“President Buhari rejoices with family, friends and political associates of the former president, lauding him for good counsels to leaders within and outside Nigeria since he left office, sharing his experience of serving at different levels of governance.
“President Buhari believes the former President’s legacy of humility and patriotism will continue to resonate, inspiring generations to come on the sacrifices made for the stability of democracy and promotion of sustainable development,” the statement read in part.
He also wished the former President and his family more years of joyful celebrations.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has eventually cast his vote alongside Dame Patience after a delayed arrival of officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and election materials.
They both cast their vote at Ward 13 unit 39 Otazi playground in Otueke, Ogbia LGA of Bayelsa state.
Former President Jonathan’s Ward 13, Unit 39, Otazi Playground in Otueke polling unit has the presence of security officials, election observers and voters still awaiting the arrival of electoral officers.
The former President wished the former Head of State more strength and peaceful years.
Similarly, former Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, felicitated with General Gowon.
He also prayed that God grants the elder statesman more years to continue to serve his country.
Read the statement by former President Jonathan below:
I rejoice with you and all well-wishers as you mark your 85th birthday.
You are a courageous leader who served Nigeria with honour, pride, and love, especially at a difficult time in the life of our nation.
Long after you left office, your passion and patriotism have remained undiminished, as you have continued to work and fervently pray for our country’s growth and development.
As a statesman, you have remained resolutely committed to the peace and unity of Nigeria.
On behalf of my family, I wish you more strength and peaceful years as you celebrate.
Happy Birthday Your Excellency.
Also, read the tweet by former Vice President Atiku below:
My family and I, celebrate General Yakubu Gowon, on the occasion of his 85th birthday. May God in His infinite wisdom bless you now and always and may He grant you more years of meritorious service to a grateful nation. -AA
The All Progressives Congress (APC) says former president Goodluck Jonathan should not have bothered to respond to the allegations of former British Prime Minister, David Cameron, over the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls in 2015.
The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, in a statement said Nigerians already know the story of Jonathan’s “habitual negligence” to matters of state and so it was not necessary for him to try to deny.
According to the party, denying or arguing would not change anything.
In his new book entitled, For the Record, Mr Cameron had accused the previous government of “sleeping on the wheel” while Boko Haram terrorists were abducting schoolgirls in Chibok community of Borno State.
The former United Kingdom Prime Minister also accused Dr Jonathan of preventing British forces from engaging in rescue efforts, saying he seemed to see the incident as cheap politics.
However, responding to the matter, Jonathan described the claims as “quite sad”.
He insisted that none of the allegations was true, adding that he did not only write letters to the former UK Prime Minister but sought the help of former Presidents Barrack Obama (US) and Francois Hollande (France), as well as the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in rescuing the Chibok girls.
The reaction came as the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group marked 2000 days of the abduction on October 5.
But the APC insists that the Jonathan administration was corrupt.
Beyond that, the party also says it is a national consensus that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), elevated corruption to a national culture.
“The Chibok schoolgirls abduction and his “sleeping behind the wheel” is not a story to deny as it is already part of our national history. We may disagree on a number of issues in Nigeria, but there is a national consensus on the fact that PDP elevated corruption to a national culture.
“That Jonathan’s government was corrupt was actually half of the story. The full story is that corruption hallmarked the successive 16 years,” the statement read.
The APC went further to state that “what is important now is Jonathan explaining to the families of the abducted schoolgirls why as president, he did nothing for two weeks after the Chibok abductions and still refuses to take responsibility for the tragedy up till now — except he continues to blame the Chibok abductions and other failings of his administration on the so-called grand conspiracy against him as he laboriously tries to state in his response to Cameron”.
According to the party, the current administration’s reactions and actions after the similar and unfortunate Dapchi schoolgirls kidnapping is a pointer to how a responsive government should act.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has slammed a former British Prime Minister, David Cameron, over the allegations against him and his administration.
In his new book entitled, For the Record, Mr Cameron was said to have accused the previous government of “sleeping on the wheel” while Boko Haram terrorists were abducting schoolgirls in Chibok community of Borno State.
