Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to deal with Niger Delta militants responsible for the destruction of the country’s petroleum infrastructure the same way he dealt with Boko Haram in the Northeast.
The Nigerian president stated this at a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, on the sidelines of the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Nairobi.
According to a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by the president’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, the president told the Japanese leader that “with the defeat of the Boko Haram terrorists by the military, attention of my administration is now focused on stopping the destruction of the country’s economic assets by militants in the Niger Delta’’.
He said that the militants must dialogue with the Federal government or be dealt with in the same way like Boko Haram.
“We are talking to some of their leaders; we will deal with them as we dealt with Boko Haram if they refuse to talk to us.
“As a government, we know our responsibility, which is to secure the environment.
“It is clear to us that lenders won’t fund projects in insecure environments.
“We realize that we have to secure the country before we can efficiently manage it,’’ Buhari said.
According to him, the security in the Gulf of Guinea, which is greatly affected by piracy and armed robbery at sea, is a priority for the Nigerian government.
“We have provided funds to our Navy to buy new platforms, train and effectively organize the personnel to protect the area.
“We are looking forward to support from developed nations for satellite surveillance covering the Gulf.’’
The President also reassured existing and prospective foreign investors that their investments in Nigeria were secured and would be fully protected.
The president outlined several steps taken by his administration to secure the country and ease of doing business in Nigeria.
Buhari recalled his audience with G7 leaders in Germany, and thanked Japan for responding positively to Nigeria’s requests for the rehabilitation of victims of Boko Haram and rebuilding of infrastructure in the North-East of the country.
He, however, stated that there was still more to do on education, health and other infrastructure to ensure quick and voluntary return of displaced persons to their communities.
On the United Nations Security Council reform, the president agreed to work with Japan for the reforms, stressing that the case for a permanent seat for Africa on the council was a moral one.
He also expressed Nigeria’s support for Japan in its bid for a UN resolution on the problems in East China and South China as well as the “uncontrolled nuclear tests by North Korea.’’
According to him, the UN system is sufficient for the resolutions of all disputes and no nation should be above the United Nations.
“This has to be made absolutely clear and I assure the prime minister that I will meet as many leaders as possible at the forthcoming UN General Assembly concerning the issues,’’ he added.
In his remarks, Abe congratulated Buhari “for courageously tackling Boko Haram terrorism”.
He said Nigeria and Japan must work together to improve the investment climate in view of the many Japanese companies wishing to invest in Nigeria.
Abe reaffirmed Japan’s commitment to rapid development in Nigeria through quality delivery of ongoing projects in the country, including Jebba hydro power scheme and the Lagos railway project.
Some banks on Wednesday clarified their positions on the alleged suspension from the foreign exchange market transaction by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over alleged non-remittance of the NNPC dollar deposits.
The affected banks expressed their stance in statements and e-mails to customers on Wednesday in Lagos.
The banks include the FirstBank Ltd., Fidelity, Keystone and Heritage.
FirstBank in a statement, said that the referenced NNPC dollar accounts were fully disclosed to the CBN.
It said that accounts were being operated in line with the regulatory requirements.
The bank also said that tripartite documented discussions had been ongoing between the CBN, NNPC and the bank on the need for domestic retention of those balances.
It said that was as part of measures to ameliorate challenges posed by the lack of FX availability, and customers’ inability to source FX to fund their trade finance obligations to the bank.
The bank reassured all its stakeholders that the issue was not a function of concealment or willful non-compliance by the bank.
“We are confident in our ability to meet and honour all our obligations as at when due and are currently in talks with the CBN and other relevant bodies and are positive of an amicable resolution soonest,” said the bank.
Also, Fidelity Bank said it had repaid over 288 million dollars of those funds in line with the advised repayment schedule.
“We will like to clarify that these deposits were duly reported to the CBN by Fidelity Bank in line with the extant TSA requirements contrary to the erroneous view in certain media reports that the funds were concealed from the regulators.
