APC Challenges Jonathan To Handover Alleged Boko Haram Sponsors To ICC

John_OyegunThe All Progressives Congress (APC) has challenged President Goodluck Jonathan to act decisively and hand two alleged sponsors of the Boko Haram group to the International Criminal Court (ICC), The Hague, for investigation and prosecution.

The party said that a foreign negotiator engaged by the Federal Government had revealed that a former governor and a retired General were sponsors of the Boko Haram sect.

Chairman of the party, John Oyegun, who made this disclosure, insisted that the APC was not behind the Boko Haram sect and demanded that the Federal Government should act now to end the growing insecurity in the North-East.

Mr Oyegun, who was speaking during a press conference in Abuja, further noted that “Boko Haram sponsors have been exposed. They are within the ruling PDP. They are friends of President Jonathan. He cannot pretend not to know who they are and what they have done and are still doing.

“President Jonathan cannot pretend not to know the alleged role that Ali Modu Sheriff has played in the establishment and growth of Boko Haram, yet he never allowed the man to even be questioned by any of the security agencies under his control.”

The APC further noted that they have been “vindicated” adding that “we have no hand in the Boko Haram insurgency. The raison d’etre of our party is the well-being and security of Nigerians

“The sponsors of Boko Haram are within the PDP and the Presidency. They are known friends of President Jonathan. He knows them and they know him.

“The man who exposed these Boko Haram sponsors is a Jonathan-appointed Negotiator. He has no axe to grind, neither does he have any motive to shield the APC or portray the PDP/Presidency in bad light. In fact, if he had any sympathy at all, it is for the man who hired him, President Jonathan.”

Below is the full text of Mr Oyegun.

Finally, The Truth Is Out!

Good afternoon Gentlemen of the press, and thank you for honouring my invitation to this press conference.

Before I address you today, kindly permit me to play the full interview of Dr. Stephen Davis, the Australian negotiator who was appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan to help secure the release of the over 200 girls who were abducted by Boko Haram on April 15th.

The interview was aired on Arise Television on Thursday Aug. 28th.
INTERLUDE: PLAY VIDEO
Thank you for your patience, gentlemen.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) like many well-meaning Nigerians had resolved long ago that the issue of the Boko Haram insurgency should not be politicized. In view of this, the APC expressed its willingness and readiness to cooperate with the Federal Government in neutralizing the insurgency. Regrettably however, instead of accepting this offer of cooperation, the PDP-Federal Government has consistently pointed accusing fingers at our Party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the sponsor of Boko Haram. They have called us all sorts of derogatory names, but failed to provide any shred of evidence to support their claim.

It has been very clear to us that the vehemence and persistence of this accusation, the deliberate distortion of statements made by our leaders to paint us as Boko Haram sponsors and the way the PDP-led Federal Government has gone to hire foreign PR firms, at a huge cost to taxpayers, as well as foreign and local hack writers to push this narrative, they were struggling hard to cover up something. We waited patiently knowing that the truth will one day surface.

In a rare moment of truth, a top official of the Jonathan Administration, no less a personality than the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Andrew Owoye Azazi, situated the Boko Haram problem within the PDP. Shortly thereafter he was fired, and he later died in controversial circumstances. Still we waited.

They distorted and misrepresented the statements made by our leader, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, to try to convince the world that he was indeed the main sponsor of Boko Haram. They continued to echo the same slander about Gen. Buhari that was started by Presidential Spokesman Reuben Abati in 2011, and for which he and his cohorts eventually begged to settle out of court and to apologize to the General. Still we waited.

When their attempt to link Gen. Buhari with Boko Haram failed, as his popularity among ordinary Nigerians continued to soar, he was suddenly attacked by suicide bombers. Those who planned the attack believed this as the final solution to what they perceived as the threat he represents to the realization of their ambition. By the grace of God, he survived. We do not claim to know those who attacked him, but we do know those who provided the atmosphere for that attack to take place. Still we waited.