The former United Kingdom prime minister also accused Dr Jonathan of preventing British forces from engaging in rescue efforts, saying he seemed to see the incident as cheap politics.
Responding in a statement on Saturday, former President Jonathan criticised Cameron for the claims, saying “It is quite sad.”
He insisted that none of the allegations was true as he did not only write letters to the former UK Prime Minister but sought the help of former Presidents Barrack Obama (US) and Francois Hollande (France), as well as the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in rescuing the Chibok girls.
He reminded Cameron that in March 2012 when the same Boko Haram linked terrorists abducted a British expatriate named Chris McManus along with an Italian hostage Franco Lamolinara in Sokoto, he authorised a rescue effort by members of the British military Special Boat Service supported by the Nigerian Army to free the abducted men.
The former president stated that the UK government did not offer any help to rescue the Chibok girls, stressing that he would not have rejected same if there was any.
He, however, accused Cameron of suppressing information about him requesting his help on the Chibok abduction, saying copies of the letter exist at the State Houses in Nigeria and London.
“He (Cameron) never called me on the phone to offer any help. On the contrary, I am the one that reached out to him,” Jonathan said.
Read the full statement from the former president below:
My Response To David Cameron’s Claims
I read the comments by former British Prime Minister, David Cameron, in his new book, For the Record, in which he accused me and the Nigerian Government, which I headed, of corruption and rejecting the help of the British Government in rescuing the Chibok Girls, who were kidnapped on April 14, 2014.
It is quite sad that Mr. Cameron would say this because nothing of such ever occurred. As President of Nigeria, I not only wrote letters to then Prime Minister David Cameron, I also wrote to the then US President, Barrack Obama, and the then French President, François Hollande, as well as the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, appealing to them for help in rescuing the Chibok Girls.
How could I write to appeal for help and then reject the very thing I appealed for?
Also, history contradicts Mr. Cameron. On March 8, 2012, when the same Boko Haram linked terrorists abducted a British expatriate named Chris McManus, along with an Italian hostage Franco Lamolinara, in Sokoto, I, as Nigerian President, personally authorised a rescue effort by members of the British military Special Boat Service supported by officers and men of the Nigerian Army, to free the abducted men.
So, having set a precedent like that, why would I reject British help in rescuing the Chibok Girls, if it was offered?
I also authorised the secret deployment of troops from the United Kingdom, the United States and Israel as a result of the Chibok incident, so how Mr. Cameron could say this with a straight face beats me.
Moreover, on March 8, 2017, the British Government of former Prime Minister, Theresa May, in a widely circulated press statement, debunked this allegation and said there was no truth in it after Mr. Cameron had made similar statements to the Observer of the UK.
In his book, Mr. Cameron failed to mention that I wrote him requesting his help on Chibok. Why did he suppress that information? I remind him that copies of that letter exist at the State Houses in Nigeria and London. He never called me on the phone to offer any help. On the contrary, I am the one that reached out to him.
He accused me of appointing Generals based on political considerations. How could that be when I fired my service chiefs twice in five years, to show that I would not tolerate anything less than meaningful progress in the war on terror.
I was completely blind to ethnic or political considerations in my appointments. In civil and military matters, I appointed people that I had never even met prior to appointing them, based on their professional pedigree. Though I was from the South, most of my service chiefs came from the North.
I do, however, know that Mr. Cameron has long nursed deep grudges against me for reasons that have been published in various media.
On July 24, 2013, while celebrating the passage of the United Kingdom’s Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, 2013, Mr. Cameron said “I want to export gay marriage around the world”.
At that occasion, he boasted that he would send the team that successfully drafted and promoted the Bill, to nations, like Nigeria, saying inter alia:
“I’ve told the Bill team I’m now going to reassign them because, of course, all over the world people would have been watching this piece of legislation”.
