PHOTOS: Ribadu, Uche Secondus Attend Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal

Nuhu Ribadu and Uche Secondus

 

Former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, have attended the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja.

READ ALSO: Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal Continues Sitting Amid Tight Security

The former EFCC chairman is representing President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Uche Secondus is representing the PDP.

They were both seen exchanging pleasantries at the court.

See Photos Below: 

Ribadu urges FG to implement his committee’s recommendations

The Chairman of the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force, Nuhu Ribadu on Monday called on the Federal Government to fully implement the report of his committee for it to demonstrate its sincerity to bring sanity to the oil industry in the country and expose those benefitting from the non-remittance of oil sales.

Mr Ribadu while speaking with newsmen after a condolence on former Kwara State governor, Bukola Saraki over the death of his father explained that the implementation of the report would sanitize the oil sector of cabals who do not wish the country well.

The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) presidential candidate in the 2011 elections added that the country needs a clean and better oil industry that will cater for majority of Nigerians and expressed optimism that the country would be great if the leaders are serious on fighting corruption.

He said his committee has done a good job with recommendations if implemented will lead to cleaner oil industry in the country.

Ribadu lied; Oronsaye attended committee meetings – Ogunkunle

A fellow of the Chartered Institute of Accountants, Ademola Ogunkunle on Thursday said, contrary to the allegations of the Chairman of the Petroleum Revenue Task force, Nuhu Ribadu that Steve Oronsaye never attended the panel’s meetings; that the former head of civil service attended four of eight meetings.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Ogunkunle said he was privy to the minutes of the 26-man committee and that Mr Oronsaye’s name appeared on the attendance register of four of the panel’s meeting.

There was a faceoff between Mr Ribadu and Oronsaye during the presentation of the committee’s report to President Goodluck Jonathan with the former accusing the latter of not participating in the panel’s work.

Mr Oronsaye also disclaimed the report presented by Mr Ribadu insisting that the figures in the report were not verified.

Former lawmaker says Oronsaye not fit for public office

A former member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Babatunde Ogala, who was also a discussant on Sunrise Daily said what Mr Oronsaye did on the day his committee presented its report to President Goodluck Jonathan was ‘a show of shame.’

He said the former Head of Service ‘has shown himself to be a man that is even not fit to hold any office in this country.”

The former lawmaker said it was irresponsible for Mr Oronsaye to have verbally disclaimed a report presented by a committee he was a part of, without presenting a minority report to the President.

“If you did not agree with the majority report, have yours ready,” he said.

Former Commissioner accuses Ribadu of politicizing his assignments

A former commissioner of the Ekiti State Civil Service Commission and a public affairs analyst, Sanya Adesua on Tuesday said Nigeria boggled another opportunity to re-focus positively on the oil and gas industry which is the mainstay of the economy.

The ex-commissioner, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said he wondered why despite many reports from sundry committees, the Nuhu Ribadu report should be enmeshed in controversy.

Mr Adesua further said he wondered why the report was leaked before it was handed over to the Federal Government, insisting that it could be because the panel intended to hide some information from the public.

Watch complete interview for more details.

Ribadu revenue report is not complete – Femi Segun

A public affairs analyst; Mr Femi Segun has stated that the way with which the report of the Ribadu committee is being controverted is highly irresponsible.

When asked by Sunrise Daily’s main anchor Chamberlain Usoh, that should the Federal Government accept the Ribadu committee report and act upon it, he responded saying “there are procedures to be followed as prescribed by the taskforce as terms of reference which are international practices, and where it wasn’t followed you allow this document to be undermined or controverted in the future”.

The public affairs analyst expressed his bitterness over some media houses which he described as ‘highly irresponsible’ for not being professional to decipher what should gain prominence”, particularly in the way the report which he claimed is incomplete, is been handled.

“We have a challenge in this country, and I am not talking about responsible media like Channels TV. I mean there are a lot of media houses and print houses that are highly irresponsible.”

“Comments that are not supposed to see the light of day are given preeminence and are given headlines in newspapers and people’s reputations are shut down completely.”

 

Ribadu Report: Filing a minority report should have been Oronsanye’s option

The Chairman Senate Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs, Enyinanya Abaribe,has described the acrimony witnessed during the submission of the Ribadu report to President Jonathan as very disrespectful and rude to office of the President.

According to the Senator, “trading words in front of President Jonathan is very disrespectful and rude to office of the President .”