When the government declared a state of emergency in three worst-hit states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe in 2013, thousands of troops were deployed to the three states. But the unusual happened. The number of attacks simply skyrocketed. It is common knowledge that in any territory that has been placed under a state of emergency, the military takes charge of security, erecting checkpoints as part of efforts to keep a tab on security. Such was the situation in Borno in April 2014, when over 200 girls were abducted and driven away in many trucks. Soldiers posted to a nearby checkpoint were said to have withdrawn shortly before the attack. Who ordered their withdrawal? Some of the trucks in which the girls were being carted away broke down, yet no one challenged them. Despite this bizarre occurrence, they refused to accept responsibility and continued to cast aspersion on our Party, the APC, as the sponsor of Boko Haram. Still we waited.

Boko Haram routinely enriched their arsenal with tanks, Armoured Personnel Carriers, guns, trucks and other military equipment which they seized from the Army. From the videos they release from time to time, one could see Boko Haram insurgents driving around unchallenged in convoys of up to 60 vehicles made-up of tanks and other military vehicles they seized from our military, in a territory that is under a state of emergency. What is happening? No one could fathom it. Still we waited.

A man known to all as the kingpin of Boko Haram, a man who helped to arm them so he could win elections and decimate his opponents, was moving around with the best security ever. He is a known ally of the President and he is not known to be under any immunity. Yet he was never arrested or even questioned. Still we waited.

In line with a Yoruba adage that says when a drum starts sounding too hard, it is about to burst, the PDP and the Presidency ratcheted up their attacks on our party, labelling us as Boko Haram sponsors. They hired a foreign firm, Levick, for US$1.2 million in taxpayers’ money, as well as a number of out-of-luck hack writers and pseudo analysts, one of them from Russia, to help push the narrative. Still we waited.

Then their drum exploded!

Dr. Stephen Davis, a man hired by the President Jonathan-led Federal Government to negotiate with Boko Haram for the release of the Chibok girls decided to speak out, believing the best way to tackle the insurgency is to expose the sponsors. And who are they? On international television last Thursday, and as you have just seen and heard, he named former Borno Governor Ali Modu Sheriff and a former Army Chief, Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, as the sponsors of Boko Haram.

Prodded by Sahara Reporters in a subsequent interview on whether Gen. Buhari and Malam Nasir el-Rufai were sponsors, he said the Boko Haram commanders who gave him the names of their sponsors did not mention their names. The die is cast. The truth is finally out! Boko Haram sponsors have been exposed. They are within the ruling PDP. They are friends of President Jonathan. He cannot pretend not to know who they are and what they have done and are still doing. His myriad of intelligence agencies, including the DSS and the DMI, cannot pretend they do not have any information on these men.

It is true that Ali Modu Sheriff was, until recently, a member of our Party. But the Party always suspected that he was a mole, planted to hijack or at best weaken the new Party for the PDP. He is not new to that role. He helped to decimate his former party, the ANPP, to an extent that the number of states under its control fell from seven in 2003 to three by the time he left as Governor.

We know for sure that Ali Modu Sheriff was planted in the APC to help decimate our party. We confronted him openly during the merger negotiation but he denied vigorously. His surrogate for the post of the Chairman of the APC, Chief Tom Ikimi together with whom they planned to hijack the Party for the Presidency was firmly rejected. Realizing they have failed, they fled our party and returned to where they came from, and were duly embraced by their controllers.

President Jonathan cannot pretend not to know the alleged role that Ali Modu Sheriff has played in the establishment and growth of Boko Haram, yet he never allowed the man to even be questioned by any of the security agencies under his control. All through his time with our Party, every time they accused us of sponsoring Boko Haram, on the basis of his presence, we challenged them if they had evidence to arrest any of our members who is suspected to be a sponsor, they never did. They dared not, because Sheriff was their agent. Even if he had remained in the APC after we democratically encouraged him to go, they would still not have arrested him.

Recall, gentlemen, that immediately Sheriff went back to the PDP, the Maiduguri Airport that had been closed to even the pilgrims from the state on grounds of security, was re-opened specially for him. What more evidence does anyone need that Sheriff was and remains President Jonathan’s Man Friday?

Our Stand

The truth is finally out. We have been vindicated. We have no hand in the Boko Haram insurgency. The raison d’etre of our party is the well-being and security of Nigerians

The sponsors of Boko Haram are within the PDP and the Presidency. They are known friends of President Jonathan. He knows them and they know him.

The man who exposed these Boko Haram sponsors is a Jonathan-appointed Negotiator. He has no axe to grind, neither does he have any motive to shield the APC or portray the PDP/Presidency in bad light. In fact, if he had any sympathy at all, it is for the man who hired him, President Jonathan.