As President of Nigeria at that time, I came under almost unbearable pressure from the Cameron administration to pass legislation supporting LGBTQ Same Sex marriage in Nigeria. My conscience could not stomach that, because as President of Nigeria, I swore on the Bible to advance Nigeria’s interests, and not the interest of the United Kingdom or any foreign power.
As such, on Monday, January 13, 2014, I signed the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill into law after the Bill had been passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority of Nigeria’s parliament, in line with the wishes of the Nigerian people. This happened shortly after a study of 39 nations around the world by the U.S. Pew Research Center came up with a finding which indicated that 98 percent of Nigerians were opposed to the idea of Gay Marriage.
Immediately after I took this patriotic action, my government came under almost unbearable pressure from Mr. Cameron, who reached me through envoys, and made subtle and not so subtle threats against me and my government.
In fact, meetings were held at the Obama White House and at the Portcullis House in Parliament UK, with the then Nigerian opposition to disparage me, after I had signed the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill into law.
On the issue of corruption, it suffices to say that Mr. Cameron is not as competent as Transparency International, which is globally acknowledged as the adjudicator of who is corrupt and who is not.
During my administration, in 2014, Nigeria made her best ever improvement on the annual Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, moving from 144 the previous year, to 136, an 8 point improvement. As a nation, we have not made such improvements on the CPI before or after 2014.
In line with these facts, I would urge the public to take Mr. Cameron’s accusations with a grain of salt. I will not be the first person to accuse him of lying on account of this book, and with the reactions in the UK so far, I definitely will not be the last.
Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, Chairman of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation and President of Nigeria 2010-2015.
Barely 24 hours after the Federal High Court freed Waripamo Owei-Dudafa, an aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan, and a banker, Iwejuo Joseph, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have formally filed its notice of appeal challenging the judgment.
The notice of appeal which is pursuant to Section 241 (1) (a) of the 1999 Constitution, is premised on nine grounds of appeal.
It lists the Federal Republic of Nigeria as the appellant and Dudafa and Iwejuo as respondents.
In the first round, the EFCC Prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo said the trial judge, Justice Mohammed Idris erred in law by discharging and acquitting the respondents on counts of conspiracy.
In the particulars of the notice, Justice Idris was said to have failed to bind himself with the age-long principle of law which provides that conspiracy is complete upon agreement.
Dudafa and Iwejuo in their defence had both stated that they did not know each other until the time of their arrest. But the EFCC says following the age-long principle, it is settled law that once a conspiracy has come into existence other conspirators may join in at a later stage and it is not necessary for the conspirators to know themselves or the full extent of the scheme to which a conspirator has joined himself.
The Commission also says that the judge also departed from the settled position of law that “confession alone is sufficient to support a conviction without corroboration so long as the court is satisfied of the truth of the confession”.
Justice Idris was said to have failed to consider and ascribe any probative value to any of the evidence adduced by the two respondents establishing a meeting of the mind, which constitutes the conspiracy to carry out the unlawful act of concealing proceeds of crime.
The EFCC is, therefore, seeking an order of the court convicting the respondents as charged and sentencing them as prescribed by the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 as amended and the EFCC Act of 2004.
A former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Waripamo Owei-Dudafa has been discharged and acquitted by a Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos on an alleged N1.6billion fraud charge.
Justice Mohammed Idris in a 190-page judgment on Thursday held that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to prove any of the 22-charge beyond reasonable doubt against Owei-Dudafa and a Heritage Bank staff, Joseph Iwejuo.
Justice Idris held that EFCC’s case was “based on suspicions” and suspicions “cannot take the place of legal evidence.”
Justice Idris also held that the EFCC failed to call vital witnesses, like Jonathan, the former NSA Sambo Dasuki, and even the CBN governor, and such failure was fatal to the case of the EFCC.
The judge held that a particular vital witness, Sompre Omeibi, who could have linked the defendants to the offences, was not summoned to testify.
He also said the prosecution failed to carry out a proper investigation as the EFCC did not conclude its investigation before rushing to court, thereby leaving loopholes.
Justice Idris, therefore, dismissed the entire 22 counts charge against Dudafa and Iwuejo.
