Sunday, 31 March 2013

Article: Why Impeached Imo State Dep. Gov. Could Not Survive Impeachment

Agbaso; Impeached Imo State Deputy Governor

By Emperor Nnabuihe Iwuala

For sometime now, Imo State has been in the news over the 458 million bribery scam involving the impeached former Imo State Deputy Governor Sir Jude Agbaso and one of the contractors handling a road project in the state called JPROS International Company Nigeria Limited.

The saga finally led to the recent impeachment of Sir Agbaso by the Imo State House of Assembly.

The former number two citizen of Imo State has described his recent impeachment as not only man’s show of wickedness against man but an open rape to injustice, fairness and rule of law.

I followed the whole saga with keen interest and I knew that nothing would have stopped the impeachment because it was long conceived. My reason is that on good authority, it is being speculated that Governor Rochas Okorochas wants to contest as a presidential running-mate in 2015. At the same time, Agbaso needed to be replaced early with Governor Okorocha’s more trusted former Chief of Staff Prince Eze Madumere who will be sponsored for the governorship position of Imo State in 2015. It is believed that it would be easier for Madumere’s political profile to rise if Madumere becomes a Deputy Governor. Accordingly, the Governor’s son in-law who is presently the state Commissioner for lands, Mr. Uche Nwosu will be Madumere’s running mate. Not being too sure of his bid at the vice-presidential bid, the Governor wants those he feels would not betray him in future. This is the plan, if Governor Okorocha sponsors the duo to become governor and deputy respectively and in the end, the vice-presidential race doesn’t favour him, Madumere will resign for Nwosu to become Governor and pick Governor Okorocha as his Deputy. The plan also has it that Mr. Nwosu will subsequently resign for Okorocha to ascend as Governor and may probably pick Nwosu or Madumere as his Deputy. To guarantee the arrangement, Okorocha will obtain an undated resignation letters from the duo prior to their election.

On The Investigation By The 7 Man Panel Set Up By The State Chief Judge:
Investigation is a systematic research into a subject so as to establish the truth of a fact. Ironically, Agbaso saga is the first case in Nigeria where a public officer is begging to be investigated over corruption and the investigators bluntly refused. The criminal justice of our country presumes an accused innocent until the innocence is proved otherwise. But in Agbaso’s case, his accusers were not ready to prove him guilty but only wanted to satisfy the selfish will of the powers that be.

On the other hand, the country’s constitution stipulates that the 7 Man Investigative Panel that found Agbaso guilty had 3 months to investigate this matter but it chose to do it in one day.

As an investigative panel, it was the duty of the panel to verify the allegations against Sir Agbaso. The contractor and the state legislature gave enough particulars of allegations against him that needed verification. Agbaso’s accusers alleged that Agbaso sent details of bank accounts of Three Brothers Concept Ltd. and IHSAN BDC Ltd. through GSM text message to a Lebanese contractor named Joseph Dina of JPROS Ltd. to pay in some amount as bribe. As a supposed unbiased and thorough panel, it needed to confirm this fact from MTN call logs of both Jude Agbaso and Joseph Dina. It was also alleged that the sacked Deputy Governor directed Dina to pay a total sum of =N=458 Million bribe into two companies’ accounts with GTB and UBA respectively. The contractor also gave details of the companies’ bank accounts. Respectfully, I think it would have been necessary to get at the directors of the companies and details of the companies from Corporate Affairs Commission to see if the impeached Deputy Governor was in any way linked to the said companies. Also with the help of security agencies and the banks, transactions in the said accounts should have been properly investigated. Also, it would have been more expedient to possibly get at the signatories of the said accounts to see if the said sums were paid in accordingly. If paid and withdrawn, who withdrew it? It is a trite law in Nigeria that ‘he who alleges should prove’.

However, the panel did great disservice to Imo people. It only pre-occupied itself with impeachment of the former Deputy Governor. Its chairman and members did not use their onerous call to serve in the panel to let the people know the whole truth of what happened to Imo people’s money.

