Elder Statesmen Condemn Buhari For Approving Magu, Lawal Despite Corruption Allegations

Former governors of Kaduna and Anambra states, Balarabe Musa and Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, have jointly condemned President Buhari’s style of handling the corruption allegations involving Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal and acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.

Recall that on Sunday, the president replied Senate’s indictment of Lawal, for corruption as well as resubmitted Magu’s nomination for confirmation as EFCC chairman.

The president said Senate relied on a minority report to indict Lawal and also added that the Ad-Hoc committee which investigated the grass-cutting allegation against the SGF was biased. Bihari, in his letter to the Senate, said the panel did not give the SGF fair hearing by allowing him to testify before the committee.

The president also said he initiated an independent probe of Magu and discovered he was not corrupt, as alleged by the 2016 Department of State Services (DSS) report on him. 

Reacting to the development, Balarabe Musa said what the development shows is that the present administration is not yet ready to fight corruption.

He added that Nigeria will not move forward unless government shows enough determination and commitment in the war against corruption. He said: “What I want to say is that Nigeria is yet, again, not ready to fight corruption. That is what the situation is.”

Also, echoing the position of his Kaduna counterpart, Dr. Ezeife said there is clear evidence that the present administration is not serious in the graft war.

His words: Are we fighting corruption blindly or is it selective fight? People are beginning to think so. In fact, they have strong evidence that the corruption we are fighting is selective and I don’t know how to dispute the observation of the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, that, we have not had the level of corruption that we are observing now; in fact, elements of corruption that kill the soul of man, that is the worst evil of corruption. That is where you go and vote and government uses their position to determine who should be the winner. The voters go out in the sun to cast their votes for a person to rule them; another person is given the mandate to rule them.

“Today, while some people are rushing into a particular political party, when that political party on its own merit cannot win a local government council election is because people are going in there for the governorship seat and re-election.

“I think it is no longer just a matter of corruption; it is a matter of system distortion, physical as election destroys the soul of man, destroys the soul of the territory.”

But, Chairman of the Presidential Anti-corruption Committee, Prof Itse Sagay differed. Speaking on Magu’s re-nomination, Sagay said the noise against Magu is a clear case of ‘corruption fighting back.’ He said those making noise are” corrupt people who want to derail the anti-corruption war of the present administration,” and added that efforts to compromise Magu by some powerful politicians have failed, hence, “the noise to bring him down.

“Magu is the best man for the job and that is why president Buhari has re-submitted his name to the Senate. All those complaining about Magu are like the case of corruption fighting back. Some undeserving of the position of the EFCC chairman are already putting their names forward…”

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Buhari’s Economic Policies Are Confusing -Ezekwesili

Former Vice President of the World Bank for Africa and Buhari critic, Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili has described the economic policies of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government as “confusing”, expressing regret that in spite of the confusion, the government remains “adamant.”

 Ezekwesili, who is also the convener of the Bring Back Our Girls and former minister spoke in the current edition of The Interviewmagazine.

“I am not a fan of the economic policies of this government so far; I feel it’s too tentative in making even the right policy decisions, and even when it tries to make the right policy decisions, it has been in the breach. It has been very confusing,” she said.

“It’s not that the government is timid; it’s about doing the wrong things and being adamant about them,” she added.

Ezekwesili cited the government’s monetary and fiscal policies as key areas of denial of “empirical evidence” and called for structural reforms and better citizen engagement.

In the interview, conducted before the BBOG’s visit to Sambisa, Ezekwesili wept over the fate of the remaining Chibok girls, saying the episode had exposed Nigerian governments in their “worst form.”

She spoke on what she would do if President Muhammadu Buhari invited her to serve; her perception of former President Goodluck Jonathan and her relationship with former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Rugged Man criticizes Buhari being on vacation

Nigerian rapper, Ruggedman, share on instagram a poem he wrote about Pres. Buhari being on vacation while some things are going awry.

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Our president is on vacation.
* Nigerian illegal immigrants are allegedly being killed in Libya…
OUR PRESIDENT IS ON VACATION!
* A bottle of kerosene that used to sell for N100 now sells for N550…
OUR PRESIDENT IS ON VACATION!
* We still do not have light but.. OUR PRESIDENT IS ON VACATION! *Herdsmen are killing innocent people..
OUR PRESIDENT IS ON VACATION! * Schools are on strike …
OUR PRESIDENT IS ON VACATION! * Dollar is N490 now and …
#OURPRESIDENTISONVACATION

Shocking! Buhari Writes Senate, Clears SGF & Magu Of Corruption

Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal, may have something to smile about as the Presidency has written the Senate, to allow him remain in office.

