Obasanjo’s House On Fire

The country home of Nigeria’s former President, Olusegun Obasanjo at Olusegun Osoba Hilltop in Abeokuta, Ogun state has been damaged by a fire outbreak, which consumed the office building in the complex.

The fire started just about 20minutes after the former president left his Abeokuta Hilltop Mansion residence on Thursday. Photo by Dimeji Kayode-Adedeji

The fire which lasted for about 30 minutes was allegedly caused by a power surge.

One of the attendants in the house, who does not want to be identified, said that as soon as the blaze was noticed, men of the Ogun state fire service and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps were contacted.

The inferno was reportedly brought under control.

The former president returned home after the inferno started.

Addressing journalists that were present at the house, the former President in Yoruba language, jokingly used a native adage that the King’s house that burns will only be beautified.

“Go, go and sing to the whole world that ‘the King’s house that is gutted by fire only beautifies the house,” the former president cheerfully said.

He then dismissed the reporters as he continued to jest with members of family and  guests that had rushed there to sympathise with him.

Learn From Ghana’s Election, INEC Commissioner Tells Nigerians

The Cross River State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mike Igini on Tuesday said Ghana will remain the pride of Africa as it stands as a model in African democracy which Nigeria must emulate.

Mr Igini, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said “the history of a people is a reflection of how they decide to conduct themselves.”

The INEC commissioner said Ghana has conducted six successful elections that has met both local and international standards and that the success is not far-fetched because the saying “Ghana First” applies that every Ghanaians should believe in the country.

He said Ghanaians are where they are today because they started a journey of change some years ago, remaining committed to the value of change and in making the country attain a higher level in Africa and West Africa Sub-region and that they also adopt new method which is the introduction of the biometric system in the election process.

“Some of the things I found in Ghana are quite interesting unlike in our own country; and of course we can see why we are where we are,” he said.

Obasanjo lays N350 million mosque foundation

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo on Friday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital laid the foundation of a N350million mosque located within the premises of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library.

Four northern governors, Aliyu Wamako (Sokoto), Shehu Shemma (Katshina), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano) and Usman Dakingari of Kebbi State joined their Ogun State counterpart, Senator Ibikunle Amosun at the N350 Million fund raising ceremony for the completion of the mosque.

Also, the Governor of the Central Bank, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, was among the dignitaries that stormed Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital for the formal foundation laying and fund raising ceremony of the Baytus-Salam Central Mosque being promoted by Obasanjo.

Obasanjo while speaking at the event which also had in attendance representatives of the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Abdulazeez Arisekola Alao, traditional rulers from across the state and many Islamic scholars, described the occasion as part of  his efforts at leaving a legacy that would not be limited by religion, tribe, gender, race or language.

He added that the legacies were meant for posterity at the global, continental, state, national as well as community levels.

“We intend that these legacies will serve the community which must reflect the resources of that community. We are here on this site, trying to put down the legacy of prosperity. The legacy of global nature; the legacy of continental nature; the legacy of national nature; the legacy of community nature; the legacy that knows no boundaries, religion, gender, age, tribe, race language.

“And of course, our idea is that, by this virtue of all undertaking some of which are beyond our control, we are located here. This legacy must serve the community, and if we are to serve the communities, it must reflect in spite of the odds of the community.

“And if the community will be served, it must have a place of worship. You have come here to appreciate our community. I thank you most sincerely for that. We have come here to have a place of worship for an important segment of our community and I want to particularly appreciate my Obas and governors who have responded to our invitation.”

Speaking at the event, the governors of Sokoto and Ogun state while eulogising the leadership qualities of the former president and his attempt at fostering cordial relationships among Nigerians tasked Nigerians to break the artificial barriers created by religions and live together in peace and harmony

When completed, the N350 million edifice will be equipped with a Muslim school,a hall and an imam residence among others.

Media chat: You are wrong about Odi, Obasanjo tells Jonathan

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Tuesday rebuffed claims by President Goodluck Jonathan that the army invasion of Odi – a small community in Bayelsa state – in 1999 was a failure.

During last Sunday’s presidential media chat, President Jonathan had said that the invasion of Odi ordered by Mr Obasanjo in 1999 was a failure.
He had said: “After that invasion, myself and the governor entered Odi…and saw some dead people. Most of the people that died in Odi were mostly old men, women and children, none of the militants was killed.

