Fighting Corruption Can Be An Economic Policy – Lawyer

john oloyede on fight against corruptionA Nigerian lawyer says fighting corruption and blocking the leakages through which Nigeria’s common wealth is been stolen, could be an economic policy of the Nigerian Government.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Monday, Mr John Oloyede said that “most Nigerians don’t know the economy policy or social policy of the government which could be because of what had been delayed.

“My own view is that fighting corruption can be a policy of the government and President Muhammadu Buhari had made it known from the inception that his government is based on fight against corruption.

“Looking at it from the perspective of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), why should blocking leakages, arresting corrupt politicians be selective?”, he questioned.

While agreeing that it was out of place that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-graft agencies seemed to be chasing down people in the opposition party, Mr Oloyede said that such scenario was “not a new thing in the polity”.

Mr Oloyede further spoke about his perception of the fight against corruption by the government and agencies. “The government of the day and previous government keep fighting corruption on the pages of the dailies”, he stressed.

While stating that it was possible to trace stolen wealth or diverted property, he added that the country “does not have people who are going to trace the suspects”.

“How many cases that have been blown up in the media at the investigatory stages, have ended successful for the EFCC? The best they’ve done so far, is plea bargaining, which is ridiculous.

“I doubt whether anything serious would change in this country because there are apparatus of government that would bring about the change which is seriously suspect.

“How many prominent people in this country have been jailed for crimes they commit?”, he questioned.

The PDP had accused the Federal Government of dictatorship, alleging that the administration of President Buhari is only using the anti-corruption posture as a tool to witch-hunt PDP members and perceived political opponents of the APC government.

However, in a swift reaction, the President’s Adviser on Media, Mr Femi Adesina said that Mr Olisa Metuh’s claim that the President’s anti-corruption war was one-sided was untrue.

Giving his opinion about the response of Mr Femi Adesina to the allegation made by the PDP, Mr Oloyede said, “I think Mr Adesina is carrying out his duty.

“Ordinarily, it’s not a kite that should fly at such an altitude. I don’t think what the PDP said is worthy of the presidential remark.

“What I envisioned was a response from the EFCC”, he said.

One-sided Anti-corruption War: Presidency Dismisses Metuh’s Allegations

PresidencyThe Presidency has reacted swiftly to the allegation made by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

On the allegation of witch-hunting its members, the President’s Adviser on Media, Mr Femi Adesina, said that ordinarily he would not want to comment on such because they were comments coming from a political party and response are better from the APC leadership.

He, however, said that concerning the President, it was untrue for Mr Olisa Metuh to claim that the President’s anti-corruption war was one-sided.

According to him, “Mr Olisa Metuh is sounding like a broken record. It’s the same thing that he says all the time. But let me assure Nigerians that the President has always maintained that even when it affects APC members, the person concerned must go and defend himself.”

The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Olisa Metuh, had said at a news conference in Abuja, that unfolding events have confirmed the party’s position that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is only using the anti-corruption posture as a tool to witch-hunt PDP members and perceived political opponents of the APC government.

He stated that no member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), despite the public petitions of corruption and squandering of state funds, has been invited, questioned or arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

But Mr Adesina wondered why the issue was not whether the people facing the EFCC actually committed the crime but Mr Metuh is saying that it is one-sided.

“I think what is of interest to Nigerians is ‘did this people commit the crime?’ not whether it is one-sided,” he said.

PDP Accuses FG Of One-sided Anti-corruption War

PDPThe Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the Federal Government of dictatorship.

It said that unfolding events have confirmed the party’s position that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is only using the anti-corruption posture as a tool to witch-hunt PDP members and perceived political opponents of the APC government.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Olisa Metuh, said that no member of the All Progressives Congress, despite the public petitions of corruption and squandering of state funds, has been invited, questioned or arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Mr Metuh further said that the party had verifiable reports from its key members that agents of the APC have been approaching them to join the APC with threats to use the EFCC to victimize them should they refuse.

