Saturday, 24 February 2018
Items filtered by date: October 2016

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, on Friday responded to allegations levelled against him by the party’s National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

 Odigie-Oyegun, who, in a statement issued in Abuja, said all members of the party must respect its constitution, stated that nobody had the money to buy his conscience.

The media office of Tinubu, had in a statement issued few weeks ago, accused Odigie-Oyegun of derailing from the party’s ethos and faulted his role in the APC governorship primary in Ondo State, which was won by Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN).

 The statement had said, “(Odigie-) Oyegun has dealt a heavy blow to the very party he professes to lead. It is an awful parent who suffocates his own child for the sake of a few naira.”

But the national chairman in his first comprehensive response to Tinubu’s allegations, described the allegations as reckless and baseless, adding that it was an insult on his person and hard-earned reputation.

He stated, “Nobody has the kind of money that can buy my conscience or make me do injury to an innocent man. In all the primaries conducted under my watch as national chairman, I have strived to ensure a free, fair, transparent and credible process. The 2016 Ondo State APC governorship primary was not an exception. There must be internal democracy in the party and our constitution must be respected by all.”

Odigie-Oyegun also responded to an allegation that he overruled the decision of APC’s National Working Committee, which reportedly had majority of its members present voting in favour of cancellation of the result of the primary.

He said that the minutes of the NWC meetings, which were held from September 19 to September 22, showed that the committee did not vote in favour of cancellation of the primary as claimed by Tinubu.

Odigie-Oyegun said the allegation made by Tinubu’s media office “was a figment of someone’s wild imagination.”

He said, “On Thursday, September 22, 2016, being the final day for submission of candidate by political parties, the NWC discussed the possibility of voting having finished deliberation on the 2016 Ondo State APC Governorship Primary  Appeal Committee Report because members in support of cancelling the primary results were still strident in their position.

“A member of the NWC, however, drew the attention of the meeting to its previous decision in which the report of the primary election committee was adopted while the appeal committee’s was set aside. The implication of this decision, he reasoned, was that a decision to submit the name of the winner of the primary election was already taken unless the NWC would now wish to reconsider its earlier decision.”

Odigie-Oyegun said he agreed with the submission of the member and ruled that the previous decision of the NWC be upheld.

He also faulted an allegation that the names of “over 150 valid delegates were excised to make room for an equal number of impostors.”

He stated that the Ondo State delegates’ list was compiled in strict compliance with the party’s constitution. Odigie-Oyegun said that only qualified delegates were included on the list.

He further said that none of the aspirants or the appeal committee had submitted to the NWC, names of delegates who were not qualified to be on   the list, but were included.

The national chairman also stated that the NWC had not received names of presumed qualified delegates, who were not included on the list used for the primary.

Odigie-Oyegun recalled that Tinubu’s media office alleged that he used a “prayer interlude”, which he initiated, to “secretly excuse” himself from the NWC meeting.

According to the allegation, it was during the interlude that he submitted Akeredolu’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission as the candidate of the party.

Odigie-Oyegun said, “The allegation is high fiction and an insult to the intelligence and sensibility of the respected NWC members present at the meeting. We do not and have never engaged in prayer interludes/sessions outside the usual opening and closing prayers. The prayer being referred to must be the closing prayer for the meeting.

“The party’s NWC’s decision to reject the 2016 Ondo State APC Governorship Primary Appeal Committee Report was taken on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 in an executive session after careful and exhaustive deliberations. The minutes and rejection were confirmed by the NWC on Thursday, September 22, 2016.

“The NWC, in its four-point resolution, rejected the appeal committee’s recommendation on the grounds that the report was fundamentally and fatally flawed. The NWC observed that the appeal committee contradicted itself when it admitted in its report, ‘In making the above recommendations, one is not unmindful of the fact that there may have been substantial compliance in the conduct of the exercise,’ but still proceeded to recommend the nullification of the primary election.”

According to him, the NWC, in its four-point resolution, also faulted the failure of the appeal committee to invite the national secretariat as the custodian, to authenticate or otherwise, the source of the disputed delegates’ list.

He also noted that the appeal committee did not invite the Chairman or members of the Ondo State Governorship Primary Committee to clarify issues relating to the allegation of manipulation of the accreditation process.

Odigie-Oyegun said that the appeal committee relied totally on unsubstantiated evidence in the petitions it received to recommend the nullification of the primary.

