Kogi: Anti-Corruption CSOs warn EFCC against ‘cankerworms of previous management’
. Advise Olukoyede to shut out miscreants mistaking EFCC for political structure
. Say latest charge against ex-Kogi Gov embarrassing, reflects victimization
Anti-Corruption Civil Society Organisations, on Wednesday, warned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, under the leadership of Ola Olukoyede, to refrain from allowing “cankerworms of the previous management left in the system” rubbish his credentials as the Head of the Commission.
The over 300 anti-corruption activists, under seven broad frontline organisations, noted that it was pertinent for them to sound an early note of warning in view of the fact that the misuse of the EFCC by political gladiators, as a veritable tool of victimization and score-settling, which they thought had been tackled, was suddenly rearing its head again.
The anti-corruption Civil Society Organisations advised the EFCC boss to sit up and stop the Commission from being accessed by “political miscreants who think EFCC is an extension of their political structures to be manipulated at will.”
They specifically referred to the Kogi State Government’s press statement, which was released on Tuesday, alerting the public to an alleged fresh move by the Commission to witch-hunt the ex-Governor with spurious claims for political reasons.
The activists pointed out that the crux of the latest persecution, going by the EFCC’s amended charge sheet, which featured ex-Governor Bello’s name, showed a clear case of desperation for spurious claims to whip up public sentiment against the target, adding that any litigation on corruption founded on political conspiracy would always have no merits to pursue it.
“While we stand solidly behind any credible anticorruption drive, we, however, oppose and condemn unequivocally any and all corruption allegations with the trappings and trademarks of political victimization as this Kogi case clearly seems to be,” they declared.
They described the latest amended charge as extremely embarrassing, saying, “A Court document at our disposal submitted to the Court by EFCC is alleging that the former Governor and his nephew, one Alli Bello, converted Kogi State’s money to the tune of over Eighty Billion Naira since September 2015!
“This looks like a hurriedly prepared amendment targeted at an individual without paying much attention whatsoever to facts. Except the Commission is able to prove before the court that the duo had been involved in financial transactions with Kogi State money before Yahaya Bello assumed office in January 2016 as Kogi State Governor, then they have a lot of questions to answer Nigerians.”
“This is always how bad-intentioned and politically motivated allegations are exposed and it smacks of a profound dearth of professionalism on the part of the EFCC. If they come up with a nebulous excuse of typographical error, this further exposes their lack of professionalism and calls to question the competency of the EFCC leadership and legal team/department,” the activists noted.
They vowed to expose political actors behind the incessant EFCC political victimization, stating, “We are working with others across the country and we are ready to expose those behind this witch hunting and also expose their dirty dealings which have continued to undermine the current administration’s efforts at economic revitalisation, to the public.”
While referring to a recent statement by Olukoyede against the conduct of some EFCC officials, the anti-corruption activists said, “If the EFCC chairman doesn’t want the embarrassing public image he personally painted and actually known to all Nigerians to continue, he should sit up and get rid of all politically motivated allegations and stop the EFCC from being accessed by political miscreants who think EFCC is an extension of their political structures to be manipulated at will.”
They stated, “After two decades of its establishment, we believe that the EFCC should have garnered enough experience to be strictly professional. But, alas, that doesn’t seem to be the case now. The Commission commits unforgivable legal and procedural faux pas that makes it lose considerable percentage of its cases in Court. For one, the Commission’s agents don’t seem to be thorough enough in their investigations especially in cases that have political undertones.
“Due to lack of merits in those cases, oftentimes, the Commission exposes itself to unnecessary public ridicules and embarrasses itself in Court. Any litigation on corruption founded on political conspiracy will always have no merits to pursue it because the Courts won’t ever be convinced otherwise.”
“We can see that one of the major agenda of the current administration of President Ahmed Tinubu is also to fight corruption. We doubt very much that the Commission can meet up with the expected standards as envisaged by the current administration,” their statement added.
Giving a background of their age-long activities geared towards fruitful anti-corruption struggles, the frontline acitivists noted, “As rights anticorruption organizations, we have been in the Vanguard of clamoring for corruption to be eliminated from Nigeria’s civil service and governance for years. We are convinced that corruption, above any other factor, is responsible for the myriads of developmental challenges confronting Nigeria from a long time even before now.
“That was why we celebrated the establishment of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission in the year 200 and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in 2003 believing that these two elite anticorruption agencies would stamp out corruption from our system if not completely but, at least, considerably. It was a good step in a good direction.