“At the commencement of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) in 2015, Fidelity bank advised NNPC and the regulators with a schedule of repayment for the NNPC/NLNG dividend dollar deposits.
“Please note that you can continue to operate your domiciliary account with Fidelity and this development will not affect your deposits/loans (local and foreign currency), remittances, transactional services and electronic banking services.
“Although the market condition remains quite challenging, we will continue to honour our obligations and operate with the highest level of corporate governance,’’ the bank said.
The bank said in the interim that it was engaging with the other eight banks involved, stakeholders and the regulators to resolve the issue quickly and ensure its return to the FX market.
Keystone Bank, also in a statement signed by the management, said it had engaged in efforts that were geared towards very timely resolution.
It said the bank understood the importance of sourcing foreign exchange for its customers’ needs to support economic growth.
The bank said that the development did not adversely affect customers’ existing transactions with it except that there would be constraints in establishing new letters of credit until the issue was resolved.
Meanwhile, Heritage Bank said that the CBN’s announcement of temporary suspension was a systemic challenge to the banking industry that cut across most banks.
It said that the bank would continue to treat forex transfer, remittance from domiciliary accounts, establishment of non-valid for FX form Ms and establishment of Letter of Credit (LoC) on the bank’s offshore lines.
On August 23, the CBN barred the banks from the foreign exchange market.
The banks were United Bank for Africa (UBA), 530 million dollars and First Bank of Nigeria (FBN), 469 million dollars.
Others are Diamond Bank Plc, 287 million dollars; Sterling Bank Plc, 269 million dollars; Sky Bank Plc, 221 million dollars; Fidelity Bank 209 million dollars; Keystone Bank, 139 million dollars; First City Monument Bank (FCMB), 125 million dollars and Heritage Bank, 85 million dollars.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is set to arraign a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae, for allegedly receiving N100m from the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation during the 2015 General Elections.
The N100m, which was given to Falae on the instruction of a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih, was said to have emanated from the imprest account of the Office of the National Security Adviser in the Central Bank of Nigeria.
A document sighted by our correspondent indicated that the commission would charge the ex-SGF and one-time Minister of Finance with conspiracy to indirectly retain the sum of N100m “which he ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: stealing, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012, and punishable under Section 15(3) and 4 of the same Act.”
Falae had, in a statement in February, admitted collecting the N100m, but said he did not know that the money emanated from the account of ONSA.
A detective at the anti-graft agency told The Punch that 78-year-old Falae had been frequenting the EFCC office in Lagos in the last couple of weeks.
“Chief Falae has been reporting to our office every week to answer questions on the N100m he received from the Jonathan campaign organisation. We have told him to refund the money.
“But he said he received the money through Anenih and it was meant for campaign. However, investigations revealed that he deposited N60m into SDP’s account while he kept N40m.
“We told him that he should return the N40m, but he has not been forthcoming. We have no other option but to charge him to court.”
The EFCC had alleged in March that about N3.145bn was mysteriously transferred from the account of ONSA to the account of the Joint Trust Dimensions Limited, a company allegedly owned by the Director of Finance, Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Senator Nenadi Usman.
Usman was said to have transferred N840m to the account of the Director of Publicity of the organisation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, in Zenith Bank, Maitama branch, with account number, 1004735721, on February 19, 2015.
Falae, who is the National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party, allegedly received N100m through a company, Marreco Limited, where he is chairman. The fund was credited into the company’s United Bank for Africa Plc account, 1000627022, on March 25, 2014.
According to the document, N320m was also paid into the bank account of the Goodluck Support Group, an association which played a major role in Jonathan’s campaign.
A former Governor of Imo State, Achike Udenwa, and a former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Viola Onwuliri, also got N350m in two tranches. The first tranche of N150m was paid into their joint account with Zenith Bank on January 13, 2015. The second tranche of N200m was credited into their account with Diamond Bank.
Usman and Fani-Kayode had been arraigned before the Federal High Court in Lagos and their accounts frozen, while Udenwa is expected to be arraigned this week.
The source at the EFCC told our correspondent that since all the others were facing prosecution, it would only be fair for Falae to be charged.
