Jonathan’s Government Won Gold Medal In Corruption, Says Tinubu |RN

From: Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

A national leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, has said the Goodluck Jonathan administration won gold medal in corruption.

This is even as he said had Jonathan’s government remained in power, Boko Haram insurgency would have taken more territory and devoured more people, adding that the nation would surely have been divided.

Tinubu said so much money grew feet and ran faster than Jamaican runner, Usani Bolt, adding that the money that should have been spent on development was squandered in ways that could cause the devil to blush.

Tinubu said this as the keynote speaker at the book presentation, ;Making Steady, Sustainable Progressive for Nigeria’s Peace and Prosperity: A mid-term scorecard on the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration”, held at the State House Conference Center, Abuja.

According to Tinubu, “the prior government used the public treasury as a private hedge fund or a charity that limited its giving only to themselves.

“So much money grew feet and ran away faster than Usain Bolt ever could. That which could have been spent on national development was squandered in ways that would cause the devil to blush.

“One minister and her rogues’ gallery picked the pocket of this nation for billions of dollars. While poor at governance, these people could give a master thief lessons in the sleight of hand. In governance, they earned a red card but in corruption l, they won the gold medal.

“It was not that our institutions had become infected by corruption. Corruption has become institutionalised”.

The former Lagos State governor affirmed that the war on corruption has been won as President Buhari has set an axe to what he called, “the root of this dangerous tree.”

He noted that fine are the days when a minister can pilfer billions of dollars as easy as plucking a piece of candy from the table.

Tinubu added, “We have much to do to combat this disease. Not only must we track down the takers. In the long term, we must review the salaries of public servants and create universal credits for our people to reduce temptation.”   (The Sun)

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Nigeria’s UN Deputy Secretary Accused Of Aiding Illegal $300m Timber Export To China |RN


Uinted Nations Deputy Secretary, Amina Mohammed

UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed faced accusations from an advocacy group on Thursday that she granted illegal permits to Chinese firms to import endangered Nigerian timber when she was Nigeria’s environment minister.

Documents provided by Mohammed were used by Chinese importers to clear more than $300m worth of rosewood logs held up by Chinese border authorities for months, according to the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), a Washington-based environmental campaigning organisation.

The EIA said its investigation had found that Nigerian officials were paid over $1m to help the importers release the rosewood, which was put on a list of endangered species last year by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

In January, Mohammed allegedly signed thousands of retroactive CITES permits allowing the export of 1.4 million rosewood logs in one of her last acts as environment minister before she was sworn in as deputy secretary-general in late February.

UN spokesperson Farhan Haq said Mohammed “categorically rejects any allegations of fraud.”

The signing of the permits for the rosewood exports was delayed after Mohammed insisted “that stringent due process was followed,” said Haq.

“She says that she signed the export certificates requested before the ban only after due process was followed and better security watermarked certificates became available,” he added.

Mohammed, the highest-ranking woman at the United Nations, served as environment minister from November 2015 to February of this year and had previously lead the UN’s efforts to agree on a new global anti-poverty agenda.

Foreign Policy magazine quoted a senior Nigerian forestry official, who asked not to be named and who said that Mohammed had signed 2 992 export certificates on January 16.

Mohammed had been due to begin her new post at the United Nations on January 1, joining Antonio Guterres as he began his term as UN chief.

But she delayed her move to New York to stay on as environment minister at the request of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and was finally sworn in as deputy secretary-general in late February.

The UN spokesperson said Guterres has been informed of the reports and “reiterates his full support and confidence in her.”

Exploding Chinese demand for African rosewood, also known as “kosso”, has depleted forests across West Africa, prompting CITES to impose strict restrictions last year.

According to EIA, Nigeria since 2013 has become the world’s largest exporter of rosewood logs, which are mainly used for luxury furniture.

CITES is scheduled to discuss the Nigerian rosewood exports to China at a meeting later this month in Geneva.

Source: AFP

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$2bn Scam: EFCC Accuses DSS Of Protecting Indicted Officials |RN

MusaDaura1                          DSS Chief, Lawal Daura

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has accused the Department of State Services of refusing to release its officials for questioning over their alleged roles in the $2bn arms scam purportedly perpetrated by a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.).

The EFCC said this in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, on Tuesday.

Uwujaren issued the statement in response to a publication by a national daily in which an anonymous DSS official accused the EFCC of attempting to humiliate officials of the secret police agency because the Director-General of the DSS, Lawal Daura, scuttled the confirmation of the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, at the Senate.

According to the report, an anonymous DSS official said, “What are they (EFCC) trying to do, audit our operations or what? Did the service report any financial infraction to them and call for their intervention? It is just a case of overzealousness and lack of professionalism and we won’t allow that, because what you allow is what will continue.