“If bombarding Odi was to solve the problem, then it was never solved. If the attack on Odi had solved the problem of militancy in the Niger Delta, then the Yar’ Adua government would not have come up with the Amnesty programme. So, that should tell you that the attack on Odi never solved the militancy problem and we had more challenges after that attack on Odi.”

Reacting to these assertions, Femi Fani-Kayode, who served as Special Assistant on Public Affairs and subsequently Minister of Aviation during Mr Obasanjo regime, released a press statement claiming that the invasion of Odi not only killed the militants but decimated their capacity to wage acts of terror against the state.

The statement reads: “During a live broadcast of the Presidential Media Chat to the nation on the evening of November 18, 2012, President Goodluck Jonathan said that the military operation in Odi by the Nigerian Armed Forces in 1999, which was ordered by President Olusegun Obasanjo, did not solve the problem or stop the killing of soldiers, policemen and innocent civilians in the Niger Delta area by the terrorists and militants. He also said that all he saw in Odi after he went there on an official visit as Deputy Governor were the dead bodies of old people. With the greatest respect to Mr. President this is factually incorrect. He has either forgotten the relevant facts or he has been misinformed. Whichever way he is mistaken and it is important for those of us that proudly served the Obasanjo administration to respond to him in order to clarify the issues, clear the air and set the record straight for the sake of history and posterity.

“I had the privilege of being briefed about all the facts by President Olusegun Obasanjo himself and Col. Kayode Are, the former DG of the SSS, immediately after the Presidential Media Chat and I believe that it is appropriate to share some of those facts with members of the Nigerian public given the grave assertion and serious charge that President Jonathan has made. Those facts are as follows:
Why Army invaded Odi

“Five policemen and four soldiers were killed by a group of Niger Delta militants when they tried to enter the town of Odi in Bayelsa State in order to effect their arrest. This happened in 1999. After the brutal killing of these security personnel, President Olusegun Obasanjo asked the then Governor of Bayelsa State, Governor Alamieyeseigha, to identify, locate, apprehend and hand over the perpetrators of that crime.

“The Governor said that he was unable to do so and President Obasanjo, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, took the position that security personnel could not be killed with impunity under his watch without a strong and appropriate response from the Federal Government. Consequently he sent the military in, to uproot and kill the terrorists and to destroy their operational base which was the town of Odi. The operation was carried out with military precision and efficiency and it’s objectives were fully achieved. The terrorists were either killed and those that were not killed fled their operational base in Odi. They were uprooted, weakened, demoralised and completely dispersed. That was the purpose of the whole exercise and that purpose was achieved. The truth is that the killing of security agents and soldiers with impunity by the Niger Delta militants virtually stopped after the operation in Odi and remained at a bare minimum right up until the time that President Obasanjo left power eight years later in 2007. I advise those that doubt this to go and check the records.

“The same thing was done in Zaki-Biam in Benue State in the North-central zone of Nigeria in 2001 after 19 soldiers were murdered in cold blood and then brutally beheaded by some terrorists from that area. Again after the Federal Government’s strong military response in Zaki Biam, the killing of security personnel with impunity stopped. The objectives of the military operations in both Odi and Zaki-Biam were to stop such killings, to eliminate and deal a fatal blow to those that perpetrated them and to discourage those that may seek to carry out such barbarous butchery and mindless violence in the future.

“Those were the objectives and nothing more and clearly those objectives were achieved. There is no doubt that after Odi, there were still unrest, agitations, protests, kidnappings and the blowing up and sabotage of oil pipelines in the Niger Delta area but there were hardly any more attacks on or killing of soldiers and security personnel by the terrorists and militants because they knew that to do that would attract a swift and forceful reaction and terrible retribution from the Nigerian military.
Invasions objective achieved

“To stop and deter those attacks and killings was the objective of President Obasanjo and that objective was achieved. President Goodluck Jonathan was therefore in error when he said that Odi did not solve the problem of killings in the Niger Delta area by the Niger Delta militants. Not only did it stop the killings but it is also an eloquent testimony of how to deal with terrorists, how to handle those that kill our security personnel with impunity and how to deter militants from killing members of our civilian population and thinking that they can get away with it. If President Obasanjo had not taken that strong action at that time, many more of our civilian population and security personnel would have been killed by the Niger Delta militants between 1999 and 2007.