The man who named his dog Buhari, Joachim Iroko, aka Joe, was remanded on Monday at the Ibara Prison following his arraignment at the Ota Magistrate Court 2, Ogun State.
He was charged to court by the police with conduct likely to cause breach of the peace, in a case with suit number MOT/617c/2016.
The prosecutor, Inspector Itaita Ebibomini, said the accused committed the offence on Saturday, August 13, 2016, at the Hausa section of Ketere Market in Sango-Ota in the Ota Magisterial District.
The prosecutor told the court that the offence was punishable under Section 249 (d) of Criminal Law of Ogun State, Nigeria, 2016.
The accused, who was represented by a counsel, U. Michael, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The charge read, “That you, Joachim Iroko, aka Joe, and others still at large, on Saturday, August 13, 2016, at about 5.30pm at the Ketere area, Sango, in the Ota Magisterial District did conduct yourselves in a manner likely to cause breach of the peace, by writing a name, Buhari, on a dog and parading same in the Hausa section of Ketere Market, Sango, thereby, committing an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 249 (d) of the Criminal Law of Ogun State, Nigeria, 2016.”
His counsel, however, pleaded that the accused should be granted bail. The prosecutor did not oppose the application for bail. The two witnesses in the case were present in court.
The Chief Magistrate, B. J. Ojikutu, admitted Iroko to bail in the sum of N50,000 with two sureties in like sum, adding that the sureties must be regular taxpayers in the state.
“They must attach four passport photographs each to the bail bond, depose to affidavits of being gainfully employed, and reside in the court’s jurisdiction,” he added.
The case was adjourned till September 19, 2016.
Iroko, who had been formerly identified as Joe Fortemose Chinakwe, was arrested on Saturday, August 13, after one of his neighbours, who is of Northern extraction, complained that he named the dog after his father, Alhaji Buhari.
The suspect was first taken to the Sango Police Station, from where he was transferred to the state police command headquarters at Eleweran, Abeokuta.
However, as of press time, his family members had yet to perfect the bail for his release. He was subsequently taken to the Ibara Prison.
……Voids Certificate of Return issued Ogah
The Court of Appeal in Abuja has reversed the sack of Abia State Governor, Victor Okezie Ikpeazu by a Federal High Court in Abuja.
Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja had in two judgments on June 27 this year, on suits by Sampson Ogah and Obasi Ekeagbala, voided Ikpeazu’s election on the ground that he made false claims in his tax documents submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In six separate judgments Thursday, a five-man bench of the Court of Appeal, led by Justice Helen Moronkeji Ogunwumiju set aside the two judgments by Justice Abang on the grounds that his findings and conclusions were wrong.
The appellate court reversed all the orders he made, including Ikpeazu’s sack and the issuance of Certificate of Return to Ogah by INEC.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Wednesday re-arrested the former Governor of Imo State, Achike Udenwa in connection with alleged campaign scandal at the last presidential election.
Udenwa, as a State Co-ordinator for The Presidential Campaign Organisation in Imo State was said to have collected the sum of N350 million from the former senator representing Kaduna South and Director of Finance for the PDP presidential campaign organisation, Nenadi Usman.
The suspect, in his statement to the Commission admitted receiving the money via Diamond Bank account No.0058805692 and 005950791 respectively on the 14th and 28th of January 2015 in three separate installments.
He added that the money came from a company named Joint Trust Dimension Limited. This same company was charged alongside Mrs Nenadi Usman and the Media Director of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Femi Fani Kayode before Federal High Court Lagos on a similar allegation.
Investigation however revealed that Udenwa and one Viola Onwuliri, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs and State Minister for Education, who was his deputy at the Presidential Campaign Organization were the two signatories to the Diamond Bank account that received the money.
Upon his arrest, Udenwa was immediately granted administrative bail by the commission with condition that he should be reporting to the commission at an appointed time. But while enjoying his administrative bail, Udenwa chose to deliberately skip reporting, thereby compelling the commission to revoke his administrative bail pending his arraignment soon.