“If they (EFCC) need any clarification on anything, they should come to our office. We can’t be humiliated by anybody. Never!  If this is the fallout from the security report officially requested by the National Assembly, then we wish them luck. We stand by our findings.”

However, the EFCC said it was not on a witch-hunt.

The commission said it invited DSS officials just as it had invited officers of the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Air Force and the Nigerian Navy.

According to the anti-graft agency, while military officers made themselves available and culpable ones have since been arraigned, the DSS refused to release its officers for questioning.

The EFCC said, “It is important to state that it is not strange for the EFCC to invite (for questioning) officers of other law enforcement agencies alleged to be complicit in any case being investigated by the commission. But there are protocols in doing this; and part of that protocol is to write to the heads of such agencies, requesting that the officer(s) in question be released to be interviewed.

“In the course of investigating the arms procurement scandal in the Office of the former  National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), the commission has had cause to request the release of officers of other security agencies, including the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Air force, the Nigerian Navy and now the DSS, for questioning. All but the DSS have acceded to this request.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the arms procurement investigation is national in outlook with alleged culprits cutting across the military, security establishments as well as the political class. It is not targeted at any institution.

“Consequently, the insinuation about a revenge-instigated investigation of the DSS by the EFCC over its role in the senate refusal to confirm Ibrahim Magu as substantive chairman of the EFCC, is not only specious, but pure mischief contrived for motives that are unclear.”   (Punch)

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Senate Summons Fashola To Answer For Monumental Fraud In Power Sector |RN


Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola

By Ike A. Offor

The upper chamber of the national assembly, the Senate summons the minister for Power, Works and Housing to answer for what the senate called ‘monumental fraud’ in the power sector of his ministry.

This was contained in the second motion of the day in the senate, which was put forward by Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West senatorial zone.

In replying to the senate, Senator Gbenga Ashafa speaks on the alleged pretext of the ministry acting under a purported presidential approval put forward by Dino Melaye, saying that the Babatunde Fashola and his ministry should be allowed to further clarify on the issue before establishing such allegation.

The senate at the plenary resolved to do the following: It is noted that both resolution were merged into one


  1. Mandate the Senate Committee on Power; Public Accounts; to invite the minister of Power, Works and Housing to render a detailed account in terms of public funds spent on the Fast Power Projects (Afam Fast Power Project in particular); evidence of feasibility study indicating the viability of the projects, and requisite appropriation by the Nationals Assembly as required by the Constitution; and the controversial presidential approval for the project;
  2. Mandate the Senate Committee on Power; Public Accounts; to investigate and consider summoning the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA); Nigerian Electricity Bulk Trading Company (NBET) etc, to generally establish the status of the funds ($350million) and report back to senate within two weeks time frame.

Additional prayers by Sen. Mohammad Hassan is the Senate mandates the Committee on Finance to investigate the actions of  Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) inclusive of the issue raised in this motion. He further prayed the Senate to look into how decisions are made on policy making and the reports is to be submitted in two weeks.

Sen. Ogola said that Senate Committee on Public Accounts should be mandated to ascertain and investigate balance of $650million from the Eurobond transaction in the TSA.

Sen. Ohuabunwa said that the Senate Committee on Judiciary should be mandated to review the present NSIA act and this was seconded by Sen. Aliyu Sabi.

The Senate President, Sen. Bukola Saraki said that the prayers should be handled by Committee on Power and Public Accounts stating that this is not the first time issues on power and funding is being raised.

He said: ‘I really believe that the Committee on Public Account should lead the investigation to get really down to the bottom of the matter’.


Babatunde Fashola

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Buhari Is Alone In Fight Against Corruption, Says Sen. Zwingina |RN


Senator Jonathan Silas Zwingina


A former Senate leader, Sen. Jonathan Silas Zwingina, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari is standing alone in the fight against corruption as he is surrounded by doubtful officials.

Zwingina stated this at the weekend during the sensitisation workshop on the activities and achievements of President Buhari held at Zaranda Hotel, in Bauchi.

The former senate leader, who was the guest speaker at the occasion expressed fears over the success of the fight against corruption.

According to Zwingina, “It’s quite unfortunate that the President is surrounded by so many doubtful assistants.

“With the foot soldiers available to Mr President to fight the war against corruption, there are many cases where it appears that the President is alone in the fight against corruption.

“He is surrounded by so many doubtful assistants such that if he were to sack them, he would sack almost everybody, hence he is forced to manage what is available to him.

“It is also on record that some of the anti-corruption agencies are themselves not without some in house corruption suspects”

Zwingina also attributed Boko Haram insurgency that engulfed North East region as a result of corruption.

He said: “if corruption was not allowed to interfere in the system, there would have been no insurgency in the first instance”

He thereby stressed the need for all hands to be on deck to fight corruption to a stand-still in the country.

