In Punch Newspapers on Thursday 28th January 2010 a group called ‘The
True Face of Lagos’ took out a 2 pg advertorial in pgs 44 and 45 where
they accused our erstwhile Governor Fashola, our Attorney General Supo
Shasore and a Mr. Tunji Olowolafe of financial recklessness. They claim
also that the Law makers in the house had been shielding the Governor
from probe as they have been bribed and their ‘lion of bourdillon’ had
bribed the press to avoid leakages. The advert was signed by a Mr.
Kasali Martins and another Dr Tunde George. The punch newspaper also
wrote their report based on the advert and said they spoke to our
former Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who said he does not work in
governor’s office, BRF does not take instructions from him and that he
is not BRF’s boss. This advertorial by this seemingly faceless group
was interestingly only placed in Punch Newspapers. Not in other papers
like Next and This Day where some investigative journalism would have
gone to the bottom of all their spurious allegations before reporting
the story. It is interesting also that they care so much about the
people of Lagos and only Punch readers have been privy to their grave
concerns and the consequences of their action.
The lawmakers thus based on this advertorial started impeachment
proceedings against our action Governor the very next day. Again this
was reported in Punch Newspapers the next day, Friday 29th January
2010 in pg 12. There will be a probe that will be led by a group of 6
ad hoc committee. A name in the group is Mrs Adefunmilayo Tejuosho,
the disgraced former deputy speaker that was ousted last year is now
trusted to be inquisitor of a Governor who has put the State on the
World map! These are indeed interesting times in politics in Nigeria.
We want to warn the law makers especially this group of 6 to be
careful they do not succumb to temptations that would lead to setting
Lagos on fire. They should not agree to be weapons in the hands of
satan. We are not faceless but a group of professionals of all works
of life. We are going to do all to see that after 10 years we have for
the first time a patriotic, forward thinking, hard working, Godly man
who is there truly to serve to lead us that he stays there. We know
those behind this faceless group and they will fail.
We were ambitious when BRF agreed to answer the call to be governor
that asiwaju would be big enough to let him do the work whilst he
takes care of the politics involved. What asiwaju seems to forget also
is that but for him giving us this governor, we would be petitioning
all the looting that took place under his administration that caused
some commissioners to resign for fear of probe as the treasury was
practically empty. He probably now would be in kirikiri with his co
megalomaniac of the Lagos PDP, Bode George courtesy of the EFCC. At
least they can say which contracts they feel were awarded and figures,
who knew what was given to whom under the Tinubu regime?
What are BRF’s real crimes?
1, Asiwaju wants the state to pay his company alpha beta N4 Billion
every month and more as our revenue rises, to which BRF says ‘ No sir,
I need the money to build roads, bridges, hospitals, courts, rail
lines, houses that I promised my people when I took the oath of office
which means something to some of us. It is interesting True Face of
Lagos mention anything about Alpha Beta in their advertorial. Asiwaju
already collects revenues from Lagos State higher than some state
revenues. In the whole of BRF’s cabinet, the Judiciary, and the
executive there are only a handful of BRF’s own people. Majority defer
to Asiwaju and still BRF keeps working with dignity. Asiwaju owns
practically half of Ikoyi, nearly all of Lekki several properties
abroad. He still is not satisfied and publically denounces BRF as
being stingy. What does BRF own? Asiwaju took delivery of his own
private jet last month, True Face was this acquired from his pension?
2, Lagos State Government wanted to buy helicopters as one of the ways
to raise revenue, asiwaju with all his cronies like Muiz Banire,
Afikuyomi decided that he would supply the helicopters. BRF says ‘ No
sir, anything else. This is not a contract. It has to be given to
those who can maintain service and manage them. This was awarded to
Caverton Helicopters who not only put up the best bid but also
submitted a Business plan on how best to service the choppers such
that they will earn their cost in just 2 years and they have started
working. The same Punch Newspapers in today's review 31st Jan on page
7report on the good work the choppers are doing.
3, The Martin Luther King award for outstanding Governance that was
given to BRF. Asiwaju was furious! He could not even help but comment
on BRF’s star that is shinning too bright. What he should know is that
it is not by power or by might but from above. Even BRF could not
brighten his own star. It is God that does that and can Asiwaju
challenge God now? He should please ask his beautiful and very kind
wife Remi, who goes to Church toread and explain Ezekiel 28 v2-19 to him and the consequences. As usual BRF knowing his former boss as usual showed such deference he did not go to collect the award himself. He did not ask friends and
use money from the State’s coffers to take out Congratulatory messages
to himself as is the norm of recipients of even less prestigious
awards like the ‘Ikorodu Hall Of Fame’. He needs also to read the
story of King Saul and David.
He would understand how God works.
The truth will always be the truth no matter where it is being told
and for how long. To use some of the issues raised in the advertorial.
1, The Western Avenue road contract awarded to Julius Berger. The
Committee should probe it and all other Julius Berger contracts
awarded under Asiwaju’s Government as the CEO of JB Engr Salami is
Asiwaju’s long time best friend.
2, Our investigations show that under the Civil Service Rules and
which BRF’s government stictly adheres to, a situation
that did not give under Asiwaju’s time, whenever a contract is to be
awarded, let us take the Contract awarded to Deux limited by the
Ministry of health. A memo is raised by the Director of the ministry
to the Perm Sec with a list of companies who bid. It is the Perm sec
who vets this list of companies and recommends the best 3 based on
their reputation, their past performance, their financials and then
recommends these 3 to the commissioner.
The Commissioner for health in
Lagos State is Dr Jide Idris- Asiwaju’s 1st cousin. The commissioner
now presents these 3 companies to Exco which is made up of 40 members
including the deputy governor and the governor. It is the Exco that
now award the contract to 1 company. Any company in our estimation
that can bribe 40 people and then perform really should get that
contract however unlikely that is. Deux limited from our findings a
construction company that also specializes in Health service delivery
are popular with Lagos state because they are patriotic. They get the
work done with their own funds and then await payment and are owed a
lot of money by the state. They have in their employment close to a
thousand lagosiansand only in comparison very few expats. They work in Abuja,
Portharcourt and not justLagos. Above all their initial introduction into Lagos was the
closeness of Olowolafe and Asiwaju. The fallout is Asiwaju refusing to
be advised to allow BRF work.
We have had enough and despite what is going on at the centre, Lagos
is our own and we wont let Tinubu who afterall is from Osun State and
cannot understand the pride we have in BRF, pull us down. We are
rising up and reject all this godfatherism. Tinubu regrets his choice
of BRF but what he should realize is that it was not his choice. It
was the choice of God. We are not faceless and we would use our
professionalism to put the truth out there. We are Lawyers, Doctors,
Engineers, Bankers, Accountants, Nurses, Teachers, Home makers who
have influences with embassies, international chambers of commerce,
foreign governments and have a wide reach. What you decide and stand
on does not stay in Lagos. We are not all from Lagos State but we
have our livelihoods here and pay our taxes here. Our roots are here.
This is the beginning of getting Lagos’s much needed freedom from
Tinubu. It has gone on too long. There will be plenty of activities
to this end and we will call on you all to stand and speak up.
Eko o le baje! Eko o ni baje.
Saharareporters has learned authoritatively that the closest associates of missing and sickly Nigerian ruler, Umaru Yar’adua, have gone on a bribing spree to scuttle moves to remove him from office. In the face of increasing local and international pressure on Yar’adua to handover power to his deputy, Goodluck Jonathan, the ailing “president’s” kitchen cabinet has handed Speaker of the House, Dimeji Bankole, the sum of N2 billion and another N4 billion to Senate President David Mark to stop any legislative or judicial initiative to either impeach Yar’adua or compel him to hand over power to Jonathan. Some of the top players in Yar’adua’s unofficial but powerful inner cabinet are his wife Turai, former Governor James Onanefe Ibori, special economic aide, Tanimu Yakubu, Attorney General Michael Aondoakaa, and Governor Bukola Saraki of Kwara. Former President Ibrahim Babangida maintains constant consultation with the group.
It is not known how the kitchen cabinet hopes to impose their agenda on restive Nigerians, but Tanimu Yakubu reportedly told Bankole and Mark yesterday that the Yar’adua group was prepared to spend three times what Obasanjo spent on his third term agenda to stop the popular movement for Yar’adua to resign and hand over power to Jonathan.
The group’s selling point against Jonathan is to tell legislators, judges and Nigerian opposition groups that Jonathan is too close to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and, as president, would be controlled by the hugely despised Obasanjo.
In interviews with several lawmakers as well as sources close to the Yar’adua camp, Saharareporters gathered that the huge pay offs to Bankole and Mark were part payment of a N20 billion campaign to stop the judiciary and the legislature from acting against Yar’adua as he struggles against a deteriorating health condition.
Several sources told Saharareporters that Speaker Bankole has always been a central player in the project to frustrate Jonathan, beginning the day Yar’adua was evacuated from Nigeria on November 23, 2009. We had reported a deal which delivered $5 million to Bankole through an oil lifting company -Addax Petroleum-to stop the lower house from embarking on any debate that would have forced the House of Representatives to take a position. Bankole has also infiltrated and compromised the leadership of a group of 200 lawmakers who made their intention clear last week to ask Yar’adua to transmit the letter to Jonathan to act as president pending his return.
Saharareporters sources said the legislative group had planned to introduce a resolution next Tuesday that would give a definitive deadline for Yar’adua to transmit his letter of handover pending his return.
But Bankole as well as David Mark have been recruited with a combination of lush cash dole outs as well as juicy contracts to sabotage the plans.
Last week, the Senate passed a resolution asking Yar’adua to transmit a letter of handover, but the resolution had no force or traction to it because it deliberately did not include a deadline. In the words of Senate spokesperson, Ayogu Eze, it was “political solution” not a legislative action.
In addition to huge bribes to legislators and judges, the members of Yar’adua’s kitchen cabinet have resolved to deploy a few strategies to handle a restive nation in the days ahead. Part of this strategy is to use the media in a constant campaign to misinform the Nigerian public to the effect that Yar’adua’s return to Nigeria was imminent.
“The plan is to tell Nigerians each week that President Yar’adua is on his way to Nigeria,” said a source aware of the plan by the Yar’adua camp. He added that the ultimate plan “is to keep everybody confused until such a time that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) will decide to have an early convention to pick its candidate for the 2011 presidential election.” Our sources said the Yar’adua camp wants to present former Nigerian dictator Ibrahim Babangida as its presidential candidate with former Governor James Onanefe Ibori is to become his vice presidential candidate.
Our sources said that Babangida has finalized plans to re-enter the presidential race by claiming that it was the “last wish” of his late wife, Maryam, to run Nigeria in her memory. Last week, Babangida reportedly moved into his Kaduna mansion to coordinate a series of meetings with his cronies, military top brass and new political friends, including the former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu.
In the event that Babangida’s plan fails, the group plans to plant former General Aliyu Muhammad Gusau, a close ally of Babangida’s who ran his intelligence operations, as the PDP’s presidential candidate, again with Ibori as VP.
Ibori, who is a member of Yar’adua’s inner circle, has been entrusted with handling the bribing of the judiciary to ensure that no court judgment would change the status quo ante regarding Yar’adua’s continuation as president even in absentia. Ibori is experienced at compromising the judiciary. He was instrumental to bribing justices of the Court of Appeal and, ultimately, those of the Supreme Court who in December 2008 affirmed Yar’adua’s flawed election as legitimate.
The kitchen cabinet felt a great relief when the chief judge of the federal high court, Dan Abutu, ruled two days ago that Yar’adua had not broken any law by not transmitting a letter to the National Assembly regarding his absence. A source told us that the “First Lady” Turai Yar’adua had called Mr. Abutu a day earlier to secure his assurance on the ruling. Turai’s call came after she and the Yar’adua camp was rattled by a letter signed by several former heads of state and former chief justices and sent to the National Assembly asking Yar’adua to go. That same evening Turai called one of the former heads of state to tongue-lash him for accepting to be part of the delegation. Turai was furious that the former president signed the statement after the Yar’adua camp had reached an earlier agreement with him to support Yar’adua’s right to rule notwithstanding his prolonged absence.
Our sources said that the Yar’adua camp was so intent on retaining power that they have designed a “last option,” which is to fly Yar’adua back to Abuja in his vegetative condition, hook him up to life support machines, while kitchen cabinet members commit all sorts of financial shenanigans in his name. “His wife actually seriously weighed this option last week, but it became impossible to implement, as Yar’adua could not be flown out of Saudi Arabia in his condition,” said a source familiar with the plan. Two other sources told Saharareporters that there is no way Yar’adua can walk on his feet in the next two months even with the best medical care in the world, if at all he could again.
Yar’adua has not been seen publicly since November 22nd 2009 when he collapsed and had to be evacuated to a Saudi hospital in Jeddah on November 23rd 2009. Saharareporters was first to report on his emergency evacuation a day before he was ferried out of Nigeria.
Yar’adua’s wife, Turai who heads the kitchen cabinet and directs the affairs of Nigeria from Saudi Arabia, is said to have become “paranoid” over the decision of the former presidents who called for her husband’s resignation as well as a joint letter issued last week by the US, the European Union and the UK expressing concerns about Nigeria’s political uncertainty.
Saharareporters made calls to Speaker Bankole and Senator Mark, but was unable to speak to either of them. Even though we got through to Mark, a voice who claimed to be his assistant claimed that they were travelling in separate cars from Anambra State where Mark led the PDP’s governorship campaign for Charles Soludo, the controversial former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. The “voice” claimed that he couldn’t hear us.
Bankole’s line rang, but he did not pick up. When our reporter made a second attempt at reaching him, Mr, Bankole had shut off his phone.
MEND says after careful consideration and extensive consultation, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) today, Saturday, January 30, 2010, has decided to call off a unilateral ceasefire ordered on Sunday, October 25, 2009. This ceasefire was ordered in the hope that the government of Nigeria would consider true dialogue founded on a sincere desire to bring justice to the people of the Niger Delta, and true peace to Nigeria.
Acting like a victor over a conquered people, the government rolled out a list of its plans for the Delta which it assumed would end decades of agitation, promising at the same time to deal with all who remained dissatisfied with its lame effort to re-dress the injustice in the Niger Delta.
It is sufficiently clear at this point in time that the government of Nigeria has no intentions of considering the demands made by this group for the control of the resources and land of the Niger Delta to be reverted to the rightful owners, the people of the Niger Delta.
The government and oil companies believe the spirit of agitation in the Niger Delta has been blown away with the bribing of a few thugs it has labeled stakeholders. They assume giving alms to the youth of the Delta will secure installations.
"Concessions" suggested by the government in its bid to "address" the injustice in the Niger Delta include ceding10% of its stake in the joint venture partnerships to oil producing communities and 9% to other interested Nigerians. This suggestion is preposterous!
The same government that is unable to maintain or repair the death traps called roads or the archaic rail facilities in Nigeria, is promising to build super highways and modern rail lines through the Niger Delta using funds it hopes to realise from divesting 19% of its shares in the joint ventures partnerships.
Which is an oil producing community to the government of Nigeria? The Nigerian government in all its wisdom defines an oil producing community as one where oil installations are sited; where oil is drilled or where flow stations and other facilities relevant to the continued bleeding of the Niger Delta and exportation of its mineral resources are found. Does this government not realise that all surrounding communities are sitting atop the same oil deposits and would be producers if their communities were drilled as well?
By this crude definition, the government will consider Kaduna state and other Northern states where pipelines pass through to the refinery in Kaduna, oil producing states. What gives this government the right to share the resources of the Niger Delta between its cronies in ceding this suggested 19 percent? The Nigerian government claims ownership of the Niger Delta where it dares not do so in the North. The land in the North belongs to Northerners while the Niger Delta belongs to the North as well. Communities in the Niger Delta without installations suffer the effects of gas flaring, spillages amongst others so why does the Nigerian government not consider these communities in all its planning?
The answer is simple. This government is hoping it can divide the people of the Delta in order to govern and plunder the Niger Delta. The government and oil companies are hopeful communities with oil installations, designated oil producing communities and rewarded for having these facilities on their soil, will safeguard such installations. Fortunately for the people of the Niger Delta, no one will be able to safeguard any installation from attack by our fighters. All who have misled the government and oil companies into such inanity will be put to shame.
All companies related to the oil industry in the Niger Delta should prepare for an all-out onslaught against their installations and personnel. Nothing will be spared. In this phase, we will extend attacks to oil service companies which have experienced a boom as a result of the misfortunes of oil producing companies, repairing pipelines destroyed in attacks.
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta warns all oil companies to halt operations as any operational installation attacked will be burnt to the ground. Oil companies are responsble for the safety and welfare of their workers and will bear the guilt should any harm come upon their staff in the event of an attack. By now they should know the military Joint Task Force (JTF) cannot protect their installations or staff in the event of an attack.
We thank all patriotic and justice loving citizens of the Niger Delta and Nigeria for their unwavering support, overtly and covertly. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta will not capitulate until the actualization of our dream; the emancipation of the Niger Delta from the clutches of the Nigerian government and collaborating oil companies.
These sc. am. m.e.rs will come up with all sorts of ideas and scams
This one is for a refund of all victims by the Nigerian government !
Order of Reconciliation Payment,
This is in accordance with the irrevocable instruction of your payment received from the office of the Investigation department of the ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION (EFCC) today. You are being contacted by this office today because your Case File (Ai) is the very first File on our Settlement Files Cabinet forwarded and contracted us to see to your immediate compensation payment of the sum of $1,200,000.00 from their Offshore Account with us. The commission further more explained the reasons while you are been compensated. This might interest you to know that during the recent internet investigations and probing processes conducted by the EFCC and investigation monetary agency (UK), your E-MAIL address was discovered among the SPAM violated list and victim of fraud. The said payment is a reconciliation payment to every foreigner’s beneficiary of funds which due to one hitch or the other, the transfer of such fund was not successful at that time.
In view of these recommendations, we were meant to understand that during the last United Nation (UN) and EFCC, investigation monetary agency meetings held in Abuja Nigeria in conjunction with international Monetary funds (IMF) committee , it was alarmed so much by the rest of the world in the meetings on the lose of funds by various foreigners to the scams artists operating in syndicates all over the world today, In other for the Federal Government of Nigeria to retain the good image of their great country, the president (Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar'adua) has instructed the payment of $1,200,000.00 to victims each via DEUTSCHE BANK (UK) under the funding assistance by the Nigeria Intelligent Monetary Unit in concurrence with the Federal Ministry of finance (Federal Capital Territory) with the letter of Authorization from the office of the finance minister has given us the right to remit such funds valued at $1,200,000.00 to it beneficiary as remuneration payment among wh!
ich your contact was listed and th
To avoid unnecessary delays, Please contact the Remittance Department GLOBAL SECURITY & INVESTMENT LTD MR.KANE CARTER to facilitate the remittance of your fund: with the information below on behalf of the of the CBN BANK to facilitate the said payment and you are requiring confirming the information below so as to enable us confirm your rightful beneficiary and proceed with the transfer arrangement without any further obstruction. Please confirm the information below to
INTERNATIONAL REMITTANCE DEPARTMENT,
GLOBAL SECURITY & INVESTMENT LTD.,
#09 IDOWU TAYLOR STREET,BLOCK 232,
VICTORY ISLAND, LAGOS NIGERIA.
