EFCC Invites Tompolo

TompoloThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has given former Niger Delta militant leader, Mr Government Ekpemupolo a.k.a Tompolo one week to appear before the Commission on Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos or risk being declared wanted.

In a letter from the EFCC, the Commission says it is investigating Tompolo for unclear dealings involving the sale of parcels of land worth about 13 billion naira to the federal government under the last administration.

He is expected to appear at the EFCC training room on Thursday, December 17.

A similar invitation was extended to Tompolo in November by the Head of Operations at the EFCC, Iliasu Kwabai but he failed to appear and no correspondence was received from him.

Sovereign Wealth Fund: Supreme Court Fixes March 19 For Hearing Suit

Sovereign WealthThe Supreme Court of Nigeria has fixed March ‎19 for hearing of the Sovereign Wealth Fund suit before it to enable the parties – the Federal Government and the 36 State Governors – file all relevant documents.

At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, counsel to the 36 states, Mr Yusuf Ali, accused the Federal Government of frustrating all attempts to settle the matter out of court.

The representative of the Federal Government, Ahmed Abdulmalik, told the court that there is no money called excess crude fund in the account of the states.

Having listened to both parties , the Chief Justice of Nigeria, who presided over the case, urged the counsels to advise the parties to settle out of court.

The 36 states had gone to the Supreme Court seeking for an order declaring the proposed creation of the Sovereign Wealth Fund illegal and unconstitutional.

The states are also praying that the court would issue an order to the effect that all sums standing to the credit of the excess crude account be paid to court or be otherwise secured as the court may deem fit pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

2015 Elections: Resident Doctors Worried Over Threat Of Violence By Politicians

Resident DoctorsMembers of the National Association of Resident Doctors have expressed concern over the threat of violence by politicians and their supporters during the forthcoming general elections.

The National President of the Association, Dr Prince Dan-Jumbo, shared the resident doctors’ worries while reading out the communique reached at the just concluded National Executive Council Meeting of the association in Owerri the Imo State capital.

He said that the association of resident doctors nationwide amidst all the threat of violence during the election have resolved to willingly render prompt and proficient medical services to all citizens during the election.

He also advised Nigerians to sue for peace during the election.

Of much concern to the association, however, is the welfare of the members of the association.

They advised the Federal Government and the authorities of all federal medical centres in the country to put in place adequate machinery that will effect the uniformity and quality of the residency training programme in the country.

Sultan Cautions Oyedepo, Tompolo Over Inflammatory Statements

Sultan_of_SokotoPresident of Jamatul Nasril Islam (JNI) and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad has advised the founder and General Overseer of the Living Faith Church, Bishop David Oyedepo to henceforth stop heating up the polity ahead of the February 2015 elections.

The Sultan also cautioned former Niger Delta militants; Asari Dokubo, Victor Ben Ebikabowei (Boy Loaf), Government Ekpudomenowei (Tompolo) and other militants in the same manner to stop beating war drums if President Goodluck Jonathan fails to win the February 14 Presidential election .

In a statement issued on Sunday by the Secretary-General of JNI, Dr Aliyu-Khalid Abubakar, the Islamic leader said rather than fanning the embers of war, Bishop Oyedepo and the ex militants, should preach peace ahead the general elections.

Acknowledging that elections all over the world is usually associated with anxieties, uncertainty and tension, the Sultan said there is need for all and sundry to refrain from making inflammatory statements that could jeopardise the polls.

The statement further adds that the forthcoming presidential election will be the most keenly contested in Nigerian history, hence the need for all Nigerians, regardless of religion or tribe to shun violence before, during and after the elections.

While calling on the two major political parties, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Party (APC) to abide by the Abuja Peace Accord, he also cautioned all contestants to accept the outcome of the forthcoming elections in line with the spirit of sportsmanship.

The Sokoto monarch, who called on both Muslims and Christians to demonstrate real and genuine sense of patriotism, responsibility, tolerance and commitment to peace and stability in Nigeria, before, during and after the forthcoming elections, also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be committed to ensuring free, fair and credible elections in February.

I Don’t See Myself As A Nigerian – Asari Dokubo

Asari DokuboThe Founder of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force,  NDPVF, Mr Asari Dokubo, has confirmed that he is no more a Nigerian citizen as the country has not provided him the atmosphere to flourish and bring his dreams and aspirations to life.

He was the guest of Rubbin’ Minds on Channels Television where he spoke about a number of issues concerning Nigeria and his views about its security challenges and the politics of 2015.

The nationality of Asari Dokubo, however, came to the fore when he was asked to provide information about his source of livelihood and the nature of his businesses.