“This is against the principle of natural justice and fair hearing,” he added.

He further said, “The NWC observed a serious contradiction in the appeal committee’s report in respect of the number of the accredited delegates. Whereas the primary election committee’s report indicated that 2,774 delegates were accredited, the appeal committee’s report erroneously recorded it as those who voted in the election, thereby acting under the false impression that there was over-voting in the exercise. The actual total number of votes cast was 2,754, as clearly recorded in the primary election committee’s report.

“The issue of fresh primary did not arise as the NWC had already rejected the appeal committee’s report in view of the stated flaws and upheld the election. In any case, any fresh primary was already time barred. By the timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission, all governorship primaries and issues related ended on September 19, 2016.”

He said that at the meeting, voting on a fresh primary was unnecessary and never took place in view of the NWC’s rejection of the appeal committee’s report.

Odigie-Oyegun stated, “The foregoing are facts backed by the minutes approved by all NWC members that attended the meetings held in respect of 2016 Ondo State APC Governorship Primary Election Appeal Committee Report.”

The national chairman added that the NWC was confident that the Chairman of the Ondo State APC Governorship Primary Election Committee and Governor of Jigawa State, Abubakar Badaru, conducted a credible and exemplary exercise.

He said that he was setting the records straight “in view of the misinformation and false reports that have been fed to the media and that have pervaded the public space.”

The national chairman appealed to leaders and members of the party at all levels to explore internal dispute resolution mechanism in addressing their perceived grievances “instead of resorting to the media to vent their spleen.

“There are enormous challenges in delivering the party’s 2015 election promises to Nigerians. On the immediate horizon is the task of winning the governorship election in Ondo State. We cannot afford to be distracted by the present contentions.”

Odigie-Oyegun said that despite the media attention that had been generated by the disagreements in the aftermath of the Ondo State governorship primary, the party had already commenced wide consultations with stakeholders, with a view to resolving the political differences.

“The APC national leadership remains united and solidly committed to the task of winning the Ondo State governorship election to save the people of the state from the misrule of the Peoples Democratic Party,” he stated.

Attempts to get the spokesman for Tinubu, Mr. Tunde Rahman, did not succeed as he did not pick calls to his mobile telephone nor respond to a text message sent to the phone.


Published in Headliners

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday dismissed an application by a former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, asking for an order to stop the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the police from arresting her with respect to the ongoing investigation into corruption allegation against her.

Oduah had filed the fundamental rights enforcement suit, asking the court to prohibit the Attorney-General of the Federation’s office, the EFCC, and the police from “inviting, arresting, investigating or prosecuting” her over the purchase of two armoured BMW vehicles at the cost of N255m by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority under her watch as the aviation minister in 2013.

Justice Abdu Kafarati in his judgment on Wednesday upheld the objection raised by the respondents, to the effect that the court lacked the requisite jurisdiction to hear the case.

 He held that that no court had the power to stop security agencies from carrying out their duty of investigation.

He said, “It is not grantable by this court because the court cannot stop security agencies from carrying out their duties.  There is no way a person can be investigated without being invited by the body charged with the responsibility of investigation.

“In most cases, the invitation is even in the interest of the invitee because he or she will have the opportunity of giving his or her side of the story.

“I therefore hold that the application seeking to stop security agencies from inviting, investigating, arresting and/or prosecuting any person suspected to have committed an offence does not constitute a fundamental right action.”

Oduah had in the suit urged the court to declare illegal the alleged plot by the respondents to arrest, investigate and prosecute her in relation to her activities while in office, particularly the controversial two armoured vehicles purchased.

The purchase of the armoured vehicles by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority while Oduah was in office attracted public criticism over allegation that the prices were inflated.

Oduah had argued that the criminal allegations leveled against her as minister had been investigated by the EFCC and the House of Representatives’ Committee on Aviation, which both absolved her of any wrong doing.

She had maintained that the investigation was going to be used as tool for political persecution against her.

She had urged the court to declare that, having earlier been exonerated, any further investigation, arrest, harassment and prosecution of her person in relation to the same issue, amounted to the invasion of her fundamental right to personal liberty, freedom of movement and to be presumed innocent until proved guilty.

Published in News & Stories
Wednesday, 05 October 2016 23:24

Naira firms against dollar

The Naira on Wednesday appreciated against the dollar in all the segments of the foreign exchange market, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

The currency gained 9.97 points to exchange at N310.24 from N320.21 it recorded on Tuesday, representing an appreciation of 3.1 percent.