He continued: “We must support the war against corruption in order to climb higher in the anti-corruption index as well as free our economy and society from the cancer that has been overwhelmingly acknowledged as the main threat to our development”

Also speaking, an elder statesman and former minister of Special Duties during President Olusegun Obasanjos’ administration, Alhaji Mohammed Bello Kirfi , lauded the efforts of President Buhari in the tackling insurgency crisis in the North East.

Bello Kirfi who is the chairman of the occasion, said “Before the coming of this administration, we were very much affected by insurgency in the North East where thousands were killed, many displaced and properties worth millions of naira destroyed but today we can sleep with our two eyes closed”

The elder statesman therefore advised President Buhari to carry everybody along irrespective of party affiliations.

He said: “The President should remember that it was not APC that brought him to power but Nigerians voted for him hence the need to be President to all Nigerians and not APC alone.

In his welcome address, the convener of the event, who is the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) Political to the President, Rt Hon Gideon Stummani said the workshop was organized to showcase the achievements of the President in the last 2 years.

He enumerated some of the achievements as the President agenda against indiscipline and fight against corruption, N-Power Programme, Anchor borrowing, diversification of economy among others.

He stated further that President Buhari has restored Nigeria’s image abroad saying Nigerians are being respected all over the world as many international community are now willing to do business in the county without any fear or doubt.    (The Sun)

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New SGF, Boss Mustapha, Is Babachir Lawal’s Cousin, Says Junaid Mohammed

                         Boss Mustapha

Our correspondents

A member of the House of Representatives during the Second Republic, Dr Junaid Muhammed, has revealed that the newly appointed Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, is a first cousin to Babachir Lawal.

“Before you begin to celebrate the appointment of Boss Mustapha as the new SGF, do you know that he is in fact, Babachir Lawal’s first cousin? This is a continuation of the cronyism and nepotism the Buhari-led administration has become infamous for,” Muhammed told one of our correspondents.

But even as many Nigerians lament the failure of the President to direct further actions on the sacked officials, the All Progressives Congress has said Buhari’s sacking of the two officials couldn’t have come at a better time than now.

Related: [Update] Finally, Buhari Fires Suspended SGF, NIA Boss |The Republican News

APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said, “Few days ago, when the President directed the dismissal of Abdulrasheed Maina, some people said that was right but what about the suspended SGF, BD Lawal? But we as a party said look, the President is the only person who has all the information. All of us can only have one side of the story or the other.

“But the President by the virtue of the position he occupies is the only one who has all the information and he would do what is necessary at the right time, now we have been vindicated and it shows that the President has not in any way waived his commitment not to tolerate corruption at any level no matter who is involved.”

Related: Buhari Knew Of Maina’s Reinstatement, I Warnd Him – HoS In Leaked Memo |RN

Similarly, the Arewa Consultative Forum applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for sacking Lawal and Oke. In its reaction to the development, the ACF through the National Publicity Secretary, Muhammad Ibrahim Biu, said, “The action taken by President Buhari on the report submitted by the Osinbajo Committee that investigated the suspended SGF and the DG NIA is appropriate and timely.”     (Punch)

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No Immunity For Babachir, Oke, Says Garba Shehu |The Republican News

Former SGF, Babachir Lawal

Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu says President Muhammadu Buhari will not stop the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from its investigation against Babachir Lawal and Ayo Oke, who were relieved of their appointments.

Shehu, who stated on Monday in Abuja, said President Buhari had taken the necessary administrative action against the two officials.

President Buhari, had on Oct. 30, approved the appointment of Boss Mustapha as the new Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), and terminated the appointment of the suspended SGF, Babachir Lawal.

The President, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, also approved the termination of the appointment of the suspended Director-General National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Amb. Ayo Oke.

The presidential aide said: “”The President has taken the administrative action. All other actions will be taken by relevant government agencies.

““The position of the President, therefore, is that investigative agencies, which have already commenced the investigation of the two officers removed from office, will go on with their work of investigation without any interference or hindrance.’’

According to Shehu, President Buhari is fully conversant with the provisions of the constitution and will not stop the investigation of anyone “because he has no such power under our laws, adding this is a decision of the Supreme Court.

“”The President under our laws can, through the Attorney General enter a nolle prosequi to stop an on-going trial. He may upon conviction, order a pardon.

“”Beyond these, the president cannot order investigation agencies to not investigate anyone and does not intend to do so in this, or any other circumstance.

”Based on his wish and desire for a strict observance of the law, the President expects the EFCC, ICPC and such agencies to proceed with ongoing investigations..

”When and where they have reasonable grounds to charge former or serving officers to court under our laws, they do not require the permission of the President to do so.’’(NAN)

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