My Grandson Asked Me Why I’m Called ‘Liar’ Mohammed


Former Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Tuesday, told the Senate that his seven-year-old grandson asked him for an explanation why he is called ‘liar Mohammed’ on social media.

Mr Mohammed, who is a minister-nominee for a second term, during screening at the Senate, said he didn’t take the name seriously because it is what is used to describe him on social media.

He called on the Senate to ignore the name ‘Liar Mohammed’, stressing that the name on his Curriculum Vitae is his correct name.

“Mr President, there is only one small issue, I want to draw your attention to my name in my CV, it’s about my name as it appears on my CV, it’s my correct name, which is Lai Mohammed.

“Please don’t believe what they say on social media, they call me all sorts of names there. I used to ignore it until one day when my 7-year old grandson called me and said grandpa, tell me the truth, why do they call you Liar Mohammed?

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He added that his response to the question was that those behind the name are ‘bad guys’.

“I looked at him, what do you say to a 7-year-old son, how do you explain politics to him?

“So, I said no, don’t mind them, they are the bad guys. He said you mean like Joker? I had no idea what he meant, but I said yes.

“Later I found out that the name (Joker) is the name of their cartoon bad guys.”

Meanwhile, Senator Ibikunle Amosun requested that the minister-nominee takes a bow, owing to his capability to perform after proving himself across the board

He overwhelming got the HI’s from the floor when senate president, Ahmed Lawan called out those in support of him to take a bow.

However, no response was heard against him taking a bow.

N2.5bn DSO Case: Court Admits Lai Mohammed As Prosecution Witness

Kajura Attack: FG Sends Security Operatives After Killers Of Nigerian, Briton
Mr Lai Mohammed addresses a press conference in Abuja on December 10, 2018.

 

A Federal High Court has granted the application of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), to list the former Minister of Information, Mr. Lai Mohammed as a witness in a “N2.5 billion fraud case.

The ICPC had taken the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mr. Ishaq Kawu and two other individuals, Lucky Omoluwa and Dipo Onifade, Chairman of pinnacle communications on the allegation of misappropriating N2.5 billion in the Digital Switch-Over (DSO) programme.

At the last adjourned sitting, Alex Izinyon, counsel to Omoluwa and Onifade, had filed a motion seeking an order of the court to stop the prosecution from listing Mr. Lai Mohammed and Shuaibu Sabo, a bureau de change operator, as additional witnesses.

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At the court hearing today, Mr. Abayomi Oyelola who held the brief for Mr. Alex Iziyon, announced the withdrawal of the motion opposing the list of additional witnesses by the ICPC prompting the trial judge Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo-Giwa, to strike out the application paving way for the ICPC to go ahead with listing Mr. Mohammed as a witness.

Meanwhile, the court has ordered a temporary release of the international passports of the chairman of Pinnacles Communication, Mr. Lucky Omoluwa and his Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Dipo Onifade to travel outside the country within the months of July, August, and September.

The men who are co-defendants with the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Mr. Modibbo Kawu, in a case of an alleged misapplication of funds in the digital switchover programme, were granted this leave on the grounds that they each provide a surety to swear an affidavit to represent them during their trip.

The trial judge, justice Folashade Giwa also gave this order in view of the fact that the counsel to the ICPC withdrew a counter affidavit opposing the release of their passports and had filed an affidavit verifying the defendants’ addresses in the bail bond in compliance to the court’s directive on July 1.

Justice Folashade further warned that the passports are to be returned back to the registry of the court on or before the 25th of September as failure to do so will lead to the detention of their sureties till their arrival.

Justice Giwa adjourned to October 2, 2019, for the continuation of trial.

Alleged N2.5bn Misuse: Lai Mohammed To Appear In Court Over Digital Switch-Over Programme

Lai-Mohammed

 

The former Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, is to appear before a Federal High Court Abuja to explain his role in the alleged misapplication of N2.5 billion Federal Government Digital Switch-Over (DSO) programme.

In a statement by the spokesman of Independent Corrupt Practice and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Rasheedat Okoduwa, the planned appearance of Mr Mohammed was revealed by the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, who is prosecuting him over an alleged abuse of office and money laundering.