We have said it all along. Boko Haram was politicized purely for one reason, and one reason only: To be used as a trump card for President Jonathan to win another term. For that strategy to work, the APC, which they see as the only stumbling block to the PDP’s victory in 2015, must be maligned and labeled. Gullible, duplicitous and self-serving politicians like Femi Fani-Kayode swallowed the bait, hook, line and sinker, and started parroting the glaring lies. PDP Spokesman, Olisa Metuh, an obvious pawn on the chess board, followed suit, labelling a party that comprises Nigerians of all ethnic and religious hue a Janjaweed and Islamic party. Now he is stewing in his own juice.

In the process of this dangerous politics, the Nigerian military which was globally acclaimed for its impressive showings at various peacekeeping missions around the world, simply suffered collateral damage. Apparently, fifth columnists in the military has sold the force out, first by denying it of the necessary fighting tools and then weakening it to such an extent that even the little it had was being taken away daily by insurgents. When the patriotic Gov. Kashim Shettima of Borno tried to raise the issue of the poorly-equipped troops and their low morale, he was roundly pilloried. Now the world knows why!

Now that the cat has been let out of the bag and the real sponsors of Boko Haram have been exposed, we hope President Jonathan will summon the courage to do the right thing: Hand over the identified Boko Haram sponsors to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for investigation and prosecution.

There is no doubt that Boko Haram has committed crimes against humanity in its scorched-earth campaign against unharmed citizens, and the most appropriate body to investigate and try the sect’s sponsors is the ICC.

According to Article 17 of the Rome Statute that set up the ICC, and to which Nigeria is signatory, the ICC is a court of last resort, expected to exercise its jurisdiction only if states themselves are unwilling or unable genuinely to investigate and prosecute international crimes.

In view of the fact that the alleged Boko Haram sponsors are either members of the ruling party or friends of the President, it is clear that the PDP-led Federal Government is unwilling and unable to try them, hence our call.

Nigerians can rest assured that the APC will not allow this issue to be swept under the carpet.

Now that it is clear that the PDP is behind Boko Haram for the sole purpose of winning next year’s Presidential Election, Nigerians must prevail on the PDP and the Presidency to urgently end this insurgency and the daily killing and maiming of innocent Nigerians!

The President must remember that he is the Commander-in-Chief! The buck stops on his desk. He must now do all it takes to stop the growing mess in our nation’s North-East.

Nigerians expect no less!

Security Forces Should Never Be Dragged Into Politics – Marilyn Ogar

Marilyn OgarThe Deputy Director, Public Relations, Department of State Service (DSS), Marilyn Ogar, says the job of the DSS is to detect and prevent any threat to the internal security of Nigeria and should not be dragged into the intrigues of rivalry by politicians.

She made this statement while appearing on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, to discuss the series of controversies that have trailed the governorship election in Osun State.

There had been allegations that the DSS operatives on duty during the Osun election showed some excesses in the discharge of their duties, an allegation she was bent on debunking. According to her, while she could understand a political party being bad losers, the Osun matter only meant that bad winners also existed.

She stated that the DSS had not done anything unusual in Osun State, explaining that as a fall-out of the Ekiti election, security reports had revealed that political parties, particularly the PDP and the APC had vowed to outdo each other in the Osun State election and based on security reports, the security agencies “had to deploy adequately to be able to forestall any threat or anything that will pose contrary to free and fair election in Osun State.”

She recalled that the DSS had provided similar security in Edo, Ondo, Anambra, and Ekiti states, but there were only issues in states where the APC lost – Anambra, Ondo and Ekiti states. She, however, wondered why there were still issues in Osun State despite the APC having won the election.

Reacting to a Channels Television interview with the APC Spokesman, Lai Mohammed, which threw up a number of issues, including allegations that the DSS was working against the APC, Ms Ogar presented and read a letter supposedly written by the Governor of the State of Osun, Rauf Aregbesola, addressed to the Director-General of the Department of State Service, requesting for security in the state ahead of the election.

Ms Ogar said, “With or without this letter, it is our statutory responsibility to participate or provide security for all elections in Nigeria.” She added that apart from their own security reports which necessitated the deployment of men, they were backed by their primary responsibility.