It also gained a point against the dollar at the parallel market, exchanging at N475 from N476 posted on Tuesday, while it closed against the Pound Sterling and the Euro at N590 and N510, respectively.

At the Bureau De Change (BDC) segment of the market, the naira traded at N354 against the dollar, and at N580 to the Pound Sterling and N510 to the Euro.

Traders at the market said that the sale of foreign exchange to BDCs was already easing the liquidity challenges at the market.

NAN reports that since the resumption of the sale of the currencies to BDCs was restored, the naira had been on a steady path to recovery.

Industry watchers believe that if the new arrangement continued, the Nigerian currency would regain its lost glory.

Published in Business and Economy
Wednesday, 05 October 2016 23:17

22-year-old lady sets pregnant woman ablaze

Operatives of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Bauchi State Police Command have arrested one Lami Clement, 22, for setting a pregnant housewife ablaze.

The suspect who hails from Tafawa Balewa local government area of the state attempted to set ablaze a housewife in their apartment at Sabon Kaura, a suburb of Bauchi metropolis.

Sources said that Lami attacked Amina Lawal, 23, an indigene of Akinyele Local Government Area of Oyo State, in her house.

Lami reportedly bought a gallon of petrol, which she poured on Lawal and then set her ablaze with a lighter.

According to the source, the victim sustained burns on parts of her face, hands and thighs.

Speaking to newsmen at the Police State Command Headquarters, the suspect said she had a relationship with the husband of the victim, Mustapha Ayodele, for three years, but he betrayed her and married Amina.

She said, “I did not actually go there to burn his wife; my intention was to go to his house and burn all his property.

“I did not know his wife was in the house. He jilted me after long years of relationship and married another woman.”

Giving her own account of the story, Amina Lawal, who is currently recuperating at the Orthopaedics ward of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital, Bauchi, said that on the day of the incident, she was in her house when she heard a knock on the door and she opened it and ushered in the visitor.

She said after the suspect had entered the house, she brought out a gallon and poured the petrol in it on her.

Lawal added that after that, her assailant brought out a lighter and set her ablaze; after which she ran out and locked her inside.

“She poured petrol on me and set me ablaze. I removed my clothes and tried to open the door, but she had locked it from outside. It was when my neighbours heard me shouting ‘Fire! Fire!’ that they came to my rescue.

“My husband told me that Lami tried to discourage him from marrying me because she had some affection for him, but he did not know that she could go to the extent of harming me,” Amina explained.

Also speaking on the incident, Mustapha Ayodele, husband of the victim, said that on the 26th of September 2016, he was at work when he received a call from a neighbour that his house was on fire.

“I rushed home and met my wife burnt all over. We reported the matter to the Yelwa Divisional Police Station, after which they transferred us to the emergency ward of ATBU Teaching hospital for treatment.

“I have never dated Lami in my life. I only counselled her on how to go about her life affairs. Why would she attack my wife who is three-month pregnant just because she admires me?” Ayodele asked.

Confirming the incidence, the Police Public Relations Officer, Bauchi State Command, Mahmoud Mohammed, said Lami was arrested on September 27th.

Mohammed, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, said that personal property worth thousands of naira were destroyed during the attack and that the suspect has been charged to court.

Published in Headliners
Wednesday, 05 October 2016 00:22

Okoroji set to unveil record label soon

Chief Tony Okoroji, the Chairman of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), on Tuesday, said that he would soon launch his record label to be known as “TOPS Record Label”.

Okoroji told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that his label would soon rock the music industry with a group of outstanding young Nigerian talents.

The former Chairman of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN) disclosed that Kasi Anuforo, a.k.a. “KASI”, upcoming musician was the most talented under his tutelage.

“KASI is a bomb waiting to explode and when she explodes, all the girls in the music industry must go back to the drawing board because she is set to rewrite the rules.

“KASI is natural and has inspired me in many ways. I cannot wait for Nigerians and the world to experience what I have seen in her,” he said.

Okoroji, who mentored “Dizzy K Falola” to stardom with the hit track “Baby Kilode” in the early 1980s, added that he was capable of spotting an exceptional talent when he sees one.

“I have spent a lifetime in the music industry. I have seen talents in different shapes and colours.

“I am not sure that I have met any talent so real and genuine like that of KASI,” he said.