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ICPC had filed a 12-count charge before Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo-Giwa, against Kawu, Lucky Omoluwa and Dipo Onifade, the Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Pinnacle Communications Limited respectively, saying that the NBC director general misled the former Minister into approving government funds to a private company.

The former Minister’s involvement had come under questioning following discovery by ICPC during investigations, that a government White Paper that governs the execution of the DSO programme was allegedly flouted by the head of NBC.

Mohammed had however admitted in a statement to the Commission that he was misled by Kawu, as opined in court by a witness from ICPC, Osanato Olugbemi.

Olugbemi, led in evidence by counsel to ICPC, Henry Emore, also told the court that the payment of N2.5 billion from NBC to Pinnacle Communications Limited, as seed grant was suspicious because ICPC found out through its investigations that only government owned company was approved to benefit from the grant according to the White Paper.

The court also heard that the processes that led to the final payment of the fund to the private company were shrouded in secrecy as revealed by the minute from an NBC emergency board management meeting where issues of carriage fees owed Pinnacle and not seed grant was discussed.

He told the court that 47 suspicious transactions were originated by the Chairman of Pinnacle Communications, Omoluwa, immediately after the receipt of the funds on June 2, 2017.

The transactions includes payments of N363 million to one Idowu Olatunde, N274.4 million to one James Segun and N127 million to Dipo Onifade, the Chief Operating Officer of the company.

He informed the court that Omoluwa refused to explained the reasons for the payments to Olatunde and James when asked by ICPC, but Onifade explained that he received the N127 million as legal fees he rendered to Pinnacle Communications Limited.

A Bureau de Change operator, Salisu Mamman Daura, who also testified in court, said he received N167 million in two installments of N97 million and N70 million respectively, from Pinnacle Communications Limited.

Daura added that the sums were converted into $265, 000 and $195, 735 respectively, at the rate of N360 to an American dollar, and handed in cash to one Alhaji Sabo, supposedly on behalf of Pinnacle Communications.

Counsel to the accused persons, Alex Iziyon (SAN), A Yusuf and A. V. Etuwewe for Omoluwa, Onifade, Kawu and Pinnacle Communications respectively, took turns to cross-examined both witnesses after which the matter was adjourned to July 1, 2019 for continuation of trial and ruling on two pending motions by the trial judge.

Presidential Inauguration: Nigeria Is Safe For World Leaders To Come, Says Lai Mohammed

 

The Federal Government has assured that the Presidential Inauguration Day and National Democracy Day will be safe for foreign dignitaries and world leaders coming into the country.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made this known at a world press conference in Abuja, where he reeled out the program of events for days leading to both programs

“I can assure you Nigeria is safe for all the world leaders to come and attend.

“Swear-in of the President and Vice President is slated for Wednesday, May 29 at the Eagles Square, followed by a state banquet at the state house in the evening of the same day.”

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He further explained that the Democracy Day celebration, which will kick-off on June 7, will feature three main events, and end with a parade and Gala night on June 12.

“The events celebrating the June 12 and Democracy Day will kick-off on Friday, June 7 and Tuesday, June 11 will feature three events; the PMB oratorical contest at ICC, an Anti-corruption summit at Transcorp Hilton and the First Lady’s commissioning programme in Yola, Adamawa State.”

He added that; “Wednesday, June 12 will start off with a parade at the eagle square and the democracy programme will wrap up with a dinner and gala night at the statehouse conference centre.

Mr Mohammed also clarified that the Federal Government has declared May 29 and June 12 as public holidays to mark the events.

“On the issue of public holiday, I believe that May 29 still remains a public holiday, of course, June 12, the National Assembly has proclaimed a national holiday.”

Lai Mohammed Accuses PDP Of Attempts To Sabotage Buhari’s Government

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar of doing everything possible to sabotage the Buhari administration, overheat the polity and make Nigeria seemingly ungovernable.

The minister, who spoke during the 12th annual Ramadan lecture on Saturday in his Oro country home in Kwara state, claimed that the opposition party have colluded with “anti-democratic forces and dead-enders” to fan the embers of violence in the country.