Lai Mohammed had also alleged that the men of the SSS drove into Osogbo, the state capital, in 50 trucks conveying masked personnel, who were shooting into the air to scare citizens of the state.

She explained that the so-called masks were the regular hoods worn by the SSS operatives who go on special operation. Likening them to the SWAT of the American FBI, she said that the DSS also has the STAT and wearing of the hood was supposed to prevent eye contact and recognition that could cause compromise in the discharge of their duties, noting that these were men who also carry out other regular assignments.

Ms Ogar explained further that the trucks mentioned by Mr Lai Mohammed had four men each and with a target of deploying two trucks to each of the 30 Local Government Areas in Osun State, it was rational to have such number of men if the state was to be adequately covered.

She also alleged that there had been security reports that the APC had vowed to ensure that the PDP did not win the election in Osun State. The DSS, according to her, had profiled all the thugs in the state and they were arrested with short guns, charms and other weapons, indicating that there were indeed plans to hijack the process, adding that this was not from just one particular party.

On the allegations that the DSS men shot into the air while driving into the state capital, Ms Ogar said that the allegation might not be true as it could be an attempt by the APC Spokesman to drive home a point.

Asked if the DSS partakes in Show of Force, she affirmed that indeed, the era of insurgency in the country and the Service’s fight against terrorism had necessitated the show of force by the DSS when required.

Alleged 14million Naira Offer

It has been reported that the DSS Deputy Director, Public Relations, Marilyn Ogar, had alleged that a political party offered the Security Service a bribe, leading to the Osun election, and she was asked to name the persons involved, so that they could be prosecuted.

She said that prior to the election, an APC member had invited the DSS Director, who was coordinating the election “to come collect 4million Naira for self and another 10million for the same masked people.

It was an offer and she said no that she didn’t think it was necessary because when it has to do with logistics, as far as the Service is concerned, they would definitely have en-placed everything that would make for a successful operation.

The rejection of that money on Tuesday brought on a lot of things that ordinarily we had not seen before anywhere.”

On the demand for the identity and prosecution of the persons involved, she said, “The duty of the SSS is to detect, prevent and deter” and using the President’s carrot and stick analogy, “It is not every time that you go out arresting people.”

She said further, “If this same process has been turned down when it had to do with other political parties, and they never took offense, why is it that the APC is taking offense? For me, its like pre-empting and presuming that ‘maybe this people are going to go to town with this stuff so we must be able to cow them to a point where they would be unable to expose what we were trying to do’.

The person that made the offer knows himself and he knows that we know him.” She insisted that security agencies should not be dragged into politics.

She also clarified the issue surrounding the 14million Naira offer and being referred to as “bribe”.

I’m sure the people that were doing the offering didn’t see it as a bribe, and I had never mentioned the word bribe. The media has used the word bribe in order to make it sensational.

I could make you an offer and say this would assist you in what you are doing. Its either you take it or you refuse.

I did say here that they offered us money to assist us and we said no.”

She added that if indeed the DSS was not accommodating to all parties involved in the election, “the Executive Governor of Osun State wouldn’t have written inviting us to come.”

Osun Election Was Good And Credible – Fani-Kayode

Fani KayodeA former Aviation Minister and a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, has said that the Osun governorship election held on Saturday was a good and credible one.

He said that there may be irregularities, which the PDP had made claims to, but admitted that in any election there must be a winner and a loser.

“I am glad I was not the only one that congratulated them, the president also did and that’s the right way to go,” he said.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Fani-Kayode, noted that the PDP had the right to go to court and contest issues that were identified during the election.

He gave reasons for the huge military presence during the Osun election, stating that “it is important for the government to provide security for people going to cast their votes without the fear of being killed or harassed on their way to the polling units “.

He added that the deployment was done in other elections that had been carried out in the country. “It was done in Ekiti, Edo and Anambra, where PDP lost,” he said.

Mr Fani-Kayode stressed that if there were arrests made by security operatives, they were done to prevent thuggery. He insisted that it was for the good of the people to ensure that there was an atmosphere created for a free and fair election.

The former Aviation Minister also alleged that during the elections most people from outside Osun state participated. ” Many of us in the PDP were intimated because there was clear evidence that people were coming into the state in large numbers, many lorries were turned back and many people were intercepted.