“But we have observed a disturbing trend in the operations one of these two anticorruption agencies, the EFCC, which tends towards political witchunt. Of course, this didn’t start today but we have to exorcize that spirit from the soul and body of the EFCC.
“There are two major disagreeable patterns in EFCC’s modus operandi for a long time now that should never have been part of any anticorruption regime and these are politicization of cases and media trials through excessive sensationalism of cases under investigation.
“We have witnessed occasions in this country when the EFCC arrested all members of a state assembly, whisked them to their Abuja headquarters, only for the latter to return ro their state and commence impeachment proceedings against their state Governor. Any anticorruption exercise that applies tools of intimidation and blackmail loses its integrity and public trust ultimately, including international support.
“One instance would suffice here. We remember vividly how only five out of a 24-member legislature of Plateau state in 2006 met at 6:00am and ‘impeached’ Governor Joshua Dariye after their alleged meeting with EFCC operatives. We cried out at that time that politicizing the operations of the Commission would kill its noble objectives. Moreover, you don’t need to use extra-constitutional means in fighting the anticorruption war because you cannot use corrupt means to fight corruption successfully. There were, at least, three more instances in this regard.
“After much advocacy by NGOs and other concerned activists, this trend seemed to stop for a while only to rear its ugly head again under the ignoble tenure of Mr. Rasheed Bawa. That error of judgment and the heavy corruption allegations against Bawa were mostly responsible for his premature but well-deserved removal from office last year.
“We had assumed that that would be the end of such misuse of the EFCC by political gladiators who have discovered the use of the Commission as a veritable tool of political victimization and score-settling. But it does seem now that we are wrong.
“We are disappointed that the current EFCC leadership seems to have decided to tow the line of the ignoble Bawa way of doing things the wrong way.”
The statement was signed on behalf of others by the Director, Publicity and Research, Sustainable Initiative for Nurturing Growth, Fisayo Abayomi; Chairman, Zero Graft Coalition, Dr. Olusegun Adesanmi; and National Coordinator, Integrity Forum, Engr. Mohammed Zakari.
Others include the President, Transparency Movement of Nigeria, Barr. Esther Ezechukwu; Chairman, Stop Corruption Coalition, Arc. Samuel Ogedegbe; Executive Director, Africa Accountability Centre, Godwin Ozogula; and Comrade Isiak Aderounmu for
Youthcentric Advocacy Initiative.
PBAT is Working, No growth without Pain ! By Sen. Rilwan Adesoji Akanbi
PBAT is Working, No growth without Pain ! By Sen. Rilwan Adesoji Akanbi
Sahara Weekly Reports That It must be emphasized that the PBAT met a cancerous like Treasury and multidimensional problems. A courageous, dedicated and purposely determined administration of PBAT tackles all the problems gradually and head-on
The part payment of our foreign loans which shall raise our financial rating in the international capital market.
The much advertised release of food grains from the strategic national silo into our food chain shows that PBAT cares and is showing much concern.
The Policy formulation of PBAT is working indeed considering the above-mentioned parameters. Although it may not be possible for a quick approach and turnaround,there will surely be light at the end of the dark tunnel.
Carrying the State Governors in a synergy improves and capable of reducing the widespread impoverishment. Some Governors must be mentioned for the good work : Kwara State Governor who doubles as Chairman Governors forum , Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Prof Zulum of Borno, Kano State Governor and few others are doing their best although more need to be done to put smile on the faces of the citizens and some other Governors need to step up their actions.Our Governors should role out more palliatives programs to cushion effect on the present hardship.
The ongoing regulation of our financial institutions shows the ability of our current leadership.
It is worthy to mention the head-on tackle by the present administration on the insurgency and kidnapping that is becoming rampant.
At this juncture, we citizens must remember the fight back of political and economic saboteurs who wants instability and old order of feeding fat. We must not play into their hands, we must control our anger although, a hungry man is an angry man. We have no other country, we must watch our utterances and be guided. Support and Prayers for the administration success must be our priority. May the Lord Almighty continue to strengthen PBAT for the task ahead.
Hunger Is Making You Go Blind’’ – Analyst Blasts APGA’s Chinedu Obigwe For Tackling Primate Ayodele
‘’Hunger Is Making You Go Blind’’ – Analyst Blasts APGA’s Chinedu Obigwe For Tackling Primate Ayodele
A political analyst, John Obuchi has blasted the National Coordinator, All Progressives Grand Alliance Media Warriors Forum, Mr Chinedu Obigwe for his recent media attacks against popular Nigerian prophet, Primate Elijah Ayodele over his prophecies regarding Anambra 2025 governorship election.