“By doing what he did at Odi and Zaki-Biam, President Obasanjo saved the lives of many and put a stop to the killings and terrorism that had taken root in the Niger Delta area prior to that time.”

The former Aviation minister also said Mr Obasanjo’s comments last week on how to solve the Boko Haram problem were misconstrued and misrepresented in certain quarters.

“He never said that the Odi treatment should be applied to Boko Haram or that such action is appropriate in these circumstances. What he said was that a solution ought to have been found or some sort of action ought to have been taken sooner rather than allow the problem to fester over time like a bad wound and get worse.

“There can be no doubt that he was right on this because, according to President Jonathan’s own Chief of Army Staff, no less than 3000 people have been killed by Boko Haram in the last two years alone. That figure represents approximately the same number of people that were killed by the IRA in Northern Ireland and the British mainland in the 100 years that the war between them and British lasted and before peace was achieved between the two sides.

“The same number of casualties that the IRA inflicted on the people of the United Kingdom in 100 years, is the same number of casualties that Boko Haram have managed to inflict on our people in just two. This is unacceptable and it is very disturbing. The Federal Government must cultivate the courage and the political will to stop the killings by Boko Haram and to find a permanent solution to the problem.”

Obasanjo to lead ECOWAS election observers to Ghana

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo will lead a 250-member ECOWAS Election Observer Mission to Ghana’s general elections scheduled for 7 December 2012 within the context of the region’s instrument for provision of support to Member States holding elections.

This was disclosed in a statement by the commission.

According to the statement, the teams, comprising representatives of various segments of the West African society, will be in Ghana for nine days to observe the conduct of the Presidential, legislative and local elections, expected to contribute to the deepening of democratic culture in the country.

An ECOWAS assessment mission was in Ghana last October to review preparations for the elections during which the mission members met with various stakeholders, including representatives of political parties, civil society organizations and the national electoral commission, to discuss their perspectives on the preparations for the elections.

Through these missions, the region seeks to promote a culture of transparent and credible elections, consistent with best practices for the enhancement of regional peace and stability.

Rival faction of PDP clash at party secretariat in Abeokuta

There was intense tension at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) secretariat in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, south west Nigeria as two factions of the party engaged in a show of supremacy for the control of the party secretariat located along the IBB boulevard in the state capital.

Members of the Adebayo Dayo led faction of the party stormed the secretariat in  20 buses to protest the presence of the rival party in the building but they were prevented from entering the building by armed police officers believed to be acting on the instruction of the Dipo Odujinrin faction that took over the secretariat on Friday

The lingering crisis among the warring factions of the PDP in Ogun State has no doubt polarised the party into personal and factional interests which has resulted into many court cases and judgements

The members of the Dayo-faction, who were led by the Assistant state Secretary of the PDP, Semiu Babatunde said that they  were at the secretariat to restore sanity and redress the alleged injustice meted out to them by the other faction of the party that is reportedly receiving support from former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The protesters, who were visibly tensed up engaged the officers of the state security service who were appealing to them to be calm and wait for the order of the Commissioner of Police, Ikemefuna Okoye, in an argument, development that made the officers step aside.
Mr Babatunde claimed that the Dayo faction remained the legally recognised Ogun State PDP executive describing Mr Odujinrin as usurper who would soon fade out of existence.

He said those that are guarding the secretariat are not members of the party and that the policemen are not the one that locked the gate but insisted that they have the right to enter the secretariat as the authentic faction of the party.

One of the security guards inside the secretariat disclosed that they were guarding secretariat on the instruction of the National Leaders of the party from Abuja.

Queries Police Commissioner

The Dayo-faction of the Ogun State PDP had on Sunday threatened to sue the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ikemefuna Okoye, for contempt of the court.

In a statement by its Publicity Secretary Waliu Oladipupo, the party accused Mr Okoye of “criminal complicity in aiding and abetting some hoodlums to seize its secretariat on IBB Boulevard, Kopabe Road, Abeokuta, last Wednesday”.

The statement reads: “Up till now, the hoodlums, including some wanted criminals, are still at the party secretariat, having a free reign, shooting into the air intermittently and brandishing AK 47 rifles and other ammunition.

