POLITICS: Obanikoro’s Defection To APC Makes Me Sad-Fani Kayode

POLITICS: Obanikoro’s Defection To APC Makes Me Sad-Fani Kayode

A former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, has described as saddening the defection of a former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, to the All Progressives Congress.

Obanikoro and Fani-Kayode spent about a month together in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in October last year.

While Obanikoro was under investigation for allegedly receiving N4.7bn from the Office of the National Security Adviser, Fani-Kayode is being prosecuted for allegedly receiving over N800m when he was the spokesman for the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation.

However, Fani-Kayode said it was unfortunate that Obanikoro would agree to join the camp of those who had been persecuting him.

He said, “My brother, Musiliu Obanikoro’s decision to join the APC irks and saddens me. I say this because I have always loved him and I care.

You cannot fight evil by joining it. You cannot bring light by entering the darkness. You cannot find joy by partaking in the bread of sorrows.

“You cannot run away in the heat of battle. You must have the courage of your convictions. Where is your honour? Where is your strength? Where is your dignity? Where is your self-respect? Where is your sense of self-worth?

“You and I are royalty. We are princes and kings and children of the living God. We were taught and brought up to fight to the end and never to bow to the enemy.”

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High court remands Babangida in prison

High court remands Babangida in prison

A Minna High Court on Tuesday  ordered that former Governor of Niger state, Babangida Aliyu, alongside the Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate in the 2015 election, Umar Mohammed Nasko, be remanded in Minna medium Prisons pending a ruling on bail application on May 3rd, 2017.

According to the presiding Judge, Justice Aliyu Mayaki, the case is to be opened on June 12, 2017 and to be held day by day till June 16.

The ruling on their bail application is to be delivered on 3rd May, 2017.  They are to be remanded in Medium Security prisons in Minna.

Lead Counsel for the EFCC, Gbolahan Latona, had levelled six charges against Aliyu.

When the charges were read to them (Aliyu and Nasko) by Justice Mayaki, they pleaded not guilty.

PDP fires Buhari over the suspension of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation

PDP fires Buhari over the suspension of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation

PDP has reacted to the suspension of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal.

President Buhari ordered Babachir’s suspension and investigation on claims that he allegedly used his office as Chairman of the Presidential Initiative of On The North East PINE to award fictitious contracts to some companies he reportedly has links.

In a statement released today, PDP faulted the move by the President to only suspend Babachir. The party alleged that while their members are being arrested on allegations of fraud, members of this administration that have been linked to fraud are merely being suspended and then investigated. The party is calling for an independent investigation panel into the allegations against Babachir.