Udenwa was a governor of Imo State under the flagship of People’s Democratic Party between 1999 and 2007 and became a minister of Commerce and Industry between 2008 and 2010 under Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
The decision to release Boko Haram suspects in exchange for abducted Chibok schoolgirls as being demanded by the terror sect, will be a political decision.
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Gabriel Olonishakin stated this while fielding questions from State House correspondents after a security meeting, held in the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday.
He, however, said that military operations against activities of the terrorist group would continue irrespective of any negotiations with the sect.
“That is a political decision to be taken.
“The military decision is that we are going ahead with our operations.
“The operation is being conducted appropriately.’’
The CDS stated that the military authorities were analysing the video released by Boko Haram sect and “we will make appropriate comments at the right time’’.
He said that one of the people declared wanted by the army in connection with the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls had surrendered himself to the army for interrogation.
Olonishaki disclosed that the meeting went beyond discussing security matters, saying that it also discussed issues on floods apart from terrorism.
Also speaking on the outcome of the meeting, the Comptroller-General of Customs, retired Col. Hameed Ali said the meeting took the form of workshop as participants were trained on how to respond to emergency issues.
“It was not a meeting as such, it was a little workshop that was arranged for us to understand how to respond to emergency issues, how to be in the position to advise the President to take the right decisions under emergency cases either terrorism, flood or any other thing.
“It was put together for chief executives to sit down and understand the processes of thinking when there is disaster.
“And I think that is what we have learnt today, and hope we will put into use.’’
Also commenting on the activities of the Boko Haram, the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said even though the Federal Government was in touch with the sect, the government is being careful and cautious in view of the split in the leadership of the group.
“What is important to government is the safety and security of these girls.
“Don’t forget that this is not the first time we will be engaged in talking and engaging them.
“The point is we assure the nation that we are on top of the situation.
“We are not even just reacting to the video; we have gone far beyond the video in talking to the group already.
“Until you are able to ascertain the authenticity of the people you are talking to, you don’t go into details.’’
On the planned protest-march to the Presidential Villa by members of the BringBack Our Girls’ group, Mohammed stated that government was committed to doing everything possible to rescue all kidnapped citizens, including the Chibok schoolgirls.
“We appreciate their commitment to the return of these girls but there are few things we need to do behind the scene.
“What we are saying is that the government is committed to do everything to rescue these girls.”
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is set to quiz a former Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Mr. Abdulmumin Jibrin, again this week over a petition alleging “fraudulent award” of contracts worth N418m to firms linked to him.
The petition, dated July 26, 2016, was written by the Anti-corruption Unit of the National Youth Council of Nigeria.
The EFCC acknowledged receipt of the petition on July 29.
Jibrin was reported to have been interrogated on Tuesday over allegations relating to N17bn money laundering.
Reports have it that the EFCC had concluded arrangements to interrogate the former appropriation committee chairman again this week.
An officer, who spoke to Sunday PUNCH, said, “Our operatives will before the end of the week, invite him to answer questions relating to the fresh petition.”
In the petition, the NYCN stated that in September 2014, the National Commission For Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons awarded 10 contracts to five companies in the combined sum of N418m in one day.
It noted that the contract documents merely directed the firms to make supplies to “Kano State”, but did not indicate the purpose of the contract, the location where the supplies would be delivered, nor the names of the recipients.
However, in each of the contract document, the agency copied Jibrin, who was at the time the Chairman, House Committee on Finance.
Part of the petition read, “All contacts were awarded in one day; all the contracts were awarded to Kano State.
“All the contract award letters were copied to Jibrin; three of the companies are located in the same EFAB Mall, Area 11, Abuja.Two of the companies, which got four of the contracts, used the same office address, Suite A47, EFAB Mall, Area 11, Abuja.”
Going through the contracts papers, Sunday PUNCH observed that one of the firms, M/S Eash Progressive Ventures, was awarded a contract to supply 140 units of computers for N47.6m.
