How Maina Recovered Fresh $44m, N486b Stolen Funds

Former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Dr Abdulrasheed Maina may have aided the discovery of missing $44 million belonging to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), PENSION COMM, HEAD OF SERVICE UNREMMITTED TSA FUNDS etc.

This is even as he also assisted in the discovery of another N486bn belonging to the Nigerian Pension Commission with Pension Custodians.

Nigerian government, in an effort to add impetus to its anti graft war, began a whistleblower policy, which has helped the government recover trillions of stolen federal government funds.

The former presidential task force boss who pledged to assist the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in recovery of over N3 trillion trapped pension funds in 97 outfits in the country is said to have commenced tracking the funds.

Recently, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Federation Mr Abubakar Malami broke the news to the sitting Senate Committee on how Dr Maina gave intelligence which led to the recovery and savings of N1.3 trillion for the federal government in early 2017. Also in the news was the plan by the President to reassign him with a view to recovering trapped funds across different sectors of the economy. Insiders disclosed that Maina is already on track.

It was reported that he is also to assist in recovery of other funds trapped in different agencies like the recently reported unaccounted funds lodged in Banks under the office of the Head of Service of the Federation, which has not been remitted into the Treasury Single Account (TSA) of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the NNPC, PENCOMM and the NIA funds.

The newest development is said to have excited the Presidency, which is not leaving any stone unturned in the efforts to recover all looted funds by public officials.

Sources from the presidency had disclosed that Mr President is interested not only in the recovery of the trapped N3 trillion pension funds which is said to be stashed in different places but the credible intelligence he already provided which has yielded results and is continuing to yield more positive results. These funds will be used by the Government to ensure that Nigerians have a taste of Democracy dividends beginning 2018. Government is said to be highly interested and want the funds urgently recovered.

The source had disclosed that “The new coming of Mr Maina has started rattling Heads of agencies but as indicated by our source that “it will be more interesting in the coming months, as his sole responsibility will be to recover not only the N3tr but other government funds being siphoned by some greedy Nigerians to the detriment of the economy in all MDA’s.”

The source further revealed that, Mr. Maina has compiled list of all those involved and those still keeping some funds and will soon be released especially those involved in the pension scam, NIA, PENCOMM and NNPC hidden funds and would further give more insight into those former Heads of Services and Top Officials both within and outside Government who took so much funds and are hidding them. Maina is said to have compiled with supporting documents on how his led PRTT was able to recover the N282 billion and N1.6 trillion between 2010 and 2013, and how these funds were shared.

Our source further disclosed that the EFCC under Magu may be belittled to realize that what Maina recovered is 100 times more than what they have been chasing since the inception of the Asministration.

He has also given unrefutable evidences on how the 222 Pension properties were shared and those involved.

Government is said to have been working with Maina on these funds without the Anti graft agencies involved so that the facts and full details could be seen from a different angle.

Sources at the presidency indicated that Maina has been operating under the radar to be able to get all the facts without any interfereance. “so much unaccounted and unremitted funds are still being used and siphoned by some Heads of MDAs including Anti graft agencies.

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Gov Shettima Hands Over Chibok Girl, Pogu to NSA

Governor Kashim Shettima has handed over the recently rescued Chibok girl, Salomi Pogu, alongside Jamila Adams with her 16 months old daughter to the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, in his office in Abuja.

‪Jamila a 14 year old became friends with Salomi during captivity by Boko Haram in a village in Gwoza Local Government Area.‬

The NSA, while receiving the girls, on Thursday, assured the Governor of adequate care and psychotherapy before reintegration into the society. ‬

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Herdsmen/Farmers’ Crisis: Buhari’s Clear Message On Tolerance By Philip Agbese

Something epochal and unique amazed the senses of Nigerians on Monday, January 15, 2018. President Muhammadu Buhari had an exclusive audience with a Benue delegation led by the state Governor, His Excellency, Governor Samuel Ortom to fraternally dialogue and explore ways to resolve the internecine conflict between herders and farmers in our home state.
IGP Idris Ibrahim with Samuel OrtomThe Benue delegation to the Presidential villa in Abuja was by no means, a venerated assemblage of state leaders, which never watered its substance by partisan trappings.
The team which met with Mr. President comprised political leaders, traditional rulers and elders of the state.
The Tiv Paramount Ruler, Tor Tiv V,  HRM Orchivirigh Professor James Ayatse also registered presence personally.
The mutual parley became imperative based on the seed of discord sawn by enemies of the people as reflected in the herders and conflict. The conflict appeared to have exacerbated with the New Year Day bloodbath in Guma and Logo LGAs of Benue State.
 No doubt, the pains and sorrows from the dastardly acts created loopholes and cracks which have been actively exploited by intolerant elements, perpetually committed to the disunity of Nigeria.
There have been bitter conversations, misconceptions, inexplicable theories and trenchant calls for the severance of the essential cord that binds and unites the people as Nigerians and, especially, Northerners in this instance.
However, President Buhari’s utterances; his unexpressed feelings and  intentions all pointed to the mindset of a President not just saddened by the unfortunate incidents, but determined to  invoke the  full wrath of the law on the perpetrators of the evil.
More pungently, Buhari was unambiguously insistent on the necessity of tolerance in all interactions among Nigerians no matter the bitterness and disappointments.
But decoding this flank of the series of  President Buhari’s messages in specific connotations  to the Benue delegation and by implication, Northern Nigerians, it reminded of the timeless message of the revered modern beacon  of the Northern region, the Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello, who once echoed that ;
 “Here in the Northern Nigeria we have people of many different races, tribes and religions who are knit together to common history, common interest and common ideas; the things that unite us are stronger than the things that divide us…”
This message encapsulates twin indispensible ingredients of national cohesion and progress- tolerance and its end-result of unity. It is not just for Northerners in the specific instance alone, but a recipe for peaceful and harmonious co-existence of all Nigerians.
Therefore, the same engrained spirit unconsciously or consciously spurred President Buhari when he met the Benue delegation in the light of the herders/farmers bloody skirmishes by declaring;
“Your Excellency, the governor, and all the leaders here, I am appealing to you to try to restrain your people. I assure you that the Police, the Department of State Security and other security agencies have been directed to ensure that all those behind the mayhem get punished.
“I ask you in the name of God to accommodate your countrymen. You can also be assured that I am just as worried, and concerned with the situation.’’
The President’s drift must not be lost on the altar of any personalized interpretations. The audience before him was Benue leaders; but indubitably, they assumed his ordained status of leaders, representative of Nigeria.
Therefore, he was conveying a message wrapped in a template that is relevant to all segments of Nigeria.
Put differently, Buhari was addressing Nigerians through their leaders on the dire necessity of tolerance and hospitality to fellow countrymen and women as worthy virtues to imbibe.
The President’s endearing message on tolerance was quite inspirational and thought-provoking.
The unuttered feelings were unmistakably that in all human existence, anywhere around the globe, disagreements are bound to exist and, sometimes, expressed with violence.
It is undeniably the consequences of intolerance, which is a solution-provider and problem-solver in most disputes, ultimately harvesting peace and unity.
Enmity, hate and bloodshed could be averted when tolerance of one another’s excessiveness is accorded its prime position in the hearts and lives of people.
But the import of the Presidential message is open for every community, ethnicity, section or region to ruminate and accord it a special place in existence.
Northern Nigeria particularly with its disparate peoples and cultures, must necessarily accept and consummate a resurrection and refinement of this message of tolerance from Mr. President.
More than a few would agree that the North of yesterday or in the days of Sir Ahmadu Bello appears to have lost track of its communal values and soul, which exuded tolerance, peace and unity. It now radiates with destructive flames all too often.
And the unfortunate development is creating avoidable lacunas actively exploited by “emergency friends” of the North.
 In the days of yore, the geographical North was home to all Nigerians irrespective of tribe or religion and what propelled this seamless relationship was tolerance, mutual trust and understanding.
But these virtues and values have regrettably eclipsed among Northerners.
Today, there is a damaging resort to inexplicable inclinations and pursuits of the self-interest, as against the collective. Hate and vengeance have replaced fraternity and unity.
The delight to resolve differences through the sword, rather than dialogue has negatively redefined the social architecture of the people.  These proclivities cannot offer any remedy or solace to the affliction or even developmental challenges of the people.
It is time for self-assessment and a conscious reabsorption of the abandoned old positive values.
Benue state particularly, should refresh its cord of brotherhood with dialogue, which a few years back, had Kaduna as the proud epicenter of Northern dialogue, hub of Northern intellectualism, and unity.
This should replace the apparent tilt to the deceptive voices from the South, hell-bent on exploiting the conflict among brothers to their advantage.
The same elements preaching the artificial friendship would desert the people once they succeed in stoking and consolidating the fire in Benue or anywhere else in the North.
No Nigerian is oblivious of the endowments and blessings of Benue as a beautiful bride, courted by virtually all.
But it must not lose sight of the reality that not all the suitors are genuine, as many are masquerading vampires and disguised torturers or preys waiting to devour the people at the slightest opportunity.
If Benue people consciously expose themselves to their machinations, it would make them very vulnerable and such posturings have serious setbacks on the entire region, as peace not secured at home, would certainly elude you in foreign lands.
There is therefore, there is the need for a rethink, as no problem among brothers would defy solution with dialogue.
And it imposes the necessity to re-embrace the Kaduna tradition with its motely of dialogue vents for peace and unity.  No sacrifice should be considered too much for the peace and unity as canvassed by forefathers.
The most auspicious time, when leaders are expected to deploy wisdom or think with undiluted senses is now, rather than the casual glance at issues, as fired by the tide of “disaster” commentators.
 Benue state Governor Ortom must be alert before he is consciously hoodwinked to throw the proverbial baby together with the bathwater.
It is neither love nor affection, if a man who sights your house on fire, but offers you fuel, instead of water to quench it. The same man would disappear from sight when the fire explodes uncontrollably.
The signs are already manifest, as  can be gleaned  in the incident of  the recent conflagration in parts of  Makurdi, as   none of the war canvassers  risked any  assistance to the people of  Benue.
It was the same Benue leaders and people, who resolved to initiate dialogue and applied their capacity for peace building, in conjunction with Nigerian Security agencies that quenched the conflagration.  These are great and enviable lessons in self-worth.
The recent memories of  IPOB’s Nnamdi Kanu  saga is relevant and suitable here. At his time of tribulation, the great warmongers on social media; the activists and the venomous voices of “emergency friends” scurried away, at the sight of the “Python” when he arrived the doorstep to stage a dance.
Tolerance and dialogue is the panacea to peace and unity. But war is destructive and irrecoverable. Nigerians should adopt it as a national anthem.
*Agbese writes from the UK.