Okoroji said that his label, which was a hot music production, publishing and distribution company, would strive to carve a niche for itself and KASI in the music industry.

“I am confident that KASI will rock the world and TOPS label is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that she gets a roll out like no other,” he said.

Published in Arts & Culture

In his acclaimed publication ‘The Trouble with Nigeria’ published 33 years ago, in 1983, the late Chinua Achebe pointed out that the ‘the trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership’.

Thirty-three years on this is still true but with an added ‘but’.

Nigeria is a very difficult country to govern: if not the most difficult in the world to govern. You have three major tribes with god-knows-how-many sub-tribes. Three major languages are spoken with over four hundred dialects. There are supposedly two major religions – Christianity and Islam – and again god-knows-how-many different heathen gods that are also worshipped.

Again you have over a hundred and eighty million inhabitants, most living below the poverty line and largely uneducated.

So many people to think of; of different tribes, religions, political affiliations and languages under the umbrella of one nation to be governed by one-person – a President.

Being the President of Nigeria is nothing in comparison to being the President of say, Ghana or the United States of America. The people in these countries are not so diversified.

A President of Nigeria has the near impossible task of trying to keep everybody happy which as I have previously mentioned is impossible because the latter in his best efforts (-or not!) to keep everybody happy will be accused of everything from tribalism and nepotism to favouritism.

In the past thirty years we’ve seen the ‘Buhari-IBB-Sonekan-Abacha- Abubakar’ governments and also the’ OBJ-Yar’Adua-Jonathan-Buhari’ governments. Some were dictators whilst others were elected. It doesn’t matter where there is an APC or PDP Federal government there will still be moaning and groaning. Especially when you still have disillusioned fantasists like Chief Femi Fani Kayode still holding on to the now defunct belief of North-South, Christian-Islam divide. Nigeria has evolved over the years and its current predicament has nothing to do with the North-South, Christian-Muslim divide. Nigeria is a mess as a result of poor leadership, going back for decades, lack of foresight and the lack of accountability on behalf of everybody – from the humble market porter to the President. It’s easy to criticize, judge and condemn others without taking a good look at our very selves in the mirror. To borrow a Christian phrase ‘first remove the plank from your eye before you proceed to remove the speck of dust from brother’s eye’. We are all guilty of bringing the country down to its knees.

With the exception of the military juntas that have ruled Nigeria since independence every civilian government has been voted in by the people – NPC-NNDP, NPN, PDP, APC….

When you have a political system where 99% of those in government are corrupt and inept, or intend to be, you have a problem. Money and harmony go hand in hand. If there is no money to go around because someone has pilfered it there will be general dissatisfaction and even if God was President he won’t be able to run the country and keep everybody happy.

For those who still remember the oil-boom years ( Udoji awards, car and housing loans for graduate workers etc.) of the 70s and early 80s when money was plentiful and corruption was minimal the Head of State of the day had no problem running the country. There was little or no talk of religious or tribal differences as everyone got on with what they were supposed to do – honestly.

That was then. Nowadays the President has to struggle to run the country. He has to deal with the politically-correct brigade who’ll accuse him of playing the North-South, Christian-Muslim game. He has to deal with corrupt fellow politicians, current and past, who hide behind fancy lawyers and Section 308. But most important of all he has to deal with the mind-set of the people. As a race Nigerians are stubborn and don’t take to change very easily. We want things the way we want it and not the way it’s supposed to be. As a result because we’re stuck in our ways the way forward becomes clouded. Gone are the days when the military boys used to issue decrees forcing us to do things. Now we have democratic governments and everything has to be done by the vote opening the door for us to get up to all sorts, rarely doing the right thing.

If we want change we all have to change. Not just the President at the top of the food-chain but everyone. Ditching our age-old habits won’t happen overnight as Rome wasn’t built in a day but a will to start will be a step in the right direction.

The failure of leadership in Nigeria is not just down to one person, the President, not doing his job, but our collective responsibility to do the right thing.

It’s one thing to blame the country’s woes on the lack of competent leadership over the years but what about the governed people themselves? It takes two to tango. If everybody is doing what they’re supposed to do, the right way, then the leaders would have no option but to follow suit.

We condemn our leaders but at the same time our mind-sets allows them to continue with impunity. Isn’t Nigeria the only country in the world where we celebrate corrupt and inept politicians? You salute them, praise them, worship them and give them chieftaincy titles and your daughters – the same very people who have STOLEN YOUR MONEY plunging your country into recession, lawlessness and uncertainty!