“We shudder to think what could have informed the decision of the Commissioner, who is paid from our commonwealth to keep the peace, to look away in the face of obvious threat to peace, law and order in our dear state.

“We are the management body for the state party, recognised by our predecessors, the party leadership at the national level, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“Our position has been further affirmed by several court judgments in Lagos, Abuja and Ilaro. Even the Assistant Commissioner of Police in-charge of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) in his report to Okoye confirmed the Engr. Adebayo Dayo-led exco as the authentic leadership of the party. We availed CP Okoye all of these, yet he chose to play the ostrich. Does he want to return to the jungle where might is right?”

The party urged Mr Okoye not to rubbish the rebranding efforts of the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, and do the right thing.


Ogun PDP crisis: Faction loyal to Obasanjo takes over party’s secretariat

The ongoing leadership crisis rocking the Ogun State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is far from over as the faction loyal to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Friday took over the control of the party’s secretariat along the IBB Boulevard in Abeokuta, the state capital.

The factional group has since the crisis began, operated from outside the state secretariat since the build up to the last general election.

Addressing delegates from the 20 local government areas of the state, the state Secretary, Dapo Adeyemi noted that the development was aimed at telling the world and people of the state that the recognized executive has taken over the control of the party.

The party’s scribe noted that the party has set up a high-powered reconciliation committee to look into the cases of the aggrieved members of the party and find a way of bringing them back to the fold.

According to Adeyemi, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party has also given a 30 days ultimatum to the aggrieved members to reunite with the party through their local government executives.

Stating that the reconciliation committee was making an appreciable progress in its sittings, Mr ADeyemi however threatened that the party will sanction any member that failed to reconcile and choose to cause trouble from outside the ring.

The faction had until now, been making use of the private residence of the party’s national auditor and a former House of Representatives member, Chief Bode Mustapha, along Abiola way in Abeokuta as its Secretariat.

Those who are expected to reconcile with party are the former Governor of the State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, former Minister of Mines and Steel development, Sarafa Tunji Isola, the party”s financier, Chief Buruji Kashamu among others.

Bakassi indigenes sue FG, seek annulment of Green Tree Agreement

Indigenes of Bakassi in Cross River state, have file a suit against the Federal Government before a Federal High Court in Abuja, as they seek  an order that will void the Green Tree Agreement that Nigeria signed with Cameroon in 2006.

The Green Treat Agreement presided over by the United Nations, was accented to by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the agreement affirmed Nigeria’s hand-over of the oil rich region to Cameroon.

In a motion ex-parte moved by their counsel, Mr Festus Ogwuche, the applicants sought an order that would compel the federal government, to by any means available to it, repossess, occupy and take full legal and administrative control of the Bakassi Peninsula.

The motion was filed pursuant to Section 1 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights Enforcement and Ratification Act Cap 10, laws of the federation of Nigeria, 1990, as well as order 34 rules 1(a), 3(1) and (2) of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules (2007).

The suit was endorsed by nine executives of Free Bakassi Association, who sought the order to compel the federal government, President Goodluck Jonathan and the Attorney-General of the Federation, who were all joined as respondents in the suit, to “unilaterally resile and revoke Nigeria’s obligations under the Green Tree Agreement entered into between Nigeria and Cameroon in green tree, New York, USA on the 12th day of June, 2006.”

The Bakassi indigenes say the agreement is invalid and in breach of Articles 1, 2, 20, 21, 22 and 24 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, Article 1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Article 1(2) of the UN charter, and the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples, and being inconsistent with sections 1-3, 2(1) and (6), 13, 14(1) and (2)(b), 17(1), (2)(b), (c ) and (d), sections 19(a) and 9d0, 21(a) of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria (as amended).”

The applicants, argued that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) gave its judgment on the protracted dispute over ownership of the oil rich Bakassi Peninsula, based “on archaic and anachronistic colonial declarations, and communications between colonial officers.”

More so, the applicants said they were neither consulted before former President Olusegun Obasanjo endorsed the Green Tree Agreement, saying they were totally kept out of the picture prior, during and even after the execution of the agreement.

Presiding Judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole adjourned ruling on the application for  October 9th , saying he needed time to carefully peruse the court processes in view of “weighty national issues raised therein.”