Direct Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Full Name:
2. Residential Address:
3. Mobile Phone Number:
5. Present Occupation:
Prompt action is necessary as time is of essence
Investigation Monetary Agency
Posted by technology on January 30, 2010 at 7:08pm
Yesterday, Steve Jobs worked his charm, attempting to wow the world with the Apple iPad, a new, super-slim computer he touted as the missing link between iPhones and laptops. It's an undeniably beautiful device, but it also represents some serious problems.Note: This subjective post gets rather long winded, so if you don't have time for every hem and haw, skip straight to the meat of the problem.The GoodAt first glance, the iPad does a lot of things really well—particularly compared to its competition. This depends on what you consider its competition, but for sheer size and price alone, let's say its primary competition is the Kindle, followed by netbooks. Last, and maybe more importantly, consider that maybe it doesn't have any competition because it's aiming for a mostly new market, much like the iPhone completely goosed the primarily business-friendly, BlackBerry-dominated smartphone market. No matter what you consider its competition, it's likely that the iPad outpaces said competition handily.The Kindle: To start, if we compare the iPad to a Kindle, it's really only lacking in one or two arenas from the standpoint of most consumers: It's not using e-ink, so it's potentially not as friendly on the eyes (okay, it's definitely not as eye-friendly), and the battery life is only 10 hours (with video, mind you, which was the only benchmark Apple gave), which is seriously short by e-book reader standards. Now consider this: It's roughly the same size as the Kindle, can do infinitely more (even running a complete end-around the Kindle by running Kindle software), and it's beautiful.Like in life, that last bit—the looks—matter more than we may like to admit. And why shouldn't it matter? Apart from, you know, the usefulness factor, eye candy has always played an important role in technology adoption.Netbooks: Full disclosure: I've never owned a netbook. And maybe that's part of the problem. For all the useful, inexpensive netbooks out there, the netbook market has yet to take hold in a truly meaningful way outside of the enthusiast niche. I'm not relying on any real numbers here—more on experience at airports, coffee shops, and public places where people with computers go. Those are the places netbooks were made for, right? And yet all I see at those places are laptops and iPhones. Update: As many commenters have pointed out, the netbook market has been very successful, and my personal experience isn't a good substitute for the numbers. Either way, don't get too hung up on this point—whether or not netbooks are popular is really not the problem.For most people, netbooks have very limited sex appeal. There's no question they do what they're supposed to do, or that they do it well, but last I checked, the netbook hasn't really filled that "When you just need a lightweight computer to do some lightweight surfing, word processing, etc." need. The iPad is aiming straight at this market, and could potentially succeed where netbooks haven't.Lack of competition: Most disconcerting to this technology lover—which I'll discuss in more detail below—is that the iPad really has no little direct competition out yet. (Several tablets showed up at CES, but I haven't seen any release date for promising slates. We'll see how those turn out, but at the end of the day, this is still a market like the smartphone market was before the iPhone came along. It wasn't the first smartphone, but it had the best hardware and usability.) In fact, at the end of the day it's much more like an iPhone or iPod touch than it is anything else. It's just got better guts and a bigger screen. It seems most accurate to consider the iPad a computer that runs the iPhone OS.The ProblemSo why is it a problem if the iPad is better than its competition, or, more importantly, fills a niche that hasn't been addressed well enough to this point? Yesterday Gizmodo rounded up 8 things that suck about the iPad, focusing primarily on hardware issues like its lack of camera, an ugly bezel, and lack of even a single USB port (sans adapters); we could likewise complain about how the iPad's graphical design seems like a complete afterthought. But much more important, at least from the perspective of a blog that's pretty serious about the free use and control of computers:The iPad, much like the iPhone, is completely locked down. The user has no control over what she installs on the hardware, short of accepting exactly what Apple has approved for it. From past experience, we know what happens when a completely legitimate application—from a huge company that's actually partnered with Apple—doesn't gel with Apple's business plan. They reject it, and you can't use it. And what recourse does the power user have?Jailbreaking! And certainly the iPad will see plenty of hacking, but only because Apple requires you to hack the device if you actually want control over it yourself. Apple's gotten into the habit of acting like you're renting hardware. They've become the all-powerful, over-restrictive, ambivalent IT person in the sky, restricting what users can and can't install on their hardware.With a device like the iPhone, most people slowly accepted Apple's IT state over time. Apple's stance is basically that their lockdown is for your own good—they're protecting us from unstable apps, pornography, confusion, and other nasties. And for the most part, it worked, right? iPhones have remained fast, capable, strong-like-bull, and extremely popular. But conceding that Apple's restrictive policies are to credit is sort of like claiming you've cured cancer because you knocked on wood every morning of your life and, as a result, never got cancer. (Sorry for the weak simile.)What's dangerous about the iPad is that it's much closer to a "real" computer than the iPhone is. If you dock it with the keyboard accessory, it really is just a sort of low-powered franken-laptop. And yet this is a computer over which you have absolutely no control. And the question is: If we all continue to buy Apple's locked-down products hand-over-fist (Jobs went so far as to talk about Apple as a mobile device company yesterday), what reason does Apple have not to keep moving forward with that model—a model that, to many, is defective by design.Apple's saying to consumers: "Trade in choice for a guarantee that this will work exactly as we designed it to, and you'll never be upset with a computer again." Unfortunately there's no reason to believe the trade is necessary. At the very best, it seems like Apple's extreme and obsessive control over what you're allowed to run on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch is maybe delaying the point at which your software demands outpace the hardware, but even that is debatable. With the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, you're trading choice and control in exchange for unsubstantiated promises. The Free Software Foundation put it another way:DRM is used by Apple to restrict users' freedom in a variety of ways, including blocking installation of software that comes from anywhere except the official Application Store, and regulating every use of movies downloaded from iTunes. Apple furthermore claims that circumventing these restrictions is a criminal offense, even for purposes that are permitted by copyright law.If Jobs and Apple are actually committed to creativity, freedom, and individuality, they should prove it by eliminating the restrictions that make creativity and freedom illegal.Attention needs to be paid to the computing infrastructure our society is becoming dependent upon. This past year, we have seen how human rights and democracy protesters can have the technology they use turned against them by the corporations who supply the products and services they rely on. Your computer should be yours to control. By imposing such restrictions on users, Steve Jobs is building a legacy that endangers our freedom for his profits.A Simple Solution?The App Store isn't exactly the problem—it's the way Apple runs and limits the App Store. Let's say, for example, that Apple added one simple section to the App Store. I'll leave it to the Apple Geniuses to come up with a more marketable name, but for our purposes, let's call it the Restricted section.Now let's say that Apple continues to run the App Store the way it always has, but rather than reject applications that it feels may confuse the user (like they claimed Google Voice* or Google Latitude might), or applications that allow users to access naughty pictures, or even applications that it hasn't had time to vet for the App Store proper, they put those applications in the Restricted section. Before a user is able to install applications from the Restricted section, that user has to agree that the application may confuse their feeble minds, offend their delicate sensibilities, or even slow down their device. Is this such a problem?(*Incidentally, even if we accept Apple's reasons for rejecting the Google Voice application on the iPhone, what reason is there to likewise reject it for the iPod touch and, presumably, the iPad? Neither have phone functionality out of the box, and now the non-phone devices actually outnumber the iPhone.)Even better, it could work like the package manager it actually is and allow users to add their own trusted repositories as sources for other applications. Same disclaimers apply, but Apple is even further removed from culpability—they're not even hosting the apps.The point is, users should at least be allowed to flip some switch, somewhere on the machine, that says, "Hey computer, I'm an adult, and I take responsibility over how I use this machine."So You're Saying I Have to Make a Statement with My Computer Purchases Now?I'm not here to get all political (though Apple doesn't give a shit about poor people), but the point is this: As power users, do we really want to send the message to Apple and other hardware manufacturers that we're cool with them taking away our choice? The iPad looks great, and by every account it also feels great and performs like a peach, but it's rife with problems. Unlike the iPhone, where it was easy enough to convince ourselves that these problems were imposed for good reason, the iPad is basically a keyboard-less netbook that will exert complete control over what you're allowed to use on it.A very quick response to the many, many people who feel I'm missing the point because the iPad isn't for me, but for the non-tech savvy users: There's no reason it can't be both. OS X ships with Terminal, even though most Mac users will never use the command line. To say that "either a device is user friendly or it's open" is a false dichotomy. It's also worth mentioning again, as I did above, that Apple's proven itself to be an unreliable, user-hostile gatekeeper.Caveat Emptor!Sending messages aside, my main aim is to discourage readers from buying an iPad. Or if not to discourage, to ensure that people understand the system they're buying into, if and when they do purchase one. The fact remains that the iPad is probably better than any device of its kind out there, so it's very tempting if you want a big, pretty tablet that can do a lot of neat computer things. But it also comes with some serious problems.
A lot has been happening recently in our burgeoning film industry popularly known as Nollywood. Its seems more and more practitioners are determined to up their game and bring filmmaking to the international standard, on the level able to stand with any movie anywhere in the world. The latest of such movies is ‘IJE: the journey’.Shot on locations spanning Jos, Nigeria and Los Angeles, California, IJE tells the tale of two sisters Chioma and Anya, the choices they make in life and the consequences of they pay for those choices. Chioma, a child growing up in the Nigerian countryside, warns her restless sister, Anya, about the pitfalls in trying to attain the American Dream, but all to deaf ears. Now, ten years later, Anya is accused of killing three men in a Hollywood Hills mansion—one of them her record producer-husband. Chioma has to travel from Nigeria to Los Angeles, and with the help of a young, unproven attorney, discovers that the dark secret her sister wants to keep hidden from all, but which might be the only thing she has to gain her freedom.Parading a stellar cast that comprises Nigeria’s A-List actresses;Genevieve Nnaji (recently piped as one of the world’s most famous people by the Queen of talk, Oprah Winfrey) Nigeria’s sweetheart, the sexy Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, and critically acclaimed Clem Ohameze. They are ably supported by an international cast such as Hispanic sensation Odalys Garcia and upcoming actor, Ulrich Que. The movie is produced and directed by Chineze Anyaene and was shot mostly on 35mm. It was co-produced by Paula Moreno and this brings about a merging of two great minds, two young women determined to make a change in the international movie industry by merging the Hollywood and Nollywood industries together.IJE: THE JOURNEY is set for an exclusive screening at Warner Bros. on November 14, 2009 in Burbank, CA.For more on the movie, visit: http://www.ijethemovie.com/Read more…
Michael Jackson's Kids Will Speak at the Grammys The King of Pop's progeny will be represented at the Grammy Awards.A source close to the Jackson family exclusively tells E! News that, as of late Friday evening, Michael Jackson's three children will not only attend the Grammys on Sunday, but will take the stage during the planned tribute to the pop icon to "read some sort of speech" about him.As we reported before, several other members of the Jackson family are already planning to be in the audience at Los Angeles' Staples Center, as well.Céline Dion, Carrie Underwood and Usher are among the current chart-toppers who will be participating in the Jackson tribute.Janet Jackson presided over a muscial tribute to her older brother, who died last June, at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.Gay Groups to Grammys: Denounce "Hateful" Reggae Nominee Now!Media watchdog group GLAAD and the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center protested the nomination as soon as it was announced, because Banton's song, "Boom, Bye Bye," includes lyrics about killing gay men by shooting or burning them.And just today, GLAAD and the L.A. Gay & lesbian Center bought a full-page ad in Hollywood tradepaper Variety in the form of an open letter to Recording Academy president Neil Portnow. "This type of music has fueled anti-gay violence here and especially in Banton's home country of Jamaica, where hate crimes against gay men and lesbians—including murder—are common and sometimes celebrated," the letter reads.In early December, the Recording Academy issued a statement defending the nomination on the basis of freedom of speech and creative expression."Artists of a variety of political or cultural perspectives have been nominated or featured on the telecast, despite protests and backlash," the statement read, in part.GLAAD and the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center's ad, cosigned by more than 20 gay rights groups, blasts the reasoning because "performers who glorify the murder of gay people through their music aren't reflecting a 'political or cultural perspective' or 'politics,' they're reflecting their hatred and promoting brutal and illegal violence against a group of innocent people."A copy of the ad, which also asks the academy to denounce violence of any sort during awards show live telecast on Sunday, was delivered to Portnoy's office yesterday, according to reps for GLAAD and the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center. They have yet to get a response.Banton will not be at this year's show because he is currently in a Florida jail awaiting trial on cocaine-related charges.Rihanna Flying Solo to Grammys—Where's the BF?It's Grammy time again, folks, and this year we're happy to report Rihanna will be in attendance at the awards show, rather than in admittance to the hospital like she was last year.Thankfully, Ri-Ri has moved on from that hideous woman-attacker Chris Brown, and despite the fact the pop princess claims she's single, we can swear she's still very much dating muscle-tat man Dodger Matt Kemp.However, E! can also confirm that her new boy will not be attending the Grammy Awards with her on Sunday.Yikes, trouble in paradise already?
As you know full well, the search industry is constantly changing, and that means SEOs and businesses must adapt. This is always made abundantly clear at the change of each year as the previous year is reflected upon, and predictions about trends in the upcoming year are discussed. SEOs know that adaptation and ongoing education are crucial. The problem is that businesses don't always understand just how much the search landscape actually does change. This can present a whole different set of challenges for both the small business and the professional SEO.
What are some SEO tactics you've had a hard time convincing clients to employ? Discuss here.
photo Terry and Wife Toni inset is the homebreaker Vanessa and Girlfriend to Wayne Bridge ENGLAND'S World Cup hopes are in chaos after their captain John Terry was publicly disgraced for cheating on his wife with a team-mate's girlfriend.The $200,000 a week player lost a court battle to keep the affair with French underwear model Vanessa Perroncel - his wife's best friend and the partner of fellow England defender Wayne Bridge - secret.Terry, 29, who has three-year-old twins with his childhood sweetheart Toni, now faces a backlash from players and fans fearing the storm will rock the England squad and ruin the team's chances at this summer's World Cup in South Africa.Within minutes of the story breaking, the internet was awash with angry calls for Terry to be stripped of the title.The Chelsea star had desperately tried to keep the public in the dark over his infidelity and initially managed to use human rights laws to obtain a gagging order against the press.England captain John Terry was publicly disgraced last night for cheating on his wife with a team-mate's girlfriend after losing a court battle to keep it secret.The £170,000-a-week footballer had an affair with French underwear model Vanessa Perroncel - his wife's best friend and the partner of fellow England defender Wayne Bridge.Terry, 29, who has three-year-old twins with his childhood sweetheart Toni, now faces a backlash from players and fans fearing the storm will rock the England squad and ruin the team's chances at this summer's World Cup in South Africa.Within minutes of the story breaking, the internet was awash with angry calls for Terry to be stripped of the captaincy.The Chelsea star had initially used human rights laws to obtain a gagging order against the press, claiming his right to a 'private and family life'.But the judge who threw out the order said he thought Terry was more concerned about the threat to his lucrative sponsorship deals. Even the existence of the so-called 'super-injunction' was supposed to be a secret. But in a landmark ruling for press freedom, Mr Justice Tugendhat ruled that the public had a right to know.He told the High Court that people should have the right to criticise 'socially harmful' behaviour because freedom of speech is as important as the right to privacy.Experts believe his ruling could open the floodgates to more revelations - high on the list being the identity of the Premier League manager recently accused of visiting a brothel.The decision will shatter Terry's recently-acquired family man image and could lose him millions in commercial sponsorships.Wife Toni with Vanessa and Girlfriend to Wayne BridgeBut the judge said Terry had made no mention of personal distress and appeared to be 'a very robust personality.' He said the secrecy claim was more likely to be about 'protection of reputation' and was 'essentially a business matter'.The judge was critical of the way Terry, his business partners and Schillings, one of the best-known celebrity law firms, had tried to keep the affair under wraps.Terry, recently crowned celebrity 'father of the year', was not in court and kept out of public sight as the scandal broke.He has long been close friends with Bridge and until recently they were neighbours in a gated community in Surrey. Bridge was with Terry at Chelsea for five years until he moved to Manchester City in 2008.Until last week, no one knew that Terry was having a secret sexual affair with Bridge's girlfriend. When Miss Perroncel's relationship with Bridge collapsed last July, it was to Terry's wife Toni, her best friend, that she turned for support. The two women are even understood to have holidayed together.The court has not said when Terry's affair began or how long it lasted, but there was one unconfirmed suggestion that it was still going as recently as last month.The alleged relationship had 'consequences', the court heard - but their nature was not spelt out.Sources close to Bridge said he was 'in bits'. The 29-year-old has a three-year-old son with Miss Perroncel.Jaydon Jean Claude Bridge was born in November 2006 but when Bridge moved to Manchester City a year ago, Miss Perroncel remained in their Surrey mansion.Bridge said nothing when he was asked about his teammate's behaviour yesterday as he left his club's training ground before returning to his £2million rented mansion in Alderley Edge, Cheshire.But even fellow England stars - not always known for their family values - were privately condemning Terry for 'crossing the line' in sleeping with a teammate's partner.He also faces the wrath of England manager Fabio Capello - the Italian has famously strict moral values. Capello will come under pressure to strip Terry of the England captaincy if his off-field behaviour is causing a rift in the team.FA insiders claimed Terry's future depended on how fellow players react to him before a friendly against Egypt in March.Yesterday there was no sign of Terry at his £4million home where, on Monday, he confessed his infidelity to his wife. Terry has previously admitted to cheating on Toni.In 2005, two years before marrying, he said: 'I've misbehaved and slept with girls behind her back. I'm not going to cheat on her ever again and I want to marry her more than anything.'But the day he was quoted, it emerged he had a fling with a blonde - and even borrowed his friend Bridge's £4million house as a love nest.His alleged lover Shalimar Wimble, 25, told a Sunday newspaper: 'John never mentioned his fiancée Toni to me - I guess that's why he took me to Wayne's place.'Yesterday the judge made it clear he thought Terry's history as a love rat was very much relevant in deciding whether he should be allowed to keep his latest transgression a secret.Mr Justice Tugendhat said it was crucial that newspapers should not be prevented from reporting things that were 'socially harmful'.Even before the order was lifted, the internet was buzzing with details of Terry's infidelity. He was named on at least one football website, while posts on the social networking site Twitter ridiculed the England captain. One said: 'Everyone knew he was boffing the (rather gorgeous) girlfriend of Wayne Bridge - let the story run.'The case echoes former England captain David Beckham's alleged affair with Rebecca Loos.He was never forced to quit his post, but then again the England coach at the time, Sven Goran Eriksson, was busy having a secret affair of his own.The underwear model and her friendship with the WAG next doorJohn Terry's wife and his mistress were the most unlikely of best friends.Toni Poole, 28, is a working-class girl who shuns the public eye and is happy to stay at home with the twin children she has by her childhood sweetheart.photo Terry and Wayne BridgeVanessa Perroncel is a French-born lingerie model who has posed provocatively in a series of 'lads' mags'.Yet they holidayed together last summer and were regular guests in each other's neighbouring homes.Miss Poole, 28, had dated Terry from the age of 16, when he was a year older and an apprentice footballer on £48 a week still living with his family in an estate in Barking, East London.Friends: Toni Terry and Vanessa Perroncel spent time together during the 2006 World Cup in GermanyShe worked briefly as a beautician, but in an age of WAGs is more like the traditional footballers' wife - a loyal, quiet presence in the background.She and Miss Perroncel became friends in 2006 after the exotic model, who is thought to be around 29, had begun dating Wayne Bridge. He was Terry's Chelsea teammate and neighbour - as well as an accommodating friend.In 2005 a tabloid newspaper told how Bridge allowed Terry to use his house to have sex with a secretary when he wasn't there.Afterwards, Terry apologised for his transgression and vowed that it would be the last. At the time, it was the eighth to be publicised in tabloid newspapers.Whatever doubts his long-term partner might have had over Bridge, she quickly became friendly with his new girlfriend, despite their differences.Miss Perroncel was certainly different-having made a career out of her body once she moved to the UK.She posed provocatively in a whole array of downmarket lads' magazines including Maxim - where she was labelled a Maxim Mate - and Front.Apart from her magazine appearances, she posed with Sacha Baron-Cohen's film creation Ali G, she in a white bra and red knickers as he lay between her parted legs.Toni and Vanessa headed - along with the other WAGs - to Baden Baden in Germany for their now notorious stay during England's ill-fated World Cup campaign in 2006.The friendship between the two women intensified after Toni gave birth to twins, son George and daughter Summer, and Vanessa had a son, Jaydon Jean Claude five months later.The following summer, Miss Perroncel and Bridge were both guests when Terry wed Toni at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire and last summer they went on a 'girls' break' together.Yesterday's revelations suggest another holiday is unlikely - and there is likely to be a distinct froideur the next time they meet in their Footballers' Wives estate.