Buratai: What A Time To Be Proud Of Nigeria ‎By Nneka Obi

The last time I visited Nigeria was in 2013. My husband approved my request to visit home to celebrate the Christmas and New Year.

I came with our three children, Chidi, Okey and my lovely little daughter, Amarachi. It was the second time I would make a trip home since we relocated to the United States of America (USA) in 2005 in search of greener pastures and safety.

The heightened insecurity in Nigeria, which also exploded more dangerously in the Southeast, the region of my birth and where we were domiciled, compelled the imperative to relocate to safer havens.

Unbridled acts of criminality and violent agitations from separatists movements in the region caused anxiety and unrests too frequently.

It crazily caused deaths, tears and sorrows all too often for comfort. So, America was our choice destination. We have since lived in America and visit home once after a long time.

A place of birth has its charm, fondness and memories, incomparable to any other place. Sometimes, the feeling of nostalgia would grip us so strong, but shall dissipate, once you read online news, only to be assailed with more daring, reckless and indiscriminate exploits of armed criminals on hapless citizens.

In 2013, when we last visited home, we spent two days in Abuja and eagerly proceeded to the village, at Abakpa , in Enugu state.

We had six weeks to spend at home all through the New Year. But the excitement vanished after the first week.

I enjoyed the company of granny, old friends and neighbours. But we could not endure the horror of attacks and killings.

By the second week, senseless and violent armed robberies, kidnappings for ransom, targeted at foreign- based indigenes who came home for the yuletide, cult clashes and other allied crimes gave us enough phobia and psychological trauma. We had to immediately move out of the Southeast.

I cried out to my husband about our fears and restlessness and he advised us to relocate to Abuja to spend the rest of the vacation. I complied instantly.

When I narrated our ordeal to him, he was shocked beyond words and almost vowed, it was the last time we visited home again.

But almost five years after, and with a new political leadership in Nigeria, with President Muhammedu Buhari, at the helm, we kept reading about the insecurity situation not just in the Southeast, but the whole of Nigeria has improved positively.

And that even Boko Haram insurgents were given lethal blows by the Nigerian soldiers and defeated.

We learnt in the case of the Southeast, like anywhere else, the Nigerian military conducted various operations to flush out armed criminals.

It again, revived the home-like feeling in me like no any other time. My husband protested, but I insisted the security situation has improved tremendously, based on what we read in the news and the confessions of relations and acquaintances we sought confirmation back home.

Eventually, my husband again, reluctantly approved my request to visit home for the 2017 yuletide and New Year celebrations. We arrived in the early days of December and had an almost instant passage to the country home in Abakpa.

The nearly eight hours journey on the road from Abuja to Enugu-Abakpa were quite revealing especially from Ogbadibo in the neighbouring Benue state to Enugu.

We did not encounter the usual intimidating security roadblocks at every turn of a kilometer on the road. Vehicular traffic flowed much freer with less interruption.

Travellers or commuters wore excited and nostalgic faces. No intimidation or harassments from masked criminal gangs. We travelled blissfully until we got to the village.

This was the first hint I got that the haunting insecurity of our people has improved for the better.

In the village, with my family, the usual fun with people was not short-lived by the feeling of fear on what next would happen as was our experience in 2013.

We hardly heard of kidnappings, armed robberies and agitations from restive youths and other criminal elements.

Alas, the Southeast was from from the siege of criminal gangs? I wondered aloud! We exchanged visits and frisked all corners of the villages and the state without any attack from the armed gangs.

It was at this point it dawned on me clearly that the positive reports I read about improved security in Nigeria was true.

I didn’t hear of bomb explosions on Christmas day in any big city in Nigeria, as had been the tradition a few years back.

I felt so relieved. And when I made contacts with my kith and kin in other parts of the Southeast, they confirmed similar stories of violence-free twin celebrations in 2017.

This reality ignited my interest and restored my confidence in the Nigerian Army. I was told the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) was Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai.

I also learnt Mr. President appointed him some years back. I have never met him physically Gen. Buratai before, but was encountering him through his good works in my region of birth. It is unbelievable that through him Nigeria has regained its dignity on security.

Through these inquiries, I was made to understand the clean tap water we were consuming in the village came from the Abakpa military Cantonment under the 82 Division, Nigerian Army.

I was marveled and pleasantly surprised, to discover a Nigerian Army could project itself with such human face by executing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects in any community in Nigeria.

Abakpa is a community that has never had pipe borne water since its evolution and it is the first time it is enjoying the privilege of being a host community to the Nigerian Army.

I got to know, Army Resident engineers at Abakpa Cantonment in Enugu, constructed a gigantic water treatment plant, with a capacity of treating and supplying one million litres of water daily, which has been extended to host communities.

I tried to find out from my people why it appeared too easy and in a jiffy to have such relief, after decades of suffering over water.

They opened up into more goodies the current leadership of the Nigerian Army under Gen. Buratai has extended to the Southeast region.

I was informed the Army launched the “Operation Python Dance I & II” to cleanse communities of armed miscreants, hooligans and criminals at different times.

And each time, the Python, an ancestral reptile, which signifies peace, came to dance, communities in the Southeast benefitted from water, medical assistance and other numerous CSR projects for the people.

They were unanimous that the Nigerian Army has reached new heights in civil/military relations, courting the friendship of communities, but very harsh on armed gangs.

I felt enthralled and had almost resolved within me not to go back to our base in USA anymore. But it was a decision I could not take alone.

I needed to discuss it with my husband and obtain his consent. I reached out to my husband and informed him of the changes at home, especially on insecurity, which marooned us away in foreign lands for years.

I told him the armed criminals who erroneously thought Enugu could be their permanent operational base; those who threatened and frightened everybody at sight have been uprooted from the state, including the notorious billionaire kidnapper.

My husband was quite happy and shocked at the same time. But relocating back home was not an easy option either. We had all established in America and that sort of movement is planned, before execution.

However, I felt my joy incomplete without contributing my small quota in assisting the Nigerian Army sustain the tempo of its humanitarian works and security in the region.

I instantly resolved to reach out to Igbos in the Diaspora to explore the possibility of throwing our support and weight behind Nigerian Army to see that our ancestral places remain conducive homes for all.