“If there are arguments between members of a particular committee, rather than the open disagreement, the parties involved should instead file a separate report while coming in for the presentation and submit to the higher office.”

“That is what Oronsanye would have done rather than discredit the Ribadu report” stated Senator Abaribe, who was a guest on a breakfast show, Sunrise Daily.

On the plethora of investigations and reports into corruption of the nation’s oil sector, Senator Abaribe stated that the Senate report on the oil sector would be looked through plus other reports, once the Senate resumes from the Sallah break.

According to Abaribe, the Senate will look at all the report, nothing will be different from what is presently going around with the Ribadu report.

NEITI says Ribadu’s report followed trend of previous audits

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) on Sunday said that the report submitted by the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force, headed by the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Nuhu Ribadu followed the trend of previous audits of the oil and gas sector in the country.

President Goodluck Jonathan receiving the Petroleum Revenue Task Force report from the Minister of Petroleum, Deziani Allison-Maduake at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. With them are the Special Task Forces on Governance and Control, Dotun Suleiman, Chairman, the Chairman of the taskforce, Nuhu Ribadu, and the Alternate Chairman, Refineries Special Task Force, Yusuf Alli.

In a statement signed by the Chairman, National Stakeholders Working Group, of the NEITI BOARD, Ledum Mitee, the group said “as an agency statutorily set up to develop a framework for transparency and accountability in the management of revenues from Nigeria’s extractive industries, especially oil and gas, NEITI has legitimate interest in not only the Report, but the processes, its findings and the outcome.”

NEITI said that it has conducted “three different cycles of industry audits spanning the period 1999-2004, 2005 and 2006-2008 respectively. The Report of another round of comprehensive audit of the oil and gas sector for 2009- 2011 which began early in the year is expected to be concluded by December 2012.

“Each of the past NEITI audit Reports clearly identified financial, physical and process lapses, and revealed a loss of some 2.6 billion USD due to underpayments, under-assessments,  poor judgment in the computations of volume of crude sales and other leakages only.

“From the past audits, NEITI reports equally disclosed that a whooping total sum of $9.8 billion (equivalent to ₦1.373 trillion at the current exchange rate) is outstanding recoverable fund due to the Federation Account from the companies.  NEITI also openly expressed concern that there was no sufficient effort to recover the funds from the companies, by the affected relevant government agencies, even when the companies have not shown any resistance to pay.

“NEITI industry audits have also consistently identified and highlighted the problems within the sector, proposed solutions and ways to implement them, but implementation of these recommendations and remediation issues has remained a major challenge in spite of the efforts of NEITI under the Inter- Ministerial Task Team set up by the Federal Government for these purposes.

“NEITI notes that the reported findings of the Ribadu Committee are not surprisingly, rather it followed the trend of NEITI audits, given the prevailing poor institutional linkages, systematic leakages, poor legal framework, governance and process lapses which appear to characterize business ethics in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria over the years. The Ribadu Report has re-opened a compelling and urgent case for necessary follow- through actions on remedial issues already identified and recommended by the extant NEITI reports.

“While NEITI also considers the series of probes now on-going in the oil and gas sector as most welcome fundamental steps towards actualizing the global principles and objectives of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative which Nigeria voluntarily subscribed to as a member since 2003, it feels however that had the remedial issues identified by the NEITI audit reports been dealt with or had NEITI the necessary enabling enforcement powers, some of the issues necessitating and identified by these probes would have since been dealt with.

“NEITI certainly feels vindicated by the reported findings of the Ribadu Committee, it is our belief that one further thing the Ribadu Report has clearly achieved is to expose the need to further strengthen NEITI through necessary amendments to its enabling Act to give it the necessary enforcement powers as well as visible steps to implement the findings and recommendations of audit reports.

“While  awaiting the full publication of the Ribadu Report and anticipated government action thereon,  NEITI believes that the ultimate lesson to be derived from these is the need for coordinated efforts of all; the media, civil society, companies, government and the public for speedy passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) with clear contents and provisions that will bring about accountability, openness, competition, competence and integrity as well as promote investment-friendly environment in our oil and gas industry.”

ACN accuses FG of sabotaging Ribadu’s work

The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has accused the Federal Government of deliberately sabotaging the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force, headed by the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Nuhu Ribadu, following the controversy that marred the presentation of the task force’s report to President Goodluck Jonathan last Friday.