Recall that on Wednesday, December 14, 2016, Senate demanded the SGF’s resignation and prosecution, over alleged infractions involving public procurement, particularly, contract awards by the Presidential Initiative on North0East (PINE).

Following an interim report of Senate’s Ad-Hoc Committee on Mounting Humanitarian Crisis in North-East, the Red Chamber indicted the SGF of sharp practices, in expending funds meant for alleviating sufferings of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North-East.

The report also said Lawal allegedly owns one of the companies which awarded contracts in the rehabilitation of the North-East.

The report equally said Lawal resigned from the directorship of the company in September, 2016, but was still a signatory to the company’s account.

Thereafter, Senate wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari, demanding Lawal resign from the cabinet.

In his reaction, Buhari ordered the Attorney General of the Federation and Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to investigate Lawal and the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, on corruption charges.

ADELOVE gathered that two letters from the Presidency landed in the Senate on Sunday, January 22, 2017.

The first letter urged the Senate to set aside its December 14, 2016 resolution calling for Lawal’s resignation and continue with legislating for the country.

The second ostensibly re-nominated Magu as EFCC chair.

A top Senate source confirmed to newsmen, last night, that the president has re-nominated Magu.

“I can confirm that to you,” he said.

On the SGF’s clearance, the source simply quipped: “I don’t know about that one.”

Regardless, it was gathered that, during Saraki’s meeting with president Buhari on December 29, 2016, at the Presidential Villa, Magu’s rejection came up for discussion.

Buhari was said to have told Saraki he was not ready to substitute Magu’s name, despite the Department of State Services (DSS) report which indicted him.

Source revealed that the Attorney-General of the Federation’s probe gathered that Magu was not living in a multi-national apartment in Abuja.

It was also learnt that the allegation that Magu once flew in a chartered aircraft with a bank MD, whose bank was once invited over funds by the former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, to Maiduguri, Borno State was unfounded, as it was discovered that the MD had never been to the state capital all his life.

Although Saraki did not explicitly make any commitment to Buhari, to ensure that Magu’s name scales through in the chamber, those familiar with the outcome of the meeting, said the Senate President did not object to assist Magu during the confirmation hearing.

On December 15, 2016, Senate Spokesman, Abdullahi Sabi, after an Executive Session, announced Magu’s rejection to the Senate Press Corps.

Sabi based the action of the Red Chamber on a damning report by the DSS.

Sabi said then: “The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria wishes to inform the general public that based on security reports available to the lawmakers, we could not proceed and confirm the nomination of Ibrahim Magu as the executive Chairman of EFCC. 

“Accordingly, the Senate hereby rejects the said nomination and has returned the said nomination to Mr. President for further action. There is no confusion here. We have said it is based on security reports. 

“Please, all public officers go for security screening and we are saying based on security reports, we cannot proceed and confirm. We are rejecting it and returning it to Mr. President for further actions. That is just the statement. It is as simple as that. That is exactly what the Senate has said and I don’t have any other explanation more than this,” Sabi said.

Former Senate Leader Ali Ndume, who was one of the key lawmakers, who lobbied for Magu, was removed a fortnight ago by members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) caucus in the Red Chamber.

He was replaced by Senator Ahmed Lawan, who has since assumed duty.

Meanwhile, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun Ishola of the Federal High Court, Lagos will on February 13 hear a suit against Magu for still parading himself as Chairman.

The suit was instituted by a lawyer and activist, Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa.

The lawyer is praying the court to restrain Magu from parading himself as such.

Adegboruwa is also asking the Senate not to entertain any further request for Magu’s confirmation.

The defendants are the Senate, the Attorney-General of the Federation, the EFCC and Magu.

When the case came up yesterday, Adegboruwa announced appearance for the plaintiff. But there was no representative for the defendants.

Justice Olatoregun adjourned the suit to February13 and ordered service of processes on the defendants.

In a 39 paragraphs affidavit deposed to by Adegboruwa, he traced the appointment of Magu back to November 9, 2015, contending that he had been functioning in acting capacity as EFCC Chairman, beyond the six months allowed by law.

Adegboruwa said since the Senate had rejected Magu, he could not thereafter be illegally functioning in acting capacity.

Citing the provisions of section 2 (3) of the EFCC Act, Adegboruwa argued that the section makes confirmation by the Senate, a condition precedent to the appointment of the EFCC chairman.

He argued that since the provision of Section 2 (3) of the EFCC Act was activated by forwarding the nomination of Magu to the Senate, he could not defy the decision of the Senate, which rejected him for the substantive appointment.