“The government had to intervene so that the integrity of the process could be insured. Also, there were allegations that many people outside were given voters card to vote and the security operatives had to work against it,” he explained

Mr Fani-Kayode further said that although the PDP lost the election, the atmosphere that was created was a free, fair and credible one.

EFCC Vs Fani-Kayode Trial Stalled As Keyemo Is Absent In Court

PHOTO by Channelstv.comThe absence of the prosecuting counsel, Mr Festus Keyamo, on Wednesday stalled the trial of former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, on allegations of laundering about a hundred million Naira.

Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court Lagos was dissatisfied that Mr Keyamo, who was said to be ill, failed to give the court a prior notification of his absence.

The judge said “courtesy” demanded that Mr Keyamo phoned the court to save the time of the court and defence lawyers some of whom had come from outside Lagos especially as the matter had been scheduled since March 19 for trial to continue today.

A counsel, Mr Vitalis Ahaotu, from Mr Keyamo’s law firm was in court, but he could not proceed with the matter, especially as the court had earlier ruled that only Mr Keyamo was competent to prosecute the case since he was the one who was given the fiat by the Attorney-General of the Federation.

A former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr Wole Olanipekun, who was also in court told the judge that he had joined the defence and that from the next proceedings, he would be leading the team defending Mr Fani-Kayode.

Mr Olanipekun had also taken over from Mr Ifedayo Adedipe, who will remain a part of the defence team.

Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia adjourned the matter till May 16 and 17 for continuation of trial.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Money Laundering: Witness Says Aviation Funds Did Not Go Missing During Fani-Kayode’s Tenure

Femi-Fani-Kayode-2Trial continued today (Wednesday) at the Federal High Court, Lagos with the testimony of a third prosecution witness in the case of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against former aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode.

Mr. Fani-Kayode is facing a 40 count charge of laundering about a hundred million naira.

The offence was allegedly committed while he served first as Minister for Culture and Tourism and then as Aviation Minister.

The witness, Mr Bashir Abdullahi who is an investigating police officer with the EFCC, told the court today that the case file of the former minister was assigned to him in 2008, for investigation.

During investigations, Mr Fani-Kayode was invited to the EFCC, where he made various statements in writing, as to the N19.5bn Aviation Intervention Funds.

Under cross examination, the witness told the court that the EFCC’s investigations revealed that no parts of the funds were missing during the tenure of the former aviation minister.

After his testimony, the prosecutor, Mr Festus Keyamo urged the court to grant an adjournment to enable him produce his remaining witnesses, and close the case of the prosecution.

Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia adjourned the case to April 16 and April 17 for continuation of trial.

Money Laundering: Fani-Kayode’s Trial Commences

Femi Fani-KayodeTrial commenced afresh on Monday in the money laundering charge filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, against former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode.

Mr. Fani-Kayode is facing a 40-count charge of laundering about 100 million naira.

The offence was allegedly committed while he served first as Minister for Culture and Tourism and then as Aviation Minister.

The trial began with the prosecution’s first witness, Mr. Okechukwu Okeke, testifying before the court.

Mr. Okeke, a Relationship Officer with First City Monument Bank, FCMB, said that Mr. Fani-Kayode’s account at the bank had become dormant.

He explained that the account was with First Atlantic Bank before it was acquired by Finbank, which was also acquired by FCMB.

The prosecution counsel, Mr Festus Keyamo, tendered Mr. Fani-Kayode’s bank statement of account between August 2008 and September 2012, but the inability to provide the bank statements between 2004 and 2008, the period during which Mr. Fani-Kayode served as minister ended the trial abruptly.

Efforts by the defence lawyer, Ifedayo Adedipe, to secure a long adjournment date for continuation of the trial was rebuffed by the judge who insisted that the trial had dragged on for too long.

Mr. Fani-Kayode was first arraigned in 2008 and since then, three judges have at different times handled his case.

Presiding Judge, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, has fixed March 18 and 19 for continuation of the trial.

Court Orders Re-Arraignment Of Fani-Kayode Over Money Laundering Charges

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos today ruled that the former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode must take his plea to the money laundering charges filed against him.

The court dismissed the objections raised by his counsel that the charge was invalid.

The former minister has an amended 40 count charge of laundering about N100m leveled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

At the last sitting of the court on the 27th of January, the arraignment of the former minister on the amended charge was stalled after his counsel argued that the charge was not valid.