It’s a message I have taken back to the USA and I pray God to help me actualize this plan. We look anxiously to when the Python would stage another dance at Enugu again.

And if my mission to mobilise Enugu sons and daughters in Diaspora becomes fruitful, the next time the Army under Buratai stages a comeback, our shadows would be right behind him in support to assist us construct roads, build some schools and electrify communities.

This would provide more relief to communities, since it appears some of our State Governors have abandoned their basic developmental obligations to people for politicking.

So, when the Python comes to dance again, we hope to dance together. This is a time to be proud of Nigeria and the Nigerian Army.

Obi, a Nigerian based in the Diaspora contributed this piece from New Jersey, USA.

South East Group Hails Nigerian Army, Buratai Over Patronage of Indigenous Manufacturers

Nigerians have continued to commend  the Nigerian Army, following the Army’s decision to partner with local car manufacturer, Innoson Motors in the manufacturing of military vehicles and other hardwares

The Army it will be recalled had also partnered with Shoe makers in Aba to acquire boots for it’s men and officers.

Joining in the array of commendations, the South East Renewal Group (SERG) likened the latest partnership with Innoson as balm on a sore spot given the contrived negativity that has been hyped about the mindset the Army has for the South-East and Igbo businesses.

Addressing journalists in Abuja, President General of SERG, Charles Mbani commended the NIgerian Army, its leadership under Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai and President Muhammadu Buhari for growing the partnership with Innoson Motors Manufacturing Company and other south east business owners.

He said through this action, the COAS has again shown that he has the best interest of the country at heart.

According to Mbani, the Army has by this partnership with Innoson further demonstrated that Nigeria can significantly reduce its dependence on foreign entities for the supply of gears for securing the nation.

He said it gives hope that we will soon be exporting armoured vehicles to other countries because we have demonstrated the capabilities of these products in real operational environments.

He said, “The Army has given a lifeline to the hundreds of industries located in our part of the country. We must note at this point that the Army also bought its boots and shoes from Aba, so its commitment to seeing industries in our land grow is not mere eye-service but a well calculated attempt to address youth unemployment and their resulting restiveness. It is our firm belief that continuing along this path will leave terrorist groups without idle youths to recruit for making trouble and harassing law-abiding Nigerians.

“The patronage of Innoson Motors Manufacturing Company may appear insignificant, or may be promoted by saboteurs as something to be taken for granted, but we dare say the gains from this singular act are unquantifiable even as they tally with the government’s avowal to diversify the economy, which involves strengthening the manufacturing sector and saving crucial foreign exchange for the country.

“From our informal interaction with relevant stakeholders, we can already confirm that the deal between the Nigerian Army and Innoson is already deepening local manufacturing. When we make this point it is not about the number of cars that roll off Inosson Motors Manufacturing Company’s production line but the multiplier effects that come from such enterprise. We foresee more companies keying into the expansion that the Army’s orders portend for Innoson.

“The Army’s order is also building the economy as a lot of money has been saved since the vehicles delivered to it were not ordered from abroad. The resources committed to their purchase have been left circulating within our economy. For us, it is a thing of joy that the Nigerian Army has practically sent a strong message about the quality of Made in Nigeria Products. This will rub off on the products from the south-east.”

He therefore reminded south eaterners that contrary to the propaganda of those who had held them hostage under different guises, the Nigerian Army truly stepped in to liberate towns and cities from miscreants that were implementing destructive agenda under the guise of liberating the Igbo nation from an imaginary occupation.

He urged them to join hands with the Nigerian Army, the Chief of Army Staff and all military personnel to ensure that security of lives and properties, which has remained a priority of the Buhari administration is acchived.

He said the call becomes necessary so as to prevent  a situation where fifth columnists hide behind ethnic agitations to disrupt industrial activities as they earlier attempted to do.

Innoson To Manufacture Military Vehicles For Nigerian Army

In line with the resolve of the leadership of the Nigerian Army to domesticate manufacturing of its wares, Nigeria indigenous motor manufacturing company, Innoson Motors has entered into partnership with the Army for modification of some of its equipment, local production of armoured fighting vehicles and other military hardwares.

The partnership follows the satisfactory performance of three Innoson vehicles deployed in the troubled North Eastern region found to be durable.

According to a statement signed by the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig Gen SK Usman and made available to The Nigerian online news portal on Tuesday, the partnership was entered during a meeting between the management of the company let by the Chairman, Dr. Innocent Chukwuma and the leadership of the Nigerian Army led by the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General TY Buratai at the Army Headquarters, Abuja.

Speaking on the essence of the partnership, the Chief of Army Staff said was to formalize the business relationship between the Nigerian Army and Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company.

“The Nigerian Army being patriotic and in a bid to encourage local entrepreneurs asked Innoson Motors to supply 3 vehicles early last year which were found to be durable and performing very well as they were employed in combat and proved to be useful, comfortable and convenient in military operations.

“Based on that the Nigerian Army acquired over 70 more variants of the Innoson vehicles which were deployed in the North East for Operation LAFIYA DOLE”, Gen Buratai stated.

He further explained that the Nigerian Army desires to deepens its cooperation by partnering with Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company Limited to conceptualize, design, modify and produce military hardwares.

According to the Army Chief, the specific areas of partnership between the Nigerian Army and the company include immediate supply of 100 vehicles, supply of appropriate gears, engines and chassis required for immediate modifications and repairs of armoured fighting vehicles in the North East Theatre of Operations.

Other areas according to the statement include identifying requirements for production of armoured fighting vehicle in Nigerian Army Central Workshop in Kaduna and enhancing capacity of Nigerian Army personnel to actively participate on the successful implementation of the joint ventures.

Responding, Doctor Innocent Chukwuma expressed happiness that the Nigerian Army has found his vehicles working perfectly and commended the Chief of Army Staff for his great sense of patriotism.

He promised to assist the Nigerian Army in its quest for better vehicles for its troops and resuscitation of its Special Vehicle Plant and Workshops.

Dr.Chukwuma further thanked the Chief of Army Staff for the commendation, maintaining that his company would continue to improve and expand its capacity in vehicle manufacturing and commended the Nigerian Army for the critical role it is playing in national development through the fight against insurgency in the North East and Nigeria in general.

Highlight of the occasion was inspection and handing over of 3 of the newly manufactured vehicles by the company for trial by the Nigerian Army. These newly manufactured vehicles are; IVM G80 Bigger Jeep, IVM G40 Smaller Jeep and IVM Granite Pickup.

Open Letter to Shekau: Now That It Is Finished By Mustapha Ali

Dear Abubakar Shekau,

NOW THAT IT IS FINISHED

I want to use this special season of the 2018 New Year to write this open letter to you and the few adherents, you are still brainwashing, shielding and hypnotizing to feebly sustain the visit on humanity with erratic insurgency atrocities in some obscure communities in Nigeria’s Northeast.

The image your supporters proclaim on cyber space is far from reality and hence the need to write you this medium. I have spent the best part of my adult life in Borno state and the Northeast generally.

I am aware of the evolution of Boko Haram terrorism, a resentful, aberrant and inhuman religious sect, you have led for years.

I am also aware of Boko Haram insurgency’s various stages of metamorphosis; from a small sect to when it enlarged and became untamable or very wild and the ghost of its formal self now. I equally know of the period when you blossomed in atrocities; recklessly bombing public places, security formations, schools and marketplaces etc. There was a time your gang victoriously held Nigerians captive, by invading communities and villages, killing and abducting innocent citizens unhindered.

I know of when you captured swathes of territories or communities in Nigeria; deposed traditional rulers, appointed your own Emirs and foisted your flags in conspicuous places.

Dear Shekau, that was time then, when you publicly boasted of invincible might and strength. The reality now is quite different, since President Muhammadu Buhari became the leader of our great country, Nigeria.

His appointment of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai as leader of the Counter-insurgency war has been your greatest setback and nemesis.

A courageous, disciplined, patriotic and outstanding soldier, Gen. Buratai instantly changed the face of the anti-terrorism war.

He took the war to you in the forests, mountains, caves and to your Camp Zero in Sambisa Forest in he Northeast.

You were lucky enough to escape, but abandoned your copy of the Holy Koran and the Boko Haram insignia , which you cherish so much, symbolizing your defeat and surrender.

May I remind you that scores of your fighters were not as lucky as you, as they were consumed in the inferno of this encounter with Nigerian troops.; many surrendered thereafter and have kept surrendering to the Nigerian Army.