Read the statement from PDP below…

  • Not surprisingly, some Nigerians have applauded the Suspension of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir David Lawal and the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ayo Oke as indicating a new commitment by President Buhari to fight the anti-corruption war without fear or favour but we are constrained to point out that it is another ruse to deceive Nigerians and dress up the failed anti-corruption war in a new garb.
  •  Let Nigerians recall that the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria did set-up an Ad-Hoc Committee in 2016 headed by Senator Shehu Sani, a Senator representing Kaduna Central, to investigate the expenditures and activities of the Presidential Initiative for North East (PINE), which Engr. Babachir in his capacity as the SGF was overseeing. The Committee also investigated the alarming rate of humanitarian crisis in the North-East occasioned by the diversion of grains from the Strategic Grains Reserve and other food supplies meant for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in that Region.
  •  Consequently, the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee indicted the SGF, Engr. Lawal for the mismanagement of PINE Funds and the Award of Multi-million Naira Grass Cutting Contract to one of his companies, Rholavision Engineering Limited and other ghost companies.
  • The Senate in December 2016 after its investigation, recommended the resignation of the SGF, Engr. Lawal and asked President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure his prosecution. But in a swift reaction, President Buhari in a letter dated January 17, 2017 Titled: “Re -Resolution by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria concerning the Humanitarian Situation in the North East Region, Particularly in relation to the alleged role of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Engr. David Babachir Lawal in the contract implementation regime of the Presidential Initiative for North East (PINE)”, discredited the Senate recommendations and refused to sack or prosecute Engr. Lawal but instead, cleared him of all wrong doing.
  •  In this context, we are alarmed at the Suspension of the SGF at a time that Nigerians and the International Community are excitedly enjoying the Theatre of the Absurd playing out with the Recovery of huge sums of money without owners. Now the APC led Federal Government suddenly realized the corruption allegation levelled against the SGF; and instead of arresting and detaining him as the Government has been doing to PDP members and other Nigerians, he was rather suspended and a committee set-up to investigate him. This is to say the least, double standard.
  • We are at a loss why the President would set up a panel comprising members of his Cabinet to investigate other senior very powerful members of the same Executive. Where is the transparency in that? Not that we doubt the integrity of the Vice President (for whom we have the utmost respect) and other panellists but it appears the matter is being settled within the Government Closet without the transparency , independence and impartiality necessary in a situation like this. Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to have been done. This is especially important given the fact that we recently travel this road when the President asked the Attorney-General to investigate the SGF (on this same matter) and Magu, the Acting Chairman of the EFCC. That investigation cleared the SGF of all wrong doings in the Grass Cutting Scandal as stated above. It is amazing that the President who swiftly accepted the recommendations of the Attorney-General would now suddenly set-up another panel comprising the same Attorney-General to investigate the matter again.
  • The Pertinent question is whether the President has now realized that the initial investigation by the Attorney-General was not thorough or a cover-up to protect a fellow Cabinet member. If that is the Case, then the President need to come clean with Nigerians by formally repudiating and rejecting the Report. He must then tell Nigerians why the author of such a dastard, useless and worthless Report should be included in the new Panel.
  • Against this backdrop, we are constrained to express our lack of confidence in the New Panel headed by the Vice President. Instead, we demand an independent commission of inquiry comprising eminent Nigerians of proven records of integrity, independence and competence. This is the only way by which we can have confidence that a thorough and impartial investigation will be conducted and by which the President also can reassure the general public that there are no sacred cows in his Government for whom there are different set of rules. The present situation amounts to the Government being the Judge in its own cause. We do not believe that justice can be served that way.

‘We ‘ll dump PDP for Sheriff if ….’ – Former Deputy Speaker

'We 'll dump PDP for Sheriff  if ....' - Former Deputy Speaker

IMO STATE – Loyalists of the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said they would decamp en masse to another political platform, if Senator Ali Modu Sheriff wins the legal contest at the Supreme Court.

Former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives and a strong ally of Makarfi, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, disclosed this, yesterday, while addressing party stakeholders at Obiri Ehinkirinki Hall, Okpala in Ngor Okpala local council area of Imo State.

“Let me tell you in clear terms that if Ali Modu Sheriff wins the legal battle at the Supreme Court, there is a ready political platform waiting for us. We will decamp en masse to the party and abandon PDP for Sheriff,” Ihedioha said.

While telling party loyalists that “Sheriff was brought into PDP to destroy the party,” Ihedioha also alleged that “Sheriff has a hidden agenda and we will not allow him to actualize it in PDP.”

According to Ihedioha, “there will be a PDP stakeholders meeting, comprising all former governors, serving and former lawmakers at the national and state levels, in Owerri on Sunday.”

While saying that ward chairmen, secretaries, women and youth leaders were expected at the meeting, the former Deputy Speaker equally disclosed that they would chart the way forward for the party.

“It is our desire to return power to the masses, in line with the PDP slogan of power belongs to the people,” Ihedioha said.

Explaining the reason for his visit to the area, Ihedioha said it was a fence mending mission.

“I am here for reconciliation. I have forgiven those that offended me and I expect those that I inadvertently offended to forgive and forget,” Ihedioha said.

Speaking on behalf of the party loyalists, Ngor Okpala Local Government Area, party Chairman, Mr. Morrison Njoku, commended Ihedioha for the trip and described him as “a true leader.”