In a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the ACN, Lai Mohammed on Sunday in the Lagos, the party said the decision to appoint two members of the committee, Steve Oronsaye and Bernard Otti, to positions in the NNPC while the task force was still working on its assignment is a deliberate booby trap.

It said if the Federal Government did not have any ulterior motive; it would have waited for the task force to complete its assignment before naming Mr Oronsaye into the board of the NNPC and Mr Otti as the Director of Finance of the same body.

“Alternatively, both men should have resigned their membership of the committee the moment they were given the plum jobs to avoid the apparent conflict of interest. The fact that they stayed on, only to disparage the report of the task force so openly and ferociously at the end, is the clearest indication yet that they were meant to play that exact role of spoilers,” the party said.

The party said the temerity with which the duo sought to denigrate the report of the task force in the presence of the President of the Federal Republic showed that they must have been acting a well-prepared script.

“All that these two men needed to have done, if indeed they did not agree with the report of the task force, was to write a minority report and present such to the President, instead of engaging in theatrics as they did at the presentation, right in front of the whole world.

“Unfortunately, the President’s efforts to downplay the whole disagreement and give the dissenters a soft landing did more to accentuate the damage done to the report by the two men. The President’s statement, that becoming board members of NNPC does not disqualify them from being members of the task force, is an indication of his innermost thoughts on this issue,” it said.

The ACN however said it was not surprised at how things turned out with the task force, having previously warned, in a statement it issued on 8 February 2012, that naming credible people like Mr Ribadu to head the task force might just be part of government’s ploy to poach credible personalities from the opposition just so it can decimate it (opposition) and also tarnish the well-earned credibility of such personalities.

“Among our observations in that press statement, we had said: ‘There is also the possibility that booby-traps will be deliberately set for such credible personalities to guarantee their failure in their stated assignment, after which they will be ridiculed and dumped like an ordinary chump’.” the party said, adding: ”We hate to say our fears have been justified.”

It reiterated its earlier statement that the Federal Government is not interested in any genuine effort to clean up the corruption and mess in the oil sector, and that is merely engaging in window dressing by setting up committees upon committees, whose outcomes will eventually add to the growing list of reports that are now gathering dust at the presidency.

Presidency refutes ACN’s claim

Meanwhile the presidency has refuted claims by ACN that the federal government is deliberately sabotaging the petroleum revenue special task force, headed by Mr. Ribadu, following the controversy that marred the presentation of the task force’s report last Friday.

A statement issued by the presidency says the ACN’s allegation, falls into a familiar pattern by the party to tell lies and discredit every initiative of President Goodluck Jonathan.

The statement from the presidency affirmed that President Jonathan remains committed to the war against corruption and that every step his administration has taken has been in this direction, and that has not changed.

The presidency goes on to deploy what it describes as an attempt by ACN to accuse it of having had a hand in the open dissension among members of the Ribadu committee.

The ACN had also claimed that Mr. Steve Oronsaye and Mr. Bernard Otti’s appointment onto the board of the NNPC while serving on the Ribadu committee compromised their position.

The opposition party had in a statement on Sunday yesterday insisted that the federal government is not interested in any genuine effort to clean up the corruption and mess in the oil sector, and that is merely engaging in window dressing by setting up committees upon committees, whose outcomes will eventually add to the growing list of reports that are now gathering dust at the presidency.

 

Read the full Ribadu’s report here.

$15 million Ibori bribe: Court orders IGP to investigate Uba and Achigbu

The Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Wuse Zone 6, Abuja on Monday ordered the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar to conduct a thorough criminal investigation against Andy Uba and Chibuike Achigbu over allegations surrounding the $15 million Ibori bribe.

The order was made based on a direct criminal complaint filed in the court by Festus Keyamo against Misters Uba and Achigbu accusing them of conspiracy, abetment and bribery in respect of the $15 million Ibori bribe.

Mr Achigbu had filed an application before a Federal High Court in Abuja claiming the ownership of the $15 million USD allegedly received from a former governor of Delta State, James Ibori.

He had submitted that he gave the money to Mr Uba, a former aide to the then president, Olusegun Obasanjo, for the purpose of financing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the 2007 general election.

He said that Mr Uba advised him to deliver the fund to him (Uba) for onward transmission to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) being the agency of the Federal Government sufficiently equipped to give a clean bill of legitimacy to the fund before it could be donated to PDP.