Shekau, even a blind man knows you are now a spent force and the sect, a shadow of itself .

You have been depleted; you have suffered in irrecoverable damages. That’s why you have been on the run.

Its even difficult for you to appear in recorded videos and brag like before. You neither have physical nor mental stability, to co-ordinate and execute the heinous atrocities on Nigerians and humanity anymore.

This reality is clear enough to discern. As Boko Haram’s factional leader, Abubakar Shekau, you are now unarguably the most flustered and distressed leader of a rebel sect anywhere in the world today.

You have lost the capacity to execute your habituated brutality, satanic and vicious brand of terrorism, recklessly bombing, killing and abducting Nigerians as was the experience in the past.

Shekau, you once declared in one of your numerous videos that the Boko Haram battle is finished. It means invariably that you bowed to the supremacy of the Nigerian state and its security forces.

In August 2017, your rival leader, Abu Musad Al-Barnawi, had predicted that the Nigerian military will defeat you and your Mujahiddeen (Commanders) who believe in the violent application of Islamic doctrines adopted by your sect.

This prediction has come to pass. It is senseless for you to continue to allow your followers to meet untimely deaths in the hands of the Nigerian military.

You have against all sound reasoning continued to feign might and preaching to the remaining few commanders not to surrender.

Death has been their reward in the hands of the military and this cruelty to your foot soldiers is very ungodly. I elect upon myself to counsel you that no wise fighter continues with a losing battle.

You are losing Commanders and foot soldiers almost daily in the hands of the Nigerian security forces.

It is extremely ridiculous and the earlier, you retrace your steps, the better for you and the few surviving Commanders.

Please save yourself from this discomfort and impending disgrace as the manhunt for you is very strong and widespread. Why deprive yourself and followers who desperately want to renounce your violent ideologies and turn to God?

It is never too late, as with genuine repentance, God will forgive your sins and make you appreciate the value of humanity.

God has this power and He can even turn them into His messengers in spreading the light of truth and love for humanity. Let me assure you that you don’t have to be scared to take this move or decision.

I trust that the Federal Government and some international organizations will arrange for exit programs for you and your gang of reprobates.

This is the most viable option at your disposal now and the earlier you take full advantage of it, the better.

Don’t be misled by any false illusion that the Federal Government and the world are interested in negotiating with your team any longer.

This possibility does not exist anymore, as the Nigerian military has taken over the game and are fully in charge.

I wish to reassure you and your few supporters that if you desire to surrender and disappear into exile anytime soon, some humanitarian organizations are willing to assist you with conditions that may be different from your mindset.

Be aware that accepting defeat on its strength alone is another sign of your own victory, as I believe it is completely needless to sustain the losing of more foot soldiers in the hands of the Nigerian military.

This is my New Year message to you and your supporters.

And I pray you to harken to the voice of reason, as regret is the last wailing of an obstinate fly.

Yours ever,

Mustapha Ali

Ademola Slated for Sack Before Resigning, Says NJC

Justice Adeniyi Ademola pulled a fast one on the National Judicial Council, by hurriedly announcing his resignation, a spokesman for the council revealed today.

According to Soji Oye, NJC’s Director of Information, the council recommended on Wednesday the compulsory retirement of Ademola, along with Justice O. O. Tokode, both of the Federal High Court, for misconduct.

The decision was taken at the Council’s 84th meeting on Dec. 6., chaired by the Chief Justice Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghe.

Ademola apparently getting wind of NJC’s decision, hurriedly notified the council of his decision to voluntarily retire from the bench.

Ademola was due for retirement on April 9, 2018, when he would attain the mandatory retirement age of 65 years.

The council said its decision was pursuant to its findings on the allegation in the petition written against Ademola by Committee of Anambra State PDP House of Representatives Members-Elect.

The council said the petitioners alleged gross misconduct in the handling of a matter they filed before Ademola.

The council urged the public to disregard news circulating that Ademola had voluntarily retired.

“The purported voluntary retirement is clearly an afterthought as council had taken action before his decision to forward any voluntary retirement letter.”

The council further said that Justice Tokode was also recommended to the President for compulsory retirement with immediate effect.

It said this followed its findings on the allegation contained in petitions forwarded by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and Miss Abimbola Awogboro.

“The petitioners accused the judge of misleading the Federal Judicial Service Commission and the National Judicial Council.

” This was by submitting six judgements he claimed to have personally conducted while practising as a lawyer; a pre-requisite for his application for appointment as a judicial officer, and was so appointed.

“The investigation committee of council, however, found that the judge personally conducted only one of the six cases submitted.

” Therefore, Council decided to recommend his compulsory retirement and the refund of all salaries and allowances he earned since his purported appointment to the position of a Judge to the coffers of the Judiciary.”

The council said in the interim, both judges were suspended from office with immediate effect.

The council similarly issued warning letters to Justices A. N. Ubaka of the National Industrial Court, Justice A. M. Lawal of Lagos High Court and Zainab Sadat of the High Court of Niger and placed them both on a watch list.

However, the council dismissed the petition written by Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, former interim chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, accusing Justice A. Liman of the Federal High Court of corruption.

Source: The Street Reporters

 

Kidnappers Demand N100m to Free Ex-Minister Damishi Sango, Others

A head of the major opposition party’s national convention in Nigeria’s federal capital, a former Minister of Sports and the Plateau State chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Damishi Sango, has been abducted by unknown gunmen.

Also kidnapped with him are his son, driver, a prominent chieftain of the PDP in Plateau State and another victim that is yet to be identified.

Sango was abducted by gunmen along Jere village in Kaduna State, on Wednesday, at about 7:00p.m., while travelling to Abuja to seek accommodation and make preparation for Plateau State delegates attending the opposition party’s national convention scheduled for Saturday, December 9.

Confirming the incident, the Publicity Secretary of PDP in Plateau State, John Akans, said, “Yes, our chairman, Chief Damishi Sango, and five other persons, including his son, driver and a chieftain of PDP in Plateau State were kidnapped by unknown gunmen on Wednesday evening.

“It was the Police who called his family and intimated them of the incident because his son’s phone was seen inside the vehicle.”

Making their demand for ransom, the kidnappers contacted the family asking for N100 million ransom.

The suspected gunmen who kidnapped the former Minister and his son and four others demand the ransom for their release.

A family source disclosed this in Jos, in a telephone conversation, and said the abductors were in contact with the family.

The source said, Damishi Sango, his son, Chief Emmanuel Mangni, the driver, an orderly and one other occupant of the abandoned Jeep were all alive as at press time.

The family source which pleaded anonymity revealed that Hon. Sango, spoke with the family at about 12noon and said that the kidnappers demanded N100 million for their release.

State Publicity Secretary, Mr. John Akans, who briefed Journalists at the party secretariat, said the abductors spoke with the family and demanded for N100 million ransom.

He said the party which is in opposition does not have such amount to doll out and call on party faithfuls to pray fervently for God’s intervention.

Akans said the kidnapped of the party chairman has demoralised the party delegates from Plateau who are expected to take off today (Friday) ahead of the convention in Abuja.

He said the state will participate in the convention but in low spirit if the Chairman and five others are not released before Saturday.

He called on the Inspector General of Police and other security agencies to take drastic measure and ensure that Hon. Sango, his son and four others are recovered alive.

It was gathered that Plateau State delegates had made up their mind during the last meeting of the State Working Committee of the Party the preceded the abduction of the chairman to give overwhelming vote to Uche Secondus, who they believe can lead the party to victory in 2019.

Source: The Street Reporters

Maina: Family Members Warn Political Gladiators to Tread Cautiously

The Maina Royal family of Borno State have warned political gladiators to keep off their son, Alhaji AbdulRasheed Maina who was recently reinstated by the Federal Government back to the Civil Service in order to carryout his duties without distractions.

It may be recalled that AbdulRasheed Maina was suspended by the Jonathan administration after his special task force on recovery of pension fund uncovered monumental fraud perpetuated by a certain cabal in the sector backed by people at the top.

The family in a reaction to Maina’s reinstatement by the Federal Government, specially thanked the Almighty God that their son, Maina has lived to eventually be reinstated after several officially documented assassination attempts on his life, and series of investigations by the Federal Government that eventually cleared him of any complicity at the course of his duties.

In a statement signed by Hauwa Maina, an Actress of International repute, and Aliyu Maina, an Investment Banker, Political Strategist and writer, who are members of the family they said, “We owe our gratitude to God the Almighty.