The defence counsel, Mr Ifedayo Adedipe, who relied on section 167 of the Criminal Procedure Act argued that the failure of the EFCC to name the source of the money rendered the charge vague, persecutory and oppressive.

The prosecuting counsel, Mr Festus Keyamo however countered by submitting that the very essence of a crime of money laundering is that the money has no origin and its source cannot be explained.

In her ruling today on the arguments, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia agreed with Mr Keyamo. She held that it was an abject misconception for the defence counsel to raise objections to the validity of the charge.

The court was also of the view that it was enough to state that the former minister received money as the inability to trace the source of the money did not in any way invalidate it.

Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia has fixed the 5th of March for the re-arraignment of the former minister.

EFCC Amends Money Laundering Charges Against Fani-Kayode

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has pruned the allegations of money laundering levelled against former aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode.

From an initial 47 count charge of laundering about N230 million, the charges were pruned down today to 40 counts of laundering about N100m.

The arraignment of the former aviation minister on the amended charges was however stalled today (Monday) as his counsel, Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN) objected to the charges on the grounds that it was invalid. He refused to allow his client make his plea.

The defence counsel said he was objecting to the validity of the charges in line with Section 167 of the Criminal Procedure Act.

The lawyer contended that his client is alleged to have received money from anonymous persons. He concluded that the charge was not only invalid but was also vague, persecutory and oppressive.

“They alleged that he accepted money. When you accuse somebody of accepting money, clearly the person from whom the money was accepted becomes important,” Mr. Adedipe stated.

“The other charges there…one of them accused him of having his wife pay money into his account. These charges cannot be valid,” he added.

The prosecuting counsel, Mr Festus Keyamo argued that the charge was not about stealing or conversion where the owner of the money must be stated.

“The very essence of the crime of money laundering is when the money has no origin, when you are caught with large sums of money and you cannot explain the source,” Mr. Keyamo said.

Our judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele reports that the trial judge, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, has asked both the prosecution and defence counsel to file their written addresses and adjourned ruling on the matter till the 3rd of February.

The Federal Government is prosecuting Mr. Fani-Kayode, at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

APC Leaders In Ogun To Meet With Obasanjo

The leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have converged on Ogun State ahead of a planned meeting with a former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo, as part of the party’s ongoing consultation.

The Saturday meeting will hold at the hilltop home of the former president in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

Some of the party members expected at the meeting are currently holding a closed door meeting at the Ogun State Government House.

The National Interim Leader of the Party, Bisi Akande, Bola Tinubu, Rochas Okorocha, Nuhu Ribadu, Bukola Saraki, Ahamed Abdulfatah, Halimodu Sherif, Muritala Nyako, Femi Fani Kayode, Rabiu Kwakwanso, are some of the party members that will attend the meeting.

Former military Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari and Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi are also expected to join the group before they will proceed to Mr. Obasanjo’s residence.

The meeting is coming after Mr Obasanjo, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), wrote an open letter to the Nigerian president entitled; ‘Before It Is Too Late’, pointing out issues bothering on sensitive areas, some of which are security, politics and economy.

Mixed reactions have trailed the open letter.

President Jonathan’s spokesman, Reuben Abati, said the letter was “self-serving and highly provocative”.

Some critics are of the opinion that Mr Obasanjo lacked the moral backing to write such letter, as the issues he mentioned existed during his tenure as the Nigerian president.

Others say the message and not the messenger should be looked at.

It is not clear if the APC meeting is aimed at wooing him to join the party, as several PDP governors and lawmakers in the House of Representatives have defected to the APC in the last few weeks.

Obasanjo’s Letter Marks End Of Jonathan, PDP – Fani-Kayode

A former Aviation Minister, Femi-Fani Kayode, on Friday said that the controversial 18 page letter written by former president, Olusegun Obasanjo spells doom for President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP, as it would act as a catalyst to terminate the President’s 2015 ambition.

“I believe that Obasanjo’s letter will end up ensuring President Goodluck Jonathan’s fortunes as President of the country post 2015 may not be realised.

“I believe this is the end of Jonathan and I believe this is the end of the PDP as a party, unless Jonathan retraces his steps,” he said.