On his own side, Jude Agbaso said that he decided to shun the panel because he was still challenging the impeachment process including the constitution, appointment and inauguration of the panel in a law court. He personally wrote a letter to the chairman of the panel on this but the panel discountenanced the letter. For me, even if he had gone there on merit, the panel would have still not taken his defence because the panel was specially detailed to sack him. The panel sat only once. Before the panel sitting, the members of the state legislature who were already on Easter vacation were summoned the same day the panel sat and they were anxiously waiting for the panel to finish and submit its report. Heavy security men were detailed to both the place the panel sat and the state legislative complex. The irony in the whole drama is that the same day the panel sat was the same day it submitted its report to the legislature, it was the same day I was impeached and it was the same day the new Deputy Governor was confirmed by the same legislature. It was like that because everything was a script well written, rehearsed and dramatized.

Progress To Unravel The truth:
In order to prove the innocence of the sacked Deputy Governor, his family is said to have engaged professional investigators and security agencies and the revelations appear terrible. Findings have it that the alleged bribe money was traced to Dubai and Lebanon. An aide of Governor Rochas Okorocha Prince MacDonald-Akano who is the Governor’s Special Adviser and Chairman of the Committee on Monitoring and Implementation of Road Projects in Imo State was made a shareholder in JPROS International Nigeria Ltd. on June 20, 2012 and allotted two (2) million shares of the company’s 10 million shares. Akano also wrote and consented to be a director of the company two days later, on June 22, 2012. The alleged 458 bribery sum was actually sent by Mr. Dina to his company accounts overseas. Mr. Dina first paid N325, 000,000 into the Three Brother’s Concept Ltd GTB account. The money was used to raise the sum of $1,930,000, which was subsequently transferred through Dubai, on February 21, 2012, to Mr. Dina’s account No. LB5001400002302300179018010 with the Kaslik Branch of BLOM Bank SAL in Lebanon. The purpose of the transfer, as stated in the transfer document, was “to import construction equipment”. Mr. Dina similarly paid the second tranche of N133,000,000 into the IHSAN BDC LTD’s account No. 1015334698 with the UBA. Again, the money was used to raise $800,000 and transferred to Mr. Dina’s Account, No. AE360200000036374395130 with HSBC Middle East Ltd at Dubai Internet City, Sheik Zayed Rd, Dubai. So, while Mr. Dina was accusing Agbaso of demanding and receiving a bribe of N458 million, the said money had been converted by the same man and his associates in Lebanon. Directors of who are also the only shareholders of JPROS Nigeria Ltd, are: Joseph Dina, Aline Dina, Jean Samir Aoun and Prince MacDonald-Akano. Isn’t it fascinating to discover that a Director and a major Shareholder; indeed, the second highest shareholder in the company involved in this ugly defamation of character and wicked attempt to destroy a name of a Deputy Governor is a member of Governor Okorocha’s inner circle? Akano stood quietly and loyally beside Mr. Dina, as Dina blackmailed and slandered his Deputy Governor in his own state knowing well that his company, JPROS, was the guilty party in the matter. It was also found out that Prince Akano suddenly applied and became a director and a major shareholder in JPROS. Is not clear that the plan was to impeach Agbaso with 2015 in mind, using Mr. Dina of JPROS and Prince Akano as the hatchet men?

(Iwuala can be reached on: 08037247295,

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Videonews: Landslide Buries Dozens In China

Article: Who Is My Dad? Another Moral Issue

By Rufus Kayode Oteniya

Daddy, where do you get this money?  What is the source of your wealth? Do you take bribe? Do you embezzle?  Do you inflate contracts? These are some of the questions I managed to mutter to express my deep concerns since my conscience could no longer hold it. I had to surmount the initial fear that has enveloped me.

Looking back just a month after, I realized it wasn’t the most tactical way to talk to a loving dad I have held in the highest esteem but I am happy I did at the time. My action has at least brought a desired result.

Since I came back home for the semester break, I have been a different person. It would not take much effort for anyone to notice that a lot have changed in me. I have been a far cry from the ever-charming lad, full of life that they have all known me to be. I have been nowhere near being outgoing either. Rather, I have been very calm and reflective.

Two weeks in the house alone without a single outing or even receiving a friend is crazy by any standard. I have difficulties believing that myself. Since I turned off my phones, my friend must have assumed that I have travelled out of the country but if they had cared enough they would have recollected that I only travel in summer. I hate cold!

I am a 21 year-old final year student in one of the faith-based university on the outskirt of Lagos. As the second child of my parents, custom would have suggested that I study abroad but as the only son, they have cited that they prefer me to study at home. My elder sister is currently studying for a Master's in the US after having earned a first degree in the UK. My 19 year-old younger twin sisters are also both in the university in Nottingham, UK, a city my dad loves to jokingly call Somethingham because many people at home think the city is called Nothingham.