“We want to send our special appreciation to our amiable President and Father, Gen Muhammadu Buhari for following due process in the reinstatement of our son.

“AbdulRasheed Maina is well known to all Nigerians for being patriotic, and fearless in the recovery of funds stolen by thieves in the pension industry, working always hard to ensure that he gives maximum service to the country in all his dealings as a civil servant.

“It is unfortunate that former President Goodluck Jonathan who found Maina worthy of the assignment after perusing his antecedents and credentials, to lead the Presidential TaskForce on Pension Fund, couldn’t protect him after the Pension fraud cabal went for Maina’s jugular, just to punish him for exposing their dubuous and reckless stealing and for saving the country of large sums of money that were hitherto stolen by a few.

“We are however grateful to God that despite all the trials and tribulations that our son went through in this dark period, God still kept him strong and healthy to the point that he is able to resume work.

“The President who in his fair and transparent nature, saw the need to ensure that justice is a actually seen to be done at the end of the day”, the family stated.

Whilst thanking Nigerians and all those who stood by Maina and his family throughout the period, the family equally urged civil Servants, alike, to remain committed to the service of humanity and continue to support President Muhammadu Buhari for being a just leader, who would ensure that every single Nigerian who has found him/herself in a similar situation gets justice and fair hearing irrespective of their religion, tribe or political affiliations.

According to the statement, “it has become imperative to also warn politicians and their cronies who may want to use the opportunity to distract Maina to desist from doing so as the family would seek redress where applicable.

“We have taken his odeal as an act of God and any attempt to drag his name in the mud for personal reasons, or to settle political scores with people will totally be rejected and confronted.

“This is not the right time for political engagement, we urge all the good citizens of Borno State pressurizing him to contest the Governorship of the state to exercise some patience and allow him to heal from the wounds inflicted on him by the last administration, it is on record that the government abandoned him when the political interests of their friends eventually clashed with the duties which he was commissioned to deliver.

“We are Muslims and believe that the Almighty God in his wisdom has taken Maina through this phase of life as part of the journey to greater assignments and service to the nation.

“To that end, We as a Family have forgiven his traducers and urge everyone to join hands with him as he resumes work to contiinue with high level Fund RECOVERY and blocking leakages in the system, this he knows best.

“He should at least be allowed to further contribute his quota to the Buhari Administrations corruption fight as he demonstrated during the Last Administration.

“We are therefore unequivocal in our demand that Maina should be left alone, excused from every political imagination of any member of the public so as to be able to concentrate more on his duties as his inputs to the system have greatly been missed,” the statement also added.

 

Human Rights Abuses: Global Amnesty Watch Calls for Speedy Implementation of SBOI Reports

The Global Amnesty Watch, an international humanitarian organization has endorsed the report of the Special Board of Inquiry (SBOI), which investigated the alleged war crimes man by the Nigerian Army personnel in the fight against insurgency in the North East and Internal Security Operations in the South Eastern part of the country.

Recall that the Nigerian Army had said on Thursday that it was studying the report of a special panel that investigated allegations of human rights abuses against the army.

The panel headed by a retired major general, A.T. Jibrin, submitted its report to the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai last week at the army headquarters in Abuja.

Mrs Helen Adesola, Nigerian Representative of GAW, said it was clearly established that all the allegations of rights abuses, extra-judicial killings, forced disappearances were mere concoctions from the imaginations of those of those that have been issuing inaccurate reports.

According to her, “Other instances of documented abuses were transposed from a previous era to give the impression that the cases in question were recently committed.

She added, “The report, which should be given the widest publicity possible, should now put to rest the controversies that had raged around the efforts by Nigerian military authorities to secure the country and keep citizens safe from terrorists and other life threatening criminals.

“The revelations that certain unauthorized organizations were able to obtain classified military documents and signals through leaks is one that should keep the world worried as it implies staffers of such organizations could have been engaged in passing vital Army strategies and troop movement to terrorists, making it difficult to protect civilians.

“We have noted calls for independent investigation and further probes suggested by certain organizations.

“The Global Amnesty Watch however wishes to caution the Nigerian Army and the Federal Government of Nigeria to resist the temptation of being drawn into a popularity contest of pleasing smaller groups to the detriment of the larger population,” her statement added.

The GAW urged the military authority not compromise the interest of the people in the areas affected by terrorism, insurgency and other crimes because they want to be compliant with the request of a narrow spectrum of activists.

She added, “The response for an independent investigation or commission of inquiry must be realistically balanced with the safety and security of citizens since such exercise can compromise national security.

“Nigeria must never lose sight of the fact that the Army is its institution as a sovereign nation and no amount of blackmail should force it to surrender state institutions to fifth columnists especially in this era that terrorists have infiltrated the ranks and file of various military which the Nigerian Army has successfully insulated itself against.”

 

Terrorists Behind US Suit Against Nigerian Military, Says MPN as Group Demands Investigation of Plaintiffs

A civil liberty organisation, Movement of the People of Nigeria, on Wednesday alleged that the persons behind the lawsuit against personnel of Nigerian military authorities in the United States, were not Nigerians “but terrorists and extremists.”

The group, which demanded an investigation of their real identities, however promised to raise its own team of lawyers to confront anyone desperate to rubbish the image of the country or attempts to further diminish its citizenry before the international community.

The Chairman, Board of Trustees of MPN, Dr. Innocent Oche Pita, told journalists in Abuja that the suit was aimed at causing a diplomatic row between Nigeria and US.

The suit was said to have been instituted by some persons against Nigeria’s military leadership before a US District Court for the District of Columbia.

But the MPN described it as an abuse of the Torture Victims Protection Act and Alien Tort Claims Act Complaint of the United States.

“The world is aware that Nigeria has suffered in the hands of terrorists and extremists and the Biafra agitators are another brand of terrorists that must not be admitted into the United States, Nigeria or any other peace loving nation.

“It will be wise for the Donald Trump’s administration and the security agencies to discretely investigate the plaintiffs as regards their activities in the United State before they become the kind of nuisance that is presently threatening the United Kingdom and other European countries”, MPN alleged.

The MPN said much as it was glaring that the US courts lack jurisdiction to try such issues, there is no record or evidence that the Nigerian Military abused the rights of any citizen within or outside the territory of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The group said those who fear such “are common criminals who had held the country by the jugular in the recent past through acts like banditry, kidnaping and gun-for-hire.”

According to Pita, the suit is nothing short of a calculated attempt to rubbish the US judiciary for its liberal stand on human rights and protection of lives.

He said it was to allegedly abuse the law under which the suit was filed so that it no longer serves the purpose for which it was crafted, “and to use it to cause strain in Nigeria – US relations.”

MPN said, “Secrecy in a case that claims to be as grounded as the plaintiffs claimed is dubious as it implies that criminals can hide under such unanimity to further questionable agenda. The plaintiffs would only fear exposing their identities either because they are not real in the first place or that they are persons with criminal records in the US.

“Our position is that these people behind the suit are not Nigerians and should stop dragging the name of our country’s military to the mud.

“This is why we are worried that even non-Nigerians can be coached to give evidence since it is apparent that the people that filed the suit are not honest enough to show themselves.

“We will raise our own team of lawyers to confront anyone or any group that is out to rubbish the image of our great country or attempts to further diminish its citizenry in the eyes of citizens of the world”, the group said.

CNPP Backs Labour’s Calls on FG to Review Capital Oil and Gas Chairman’s Detention

The Conference of Nigeria Political parties (CNPP) has thrown its weight behind the call by the United Labour Congress (ULC) for the release the Chairman of Capital Oil and Gas, Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah, in order to pave the way for negotiation with company’s management.

The umbrella body of all registered political parties and associations in the country in a statement signed by its Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu appealed to the federal government to consider the fate of the numerous workers employed by the privately owned company and release the detained oil magnet or charge him to court for prosecution.

“Like the ULC observed, federal government’s promise to provide jobs and its desire to tackle unemployment in Nigeria will be a mirage if actions or inactions of government lead to job loses or contribute to the widening of the unemployment gap.

“As at today, more jobs have been lost in the private sector than the federal government has created due to harsh economic environment in the country as a result of the current recession.

“Our fears is that the continued detention of the Capital oil and Gas chairman without trial will not only lead to the sack of over 5,000 workers directly and indirectly engaged by the company but will also send frightening signals to foreign direct investors that Nigeria is a country where the rule of law is scarce.

“No serious foreign investor would invest in a country with history of detention without trial”, the CNPP observed.

