him three times and took statements from him. The EFCC even made sure they did not submit that report to me; they waited until I left and updated their report after going round the world and saying look this is the report. Nobody should be below board in the fight against corruption.”

 The Egba chief  also  expressed concerns about the perceived corruption in the judiciary, saying  it required the efforts of all Nigerians to check the trend.

In a separate interview with Zero Tolerance, Waziri denied that Ibori supported her appointment as the EFCC chairman.

 She said, “I never knew him. I never knew James Ibori.

 “Let me ask you, if I was in league with Ibori and was not sincerely pursuing him, would he have run, gone out of this country to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates?

 “It is all lies of the enemies.  By the time I write my book,  the truth will prevail. I never knew Ibori; look I believe what is worth doing at all is worth doing well. I don’t believe in half measures. By my training and upbringing, I can never betray my country for anyone.”

 Justifying her appointment, Waziri said she secured the first conviction  in the history of the  EFCC.

“N190bn, one single recovery from one person that went to jail was during Farida Waziri. That is why it is good to have changes in an organisation”, she added.

Waziri faulted the manner she was sacked by the Goodluck Jonathan administration despite committing more than  30 years  to serving the nation.

 She said she learnt  of  her removal  in November 2011  in the news media and stated that she did  not deserve the humiliation since she had not been found wanting for any misdemeanor.

“If you are removed like that, it has a tendency to scare some people. I wasn’t bothered that I left because my philosophy of life is simple, ‘what has a beginning has an end,’’  Waziri said.

Meanwhile, the EFCC has said that it secured 80 convictions in eight months.

The 80 were part of the 368 cases charged to court.

In a statement by its Acting Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, the commission said it had also recovered N6,583,108,350 ; $19,251,519; 20,520 Euros and £19,000.

“Beyond the recovery, the EFCC intensified the prosecution of politically-exposed persons, failed bank executives, captains of industry, beneficiaries of fraudulent oil subsidy payments and senior civil servants involved in pension fraud.

“A number of cases for which investigations have been concluded, would be charged to courts across the zones where the Commission maintains offices as soon as the courts resume from recess.

“The commission deplored attempts by mischievous elements to distract it by imputing political motives to some of its investigations.”

Obasanjo, Jonathan Strike Deal To Make Andy Uba Anambra Governor

23 Aug

Peter Obi and Andy Uba

A huge political tension has developed in Anambra State over a deal struck between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan to impose Senator Andy Uba as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party as well as the next governor of Anambra.

Several sources in Abuja and within Anambra State told SaharaReporters that Mr. Obasanjo was one of the architects of the plan to make Mr. Uba governor. A PDP executive in Abuja disclosed that the Uba deal was one of the conditions given by former President Obasanjo to settle a rift between him and Mr. Jonathan.

In addition, Mr. Jonathan has told his associates that he needs Mr. Uba in control of Anambra in order to guarantee him a landslide victory in the state come the 2015 presidential election. “The president wants to ensure that he carries Anambra and other southeast states,” said a source. “That’s why he needs Chief Uba to be in charge.”

Mr. Jonathan’s administration has been under fire from former President Obasanjo, who has expressed dissatisfaction with the incumbent president’s performance. Mr. Obasanjo has also told his associates that he was seriously considering the option of backing a northern candidate to run against Mr. Jonathan in the 2015 presidential election.

“I can tell you that nothing scares President Jonathan more than Chief Obasanjo’s ability to marshal forces, within Nigeria and abroad, against him,” said a source who is close to the current president. “He has been so jittery ever since Baba [Obasanjo] started launching his attacks. That’s why he quickly agreed when Chief Obasanjo told him that Andy must become the new governor of Anambra.”

Many top political sources within the PDP and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) told SaharaReporters that President Jonathan has enlisted the hierarchy of both parties in the scheme to put Mr. Uba into the governor’s seat in Anambra by hook or crook. In meetings with Governor Obi and other PDP and APGA interests, Mr. Jonathan instructed that all steps be taken to ensure that Mr. Uba’s enthronement as the next governor becomes a success.

But the plan is being stoutly resisted, according to a spokesman for a coalition of interests from across different political parties, including PDP members. “Obasanjo couldn’t help his daughter carry his own polling station in Ogun State, but he thinks he can choose who will be our governor in Anambra,” said the man, who in a telephone conversation declared that his anti-Uba coalition was confident of resisting both Obasanjo and Jonathan. “Our people voted solidly for President Jonathan in 2011. Yet, instead of treating us with the respect we deserve, he sits in Abuja and wants to dictate who will rule us. Their evil scheme will fail.”