For discerning persons who know how the Yar’Adua administration has worked since inception, the controversy that Vice President Goodluck Jonathan called Turai Yar’Adua, the first lady, to get directives on performing the duties of the president is really no news. With the structure at the seat of power in Abuja, it would not have been surprising to Aso Rock insiders that Jonathan called Turai to intimate her of political developments. A few weeks ago, the Federal High Court, Abuja ruled that the vice president could perform the duties of the president in the latter’s absence. Controversy broke out in the media when it was reported that rather than follow the ruling, the vice president was awaiting the reaction of President Umaru Yar’Adua or his wife. Specifically, Jonathan was said to have telephoned the first lady to intimate her of the ruling by Justice Dan Abutu and ask for directives on what to do. However, the vice president in a statement signed by Ima Niboro, special assistant on media, denied calling the first lady to take directives. Stating that Jonathan last spoke to Turai on January 5, after he had spoken to Yar’Adua, the statement declared that the vice president was not indecisive but was in charge and able to discharge the responsibilities of the office of president without seeking instructions from anyone.
But Turai, in the power structure in the presidency has before now been one who has always called the shots. Her authority and hold on the levers of power have not even diminished by her absence due to her husband’s illness. Turai has always been the power behind Yar’Adua — in the home, when he was governor and now, that he is president. An incident of many years ago perhaps best dramatizes the power that Turai has always wielded in the president’s life and work. The words, words of wisdom as it turned out, were sown over two decades ago. But they have germinated in the pregnant belly of time and have finally been born in the political events that currently haunt Nigeria. In 1991, Umaru Yar’Adua, then somewhat a political neophyte, aspired to contest in the governorship race in Katsina State. Ordinarily, the election would have been a walk over. After all, his elder brother, Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, a retired major general, was one of the most influential men in the Social Democratic Party, SDP, and the strongest political force in the state. But the older Yar’Adua would not support his brother. In fact, he was reported to have given tacit support to his brother’s opponent, Saidu Barda, candidate of the National Republican Convention, NRC. When SDP stalwarts went to the retired general to appeal to him to change his mind he reportedly asked them whom they wanted to put in Government House, Katsina; Umaru or Turai, his wife?
For some of those present that day, the retired general’s words are proving uncannily prescient. And any one of them still alive today would wonder at how prophetic those words have become not only for Yar’Adua and his wife, but also for Nigeria. For, those prophetic words, few as they were, provide a simultaneous psychoanalysis of both Yar’Adua and his wife. For Yar’Adua, the brother, who was actually like a father, was providing an invaluable insight into the persona of the man who, finally in 1999, would become governor of Katsina State, and in whose hands fate would in 2007 thrust the responsibility of ruling Nigeria, the most populous black country in the world. It speaks volumes that the older Yar’Adua did not have confidence that his brother could with much independence rule his state in 1991 and that a vote for him would be a vote for his wife. It was a vote of no confidence on Yar’Adua by someone who knew him intimately, perhaps, more than anybody alive at that time. Some would interpret this lack of confidence to mean that Yar’Adua is probably someone without a mind of his own or someone who would allow his wife to rule him. Many of Yar’Adua’s critics say these traits, this seeming inability to take firm decisions on his own, have been the hallmark of his time as governor of Katsina State and President of Nigeria. In the case of Turai, the senior Yar’Adua’s misgivings readily paint a picture of an ambitious and overbearing wife, a woman who naturally loves to dominate her environment. How true this portraiture has turned out to be for Turai in her time at the Government House, Katsina and now at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa where she holds court as first lady? Those who know Turai well describe her as a naturally assertive, sententious and overbearing person who likes to dominate and control any environment where she operates — her home, family, and now, as first lady, the seat of power. But perhaps it is circumstances and the environment that have shaped the character that the first lady has turned out to be. After all, she has come virtually from grass to grace from being the wife of a struggling lecturer to first being a governor’s wife and then Nigeria’s first lady. Perhaps, this transportation from the valley of life to the dizzying heights of political power in a country like Nigeria, where power can absolutely intoxicate and corrupt, has been too much for the humble mind of this graduate of education and has thus, turned her into the lioness that she is today!
No. Turai is naturally a domineering person who not just loves power but is wielding it and letting all around know where it lies. An intelligent and calculating woman, she has only exploited the circumstances of her life to strengthen her natural instincts. Before she ever tasted political power, she exhibited her natural penchant to rule her environment, a situation that has estranged her from the larger Yar’Adua family. First she is believed to have sent her husband’s other wife packing. And the other members of the family who encouraged her husband to marry another have become lifelong enemies. Today, as first lady, she is believed to be partly responsible for the alleged estrangement of the president from the larger Yar’Adua family. Interestingly, in an ironic twist that amplifies Turai’s selfish streak and bizarre love of power, the same woman who would not allow her husband, a Muslim, the pleasure of having a second wife, has conveniently undertaken the task of giving out her young daughters away as second and third wives to rich, powerful but much older men. In fact the last daughter to be given out in marriage was already betrothed to someone else, a big businessman in the oil industry before the first lady married her off to another state governor. For Turai, matrimonial bliss lies in wealth and power. Apparently it is more important that her daughters be married to powerful governors who would be able to sustain the first family’s aristocratic heritage. In the first lady’s thinking, she must imagine that in case her husband cannot continue as president, she can still somehow, however remotely, remain politically relevant, and even possibly continue to hold some lever of power through her daughter’s marriage to men in political authority.
It is the same kind of domineering role that she has brought to Aso Rock, the seat of power. At the Presidential Villa, Turai has brought a new meaning and definition to the office of first lady, an office not recognized by the constitution. At a mundane level, she has her own office with a full complement of staff, including secretarial, protocol and security personnel. She has her own convoy of cars. But at a more telling level, Turai wields enormous, almost unassailably limitless, power in the presidency. It is not an exaggeration to say that Turai is the most feared person in Aso Rock, much more than the president himself. A strategic thinker, the first lady has positioned herself in such a way that she virtually rules Nigeria. Some say that there are certain things about the running of the country the full details of which the president does not have but which are in the first lady’s palms. What the ambitious, and some say, rather assertive, first lady has done is to exploit both Yar'Adua’s weaknesses and sickness to catapult herself into the position of a shadow president of Nigeria. First, she understands the weakness of her husband’s natural deliberateness in taking decisions and his apparent slowness to act and the danger it poses in the power equation in Aso Rock. In the early days, other people in the Yar’Adua administration noticed this power lacuna and tried to exploit it by creating power blocs for themselves. Thus was born a clique comprising the likes of Abba Ruma, minister for agriculture and water resources; Tanimu Yakubu, the national economic adviser; Yayale Ahmed, secretary to the government of the federation, SGF, and initially, in the early days, Babagana Kingibe, former SGF. However, Turai soon showed everybody who held the lever of power. And she was in a very strategic position to do so. For the often ill Yar’Adua, the role the first lady plays as the president’s permanent nurse thrusts upon her a rare opportunity to occupy the center stage in the power equation at the villa.
She administers the president’s drugs, determines when he has put in enough work hours for the day, and so should take a rest, the time when the president should retire to bed. After all he is her husband. Then at daybreak, it has always been the decision of madam, when the president would be available for a new day’s duties. Soon Turai was, in this position, able to determine when Yar’Adua saw people and the people who got to see him. She went further to determining which official files the president treated. Former ministers in Yar’Adua’s cabinet have shared with the magazine their frustration about the way Turai interfered in their official duties.
Ministers who wanted to see the president were “fenced” by the first lady who then took over official files and, they suspect, influenced what her husband did with them. The magazine learnt that more than anything else, what hastened the exit of Lieutenant General Abdulahi Mohammed, former chief of staff under President Olusegun Obasanjo who was retained by Yar’Adua, was the interference by Turai in official matters. Mohammed who played a strategic stabilising role in the Obasanjo government had free access to the president and his advice was well respected. But with Yar’Adua, the situation changed as Turai was carrying out some of his duties. Or in other cases, Mohammed allegedly had to hold meetings or discuss with Turai, official matters, before seeing the president. Within a few months, Mohammed was fed up and wanted out but was prevailed upon by a prominent Nigerian to stay a while to help stabilize the new administration. The experience of Kingibe was not too different. Kingibe, as secretary to the government, ran the engine room of the government as his office saw to the implementation of government policies. But Turai soon started to look through files from the SGF meant for the president. Initially, Kingibe left files for Turai to pass on to the president but when he observed that the first lady was being deliberately manipulative, he demurred and stopped leaving files in her care. That some insist was probably the last straw for him in the power game in the administration and he was soon on his way out. Turai equally enjoys peddling the influence of her office to the fullest.
Before the president’s latest sickness and evacuation for treatment in Saudi Arabia, when it came to the issue of juicy federal appointments, Turai was the person to see. She is known to have influenced the appointment of at least three ministers. One of them, from the South-west, had approached the first lady expressing interest in a particular ministry where somebody else’s name had been penciled down. Turai assured him of her support and only told him to ensure that he carried his party at the state level along. Once his name came from the state, the first lady ensured that he got the ministry he wanted. Turai is also said to be instrumental in the appointment of a minister who holds a strategic ministry. The minister from the North is said to have given one of the daughters of the first family a huge monetary gift, when the daughter was getting married. Impressed by the largesse, and perhaps to show appreciation, when shortly after, the president wanted to make changes in his cabinet, Turai asked the man if he would like to be a minister and which ministry he would like to man. The man told her he was interested and went ahead to name his choice ministry. He was appointed. Because of the power Turai wielded, many people also thought she could swing virtually anything, even tasks that were clearly beyond the president. For example, when a former governor had his election challenged in court, rather than trust the courts, he, in desperation, allegedly sought the help of the first lady.
A reliable source told the magazine that Turai assured him that she would help intervene in the matter. The source said that in order to oil the wheel of the matter for the favorable ruling, the ex-governor coughed out a huge sum of money. However, the former governor lost his seat. When he went to see Turai to find out what happened, she was said to have casually explained that things did not work out the way she planned it. And she casually told the stupefied former governor that she would ask the president to find him a position in the government. But there are other ways by which Turai peddles her influence. First, she is said to dictate who some juicy contracts go to. In turn she is well appreciated by the successful winner. On the other hand, there are those who suspect that contracts influenced by the first lady may have been won by fronts. Perhaps, that suspicion is enhanced by the fact that she is said to be very brazen in getting any contract she wants. No matter what the process required is to get such contracts, the first lady just calls up the minister in charge of the ministry, department or agency, MDA, and expresses her interest. And her love for huge contracts is said to be insatiable. She is believed to have sponsored people for contracts in the ministry of agriculture, particularly rice, silos construction and fertilizer purchase contracts. A minister, miffed by Turai’s overbearing demands for contracts once complained to a source to the magazine that “the first lady is too greedy and wants to dictate all the big contracts in my ministry”. There are other ministers and senior government officials who are tired of the first lady’s manipulative ways. Others are equally concerned. A top Nigerian, a statesman once had cause to cautiously express concern to President Yar’Adua that he learned that the first lady was virtually running the presidency. Yar'Adua’s defense was that the only reason why people say Turai is the one running the Villa is because he was not quarreling with his wife openly. So enormous and gripping is Turai’s hold on the levers of power and authority that even with her absence from Aso Rock due to the president’s sickness and admission to a Saudi hospital, she continues to call some shots. In fact, the near crisis that Nigeria has been thrown in the last two months of the president’s absence from office has been virtually orchestrated by Turai in far-away Saudi Arabia.
And rather than easing her influence and stranglehold on governance, being held up in Saudi Arabia, at her husband’s bedside has actually amplified her influence and strengthened her hold firmly on things back home. First, the foundation for the near chaos was laid when Yar’Adua was unceremoniously flown to Saudi Arabia on November 23, 2009, without duly handing over to Vice President Goodluck Jonathan. Constitutionally, to prevent a power vacuum, whenever the president knows that he would be away from his duties for a period, he should hand over to the vice president who would act as president. Also, the president failed to transmit to the National Assembly the fact of his trip for medical attention and absence from duty as required by the constitution. Taking off without doing these many things that needed presidential attention such as signing of the supplementary budget and swearing in of Justice Aloysius Kastina-Alu as the chief justice of Nigeria, CJN, raised controversies.
Beyond the issue of properly handing over, the information about the true state of the president’s health condition has been terribly manipulated that for a long time even the vice president and cabinet ministers could not say exactly what the truth was about Yar’Adua’s health. In fact, in Abuja, the capital city, the situation was so bad that ministers were asking journalists for details of the president’s health. In the early days of Yar’Adua’s trip to Saudi Arabia, and with the unclear picture of things and the way the information was being guarded like a state secret, many ministers refused to take calls from cabinet colleagues for fear that discussions may dovetail into inquiries about the ill-health of the president. Turai’s skills have actually found greater expression at this time. First, she limited the number of people who knew anything about the president’s true health situation to just a handful of people she could trust or manipulate. In fact, apart from the president’s aide-de-camp and chief security detail who by security protocol always stays with him, the only persons that Turai communicated with in official circles for a few days about the president’s health were Ruma and Yakubu.
While speculations and rumours walked on all fours in the nation’s streets with people becoming agitated about their president’s health, the first lady kept mum. Not even the vice president, the Senate president or the Speaker of the House of Representatives were informed of the true situation of things. Worse still when some state governors, including Bukola Saraki and Isa Yuguda of Kwara and Bauchi states respectively, went to Saudi Arabia to see things for themselves, they were denied access to him. Bukola has gone to Saudi Arabia twice now without being allowed to see Yar’Adua.
That is in spite of the fact that he is very close to the president and is also a medical doctor. But why is Turai doing all these? Why is she so scared of her sick husband letting go of power? Or as Ene Ede, coordinator of the Feminist Movement of Nigeria puts it in an interview with NEXT newspapers why would Turai not ask or allow her husband to resign, or “say to her husband, you have made history and another person can start from here?” Apparently, for Turai, enjoyment of power and all the benefits it brings appear to many to be more important than her husband’s health or, indeed, that of the whole nation.
A politician said cynically that Turai would rather her husband die in office than willingly allow him to resign from office. In fact, some others say that she actually expressed such sentiments when a delegation of women from the North visited her sometime ago and suggested that the president resign to deal with his health. Turai reportedly retorted that he would not be the first leader to die in office, citing or apparently referring to Generals Murtala Mohammed and Sani Abacha, both former military heads of state. But there is also a deeper psychosomatic dimension to Turai’s latter-day persona, which might be rooted in the dynamics of social relations in the extended Yar’Adua family. Some who know Turai well say that she will do anything for herself, husband and children. She is said to love her husband to a fault and her seeming high-handedness derives from a deep-rooted desire to protect her husband, particularly since his sickness began many years ago. Turai might be in denial and wants every other person to join her in believing that her husband is okay. Anyone that says otherwise immediately becomes an enemy. It is the same kind of attitude that has reportedly informed her treatment of the Yar’Adua family. Turai is said to have a deep-rooted grouse with the larger family because of the perceived rejection of her husband in the past. The retired general and many other members of the family had been miffed by the fact that in the past, Yar’Adua allegedly ran aground three of the family businesses given to him to manage — a farm, carpet factory and the company that published The Reporter newspapers. Many in the family therefore did not take Yar’Adua serious after that.
Perhaps, reacting to that, after they came into power, no member of the larger family enjoys the pleasures of getting close to the first family. In fact to rub it in, the first lady’s attitude is that God has rewarded her husband, the rejected stone of the family, with the same position he denied the older Yar’Adua. No matter how Turai acts as she does, the reality today is that her husband’s continued stay in office has caused some confusion not only in the country but deep division among the political class, even in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Interestingly, this first lady who has succeeded in virtually holding the nation to ransom has absolutely no role to play under the constitution. But in a democracy, ruled by a constitution, Turai has succeeded in creating such a powerful role for the first lady that not even her predecessors under the military ever envisaged. The effect has been for the nation a not too pleasant experience
Some revelations will SHOCK you but this publication is genuine and has been circulating on the Pages of Media Websites . READ ON !
We are tax payers residents in Lagos who are desperately desirous of accountability since taxes have recently become major revenue of Lagos State government. In the developed societies where a similar revenue regime operates, associations such as ours have acted as Government Watchdogs, which is why some of us have decided to take up the gauntlet of championing the cause of taxpayers in the state. After all if we don’t pay our taxes, government can charge and eventually jail us.
In the last ten years, tax revenue has come to constitute about 75 per cent of government revenue base, yet, the government never bothers to render account to tax payers in Lagos . In the last three years alone, a colossal sum of 1.1 trillion naira was budgeted by Fashola’s government with the government itself affirming that it has consistently recorded a minimum of 75 per cent of budget performance out of which 80 per cent came from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). This is 30 per cent more than the entire budgets recorded by successive governments between 1992-2007-a period spanning 15 years.
Today, the total tax revenue of Lagos on a monthly basis hovers between N14 and N17 billion naira while federal allocations come to N6 billion Naira monthly. This is more than the revenue of seven states put together on a monthly basis. But how has the governor been spending the money? While we note the heavy investments in roads and environmental infrastructure mainly and commendably so, there is the need to question some of the ways the governor has been expending tax money which in our opinion reflects financial recklessness, mismanagement, gross constitutional violations and abuse of office.
Set below are some of the expenditures which the government claimed to have incurred on behalf of ‘Lagosians’ and which we feel were mere avenues to corruptly enrich some privileged individuals in and out of government and to which the state House of Assembly under the tutelage of ‘governor emeritus’ otherwise known as the Lion of Bourdillon has become an accomplice covering up a lot of misdeeds on the part of the executive. Just last week, it was alleged that each member of the House was given a sum of 20million naira through a lawyer member of the House from the Lagos west senatorial district, the constituency of the governor emeritus himself. When this was about to be leaked to the press, the Lion of Bourdillon used his powerful media contacts through two of his former aids who are media chieftains to suppress the leakage. Were this not to be the case, we would have otherwise sent these complaints to the House of Assembly. But since we no longer trust this pliant House of Assembly, we have decided to go public with the following:
1. Last year, Fashola (BRF) gave N250 million to Rotimi Akeredolu led Exco of NBA for the NBA conference held in Lagos . At a time when Lagos teachers and doctors were on strike for improved welfare package.