While calling on Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to intervene in the matter to halt impending massive job loss in the company and other sister companies owned by Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah, the political parties and associations said that the federal government must ensure that justice is seen to have been done in all cases involving its citizens at home and abroad.

“We are aware that the federal government is exploring diplomatic channels to intervene in cases involving Nigerians in some foreign lands. But it would amount to a joke taken too far if the same government detains its citizens involved in a mere commercial transaction dispute indefinitely without opportunity to defend themselves in a court of competent jurisdiction.

“Acting President Yemi Osinbajo must save the President Muhammadu Buhari administration from further damage to its reputation in the international community by releasing or charging Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah to Court.

“It will be very shameful for the federal government to be seen as directly or indirectly contributing to further job losses in the country”, the CNPP noted.

SOURCE: TheStreetReporters

Police Personnel to Own Houses on Retirement- DIG Inyang

Officers and Men of the Nigeria Police Force are to own personal residential houses on or before retirement under a new Housing Scheme introduced by the force.

The Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Training and Development, DIG Emmanuel T. Inyang, stated this in Sokoto during at Human Rights Sensitization and Training of Trainers Workshops for Police Officers of Sokoto State Command.

He said that the scheme which has taken off is being implemented through the Nigeria Police Force Cooperative Society in collaboration with the Federal Mortgage Bank and in partnership with private developers on an “owner – occupier” basis.

DIG Inyang reiterated the commitment of the leadership of the Nigeria Police Force under the current Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris, in improving the welfare of all personnel through motivation of training and    re-training, promotion and the provision of working materials and equipments.

He recalled the recent unprecedented mass promotion in the force that cut across all cadres and hinted that the exercise will continue as part of a welfare package being implemented gradually to boost their morale.

DIG Inyang said the human rights training workshop is aimed at providing a platform to reach out to men and officers of the force on the need for the promotion and protection of human rights in the discharge of their duties.

He maintained that the training provides the participants with the skills, knowledge and attitudes to effectively discharge their duties in accordance with the rule of law in compliance with human rights best practices.

DIG Inyang said the program was impacting positively on the force as cases of victimization, brutalization, torture and other forms of human rights violations and abuses by officers and men of the force are being reduced to the barest minimum and appealed to members of the public to cooperate and assist the police in its assigned task of protection of life and property, detection and prevention of crime as well as the maintenance of law and order.

In a remark, Mrs Ogechi Ogu who spoke on behalf of Mr Yinka Lawal, the Executive Director of Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action, PRAWA, the coordinators of the Nigeria Police Human Rights Training Program, said that mainstreaming human rights principles into the operations and duties of the force would reduce the incidences of human rights violations by officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force.

All Divisional Police Officers (DPOs), Divisional Crime Officers (DCOs) and Human Rights Desk Officers of the 26 Divisions and Formations of the Sokoto State Police Command, some Human Rights Activists, Lawyers, Social Welfare Officers, Oversight Resource Teams, Representatives of the Legal Aid Council, the National Human Rights Commission and Prison Officers are attending the weeklong series of trainings at the workshop.

Media Focal Person of the Human Rights Training Programme, Abdulkadir Ahmed Ibrahim, said the trainings and the workshops are conducted with the support of the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) of the Swiss Government, the European Union and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The five year planned program has so far covered Cross River, Lagos, FCT, Anambra and Benue states, the Nigeria Police Academy Wudil in Kano State, the Police Training Colleges in Ikeja Lagos State and Kaduna in Kaduna state while some selected Instructors from all the Police Training Schools and Colleges in the country and the Academy were equally trained.

Revisiting Many Inconsistencies in Termination of Maina’s Pension Corruption Fight by Okechukwu Duru

For a long time, the former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT) Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina has been embattled and news about him had remained very sensational in the media except for a recent surprising disclosure which though interestingly shocking has been kept away from public knowledge by the media.

Without a doubt such information which undoubtedly is high quality news would have been readers’ delight especially for deconstructing a highly complex National issue but the seeming deliberate attempt to keep it under the carpet will form the focus of this discourse whilst raising queries on the sincerity the Nigerian media in news reporting.

From Maina’s feat of recovering 1.3 trillion naira stolen by pension thieves, the twisty allegations on misappropriation of 2 billion naira against him by the Senate Committee to major fallout and counter accusations of three billion naira bribery demand from him by the Senate Committee Chairman, Aloysius Etuk, and his deputy, Kabir Gaya, the narrative on Maina has no doubt been very long and complicated.

In fact, the chronicle on Maina by any credible analyst will be incomplete without recognizing how the media through very persuasive write ups incited the then Senate President, David Mark to ask the Jonathan’s Presidency for abrupt dismissal and arrest of the then Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, PRTT.

What was the major issue of contention that would warrant such deft punishment before trial, especially on a man that has accomplished unparalleled success in decimating the pension fraud cabal in Nigeria one may ask?

Simply put, it was nothing far from what was largely termed Maina’s disrespectful conduct to Senate Committee.

Even if bad as it was painted, would that have warranted the termination of a major anti-corruption vehicle that was delivering tons of stolen billions into the coffers of the Nigerian treasury?

Yes, Maina’s main crime was his poor attitude, immature approach and impunity exhibited to the Senate Committee but the twist in the story is that a little after Maina and the Senate Committee exchanged accusations, the media went bizarre with stories against Maina’s impunity with no mention of his good work as Chairman of Pension Reform Task Team.

This half-baked journalism was highly noticeable and even the much respected conservative media over looked the need to provide a balanced reporting.

On all these and more, the simple logic adduced by Maina’s sympathisers to the aggressive media trial was that it was fueled by views from mostly those that opposed to his stay as Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, PRTT and many persons still in possession of stolen pension funds.

Even though this remains an allegation with no proof, the failed attempted murder of Maina was well documented by the police and highly suggestive that some persons wanted Maina dead.

Probably, this dastardly act might have contributed to his eventual departure from public glare to avoid extermination from the face of the earth with a preferred option of fighting his legal battles from his assumed haven.

Luckily for Maina, the court not only quashed the arrest warrant on him, but also granted an order of perpetual injunction restraining the IGP from arresting him.

Besides, the conjectures on Maina’s forced exit, I think what is important is for Nigerians to first examine the role played by a section of the media in the said character assassination of Maina before trial and then the new Government of President Buhari to examine the real role Maina played in dismantling the criminal gang of pension thieves in Nigeria, then attempt a proper analysis on what seems best for National interest.

First on the media character assassination of Maina, with the recent disclosure by the then Senate Committee Deputy Chairman, Kabir Gaya that the 195 billion naira accusation against Maina was baseless as the money was deposited in banks under the TSA scheme, what it simply affirms is that many of the issues raised against Maina were downright absurd and largely conspiratorial in their undertones for his removal.

What has been made public by Senator Kabir Gaya, though an afterthought certainly quashes the Senate Committee’s earlier allegation of misappropriation of about N195 billion naira against Maina, the chairman and members of the Pension Task Team. These are definitely thought provoking.

With no attempt of getting sanctimonious on Maina, the objective reality for Nigerians herein is that it was absolutely outrageous that the referenced Senate Committee never had quality reason and evidence to engage in what they did by prompting the police to declare Maina wanted.

Unfortunately, now that these lies have been dispelled by those that initiated them, the truth is that their effects will linger because of a biased press that engages in selective reporting, otherwise why has the media maintained a deafening silence on this issue of national interest, could it be that those that never wanted Maina around are still busy suppressing important stories that will resurrect Maina’s Pension Task Team.

Today, without no basis in fact, the press has made Maina’s name contradictorily synonymous with both an achiever in pension reform and a looter even though the evidence against him were never substantiated.

This is not only shocking especially now that the accusations on Maina have been overturned but what it clearly exposes is the existence of a skewed desire of a section of the media to condemn a man guilty before investigation.

Of course, some may disagree with this position, however, it is really unfortunate that in this era of investigative journalism the media has found it unnecessary to review an earlier misinformation they offered their readers, otherwise what stopping any credible press that carried the initial falsehood from rapidly reversing the erroneous report.

The story of deception visited upon Maina is not only strange, destructive to his personal integrity but very damaging to our collective interest on anticorruption fight.

The most worrisome part of it all is that the allegations that a section of the Nigerian press were motivated to embrace falsehoods by routinely categorizing Maina as thief without basis in order to halt the good work of the Pension Reform Task Team, PRTT might even be true especially given that Maina’s primary accusers have made public apologies and reversed themselves.

