Ozekhome Calls For Strategic Fight Against Corruption

Legal Practitioner, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), has said that the fight against corruption is something that must be done strategically and in such a way that the image of the country is not being hurt.

He said this while speaking on the recent cash haul in Nigeria by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), adding that “it makes too much of headlines and makes Nigeria look like a country of corruption.

“All the headlines in the last two years, are just about corruption and no country in its right senses would want to come and invest in your country if all they hear every day is corruption, corruption, corruption; because there ought to be sanity.”

Reduced To A Trafalgar Square

According to him, such hauls are eventually turning Nigeria into a subject of ridicule and a laughable show for the rest of the world.

“In fighting corruption, you must do it strategically, in such a way that you do not hurt the image of your country. When you begin to make hauls of money, a lot of these monies, orphaned from septic tanks, from canals, from ware houses, from shops from houses, abandoned, even as in the Osborne case, from flat 7A, in a seven-storey building, where you also have 7B and suddenly, 7A had about 43 million dollars, 23 million Naira and 27 thousand pounds, yet no one owns it; with the key to one of the safes showing clearly; it begins to make us a laughing stock – It becomes ludicrous.

“We are beginning to reduce the entire anti-corruption fight to one of a Trafalgar Square in London or one of a national theatre cinema or one of Hollywood, Nollywood and Bollywood, joined together – That is not how to fight corruption,” the lawyer asserted.

He made references to the United States, noting that in their fight against corruption, investigations are done secretly and thoroughly until facts are unraveled.

“The equivalent arms in the United States of America from where we borrowed our democracy, the Financial Action Tax Force, the CIA, the FBIA, the FBI; when they are fighting corruption, you hardly hear anything about it – They first investigate very thoroughly, they get the people, they carry out quiet sting operations.

“Many a time, until they have secured prosecution, until they have secured conviction or they are prosecuting, you can never hear the name of any citizen mentioned as regards corruption.”

He also made reference to a phone conversation he had with some foreign friends whom according to him, had asked: “Is your country all about corruption and nothing else, are you people so corrupt that there is nothing else in governance?”.

Mr Ozekhome who has faulted some of the methods through which corruption is being fought, however noted that he is against corruption and does not believe in it because according to him, it “downgrades a country’s existentialism.”

Defection Of Politicians Is Not Based On Ideological Conviction – Eyiboh

A Former Spokesman for the House of Representatives, Eseme Eyiboh, on Wednesday said that those defecting from one party to another, particularly from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress are only doing so for selfish interests, as the move is not based on any ideological conviction.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Eyiboh complained that the main issues, including internal democracy and party management, had been abandoned for other matters.

He said that neglecting key issues of the management of political parties and internal democracy of the parties would lead to a “poor leadership recruitment process where you have wrong people in right places.”

He averred that the trend of defection was good for both the ruling and opposition parties but insisted that the trend was based on selfish interests and not the welfare of the people or on any ideological conviction.

“It is not all about the issue of the people. It’s about your heart being where your mouth is” he said, stressing that “none of these persons is doing it either out of ideological conviction or because of the mandate of that people,” he stressed.

On the possibility of the opposition party, APC, being a better party than the ruling PDP, Eyiboh said “APC, as a matter of fact is not a solution because APC is unable to provide an alternative to what they believe is wrong with the PDP controlled government.”

He further stated that the “APC shot itself in the foot by allowing PDP to reinvent itself” through the new party chairman, “a businessman who stoops low to conquer.”

Speaking on controversy and issues surrounding the defection of 11 senators to the APC, which the PDP opposed, although it had benefitted from similar defections in the past, Eyiboh said “the scenario is different in the sense that some members of the APC went to court (to stop their seats from being declared vacant) and PDP also went to court saying they should not defect from PDP.”

“We can’t deny the fact that there are other subsisting issues before the court of law and because it is so, it becomes unnecessary for you to begin to talk about it because the matter will be sub judice. In previous cases, there has never been such circumstance,” he said.

On the Senators’ insistence that their letter of defection be acknowledged and read on the floor of the House, Eyiboh said the Senate President was not under obligation to do it by their prompting.

He continued by saying, “it is a communication, it will definitely be done but he has to look at all the exigencies. In this case, he has to look at the matter before the court and other matters bordering on the roles of the Senate.

He further argued that “we must have a clear difference between politics and governance.”

Akpabio’s N6m Lunch Money Was To Support Party Members — Commissioner

Still on allocation, commissioner Umanah said despite the large federal allocation from the FG, the state is still in need of money to complete on-going projects in the state, which is still where the state directs its local revenues generated to after he was asked by Kayode Akintemi to highlight what the state does with its local revenues.

He went further to explain that since the inception of governor Akpabio, the salaries of the State staff has been jacked up several and it has not stopped as there are plan in the pipeline to jack it up to N3 billion soonest.

On the issue of Governor Akpabio giving PDP South-South Chairmen and their delegates up to 1,200 people were given N1m each which totalled N6m according to the commissioner for information. The commissioner said that it is not supposed to be a problem as it was the governor gesture towards being humane because the chairmen and delegates have been waiting for the governor’s arrival without breakfast and lunch.

Wedding Gift To Tuface Not Too Much – Akwa Ibom Commissioner

In a swift reaction, the issue of SUV and N3 million cheque as wedding gift to popular singer Tuface Idibia and Annie Macaulay was brought to light.