Adegboruwa stated that notwithstanding the clear decision of the Senate not to confirm Magu, he has continued to parade himself as EFCC Chairman.

Buhari, Osinbajo reviews economy

President Muhammadu Buhari and Acting President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday  on telephone, assessed local and other developments, also the situation in Gambia where Nigerian troops are playing a lead role in resolving the impasse of that country’s presidential election.

In a statement by Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice President, Laolu Akande, said both the President, who is on leave  and the Vice President, in Abuja, also discussed other relevants national issues.

Meanwhile, Osinbajo has said Nigeria is for  a stronger and more robust African Union  for the benefit of the continent and its people.

He said this when he received a Special Envoy from President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti, at the Presidential Villa, yesterday

According to him, “it is important for Africa to always put the best foot forward and we will continue to work together with the President of Djibouti to make AU stronger and more robust.”

The Special Envoy, Ali Farah Assoweh brought a message addressed to the Nigerian President, regarding Djibouti’s interest in one of the positions up for contest in the AU elections scheduled for later this month, seeking Nigeria’s support.

The Djibouti’s Presidential Special Envoy, who is also the country’s Justice Minister, stated that his country requested Nigeria’s support for its candidate for Deputy Chairman of the African Union Commission, and expressed gratitude to the Nigerian government for the hospitality he and his delegation has enjoyed since his arrival in the country.

Responding, Osinbajo noted that Nigeria and Djibouti have enjoyed “very good diplomatic relationship over the years,” and also expressed appreciation to the President of Djibouti for the country’s support of Nigeria in various international platforms.

He assured that the Federal Government would consider the candidate, observing that the position is one that has to be occupied by the right person.

 

Dasukigate: EFCC Released Buhari’s Friend…

An associate of President Muhammadu Buhari, Jafaru Isa, has absolved himself of any wrong doing in relations to the funds meant for arms allegedly misappropriated by former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

Isa, a retired general was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in January 2016 for allegedly benefitting from the arms fund.

The former member of the Buhari’s 2015 transition committee was however released after he was alleged to have returned part of the money he received.

But speaking on his arrest, Isa claimed the anti-graft agency released him because it found nothing incriminating on him.

Describing the allegation that he benfitted from the slush fund as baseless, the former military administrator of Kaduna state, said the transactions he had with Dasuki had nothing to do with arms purchase.

According to Isa, “This issue is now behind me. What happened was that in January 2016, I was invited by the EFCC over a financial transaction between me and the office of the former NSA.

“They wanted to know what took place. And I explained to them. When the insurgency was on, Kano was one of the targets and I think the first attack on Kano was on 20th January, 2012. And after that, the tempo of the attacks on Kano kept on increasing. Of course, it was an area of concern for anyone who was there, and for government especially.

“What was really happening was that, at every attack, they kill the indigenes and the go away like that, no arrests were made. And this raised a lot of concern.

“So, the then NSA now felt that there was a need for him to have what is called a Safe House. A safe house is a security quarters where you have informants that give you information and you also have security operatives working there as well.

“You have to understand the modus of operation of the enemies. We found one, and the pictures were sent by the office of the NSA, for purchase. The picture was given to someone to come and check to see if it was quite okay for them. After the initial deposit, there was no money. Again we gave another deposit. And there was no money again, so, that time lapsed. And when we couldn’t continue, he now had to sell the property.

“But the attacks on Kano continued. And because of the concern, the need to have a safe house was necessary to collate information and as well as to minimise the ferocity of the attack. To have a better intelligence collation, we felt we should get the accommodation but there was no money. The NSA now decided that once there was money he would be sending the money in trenches so that we would be able to purchase the property. We were doing that but we couldn’t find such property.

“Two, this kind of purchase is not done directly, it has to be through a third party, because once the cover is blown that it is a security establishment then it is of no use, so it has to be through a third party. And as a Kano indigene myself, I was being concerned about the attack. So, I offered to do it without anything coming to me in the arrangement.

“We were looking for it, we were saving money. But we couldn’t until a after the election was won. Even at that, it was agreed that the search should continue because as at that time, insurgency was still on. It was only of recent that we stated having these successes.”

“When I was invited, I told them we were looking for a place. There were documents and receipts on these, and I showed it to them. And they told me I could go, and that was it.

“But recently, one of the national dailies published a story; this was over a year after, that gave an impression as if this has just happened. So, I now decided to contact the commission to find out what was happening and they said it was not from them.

“I also wrote them formally for them to clear me since there was no case for me to answer. They confirmed to me that it was not from them. It must have been from another source which they don’t know. It could be from a third party that may want to malign me. One foreign radio contacted the chairman of the commission on the matter and he told them the story is not from them, that I have no case to answer. And this has been done. I have no issue with the commission. Nothing was found against me.