Sadly, like a well-rehearsed plot, this was rarely reported in the media and even where reported, it received minimal media coverage.

From all fair and objective intents, it may not be wrong to conclude that characterization of Maina as a criminal by the media is divorced from truth and actuality because the initial failure of the media to conduct proper investigation on such an issue as raised by the Senate Committee raises the very important question of the real role of journalists in the fight against corruption.

This is why it may be necessary for the sake of common good to open up conversation to probe why Maina’s accusers conjured phony statistics and stories, yet allowed to successfully terminate a tested and proven strategy that would allowed Nigeria recover more trillions naira in the private coffers of some pension thieves.

In fact, the reward for the termination of Maina’s Pension Task Team only favours those who are threatened by Maina’s claims that over six trillion naira can still be recovered from the 97 uninvestigated institutions.

Certainly, this is huge loss for the Nigerian nation especially under the Buhari led administration that needs to enhance its revenue especially in a recessed economy.

Another objective reality for Nigerians is that the Maina matter will for a long time be a major reference on challenges that confront corruption fight in the developing world and it is a clear instance of how corruption fight is killed and corruption fighters battled.

The fact is that what is happening to Maina is somewhat terrifying and it really does suggest that the fight against corruption and the belief that corruption fights back those that battle it are not just matters of illusion but reality.

The ready question herein is would President Buhari allow the battle against Maina be another triumph of evil over good?

This where we need a sane public conversation on Maina that will counter the earlier media treatment of Maina which is far from been sober and reasonable.

Otherwise, on the termination of Maina’s fight against corruption, the nation will be the big loser.

Now that a contrary conclusion has emerged on Maina, what next? Will his suspension be reversed? Will the previous Senate Committee’s report that has been revealed to be plagued by so many irregularities and inconsistencies be reversed or an apology offered to Maina?

Will a National Award be appropriate? Will Maina ever find courage to work again for his country under similar circumstances and inherent risks?

However, the truth is that Maina would earn much if he decides to sell his story to the International news media and publishers on how the corruption he fought, found a way to fight him back.

*Dr. Okechukwu Duru is a Public Affairs Analyst and Sub Sahara Co-ordinator, Advocates for Improved Africa. He wrote from Area 10, Garki, Abuja.

Adoke Insists Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Jonathan Endorsed Malabu Agreement

The former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) has insisted that the controversial Malabu oil Block Agreement was endorsed by the previous administrations of Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan.

In an official letter written to his successor and the current Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami (SAN), Adoke, said “I believe it is your responsibility to explain to the public who are being sold a fiction that the transaction started from President Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR under whose administration the Terms of Settlement were brokered with Chief Bayo Ojo, SAN, as the then Attorney General who executed the Terms of Settlement before the tenure of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR who approved the final implementation of the Terms of Settlement and my humble self who executed the resolution agreements. This is more so as the Settlement and its implementation were situated in the Federal Ministry of Justice.

“Honourable Attorney General of the Federation, your response is crucial because it has become glaring that the actions of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in respect of the transaction are not in the national interest; but rather in furtherance of a plot to serve the interests of some powerful families and individuals who are aggrieved by my refusal to accede to their requests to compel Malabu to pay them certain sums from the proceeds of its divestment in OPL 245, and the subsequent re-allocation of the Block to Shell/ENI. You will recall that I had on several occasions asserted this fact. I am therefore surprised that a national institution is being used to further the interest of individuals whose claim or shareholding in Malabu remains shady and prefer to engage proxies to fight their battles.”

On the recent filed charges by anti-corruption agency against him and others, Adoke stated that “recent actions of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to impugn the settlement which was done in the national interest particularly their penchant to suppress facts relating to the transaction and the filing of criminal charges against me for conspiracy/ aiding the commission of Money Laundering offence and the latest allegations of bribe taking reveal very clearly that either your Office and that of the EFCC are not working in harmony or that something sinister is going on.

“Having given you the benefit of the doubt that you would not sponsor deliberate falsehood against me, my suspicion is that there is an orchestrated plot by the EFCC to: deliberately impugn a transaction that has been scrutinized and approved by at least three past Presidents and three Attorneys General; drag my name in the mud and paint me with the tar of corruption in order to attract public odium.”

Adoke also advised the Justice Minister that “As the Chief Law Officer of the Federation, you have a public duty to speak on this matter so that Nigerians would know whether I acted mala fide or abused my office in the entire transaction leading to the final implementation of the Settlement. Nigerians need to know whether your predecessors in office from 2006 to May 2015 acted in the national interest when they brokered and implemented the Settlement.

“It will also be instructive for Nigerians to know whether your predecessors were carrying out their personal agenda or that their respective actions were carried out with the knowledge and approval of their respective Principals.

Adoke said “if you find that I had breached my Oath of Office or abused my office, please do not hesitate to bring me to justice. However, if it is the contrary, as I strongly believe, that certain individuals who had vowed to even scores with me are now being aided by state institutions such as the EFCC; I deserve protection from these unwarranted attacks and dehumanising treatment that I am being subjected to merely because I chose to serve my fatherland.”

It could be recalled that the EFCC has filed charges against the ex-minister and some former officials over the Malabu oil deal.

Source: TheStreetReporters

US Court Ruling: I Have No Case To Answer, Says Kashamu

PREAMBLE:
My attention has been drawn to some mischievous media reports being the latest in a series of efforts orchestrated by my political opponents to call a dog a bad name so as to hang it.

Thus, I find the need to set the records straight and put to a stop to their devious attempts to make a mountain out of a molehill.

The undisputable fact is that a judgment of an American court cannot supersede the judgments of the British and Nigerian courts. It should be noted that it is the British that colonized Nigeria and we adopted their legal system.

Therefore, if the British courts gave two judgments which have not been appealed till date (14years after) and the same have been affirmed by several Nigerian courts, how then can anyone say that the recent US court ruling, which arose from a suit I filed against my abduction, is superior or has overriding effect over the previous and subsisting judgments of the British and Nigerian courts?

THE BACKGROUND

On a business trip to the United Kingdom in 1998 in pursuit of my cotton trading business in Liverpool, I was arrested at City Airport in London and detained pursuant to an arrest warrant issued on the basis of an indictment in the United States (U.S.) in which the name “Alaji” had been introduced as a party to an alleged offence of importation of narcotics into the United States by the U.S authorities.

I have never visited or resided in the U.S and certainly have never been involved in any business not to talk of a criminal activity whatsoever in the US.

Although, I declared from the moment of arrest that I was not the person involved in the alleged narcotics business and that it was a case of mistaken identity, the British courts made an order for my committal pending my extradition to the U.S.

Fortunately, my lawyers came across some exculpatory evidence, which the US government had concealed from the courts in the extradition proceedings. The evidence was the outcome of a photo identification parade for the purpose of Identifying the said “Alaji”, that was held in the US Attorney’s office.

They had taken a mug shot of me and placed it with seven other photographs of black males who had facial hair that was similar to mine and were about my age too. After viewing the photo lineup, Fillmore, one of the accused, said that the 3rd photograph in the lineup looked like a bad photograph of the man they were looking for.

He also declared that the 2nd, 4th, 6th, 7th and 8th photographs did not at all look like the said ÄLaji”; my mug shot was the 7th in the lineup; that was one of the photographs that Fillmore said did not at all look like the wanted kingpin.

So, my lawyers immediately commenced a Habeas Corpus( a recourse in law whereby a person can report an unlawful detention or imprisonment before a court) application in the High Court of Justice, Queens Bench division, for my release and the vacation of the committal order made by the Court.

The English High Court in its judgment delivered on the 6th or October 2000, agreed that the order for my committal was null and void having been the product of unfair proceedings in which the U.S. Government had suppressed exculpatory evidence.

In summarizing the facts, Lord Justice Pill found as follows:
“What has now emerged, with a letter from the United States’ Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, is a report of an investigation into the case against the applicant conducted on 9 February 1999.

The report stated insofar as material, that on 8 February 1999, Fillmore viewed a photo lineup for the purpose of identifying Kashamu.

The meeting was held in the US Attorney’s office. An officer of the Attorney had received a copy of an arrest photograph of Kashamu from another officer.

The report continues that the officer ‘…took the copy of the arrest photograph and placed in a DEA form 470, photo identification folder, with seven photographs of black males.
These black males had similar facial hair and were the approximate age of Kashamu.

This photo lineup was shown to Fillmore. Fillmore provided the following statements: ‘it is not jumping out at me, I know what the man looks like.’ Fillmore further stated that photograph #03 looked like a bad photograph of him.