The mind-set of the average Nigerian encourages the leaders to do what they want because the people, as a whole, are not righteousness enough to condemn them. If a small country like Ghana can consider impeaching its President for accepting a gift (bribe?) of a car what does that say of Nigeria? We have laws and a constitution but some people believe they are above the law – like Patience Jonathan (who wasn’t even voted into office) – and the people let them get away with it – even protecting them!

We may have bad leaders but we also have a bad populace. If the populace that puts them in power demands (I’ll stress the word ‘demands’) accountability they must account for their actions. If any politician has a clear conscience why hide behind lawyers and section 308? It’s not until you have something like the Arab spring before leaders are forced to change their ways – vote them out! There are sections of the Nigerian Constitution that can be implemented to impeach a President, a Governor, a Senator or anybody who holds a public office. The sad thing is it’ll never be done. Why? Because we as a people are happy to live of the crumbs of their illicit gains : happy to keep them in power to satisfy our religious or tribal status quo; happy to think ‘someone has chop im own’ from public funds whilst at the same time hoping and praying we ourselves can get into public office and ‘chop our own’.

And when we don chop everything finish wetin go remain for future generations? Nothing!

Now we’re at square one again – no money in the country and a biting recession – and we’re wondering where it all went wrong.

Don’t just blame the leaders, blame yourselves too!

The people who fought and died for this country’s independence didn’t do so in order for a future generation of over-rated imbeciles to come and loot and plunge the country into darkness.

Tony Ogunlowo

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 04 October 2016 23:52

Ronaldo targets another 10 years in football

The Real Madrid and Portugal superstar is currently 31 but he hopes to continue playing at an elite level for another decade, such is his commitment to the sport.

Cristiano Ronaldo insists that he has no intention of retiring any time soon.

The Real Madrid superstar has tormented backlines in England and Spain during his club career, while also becoming the leading Champions League scorer.

After netting 118 goals in 291 appearances for Manchester United, the Portugal international has managed an astonishing 367 strikes in 354 games in the Spanish capital.

His career has brought four Premier League titles, one La Liga crown and three Champions League successes, and he added the European Championship with Portugal to that haul earlier this year.

And the forward’s hunger for football shows no sign of dissipating after announcing he plans to play on for another decade.

“Life is not just about football,” the 31-year-old said at the opening of his new hotel in Lisbon.

“Although football is my grand passion, I must start to think about the future.

“I don’t have many years left, about 10 more or less, so I must look to the future.”

Published in Sports

Kim Kardashian West has arrived back in New York as the hunt continues for armed robbers dressed as police officers who targeted the American reality TV star in a Paris apartment.

The gang held a gun to Kardashian West’s head during the early morning robbery, before tying her up and locking her in the bathroom.

They then escaped with an estimated €10m (£8.7m; $11.2m) in jewellery.

Her publicist said the star was “badly shaken but physically unharmed”.

The mother-of-two, who became a household name thanks to the reality series Keeping Up With The Kardashians, left France hours later, flying to New York in a private jet.

She was pictured with her mother Kris Jenner – who had been at the Givenchy show with Kardashian West on Sunday in Paris – and husband, the rapper Kanye West, outside their home in the city hours later.

Paris police are continuing to search for the gang of five, two of whom forced their way into Kardashian West’s luxury apartment at about 02:30 on Monday.

“What happened is very unfortunate and those responsible must be severely punished,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told TV5 Monde. “We are fully mobilised to ensure the safety of the French people, as well as all those who visit France, and in particular tourists.”

A police source told the BBC the attack was carried out by five men, wearing police-style jackets, who forced the building’s overnight security guard to show them where Kardashian West was staying.

According to Reuters, the attackers first handcuffed the concierge.

Once inside, one of the men put a gun to Kardashian West’s head while they robbed her of jewellery, including a ring worth €4m. They then tied her up and locked her in a bathroom while they escaped.

According to the police officer, the men fled the scene on bicycles.

They also stole a box of jewellery worth as much as €6m (£5.2m/$6.7m), AP reported, citing police officials.

The robbery made headlines around the globe, and caused a storm on social media – with some celebrities, like Karl Lagerfeld, sharing messages of support with Kardashian West.

But there were also uglier posts about the television star.