Another firm, Eleku Construction Limited, was awarded a contract worth N44.1m to supply 2,452 bags of “maize and millet to Kano State.”
The council urged the EFCC to probe the contracts because of the “curious” nature of the deals, which did not include any other lawmaker or the Kano State Government other than Jibrin, who was copied.
It called on the commission to establish the “capability” or otherwise of Jibrin and the Federal Commissioner, who awarded the 10 contracts.
It added, “The unit cost of the supplies in the 10 contracts is outrageous.
“Efforts to trace evidence of completion of the contracts have proved abortive.
“The description of the companies is ambiguous, as they were all supplies to Kano State, without any specification to whom or what purpose the supplies would be deployed.”
The document to the EFCC was signed by the Council’s Coordinator, Mr. Ifeanyi Okonkwo.
Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, spokesman for the EFCC however, confirmed that the commission had received a petition against Jibrin.
After serving at the Redeemed Christian Church of God for 23 years, Bayo Akinjiyan, 55, has decried what he described as “man’s inhumanity to man and the travesty of justice” by the church he served “meritoriously.”1
Akinjiyan, who voluntarily resigned from the church in 2013 after rising to the position of an assistant provincial pastor at Lagos Province 25, said he could not fathom why an organis1ation he was once a part of for 23 years would treat him with “human indignity” and refuse to pay him what is due to him.
Upon his exit from the church, Akinjiyan said he had to vacate a N15m house he personally built on Plot 15, Diligence Road, Redemption Camp, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, which is in line with the policy of the church that a non-member has no rights to own any building at the camp.
However, after handing over the property, its receipt has yet to be acknowledged by the authorities of the church; a position Akinjiyan said had made him uncomfortable.
His other grievance is over unpaid consultancy fees amounting to over N2m on projects designed, supervised and or managed by him since 2012.
Akinjiyan said he had exploited all available media to express his grievances to the church, including through the writing of private letters to the General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, but after waiting for over two years and his grievances had yet to be addressed, he had resorted to writing an open letter to the leader of the church.
His letter read, “First, I want to address the attitude and response of the authorities and leadership of the Redeemed Christian Church of God over the house on Plot 15, Diligence Road, Redemption Camp Estate, Redemption Camp, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway that I handed over to them upon my voluntary exit from the church after 23 years of meritorious service and having risen to the position of assistant provincial pastor.
“This was contained in my letter of resignation, dated November 3, 2013. That I gave my best in this adventure was alluded to by the church in the letter of release, dated March 11, 2014, which states inter alia, ‘…We wish to appreciate you for your contributions to this ministry and we pray that God will reward and support you in your future endeavours…’
“Secondly, the attitude and response of the Board of Governors of Christ the Redeemers College, Sagamu, Ogun State Nigeria — a private secondary school operated by Christ the Redeemer’s Ministries, an affiliate of RCCG, over an unpaid consultancy fees on projects designed, supervised and or managed by me since 2012.
“I know the implications of my actions and having fully weighed my options, I hereby accept full responsibilities for my actions. My decision to inform the Christian community and the larger society is not aimed at destroying or tarnishing the image of anyone or maligning the church that once gave me fire, but rather, it is aimed at putting records straight, and satisfying my God and my conscience. I have prayed over this matter, consulted those that I needed to, and I’ve come to the conclusion that God is on the side of those who have a right standing with Him.
“Let us address the first issue — the house at Redemption Camp. In line with the policy of the RCCG mission on those who build on its land, the keys to the house on the above mentioned location, which is a five-bedroom house (all en-suite), valued by a firm of chartered estate surveyors at N15.5m as of December 5, 2011, were submitted to the church through my letter to the General Overseer, dated March 4, 2014 upon my voluntary exit.
“Reminders were also sent through four other letters dated September 2, 2015, January 2, 2016, March 10, 2016, and June 27, 2016. Of all these letters and reminders, the only response I had was a letter dated October 9, 2015, acknowledging the letter of September 2, stating as follows, ‘…We wish to inform you that the issues raised in your letter have been referred to concerned officials for their comments and response. We shall get back to you as we receive feedback and further directives from the mission authority.