Photos #02, #04, #06, #07 and #08 did not look like him at all. Fillmore stated that #05 looked a lot like him but did not look like him. Fillmore ruled out photograph #01.
Fillmore stated that #05 looked the closest like Alaji.’

That is the name by which Fillmore knew his co-conspirator. ‘The arrest photograph of Kashamu was placed in position #07 of the photo lineup.

15 Years Remembrance: Why CSCEOS Wants Police to Re-open Bola Ige, Olagbaju Murder Cases

Following the recent reported directive of President Muhammadu Buhari and the calls by the well meaning Nigerians that the brutal killing of former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige, SAN, be revisited, a Civil Society Organization(CSO), the Civil Societies Coalition for the Emancipation of Osun State(CSCEOS) has also called for the re-opening of the gruesome murder of late Honourable Misty Odunayo Olagbaju by the current authority of the Nigeria Police Force(NPF).

The group also disclosed that the opening of the two brutal murders would go in right direction by bringing the uncommon credibility to the force under the present Inspector General of police (IGP) Alhaji Ibrahim Idris

According to the group in a Letter dated Monday 26th September and signed by its Chairman, Comrade Adeniyi, Alimi Sulaiman which was received by the office of the Police boss on Tuesday 27th September, 2016 and the copy was made available to newsmen on Thursday in commemoration of 15 years remembrance of Late Bola Ige, writing the authority of the Force to re-open the brutal murder of Hon. Olagbaju alongside of Late Chief Ige as being planned.

The Letter reads in part; “Sir, Honourable Odunayo Olagbaju, who was a serving member of the Osun State House of Assembly, was brutally murdered on December 19, 2001 in front of Moore Police Station, Ile-Ife, in which Chief Bola Ige was brutally killed four days later, precisely, December 23rd, 2001 at his Bodija residence in Ibadan.

“We wish to inform your good office that the two highly unresolved murder cases are seriously affecting the psycho-analysis of the people of Osun State till this present moment and we believe that the two unresolved murder case as affecting our dear State, should be thoroughly re-investigated by bringing it to close once and for all.

“While urging you to exhibit uncommon courage and honesty to ensure in bringing of the perpetrators of the dastard act to justice and this will be the litmus test for the Force in order to retain the confidence of the good people of the country in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) as the right to life is universal and guaranteed by the amended 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”

It would be recalled both Ige and Olagbaju were brutally killed as a result of political crisis that engulfed the atmosphere of the State in 2001, when Chief Bisi Akande was battling his erstwhile Deputy, Senator Iyiola Omisore over power supremacy in the State.

In a related development, in July this year, President Muhammad Buhari directed the Acting Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to reopen investigation into the unresolved murder of the former Minister, Chief Ige.

Similarly, Chief Bola Ige, a national leader of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) was a serving Senior Minister in the cabinet of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s Peoples Democratic Party-controlled Federal Government and Honourable Odunayo Olagbaju was a serving State Legislator under the same political party, Alliance for Democracy (AD) which was generally believed then, was fighting for the downtrodden masses of the State.‎

SOURCE: The Street Reporters

 

Boko Haram Plans To Attack Abuja Targets – US Warns

The United States of America has warned of an imminent Boko haram attack in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory.

The US Embassy in Nigeria made this known in an emergency message, urging its citizens resident or doing business in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, to be security conscious.

The U.S. government said information at its disposal points in the direction of terror attacks by the Boko Haram sect.

According to the Embassy, the attackers have as likely targets hotels frequently visited by Westerners.

It, however, disclosed that there is no additional information about the exact timing of the planned attacks.

“We advise all U.S. citizens to review their personal security plans, remain aware of their surroundings, including local events, monitor local news stations for updates, and report specific incidences of targeted violence to the U.S. Embassy in Abuja or the U. S. Consulate General in Lagos…..Read Full Story Here

 

Turkey Military Coup Fails, President Returns to Istanbul

A military coup attempt, which plunged Turkey into a long night of violence and intrigue on Friday, may have failed.

The coup threatened its embattled President, leaving nearly 200 dead and injecting new instability into a crucial NATO member and American ally in the chaotic Middle East.

The coup attempt was followed hours later by an equally dramatic public appearance by the President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose whereabouts had been unknown for hours after the plotters claimed to have taken control.

Flying into Istanbul Ataturk Airport from an undisclosed location early Saturday, Mr. Erdogan signaled that the coup was failed.

Turkey CoupThe government has rounded up thousands of military personnel on Saturday.

The personnel were said to have taken part in an attempted coup, moving swiftly to re-establish control.

By noon, there were few signs that those who had taken part in the coup attempt were still able to challenge the government, and many declared the uprising a failure.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim called the insurrection “a stain in the history of democracy” at a news conference on Saturday in Ankara, the capital.

He raised the death toll in the clashes to 265, with 1,440 people wounded, and he said that 2,839 military personnel had been detained.

As the insurrection unfolded Friday night, beginning with the seizure of two bridges in Istanbul by military forces, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was not heard from for hours.

He finally addressed the nation from an undisclosed location, speaking on his cellphone’s FaceTime app — a dramatic scene that seemed to suggest a man on the grip of losing power.

But in the early hours of Saturday morning, he landed in Istanbul, a strong sign that the coup was failing.

According to the Turkish President after the private television channel NTV showed him greeting supporters, “A minority within the armed forces has unfortunately been unable to stomach Turkey’s unity.”

He blamed political enemies for the development, saying that “What is being perpetrated is a rebellion and a treason.

“They will pay a heavy price for their treason to Turkey”, Mr. Erdogan said.

He suggested that the plotters had tried to assassinate him, referring to a bombing in the Turkish Mediterranean resort town of Marmaris after he left on Friday.

“It would appear that they thought I was there,” he said.

Supporters of Mr. Erdogan responded to his call to take to the streets in Istanbul, and by Saturday morning, the coup appeared to be unraveling.

The state-run Anadolu Agency reported that about 200 unarmed soldiers had surrendered to the police in Ankara.

CNN Turk showed video of soldiers abandoning tanks in Istanbul, and by morning, civilians were climbing onto the tanks and waving flags, according to images posted on social media.

Anadolu said more than 1,500 members of the armed forces linked to the plot had been detained across Turkey, including a brigadier general in the country’s northeast.

Turkey’s acting chief of general staff, Gen. Umit Dundar, said on Saturday that 194 people had been killed, and he called 104 of them “coup plotters.”

Of the 90 others killed, 47 were civilians, the general said at a news conference in Ankara, the capital.

Seventeen police officers were killed in a military helicopter attack by coup plotters on a police special forces headquarters outside Ankara, Anadolu Agency had reported earlier.

CNN Turk reported that 12 civilians had died in an explosion at the Parliament building.

Martial law was declared after the coup attempt in the country, which has been convulsed by military takeovers at least three times in the past half-century.

Before he made his televised remarks from the airport, Mr. Erdogan was forced to use his iPhone’s FaceTime app from a secret location to broadcast messages beseeching the public to resist the coup attempt.

“There is no power higher than the power of the people,” he said amid contradictory accounts of who was in control.

“Let them do what they will at public squares and airports.”

After Mr. Erdogan spoke, many followers obeyed his orders to go into the streets, and mosque loudspeakers urged his supporters to protest the coup attempt.

The events began unfolding around 10 p.m. Friday as the military moved to stop traffic over two of Istanbul’s bridges, which cross the Bosporus and connect the European and Asian sides of the city.

There were reports of gunfire in Taksim Square, in central Istanbul, where pro-Erdogan supporters had gathered, but there were no reports of injuries, and it appeared that security forces were acting with restraint, the New York Times reports.

On the Bosporus Bridge, closed earlier in the evening by the military, there were reports of gunfire as protesters approached, and according to NTV, three people were hurt.

Some military officials spoke out against a coup, including the commander of the First Army, Gen. Umit Guler, who issued a statement, carried by a pro-government news channel, saying, “The armed forces do not support this movement comprised of a small group within our ranks.”

The Defense Department has roughly 2,200 uniformed military personnel and civilians in Turkey.

About 1,500 of them are based at Incirlik, an air base in southern Turkey near Syria.

The United States has used the base to launch airstrikes against the Islamic State.

Since March, Incirlik has been on an “elevated force protection level” amid concerns that militants were targeting it.

Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter in May ordered all family members of military personnel based at Incirlik to leave the country.