“As you are aware, a few days ago we raised the alarm that either by themselves or via their proxies, the PDP and it’s presidential candidate, are doing everything possible to sabotage the Buhari administration, generally overheat the polity and make Nigeria seemingly ungovernable. Of course, you are aware of similar alarms that have been raised by the police, the military and the DSS.

“Our interventions are based on credible evidence and no government with the kind of evidence that we have, of plans to subvert the power of the state, attack the nation’s economic live wire and generally unleash mayhem on the polity, will keep quiet.

“The security agencies are all alert to their responsibilities and will not sit by and allow anyone to reverse the gains of our democracy under any guise,” he added.

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Mr Mohammed called on Nigerians to use the occasion to pray for the country against those he described as ‘anti-democratic forces’ and ‘dead-enders’.

“Therefore appropriate to use this occasion to call on all Nigerians to pray for our dear country, to pray for peace and unity. Those who masquerade as Democrats but can’t take electoral defeat, those who will not hesitate to collude with anti-democratic forces and dead-enders to fan the embers of violence in the country and those who have elevated their personal ambition over and above our survival as a nation.

“Since our intervention, pseudo and partisan analysts have teamed up with the spokesmen for the main opposition party and its presidential candidate to either exhibit their ignorance or to engage in red herring and name calling. We are neither distracted nor dissuaded.

‘Only The Guilty Are Afraid’: Atiku Replies FG

 

 

Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has described a despicable lie, comments by the Presidency suggesting that he and his party are sabotaging the Buhari-led government. 

The Presidency through its spokesman, Lai Mohamed, had said that the opposition candidate, and his party were doing everything to sabotage the Buhari-led administration and over heat the polity.

At a separate briefing after the Federal Executive Council meeting, the Information Minister described their alleged actions as an act of treason.

However, in response to the claims by Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Atiku through a statement by his aide, Mazi Paul Ibe, described the allegations as all lies.

Atiku said, “It is not surprising that such a despicable lie is emanating from Mr. Lai Mohammed, President Buhari’s aptly named Minister of Information.”

He further stated that his actions and those of the PDP are only part of the process to retrieve their mandate.

The former Vice President further said that he is a man of peace  and a thoroughbred democrat.

Below is the full statement by Atiku Abubakar.

“My attention has been drawn to accusations by the Muhammadu Buhari led administration against the candidate of the Presidential Peoples Democratic Party in the 2019 elections and former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, alleging that he has made treasonable statements.

It is not surprising that such a despicable lie is emanating from Mr. Lai Mohammed, President Buhari’s aptly named Minister of Information.

Lai Mohammed is so associated with lies that even Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said, on Monday, May 13, 2019, as follows:

“People like Lai Mohammed, Abba Kyari, Adamu Adamu they are usually very well behaved during the Ramadan. But I’m not even sure that that is true anymore.”

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When we have a situation where even those who employed him know that Lai Mohammed is a liar, who will even lie during the holy month of Ramadan, then why should Nigerians be surprised at this latest lie?

Mr Lai Mohammed is only being clever by half when he says “It beggars belief that a candidate who prides himself as a democrat can so allow desperation to becloud his sense of propriety to such an extent that he will be associating with anti-democratic forces or making inflammatory statements.”

Atiku Abubakar is a man of peace and a thoroughbred democrat. It is preposterous that those who threatened to ‘soak the dog and the baboon in blood’ are now audacious enough to point the finger at lifelong democrats. Truly, if the farmer does not raise the alarm on time, the thief will accuse him of being a thief.

How can a man who wined and dined with Nigeria’s most brutal dictator, how can a man who overthrew a democratically elected President and held a grudge against him even in death (as evidenced by the empty condolence register he left in Sokoto, last year) accuse a man who has never been as much as associated with such tendencies, of being an anti-democrat?

We want to know why the desperation on the part of the Muhammadu Buhari government to rope in the Peoples Democratic Party and its Presidential candidate in phantom plots? Obviously, President Buhari wants to replay the Phantom plot saga of his now deceased mentor, who threw former President Olusegun Obasanjo in jail after falsely accusing him of treason in order to perpetuate himself in power.

