Lai Mohammed Defends FG’s Anti-Corruption Drive

Lai Mohammed, CorruptionAs the Federal Government’s anti-corruption fight comes under intense criticisms, the Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed, has blamed corruption for Nigeria’s recession.

Mr Mohammed also insisted that the measures taken by the government were within the ambit of the law.

Speaking at a forum in Abuja on Thursday where the arrest of some judges was addressed, the Minister defended the action.

A former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Obadiah Mailafia, also acknowledged that the cost of corruption has brought unimaginable consequences.

He, however, noted that there should be a balance and urged the government to provide a clear blueprint for economic revival alongside the war against corruption.

A former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Nuhu Ribadu and a member of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Advisory Committee, Femi Odejide, also gave their view on the corruption fight.

PDP Screens Eight Candidates For Chairmanship Ahead Of NEC

pdpThe caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it is screening eight candidates ahead of the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting.

The NEC meeting is where a National Chairman for the party is expected to be ratified.

The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Olisa Metuh, told journalists that the caucus expanded the number of candidates from the initial four submitted by the governors for screening to eight.

According to him, the former Governor of Borno State, Mr Ali Modu Sheriff and Mr Nuhu Ribadu have joined the race for the party’s national chairmanship.

Ribadu Urges President Jonathan To Tackle Corruption In NNPC

As Nigerians await the outcome of the investigation into the alleged missing $20 Billion at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Nuhu Ribadu has tasked President Goodluck Jonathan to tackle the rot in the corporation, as doing so will portray his government as effectively fighting corruption.   

Speaking to Channels Television in Kaduna, Mr Ribadu said there is the urgent need for the NNPC to open up its activities to the public by declaring its income and expenses to Nigerians, rather than allowing its operations to be shrouded in secrecy.

Ribadu, while supporting the invitation of independent forensic auditors to investigate the missing $20 billion  as alleged by the Central Bank Governor, said that only a strong political will from the president would address the sharp practices going on in the nation’s oil sector.

He however expressed hope that the Senate and the independent auditors will come up with the facts.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Sanusi Lamido Sanusi had insisted last week Friday that there is an outstanding $20 Billion between what the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) shipped and what it paid to the government.

Mr Sanusi, who was speaking during a presentation at a hearing by the Senate Committee on Finance, said “Out of the $20 billion, there is $6 billion that NNPC says was shipped on behalf of Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), there is $2 billion third party finance; that’s $8 billion and the balance of $12 billion from our books and even from the books of the NNPC submission, is what is outstanding from the domestic crude of the $28 billion that was exported by Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC)”.

‘I Am A Card Carrying Member Of PDP’, Obasanjo Tells APC

Olusegun Obasanjo.A former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has told the All Progressives Congress (APC) that he remains a ‘card carrying member’ of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

At his Hilltop home in Abeokuta, capital of Ogun State, Obasanjo told the leaders of the APC, who visited him on Saturday in continuation of their consultations on political developments in Nigeria that he is a democrat that believes in the existence of opposition.

He stressed the need for politicians to play by the rules of the game and play politics without bitterness.

“My Party is PDP. My politics is Nigeria, Africa and the World in that order. I am a democrat and I do know that one of the essential ingredients of democracy is opposition.

“Always put Nigeria first above personal and group interests.

“The politics that should be played should be politics with decency, without rancour and one that has Nigeria at the heart of all that is done.

“I am incurably optimistic about Nigeria and I am also totally committed to Nigeria and nothing will divert me or distract me from that commitment,” Obasanjo stated.

The APC leaders eulogised the virtues of the former president, describing him as a reference point in Nigeria’s politics.

Some of the party members present the meeting are the National Interim Chairman of the party, Mr Bisi Akande, former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, Gen Mohammadu Buhari, Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, Kawu Baraje, Governor of Imo State Rochas Okorocha, Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo,  Alimodu Sherif, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Abiola Ajimobi and Babatunde Fashola, Femi Fani-Kayode and former Anti-graft Czar, Mr Nuhu Ribadu.

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.


Ibori’s $15m Bribe Money: FG, Delta Battle For Ownership

The presiding judge on the case, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, has set the 10th July for the Federal and Delta state governments to argue which side should claim the $15 million recovered from former governor of Delta state, Mr. James Ibori.

At a resumed sitting of the court, Justice Kolawole adjourned the case for hearing for the claimant, Delta State, to make its case for the money.

The $15m cash was said to have been offered as bribe by Ibori in 2007 to the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, to compromise on the probe of a fraud allegation against Ibori.

The Federal Government had on July 24, 2012 obtained an interim order that the money be forfeited to it pending the time anyone who may lay bona fide claim shows cause of legitimate ownership at the court.

However in an application filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja, Delta State government claimed that the money rightly and legitimately belonged to it and that the court should order its return to its treasury.

The affidavit averred that any money, asset or property recovered from Ibori rightly belonged to Delta State, and that same should be returned to it as it has always maintained its entitlement to any asset recovered from the former governor as has been done in other states where assets were recovered.