Chief Magistrate Okagu ordered the Inspector-General of Police to report back to the court with his findings on the 26 September, 2012.

Mr Keyamo has already written to the Inspector-General of Police forwarding the Certified True Copy of the court order for his attention and necessary action.

 

Nigeria needs a strong opposition party to unseat PDP in 2015 – Ribadu

The presidential candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in the 2011 polls and former Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, has called for a credible opposition to the ruling Peoples Democractic Party, PDP, in 2015.

He made the call in Kaduna on Saturday, during the 7th annual Ramadan lectures organized by the Nigeria Television Authority, NTA, and Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN.

Ribadu, who is the Chairman, Presidential Task Force Committee on Petroleum, noted that the nation was in dire need of a credible alternative to the PDP.

“Nigeria is in dire need of a credible alternative to PDP. If the parties come together, chances are that they would be able to have a formidable party that will confront PDP and until that is done, hopefully, it will bring relief to Nigerians” He said.

FG confiscates $15 million bribe Ibori purportedly offered Ribadu

A Federal High court sitting in Abuja on Tuesday granted an interim order for the forfeiture of the sum of $15 million being bribe money former governor of Delta State, James Ibori allegedly offered to former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu.

The court, presided over by Justice Gabriel Kolawole, also ordered the EFCC to publish the interim forfeiture order in a national newspaper to enable anyone who is interested in the money to come before the court within 14 days and show cause why the final order of forfeiture should not be made in favour of the Federal Government.

The orders made by the court was sequel to an exparte motion brought by the government pursuant to section 17(1), (2), (3) and (4) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and other Fraud related activities Act number 14 of 2006.

The Federal Government, represented by Rotimi Jacobs, in the motion argued that the cash in the sum of $15 million was received by the officers of the anti-graft agency from an undisclosed agent of the former Delta state governor in 2007 as a bribe to compromise their investigation.

Mr Jacobs said that the Commission deposited the said cash into the strong room number 1 of the Central Bank of Nigeria on 26th April, 2007 and that Mr Ibori had since denied giving the bribe to the EFCC or any of its officers.

He also stated that the money had since remained unclaimed since April 2007 till date and had remained dormant in the apex bank’s strong room.
The Federal Government in an affidavit deposed to one Bello Yahaya, a police officer attached to the EFCC stated that the money, if left untouched and unspent in the state it was kept in the apex bank’s strong room since April, 2007, may eventually be destroyed, defaced, mutilated and become useless.

The Federal Government further argued that it is in the interest of justice to, in the interim, make an order of forfeiture to it and allow a publication to be made in a chosen national newspaper to alert any interested member of the public to come out within 14 days to show their interest, failure to which the court will make an order of final forfeiture in government’s favour.

Ibori forfeits $3 million to US

Meanwhile a United States (U.S.) court on Monday seized asset worth $3 million belonging to former Delta State governor, James Ibori.

The seizure was announced through a statement by an Assistant Attorney General at the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Lanny Breuer; and a Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), John Morton.

The asset, believed to be proceeds of corruption, seized from Mr Ibori are a mansion in Houston and two Merrill Lynch brokerage accounts. The case is part of the Justice Department’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.

“Instead of working to benefit the people of the Nigerian Delta, Governor Ibori pilfered state funds and accumulated immense wealth in the process,” Mr Breuer said.

“He conspired with Mr. Gohil (his British Lawyer) to funnel millions of dollars in corruption proceeds out of Nigeria and into bank accounts and assets maintained in the names of shell companies and nominees. “

The U.S. District court of Columbia approved the seizure on May 16, 2012, following an application from a UK court.

The ex-governor is already serving a 13-year jail term in the UK after he was convicted for money laundering and conspiracy to defraud.

Mr. Gohil was also convicted, in November 2010, of money laundering and prejudicing a money laundering investigation; and was sentenced by a UK court to 10 years in prison.

Mr. Morton, the ICE director descried Mr. Ibori’s case as “a warning to those corrupt foreign officials who abuse their power for personal financial gain and then attempt to place those funds in the U.S. financial system.”

He said his agency will collaborate with other US authorities to deny these corrupt public officials “the satisfaction of their illegal earnings.”

The statement also called on members of the public, anywhere in the world, to report any public official suspected of keeping stolen funds in the U.S.

“Individuals with information about possible proceeds of foreign corruption located in or laundered through institutions in the United States should contact federal law enforcement or send an email to [email protected],” it stated.