The PDP, while calling on the Federal Government to end its alleged dictatorial tendencies of selective anti-corruption war, added that the orchestrated investigation of Senator Godswill Akpabio was politically motivated and targeted at weakening the party ahead of the 2019 elections, by virtue of Senator Akpabio being the face of opposition in the National Assembly.

Meanwhile, the Presidency has reacted swiftly to the allegation made by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The President’s Adviser on Media, Mr Femi Adesina, said that it was untrue for Mr Olisa Metuh to claim that the President’s anti-corruption war was one-sided.

While stating that “what is of interest to Nigerians is ‘did this people commit the crime?’ not whether it is one-sided”, he gave the assurance that “the President has always maintained that even when it affects APC members, the person concerned must go and defend himself”.

Metuh Accuses APC Of Trying To Manipulate Election Petition Tribunals

Olisa-MetuhThe National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Olisa Metuh on Tuesday accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of trying to manipulate tribunal processes in Rivers, Delta and Akwa Ibom states.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja, Mr Metuh also said members of the party are trying to keep terms with their first defeat after 16 years in power.

According to him, while the APC may not be held responsible for the crisis in the PDP, including the recent crisis in Lagos State, he alleged that the APC is adopting strategies to destabilize the PDP and introduce a one party system in the country.

It will be recalled that the Executive Committee of the PDP in Lagos State, on Monday removed the party’s chairman, Mr Tunji Shelle.

The EXCO reached its decision after a disciplinary committee was set up to investigate some allegations levelled against Mr Shelle.

Subsequently, the EXCO appointed Mr Owolabi Olorunoje to hold the office in acting capacity.

The PDP lost the presidential elections for the first time in 16 years. The party also lost the majority in the red and green chambers of the National Assembly.

Lagos PDP Sacks Chairman, Appoints Replacement

New_PDP_Chairman
Acting Chairman, Lagos PDP, Mr Olounje

The Executive Committee of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Lagos chapter, has removed the party’s chairman, Mr Tunji Shelle.

The EXCO reached its decision after a disciplinary committee was set up to investigate some allegations levelled against Mr Shelle.

Subsequently, the EXCO appointed Mr Olounje to hold the office in acting capacity.

Details Later……

Election Postponement: National Interest Should Guide Our Decisions – Shelle

Tunji ShelleThe chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, Mr Tunji Shelle, says the election postponement in Nigeria was a decision taken with national interest at heart.

He told Channels Television on Monday that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was not ready for the election, citing cases of complaints about the poor management of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) distribution in different states.

“National interest comes first in this issue. We should not go into election for election sake.

“We should ensure that the PVCs are evenly distributed and that everybody have gotten their PVCs before the election is held. About 85 per cent of the people in the north have collected their PVC but that is not so in some other states.

“It will not be in the interest of the nation that some people will not be able to vote,”he said.

The INEC had told reporters in Abuja on Saturday that it was prepared for the election, but that it could not continue with the elections as scheduled after it had wide-reaching consultations and was advised by security authorities to postpone the elections.

The Chairman of the commission, Professor Attihiru Jega, said that the commission was advised to shift the elections, as the military could not guarantee security of lives and property in the volatile north-east, where the Boko Haram terrorists are pushing for an Islamic state.

For over five years, the military have been on a counter-terrorism operation in the region but have not been able to quell the activities of the insurgents who have continued to attack communities in the region.

Critics have questioned the ability of the military to end the insurgency within a six-week period before elections are held.

Mr Shelle expressed optimism that the military must have gone back to draw up strategies that would help end the insurgency.

“Let us hope and believe that the military has what it takes to address the insurgency in the north-east.

“We cannot be experimenting at this point. We have to ensure that we have peace in all parts of the nation before the election, for national interest. The military is trying to reduce collateral damage.

“We should ensure that there is stability and security of lives and property and also ensure that nobody is disenfranchised in this election,” he said, urging the INEC to also ensure that hitches experienced by the electorates in collection of their PVCs are addressed.