Bridge built by Odili collapses in Port Harcourt

Fear gripped motorists on Monday as the retaining wall of the popular Airforce bridge that serves as a link to the Trans- Amadi Industrial area collapsed in the commercial city of Port Hacourt.

In a press briefing by all the Commissioners in Port Hacourt, the Commissioner for Works, Victor Giadom, Commissioner for Transport,George Tolufari, and Commissioner for Information and Communications,  Ibim Semenitari, the Rivers State government expressed regrets that there are no records of any contractual or legal agreement to prosecute Bulletine Nigeria Limited that constructed the bridge.

Mr Victor revealed that the construction of bridge was not supervised by the Ministry of Works but by “A Special Projects Bureau” directly in the Governor’s office under Peter Odili’s administration.

The ill-fated bridge was built by the former Governor, Peter Odili and commissioned twice by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2006.
According to Mr Victor, the bridge was supposed to have a-20-year life span from the year it was commissioned for use.

Before the collapse, the bridge had shown signs of defect, which necessitated some remedial work on it and a partial closure of a section.
However, the government said that it had to cordon off the ill-fated bridge for safety reasons pending when proper repair work would be carried out.

Meanwhile, the Federal Road Safety Corps, Police and officers of Rivers State Transport Management Authority, (TIMARIV), have been deployed to alternative routes where motorists were diverted to.

N5000 note: Obasanjo is a good farmer but a bad economist – Sanusi

The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido on Tuesday reacted to a statement credited to a former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, who said that the planned introduction of the N5000 note will increase inflation in the country.

Mr Obasanjo had on Thursday said the introduction of the N5000 note would kill production and affect small businesses negatively.

The former president, who disclosed this at a roundtable advocacy forum organised by the Institute of Directors, in Lagos, said the way, Mr Sanusi, was fighting inflation by removing money from circulation was improper.

However, speaking at the sixth annual conference of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Mr Sanusi said Mr Obasanjo had introduced more high denomination in Nigeria than any other Head of State.

“General Obasanjo did N20; he did N100, N200, N500 and N1000. He has introduced more higher denomination than any Head of States,” Mr Sanusi said.

The CBN governor said that during the period Mr Obasanjo was introducing high denomination inflation in Nigeria was actually low.

“General Obasanjo did N100 in 1999; then he did N200 in 2000; he did N500 I think two years later; and did N1000. In that period, inflation was coming down because it was accompanied by very tight monetary and fiscal policies during his reforms.

“For somebody who have gone through that to come and stand up and say ‘introducing a higher denomination causes inflation’ I don’t know if somebody wrote his speech. I’m trying to see him or if he was misquoted.

“If he actually said that then he must be the single most important determinant of inflation in our history given the number of notes that he introduced,” he said

Mr Sanusi said printing higher denomination without increasing the money supply in the economy will not increase inflation. “This is simple economics,” he said.

He said that the cost of printing and minting all denomination of currency in 2009 was N47 billion and that by 2011 the CBN brought this cost down to N32 billion.

He said that by 2014 the cost would further be reduced to N25 billion thereby saving about 50 percent of the total cost of printing and minting all denomination of currency.

Mr Sanusi said the N5000 note would not cost more than N3 billion to print.

N5,000 Note will kill production says Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday said the introduction of the N5,000 note would kill production and affect small businesses negatively.

Obasanjo, who spoke at a roundtable advocacy forum organised by the Institute of Directors, Nigeria, in Lagos, said the way the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Lamido Sanusi, was fighting inflation by removing money from circulation was improper.

While speaking on the cost of doing business in the country, Obasanjo called on stakeholders and government agencies to rise up to the challenge.

He said some observers had suggested that the Vision 2020 blueprint was somewhat of an ambitious agenda, which was unrealisable considering the daunting challenges confronting businesses in the country.

Obasanjo said the 2012 annual report of the International Finance Corporation and the World Bank publication titled, ‘Doing business in a more transparent world,’ noted that a record number of African countries took decisive steps to encourage more local entrepreneurs to come into the formal economy over the past 12 years.

He said, “Across the continent, 15 countries lowered barriers to entry for new businesses, 23 facilitated access to credit, and seven made it easier to pay taxes. Nigeria is not in any of these leagues.