Mr Fani-Kayode who described the letter as ‘timely’ and ‘historic’ said President Obasanjo is making attempts at correcting his mistake of supporting Jonathan in becoming the President, as well as an attempt to help Jonathan restore the PDP as a party and to restore the country.

Many have criticised the former head of state, Obasanjo on grounds that he contributed to the evils he accused President Jonathan of committing but Fani-Kayode retorted by saying Obasanjo is qualified to make such assertions because he is a father to Jonathan, the PDP and the nation.

“This country is going adrift and I think if an elder statesman and somebody who was instrumental in ensuring that President Goodluck Jonathan became president of this country, (a person who is considered a father to the president, a father to the nation and a father to the PDP) is not in a position to tell us the truth about what’s going on in our country and what is going on with our president, then the signals are clear that the country is on the brink of disaster”,

“If he’s not qualified to speak, if he’s not qualified to say what needs to be said publicly in order to help the president to chart the right course, then I really wonder who is,” he said.

Fani-Kayode who agreed with 99 percent of assertions in the letter, objected to claims made by the former president as regarding Lagos state and Bola Tinubu.

“There are one or two aspects, particularly on the issue of Lagos state and Bola Tinubu. I would respectfully disagree with president Obasanjo in terms of how Lagos was won but other than that I agree with everything he has delivered and I think he’s been courageous and he’s shown leadership and those of us that were his disciples and that worked for him for a number of years, can now hold our heads up high that even though he got it wrong by supporting people like Goodluck Jonathan to be president in the first place, he’s finally retraced his steps. He’s doing the right thing and he’s cleaning up the mess that he partly created.”

On President Jonathan’s rumoured second term agenda, Mr Fani-Kayode said that Obasanjo’s words at  Jonathan are timely and necessary as well as honourable because he put his life and the lives of his family members on the line.

“The right and proper thing to do is for the government and the president himself to personally (as an individual and not through any of his aides or ministers) try to address these issues.”

The former minister praised the former President, saying that he had contributed immensely to the fortune of the nation.

During the civil war, he ensured that the Igbo’s surrender. When the Shagari government was going adrift, he spoke out and things happened. He did the same during the Babangida regime.

During the Yar’adua regime, Obasanjo spoke out against the late President’s continued reign in office even though he was on a sick bed.

Fani-Kayode stressed that the current president has enjoyed support from the former head of state over the last three years, to the disagreement of many who thought he got it wrong in the first place.

 

APC Mobilisation Committee Rally Support for Aregbesola

The All Progressive Congress (APC) played host to members of the National Mobilisation Committee who were in the state to rally support for governor Rauf Aregbesola’s second term bid.

Led by the chairman of the committee, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, the committee streesed the need for continuity in governance to consolidate on the policies and programmes of Governor Aregbesola in the State.

Former Minister of the FCT, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, former Governor of Ogun and Yobe states, Olusegun Osoba and Abba Abuga Ibrahim, former PDP chairman Audu Ogbeh, Femi -Fani Kayode, former Aviation Minister, Mr Tony Momoh were also present at the event.

The need for the party to work hard for victory in the forthcoming elections in Osun and Ekiti states in 2014 as well as the 2015 presidential elections was the major point of discourse.

The committee also appealed to the party members to ensure they register for the elections as all things will be done to ensure free and fair elections in 2014.

Court To Rule On EFCC’s Prosecution Team Against Fani-Kayode On Tuesday

A Federal High Court Judge in Lagos, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia has fixed, Tuesday 25th of June to rule on whether the prosecution team of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) led by Festus Keyamo can prosecute the money laundering case involving former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode.

Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia fixed the date after lawyers in the matter adopted their written addresses.

The former Aviation Minister is standing trial before on a 47-count charge of laundering about N230million filed against him by the EFCC.

At the last sitting of the court on June 6, Fani-Kayode’s counsel; Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), had challenged the appearance of the prosecutor, one Vitalis Ahaotu from the law firm of Festus Keyamo.

Counsel to the former Minister wondered whether the law firm had obtained the fiat of the Attorney General of the Federation to prosecute the matter or was prosecuting on behalf of the EFCC.

The Prosecutor has however countered by arguing that neither the defendant nor the court can inquire into the propriety of a counsel’s appearance in a criminal trial especially where the counsel has been properly briefed by his client.