2. The BRF government within 6 months, January to June 2009 spent N420 million on hiring of private security – to guard who – despite his heavy investment in the Police Force through the State Security Trust Fund.
3. BRF spent N1.5 billion to demolish the Bank of Industry (BOI) building, paying a company introduced by one Tunji Olowolafe in cash transfer only for him and his cronies to claim the land adjacent to it.
4. BRF government awarded part of Western Avenue ( Funsho Williams Road ), about 2 kilometres road for N7.7 billion just between Abalti Barracks and Costain. And without the construction of any bridges, the project was carried out by Julius Berger. This project must certainly be investigated.
5. Between January and June 2009, the BRF government claimed to have fuelled 225 vehicles in his office alone with N135 million. These figures amount to about N800, 000 per day, at a time that petrol was sold for N65 per litre and government always get it cheaper, but BRF claimed to have bought it at N85 per litre.
6. Also between January and June 2009, BRF’s Chief of Staff and PAs expended N290 million in sending TEXT Messages and phone CALLS on their lines.
7. It is also very sickening to know that the BRF government awarded the construction of a road and drains inside Gbagada General Hospital for over N1.8 billion to the same Tunji Olowolafe’s company (DEUX Projects Limited).
8. The sum of 1.5 billion naira of un-appropriated funds, without approval was claimed to have been spent on demolition of Oshodi.
9. The Helicopter Deal – was a big fraud. The helicopter was not built for any kind of emergency evacuation, rescue or to even combat urban fire. Over N5 billion has been spent on the two helicopters. And, the seal of Lagos State is not on it, and it is not even in Lagos but in the Niger Delta making money for some private people in government. The whole helicopter deal stinks to high heavens; it constitutes the biggest governmental fraud of all times and confirms the rot in the State. See ThisDay December 19, 2009
10. The SSA (Media) to BRF spent N183 million in 6 months on press coverage and on editors outside the approved budget but funded directly from the Governor’s Office.
11. In a State where children are sitting on the floor in classrooms, where unemployment is rampant and poverty pervasive. BRF paid a lady wife of a controversial pastor over N600 million in 2 years for Xmas Decorations for about six streets in Lagos.
12. In Six months between January and June 2009, BRF spent on several faceless organisations, subventions, grants and donations and they quickly pocketed N2 billion.
THE RIPPING OFF OF LAGOS – ESSENTIAL DETAILS
1. The BRF government recklessly increased and paid over 60% increase on the LASU – IBA road awarded by the Bola Tinubu government for N6.2 billion but was jerked up to N10 billion less than 2 weeks that BRF came on board.
2. Also, the Tinubu administration awarded the construction of City Hall for N2.3 billion. BRF only changed the floor tiles to marble tiles and increased the contract sum to N5.2 billion. This project was increased by 126%.
3. Publishing of INDICATOR Magazine, is falsely presented to the public as a private magazine but is actually co-ordinated by Tunji Olowolafe and Hakeem Bello, SSA (Media) to BRF with government money.
4. BRF recently gave a media-related Permanent Secretary, and some others the sum of N100 million to do a soap opera on himself. They are presently in London recording the film.
5. The BRF government has failed woefully in the area of Public Private Partnership (PPP) in three years. Yet, BRF is paying the PPP boss in Lagos State N2 million per month in violation of the Constitution, when even commissioners recognised by the Constitution are receiving N300,000 per month. The PPP guy is the highest paid government official presiding over a non-performing and failed parastatal.
6. The Beautification Programme of Fashola administration is reeking with corruption. In a State where there is no water, where over 90 per cent of the road in Lagos is in a deplorable state of disrepair, he is spending over N13 billion on planting grass and flowers. Most of the money was spent to import Palm trees from Niger Republic , a sahel region when Lagos is in the rain forest which explains why most of them have dried up...
7. Also, it is important to note that the renovation of classrooms of usually 12 blocks plus one which was done for N26 million by the Tinubu administration up till 2007 was increased to N53 million with the collaboration of the housing commissioner who is supervising projects in the education ministry.
8. CCTV project was awarded to BRF’s relation who claimed to be acting for CISCO. The contract was awarded for $62 million dollars, while the rejected quote for the contract was $30 million. It is important to note that this is only a pilot scheme.
9. BRF’s wife travels abroad once bi-monthly and takes N30 million per trip from the State coffers, apart from her monthly running cost.
10 The mother of all rip off is the award to DEUX PROJECT LIMITED, a company owned by the powerful Tunji Olowolafe 11 out of 19 contracts in the Lagos State Ministry of health between January and August 2009. Out of N5.6 billion naira contract in the Ministry of Health, Olowolafe alone collected N5.1 billion worth and was paid 70% upfront in cash.
1. Why did BRF divert N1.85 billion in the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to a project that was not originally provided for in the budget and promptly awarded to Olowolafe?
2. Why is Lawyer BRF’s administration illegally deducting funds from the statutory allocation of the Local Governments in Lagos State ?
3. Why was the Mayegun Scheme which was sold to Olowolafe and other friends and cronies against public interest without any independent valuation by relevant agency of government? Why is the size of the scheme shielded in secrecy? Why was N5.2 billion for which the land sold untraceable? Where is the over N2 billion loan borrowed to sand-fill the place? What is the fate of the Tourism and Art-craft sellers chased away from the place?
4. Pinnacle – why did the governor and his cronies engage in questionable transfer of 400 hectares of land to Pinnacle, South Africa, when it is known that the company is almost bankrupt and the ABSA Bank now owns over 60% of the Company. What nature of PPP is this? The world is watching!
5. Why was the illegal sand-filling of about 1 km in the Badagry – Marina awarded for N1.5 billion out of which N700 million has been paid and yet the contractors and the Tourism Ministry have completely destroyed all the historical relics and artefacts in the area? It has also created an environmental disaster for West Africa because of greed. And it appears the Commissioner has been settled.
FASHOLA AND CONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATIONS
1. Flagrant and deliberate disregard for the Appropriation law passed by the Lagos State House of Assembly, in violation of Section 120 of the 1999 Constitution.
2. Criminal diversion of funds without due approval of the Lagos State House of Assembly, in further violation of Section 120 (3) of the 1999 Constitution.
3. Indiscriminate award of contracts without due process, without following the laid down financial regulation as well as the public procurement guidelines. The payment of such contracts is in violation of Part (E) Section 120(4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
4. Most Ministries, Departments, Parastatals sometimes do not know when contracts are awarded in their names and for what purpose, they only find out later. And they don’t know when payments to contractors are made by the State Treasury Office. This is in further violation of Section 121(2) of the 1999 Constitution.
5. Illegal and unwarranted deductions from the statutory Allocation of the local governments. This is in direct contravention of Public Revenue Provision of the 1999 Constitution and in violation of Section 162 sub-section 6, 7 and 8.
6. Opening of illegal and unconstitutional Dedicated Accounts which is contrary to the provision of the 1999 Constitution and which Revenue Monitoring Agency is unaware of. This act is in direct violation of Section 120(1) of the 1999 Constitution.
7. Office of the Chief of Staff which is unknown to the Constitution has more staff than any other Ministry in Lagos State . This violation is very grave as it is in direct breach of the Governor’s Oath of Office in the 7th Schedule of the 1999 Constitution Section 13 and a gross violation of Sections 192, 193 and 208(2d) of the 1999 Constitution.
8. Indiscriminate borrowing by the Ministry of Finance without legislative approval, which the Finance Commissioner calls Bridging Loans, is a grave assault on Fiscal Federalism, a coup against Financial Regulations and a shameful and criminal violation of Section 120(1), (2), (3) and (4) of the 1999 Constitution.
9. Concentration of over 70% of Lagos State Government contracts in the hands of one Tunji Olowolafe. This is the clearest indication of the betrayal of trust by Governor Fashola, it is against the Oath of Office he swore to, it is a violation of Sections 14(4), 15(5) and 17(2a) of the 1999 Constitution on which social objective of a just, free and equitable social order is founded.
10. Arbitrary use of Special Expenditure Vote for activities not originally provided for under the Appropriation Law. This is a further betrayal of Fiscal Federalism and a violation of provisions of Section 120(3) and (4), and Section 123(1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution.
11. Payment of 70% up-front to persons and cronies for contracts not yet executed. Similarly, this is a contravention of Section 120(4) of the 1999 Constitution.
12. Giving arbitrary donations to selective professional associations and faceless organisations for acting as sycophants without appropriate authorisation by relevant constitutional bodies. This is a clear violation of sections 120(4) and 123 of the 1999 Constitution
13. The fraudulent purported acquisition of 2 Bell 412 EP Series Helicopters from a Canadian firm constitute a flagrant violation of Section 123(1) and (2) and Section 120(4) of the 1999 Constitution.
14. Furthermore, the award of contract of courts and other Judicial Infrastructure as well as procurement for the Judiciary in Lagos State by the Attorney-General, Tunji Olowolafe and Governor Fashola is in gross violation of Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution.
In all these aberrations, the Lagos State House of Assembly has kept mute, and the House has become inept, achaic, drab, docile and inefficient. All the noise by Mr. Speaker about accountability and probity be only to enable house members line their pockets and feed fat on the sweat and toil of the people of the State?
Is it also true that they have been given their own share of the loot, they are maintaining undignified silence over the report of the ad hoc Committee set up to look into the books and activities of the Lagos State Government pursuant to Section 103 of the 1999 Constitution with powers expressly provided in sections 1a, b(i) and (ii), as well as Section 129 1 a b c and d.
We are aware that the report has been submitted since November 2009, so why is the Lagos State House of Assembly still sitting on the report? This is just a tip of the ice berg of financial recklessness by the Lagos executive led the seemingly performing governor Fashola! More soon .Read more…
From ATTAHIRU AHMED, Gusau
Thursday, January 28, 2010
On Thursday, January 21, 2010, Gusau, the Zamfara State capital witnessed another historical event when the state Censorship Board burnt pornographic and blasphemous films that were confiscated from various film shops and vendors in the state. It is believed that pornographic and blasphemous films can trigger religious unrest in the state because they are against the Sharia injuctions.
In his speech during the burning of the offensive films, Governor Aliyu Shinkafi, who was represented by his Deputy Gov Muktari Ahmed Anka said that the establishment of the board was for the good of the people. He urged stakeholders and the society at large to give maximum cooperation to ensure the success of the board.
He explained that people should understand that the board was neither established to truncate their businesses nor is it meant to unnecessarily harass law abiding citizens.
The Director-General, National Film and Video Censors Board [NFVCB], Mr. Emeka Mba, represented by the zonal Coordinator, North-West, Dr. Ahmad M Sarari, commended the effort of the state government in its efforts to protect the people and ensure peace and security.
“It was a new chapter opened for the protection of national culture, peace, and security of children and young persons from harm and prevent access to materials which are offensive. “There was the need to take into account of community concerns about religion and prevent the exhibition of materials that are objectionable that may cause incitement, civil dis-order, portray persons in demeaning manner, incite or condone sexual violence.”
He reiterated that the burning of the pornographic and blasphemous films was in line with the Federal Government programme of re-branding Nigeria, “because wiping out such illicit films from circulation will lead to the availability of moral contents that will have positive impact on the attitude of Nigerians.
“The national body (NFVCB) therefore, warned that operators should desist from the unlawful acts or face the wrath of both the state and federal laws.”
Mallam Bashir Sanda Gusau, state chairman, Censorship Board, said lots of efforts had been put in place to bring to the limelight the activities of the board through the effective use of the mass media and other sources of enlightenment:
“The board was primarily established to regulate, checkmate and streamline all activities related to audio, audiovisuals and publications, vis-vis: audio and visual cassette/CDs, viewing centres, books, pamphlets, billboards, etc. “After receiving series of complaints from the public, this board on Monday, the 14th of January, 2010 swung into action and carried out one of its statutory responsibilities of mopping up some CD selling centres in Gusau, the state capital, where about 200 pornographic films were impounded. Also during the exercise, about 300 blasphemous films about the history of some past prophets, especially that of Prophet Yusuf (AS) were confiscated by this board. This action was taken after due consultations with relevant stockholders.
“Within the period under review, the board has registered about 100 commercial football viewing centres across the state. Among the conditions guiding their operation, is to be Shari’ah compliant, by avoiding hooliganism, display of weapons, appearance of women and teenagers, and operating not beyond 11:00 pm daily.
“So far, this board has censored about 10 films in the state which are currently in the market nationwide. They include among others, Jamila da Jamilu parts 1 & 2, Balaraba parts 1 & 2, Garinmu da Zafi Part 3 Acibalbal, Halaci and Mawadaci.
“I also seize this opportunity to restate our appeal to the government to come to our aid by providing us with logistics such as vehicles and motorcycles to enable us operate in all the nooks and crannies of the state. We also require editing gadgets for proper and timely censoring of films with a view to eliminating unwanted details.
He assured the state government and good people of Zamfara of “our resolve to make the state a safe haven from polluted films and publications which tend to corrupt the moral of our people, particularly our leaders of tomorrow, the youth.
“To the National Films and Video Censor Board, Abuja. We would continue to cooperate in whatever way possible to free the state in particular and country at large from the hands of undesirable elements, whose only language is how to get reach quickly. Films must be religiously and culturally sound before we allow them into our market.
“We would carefully study your proposal of memorandum of understanding between our board and yours with a view to implementing it for our collective benefit.”
Oyo evacuates 650 indigenes
From Isa Abdulsalami (Jos), Oghogho Obayuwana, Emeka Anuforo (Abuja), Iyabo Lawal (ibadan) and Alex Olise (Lagos)
RELIGIOUS fundamentalists allegedly trained in Taliban were yesterday named as the executioners of the recent mayhem in Jos, Plateau State.
Prior to the violence, the state chapter of the Advisory Board of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), claimed that security agencies were inundated with reports that some Islamic sect had trained their members in Sudan to carrying out a Jihad and ethnic cleansing in Jos.
The group claimed that over 600 armless Christians were killed by the fanatics in the January 17 crisis. But the state police command had earlier put the death toll at 323.
At a press conference yesterday, the Plateau State Chairman of PFN, Dr. Sam Alaha, who made the allegations, added that over 1,000 Christians were displaced in the crisis.
According to Alaha, four Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA) buildings in Rikkos, destroyed in the 2008 crisis but rebuilt were again destroyed in the latest crisis. He listed the affected churches as ECWA Jos Jarawa; ECWA Mai Adiko; Redeemed Christian Church of God, Bukuru; two Assemblies of God Church Bukuru; Church of God Mission, Bukuru and many others.
He said this was apart from business premises, homes, schools and others, which were also damaged, adding that the pastor's house of ECWA Church in Mai Adiko was burnt.
Alaha said: "A similar invasion took place at the ECWA Church Nassarawa (Gwong) by military personnel. The pastor's office, house and bedroom were forcefully entered, file cabinet were ransacked and soft drinks bought for guests who were attending a leadership seminar in the church were consumed by the invading military operatives and other things looted.
"Churches, houses and cars belonging to about 10 PFN pastors in Bukuru were burnt and damaged. Many reports of carnage, atrocities and destructions are still coming in. We sympathise with all those who have lost their loved ones and valuable property. May God give you all the grace to bear these irreplaceable losses."
Alaha stated that the Jos crisis was a well- planned, long-timed and systemised approached Jihad. He said in 2009 during the Boko Haram crisis in Borno State, the Chief Imam of Bauchi Sheikh Mohammed Bala Ahmed, disclosed to the press that the Boko Haram fighters were a group of 3,800 Nigerians, trained as fighters in Sudan, with a mission to invade Jos.
The cleric said since the Jos fight had waned, the Talibans went under to train others in the bush in Bauchi and other places.
"They therefore turned this violent spirit on the city during the last Bauchi Boko Haram crisis. These trained fighters are the reason why the Jos crisis cannot end. These Taliban-trained fighters brought into our dear city of peace insist on trying out their acquired killing skills. Until this root is traced and totally excised, we see our city still smoking in their hands even without provocation. There is no denying the fact that some innocent Muslims were also affected by the Talibans' modus operandi but this could have been avoided if the Sunday morning attack did not happen."
He claimed that a systematic programme of ethnic cleansing was being undertaken by the Hausa/Fulani in Jos, adding that the present happenings proved to them that there was a motive to ethnically cleanse Jos by the Hausa/Fulani.
Alaha said that since the 2001 crisis, when Angwan Rogo was initially cleansed of all Christians, it had been followed by the same cleansing of all ethnic groups that are not Hausa/Fulani and the acquisition of cheap abandoned property in their dominated areas, adding that Muslims from other tribes other than the Hausa/Fulani extraction were also targets.
As a way forward, he suggested that government should implement findings and recommendations of previous panels and commissions while the state government should form an anti-religious riot vigilance group to work as a first response body to any uprising before the police arrive.
He stated that the issue of security agents taking sides with people of their faith should be checked, asking, "can anyone imagine what happens to Nigeria if all security agents sent to quell religious riots decide to pitch tent with people of their own faith? This issue must be carefully looked into and measures taken to forestall a recurrence."
Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff Lt- Gen. Abdurahman Dambazau, has denied that soldiers were partisan in quelling the Jos crisis.
In a reaction yesterday in Lagos, the Army boss, described the claim by some section of Jos community, that soldiers assisted Muslims to wreck havoc on Christian residents as unture.
"Now, the Chief of Staff (Operation) in Jos is a Christian by religion and a Yoruba by tribe, the Garrison Commander, who is responsible for deploying troops during violence is also a Christian and Yoruba by tribe. How do you think such persons will direct his men to kill his Christian brothers and sisters," he said.
At the Oyo State Governor's Office, Ibadan, it was a pathetic site yesterday as victims of Jos crisis, including indigenes, youth corps members and some non-indigenes relieved their experiences during the violence.
The returnees, who were among the 650 persons so far evacuated by the state government in the wake of the bloody clash, fought back tears as they narrated their experiences to reporters with many vowing not to return to the troubled city again.
Apart from Oyo State indigenes, victims from neighbouring states of Edo, Ogun and Ondo were also among those evacuated by the state government and were received by Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala.
Chairman of the Yoruba Community in Jos, Alhaji Asimiyu Ajani, who was the Director of Blessing Tailor in Jos, recalled how he lost his multi million naira fashion centre and one of his apprentices to the crisis.
Ajani, who said he spent about 39 years in Jos, expressed regrets that what started as a mild misunderstanding between a native and a settler, could degenerate into a major crisis resulting in the loss of innocent lives and wanton destruction of property, especially of non-indigenes.
He said: "The crisis started Tuesday last week and the next day, we were woken from sleep and forced to abandon our property for the safety and since then, we had been taking shelter in different places like the police barracks, churches and mosques and left with only the clothes we have on."
Sixty-nine-year-old Moses Adegboyega said what he laboured for in the last 29 years were lost to the crisis.
Some of the corps members who took turns to speak with The Guardian said they might not return to the troubled state again.
One of the corps members, who identified herself as Mutiat Akintunde, said she never knew she would come out alive of Jos.
Alao-Akala assured the victims of government's readiness to assist them, saying arrangements had been put in place to ensure that they learn a vocation after which the government would give them start -up funds.