Lagos PDP Flags Off Campaign

Lagos PDPThe Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would on Monday, January 26, flag off its campaigns for the February elections in Lagos State.

The flag-off, expected to be a mega rally, is to officially kick start the campaigns for all the PDP candidates in the elections.

According to the Party, the flag-off has been tagged many appellation indicating its appropriateness at the time in Lagos polity. It is expected to be graced by chieftains of PDP within and outside the state.

The Lagos PDP Chairman, Tunji Shelle, confirmed the programme.

“We shall have our mega rally to officially start our campaigns and the unstoppable movement to send APC out of Alausa.

“Yes, we have been having pre flag-off programmes as part of our reach-out strategies, but at this occasion, we will officially present the Governorship candidate to Lagosians.

“We have heard the rally called many good names. We see the rally as “God’s Anointed Rally,” he said.

We shall reel out majority of our realizable promises to Lagosians and give them the reasons to vote PDP at all the elections in February,” he said.

Meanwhile, the PDP has cautioned any persons with violent intentions to steer clear of the venue as adequate security has been put in place to put under control any mischief maker.

Ekiti: APC Heading To Court For Infractions – Lai Mohammed

Lai MohammedThe National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Lai Mohammed, on Thursday disclosed plans of the All Progressives Congress, which lost in the just concluded Ekiti governorship elections, to head to Court for various infractions against its members, during the elections.

“We are going to challenge all these infractions in court so that it would be clear we are not making anything up,” he said.

Appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Mr Mohammed listed various offences for which the party was going to seek redress for in Court, including the detainment of Governor Chibuike Amaechi and other APC governors on the day of Fayemi’s last rally.

He also mentioned the arrest of some APC leaders the night before the election, as one of the issues for which they seek redress, noting that they had no problems with the outcome of the election, but with the process.

“Two weeks before the election, a peaceful rally by the APC was forcibly dispersed which led to the death of an individual,” he said, adding that there was no investigation into the matter.

He also mentioned that “a vehicle was intercepted containing 200 boxes of electoral material which INEC discredited as waste material” and there was yet to be an explanation for a reported aircraft carrying suspicious material, which landed in Ekiti.

Mohammed explained that “what happens before, during elections determines if the nation’s democracy is being deepened.”

However, the APC spokesman said that the Party had no intention to contest the result of the election and it was standing by Fayemi’s decision, unless there was compelling evidence to necessitate such a move.

“We have gone beyond the issue of who lost or who won the election”, he said, but insisted that the over-militarisation of the process created fear in the electorate which may have caused many APC loyalists to stay clear of the election.

“We have absolutely no problem or issue with law enforcement agencies in keeping peace” he said, but noted that it was a “selective keeping of peace” which was against the opposition. He claimed that members of the APC, as well as some accredited journalists had been “deported” and “forcefully removed” on the day of the election.

He further insisted that certain incidents, if not corrected, would not give the desired type of democracy.

On the emergence of Ayo Fayose as governor-elect, Mohammed said that the concession of defeat by Fayemi and the APC was evidence of the opposition’s democratic nature.

“By this we have shown the world that we are true democrats and that election is not a do or die affair”, he said, maintaining that the Party had respected the wish of the people.

Strange Allegation

On his part, Chairman of the Lagos Chapter of the PDP, Tunji Shelle, described allegations of the APC spokesman as “strange”.

According to him, security personnel were professional in their conduct.Tunji Shelle

Shelle, a second guest on the programme, while speaking about the election, commended the outgoing governor, Kayode Fayemi, for sportsmanship but noted that the act was not first of its kind.

“Our own candidate in Lagos during the last election congratulated Fashola in the same vein as Fayemi did.”

He noted that Fayemi had prepared well but somebody else prepared better, adding that the last time governance was taken away from PDP, it was through “judicial rascality”, since Ekiti was a PDP state.

On reports of the ejection of certain people allegedly lodged in hotels to perpetuate electoral crime, Shelle said that the security personnel did a good job of evading any unwanted occurrence. They were there to disrupt the electoral process, he insisted.