“I am a businessman. My business is mostly centred around education. I have about four schools.

“I have crèche , nursery and secondary school, King Amachree International School in Cotonou, Republic of Benin. I have King Amachree Automobile and ICT Academy and I have King Amachree Arts Academy and King Amachree Sports Academy.

“Its only education that I do. By March, King Amachree African University will come on board.

His noted that his passion for education, despite not completing his own university education, was because the quality of education being offered in Nigeria was very inadequate as he believes “it just prepares people to speak English, to write and to make noise.”

“Any student who graduates from my school is skilled,” he said.

Asked why, according to reports, he has a university in the Republic of Benin rather than building it in Nigeria.

“I don’t see myself as a Nigerian and I cannot establish a school in an enemy territory,” he said.

“For over 30 years I’ve been at loggerheads with the Nigerian Government, first as a Student Union leader, then President of National Union of Rivers State Students participating in student unionism.

“I have been an enemy of the Nigerian state, so to say. Up till today, there’s a treason trial hanging on my head and you cannot just put your business in an environment where one person would get up and say ‘I close down this business’.

“I want somewhere where I can express myself and flourish and that’s what I’m doing. We started small but gradually we are becoming bigger and bigger.”

Asari Dokubo, who became a citizen of the neighbouring Republic of Benin in 2013 maintained that he had never been a Nigerian citizen.

“I have never been a Nigerian. Nations are not created by force…they are created by the people. You saw Scotland trying to vote yes or no. Today no Scottish man can say ‘I’m not a Briton’ because majority of Scottish people have accepted to remain in the British Union.”

He also gave his opinion about Nigeria’s 2014 National Conference, maintaining that the existence of a “no-go-area”, among other issues, meant that the country was yet to hold a sovereign national conference which he had demanded for for 30 years.

“We don’t want a situation where somebody will arrogate to himself the power to decide the fate of other people. We want a Nigeria that recognizes that there are different nations no matter how small they are, and they are accorded the same space in Nigeria.”

$5.7 Mln Arms Deal, Case Of Money Laundering – Jiti Ogunye

Jiti OgunyeA lawyer, Jiti Ogunye, on Wednesday ruled out the argument that the Federal Government’s failed second attempt to purchase arms was a legitimate effort, insisting that an official seal on the deal did not rule out a case of money laundering.

Speaking on Sunrise Daily, Ogunye noted that the “South African authorities have every right and power to carry out investigations and they are doing so. When they conclude the investigations, we’ll have the benefit of the outcome”.

He argued that the two cases of botched arms deal involving Nigeria and South Africa would be investigated, noting that”“there’s a sequence”.

Although the first $9.3 million, which was seized aboard a private jet, was alleged to be a black operation, and the $5.7 million transferred legally via a bank, Ogunje insisted that both transactions were illegal.

“When you’re committing money laundering, what do you do it through? You do it through the banks,” he said, adding that “the fact that this money was paid through the bank allegedly, and that the NSA signed off on it, do not mean it doesn’t have the taint of money laundering.

“Doesn’t a governor sign-off a budget before stealing the money?” he asked, implying that the official signature was a means to launder state funds.

“The fact that you sign-off on something does not mean that you’re not committing a crime,” he argued, adding that the country’s seal had been used severally to commit monstrosities.

He countered arguments that the South African government did not wish Nigeria, recalling the incarceration on Henry Okah, a case he said Nigeria was the chief beneficiary. “Nigeria did not complain at the time,” he said.

“It’s shameful enough for this kind of thing to be happening but it’s doubly shameful for us to be rationalising by offering implausibilities,” he concluded.

Group Codemns Clark Over Call For Full Emergency Rule In Three N/East

Edwin ClarkThe Borno State chapter of Niger Delta Peoples Forum has criticized elder statesman, Mr Edwin Clark over his call for the removal of governors in the three states under emergency rule.

Members of the group, who paid a solidarity visit to Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state in Maiduguri, pledged their support to the governor in the fight against terrorism in the state.

The group, during a protest against full emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, said it empathises with the parents of the abducted Chibok school girls and share the pains of the government and people affected by terrorism.

The Secretary General of the forum, Stephen Ebri, faulted Clark’s agitation for full emergency in the three states.

He said members of the group used to feel ashamed when some elders from the Niger Delta speak ignorantly on issues.

“There is one issue that is seriously troubling the mind of every one of us here and that is how some of our elders from the Niger Delta that are completely ignorant of the true situation in Borno State are attacking this government that is doing everything within its powers to address the problem.