Addressing a press conference in Jos, Mr. Joseph Sangosanya, who was supported by a human right activist, Dr. Tor Lorapuu, said that the coalition supported the ban of commercial motorcycles in the Bukuru/Jos Metropolis and suggested that there should be a joint task force and not just the military alone.
Sangosanya advised government to make available fuel as it has banned the open sale of petrol in Jerry cans.
He advised the Inspector-General of Police and the Federal Government to transfer the culprits that were apprehended during the November 2008 and January 2010 crisis back to Jos for prosecution.
An international donor agency, Oxfam GB said yesterday that the number of sufferers of the effects of Jos crisis had increased.
In its statement yesterday, Lesley Agams, the group's country director, said Oxfam "wishes to draw attention to the food and social security of the poor and vulnerable, and amongst them women and children, with whom we work to overcome poverty and suffering in Nigeria.
Oxfam further said: "The reports from our partners and staff say the situation in Jos and environs have impacted severely on the poor and vulnerable as many have lost their small holdings and are now incapacitated by their poverty in being able to recover quickly and sufficiently from the drastic disruption of their normal daily routine and livelihoods systems."
Soulja Boy has reportedly completed his first book, Teenage Millionaire. The rapper is remaining mum as to what the storyline is, however, you can get your copy on July 28th. We’ll keep you posted with further updates.
Dear Mrs. Clinton: With all your years in politics, foreign affairs and the resources available to the United States government, I do not think there is anything about Nigeria that I need to tell you. You have read about it and you have been there to see for yourself. You know who the big players are in the country’s world of corruption and you know where they have stashed their stolen wealth. You have openly, and presumably diplomatically, condemned corruption in the country, During your August 2009 visit to Nigeria, you made overt references to the fact that Nigeria’s problems are rooted in its failure to deal with corruption. Just today, while addressing state department employees during a town hall meeting, you again seized the opportunity to tell the whole world about Nigeria’s failure to address the legitimate needs of its people and how such failure is gradually turning the country into a breeding ground for all sorts of undesirable elements. On behalf of millions of Nigerians, I thank you and the Obama administration profoundly for the above efforts. However, there is so much more to be done.
More than ever before, there is an urgent need to increase the pressure on Nigeria’s corrupt-beyond-redemption political class in order to prevent a total breakdown of law and order and possible civil war. If U.S. diplomatic history provides any clue with respect to conflict resolution, it is that a break down of law and order in Nigeria will force the US to make gargantuan human and material commitment to Nigeria and the Sub-region: a situation that is unnecessary in light of the options available, a situation that neither ordinary Nigerians nor the United States want; a situation that would create a refugee problem of a magnitude not seen in recent human history and be destabilizing to West African, European and North American countries.
In order to prevent Nigeria from descending into a civil war or several civil wars as is more likely to happen because of the country’s ethnic and tribal configuration, urgent steps must be taken to effect immediate and long term changes in the country. Nigeria is where it is today mainly because of the “elements” in charge of the country and their devious device which they have christened government. Permit me to suggest we are requesting the urgent assistance of the Obama administration in putting in place a no-visa list consisting of Nigeria’s leading government officials and their private sector collaborators. The no-visa list should at the very minimum contain the following:
• The country’s current leader (whoever that is) should be limited to the United Nations and Harlem the way Fidel Castro was during his 1960 visit;
• all past leaders and governors;
• all current state governors with the exception of one or two who are doing their jobs;
• all past and current federal ministers and state commissioners;
• all past and present lawmakers at the federal and state levels
• all past and current local government chairmen/chairlady and the elected councilors who assist them in looting their respective treasuries;
• past and present managers of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, and other leading government corporations;
• past and present MD/CEO’s of all banks in the country;
• all past and present ambassadors of the country for their roles as agents of an evil regime;
• all previous and present police and military officers beyond the rank of Major or its equivalent;
• all judges from the magistrate courts to the Supreme Court of Nigeria for their roles in accepting bribes and perverting the course of justice;
• the present chairperson of the EFCC for her role in legitimizing corruption;
• the children and wives of those on the no-visa list;
• all known enablers of corruption not caught by the above list.
A serious consideration of the above list will show that 99.99% of the individuals who have destroyed Nigeria and stolen the people’s commonwealth will be found on the list. Having them on the no-visa list hurts no one but the crooks themselves. I believe in the list and given the power to implement it, it is exactly what I will have in place. Realizing that I do not have the power to implement the list and given other considerations, the above list maybe unwieldy and may lose the desired effect. Consequently, I will suggest a more pragmatic list made up of the following:
• Umaru Yar Adua and Goodluck Jonathan;
• all the current governors
• immediate past president and governors, especially those indicted or convicted for corruption (i.e. Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida, Lucky Igbinedion, Orji Kalu, Peter Odili, and James Ibori – ignore the Kangaroo court discharge);
• all current federal ministers and state commissioners, particularly, Michael Aondoakaa, Dora Akunyili, Ojo Madueke and Rilwani Lukeman;
• all current senior officers of the police and armed forces
• all current managers of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Power Holding Corporation of Nigeria and other leading government corporations;
• Aliko Dangote, Mike Adenuga, Dahiru Mangal and all Nigerian billionaires because there is no legitimate Nigerian billionaire (those who want to argue their cases should be asked to submit their income tax returns for examination);
• The judges and justices of the Federal, Appeal and Supreme Courts for their roles in accepting bribes and perverting the course of justice;
• The current chairperson of the EFCC, Farida Waziri;
• The current officers of the National Assembly, including the David Mark, Dimeji Bankole and Jubril Aminu who has been indicted in the Siemens bribery scandal but is still angling to become the vice president in the event Goodluck Jonathan becomes the president of the country;
• The chairpersons of all the banks indicted by the Central Bank of Nigeria, including Cecilia Ibru and the coward called Erasmus Akingbola who claims to have accumulated assets of over $2 billion (N322 billion) dollars with a monthly salary of $10,000 (N1.5 million). An eye should also be kept on below-rader crooks like Chukwuma Saludo – former Central Bank governor, Jim Ovia of Zenith Bank and Tony Elumelu of Uba who are just as corrupt as the indicted ones;
• Some traditional rulers and pastors for their roles in providing recognition to corrupt politicians in exchange for part of the looted funds;
• Including Journalists who have sold their souls in exchange for Abuja land and other pecuniary benefits will force them to return to their basic responsibility of holding government accountable to the people;
• The children and wives of all those on the list because they school and live in the west with monies looted from the ordinary people of Nigeria;
This list is not exhaustive and no such claim is being made here. I have included in the list those I have been able to remember. There are few individuals on the above list who have demonstrated over the years that they are not corrupt and those individuals should be exempted. These individuals are not difficult to know, Nigerians know them and the US should have no problem in exempting them from the no-visa list.
Once again, the average Nigerian will agree with the US government that the individuals on the above list are the reasons why Nigeria has been on its knees since independence and any restriction of their abilities to trot the globe will reduce their money laundering abilities, their bloated sense of importance and arrogance lacking of empirical support. It will also limit their ability to travel overseas on holidays or medical treatment when they have destroyed hospitals in their own country – Ghana will benefit from increased tourism from this group of Nigerians!
Thankfully, I do not have to convince you about the efficacy of a no-visa list. The US and Britain have demonstrated that having politicians on a no-visa list is an effective tool in the reform of institutions and the fight against corruption, hence these governments’ decision to employ it against Kenyan politicians who refused to support reforms. In creating the US, and hopefully British no-visa list for Nigerian politicians specific accomplishments like support for the passage of genuine election reform laws, Freedom of Information Act, Whistle Blower law that will involve Nigerians in the war against corruption and compensate them for exposing corruption and a genuine war against corruption and election rigging should be attached as conditions for reconsideration.
In case you are wondering why I believe blacklisting Nigerian politicians will do the magic that nothing else has been able to do since independence, below are my reasons:
• Despite their public ranting, most present day Nigerian politicians are cowards; who when faced with the slightest threat to their vaunted sense of self-importance and life of luxury will be prepared to sell their parents for pennies – do what is necessary - to maintain their status quo;
• Flying to US, London or other European countries for vacation or medical treatment is a status symbol for the country’s corrupt politicians and their family members. Depriving them of this ability to show-off to the victims of their crimes (ordinary Nigerians) will force a rethink on their part;
• Nigerian politicians make thousands of unnecessary trips to the US, Canada and Europe every year supposedly to attend conferences. These conferences do not benefit Nigerians because Nigerian politicians are not interested in learning how to run a good government, the very antithesis of their modus operandi. Some of the politicians, if they ever show up at the conferences, do not have a good enough command of the English language to understand the discussions and the others do not even bother to show up. But they all remember one thing and that is to create fake hotel invoices after staying with friends, add to them other dubious and padded expenses and submit to the government for payment. Those who are in charge of payment do not question the figures because they get a cut from it. The above will not happen if the politicians cannot travel to the US, Canada and Europe;
• Nigerian politicians often use official trips to the US, Canada and Europe as covers for moving looted public funds into foreign countries and into legitimate businesses and the banking system (sometime in 2006 the US government seized $170,000.00 belonging to Andy Uba, an ordinary adviser on domestic affairs to then president Obasanjo). Andy Uba who was broke and almost destitute in California before May 1999 smuggled the money into the US aboard the presidential plane). Denying them visas will make it difficult for them to practice their trade;
• Nigerian politicians spend a lot of the money they steal buying lavish mansions in the US, Canada and England. Depriving them of the ability to travel will ensure that they can no longer enjoy these mansions;
• Denying visas to the children of those on the no-visa list will ensure that their children will be unable to spend looted funds attending the best universities in the US, Canada and Europe, while their parents have ensured millions of Nigerian students are either at home due to strikes over unpaid salaries or forced to take lectures in classrooms with leaky roofs. Almost everyone on the above list have their children schooling in the US, Canada and Europe with looted public funds, some of which were meant to fix, upgrade or operate local academic institutions (the minister of Education, Sam Egwu, spent N50 million of stolen funds to celebrate his birthday at a time when Nigerian students had been at home for months and wished him dead);
• Denial of visas to those on the no-visa list will force some of them to keep their looted funds closer to Nigeria for easier detection or risk being duped by intermediaries (thieves often do not trust thieves because they often dupe each other).
• Depriving indicted and convicted politicians of visas will better reflect the American and western concept of equal treatment. Ordinary Nigerians indicted of petty crimes or with criminal records cannot obtain US or European visas, yet politicians who have stolen billions from those they were supposed to lead obtain visas and travel to the US and London frequently without qualms. One is sometime tempted to join those who say the US does not care how a Nigerian politician got his money as long as it benefits the US economy. Orji Uzor Kalu, the immediate past governor of Abia state recently granted Nigerian newspapers an interview from London, England regarding the disappearance of Yar Adua. Yet, this individual is facing trial in Nigeria for stealing over N2 billion naira;
• Including bankers on the list until they put in place transparent and auditable measures to combat corruption will hasten the implementation and enforcement of anti-money laundering programs and force investors into seeking out honest bankers to lead their banks and take charge of their investments;
• The selective inclusion of politicians and their civilian collaborators on the no- visa list will reduce their prestige and influence within the Nigerian polity and create breathing space for the few who will work for the good of the country if the proper environment is allowed to exist. It will deny the corrupt of solidarity while enhancing the reputation of the minors who may not have crossed the Rubicon or point of no return in their involvement with corruption;
Madam Secretary, I can go on and on about the benefits of a no-visa list for Nigerian politicians and their collaborators but I do not think I need to do so because your government is already employing this technique in a less corrupt society like Kenya where the level of corruption is a child play compared to Nigeria. I have tried to highlight the benefits of it in the Nigerian context and I am confident that your office will give this request the due consideration is deserves. It should be borne in mind that in the event of war, the whole world is going to find it very difficult containing a nation of about 150 million people with over 250 different languages and a complicated web of tribal preferences.
I will end by thanking you for your anticipated co-operation in this matter.
* I am requesting those who are in agreement with the contents of this letter to replace my name with theirs and mail a copy each to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, US Secretary of State and John Kerry, Chairman of US Foreign Relations Committee and Russell D. Feingold, Chairperson of US Sub-committee on African Affairs at the addresses indicated below. Unfortunately, the State Department will not release Mrs. Clinton’s email address. I know this will be a problem for those in Nigeria but you can only try your best. Further inquiries can be directed to me at email@example.com
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
US Secretary of State
US Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington Dc 20520
US Committee on Foreign Relations
446 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-6225
Russell D. Feingold
US Senate Committee on African Affairs
United States Senate
Actress Omotola Jalade is heading for the United States again but this time around for a not so obvious reason, “Breast Implant”.She will be heading to the state of New Jersey where world class facelift and implants surgeons are headquartered. The whole thing started after an alleged love affair with Desmont Elliot, another top Nigerian actor, turned sour.According to the source, Elliot expressed disappointment after he discovered that the five star actress he had so much love for carry such a small thing (Breast). Another source had it that Omotola wants her breast to be bigger than her rival Genevieve who is scoring high above her recently.
More Speculations arise why He was killed including revelations that he was going for Spiritual Cleansing probably linked to fetish and occultic practices at a River Shrine Read Compass Artice here.This was suggested by the Police who have so far not given a clue why he was murdered .The VP Goodluck Jonathan has given THe IG of Police Onovo an ultimatum to fish out the dastardly perpertrators
Also The area where the killed governorship candidate of Action Congress in Ogun State, Dipo Dina, was attacked is a known black spot that has received little attention from the police, members of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria said on Wednesday.
The group addressed a press conference at the palace of the Olota of Ota during which they claimed that at least six murders have occurred in the location.
‘Poor policing caused Dipo Dina's murder'' AS if Policing could have saved him !
The group's Administrative Commander, Nurudeen Serikudi, who briefed reporters alongside other top officials, said: "we know this to be the fact because our vigilante teams have the responsibility to provide security for the area of Ado-Odo/Cannanland axis where this unfortunate incident occurred.
"The lack of visibility of police on these routes clearly explains why the murder of such a prominent politician was carried out with relative ease on such a busy route without any speedy response from the police."
Mr. Serikudi said his organisation has repeatedly complained to security agencies about insecurity in the area and the need to complement the efforts of vigilante groups.
"Unfortunately, our persistence calls to the police have fallen on deaf ears," he said.
Tension in the polity
A top member of his party in the state, Kayode Soyinka, said Mr. Dina's assassination points to the atmosphere of tension which Nigeria has been experiencing lately.
"There is something so weird about this Dipo Dina killing. It is so sad that because of politics, power and position the life of a fellow human being means nothing to some people and they can just decide to snuff it off just like that.
"It is so sad that the people of darkness could waste his young life just like that. Please, though I am not in Nigeria at the moment, I would like to express our heartfelt condolences to his wife, children and the entire Dina family. This loss is too much to bear".
THE REAL REASON HE WAS MURDERED ! ! !
In the first fourteen editions of these series which were published in various national newspapers, DDM, led by Otunba Dipo Dina (D.D. DIRECT), commended laudable strides, where such existed, and unearthed some among the myriad of deficiencies
of the Otunba Gbenga Daniel administration. In this series, we shall dwell on “THE PROPAGANDA GOVERNMENT - ANATOMY OF THE PRODIGAL 2”.
2. ANATOMY OF THE PRODIGAL 2
In the Wednesday, 15th and Thursday, 16th November, 2006 publication of the first part of ‘Anatomy of the Prodigal’, published in the Punch newspaper of the respective dates, we brought to the attention of our people how the Governor of Ogun state, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, emptied its treasury to the tune of N817m. This plundering was done using various means including outright dipping of his hands into the treasury of the state and erection of unnecessary billboards and media propaganda among others.
A. GOVERNOR AND WIFE’S FOREIGN TRIPS – N450, 000,000
The till of the state was also depleted in other areas. We shall presently show this with factual evidence. Available official records of the government shows that Governor Daniel made no fewer than 49 trips abroad since assumption of office. In like manner, his wife, Yeye Olufunke Daniel made no less than 31 trips abroad during the same period. For each of these trips, Ogun state government was made to pick up the bill. For the total number of times Otunba Daniel and his wife travelled abroad, both husband and wife expended a total sum of N450,756,676.50 (Four hundred and fifty million seven hundred and fifty six thousand six hundred and seventy six naira and fifty kobo). While less than ten percent of the trips made by the governor was necessary, there is simply no justification for the trips made by the wife and for which the state government was forced to expend so much. The husband is the governor of the state and not the wife. Besides, the state is yet to reap bountiful direct foreign investment as a result of the many foreign trips of the governor.
A few examples of the expenditure on trips by the governor are as follows: an Oceanic Bank cheque number 0000216 of the sum of N3,237,437.50 was issued for a trip to Germany in May 2005. In the same month of May, the governor claimed the sum of N4,896,092 through cheque number 00040595 of First City Monument Bank for a trip to United Arab Emirates. The same trip cost additional sum of N2,905,730 vide cheque number 00040594 of First City Monument Bank. A trip to South Africa in January 2006 cost the state N4,239,692 (Wema Bank cheque number 41640557). A certain Versatile Travel and Tour Limited billed Ogun state government the sum of N7,406,517 for unspecified trips of the governor in May, July and November 2004 via cheques including a Guaranty Trust Bank cheque of N2,966,518 number 0000972. The globe-trotting governor also expended, among others, the sum of N6,260,355 in June 2004 for a trip to the United States of America (Wema Bank cheque number 025737889).
His wife, Yeye Olufunke Daniel, on her part, expended Ogun state money of the sum of N4,514,658 on a trip to United Kingdom in April 2006 alone. Various Intercontinental Bank cheques were issued with cheque numbers 00005997, 00005998, 00005999 and 00006000 for various trips around that period. In April and May 2005, Yeye Olufunke Daniel assaulted the till of Ogun state to the tune of N9,969,059 for a trip to the United Kingdom and China through various cheques with numbers including, but not limited to, 324244611, 32424462, 32424459 and 32424460 all of Wema Bank. See the following table for a few more expenditure by husband and wife on trips.