“Almost a year down the line, I am still waiting. My request was that the church should at least officially acknowledge the receipt of the house, even if there is no form of compensation. The God who built that for me can always give me a better one. This is my belief. The need to acknowledge the takeover of the house becomes necessary for at least two reasons: first, when I get to heaven (and by the grace of God I will make it), there will be an official and authentic record from RCCG in my favour, of the house that was forfeited to her as a result of doing the will of the Master here on earth.
“Secondly, it is to my knowledge that properties said to belong to the leadership of the church or that of the RCCG Mission sometimes allegedly, carelessly and surreptitiously fall into wrong hands. In view of this development, the question is: Is Pastor Adeboye even aware of this house in question of having been handed over to RCCG? If yes, has he given an instruction for my request to be granted? If yes, what is delaying his instruction from being carried out almost a year after? If no action has been taken with all these efforts of mine, what is the reason for this?”
Akinjiyan’s second grievance is the non-payment of N2,140,604.66 consultancy fee on projects designed, supervised and managed by him since 2012 at Christ the Redeemers College, the secondary school of the church.
He wrote, “I was appointed by the governing board of the above-named college for the purpose of overseeing the projects on a week-by-week basis at a meeting held by the Board on November 28, 2009. My duties and responsibilities were diligently carried out to the letter. When I wrote to the college for payment thereafter, no response was given. I wrote a reminder after two years, the college refused to collect the letter for reasons best known to the official at their reception desk. I thereafter sent it to the General Overseer on March 10, 2016. A reminder was sent in June 2016 and also a personal copy to Pastor (Mrs.) Folu Adeboye, the wife of the G.O., who is a major stakeholder of the college.
“For all these to have happened in a church I diligently served for 23 years is questionable in my opinion. I have yet to find out why I should be so treated in this manner even after I had followed due process to secure my release. Please also note that it took the church over two years to organise a send-off in my honour and this was after I wrote the G.O. about it. It took the church over two years and after two separate letters of reminder, to pay royalty on over 30 of my published books in the church bookshops. This also happened after I wrote to the G.O. about it.
“Would it be right then to say that perhaps all these are personal vendetta coming from those on whose toes I stepped on while I served through my insistence that right things must be done and I am now being made to pay for my uncompromising stance on corruptive tendencies within the spheres I served and particularly at the college?
“I believe that for our nation to be great again, all hands must be on deck. Religious leaders have a crucial role to play beyond praying for the nation. They need to also teach their members and warn against the evil of corruption, expose its tendencies within the system. Then and only then can our nation be sanitised and become great again. The government alone cannot fight and win this humongous battle against corruption.
“One thing is for sure: for the leadership of the RCCG to keep ignoring me and all the letters I’ve sent across to it for its own best known reasons would be cutting off its nose to spite its face. I know so much more than anyone could think of and I counsel that they should just let sleeping dogs lie. If this situation persists in the next couple of days, one may be compelled to press for full redress on these issues. I am using this opportunity to call on all those who believe in the course of justice within the church and outside of it to please assist me in this cause. I’m calling on human rights groups and civil society organisations and others to please strengthen my arm through the law if need be.
“I also call on the irrepressible media, both print and electronic in Nigeria and in the international community, to conduct investigative journalism and prove me wrong in any of my assertions. A young lawyer friend has provided me legal services so far and has written the appropriate bodies on these issues. I pray the church authority will act fast on this, but if they think otherwise, I am fully prepared for the days ahead. I also know that this journey may be long, lonely and dreary. The wheel of justice may grind slowly, but with God on my side, there is a glorious light at end of the tunnel.
“To the Christian community and friends, I demand your prayers at this time. I know some ‘brethren’ will vilify me, abuse and harass me, take me through scriptures on how to resolve church conflicts (I’ve explored all these) or how not to touch ‘mine anointed.’ I know some would call me names, raise non-existing scandalous issues that have not surfaced since I left over three years ago. I know I could be under threat of attack or be monitored. I am not bothered.