The commissioner went on to defend the gesture by Governor Akpabio saying ‘Annie Macaulay and Tuface Idibia have created something very significant for Akwa Ibom State’

They brought in a galaxy of the entertainment industry, music stars and so on likewise new ambassadors into the state’.

He said if it is to fund destination marketing of branding then he doubts if the cost of one SUV and N3m is too much.

‘If we were to fund the destination marketing of branding ,i do not think N3million and the cost of one SUV is too much, even if we were to place advert on Channels Television to attract people to the new destination Governor Akpabio is building’.

He said governor Akpabio’s gesture was to repay a daughter of the state; Annie Macaulay for contributing to the repositioning of the state and has done the state proud too.

Akwa Ibom Imbroglio: Akwa Ibom Glowing With Development — Commissioner

It is no news that Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio emerged as the Chairman of the Governors Forum but what has taken Nigerians aback is the spending spree that the governor has embarked on. As if bitten by money bug, Governor doled a whooping N1m to south-south PDP chairmen for lunch at Mr. Biggs as he called it.

Kayode Akintemi and Bisi Coker Sunrise Anchors had Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Infrormation; Aniekan Umana, a journalist and a legal practitioner Uche Onu to debate on the recent spree trip that the governor has decided to embark on.

According to Bisi Coker one of Sunrise anchors, Akwa Ibom has the largest allocation amongst all the 36 states in Nigeria and despite that most part of the state is lacking development, not to talk of the horrendous daily living of the Akwa Ibom people.

And with focus on the commissioner for Information, he reacted to this saying ‘the assertion has to be objective because talking of oil production, the indices has to be understood for it fluctuates’ meaning that the said allocation does not have a regular figure.

The commissioner however debunked the assertion that development has not radiated the length and breadth of the state as he challenged our anchors to travelled down and see the level of development that reached the 36 local government areas of the state.

No sharp practices in Nigeria Aviation sector – Obakpolor

Contrary to allegations that airlines in Nigeria cut corners in order to maximize profit, the Chairman, Technical and Administrative Review Panel on Domestic Airlines, Group Captain John Obakpolor on Tuesday said there are no sharp practices in the country’s aviation industry.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Captain Obakpolor sharp practices in the industry worked before.
“Now you are monitored and you are followed,” he said.

CBN spokesman says Sanusi’s statement on labour was misunderstood

The Director of communications of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Ugo Okoroafor said the governor of the apex bank, Lamido Sanusi knew that his statement that the government should cut down on its workforce would be taken out of context and misunderstood.

According to Mr Okoroafor, who was a guest on Channels Television’s weekend programme, Sunrise, the expectation that he (Mr Sanusi) would be misunderstood was why  he said he knew his comments would be taken out of context.

The CBN spokeman said during the live programme reactions weren’t immediate but it was after the press conference reactions started pouring in.

He advised  Nigerians to get a repeat on any television stations to properly digest Mr Sanusi’s statement which were facts so as to understand what he meant.

Ribadu Report: Filing a minority report should have been Oronsanye’s option

The Chairman Senate Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs, Enyinanya Abaribe,has described the acrimony witnessed during the submission of the Ribadu report to President Jonathan as very disrespectful and rude to office of the President.

According to the Senator, “trading words in front of President Jonathan is very disrespectful and rude to office of the President .”

“If there are arguments between members of a particular committee, rather than the open disagreement, the parties involved should instead file a separate report while coming in for the presentation and submit to the higher office.”

“That is what Oronsanye would have done rather than discredit the Ribadu report” stated Senator Abaribe, who was a guest on a breakfast show, Sunrise Daily.

On the plethora of investigations and reports into corruption of the nation’s oil sector, Senator Abaribe stated that the Senate report on the oil sector would be looked through plus other reports, once the Senate resumes from the Sallah break.

According to Abaribe, the Senate will look at all the report, nothing will be different from what is presently going around with the Ribadu report.

Nigeria is not helpless in fighting Boko Haram-Suleiman Yerima

The founder of the group, ‘Northern Friends of the South-South’ Suleiman Yerima, has claimed that the nation is not helpless with the growing insecurity plaguing the northern part of the country with fears that it might spread to the other regions. 

Yerima, a chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), noted that fighting insecurity is not totally a government issue, as he argued that every Nigerian has to play a vital role in the issue of security.

He made this known on our breakfast show Sunrise Daily, where he discussed issues affecting the nation.

When asked the reason for naming the group as ‘Northern Friends of South-South’ and not ‘Northern Friends of Nigeria’ , Mr Yerima explained that it was during the regime of late Sani Abacha that the group was created.

According to him, there was a lot of problem between both regions, and he deemed it necessary to bring the parties together, hence the birth of the group.

He also traced the beginning of the Boko Haram insurgency in Borno state, saying it came in gradually in stages as the initial phase was with local politicians and it graduated to the level of kidnapping and the third phase is what is now being experienced.

Enjoy the rest of the interview.


Airport Concessioning :FAAN agreed to a joint venture

The Director Sales and Marketing of Mavis Limited; Olatokunbo Fagbemi came on board to comment on the recent airport concessioning matter on breakfast show Sunrise Daily which was between her company and FAAN.