If you had thought my dad is a big businessman in town, you must have got it wrong. He is a civil servant, a grade level 14 officer.

Like most average families, my family had struggled to cope with the challenges of life until about ten years ago when my daddy's fortune changed. He was moved to a different Ministry within the Federal Civil Service. It wasn't really a promotion but a mere transfer.

The news didn’t come as a shock to the family because dad had always lamented about the ‘dryness’ of his department and was even looking for another job at the time. Nevertheless, he had a bittersweet reception for the news. Sweet that he would be going to a preferred department in the government's service and bitter that he would be moving to Abuja leaving behind, at least, temporarily, his family in Lagos - a city he had lived all his life -until he got things sorted out in the Federal Capital Territory when the family could join him. This never happened until six years later. Rather dad used come to Lagos every month, spending the last week of the month with us and as we all moved to the boarding schools, mum started diving her time between Lagos and Abuja, spending more time in Abuja as time goes on.

As an 11 year-old then, I had been looking forward to getting to the public secondary school adjacent to our street in Agege where my elder sister was already a student but just four months after my dad's transfer, the first sign of his wealth was going to be eloquent. I was rather hastily enrolled in a private school. At the end of the second term, my sister also joined me in the same school. My two younger sisters were also moved to a private primary school. As if the progressions were not enough, within two years, we were all in top of the range private schools.

Within a year of dad's transfer, mum also resigned from her teaching job. The next two years, she would try her hands on a few businesses including travelling to Dubai to buy jewelleries for sale in Lagos and Abuja but it was only going to take a while for her to realise that the she was not cut out for business. With daddy being more than capable of paying the bills, it was not hard for her to make a choice and she has chose to be a full time mum or housewife, if you prefer to say so.

When I was 13, we left our rented 2 bedroom flat to move to our own modest house in Alagbado, an area in Ogun state on the border of Lagos state. Dad had bought the plot of land many years earlier and it was taking eternity to develop it but with his new found wealth, it was completed in no time. Three years later, in 2008, we moved to our present expansive Lagos house in Magodo, an area near the dismantled toll gate at the Lagos end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

As the only son, dad has not hidden his assets from me. In 10 years, he has acquired five other houses (3 in Lagos and 2 in Abuja), a plot of land in Abuja under development and substantial shares in the Stock market. By any standard, these are too much acquisition for a civil servant who pays significant schools fees for 4 children in Nigeria and abroad. Not even the Abubakar Atiku's miracle of N31,000 will make any sense in this sense.

My dad is easygoing, generous to a fault and looks like someone who is unable to hurt an ant. He is also a darling of his pastors in both Lagos and Abuja. He has contributed significantly to projects in both places and just recently, before he was made a Church elder in Abuja, he had donated a brand new 16 seater Toyota Hiace van to the Church and he was planning to replicate same to the ChurcH in Lagos. In the family front, mum seems a good companion and perfectly complement him, being an outspoken strict disciplinarian. Together, they have brought us up with Christian values without lacking in materiality.

Over the years, in unthinking ways, I have enjoyed the benefits and comforts of my dad's unexplained wealth. And even thoughtlessly, I have flaunted it to the envy of friends and college mates. I guess most young men in my shoes wouldn't have been different.

Now at 21 that I'm fully a man, I have started to give thoughts to a lot of things. And also with attention to what is happening in the polity, I am troubled for my dad and the source of his wealth.

Lately, I have seen the EFCC, ICPC and the judiciary prosecute public servants for stealing, embezzlement, bribery, misappropriation, inflation of contracts and other financial crimes and I felt that it's a little miracle that my dad's is yet to be investigated. Though he might not have stolen as much as those who are being tried but he is far from being a saint.

What if he's caught? What if he's sacked? And what if he's jailed? Would the family be able to bear the ignominy that comes with my dad being classed in the category of the newly pardoned Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, James Ibori, Tafa Balogun, Bode George and the lesser known looters like Mr. John Yakubu Yusuf, the pension director who was recently fined N750,000 for stealing N33 billion pension funds. And what if he is not caught but he dies like any other mortal, what will happen to his soul? What shall it profit my dad if he has this much material gains and loses his soul? These are the thoughts running riot in my Cerebrum.