“In its 2008 report, Nigeria ranked 108 out of 178 countries and in the space of four years, we rank 137 out of 183 countries measured. This is a damning report on our business environment and, therefore, calls for more concerted efforts by various stakeholders on how to ensure that this trend is reversed and the Nigeria business environment is made more conducive for investments and less costly for businesses to thrive. We cannot aim for 2020 if we do not halt the downward spiral.”


Ibori’s $15 million bribe: I’m not part of the transaction, it only happened in my house – Uba

Andy Uba on Friday denied ownership of the controversial $15m bribe, saying he merely allowed former Delta State governor, James Ibori to use his house to deliver the money to a former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu.

Chibuike Achigbu, James Ibori and Andy Uba

Mr Uba, who is currently serving as a Senator in the National Assembly, had been mentioned by a businessman, Chibuike Achigbu, in an affidavit some days ago as the receiver of the money.

Mr Achigbu had claimed that he raised the money as campaign funds for use in financing some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidates and then passed it to Mr Uba, who in turn handed the money to the EFCC to give it a clean bill of health.

But Mr Uba, who was a special assistant to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo on Domestic Affairs from 1999 – 2006, said in an emailed statement by his aide, Chike Okeke, in Abuja that he gave the money to the then EFCC Director of Operations, Ibrahim Lamorde.

Mr Lamorde is the current EFCC chairman.

Mr Uba said, “When I was in the Presidency, my house in the Villa was a convenient place for many top people in Nigeria to come.

“Probably, Chief Ibori didn’t want to go to the EFCC office to hand over the money and so decided to use my house.

“All I know about this matter is that Chief James Ibori brought some money to the then EFCC chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.

“The details of the transaction were undisclosed to me at the time. The money was handed to Mallam Nuhu Ribadu who invited his then Director of Operations, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, to fetch it.

“I was never a party to the transaction between Ibori and Ribadu. That my house was used as the venue for the transaction is not in question as an affidavit to that effect has been sworn to by the current EFCC chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, which is probably the point of confusion.

“I hereby state unequivocally that I have no involvement in this matter beyond that stated above.

“So, I’m not involved and will not be involved in this matter. Nobody should drag me into it please.”

The sum, which Mr Ibori allegedly offered the EFCC as bribe to compromise its investigations by the anti-graft agency, has been kept in the strong room of the Central Bank of Nigeria as an unclaimed property since August 2007.

Following an ex parte motion by the EFCC, an Abuja Federal High Court on July 25, 2012, granted an interim order forfeiting the $15 million to the Federal Government.

The court, presided by Justice Gabriel Kolawole, ordered that if nobody steps forward to claim the money within 14 days, it would be finally forfeited to the Federal Government when the motion on notice for final forfeiture comes up for hearing on September 17, 2012.

Since the court granted the interim order, some stakeholders in Delta State had been arguing that the money should be handed over to the state, which Mr Ibori governed between 1999 and 2007.

The Delta State Government had claimed that the money rightly belonged to it and that the court should order its return to its treasury.

Arrest Uba, Ribadu and Achigbu

Human rights lawyer, Festus Keyamo, had called on the federal government to immediately arrest Misters Uba, Ribadu and Chibuike Achigbu and charge them for money laundering, conspiracy and bribery.

In a press statement signed by Mr Keyamo and made available to journalists, the lawyer urged the federal government to arrest Mr Ribadu, interrogate him and charge him to court for conspiracy to pervert justice.

According to him, it is either Mr Ribadu on the one hand is lying that he was offered $15million as bribe or Andy Uba, Misters Ibori and Achigbu on the other were all lying that it was not bribe.

“Arrest Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, interrogate him and charge him to court, if necessary, for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and perjury as regards the proceedings in Asaba when he swore on oath or procured another to swear that he was given a bribe.

’This is because, it is either Ribadu on the one hand is lying that he was offered $15million as bribe or Andy Uba, Ibori and Chibuike Achigbu on the other are all lying that it was not bribe.

’’Both versions cannot be correct and any version that is false amounts to a crime under our laws.

However, Keyamo urged the federal and Delta state governments to immediately withdraw their suits for forfeiture of the bribe money from court.

He asked all other parties to back off from pursuing cases for the possession of the bribe money and said that it was a national embarrassment.