DATE DESTINATION BANK CHEQUE NO. AMOUNT
18.06.04 USA WEMA BANK 025737889 6,260,355
27.08.04 UK GUARANTY TRUST BANK 4544553 11,275,405
20.05.05 UNITED ARAB EMIRATE FIRST CITY MONUMENT BANK 00040595 4,896,092
02.12.05 SOUTH AFRICA WEMA BANK 04164044 5,433,000
06.01.06 UK GUARANTY TRUST BANK 00003993 3,219,000
13.01.06 SOUTH AFRICA WEMA BANK 41640557 4,239,629
28.04.06 SOUTH AFRICA FIRST CITY MONUMENT BANK 00046916 1,006,942
14.07.06 CHINA SKYE BANK 0003129 561,365
21.07.06 UK GUARANTY TRUST BANK 00004794 3,276,450
30.09.06 UK WEMA BANK 41640825 5,905,291
GOVERNOR’S WIFE TRIPS
DATE DESTINATION BANK CHEQUE NO. AMOUNT
15.04.05 CHINA WEMA BANK 32424459 2,784,922
09.12.05 UK (ESTACODE) INTERCONTINENTAL 00005074 1,653,160
UK (AIR TICKET) INTERCONTINENTAL 00005075 929,564
07.04.06 UK (ESTACODE) ICB 00005997 976,800
07.04.06 UK (AIR TICKET) ICB 00005998 3,537,858
07.04.06 UK (TRIP & ESTACODE) ICB 00005999 1,653,160
07.04.06 UK (AIR TICKET) ICB 00006000 1,179,281
B. GOVERNOR’S EXPENSES – N718,010,167
Apart from these so called trips, Governor Daniel, also, during the period, claimed the sum total of N718,010,167 (Seven hundred and eighteen million ten thousand one hundred and sixty seven naira) on various claims and what he called “reimbursement of expenses” during unspecified official assignments. These exclude the normal imprest of the governor. These are also different from the donations which the governor claimed to have made totaling N518m as reported in our series 14 on Wednesday 15th November, 2006. Other huge sums of money are simply listed in official vouchers of government as “expenses of HE”. ‘HE’ connotes ‘His Excellency’. For instance in January 2006, the sum of N9,908,600 and N8,760,000 were claimed as reimbursement by Otunba Daniel. He was paid with cheque number 4909000 and 41640599 of Guaranty Trust Bank and 0005461 of Intercontinental Bank. In June 2006, he also claimed the sum of N23,570,227.50, among others, as “reimbursement of expenses” for that month alone. He was paid with cheque number 41641000 of Wema and 00004479 of Guaranty Trust Bank among others. On a single day, 7th May, 2004, Governor Daniel got another N7,671,780 with cheque number 4337711 of Guaranty Trust as “reimbursement” of strange expenses. Ogun state account with Intercontinental Bank suffered depletion to the tune of N8,207,000 on 4th August, 2006 through what Governor Daniel called “official duty tour”.. Cheque number is 00000912 took care of that particular claim of the govenor. The table below shows a few of other questionable “reimbursements of the governor”.
DATE PURPOSE BANK CHEQUE NO. AMOUNT
07.05.04 Reimbursement: 2nd – 15th March GUARANTY TRUST BANK 4337711 7,671,780
07.04.06 Duty Tour Allowance - Governor OCEANIC BANK 0000629 2,521,770
02.06.06 Reimbursement – H.E WEMA BANK 41641000 7,900,000
16.06.06 H.E – Imprest GUARANTY TRUST BANK 00004479 936,150
04.08.06 Duty Tour Allowance - Governor INTERCONTINENTAL 00000912 8,207,000
C. KAYLORD MOTORS N1,815,119,075
Another, probably more ingenuous act of plundering of Ogun state riches came in other areas. Government official records show that no fewer than 643 vehicles were reported to have been purchased by the government. These automobiles, according to invoices and claims made by suppliers, were reported to have been purchased for various ministries. The vehicles, many of which are unseen, are also in various types including exotic jeeps, trucks and official pleasure cars. A couple of automobile companies including Utobra Motors Nigeria Limited and Kaylord Motors benefited in these ignoble deals.
Majority of the vehicles were however claimed to have been supplied by Kaylord Motors, which also forwarded invoices for same and got paid for everyone of the vehicles. At the end of the day, total amount of money claimed and collected from Ogun state government treasury by Kaylord Motors alone adds up to N1,815,119,075 (one billion, eight hundred and fifteen million, one hundred and nineteen thousand and seventy five naira). This sum was claimed to be payment for some 474 pieces of vehicles.
This favoured automobile company is owned by Mr. Kunle Sokunbi, a self-confessed bosom friend of Governor Daniel. Sokunbo it was in August 2006 who claimed that a controversial custom-made bus (Motor Home) costing N82m was donated to Governor Daniel by his (the governor) friends including himself (Sokunbi). Sokunbi came to the rescue of his friend following DDM shocking revelation of the acquisition of the bus with tax payers’ money and the attendant public indignation and brouhaha. According to him, his group of friends purchased the bus to express support for the second term bid of Otunba Daniel both morally and financially.
DDM, however, is in possession of hard fact to prove that the controversial bus was bought by the governor for his campaign, even though no Nigerian president or governor ever bought such an expensive bus for campaign. The point being raised is that the purchase of such a bus shows the insensitivity of the governor, giving the situation in the state regarding joblessness, hunger, despair, lack of potable water, health care, housing, etc.
Although Sokunbi’s claim of Father Christmas in the issue of the bus remains unconvincing, foggy and floppy, the huge sum of money that went into his company account through the largely alleged fictitious automobile purchases will leave in doubt that Sokunbi alone could purchase the controversial bus as part of payback to a benefactor. Let Mr. Kunle Sokunbi give the names of other friends of the governor as claimed by him who contributed to the purchase of the bus. The Ogun state people are interested in knowing the faceless friends who possibly have been part of the milking of the resources of the state. It is also instructive that since our publication on the bus and the public disgust and negative reaction to its use after Governor Daniel did his farewell tour of Odogbolu and Ipokia Local Governments with the controversial automobile, the governor inexplicably halted its use. We, in Ogun state are asking for the whereabout of the bus because there is incontrovertible fact that it is the property of the state.
As almost the sole supplier of vehicles to Ogun state government, the people of Ogun state are interested in knowing from Mr. Sokunbi how much tax (apart from the normal levy deducted at source) he paid to the coffers of Ogun state following his claim of such a huge amount for the allegedly supplied vehicles.
Invoices of purchased vehicles flood accounts departments of governor’s office monthly as if the Daniel administration is into automobile business. The Ogun Stakeholders are interested in having a schedule of all the motor vehicles purchased by this government including their current state, location and assigned users in order to verify the existence of all these vehicles.
Kaylord supplies both new and used (tokunbo) vehicles, even when there are authorized and renowned distributors of such new vehicles who would give better prices in line with good economic and business decision. Only on a few occasion did the state government purchase some vehicles from Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) and Dana Motors.
Of no fewer than 120 invoices raised by Kaylord Motors and settled from various state government accounts, here are few examples. These exclude sales made directly to some state parastatals or extra ministerial departments and local government councils.
S/N DATE BANK CHEQUE NO. AMOUNT
1. 07.07.04 GUARANTY TRUST BANK 00004496 28,840,000.00
2. 15.08.05 WEMA BANK 041671677 20,700,627.00
3. 27.01.06 WEMA BANK 41640625 44,207,391.25
4. 17.03..06 INTERCONTINENTAL BANK 00005869 39,900,000.00
5. 31.03.06 WEMA BANK 41640823 49,750,000.00
6. 07.04.06 ICB 00006095 25,380,000.00
7. 28.04..06 GUARANTY TRUST BANK 00004280 21,760,000.00
8. 05.05.06 GUARANTY TRUST BANK 00004282 27,630,000.00
9. 19.05.06 GUARANTY TRUST BANK 00004363 22,530,000.00
D. PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP) – N19,628,156
Perhaps a most disgusting display of irresponsibility is the emerging fact that Governor Daniel government also recklessly spent government money to service members of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party. A total sum of N19,628,156 was found to have been expended on party activities. This is with respect to very few official records at DDM disposal. There are certainly more. This expenditure comes under various headings such as “reimbursement of PDP expenses”; “hosting of meeting of PDP Board of Trustee”’, “mobilization of party members for rally” among others. In a particular instance in May 2005, the sum of N6,300,000 was pulled out of the First City Monument Bank account of the state through cheque number 00040583 as ‘logistic support for South-West Zonal Committee of PDP’.
Less than a month earlier in April, records show that another N7,175,000 was withdrawn from government Bond Bank account to service the same committee through cheque number 0001888.Similarly, a grand reception for members of PDP working committee gulped N1,000,000 in September 2003. Official cash record of that date recorded the expenditure. In July 2006, PDP National Executive Council was recorded to have spent N500,000 of Ogun state money in Guaranty Trust Bank through cheque number 00004795. Record also revealed that N960,000 was spent by the party’s Board of Trustees. The governor and his wife also expended the sum of N1,250,000 on hosting of South-West PDP governors in September 2006. On 20th September, 2003, N1,000,000 was expended on reception for members of PDP working committee.
E. LAW AND ORDER – 281m
Inspite of this financial horror that the governor imposes on the state, no less than N281m has also been so far claimed to have been expended on maintenance of law and order in the state under the Daniel administration. This money, DDM can authoritatively confirm, goes through the office of the secretary to the state government in the same way the huge sum spent on security around the governor do.
Several cheques were issued under all kinds of headings including “reimbursement on maintenance of law and order”; reimbursement of expenses on law and order”; and “donation to non-governmental organizations on maintenance of law and order”. A few examples: on 30th October, 2005, a cheque of N10m number 00003985 of Guaranty Trust Bank was picked by the secretary to the state government for the purpose of “maintenance of law and order”. On 15th December, 2005, another cheque of N7.5m was issued with number 41640523. The cheque belongs to Wema Bank. Another Wema Bank cheque of N3.7m with number 41640540 was issued on 30th December, 2005 as “part payment on maintenance of law and order”. The sum of N8m went out of state government coffers for “maintenance of law and order” on 30th December, 2005. The number of the cheque is 00003984 of Guaranty Trust Bank. N2.6m was expended for the same purpose on 31st March, 2006. Cheque bears number 41640856 of Wema. Governor Daniel was severally “reimbursed for his expenses on law and order” through various cheques including an Intercontinental Bank cheque of N8.7m bearing number 00005929 of 15th March, 2006 and another cheque bearing number number 41640801 of Wema for the sum of N9,971,000 of 3rd March, 2006.
According to financial records of the Daniel administration, various scarring sum of money were similarly claimed to have been expended on “assistance or donation to agencies and organizations for maintenance of law and order”. One of such occasions, an FCMB cheque of N8m number 00046764 dated 21st January, 2005 was issued to the secretary to the state government. On another occasion, the office of the secretary to the government picked a N5m cheque of Guaranty Trust Bank on 28th June, 2006 as “donation to non-governmental organizations for maintenance of law and order”. It should be noted that no specific organization or agency is named as beneficiary of the “donations” and “assistance”. The table below shows a few more lurid picture of a lot of largely imaginary claims on law and order:
S/N AMOUNT PURPOSE BANK DATE
1. 10,000,000 Maintenance of law and order Government cash position 12.05.05
2. 8,000,000 Maintenance of law and order Government cash position 12.08.05
3. 9,000,000 Maintenance of law and order Government cash position 11.11.05
4. 8,000,000 Maintenance of law and order Government cash position 18.11.05
5. 10,000,000 Maintenance of law and order Government cash position 30.12.05
6. Reimbursement of expenses on law and order GTB 00004083 10.03.06
7. 8,000,000 Financial assistance on maintenance of law and order GTB (00004083) 10.03.06
8. 8,000,000 Financial assistance on maintenance of law and order Intercontinental (00005928) 17.03.06
9. 8,658,000 Financial assistance on maintenance of law and order Intercontinental (00005929) 17.03.06
10. 2,600,000 Donation on maintenance of law and order Wema (41640856) 31.03.06
F. CULTISM AND THUGGERY – N23m
Available cash position of government similarly revealed that a huge sum of N23m has found its way out of government pocket through often suspicious effort at “curbing violence on Ogun state campuses of tertiary institutions. Government of Otunba Daniel claims that it spends an average of N1m on “anti-violence committee” on campuses per month. Cash position of government on 21st May, 2004 recorded that N1.5m was spent for this purpose. On 26th November, 2004, the document revealed that N300,000 was paid to the anti-violence committee for the month of August 2004. The sum of N1m was recorded in the document on 5th March, 2004 as having been spent on “eradication of cultism”. On 23rd December, 2005, the sum of N7.4m was recorded to have been dolled out to “youth leaders in Ogun state”.
It, however, remains a fact that incidences of thuggery, vandalism, cultism and other forms of violence have been more rampant during the Daniel administration more than any other government in Ogun state. Ogun state people are witnesses to unfortunate incidences where all forms of weapons of violence especially guns have found their ways into the hands of vulnerable youths. There has therefore been several occasions that a whole town would fall under the siege of gun-trotting youths loyal to the Daniel government. What the huge expenditure on eradication of violence in Ogun state therefore suggests is that the monies are expended to service thugs, vandals, arsonists and murderers on the payroll of the Daniel government.
G. SUMMARY OF FRIVOLOUS EXPENDITURE
As reported also in our series 14, and now in series 15, a lot of money which otherwise could have been better judiciously spent has gone into servicing personal cravings. The summary of the ones we have highlighted so far is as follows:
1. Artistes 100m
2. Clocks 87m
3. Billboards 150m
4. Media Campaign 360m
5. “Newsletter” 70m
6. Choice Band 50m
7. Governor and Wife’s Foreign Trips 450m
8. Governor’s Expenses 718m
9. Kaylord Motors 1.8b
10. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 18.6m
11. Law and Order 281m
12. Cultism/Thuggery 23m
T O T A L 4,107,600,000
3. MATTERS ARISING
In character with the Otunba Daniel administration, it went into less than noble panicky reaction last week when it suspended 12 officers of the Accountant-General’s office. This came in reaction to the series 14 of the DDM which exposed a mountain of calamitous graft of the Daniel government. The officers are already being tried for an alleged leak of government financial records to us. As we sincerely empathize with the affected workers, we make bold to say they are innocent of the offence. They are only being persecuted by a sadistic, intolerant and sinking regime. The witch-hunting must stop. These people and others suffering all forms of oppression under this administration will have their cases redressed when, by the Grace of Almighty, Otunba Dipo Dina assumed political leadership of the state in May 2007. Our heart goes out to them. They are heroes of the struggle, cast in the mould of Nelson Mandela, Amical Cabra and Corazon Acquino.
Click for FULL Series HereRead more…
Death could have been prevented if…, says vigilance group
Detectives yesterday received shocking revelations, while investigating the Monday night murder of Ogun State Action Congress (AC) governorship candidate in 2007, Otunba Dipo Dina.
After the crack team of detectives, led by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG) in charge of investigations, Mr Israel Ajao, visited the crime scene and interrogated Dina’s driver and the prophetess, who was in his car when the killers struck, the police boss said: “We have good clues to solve this crime.”
When Ajao, who had earlier visited the Lagos home of the slain politician, later led a long convoy of detectives to one Odo-Ore River, at Onigbongbo village, near Atan Ota, where the prophetess, Funmilayo Olagoke, had allegedly told the police that Dina was going for a ‘spiritual cleansing’, he was told how the gunmen, after killing their victim, drove to the riverside with the driver and the spiritualist and spent over 20 minutes there before they parted ways.
He also learnt that the bandits shot Dina twice, when they cornered his Toyota Camry car near the Living Faith World Outreach Ministries (a.k.a. Winners Chapel) area of the Ota-Owode-Idiroko Road, as he was trying to negotiate some speed breakers on the road.
Ajao, who did not comment on the revelation, said that Nigerians should be rest assured that the police would get Dina’s killers. He also pleaded that members of the public should help the police with further information, that could unmask the killers quickly.
Ajao’s tour, which began in Lagos, and ended at the riverside, followed Vice President Goodluck Jonathan’s order that the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ogbonna Onovo, should fish out the killers within a week.
For about one and half hours at the Ogun State Police Command Headquarters, Eleweran, yesterday, the DIG interrogated Dina’s driver, Tunde Oyediran, and Funmilayo behind closed doors.
As the prophetess was being led away, she could be heard crying and lamenting that she never knew that things would take “this turn”.
The DIG, who arrived at the state capital at about 1p.m., grilled the two suspects between 2p.m. and 3.30p.m., after being briefed by the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Musa Daura.
The Nigerian Compass learnt that Ajao later took over the case file, after he went through it.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Muyiwa Adejobi, denied reports that the late Dina’s vehicle, which was stolen after the killing, had been recovered.
“It is not true. The car has not been recovered. But we are intensifying efforts to track down the killers,” the police spokesman stated.
Meanwhile, the Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN), Ado Odo/ Ota Local Government Command, Ogun State, yesterday, described the location where Dina was killed as a black spot and hotbed for armed robbery incidents.
Addressing a press conference in Ota, the VGN Sector Commander, Alhaji Adeyemi Aiyetoto, said his association had complained severally to the police authorities about the black spot.
According to him, the community opposite the Winners Chapel had for long been a notorious hideout for suspected criminals, hemp hawkers and people of questionable character.
The association’s Assistant Commander (Administration), Mr. Nurudeen Serinkudi, who spoke on behalf of Aiyetoto, explained that criminals capitalised on the lack of police presence on the routes to strike.
He said: “We feel that it is our responsibility, as an informal medium of security, to draw attention to the fact that the spot at which Otunba Dipo Dina met his unfortunate end has for long been a black spot and hot bed of armed robbery incidents in Ota.
“Robbery attacks in that place have become a recurring decimal of sorrow and tragedy. We know this to be the fact because our vigilante teams have the responsibility to provide a level of security for the area of Ado Odo/ Canaanland axis where this unfortunate incident occurred.
“Preliminary report and investigation so far indicated that the incident may be a case of armed robbery. Our interest is the wider picture of the implication of the murder of Otunba Dina and what has been happening in Ado-Odo/ Ota Local Government Area in general and in particular, on the roads stretching from Sango through Ota-Idiroko and from Atan to Igbesa to Agbara axis.”
Aiyetoto claimed that the Chief Security Officer of the church some months back ordered his men to vacate the church areas, over undisclosed reasons.
He added that the absence of his men coupled with the security lapses at the area enabled criminals to attack innocent motorists at will.
He said: “If our men were at the area, this type of thing would not have occurred because we were always on ground. When some banks in the Winners Chapel were attacked by robbers, we pursued them to Imeko and recovered the vehicles of the church used for the robbery operation.
Although, we couldn’t recover the stolen money. Even the Bishop of the church gave us two jeeps in appreciation of our effort,” he said.
“The Idiroko-Sango route is also a dangerous haven of smugglers and robbers. However, police presence on these routes is scanty and ineffective. It makes the Idiroko-Sango route and the Atan-Agbara route the most dangerous routes to ply in Ogun State.”
He submitted that “the lack of visibility of police on these routes clearly explains why the murder of such a prominent politician was carried out with relative ease on such a busy route without any speedy response from the police”.
Aiyetoto called on police authorities to mount surveillance at the noted spots and guarantee effective policing, while expressing his association’s preparedness to cooperate with the police in unmasking the killers of Dina.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Action Congress (AC) members yesterday took to the streets in Ijebu-Ode, protesting the killing of Dina by unknown gunmen.
Led by a close associate of the slain politician, Alhaji Rasheed Alatishe, the protesters, who first converged on the Endurance Garden, GRA Ijebu-Ode residence of the Dinas, went round the town with placards to demonstrate their grievances.
Alatishe said the police authorities should not allow Dina’s death to be among the growing list of unresolved murders in the country.
The AC chieftain urged the police to fish out the killers and bring them to justice to serve as a deterrent to criminally-minded people.
The senators representing Ogun West and Ogun East Senatorial Districts, Felix Kola Bajomo and Lekan Mustapha, yesterday joined the list of sympathisers over the gruesome murder, describing it as “unfortunate and barbaric”.
In separate statements made available to the Nigerian Compass, the two senators said the latest killing was an indication that the nation’s security apparatus needed total overhauling to cope with modern security challenges.
Bajomo, in a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant, Dapo Oke, said the Federal Government must address the growing insecurity in the polity ahead of the 2011 general elections.
He lamented that Dina’s murder had robbed the state of one of the great future leaders of the country.
Bajomo said: “The killing, to say the least, is tragic, uncivilized and quite unfortunate. Without prejudice to the outcome of police investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death, I condemn the barbaric killing while leaving judgement to the All-knoweth God.