My dad is a well-known Church personality. Can the Church bear the scandal? It would be one more scandal too many for the Pentecostal Church that has only recently had one of its leaders rocked by jetgate. 'Any if GOD does not waive bribery and corruption, how many compatriot will be in HIS kingdom'

Growing up, my dad told me his dad would never stop telling him to preserve the family's only asset - the family name and now ageing, I, his son have to step up to remind him the same. What a role reversal! We were brought up to say 'yes daddy' but now, I must be man enough to say no! No to corruption.

I am no more comfortable being part of his illegal wealth that has denied legal benefits to the populace. I feel guilty! I shouldn't be the only one who feels so. My mum should have asked her husband. My sisters should have asked their father. Our pastors should have asked their congregant and elder.

Just if the pastors were discerning enough, they would have spotted his contentious testimonies and his ‘holy tithes’ from unholy sources which he 'faithfully' brings to the temple? Just if my mum - an educationist, a strict disciplinarian and a self-confessing spirit-filled Christian - was conscientious enough, she would have persuaded her husband to beat, rather than joining the bandwagon of looters in his office or at least, she could have abstained from being an accomplice? If anyone optimally enjoyed the loots, it was my mum.

Now that I care, I know that every pound of flesh my dad and his likes steal is a stone my generation is denied, every pence misappropriated is a pound my unborn children's generation is robbed. Every kobo embezzled today is a naira we'll all pay tomorrow.

Children are the future of a nation. We are the ones to make or mar tomorrow. If everyone cares enough, tomorrow will certainly be a better place. I wish other children would ask the sources of their parents’ wealth.

My dad is one man but sadly in many men and women. My dad is in the Oga at the top, Oga in the middle and Oga at the bottom. He is in the officers at the Federal, State and Local government levels. Dad is in the legislative, executive and the judicial officers. And he is equally in those in the private sector.

My dad lives in everyone whose lifestyle is not commensurable with their legal means of sustenance; he lives in those who constantly live above their legitimate means of livelihood; he lives in all those who cannot genuinely explain the sources of their income and wealth; he lives in you if you if your conscience tells you so.

I don’t intend my dad to be the biblical Zacchaeus who publicly repented of acts of corruption and vowed to make restitution for them in fourfold but I want him to put an end to this shameful and sinful act.

Are you my dad?

(Oteniya can be reached on:

Friday, 29 March 2013

Photonews: Nigeria Getting Ready For Terrorists

Graduating Students Of Nigerian Army Quick Response Group In Jaji

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Videonews: US Supreme Court Leery Of Gay Marriage Ruling

News Release: “The Third Forum" Calls For Dialogue On National Security

Rtd. Col Sambo Dasuki; Nigeria's National Security Adviser
The Third Forum lampoons the precarious state of our national and homeland security. We are touched by how our nation has become the slaughter slab of its citizens. We observe with grief how the North East and recently Kano has become the stage for impish human barbecues no thanks to Boko Haram and the Ansaru’s.

Our heart goes out to the innocent victims of the horror and the terror that liters the land. We mourn with the bereaved and sympathize with the families of the servicemen and women who have lost their lives so we may live in peace. And we commiserate with the countries of the 7 expatriates who were kidnapped and later murdered by the Ansarus.

Chiefly we are persuaded that the way to stem this sorry and ugly orgy of violence, horror and terror is dialogue. We are convinced that no nation in the world has ever defeated terror with ‘terror’ little wonder the U.S is presently involved in proactive dialogue with the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the systemic but steady withdrawal of their troops from combat zones in the Arabs is a vote for proactive engagement at the dialogue table.

Our position is indiscriminate of the venom that those who would rather an eye for an eye will pour at us, but we maintain that an eye for an eye will only populate our world with blind men and a tooth for a tooth with toothless and never smiling men.

We volunteer to aid and support the process of dialogue; we offer to use every vehicle at our disposal in preaching the message of unity, peace and progress. Whilst lampooning the less than effective role of the National Orientation Agency in national integration, we call Nigerians to love, forgiveness and forbearance.

Our position on dialoguing with Boko Haram and other armed groups in the land is anchored on the following incontrovertible tripod;

1. Nigeria has seen more conflicts and conflagrations in the past five years than the years that preceded the civil war, yet again the seed of national discord rears its ugly head so much so that we hear the drumbeats of war across the land and conscious of the fact that war does no good, and that war always ends at the table of dialogue, the question therefore is why not jaw-jaw than war-war.