“The move to procure the house started in September 2012; that was the period we got the first house that met our requirement but because of paucity of fund. We were not able to procure it. Otherwise, it would have been a different story. The house would have been on ground. But like I said, there was no fund.

“The issue of the arms deal started in in January 2015. And this money that came, it came in seven times, in trenches; N5m, N10m, N20m, that was all. It was in naira. And I believe the arms deal money was in dollars, right from the Central Bank, from what we heard.

“The first house was offered to us at N150m and the person that bought it, who is the present owner bought it at that same N150m. So, there was no cutting corner there. It was just a service that I was rendering. There is no meeting point between the two.”

Buhari Support Group Charges Ohaneze To Distance Itself From Partisan Politics

The Buhari South-East Youths Movement, (BUSEYM), a pro Buhari group, has congratulated the newly inaugurated leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, led by Chief John Nnia Nwodo.

BUSEYM also urged Nwodo to steer his executive and members towards a warmer relationship with the President  Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government in the overall interest of Ndigbo.

In a statement signed by its  Director-General and National Publicity Secretary, Nwabueze Onwuneme and  Igwe Samuel Obinna, respectively, the group canvassed  a closer and amicable relationship with President Buhari.

“As a socio-cultural apex body of Ndigbo, Ohaneze should wean itself completely from partisan politics and focus entirely in guaranteeing the welfare and socio-economic well-being of Ndigbo. 

“It is in this regard that BUSEYM applauds the emergence of a rounded personality and an intellectual giant like Chief John Nnia Nwodo as the new president-general of  Ohaneze-Ndigbo. With his pedigree as a nationalist and people-oriented leader, Ohaneze  could not have made a better choice considering contemporary challenges of Ndigbo.

“In the face of these challenges, we urge chief Nwodo to steer the Ohaneze Ndigbo towards a friendly disposition towards the Federal Government. Chief Nwodo, though a politician, must distance himself from politics of the day and chart a new part of cooperation, collaboration and  consultation with President Buhari’s administration,” BUSEYM stated.

The group noted that so far, President Buhari had signified and initiated actions to carry the South-East along despite the fact that the geo-political region is predominantly controlled by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“It is significant and worthy of commendation that projects that had been in limbo in the South East in the past 16 years of the PDP administration are now being jumpstarted. Notably, President  Buhari has released funds and mobilised on-going works at the 2nd Niger Bridge, the Enugu -Onitsha and Umuahia-Ikot-Ekpene etc Federal highways , respectively.

“President Buhari has equally considered the plight of the down-trodden by initiating the payment of N5,000 monthly stipends to the poor as he promised in his campaigns. All these and lots more show that Buhari is, indeed, president of all Nigerians.

“And it is in these regards we urge Ohaneze to cooperate with him, so Ndigbo would be able to appropriate what rightly  belongs to them in the federal commonwealth.”

The group asked the duo of Senator T.A Orji and Sam Onuigbo to desist from taking credit for the on-going construction work on the Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene Road as the projects were initiated and being done by the Federal Government which the PDP government then could not do or attract while in power in the centre and in the state.

Tambuwal praises Buhari

Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State has said President Muhammadu Buhari is succeeding in his mission to transform Nigeria.

Tambuwal spoke in Sokoto on Saturday night at a reception organised by the state government in honour of his predecessor, Sen. Aliyu Wamakko (APC-Sokoto).

Wamakko was also among the 12 recipients of the 2016 prestigious Sheikh Abdullahi Fodio Merit Award conferred on them by the Gwandu Emirate Council of Kebbi State on Saturday.

Tambuwal said: “The president has succeeded in tackling the problem of insurgency in the North East while other security challenges are receiving the necessary attention.

“ The once dreadful Sambisa forest had now been cleared of insurgents and the happy story goes on.

“President Buhari is also doing his best to doggedly fight corruption, diversify the economy and reduce poverty and unemployment.

“The president therefore needs the support and fervent prayers of all Nigerians, irrespective of creed, religion or ethnicity.”

Tambuwal further extolled the invaluable contributions of the five former governors of the defunct ”new PDP,” saying their efforts saved democracy.

Those efforts, the governor averred, led to the merger of the legacy political parties that culminated in the formation of the All Progressives Congress(APC).

”That singular patriotic and bold move greatly helped in salvaging Nigeria sequel to the election of President Buhari.

” Nigerians will not in anyway regret reposing tremendous confidence in the APC at all levels,” Tambuwal added.