He, however, defended the presence of the Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro and Minister of Police Affairs, Jelil Adesiyan in Ekiti despite the fact that security operatives did not permit APC governors.

According to him, they had been lodged in Akure, and had gone into Ado-Ekiti briefly, on private matters, as PDP members and were not on a mission to influence the election.

Tukur Denied His Resignation To Protect President, PDP – Shelle

The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, Tunji Shelle has explained reasons why the former National Chairman of the ruling party, Bamanga Tukur, had denied his impending resignation on different occasions despite the high-powered meetings which took place to determine the party’s fate, in the light of its dwindling membership.

“He said it because of his personal convictions that he was doing the right thing. He was protecting PDP. He was protecting Mr President,” Shelle said.

Mr Tukur, who assumed the position in March 2012, vacated the office on Thursday as announced by President Goodluck Jonathan. However, the resignation which Mr Shelle said was not forced but took time to be concretised.

“It took a lot of time. It took a lot of calculations. It took a lot of wisdom. It took a lot of meetings from the caucus level to the BoT level and then before they brought it to the NEC level,” Shelle explained.

He further described the former chairman as a ‘good man’ who had strong convictions in his beliefs but concerning all the issues which led to his resignation, “age was not on his side.”

Mr Shelle who was present at the NEC meeting, where the decision was reached, told Channels Television while speaking on Sunrise Daily that the decision of the PDP leadership was an agreed one.

He added that the former Chairman was not forced into resigning as there were several consultations and meetings at different levels of the organisation. State Chairmen of the Party had also stated that the Chairman should step down in the interest of the party

“When your soldiers are no longer behind you, definitely you would know that the time is up.”

He added that “I wouldn’t blame him. He had a personal conviction that he was doing the right thing but we thought otherwise because we were losing members.”

“Alhaji Bamanga Turkur is a good man. He has enormous wisdom, He has dexterity. He has seen it all..

“He felt certain people were digging deep to cause mayhem in the party so he maintained his personal belief… but later all of us realized that his approach was not healthy.”

Shelle also addressed former members of the party who joined the opposition party, All Progressives Congress (APC), to return as the APC does not present them the best ‘environment.’ According to the politician, it is likely that the decampees would return “because the opposition party is not the best environment for them.”

“The best option for them now is to retrace their steps,” he stated, adding that “APC has not redefined itself and has not given enough reasons for people to join them.”

On the alleged battle of wills between the former Chairman and the Governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, who was among the five governors that decamped to the APC, Mr Shelle said “they have one grouse or the other with each other.”

“When we newly came in, the first problem we had was that the EXCO of Adamawa was not properly constituted” and “the Chairman took a unilateral decision without carrying the National Working Committee along.”

He expressed belief that the PDP would be stronger than it was. “We have learnt our lessons of redefining our goals, working together as a team and focusing on the development of the nation,” he noted.

Supreme Court Overrules Lagos Court Conviction Of Bode George

The Supreme Court of Nigeria, on Friday morning overruled the conviction of  the People’s Democratic Party chieftain, Bode George by a Lagos High Court.

The Apex court, in discharging and acquitting George, stated that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had no evidence that he committed fraud at the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) as alleged.

According to the panel of judges led by John Afolabi Fabiyi JSC, the charge of ‘contract splitting’ filed against George was unknown to  law.

In a quick reaction to the fresh ruling, the Lagos State chapter of the PDP congratulated Mr George for his victory at the Supreme Court.

In a statement signed by the Chairman of the state chapter of the party, Tunji Shelle, the party exalted the Lord and the Judiciary for vindicating their leader.

“Reacting on behalf of the Party, the State Chairman, Tunji Shelle, expresses joy and glory to God.

“We thank God and the Judiciary. We are now re-invigorated for the challenges ahead. The task now is to forget and forgive. The past can no longer haunt us and we are no more distracted. To his detractors who syndicated and railroaded him to jail, we say they should go and sin no more,” the statement read.