“Sir, we were in Maiduguri when you were sworn in on May 29, 2011. In case our elders in the Niger Delta do not know, there are Niger Delta people living in Borno. We are from the Niger Delta, but our difference is that we are well informed about the true situation and they are ignorant, they don’t know, they don’t want to know and we don’t think they will ever know.

The Secretary-General also added that “we are worried so much by some of the utterances of our Niger Delta brothers like Asari Dokubo and elders like Chief Edwin Clark. Only yesterday, we read an advert by Chief Edwin Clark in the newspapers calling for the removal of governors, saying all manner of things that are out of absolute and annoying ignorance.

“This is a government that appointed an Igbo man as a cabinet member and that Igbo man is in charge of community relations, that Igbo man has been with Your Excellency for many years.

“Sir, anytime people from Niger Delta speak on Borno out of ignorance, we feel very ashamed because all that they say are not the truth of the ground realities in Borno State and some people assume that we from the Niger Delta share the hate views of some of these people.

“We have had enough of them. They are trying to mislead Nigerians and they are making us unhappy in a place we have been happy for many years. In the light of the foregoing, we, the great people of the Niger Delta in Borno State, hereby, disassociate ourselves from all utterances made against the government and people of Borno State.

“Anybody calling for the military is talking out of ignorance of the laws of this country. If anyone has a military man he wants to make Governor of Borno State, he shouldn’t come through the backdoor. He should sponsor that person to retire and contest elections for the governorship of Borno in 2015 and we will be very happy to send that person letters of commiseration after we successfully and proudly re-elect Governor Kashim Shettima in 2015 to continue his great work of sustaining the peace in Maiduguri and working to attract peace in the entire Borno State” the forum said.

Governor Kashim Shettima promised that his administration will continue to work to make sure that Borno state is hospitable and safe for every Nigerian irrespective of ethnic and religious affiliations.

He also told the Niger Deltans that he regards them as Borno people, contrary to what they named their group.

“I will prefer to call you the Forum of Borno People from the Niger Delta. Some of you were born here in Borno State; some of you probably had parents or grandparents born in Borno.

“Most of you have something doing in whatever respect whether as businessmen, traders or whatever it is you are doing and by that, you are contributing to the economy of Borno State.

“The allocations given to Borno from the Federation Account is given based on our population amongst other indices being considered, and all of you here, regardless of where you consider your roots, make up the population of Borno State and this means you are stakeholders in what we get from the Federation Account, you are fully entitled to all public services and privileges that we provide as a government.

“When Boko Haram members, in their evil ways, planted explosives around the post office in January, this year, the explosives did not choose victims based on their backgrounds and what part of the country they came from, the explosives simply targeted residents of Maiduguri who happened to be on the spot. This is the same of other wicked attacks in any part of Borno State.

Governor Shettima also cautioned Nigerians particularly politicians against making inciting remarks which could destabilize the country.

NDDC, Ex-Agitators Partner For Peace In Niger Delta

nddcIn furtherance of the Presidential Amnesty Programme for ex-agitators in Nigeria’s oil-producing communities, the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has initiated a partnership with key stakeholders to work out strategies for enduring peace in the region.

Speaking at a meeting with about 65 ex-agitators at the Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, the NDDC Managing Director, Barrister Bassey Dan-Abia, said that the quest for peace was in line with a critical component of the transformation agenda of the Federal Government, which underlines peace as a necessary condition for the success of its development programmes.

He noted that the possible development of the region could only be, if there was peace. Hence, the commission would not develop if they had to battle with kidnapping, sea piracy, pipeline vandalism and other similar vices.

He stressed that the time had come for all to sit down as one family, look inwards and open a new chapter for the development of the Niger Delta region.

Flanked by other board members, Dan-Abia applauded the ex-agitators for what he called their heroic efforts at drawing attention to the problems of the Niger Delta which informed the rapid development in the area.

The NDDC MD said that the commission had over the years been committed to so many programmes and projects, many of which were still on-going. Consequently, he said, the commission was now reviewing its strategy to ensure that on-going projects were completed on schedule as directed by President Goodluck Jonathan.

“I salute you as the leaders of the struggle and thank you for your courage and patriotism, which has drawn attention to the challenges of the region. Indeed, we at NDDC appreciate all your sacrifices that have put the Niger Delta in the front burner”, he said.

Making his contribution at the meeting, the leader of the Niger Delta Salvation Force, Asari Dokubo, noted that that the NDDC was set up basically to bring rapid development to the Niger Delta.

He stated, however, that development was not only about roads and bridges but should also take into account the building of human capacity.