The governor further said that the award was for the entire people of the state, noting that “ Wamakko is a father to all and he is worthy of emulation.”

Tambuwal commended the Gwandu Emirate Council for the gesture, urging Wamakko not to be complacent.

Also speaking, a former governor of Adamawa, retired Admiral Murtala Nyako, commended the existing cordial relationship between Wamakko and his successor.

” I am urging leaders at all levels to emulate the duo for peace, unity and progress of the country.

” Fervent prayers should also be sustained for the president and the nation at large,” Nyako added.

Responding, Wamakko dedicated the award to Tambuwal and the people of the state.

” We will continue to strive to defend the dignity and honour of the APC, Sokoto state, Sultanate Council of Sokoto and Nigeria.

”The award will spur me to do more and let me caution political smugglers in the state that my existing relationship with Tambuwal remains solid and cordial.

”We will continue to shame the doubting Thomases, APC in the state is one and all acts of sabotage from within and without would amount to naught,’’ he said.

The National Assembly, Wamakko further said, remains fully committed to the Nigerian project and Buhari’s mission to salvage Nigeria.(NAN)

Buhari is alive and well – FG tweets to debunk rumour (See Photo)

FG has reacted to a fake report spreading round the social media that Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has died in Germany.

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The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, also took to his Twitter handle to deny the report. It said President Buhari, who left for the United Kingdom on Thursday, is still where he said he was heading to and not Germany.

The position of the Presidency was stated on Saturday following rumors of the death of the President in Germany.

Though Garba did not mention names, Shehu, in a tweet on his Twitter handle, said Buhari was unlike Jonathan, who members of his party said was attending the inauguration of President Donald Trump in the United States of America but at the same time visiting former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

There had been widespread social media reports that Jonathan had been invited to Trump’s inauguration, while Buhari was not.

Shehu, in two tweets on Saturday, wrote, unedited: “He is alive and well! President Buhari is not magical. He cannot be holidaying in the UK & be in Germany, dead or alive at the same time.

“He is unlike a past President who was at Ota, w/ Chief Obj & attending the Trump inauguration in D.C, being in two places at the same time!”

Buhari Reads Riot Act To Universities

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday warned that any university management involved in unethical practices would face the full wrath of the law.

Buhari, who was the Visitor at the sixth convocation of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) in Abuja, said universities would henceforth prepare quarterly financial reports.

Represented by Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Buhari said his administration was anchored on ensuring security of lives and property, fighting corruption and improving the economy.

“As we move to address the existing needs of our universities, we demand that the leadership of these institutions reciprocate government’s gesture by untilising their funds with utmost integrity and probity.

“Any university council or management found wanting in relation to financial mismanagement or gross moral and ethical violations will be made to face the full wrath of law.

“I have directed the Minister of Education to demand quarterly reports from all universities, detailing their major financial and administrative activities.

“A template for such report will soon be circulated to the universities by the Federal Ministry of Education through the NUC,’’ he said.

Buhari asked NOUN to continue to lead and chart new directions in distance learning education through maximum use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

According to him, NOUN should through effective use of ICT, research, instructional materials and other training aids, produce globally competitive graduates.

He congratulated NOUN’s governing council, management, staff and students on the institution’s sixth convocation.

In his address, Prof. Abdalla Adamu, NOUN’s Vice-Chancellor, said that 12,125 graduating students, across all disciplines, would be conferred with honours. He said that out of the number, 31 bagged first class degrees.

According to him, NOUN is keying into the global trend in digital learning. “To improve our web rankings and raise the profile of our academic staff, NOUN has created a ‘NOUN

Academics Online’ module where each of our academic staff is showcased to attract national and international collaborations in teaching and research.

“Noting the trend in technology usage among our students and predilection towards smart phone and tablet devices, NOUN has started negotiations with key technology partners to migrate our study materials into ePub electronic format.

“That will make our materials easier, friendlier and more interactively accessible on smartphone and tablet,’’ he said.

He regretted that the Council for Legal Education (CLE) had consistently denied NOUN’s law graduates admission into law school due to wrong perception.

Adamu, however, said that the Senate Committee on Tertiary Education and TETFund recently held a public hearing on NOUN Amendment Bill, which when passed into law, would address all outstanding issues.

The vice-chancellor said that NOUN had outpaced other Open and Distance Learning (ODL) institutions in Africa in the Open Education Resources initiative.

In his remarks, NOUN’s Chancellor, Lawrence Agubuzu, said that the yearly convocation was a testimony that NOUN was pursuing its mandate vigorously.

He urged the new graduates to exhibit worthy qualities wherever they find themselves in the service of their fatherland.