In a swift reaction, the EFCC Prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo has indicated that the Commission will study the judgment as there legal grounds to challenge same.
The EFCC had accused the defendants of concealing the N1.6billion through a company, Seagate Property Development and Investment Limited, an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 17(a).
They have also accused them of knowingly concealing proceeds of crime through Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited amounting to N399,470,000.00, among others.
EFCC said Dudafa, between June 1 and June 4, 2015, “procured” Iwejuo and Ebiwise Resources to conceal N150 million, being proceeds of crime.
Other companies allegedly used in laundering the money include Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited, Rotato Inter Link Services Limited and De Jakes Fast Food and Restaurant Nigerian Limited.
“Every generation of human being faces problems and that generation must find ways of solving that problem,” the former president said.
He added, “Every government faces some unique problems. Insecurity has been with us immediately after the civil war.
“That was the first time we experienced armed robbery in Lagos. From armed robbery, it graduated to kidnapping.”
The former president called for the setting up of a separate government agency that will handle the security challenges facing Nigeria.
He traced the history of criminal activities in Nigeria, saying, “The first major kidnapping was described as commercial kidnapping because some money exchanged hands. This happened in 2006 when I was governor of Bayelsa State.
“From commercial kidnapping, it moved to terrorism in the North and now some kind of terrorist attacks are all over the country when people will just come out of the road and spray bullets on innocent people. That is a terrorist attack.
“You have no reason to attack somebody you don’t even know, that is terrorism.”
According to him, every generation and government usually face various challenges which would need to be tackled with diverse approaches.
He called for collaboration between the Federal and the state governments to address the incessant killings in the country.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to implement the recommendations of the 2014 national conference.
Speaking on Thursday at the book presentation of Senator Femi Okurounmu he chaired at the University of Lagos, the former President believes that the nation’s major challenges can be addressed effectively if the report of the conference is executed.
Jonathan said his administration would have implemented the report of the confab but due to political and timing issues it was impossible for him
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has reacted to last Friday’s judgment of the Federal High court in Lagos, which ordered the immediate release of details of payments to all defaulting and allegedly corrupt electricity contractors and companies by the governments of former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’adua, Goodluck Jonathan, and the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement by its deputy director, Mr. Kolawole Oluware, SERAP says, “we welcome the ground-breaking judgment by Justice Obiozor as a victory for transparency and accountability of public officials, electrical contractors and companies and their shareholders. It is an extremely important step toward tackling the impunity in the electricity sector, which has for many years forced ordinary Nigerians to stay in darkness, but still made to pay crazy electricity bills.”
The statement further provides the details as ordered by the court to be disclosed and widely published on a dedicated website to include information on: specific names and details about contractors and companies paid by each government, the total amounts paid by each government and the objects for the payments, the level of implementation of electricity projects, as well as details and specific locations of projects executed across the country by each government since 1999.
SERAP, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to demonstrate his commitment to the rule of law by immediately obeying and respecting the judgment of the court.
Former Presidents Goodluck Jonathan and Olusegun Obasanjo were absent at the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term on Wednesday.
Also absent at the Eagle Square, Abuja, where the ceremony held was former Military President Ibrahim Babangida.
While the three former heads of government were absent at what the government had said would be a low-key inauguration ceremony, former military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (retd) was among other prominent Nigerians, diplomats, top government officials, and politicians at the ceremony.
Acting Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Mohammed Tanko, administered the oath of office to the President at 10:42 am, shortly after Vice President Yemi Osinbajo took his oath of office.
Based on the Constitution, the President swore that as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria he would discharge his duties to the best of his ability, faithfully and in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the law, and always in the interest of the sovereignty, integrity, solidarity, well-being and prosperity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He also swore that he would preserve the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy contained in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that he would not allow his personal interest to influence his official conduct or official decisions.
Wednesdays ceremony was also witnessed by members of the first families including the wives of the President Buhari and Osinbajo, Aisha and Dolapo, respectively.