According to several of our sources, the recent upheaval in APGA was part of the plot to clear the way for Mr. Uba to coast to the governorship. Last week, APGA announced the disqualification of Charles Soludo, a former Central Bank Governor, Oseloka Obaze, an erstwhile top aide to Governor Peter Obi, as well as other key governorship contenders. “The [disqualifications] were part and parcel of a deal to ensure that Chief Andy Uba becomes the next person to rule Anambra,” said a longtime member of APGA.

Several sources revealed that Governor Obi was previously interested in supporting either Mr. Obaze, a lawyer and retired employee of the United Nations, or former banker, Willie Obiano, to succeed him. SaharaReporters also gathered that APGA chairman, Victor Umeh, once backed Mr. Soludo for the governorship. A source said the former CBN governor, who recently resigned from the PDP and registered as a member of APGA, had provided substantial cash to Mr. Umeh to help run the party.

However, both Mr. Soludo and Mr. Obaze became casualties of President Jonathan’s decision to appease Obasanjo as well as position a dependable ally in Anambra. Several sources revealed that Mr. Jonathan and his associates felt that neither Mr. Soludo nor Mr. Obaze could be fully trusted to help him in 2015. In addition, Mr. Jonathan and his team dread the prospects of Senator Chris Ngige winning Government House, Awka. A few days ago, Mr. Ngige emerged the APC’s governorship candidate in a controversial congress that some party members described as undemocratic.

According to some sources, President Jonathan persuaded Governor Obi to abandon Obaze, his primary choice as successor. SaharaReporters learned that the Presidency also paid a huge sum of money to APGA chairman, Umeh, to persuade him to back away from Mr. Soludo.

A source close to Mr. Obi revealed that the Anambra governor was “taken by surprise and is very unhappy” with the president’s advocacy for Mr. Uba. “He [Obi] wanted either Obaze or Chief Willie Obiano, but what can he do once the president has spoken?”

Of all the serious APGA aspirants, only Mr. Obiano, a respected former banking executive, survived the purge that swept away Mr. Soludo and Mr. Obaze. A source in APGA told SaharaReporters that the Presidency perhaps spared Mr. Obiano because they saw him as a political push-over who would be easily rigged out by the PDP machinery. But the source added that both Mr. Obiano and Mr. Ngige would beat Mr. Uba in any free-and-fair contest in Anambra.

One of the members of the emerging anti-Uba group told SaharaReporters that the PDP would have had an uphill task winning an election in Anambra even with a good candidate. “But when it becomes clear to our [Anambra] people that Obasanjo and Jonathan are engineering Andy as our next governor, more of our people will rise in stout opposition.”

A PDP member of the coalition vowed that the people of Anambra were tired of what he called “the politics of imposition.” “Don’t forget that Chief Andy Uba did not even win senatorial election. We all know that the seat he has in the Senate truly belongs to [Nicholas] Ukachukwu. I can assure you that our people still remember the role Chief Uba and Eselu [Mr. Uba’s younger brother, Chris Uba] played to destroy Anambra when Obasanjo was president. We won’t allow a partnership of Ogboni members to treat us like boy-boys,” he said.

A source within APGA told SaharaReporters that the blame for what is happening should go to Mr. Obi. “The governor disappointed us and our late leader and father, Ikemba Nnewi [Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu] when he effectively turned APGA into a branch of the PDP and an arm of the Presidency.”

Several PDP members told SaharaReporters that party officials had directly or indirectly told major governorship aspirants within their fold not to waste their money and time. “We were told not to bother spending our money, that the [governorship] ticket will be delivered to Dr. Andy Uba,” said a source who said he was mulling a run for the post. He added that other aspirants like Nicholas Ukachukwu and Annie Okonkwo had received the same message.

“Is this democracy that we are seeing in our country?” the source questioned. “Our party says nobody should run again except Andy. And the oppositions are doing the same thing. Dr. Ngige was just announced like that, without following any real democratic way.”

The source said he had heard of the group mobilizing to fight against the imposition of Mr. Uba, but said he was not a member. Asked if he would campaign for Mr. Uba, the source spoke angrily. “If they impose him, why then should I fight for him? Let those who imposed him come and fight for him.”

– SaharaReporters

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