“What is not worth dying for is not worth living for. Some might ask: You want to destroy a house you helped in building or once lived in? My answer is ‘no’. It is to prevent the house from collapsing on its present occupants that is my concern. Some might ask why fight over mundane issues such as house or money and just N2.1m? My answer is ‘no’. I have been involved in projects for the church to the extent that that if I were to collect consultancy fees, it would have run into over tens of millions of naira, but yet I executed some of these projects with my colleagues in the building industry for next to nothing.
“I am not a gold digger nor do I seek to reap where I did not sow. I belong to the Joshua generation and this error of treating with indignity people who follow due process in resigning from the church must stop. I have suffered in the hands of vipers, vultures, lions, crocodiles, pharaohs and goliaths in the church system over the years, I’ve suffered with Christ through obedience to His will. I’ve gone through and still going through ‘indignity’ of living in a rented accommodation, after building a decent house and living in it just because of doing God’s will. I’ve had my own portion of the vicissitudes of life.
“I have a different spirit and have followed the Lord fully. Having been given positions of trust and responsibilities and never abused any, I rejoice and see all these as part of the faith package of my redemption through Christ Jesus and in all of these. I’m more than a conqueror. I have no regret of any decisions taken in the past, I have no better yesterday yet, I’m a believer in a glorious tomorrow. I have coveted no man’s silver or gold; I’ve never stolen church funds or church members.
“Unconfirmed reports indicate how people who left the Redemption Camp sold their houses through illegal transfers without the mission batting an eyelid. I decided to do the right thing and must I suffer for it? While I do not claim to be perfect, just as no one is, I contend daily for the faith that was once delivered unto the saints. I am not intimidated and can never be. I serve the living God, the God of faithfulness and without injustice, good and upright is He. A word, they say, is enough for the wise and those who live in glass houses do not throw stones.”
The National Human Rights Commission on Thursday named a former Governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan; and a former Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission, Prof. Maurice Iwu, among other individuals, government institutions, security agencies and their personnel, as contributors to the widespread electoral fraud in the 2007 and 2011 general elections.
The NHRC stated this in a report it released at its headquarters in Abuja on Thursday.
It stated that the individuals and institutions were among those indicted by the election petitions tribunals and appellate judicial bodies which sat on cases that arose from the 2007 and 2011 election cycles.
Also contained in the list of indicted persons and institutions are a former Governor of Edo State, Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor, a former Acting Governor of Kogi State, Clarence Obafemi, and the Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship candidate in the 2015 election in Benue State, Mr. Terhemen Tarzoor.
A former Kebi South Sentor, Maj.-Gen. Tanko Ayuba (retd), and Ekiti North Senator, Ayo Arise, both of whom were elected to the Nigerian Senate in 2007, as well as former Ondo South Senator, Hosea Ehinlanwo, who was first elected to the Senate and re-elected in 2007, were also on the list.
Also on the list were the INEC and many of its officials, the PDP, the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, and the All Nigerian Peoples Party.
The NHRC recommended some of the individuals to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, for criminal prosecution.
Some others, including government institutions, political parties, lawyers were recommended to relevant government agencies for administrative and professional sanctions.
The report was titled Phase 1 of the Final Report of ‘An Independent Review of Evidence of Gross Violations of the Rights to Participate in Government, to Public Service, and to Fair Trial Through the Election Petition Process in Nigeria 2007.
Responding to the report, Uduaghan said the NHRC did not study the case properly before making its recommendation.
He explained that said his 2007 election was nullified by the Court of Appeal based on the law of burden of proof and that hence he could not go to the Supreme Court because then governorship polls ended at the Appeal Court.
“But the Supreme Court ruled that there can be no passing the bucket until the petitioner has discharged the onus cast on him by law, meaning the onus does not shift to the respondent.
“Therefore the appeal court judgement in Benin was wrongly against me. Unfortunately the NHRC did not study my case properly before making their recommendation.