Could it be that they are now aware that the electoral fraud they perpetrated during the last Presidential election is about to be exposed beyond a shadow of a doubt?

If anybody is “beating the drums of war”, it is precisely those who have issued statements threatening Nigerians and foreigners alike with “body bags”.

For the avoidance of doubt, let me inform the minister of disinformation that Atiku Abubakar resisted the Abacha dictatorship, of which President Muhammadu Buhari was a prominent member, and it is his resistance and the sacrifice of his co-travellers, like chief MKO Abiola and Alex Ekwueme, amongst others, that gave rise to the democracy that the current government is now trampling on.

Mr. Lai Mohammed is advised to face the cesspool of corruption that has been exposed in his ministry by the investigative website, Premium Times, which revealed that Mr. Mohammed’s fingers may be stickier than sticky glue.”

Atiku, PDP Doing Everything To Sabotage Buhari, Overheat Polity – Lai Mohammed

 

The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed says the opposition candidate, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party are doing everything to sabotage the Buhari-led administration and over heat the polity.

At a separate briefing after the Federal Executive Council meeting, the Information Minister described their actions as an act of treason.

He urged the main opposition party to stop beating the drums of war and concentrate on the legal challenge by its candidate against the election of President Buhari if they have any faith in the country’s judiciary.

READ ALSO: May 29: Buhari’s Inauguration Will Be Low-Key, Says Lai Mohammed

Meanwhile, the council approved N9.47billion for the purchase of grains to reinforce the grain reserve in the country.

At the meeting, the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh said the council gave approval to buy 61 tones of grains and millet and sorghum.

Ogbeh said the purchasing will begin shortly, adding that the grains are being stored in the silos in the event of any food emergency.

We Want The World To See June 12 As Nigeria’s Most Important Day – Garba Shehu

 

The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, has shed some more light on the comments made by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, about the President’s inauguration on May 29, being a low-key ceremony.

During an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday, Mr Shehu explained that while May 29th remains significant as the inauguration day, all ceremonies associated with the inauguration have been deferred to June 12.

“We want the world to see June 12 as this country’s most important (day) as far as democracy is concerned,” he said.

He further explained that the May 29 inauguration will still be marked because according to the Constitution, the four-year term officially ends on the 29th.

“Let me say emphatically, it is important that the President and the governors are being inaugurated on the 29th.

“Constitutionally, that must take place because their four-year term (2015-2019), expires on the 29th.

“However, the President will be swearing an oath, taking the oath of office as would the governors be doing, but the big ceremonies associated with the inauguration have been deferred to June 12, in order that we empower, we activate this day in a big way”.

READ ALSO: May 29: Buhari’s Inauguration Will Be Low-Key, Says Lai Mohammed

On the venue of the event, he noted that it would take place at the Eagles Square, Abuja and the missions in the country, embassies, and other key figures will be duly represented.

“Delegations will come but we are welcoming them on June 12,” Shehu added.

Also speaking on the matter, a senior Advocate of Nigeria Adetokunbo Kayode, explained that it is economical to avoid multiple ceremonies and public holidays.

He said, “I think that prudence actually determines that it is done in a low-key fashion because of the ceremony that will come on June 12, so I think it’s okay.

“Holidays cost money, secondly, ceremonies cost money so it may be that the President wants to be very circumspect about how much he spends on these ceremonies”.

The Information Minister had during a press conference earlier today, explained that the country cannot afford two major celebrations within a two-week interval.

He noted that details of the events slated for the two ceremonies will be unveiled at a world press conference on May 20, 2019, in Abuja.

May 29: Buhari’s Inauguration Will Be Low-Key, Says Lai Mohammed

Kajura Attack: FG Sends Security Operatives After Killers Of Nigerian, Briton
Mr Lai Mohammed addresses a press conference in Abuja on December 10, 2018.

 

The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s inauguration for a second term will be ‘low-key’.

He explained that some of the events slated for the inauguration will now be held during the first observance of June 12 as the National Democracy Day.

According to Information Minister, the decision to have a low-key inauguration was taken at the meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday, May 8.