2. Boko Haram and the other armed groups in the land have shown that death is perhaps no threat to their activities, our position is therefore rather than kill them let us show that we pride in the primacy of life, let us engage them in proactive dialogue, let us prove to them that peace is the greatest force in God’s universe and true love the strongest weapon that has ever been.

3. Dialogue is not weakness but the deepest display of strength; since Mr. President has conceded that Boko Haram has sponsors in government alas finally they are not faceless, thus making the task of talking and the challenge of winning peace at the table of dialogue a whole lot easier.

Countrymen and Compatriots, our vision and mission as The Third Forum is indiscriminate of the politics of the ruling party and that of the opposition, we are poised to always dispassionately lampoon the wrong policies of government as well as the wrong posturing of the partisan opposition, we are the third force, we are a forum committed to the wellbeing of the Nigerian people, the rich and the poor, the Christian and the Muslim, the Southerner and the Northerner, and our dichotomies notwithstanding. God Bless Nigeria.


Dr. Chris Nwaokobia Jnr. (National Co-Ordinator)

Dr. Mike Uyi (International Co-Ordinator)

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

News Release: MEND On Henry Okah

Mr. Henry Okah

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (M.E.N.D) received with incredulity the twenty-four (24) years sentence planned on Henry Okah after a sham trial in a South African kangaroo court.

We are disappointed but not surprised that the South African judiciary have allowed itself to be compromised by the highly corrupt Nigerian government.

The governments of South Africa and Nigerian should realize that this planned sentencing of Henry Okah would not in any way, shape or form, change our struggle as we will remain dedicated to our cause until we achieve full justice and emancipation for the Niger Delta and its people.
Jomo Gbomo

News Release: Afenifere Wants Investigation Of Alleged Bayelsa State Terrorist Hideout In Lagos

The attention of Afenifere has been drawn to the allegation by the Ojora of Ijora,Oba Fatai Oyeyinka Aromire that the house where nine suspected terrorists ,including a Chadian, were arrested in Ijora-Badia in Lagos belongs to Bayelsa State Government.

The monarch made the allegation while receiving a delegation of Hausa community and we quote him:

“Discovery of such factory in Ijora was very sad to me and the entire family of Ojora. It was God that saved the whole Lagos because the attack was meant to destroy the state as a whole and not Ijora alone.

“But let me state here clearly that you should warn your men very well. Lagos is no-go area for miscreants. Although, they call the perpetrators Malians and Chadians, but they reside among your people here in Ijora”

“Please, talk to them and call them to order because if they refuse to desist, the result will be disastrous for them.

“I also want to say that the blame should also go to the Bayelsa State government for not taking care of their abandoned house where the evil doers are using as the hideout.

“We have been talking to them for a very long time to come and lease it out for the people that will make use of it, but they refused.

“If you ask the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in this area, he will tell you all our efforts to ensure that they come to either demolish or give it to the people that will make use of it, but they are yet to respond.”

The claim by the Ojora raises a read flag that cannot be ignored given the psychological warfare that has been waged against Yorubaland of possible terror attack for about a year now. What has largely been perceived as threat is assuming a near reality with the discovery of this terror hideout .

We are compelled at this stage to call for a thorough investigation of this incidence to ascertain the following:

1. Who these suspects are and what links they have with the blood-sucking Boko Haram or Amy

2. Why the Bayelsa state Government would maintain an abandoned property in Ijora-Badia of all places in Lagos?

3.  The veracity of claims that the Bayelsa state Government has been approached several times by the community to demolish the house or give it to people who may use it without any response

A satisfactory explanation to (3) would dispel the conspiracy theory that Boko Haram may have become a franchise under which fifth columnists may be operating to disrupt the peace of Yorubaland  and instigate a national crisis with our land as a possible battle ground.

We would not accept any shoddy handling of this case as has happened to many of such incidents in recent with suspects paraded and nothing is heard again.
We also warn all agents of terror to stay away from Yoruba nation in order not to invoke the wrath of our ancestors.

Yoruba people are peace loving and our land a place where people from all nationalities from Nigeria are at home without any fear of molestation. Any group or individuals who want to shatter the peace of the region can only meet their Waterloo.

Finally, we call on our people to be vigilant at all times and report suspicious movements to the appreciate authority.

 Yinka Odumakin
National Publicity Secretary