Public activist, Comrade Timi Frank has said that he is ready to meet Professor Yemi Osinbajo in court regarding allegations that the Vice President was involved in a scandal amounting to the sum of ninety billion naira (N90billion).
Mr Frank who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, said he stands by his claims regarding Professor Osinbajo’s involvement in the said deal.
The former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had earlier called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Director of the State Security Service (DSS), Independent Corrupt Practices Offences Commission (ICPC) to investigate his claim that the Vice President received the said sum from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to fund the last presidential election.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has reacted to a report about a former member of the party, Timi Frank in which he was described as a ‘Chieftain’ of the party.
A statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Bolaji Abdullahi on Sunday said it wished to correct the wrong designation and remind the public that “Timi Frank has since November 2016 been suspended as a member of the APC”.
The decision according to the party was a recommendation by its disciplinary committee and subsequent ratification by the Party’s South-South Zonal Executive Committee.
Abdullahi therefore, said: “whatever position Timi Frank holds or canvasses is done in his personal capacity and has no bearing on the APC”.
In a statement released earlier on Sunday, Mr Frank took a swipe at the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, saying it had battered and bruised Nigeria’s economy.
He also apologised to the immediate past President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, for all the “tantrums and mistreatment orchestrated by me (Frank) against his person while he held sway at the helm of affairs of our great country”.
He added that Nigeria’s current situation comes as a rude shock to many including himself who preached the change mantra assiduously.
He, however, said he was consoled by the fact that Nigeria will get to its promise land someday but called on the President to immediately fix the problems of insecurity and corruption which the nation is currently facing.
A former member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timi Frank, has publicly apologised to former President Goodluck Jonathan claiming that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has battered and bruised Nigeria’s economy.
Frank who was suspended in 2016 as deputy spokesperson of the ruling APC disclosed this on Sunday in an open letter.
“I would first of all like to use this opportunity to formally apologise to the immediate past President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, for all the tantrums and mistreatment orchestrated by me against his person while he held sway at the helm of affairs of our great country.
“Indeed, I and many others may have misunderstood Jonathan’s silence for weakness and thus pushed harder to malign his person and portray him as a weak leader. Having achieved the Change Agenda, it is now crystal clear, that the change we had clamoured for is not the change we got,” he said.
Frank added that Nigeria’s current situation may appear as a rude shock to many including himself who preached the change mantra assiduously, he is consoled by the fact that, Nigeria will get to the promise land someday.
He called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take steps to fix the current state of Nigeria’s economy which according to him is faced with challenges of impunity and lack of transparency.
“I am sure that the current state of our dear country should be a cause of genuine concern. The damning assessment of Nigeria under your (Buhari) leadership as released by the United States Department of State in its 2017 country reports on Human Rights, cited impunity as being widespread at all levels of government and lack of transparency by your administration.
“It may also interest you to know that the economy under your (Buhari) watch has been terribly battered, with all the economic indices indicating that we are yet to recover from the recession of 2016.
“Today there is hardship everywhere with the price of fuel now N145 per as against the N85 that it was being sold when you assumed office – the over N1.4trillion already paid by your government as fuel subsidy notwithstanding,” Frank said in his letter.
He also lamented at the level of insecurity in the country adding that the farmers/herders crises have continued to claim precious lives as if the nation is in a state of war.
Citing the examples of El-Zakzaky and Dasuki, the APC chieftain also alleged that the present administration has been disobedient to court orders.
“El-Zakzaky and Dasuki will not be in jail today but for the present rule of force under this government. It is a pity that today democracy and freedom have become scarce.
“Killings take place on a daily basis across the country either by kidnappers, Boko Haram insurgents, herdsmen, and other criminal elements having a free reign around the country. Life has become worthless and uncertain and people cannot speak out for fear of being labelled anti-government,” Frank wrote in hs letter.
President Muhammadu Buhari has been advised to be careful in dealing with all those urging him to seek re-election in 2019.
All Progressives Congress member Mr Timi Frank gave the advice during a phone interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
“If I am the President, I should be careful of people like Malam (Nasir) El-Rufai that are saying that the President must run or that the President should run,” he said.