“This development further raises the fear of most Nigerians on the problem of insecurity in the polity which the Federal Government must address urgently before the next general election. The fact that investigations into all the previous killings have not yielded any positive results is an indication that the security apparatus of the nation needs total overhauling to cope with the challenges of securing the nation.
“I join other compatriots to mourn the demise of Dipo, a professional colleague, an astute politician and one of the great future leaders God has endowed to our dear state.”
While expressing shock and dismay at Dina’s death, Mustapha, in his own statement, charged security operatives to be more determined in exposing the culprits behind the incident to serve as deterrent to other criminals, especially as the 2011 election approaches.
He said: “I am saddened by the death of this dogged politician, who has impacted positively on the education and health sectors, the political terrain and also built churches for the Christian faithful, among other philanthropic gestures.
“Otunba Dina had in no small means contributed his own quota to the development of Ogun State, which was why he became a household name, especially among indigent students and the downtrodden.”
Senator Mustapha prayed God to grant the Dina family, his associates, supporters and the people of the state the fortitude to bear the loss.
By Dipo Kehinde, Juliana Francis & Kunle Olayeni, Abeokuta
OTUNBA GBENGA DANIEL ADMINISTRATION IN OGUN STATE: AN ASSESSMENT
In the first fifteen editions of these series which were published in various national newspapers, DDM, led by Otunba Dipo Dina (D.D. DIRECT), commended laudable strides, where such existed, and unearthed some among the myriad of deficiencies of the Otunba Gbenga Daniel administration. In this series, we shall dwell on “THE PROPAGANDA GOVERNMENT - ANATOMY OF THE PRODIGAL 3”.
2. ANATOMY OF THE PRODIGAL 3
In Parts 1 and 2 of Anatomy of the Prodigal, published in the Punch Newspaper of 15th, 16th and 22nd November, 2006, we delved into gross mismanagement of the resources of Ogun state by the Daniel administration.. Specifically, we quoted various trips of the governor and his wife abroad at the expense of Ogun state people, his flimsy claim of large sums of money as donations and financial assistance from government coffers, erection of campaign billboards and media propaganda for which the state was financially pummeled. The story of Otunba Daniel’s atrocity against the state treasury did not end there. We decided to let the good people and stakeholders of Ogun state and indeed all Nigerians know the true picture of the finances of the state because the governor, in a recent newspaper interview, claimed that the opposition in the state have not been able to prove that a single kobo is missing or imprudently spent since he assumed office. We took up the gauntlet knowing that this was a challenge to us if we were serious about debunking Governor Daniel’s claim. What we are doing therefore, is to bring various facts to the people’s parliament in order for the people to make an informed opinion about the present state government. Happy reading.
A. FRIVOLOUS SPENDING – N487,968,745
In various annoying ways, Otunba Daniel caused tax payers of Ogun state to pick up the bills of his pastime. In some cases, the bills are either grossly exaggerated or outrightly fictitious and personal. Others are simply irrelevant to the affairs of the people of Ogun state. When the governor turned 50 years of age in April 2006, the state was made to cough out the sum of N15,202,560 to pay for the celebration. This is with respect to the few officially recorded expenses DDM could lay hands on. There is strong evidence that there are a lot more. This excludes the expenses by the local government councils, government parastatals, corporations and state institutions.
Frivolously spent money during the birthday celebration includes the N1,200,000 expense on production of personal memoir of the governor with cheque number 00000695 of Intercontinental Bank. Another N7,242,560 through cheque number 00000692 of Intercontinental Bank was also expended on the occasion without explanation of the purpose. The relevant voucher simply recorded this expenditure as “oiling government machinery”.
Furthermore, financial record of government also revealed that another sum of N1,500,000 flew out of government’s Wema Bank account via cheque number 41640863 with respect to “50th birthday drama presentation”. This is not all, the birthday celebration was rounded up with a get-together party at MKO Abiola stadium. This cost the State a scandalous N5,260,000 via Wema Bank cheque number 41640885. His 49th birthday in 2005 also took away, among others, the sum of N1,550,000 through Bond Bank cheque number 00001821. For the 49th birthday, a lecture cost the people N807,400.. The cheque used for this was number 0000822 of Bond Bank. This is aside from the money spent by one of the state universities.
Other spendings which any sane mind will regard as unnecessary, frivolous, improper and even tragic also come in different shades and colours. All put together, the whole sums up to N487,908,745 of tax payers money. Among them is a N10,000,000 recorded in October 2006 as having been spent in ‘mobilizing eligible voters’. On 10th December, 2004, government cash statement recorded that N1,234,000 was spent for “provision for Bode George Soccer Competition”. Chief Olabode George is the Deputy Chairman, South of PDP. In the same month, as recorded by the government record, a so called “resolution of conflict between the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) and students gulped N2,500,000. Another sum of N5,000,000 was allegedly spent on a certain “provision of logistics and financial support”.
Governor Gbenga Daniel in December 2006 claimed that he spent N7,000,000 on “provision of food and drinks for civil servants on Grade Level 15 and above “during his interactive meeting” with them. He got paid according to government cash position of 14th December, 2006. The on-going campaign rallies of the governor across the state also exact their toll on the state finances. An example of this is the June 30, 2006 expenditure of N3,370,000 of the State. All manners of events claimed government money in Governor Daniel custody. For instance, cheque number 00004192 for the sum of N3,000,000 was issued with respect to an ‘award night’ in Ogun state.
The list is sadly endless. Anyone who is familiar with Oke-Imosan will know Kudirat Abiola Complex. Otunba Daniel, on assumption of office re-named it South-West Resource Centre. We do not begrudge him for this. What any sane mind would find unacceptable, however, is that the people of the state would be charged N0.5m to inscribe the new name on the building. In other words, writing the name “South-West Resource Centre” cost N500,000. This is recorded in the government cash position of 5th March, 2004. The actual commissioning of the center itself gulped a scandalous N2,325,000 as recorded officially on 6th February, 2004.
Official document of government similarly recorded that N5,000,000 of tax payers money was spent by the governor for a trip to Gombe state in September 2006. Government cash position of 11th September, 2006 revealed that the governor engaged a chartered flight for the trip which purpose was neither explained nor ascertained
The following are few of the other over 314 questionable expenses of the governor.
DATE PURPOSE CHEQUE NO BANK AMOUNT
18.03.05 Emergency Assignment Govt. cash position 7,515,320
18.03.05 Painting of vehicles and okadas to OGD Govt. cash position 2,000,000
22.09.06 Meeting Council Members Govt. cash position 1,700,000
23.12.06 Operation of administrative machinery 0000451(151) & 00002799 Oceanic Bank 8,700,000
B. RISK ALLOWANCE – N303m
The governor of Ogun state appears to be living in morbid fear of the unknown going by facts emerging from claims of huge expenditure on provision of security for the governor. This lurid expenditure is incurred inspite of heavy load of security provided by government law enforcement agencies such as the police and state security service among others.
Financial documents of government expenditure available to DDM with regard to the large sum of money allocated for the governor’s security would make anyone wonder – “who has this man offended?” and “why is he so much frightened?”
A frighteningly huge sum of N303 has been expended on what the government called “payment of Risk and Security Allowance (RSA) and Special Security Vote” for the governor. It should be noted that this sum is different from the statutory security vote which itself comes to the governor monthly. It also excludes monthly expenditure to the police and other security agencies for the smooth running of their operations.
Risk and Security Allowance is collected through the office of the Secretary to the Government on behalf of the governor on monthly basis. An monthly minimum of N5m fly out of government coffers through this channel. A few instances: the office of SSG picked a cheque of N5,095,455 on 24th July, 2006. The cheque is that of Guaranty Trust Bank number 00004800. According to government record, the money is for “Risk and Security “ for the month of May 2006 alone. Another N5m was picked on 17th July, 2006 through cheque number 000004784 of Guarantee Trust Bank for the month of June 2006. For a single month of September, two years ago in 2004, the sum of N8.8m was snatched from government treasury for the same purpose. Number of cheque is 031639439 of 5th November, 2004.
What will most likely wrench anyone’s heart as it is soul-tearing, however, is the shocking discovery that the governor each time he embarks on his on-going “assessment tour of government projects (farewell tour)” he billed the people of Ogun state N10m as “special security vote”. On 7th June, 2006, for one of such tour, a Wema Bank cheque number 41641060 of N10m was issued as “special security vote for the Governor’s Assessment tour of projects executed”. On 12th May, 2006, another N10.2m was spent in this regard through cheque number 41640973 of Wema Bank. So far, no less than N90m has gone into private pocket of the governor under the cover of “special security vote” which the statutory security vote ought to have taken care of.
C. CHOICE BAND AND GATEWAY FRONT
As the spending spree continued to exact its toll on the till of Ogun state government, Otunba Daniel’s private musical outfit, Choice Band, also benefited from the government largesse. The governor set up the Choice Band during the campaign preparatory to his becoming governor in 2003. Upon his swearing in as the governor, he converted the band to the official band of government, even though there was an existing musical group in the department of culture within the government. He has been using the band from the very beginning of his government as a megaphone towards plans for his second term. Records available to DDM suggests that some N35,619,000 has gone into making the band comfortable. The band got the sum of N10,000,000 as honorarium according to official cash position of 24th December, 2004. The document also on 18th March, 2005 recorded that N6,588,750 was spent on purchase of musical equipments. Other expenses also abound with respect to the band covering cost of transportation, repairing equipments and welfare of members. An example is another honorarium of N1,800,000 of 9th September, 2004 to members.. The government of Otunba Daniel also pays members of the band monthly honorarium of N1,225,000 aside from other monthly expenses. An example is the one recorded on 11th March, 2005 by government cash position.
Similarly, the Gateway Front Foundation, GFF, personally owned by Otunba Daniel and his wife, Yeye Olufunke Olubunmi Daniel, had most of its bills picked by the government of Ogun state. A certain “financial assistance to GFF” was recorded on 17th October, 2003 to the tune of N510,000 of government money. Provision of photographs by GFF also illegally cost the government a whooping sum on 12th December, 2003. These are just a few of the so many payments made to the organization.
The Gateway Front Foundation was the political campaign organization used by the governor when he was campaigning to become the governor prior to 2003. You will also recollect that the land in which the governor’s hotel in Abeokuta was built was allocated by the governor to Gateway Front Foundation through C of O No. D024245 of 16th February, 2004 personally signed by the governor.
D.. WOMEN IN POLITICS – N73m
The salacious tale of inappropriate spending of Ogun state fund is not restricted to these acts of frivolous spending alone. Since 2004, the government of Otunba Gbenga Daniel has expended various huge expenditure on women of the PDP in the name of stipend. At the last recorded instance, no less than N73,452,000 has been expended on quarterly provision for this group of politicians. In the third quarter of 2005, the sum of N2,490,000 was released from government treasury to the 83 members of the group. This is contained in the government official cash position of 2nd July, 2004. By 13th May, 2005 the sum went up to N5,190,000. The money was pulled out from government’s First City Monument Bank account with cheque number 00040534. This same amount of N5,190,000 was also expended for the same purpose as recorded by cash position of 27th October, 2006. Wema Bank account of government also suffered the fate of depletion to the tune of N5,190,000 through cheque number 41671093 in July 2006. First City Monument Bank account of government was similarly pummeled to the tune of N2,490,000 in May 2004 through cheque number 708144 while cheque number 00004818 of Guaranty Trust Bank pulled government money out for the favoured women of PDP in August 2006. There are many more. Ogun stakeholders would want the governor to unveil the identities of all the 83 women in politics who are paid from government treasury. It is frustrating to the toiling masses of Ogun state who have consistently remained cheated, oppressed and depressed.
E. GATEWAY HOTEL – N280,652,000
In similar vein and in no small measure, the unwieldy number of appointees, hangers-on, associates and friends of all sexes of the governor of Ogun state, Otunba Daniel, has taken its crushing toll on the finances of the state. It is instructive that inspite of the history the Daniel administration created as the government whose officials occupied the most quarters since the creation of the state in 1976, huge sum of financial obligation is owed the three Gateway Hotels in terms of lodging, feeding and other comforts enjoyed by lodgers on government bill.
Government cash position of 20th November, 2003 recorded that a huge sum of N3,500,000 was paid to the Hotel as part payment of outstanding bills. By April 2004, the state government debt to the hotel steadily rose to N15,000,000. This amount was paid from government coffers along with another N10,797,013 in April and May 2005. In May 2004, the hotel received a cheque of N10,153,573 through cheque number 3878671 of Gateway Bank account of government. An Oceanic Bank cheque of N20,000,000 bearing number 0000875 was also issued by government to the hotel to settle outstanding bill. Ogun state treasury was depleted in June 2006 for another settlement of hotel bill to the tune of N10,000,000. Cheque number 41671022 of Wema Bank took care of this. The listed cases are a drop in the ocean.
In all and in accordance with official documents at the disposal of DDM, the Daniel administration has expended a total sum of N280,652,000 on settlement of hotel bills alone. It is even more worrisome, as the state government is presently owing the Gateway hotels the sum of over N45,000,000 (Forty Five Million Naira). One wonders what the business of this government is to warrant such huge hotel expenditure. See table below for more expenditure on hotels:
DATE PURPOSE BANK CHEQUE NO. AMOUNT
16.04.04 Settlement of outstanding bills Government cash position 15,000,000.00
28.05.04 Settlement of bills GATEWAY BANK 3878671 10,153,573.00
10.09.04 State Government debts Government cash position 5,000,000.00
10.09.04 Settlement of bills Government cash position 5,954,487.00
24.12.04 Settlement of government bill Government cash position 5,655,276.95
02.12.05 July & August 2005 bills Government cash position 5,079,270.00
23.06.06 Services rendered WEMA BANK 41671022 10,000,000.00
14.07.06 Bill for the month of April 2006 OCEANIC BANK 0000815 20,000,000.00
16.12.06 Settlement of outstanding bills GUARANTY TRUST BANK 000039321 1,681,018.00
Bills for the month of September GUARANTY TRUST BANK 00004061 15,000,000.00
F. CLAYPOT CATERING – N47,297,497
With the scaringly huge figure expended on services of government-controlled Gateway Hotels, any prudent person would conclude that Otunba Daniel’s crowd have lodged, wined and dined in comfort to last a life time. It is not so with them. The governor’s crowd is also beneficiary of the culinary dexterity of a catering services company, Claypot Catering Limited. This caterer came into reckoning in the state from the inception of this government in 2003. The services of the official catering company to the government has cost Ogun state tax payers N47,297,497.. In July 2005, the company picked up a cheque of N7,000,000 through cheque number 00000978 of Guaranty Trust Bank. Claypot also picked a cheque of N1,500,000 through cheque number 025737807 of Wema Bank in May 2004. In March 2006, a cheque of N5,131,252 bearing number 00005868 was also paid to Claypot for services rendered to friends and associates of Governor Daniel. There are several other payments to the company. One starts to wonder whether all there is to governance is just about provision of food and drinks. This government does not appreciate the biblical saying that states you shall not live by bread alone. The following table explains further.
CLAYPOT CATERING SERVICES
DATE PURPOSE BANK CHEQUE AMOUNT
26.09.03 Catering Services Govt. cash position 1,900,000
24.12.03 Services rendered Govt. cash position 1,800,000
27.02.04 Catering Services Govt. cash position 1,750,000
14.05.04 Service at Govt. House WEMA BANK 025737807 1,500,000
05.11.04 Service at Govt. House Govt. cash position 667,027
26.11.04 Catering Services Govt. cash position 1,200,000
26.11.04 Service at Govt. House GUARANTY TRUST BANK 00000978 700,000
18.03.05 Catering Services Govt. cash position 736,678
02.12.05 State Govt. Guests – April Govt. cash position 1,117,028
17.03.06 Catering Services – 2006 Treasury Board Meeting 00005868 5,131,252
As reported also in our series 14,15 and now 16, a lot of money which otherwise could have been better judiciously spent has gone into servicing personal cravings. The summary of the ones we have highlighted so far is as follows:
1. Artistes 100m
2. Clocks 87m
3. Billboards 150m
4. Media Campaign 360m
5. “Newsletter” 70m
6. Choice Band 50m
7. Governor and Wife’s Foreign Trips 450m
8. Governor’s Expenses 718m
9. Kaylord Motors 1.8b
10. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 18.6m
11. Frivolous Spending 487.9m
12. Women in Politics 73m
13. Gateway Hotel 280.6m
14. Claypot Catering Limited 47.2m
15.. Law and Order 281m
16. Cultism/Thuggery 23m
17. Risk Allowance 303m
T O T A L 5,346,500,000
3. OUR BLUE PRINT
As reported in our last edition, we are pleased to inform the general public that we have completed our Blue Print for the liberation and positive transformation of Ogun State to make life more abundant for the people. This action plan, for strategic reasons, would only be released from the second half of December 2006.
The blue print gives clear and specific details of what, by the Special Grace of God, our Action Congress government in Ogun state headed by Otunba Dipo Dina (D.D. Direct) will do in rendering purposeful and selfless service to our people from 29 May, 2007 when, by the Grace of God and the support of the people, Otunba Dipo Dina will be sworn in as the next Ogun state governor.
OTUNBA GBENGA DANIEL ADMINISTRATION IN OGUN STATE: AN ASSESSMENT
In the first sixteen editions of these series which were published in various national newspapers, DDM, led by Otunba Dipo Dina (D.D. DIRECT), commended laudable strides, where such existed, and unearthed some among the myriad of deficiencies of the Otunba Gbenga Daniel administration. In this series, we shall dwell on “THE PROPAGANDA GOVERNMENT - ANATOMY OF THE PRODIGAL”.
2. ANATOMY OF THE PRODIGAL 4
In the last three editions of the Dipo Dina Movement series, a lot of facts were provided to show how the Daniel administration in Ogun state has plundered the treasury since May 2003 when Otunba Gbenga Daniel assumed custody of the finances of the state. In graphic factual detail, we narrated how the governor dipped his hands into the treasury and authorized payment of over N5.4b of the people’s money under all kinds of guises including phantom ‘donations’, endless claims or reimbursement of the governor for expenses allegedly made, huge financial claim for unverifiable ‘emergency assignments’ and outright false claims of heavy sums. Others areas of fraud perpetrated and reported by DDM includes imaginary purchases especially scores of automobiles, heavily inflated, unnecessary and sometime unreal expenditure on billboards and media expenses. We also categorically stated how he and his wife, Yeye Olufunke Daniel short-changed the state to the tune of N450m on largely personal trips abroad.
(ii) A Mortgaged State
What will however be considered most condemnable is the fact that greater chunk of the huge sum of money mindlessly misapplied by the governor are loans obtained from banks. As you read this, you will be shocked to know that the state is indebted to banks to the tune of over N6b. The following narration will lead you into the underbelly of mismanagement of resources and blatant disregard for economic growth and development of the state. It also shows a government that is not bothered about the future of the younger and unborn generation, by not keen on leaving a good, enviable and enduring legacy. But before we move on, here is an assurance to the banks.
(iii) Banking Relationship and Support
We wish to state unequivocally that we in DDM do not have any ill feelings towards the banks who do business with the state government. Infact, part of the reasons why banks are in business is to support the government in its various projects and programmes in the overall objective of growing the economy. The banks are meant to make money through lending out money deposited with them for onward use by those who need such. We wish to state that what we are against in this series, the earlier ones and subsequent series, is what the money borrowed by the government is used for. It is on record that the Osoba administration did not go about obtaining loans from the banks for flimsy projects. If the loans obtained by the Daniel administration had been used for productive and viable projects, we would not have raised any objection.