TV host James Corden criticised those making light of the incident. He tweeted: “People making jokes about Kim Kardashian tonight would do well to remember that she’s a mother, a daughter, a wife, a friend. Be nice or shut up.”

Speaking in the afternoon, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said she was confident police would quickly identify and arrest the suspects and that the “very rare” incident “in no way calls into question police work or security of public spaces” in Paris.

She added that Kardashian West would “always be welcome in Paris”.

Published in Entertainment
Tuesday, 04 October 2016 23:46

Ex-minister, husband kidnapped in Kaduna

The Police Command in Kaduna State on Tuesday confirmed the kidnap of the immediate past Minister of Environment, Mrs Laurentia Mallam and her husband, Mr Pius.

The Command’s spokesman, ASP Aliyu Usman, disclosed that the two were abducted along Bwari/Jere axis on Kaduna-Abuja highway on Monday evening.

Usman said that the abductors took away the former minister and her husband, but spared their driver unharmed.

He assured that the Police was tracking down the perpetrators and would ensure the release of the victims unharmed.

Sources indicated that the abductors had reached out to the minister’s family demanding for ransom.

The command’s spokesman, however, said the police was not aware of any demand by the abductors.

“All what we are doing is to see that the victims are freed from captivity and returned to their home unhurt,” Usman said.

Published in News & Stories

A Federal High Court, sitting in Jos, Plateau State, has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of a former Governor of Gombe State, Senator Danjuma Goje, for refusing to show up in court.

The EFCC said in a Facebook post that Goje, who is being charged with an alleged N25bn fraud, might be arrested on Wednesday (today) if he failed to show up in court.

The statement read, “A Federal High Court, sitting in Jos, Plateau State, on October 4, 2016 (Tuesday) issued a bench warrant against former Governor of Gombe State, Danjuma Goje, for refusing to show up in court. The warrant is however to take effect by 8am on October 5, 2016, if he fails to show up in court again.”

Among several charges, Goje, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, is accused of illegally awarding a N1bn contract for the supply of dictionaries to secondary schools while he was governor of the state.

At the last sitting, a prosecution witness, Salisu Abaji, said the ex-governor awarded a contract for the supply of dictionaries for over N1bn to Gombe State Universal Basic Education Board without following procurement process.

He was also alleged to have paid 85 per cent of the contract sum upfront to the supplier, Real and Integrated Hospitality Company, as against the prescribed 15 per cent as contained in the UBEB guidelines when he was the governor.

The prosecution witness, who is a former secretary to UBEB, made this testimony against his former boss.

He further submitted that one Aliyu el-Naffty, former UBEB chairman, also an accused person standing trial along with Goje, awarded the contract the same day and ordered the advance payment based on the directive of the then governor.

Another prosecution witness and former storekeeper to Gombe State Government House, Mr. Mohammed Aliyu, concluded his testimony by tendering receipts of all payments made to the food contractor to the government during the eight-year administration of Goje from 2003 to 2011.

However, Abaji admitted that he played a role in the award and payment of the said amount as upfront to the contractor.

This he did under cross-examination by the defence counsel, Mr. Adeniyi

Meanwhile, the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, said enforcement alone could not stop corruption, adding that the commission would also focus on preventive measures in the fight against corruption.

The EFCC boss said this at the unveiling of the EFCC Creative Youths Initiative against Corruption in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said, “We are the first to recognise that enforcement alone cannot win the war against corruption.  Prevention is an effective and necessary weapon that must be employed in conjunction with enforcement, and there is no group of Nigerians better equipped to wield that weapon than the youth.

“Let us bear in mind that the task to rid the nation of the corruption cankerworm cannot be left to the EFCC and other anti-corruption agencies alone.  We are all stakeholders in the war and cannot let the future generations down; it is for their future that we must sacrifice our today.  Let us work together for our dear nation; let us join hands to build for our children the future we desire.”

Magu said the EFCC would not relent in its efforts to rid the nation of corruption. He added that the commission would continue to recover stolen assets and funds.

“Let me clarify that EFCC will continue to vigorously enforce its mandate alongside engaging in preventive initiatives such as this.  Therefore, even as we appeal to the old and the young to shun corruption and other forms of fraud, expect to see more investigations, more arrests, more trials, more convictions and more recovery of stolen assets,” Magu said.

The event attracted pupils from several schools across the country.

Published in Business and Economy
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