“Invitations have been sent to all world leaders to attend the ceremonies marking the observance of the Democracy Day on June 12.

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“Since the first observance of June 12 as Democracy Day falls into an election year, and as a measure to sustain June 12 as Democracy Day, the celebration of the inauguration and the advancement of democracy in the country will now take place on June 12.

“The country can ill-afford two major celebrations within a two-week interval”.

Details of the events slated for the two ceremonies will be unveiled at a world press conference on May 20, 2019, in Abuja.

FEC Approves Construction Of Seven Model Schools, N1.6bn For Antiretroviral Drugs

 

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has given approval for the construction of 7 model school in each zone of the country including the FCT.

The Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed disclosed this at a media briefing after the council meeting on Thursday.

The schools which are to be sited in Imo, Katsina, Bauchi, Edo, Lagos, and Nasarawa, will cost about N4.6billion.

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The council which met for over five hours also approved the contract for the supply of first-line Antiretroviral drugs for the National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA). The contract is in the sum of over N1.6 billion. This includes 2nd line ARV of over N210million.

The drugs are to be supplied to Federal Central Store in Oshodi, medical stores in Abia and Taraba.

FG Condoles With Family Of Late National Theatre GM

FG Condoles With Family Of Late National Theatre GM

 

The Federal Government has condoled with the family of the General Manager of the National Theatre, Dr Stella Oyedepo, who died in a road accident.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, said her death has created a huge vacuum in the ecosystem of the nation’s creative industry.

He made the remark on Friday when he led the top management staff of the ministry on a condolence visit to the husband of the deceased, Dr Hezekiah Oyedepo, in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

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“We were all shocked and short of words but we must just accept what God has destined to happen,” Mohammed was quoted as saying in a statement by his media aide, Segun Adeyemi.

He added, “But the good side is that Dr Oyedepo left a big imprint in the national ecosystem of the creative industry within the one year that she spent as the CEO of the National Theatre.

“We will continue to remember her enthusiasm, passion and her resolute decision to move the National Theatre and the creative industry as a whole to the next level.”

The minister informed the family that he has formally communicated the news of Dr Oyedepo’s death to the President and the Federal Executive Council.

He asked them to take solace in the fact that her legacy in creativity transcended the boundaries of the country.

Mohammed said, “I am glad that what she has done has gone beyond the shores of this country because when we hosted the 61st United Nations World Tourism Organisation Meeting (in Abuja), I think we gave every delegate this decorative kola, which was a product of her creativity.”

He, therefore, commended the husband of the deceased for his strength of character and faith, even as he mourned the loss of his wife.

The minister prayed that God would grant repose to the soul of the late GM and give her family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

In his response, Dr Oyedepo said the death of his wife was the biggest tragedy that has befallen the family.

He described her as his companion, confidante and partner for life who would be sorely missed by the family.

The deceased’s husband, however, noted that as a Christian, he was taught to always give thanks to God in every situation.

The elder brother of the husband and General Overseer of the Living Faith Church, Bishop David Oyedepo, prayed for the family and the repose of the soul of Dr Oyedepo.

Buhari’s Cabinet Remains Intact Until May 22, Says Lai Mohammed

Buhari's Cabinet Remains Intact Until May 22, Says Lai Mohammed
A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, says President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet will remain intact until May 22, 2019.

He disclosed this to reporters at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting which held on Thursday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Mr Mohammed also revealed that the President would chair a valedictory meeting of members of the Council on that day.

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The Minister of Interior, Lieutenant General Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd), also briefed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting.

According to him, the Federal Government approved N52 billion to acquire modern technology to monitor the nation’s borders and respond to emergencies at the borders.

The minister disclosed that the e-border solution would effectively cover 86 border posts and all 1,400 illegal routes used for smuggling and cross-border crimes across the country.

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, presided over the FEC meeting while President Muhammadu Buhari was in Borno State to inaugurate some projects.

The President, thereafter, travelled to the United Kingdom on a private trip.

Meanwhile, the FEC meeting had in attendance the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, and the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, among other members of the President’s cabinet.