This, according to him, is because the President had every right to run for presidency in 2019 if he so wishes, hence there was no need to urge him to do so.
He added, “The President is not one person people can force to do what he is not ready to do. But if the President chooses to run today, of course, as a President of Nigeria and as the President of our party, he has what they call ‘first refusal’.
“But again, has he told anybody he wants to run? The answer is ‘no’. Until the President says he wants to run, nobody can force him to do the job he is not ready to do.”
His comments are in reaction to Governor El-Rufai’s visit to the President on Friday after which he told journalists that he and other “Buharists” were keen on ensuring that the President runs for a second term in 2019.
Mr Frank also shared his thoughts on the controversy surrounding the Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan’s endorsement of former vice president Atiku Abubakar for the 2019 presidential race.
Unlike those who have criticised the minister for her views and accused her of betraying President Buhari, Mr Frank hailed her.
“I have to commend Senator Aisha Alhassan on her position. And if you ask me as a person, I will say even the President should welcome her opinion because I think it has shown clearly that she is not a sycophant, she is not a betrayer because she could as well pretend to be a Buhari loyalist when she is not,” he said.
“You know this is one thing we lack politically in Nigeria – sincerity in politics. And as far as I am concerned, what Alhassan has done is not that she was disrespecting the President. She wasn’t disrespecting the President. She was only trying to be sincere to her conscience and her position.”
The Presidency says only a competent court can decide if former president, Goodluck Jonathan’s National Security Adviser (NSA) stole over two billion dollars meant for purchase or arms for the country.
In statement released on Tuesday, the presidency urged Mr. Jonathan to allow the court to decide the fate of his former NSA, retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki.
Dasuki is accused of misappropriating monies intended for the procurement of equipment for the Nigerian military in its battle against the Boko Haram insurgency.
Mr. Jonathan said this on Monday during a debate on youth entrepreneurship at the Oxford Union Society in England as he defended his administration’s policies, especially in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency ravaging North Eastern Nigeria.
“They said the National Security Adviser (Sambo Dasuki) stole $2.2bn. I don’t believe somebody can just steal $2.2bn.
“We bought warships, we bought aircraft, we bought lots of weapons for the Army and so on and so forth and you are still saying $2.2bn was stolen. So, where did we get the money to buy all those things?” Dr. Jonathan said at the Oxford Union.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, however, says Dr. Jonathan’s comments are sub-judicial since there is already an existing legal action against the former NSA over how the monies in question were spent.
“The matter is sub judice. Let the courts decide,” he said.
APC queries GEJ’s assertions
The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Timi Frank, also challenged the former president to help Mr. Dasuki prove his case in court since he does not believe such an amount was misappropriated.
Mr. Frank said rather than make those claims, it would be more appropriate for Mr. Jonathan to assist in the investigation and prosecution of the case.
“First, I wonder why it took former President Jonathan such a long time to speak out. Why now? If Colonel Dasuki is as clean as he wants us to believe, it would be nice if he can assist his former NSA to prove his case in court.
“The courts deal with evidence; let them prove their case,” he said.
The former NSA was arrested in December 1, 2015 by officers of the Department of State Services and has since been in detention for allegedly misappropriating about $2.2 billion.
The scandal dubbed Dasuki-gate has evolved to the prosecution of top government and military officials who allegedly benefited from the largesse.
The Deputy National Publicity Secretary, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timi Frank, says the party is not speaking in one voice due to lack of unity and internal crisis.
He clearly stated that the party was not supporting President Muhammadu Buhari’s fight against corruption, as much as it should, due to an “incompetent leadership” that can stand and support the President’s idea on corruption.
“As at today, I can clearly tell you that because of the internal wrangling, the party is not doing enough.
“It is a very big problem. Until we put our acts together or have a competent national chairman that can put everybody together, then I can tell you as a party we should be able to support the president on the fight against corruption.
“As at today I can tell you clearly the party is not doing anything.”
Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Mr. Frank insisted that the party was in crisis.
Factions in APC
Mr Frank declined giving details in clear basics about the factions but stated that there are aggrieved members in the party whose actions were affecting the unity and growth of the party.
He emphasised that the party was in crisis and had refused to let Nigerians know the situation of the party.