Our major grouse is that such loans were expended on things that do not add value to the economic growth, well being and development of Ogun state. We wish to assure the banks that we in DDM appreciate their importance and the strategic pivotal role they play as catalyst for quick economic growth. We want to assure the them of our unflinching preparedness to partner with them for the realization of smooth re-engineering of the development of the state for real growth when by May 29, 2007 through God and with the support of our people our Otunba Dipo Dina (D.D. Direct) is sworn in as the next Ogun state governor.
3.. WALLOWING IN DEBT
(a) Olumo Rock Redevelopment – N650m
In January 2006, Oceanic Bank Plc granted a N500m loan facility to Ogun state government for onward utilization by Rafsaco Nigeria Limited, the contractor which handled the Olumo rock redevelopment work. The loan was taken to augment other funds for the project which amounted to N650m. Ogun state government headed by Otunba Daniel took the loan and also guaranteed to re-pay the loan with interest and all related bank charges.
Rafsaco was the contractor that was awarded the re-development project of the Olumo rock. It is widely held that the real reason why the government had to hurriedly apply for and obtain the loan for the re-development of Olumo rock was because the governor’s company – Kresta Laurel, wanted to supply the 3 lifts for the project. You will recall that the governor’s company supplied and installed the 3 lifts being presently used at Olumo rock. The 3 lifts form the major component of the contract, hence the payment for the 3 lifts got the largest chunk of the N650 million expended on the project.
A letter dated January 19, 2006 from the bank put effective date for the loan at the above date while it has to be paid up by March 20, 2007 thus allowing for a pay back period of 14 months. This includes the 17.5% interest per annum, management fee of 1%, processing fee of 1% aside from COT and other charges. To be sure its money would be recovered, the bank caused the state government to issue irrevocable standing payment order that monthly payment of N35,714,285.71 would be deducted from the state’s federation allocation proceeds and internally generated revenue every month. The irrevocable payment instruction was dated 20th January, 2006 and signed by senior government officials. By February 2007 when the loan is expected to have been repaid, interest alone will amount to N53,184,931.51 thus bringing total indebtedness of Ogun state to the bank to N553,184,931.51.
The interest element, apart from other bank charges, is an avoidable expenditure if the loan was not taken. Is there really the need for such a loan? Imagine what the N53m interest on the loan alone can do for the people of Egba area. The Egba people see the investment of N650m on the re-development of Olumo rock as a monumental waste as it does not meet with their needs. They prefer to ensure that their taps run with good potable water, good motorable roads, provision of necessary facilities for their secondary schools, affordable health care delivery system and employment opportunities for a large number of graduates roaming the streets, among others. The people’s view was that if the Olumo rock needs to have such a huge sum of N650m invested in it, it would have been better to have it done completely by private investors.
(b) (i) Trailer Park, Ogere/Iperu – N1.5b
It is disheartening to know that the trailer park built by the state government at Ogere/Iperu which is yet to be fully utilized as a result of the disagreement between the state government, trailers owners union and the trailer drivers, was funded solely from loan obtained from the bank. The loan was obtained to service the building of the trailer park whose contracts were mainly awarded to the cronies of the governor.
The loan for the park along with Owode Yewa International Market was sourced from Intercontinental Bank in November 2004. The value of the loan is N1.5b. While granting the facility, the bank charged 21% interest rate. Loan is payable over a 24-month period. The bank also charged 1% management fee, monitoring fee of 0.5%, VAT and COT. The bank also insisted on monthly instalmental repayment from the government’s federation account allocation. The government paid the bank up to September 2006 when the arrangement was restructured and total indebtedness of the Daniel administration came down to N1b which is the figure as at now.
(ii) Owode International Market: N1b
By April 2004 again, the Daniel administration went cap in hand to another bank – Wema Bank Plc – for a billion naira loan. At first, the government did not specify what project the sought loan was meant for until Wema Bank on 26th April, 2005 insisted in writing that it would not grant the loan except specific projects were listed “in conformity with statutory requirements of the regulators”. The facility was made available to the Daniel government in July 2005 on 17% interest rate per annum inclusive six months moratorium requested by government. Aside the interest, management fee of 0.5% and processing fee of 0.5% apart from VAT and COT were charged. The government is required to surrender N100m monthly from its federal allocation which stands as security for the loan. The tenor of the loan stands at 18 months and repayment runs from January 2006. The interest on the loan therefore comes up to N202,862,439.
In September 2006, Zenith Bank was approached for another loan of N300m payable in 6 months.. Interest rate was pegged at 18.5%. The bank also charged management fee of 0.5%, processing fee of 0.25% and commitment fee of 0.5%. Repayment schedule is given as six “equal consecutive monthly payment of the sum of N52,732,307.98 from Ogun state federal allocation account with Intercontinental Bank. By bringing Intercontinental Bank to guarantee the loan, the bank also charged its own interest.
Please note that although the market is yet to operate, loan is already being repaid. The Yewa/Awori people have not hidden their disdain for the misplacement of priority. Their view Is that good road, potable water, electricity, schools and functional hospital will serve them better. The counterpart of the market in Sagamu, although completed, is yet to be put to remarkable use. In June 2006, the Daniel government pulled out N10,000,000 from government account to purchase shuttle buses to lift people almost free to the market when people would not patronize it!
(c) Ijebu-Ode Stadium Re-development – N2b
On three occasions in 2005 and 2006, the Daniel administration took a total of N2b loan from Guaranty Trust Bank. The loan was taken with respect to the Ijebu-Ode Stadium project preparatory to the Gateway Games of 2006. First, the government approached the bank in January 2005 and obtained a loan of N1b. According to a memo dated 14th January, 2005, the loan was necessary as Aron Nigeria Limited, the project contractor, could not source the fund on its own. The memo stated that the loan would be “warehoused by the state government and be periodically released to Aron Nigeria Limited whenever approval for payment is released”. The memo forwarded and approved by the state governor Otunba Daniel stated that the facility would be paid in 24 equal monthly instalments and from “our internally generated revenue and federation account allocation”.
The bank charged 19% interest on the loan apart from 1% facility fee, 1.5% management fee, VAT, COT, etc are also included. Thus, from February 2005, Guaranty Trust Bank took N41.67m monthly from government account domiciled with the bank. By this arrangement, by January 2007 when the loan would have been fully repaid, the state would have paid N187,397,260.26 as interest alone. Is this not an avoidable expenditure? However, by November 2005 the government again approached the bank for an additional loan of N500m which was granted, thus bringing the facility to N1.5b. From the initial monthly repayment of N41.67m, monthly repayment came up to N61m. The government lived up to the repayment schedule up till January 2006 when it went back to the bank for another N500m thus bringing the facility sourced on behalf of Aron Nigeria Limited to a whooping N2b on the stadium project alone. On monthly basis, the bank now picks N96m from the state government directly from federation account. As at now, the state government has spent well over N4.5b on the stadium alone.
This is a project largely seen by the Ijebu people as a white elephant as it does not meet with their needs. The Ijebus are eager to have potable water supply, good motorable roads, employment opportunities for the children, efficient running of the State Hospital (when Power Holding Company Nigeria takes away electricity supply, the place is always in darkness), affordable food supply, properly run public schools, amongst other things.
(d) Comil Buses – N168m
The Daniel administration stuck its head into another debt in March 2004 with respect to purchase of 12 Comil Svelto buses for its transportation project. According to government official record, the administration offered a Lagos-based automobile Company, Utobras Nigeria Limited the contract to supply the buses in the sum of N168,000,000.
The actual cost of the buses according to government documents is N110,554,000. Interest on the loan is N58m and the sum goes to Universal Trust Bank while 2% pricing of the contract sum which is N3,360,000 is payable to Gateway bank. In essence, the interest paid to banks for financing the buses comes to N61.3m aside from other bank charges. Is this a really wise investment?
The automobile company approached its bankers, then Universal Trust Bank for a loan to service the project. The bank refused to grant the loan facility unless it had a bank guarantee issued at the instance of Ogun state government that it would recover its investment. The Daniel administration consequently approached Gateway Bank which on 8th March, 2004 issued the guarantee in favour of Utobras Nigeria Limited on an interest of 2% flat of the total sum guaranteed. Gateway Bank offered the facility on condition that, among others, government would continue to domicile its monthly federal statutory allocation with the bank. The bank also asked for 12 post-dated cheques to cover 12 equal monthly repayments.
In other words, this loan was being managed by two banks each of which collected its interest and other charges. One of the many questions that arose in this deal is why should the state government caused Gateway bank to guarantee the loan, thus increasing the debt profile the government was eventually saddled with? Why shouldn’t the government simply approach Gateway Bank, pick its loan and purchase the buses directly thereby doing away with a middleman bank?
In no time the bubble burst. According to the contract terms, the 12 monthly instalmental would commence immediately the buses were delivered by Utobras Nigeria Limited. The company delivered them on September 27, 2004 and they were commissioned by Governor Daniel on October 1, 2004. Utobras however received the first payment in December 2004 leaving two instalments in arrears. Its bank came calling and Utobras, now frustrated, wrote on June 27, 2005 “it is disheartening that the state government has reneged in her obligation in the contract by default payments. We are left at the mercy of our bankers with penalty interest rate of 37% per annum”. Utobras went further, “our bankers, Universal Trust Bank Plc apparently disappointed with non-compliance of the repayment schedule is already threatening to challenge the Gateway Bank guarantee, meaning that the Central Bank of Nigeria will force Gateway Bank to honour its guarantee by paying all the debt with interest”. Is it worth putting the government in such a ridiculous situation in the first instance? The answer is NO.
It is noteworthy to state that the buses have various inscription on them ranging from OGD workers, OGD students, amongst several others. Is OGD the benefactor or personal employer of the workers or the father of the students? After all, the banks are being paid from tax payers money.
(e) Gateway Holding – N1..74b
In July 2004, the Daniel administration reached for another loan. This time through the Daniel administration-created Gateway Holdings. The loan, according to government, was sourced to finance equipments purchased by Gateway Holding. As is the pattern in previous cases, government of Ogun state was committed to guarantee the loan which came to N1.74 billion including a whopping interest of N641m. The actual cost of the equipment was N1.094b.
The loan was sourced in favour of Bibson Engineering, a private Lagos-based engineering company. The firm sought to sell various road construction equipments to Gateway Holding.
Bibson’s bankers asked for a guarantor in the form of a bank in which the government domiciled its internally generated revenue account and federal allocation account. Intercontinental Bank Plc came in handy at this point. For consenting to guarantee the loan, Intercontinental Bank charged an interest of 0.75% payable upfront. The loan has a validity period of 36 months. By the terms of the agreement, a special condition was introduced. The special condition is “the government shall issue a post-dated cheque (dated 1st March, 2007) for the sum of N365,324,752 (Three hundred and sixty five million, three hundred and twenty four thousand, seven hundred and fifty two naira) in favour of Intercontinental Bank being instalmental payment for the period between March and October 2007”. The bank opted for this smart move because it was eager to cover its exposure in case the government changes (which, by the Grace of God, it will) as a result of the coming gubernatorial election in April, 2007.
The government, through a letter of authorization dated 27th December, 2007 to Intercontinental Bank, gave an irrevocable and unconditional authority to the bank to deduct the sum of N365,324,752 from its statutory allocation account anytime from 1st March 2007. This goes to show that the Daniel administration has already committed his successors (By the Grace of God, Action Congress government led by Otunba Dipo Dina) to the loan of that magnitude. This is not the only one. There are several others.
As in other cases, double interest was charged on this loan. In other words, while Bibson’s bankers charged its own interest on it, Intercontinental Bank also did same thus bringing the interest profile alone to a frightening N641m.
Before this however, Gateway Holding had already taken a loan of N175m in December 2004 from a second generation bank. The loan, according to available documents, was sourced to finance purchase of public transportation buses. The tenor of this loan was given as 27 months on 19.5% interest per annum apart from 0.25% management fee per quarter, 0.5% advisory fee, and also COT and VAT.
(f) Another Bank Loan
A loan of N450m was taken from a second generation bank in December 2004.. Interest charged was 17.5% and the loan was payable in 24 months from Ogun state internally generated revenue. On this loan, advisory fee of 1% was charged apart from other charges.
In August 2005, the same bank granted Ogun state government a loan facility of N1b. This loan also attracted an interest rate of 17.5% and expired in 18 months. The loan, like the others, was to be serviced from monthly federal allocation proceeds for the state and internally generated revenue. Other charges apart from interest are also applicable.
The government also maintains several note discount facilities with this bank. This facility runs into billions of naira. Note discount facility are short term loans usually payable in days. Because of the shortness of repayment period, they attract heavy interest. In most cases, when the government cannot redeem its obligation to repay, the note discount facilities are usually rolled over. A lot of interest charges are also payable by the government on these Note Discount Facilities.
(g) Bond Bank
In the case of Bond Bank, it is only highly favoured in the area of deposit. Loans were usually not taken from it. It is preferred to the others whenever government had deposits to make. For instance, a controversy raged among top officials of government when the bank offered to do a 14% interest on a N20m deposit from the current account of Assemblemen Motor Vehicle account. That was in April 2005. Gateway Bank and Oceanic Bank offered 16.5% and 16% respectively. But the government preferred to lodge the money with Bond Bank on the excuse that “what is important is the safety of government money”. The question arose as to whether government money was no longer safe in Gateway Bank owned partly by the government itself or Oceanic Bank which offered better interest profile on the deposit. It is a known fact that Otunba Gbenga Daniel is a major shareholder in Bond Bank.
It is instructive to note that the first 3 oldest generation banks are not involved in the main banking transactions of the government for reasons best known to the people in government.
4. A GLIMPSE OF DEBT PROFILE
The following table represents total bank charges for he period indicated. Charges by banks is a eflection of transaction with banks. In the case being discussed, interest on loans takes a great deal of the charges. Other charges include COT, VAT, administration and penalty charges, among others.
(June – Dec) 2004
(Jan – Dec) 2005
(Jan – Dec) 2006
(Jan – May) TOTAL
Bank charges and interest N16,501,529 N77,263,440 N833,470,667 N2,211,692,359 3,138,927,995
From the above table, it is clear that by May 2003 when Otunba Daniel took over, no loan was ever taken by his predecessor, Chief Olusegun Osoba. This is reflected in the meager sum of N6.5m for the last six months of 2003 when Governor Daniel was in charge. However, by 2004, the tap of bank charges were released full blast with N77.2m as charges alone. In 2005, it went further up to N833.5m. The alarm bell came in 2006 with the sum of N2.2b going for interest and other charges by banks. This brings the total to N3.1b bank charges. When this is added to the N6.3b, value of various loans itself, our dear state is in for a N9.4b mortgage!
Following from this, Ogun state stakeholders are at loss about what the state government did with the enormous resources from federal allocation proceeds and internally generated revenue amounting to over N128b in 31/2 years.
The over N9b debt position of the state under the Daniel administration is big. However, we are undaunted in the believe that, with God on our side, when we get to government on 29th May, 2007, with the help of God and support of the people, we shall embark on a major positive turn around.
All Ogun state stakeholders can now see why the Audited Accounts of the state have not been published.
We are awaiting the published Audited Accounts before we come out with greater bombshell and incontrovertible facts relating to the state finances.
Alhaji Sola Lawal Mr. Saheed Durosaro Apostle Kehinde Bamgboye
Director, Media and Publicity Secretary, Research, Planning Member, Mobilization Committee
And Strategic Committee
DIPO DINA MOVEMENT (DDM)
Secretariat: 62 Old Owode Road, Beside Macjob Grammar SchoSol, Onikolobo, Abeokuta, Ogun State
View Brutal Video as Navy beats her like a dog Now
A Lagos State High Court in Igbosere yesterday ordered Rear Admiral Harry Arogundade, the Nigerian Navy and four naval ratings to pay Miss Uzoma Okere and her friend, Mr. Abdullahi Abdulazeez, N100 million as damages for assaulting them.
In a judgment that lasted one and a half hours, presiding judge, Justice Opeyemi Oke, vehemently rebuked the officers, describing them as people who are not fit for a decent society.
He described their behaviour as “barbaric” and unlawful and a violation of the plaintiffs’ fundamental human rights.
The judge ordered the officers and the Navy to offer unreserved “apology” to the victims within one month of the judgment in four national newspapers, namely: THISDAY, The Guardian, The Nation and The Punch. She also extended the apology order to some electronic media namely: NTA, AIT, Raypower and Cool FM stations.
“Miss Okere was brutalized, beaten, pushed, pulled and dragged on the road and her blouse pulled off her by one of the naval ratings thereby exposing her nakedness from waist up, leaving her with only the brassiere. This was done to a young lady, a citizen of this country,” lamented the judge.
She said the ratings ought to undergo psychiatric test to determine their sanity, adding that they apparently forgot they were not in a high sea fighting a war but in an enlightened society.
“The averments in their counter-affidavits were cooked-up lies to the extent that they were overcooked and got burnt,” the judge said.
The court resolved the three issues for determination in favour of the applicants, namely: whether they established the fact that their fundamental human rights were infringed; whether the respondents can be held liable, and whether the applicants are entitled to the reliefs sought.
She said after going through the documentary evidence before her, it was a clear case of res inter locutor (facts speak for themselves), adding that no amount of money can adequately compensate the violation of a persons’ human dignity.
Justice Oke added: “Miss Okere was violated by the ratings in glaring eyes of the public with her upper anatomy exposed to all sorts of eyes. Her private property became the object of a cinema for those who witnessed the unfortunate and disgraceful incident in a country like ours. This was man’s inhumanity to man.”
According to her, Okere’s partial nakedness likely made “imaginations to run riot” as “most people who witnessed the incident were able to describe the size of her bra”.
She went on: “These ratings can only be described as barbarians in uniforms as they have shown by this incident that they have no respect for womanhood – dragging a woman on the road and partially getting her naked. They have no fear of God at all.
“It is highly shameful and unimaginable that such could happen in this 21st Century in a civilized society and democratic one. It should therefore be condemned in very strong language.
“The naval ratings have disgraced the uniform they wear as officers of the Nigerian Navy. They are therefore a disgrace to the whole nation. The rebranding gospel should therefore be commenced with this group of officers.”
Arogundade, the judge held, was liable and could not claim ignorance of what his men were doing.
Okere and her friend, Abdulazeez, were beaten and humiliated by the naval ratings in late 2008 for allegedly denying them right of passage on the road.
They went to court to seek for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents and their agents from horse-whipping motorists and putting them in apprehension through reckless driving in siren-blaring convoy. They asked the court to award them N100 million as damages for the assault among other reliefs that they sought.
Arogundade and the Nigerian Navy had attempted to frustrate the matter when they came up with an application seeking stay of proceedings. But Justice Oke dismissed the application on grounds that it was frivolous, unwarranted and a time wasting exercise.
They had also challenged the ruling of the court, which dismissed their application seeking leave of the court to admit oral evidence in a suit which the learned judge dismissed on grounds that there were documentary evidence before the court that could be used to adjudicate on the matter, saying that there was no need for oral evidence.
Dissatisfied, the respondents urged the court to stay further proceedings in the matter pending the final determination of an appeal filed at the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division.
However, the court in its ruling held that granting of an application for stay of proceedings is at the discretion of the court and that the court must take into consideration the rights of parties involved before arriving at a just conclusion.