Primate Ayodele had revealed that a chieftain of the All Progressive Congress, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah can unseat Governor Charles Soludo and prevent him from getting a second term in office if care isn’t taken. The prophet warned Soludo to be wary of mistakes that can make his government become unpopular.
In two different publications, Chinedu Obigwe in his reaction to Primate Ayodele’s prophecies rubbished the prophet and described him as a ‘Cash and Carry’ man of God. He went as far as mentioning that Primate Ayodele is acting as Ubah’s campaign manager because of his prophecies about the senator’s governorship ambition.
In a reaction, John Obuchi has described Obigwe as a hungry man who has become blind because of his current predicament of hardship. Obuchi described him as a political dog who is selling himself cheaply because of peanuts and irrelevant political appointments.
‘’It is not always difficult to identify a political dog when you see one but it is very unfortunate when you see intelligent persons sell themselves out unnecessarily because of peanuts or at most, docile political appointments.’’
‘’Chinedu Obigwe, one who claims to be a national coordinator but isn’t known beyond Anambra, has shown with his recent attacks against Primate Ayodele that the current economic hardship has eaten deep into his cognitive reasoning and the fight for his daily bread has affected his sight; he doesn’t see beyond stomach infrastructure. He has proven to be a perfect definition of what we call ‘ebe ọ bụla belle ihu’.’’
Obuchi recalled how Andy Uba’s media team tackled Primate Ayodele for saying their principal will not become governor of Anambra state four years ago, explaining that Soludo’s team is also following the same route that led to the failure of Andy Uba.
‘’I know for sure that his attacks are not alien to Primate Ayodele’s ministry; the man of God received more than these during the last Anambra governorship election from Andy Uba’s media team. They insulted Primate Ayodele for saying their principal’s ambition will be a waste instead of listening to instructions and at the end of the day, Primate Ayodele laughed last because they failed woefully.’’
‘’Just like Andy Uba’s media team, Chinedu Obigwe is setting Charles Soludo up for failure at the 2025 governorship election. Primate Ayodele has only shared a prophetic warning that still has remedy, 2025 is still almost one year from now and the needful can still be done but sponsoring materials in the media against Primate Ayodele is just adding more petrol to the fire, Obigwe ought to know that ‘A na-agwa ntị ma ntị anụghị, e gburu isi ntị esoro ya’; When Charles Soludo loses, he will automatically become jobless.’’
He warned Charles Soludo to do the needful just as Primate Ayodele has warned in order to avoid failure while asking the governor to be careful of Obigwe’s antics to lead him to failure.
‘’Imagine saying Primate Ayodele is a cash and carry prophet, it’s very funny because if only Obigwe knows the capacity this prophet has, he would resign his current position and beg to become Primate Ayodele’s cleaner so he can feed well. People just make some unfounded claims in order to please their paymasters and it is so unfortunate coming from someone who claims to be a media person.’’
‘’I don’t want to say much other than to advise Charles Soludo to do the needful if he still wants to retain his position, Primate Ayodele doesn’t talk if he hasn’t seen anything and going by the records, every of his prophecies come to pass. Obigwe will lead Soludo to the pit if care isn’t taken. There is still time to retrace your steps, I rest my case.’’
Oniba Salutes Sanwo-olu, Assures of peace at Lagos parks
Oniba Salutes Sanwo-olu, Assures of peace at Lagos parks
The interim Chairman of Road Transport Employers’ Association (RTEAN), Oba(Dr) Sulaimon Raji Ashade has lauded the executive governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwoolu, describing him as a “unifier” for seeing to the smooth transition of the Lagos park management.
Raji-Ashade, who was the Chairman, caretaker committee of the now defunct Lagos State Parks and Garages Administrators (LASPAGA) said the governor’s timely responses and commitment were instrumental throughout his over one year overseeing the affairs of LASPAGA.
In a statement to the media on Friday signed by Owoseni Olalere (SAMGRIN), the Director of Media & and Strategy to the interim Chairman, he reassured the governor and all other stakeholders in the Lagos State transportation sector that the promotion of peace and tranquillity, which the parks had witnessed over the past 15 months shall continue.
Additionally, the Lagos monarch thanks Sanwoolu for his efforts towards making life easier for Lagosians, especially with the 25 per cent reduction in transport and feeding about 1,500 people daily.
“We hope to also consolidate the governor’s efforts from our own end too,” Oniba said.
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