“Part of the issues affecting the party is the vacant positions in the seat of deputies. There are lots of acting deputies which have not been given a functional position.”
When asked who controls the APC? He said the “national chairman was not in control but being controlled by certain forces”.
“We cannot have a national chairman that is controlled by the people, rather a chairman that will bring the people together”
He urged the APC to work together in unity to ensure that President Buhari’s fight against corruption could be successful.
The National Chairman of the New People’s Democratic Party (nPDP), Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, has requested all members of PDP worldwide to embark on seven days fasting and prayers commencing from Monday, 16th of September, 2013.
In a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the breakaway faction, Eze Chukwuemeka Eze (JP), the party said “this spiritual intervention is as a result of the concern of the Baraje-led PDP for the plight of parents and our children due to the continued closure of public universities following the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to protest the Federal Government’s failure to keep the agreement it signed with the Union in 2009”.
The statement then called on Muslims all over the nation and abroad who are PDP members to close their fast by this Friday, 20th of September, 2013, at their places of worship while the Christians should end theirs on Sunday, 22nd September, 2013 at their places of worship.
According to the statement, “It has become imperative to seek the face of God over this matter considering that all efforts to resolve this unwarranted strike have failed woefully and considering the socio-economic damage this strike has caused both parents and our children. We are confident that our resolve to go to God will succeed as the importance of fasting and prayers cannot be over emphasized”.
The statement went on to add that, “To say the least, we are shocked that the government inflicting this monumental hardship on Nigerians is a PDP Government popularly elected by majority of Nigerians and run by a President who was once a University Lecturer. In this regard, we wish to plead with Nigerians for forgiveness on behalf of the PDP Government at the centre, which could have avoided this costly strike. We wish to assure all Nigerians that as a party we will surely find a way to end this shameful situation”.
Meanwhile, Alhaji Baraje has set up a four-man Committee with Gov. Babangida Aliyu of Niger State as Chairman to advise the party on the best way to get the Federal Government’s Negotiating Committee and the leadership of ASUU to reach an agreement on the issues at stake and thus end this three-month-old strike.
Other members of the Committee are Gov. Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State, Hon. Chinwo Ike, President of UNIPORT Alumni, and Mr. Timi Frank, the PDP National Youth Leader.
The statement then pleaded thus: “We sincerely solicit the patience of Nigerians while appealing to both the Federal Government and the leadership of ASUU to end this imbroglio so that our children may go back to school instead of engaging in acts inimical to their future. The need for this has become urgent as reports reaching us indicate that many of these students have out of frustration and boredom turned to prostitution, armed robbery and other vices due to the prolonged industrial action”.
Unseal Our Secretariats
Meanwhile, the PDP faction has also called on the Police to unseal its secretariat, claiming that with recent developments and legal pronouncements, the Police no longer had any justification to continue to put the secretariat under lock and key.
Eze continued saying “To the glory of God, contrary to the prayers of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur’s faction of PDP, a Federal High Court in Abuja on13th September, 2013, once again ruled that the Baraje faction of PDP should be allowed to operate without any further harassment or inhibition as it is not breaking any known law.
Justice E.S. Chukwu in his ruling held that there was no evidence before the court to show any tardiness on the part of Baraje’s faction as claimed by the Tukur-led faction, which requested it to stop the Baraje-led PDP from operating”.
The statement further noted that, “In view of this ruling, the Police no longer have any valid reason (it never did, anyway) to continue to seal our Secretariats. We, therefore, wish to appeal to President Goodluck Jonathan to save the Police from the plot to ridicule it by using it to perpetrate illegalities such as sealing the lawfully-acquired National Secretariat of PDP and our Secretariats in states like Rivers, Bayelsa, Kaduna and Kwara. The powers that be should as a matter of urgency stop projecting and portraying the Police as a tool of injustice and attack on the perceived political opponents of Mr. President.
“On our own, we will continue to use the Judiciary to prove to Tukur’s faction that the days of running the affairs of our great party with impunity and high-handedness are gone for good. The time has come for him to correctly read the handwriting on the wall and honourably throw in the towel along with his National Working Committee”, the statement concluded.