Thanking the NDDC for bringing the ex-agitators together to map out plans for peace and progress, he called on the commission to strengthen its programmes for empowerment and capacity building in agriculture and skill acquisition in the technical sector.

He said: “We must develop the economic capacity of our people. We should not allow our people to be beggars in the midst of plenty. We need to produce the Dantatas and Dangotes of the Niger Delta”, he

Asari Dokubo also warned northerners who were suggesting that the NDDC should be scrapped to perish the thought, as they would not succeed.

He was apparently referring to a position paper being canvassed by some northern delegates at the on-going National Conference, calling for the scrapping of the amnesty programme, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the NDDC.

Also speaking at the meeting, the leader of the Peace and Development Initiative, Mr. Reuben Wilson, a.k.a General Pastor, assured the NDDC of the support of the former agitators, noting that the meeting was recognition of their role in the liberation of the Niger Delta.

DSS Arrests Asari Dokubo

Former Niger Delta activist, Mujahideen Asari-Dokubo, has been arrested by men of the Department of State Service (DSS) for making inciting comments about the 2015 elections.

In September 2013, Dokubo had told Channels Television, while speaking on Politics Today, that “2015 is already a settled matter; Goodluck Jonathan will be president in 2015. Whether they contest or they don’t contest, Goodluck Jonathan will be president,” he said adding that he would be ready for violence if needed.

Replying to comments made by former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, he (Dokubo) warned that that “if they say the blood of the dogs and the baboon will be soaked in water on the street, in blood on the street, in salt water on the street, we will help them soak them in blood”.

APC Condemns Harassment Of El-Rufai By Security Agents

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has condemned the harassment of its Deputy National Secretary, Nasir El-Rufai, by the Department of State Security (DSS).

In a statement issued by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Mr Lai Mohammed, the party expressed shock that the DSS was seeking to arrest El-Rufai for merely exercising his constitutional right of free speech.

It said there was nothing inciting or extraordinary in the statement credited to Mr El-Rufai that “there might be violence if the 2015 general elections were not free and fair”.

‘Shameful Overkill’

“We wonder why the DSS has suddenly found its agility, after playing dead when people like Mr Edwin Clark, Asari Dokubo and Chukwuemeka Ezeife issued a direct threat to Nigeria’s continued existence over president Goodluck Jonathan’s second term ambition,” the statement read.

The party described the storming of the party official’s residence in Abuja by armed DSS operatives on Friday, without producing any arrest warrant as a ‘shameful overkill’.

Presidency Denies Sending Presidential Jet To Pick Asari-Dokubo

The presidency has described as mischievous and blackmail, reports that a presidential jet was used to convey Asari Dokubo to Abuja following his release in Benin Republic.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati said that there is no truth in the reports describing it as an attempt by people to package lies as truth. He told State House Correspondents that it is sad that some people play politics with anything believing that gullible people will believe them.

According to him, an aircraft is not a ghost in the air, the movement of an aircraft is well documented and people will see the aircraft if it lands anywhere, particularly the presidential aircraft.

He added that Asari Dokubo has not told anyone that he was brought to Abuja with a presidential jet insisting that President Goodluck Jonathan did not send any presidential jet to Benin Republic.

 

 

National Conference Will Not Achieve Any Meaningful Purpose – Fashakin

A member of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin has expressed doubts over President Jonathan’s motive in calling for a national conference at this time in the history of Nigeria.

Featuring as guest on Channels Television breakfast show ‘Sunrise Daily’, he referred to the national conference as a bait set up by Nigerian leaders to give themselves a better political life “like President Jonathan is trying to do now to make other regions that are after his neck that it is our turn for the presidency to back off”

In trying to defend his view as not being politically driven, he referred to recent statements credited to Niger-Delta militant leader, Asari Dokubo as regards the fate of the nation should the president not be re-elected into power in 2015 for which the president kept mute and did not direct any of his aides to issue a disclaimer. An act he considers to be an indirect approval from the presidency.

Speaking further on the actual need for a national conference, Mr. Fashakin traced the origin of the call for a national conference back to the June 12, 1993 presidential election which was annulled by the then military government of Nigeria.

According to him it was evident that the North wanted Late Chief MKO Abiola who was a Yoruba man from South-West Nigeria as evident in his victory in northern Nigeria but a certain cabal felt at that time they would decide how Nigeria was governed and this led to Nigerians agitating for self-determination.

He believes the actual purpose of the national conference as originally conceived has been misunderstood by many Nigerians to mean separation and has now been hijacked by the leadership of the country to achieve political empowerment. He accepts that the need to talk has always been there for Nigerians but queried the true purpose of this national conference being constituted by the government.