Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Special Report: The Petition Nigeria Customs Is Yet To Investigate

Page 1 of Petition
Page 2 of Petition
Customs Invitation Letter
Reply To Customs Invitation(Page 1)
Reply To Customs Invitation(Page 2)
Reminder To Reply(Page 1)
Reminder To Reply(Page 2)
Reminder To Reply(Page 3)

Article: Why Imo State Deputy Governor Should Be Impeached

Sir Jude Agbaso; Imo State Deputy Governor

By Kenneth Uwadi

One of the most talked about issues in Nigeria is corruption of public office holders. Everybody talks about it. Everybody condemns it. Executive corruption is practiced by ‘’ballisticians’’ in Nigeria.  Many Nigerian politicians are corrupt. There are two types of politicians dotting Nigeria’s political landscape. The first group comprises people who go into politics for service. Such people are propelled by selflessness, service, principles and the need to bequeath a legacy to posterity. They constitute a tiny minority. These people moved into politics with humility, creativity and the penchant to serve the people.

The second group of politicians in Nigeria comprises of people who go into politics because of loyalty to some politicians. Such people are tied to the apron string of their godfathers and they have no opinion of their own. They are like stooges who implement the will of their godfathers, often to the detriment of the people. When such politicians occupy any sensitive position, they  rake the public coffers at the sufferance of the people. For this group, what matters to them is their stomach. We call them ‘’belleticians’’. Yes, ‘’belleticians’’ because they have long throat .

‘’Belleticians’’ are like cancer. They make the lives of the rest of us exceedingly miserable. By their corruption in public office, they are punishing the rest of us. Corruption does not show respect to the common good of citizens, thereby retarding development. Corruption by ‘’belleticians’’ in all its manifestations is a dehumanizing evil force that must be fought with all the energy that we can muster. We must not accept corruption as normal. In a rousing speech two weeks ago in Owerri, Governor  Rochas Okorocha of Imo State  called "fighting corruption in Imo State " a current "top priority" of the state government . He spoke movingly about how festering small-time corruption caused a young Tunisian man to set himself on fire, igniting the protests that led to the Arab Spring. This is good news. . Yes, the fight against corruption deserves very strong attention.

A good example of a ‘’belletician’’ in Imo State is Sir Jude Agbaso the deputy governor of the state. Last week  the media went wild  with stories of impending impeachment of  Agbaso  over allegations that he received  bribe monies  totaling N458 million from  a construction company. 25 out of 27 members of the Imo House of Assembly have voted for his impeachment. I must commend the Imo House for this move. The Nigerian Constitution specifies that high government officials may be impeached for treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanours.

We gathered that due to the abandonment of some road projects by some contractors in Imo State, the Imo Joint Committee on State and Local Government Projects went into investigation to find out why the roads were abandoned. In the investigation, it was   discovered that Jude Agbaso, the deputy governor of Imo state who was the commissioner for works then, was fingered in a N458 million bribery scam. Acting on the report of the Project Monitoring Committee, the Imo House of Assembly set up a Special Adhoc Committee for further investigation.

Mr. Joseph Dina, MD of J-PROS International Nigeria Limited  confessed that he gave  Agbaso a total sum of N458 million on request as kickbacks for the reconstruction of the Sam Mbakwe road  in Owerri which was awarded for N1.5 billion . Dina revealed the phone number with which the deputy governor made the request and the account numbers.

To me, the collecting of  458 million naira  kickbacks for the reconstruction of the Sam Mbakwe road  in Owerri by Agbaso  is a crime against Imo State  youths and students. There can be no justification for collecting such an outrageous amount of money as kickbacks for reconstruction of a road  in a state where 60% of her citizens live on less than 600 naira  per day, in a state  that has almost 10,000 children on the streets-children without parental care, without shelter. If not for the free education policy of governor Rochas Okorocha, close to 600,000 Imo children will be out of school. I must pause and commend the Imo state government for free education in the state. No one has demanded school fees from me for my younger sister in Imo state polytechnic.

Rather than show remorse for his crime, Agbaso go about this shameful act with the swagger of a recipient of the Nigerian Merit Award. In a country where shame still has some meaning, a man accused of theft of public money would wear an expression indicating his recognition of the gravity of his alleged offence. Even if falsely accused, such a man would comport himself in a manner that leaves nobody in doubt that he takes the charges seriously but not Sir Jude Agbaso. He granted a press conference and told the public that he is being witch hunted by the governor of the state over agreement between his senior brother Martin Agbaso and the governor on who becomes governor in 2015. A story fit for the dust bin. Ndi-Imo will decide who becomes governor of Imo state in 2015.

Agbaso acts and speak with oracular certitude, believing  that the system knows  him  as much as he knows  the system. He beats his chest because he  feels he knows the required steps and procedures that will free him  from this  noose. He beats his chest because he feels he knows what lawyer in town handles “jipiti” cases. He feels he knows what Court Judge will  grant  him horrible injunctions . He feels he  knows  the price tag of such judge skilled on how to kill a case, by making it run in the court till thy kingdom come.It was also reported that he willfully absconded from office  which is  a  well-orchestrated attempt to paralyze the machinery of  the State.

He mistook his ordeal for a wrestling contest. He believes he is a   wrestling super star, mobbed by adoring fans and that he is about to be decorated with  an Olympic gold medal. He sees himself as a man of the people who is being unfairly persecuted for championing the cause of the downtrodden. He is not bothered about how Ndi-Imo tag him. He thrives in the art of rhetorical drama. And he’s certainly no believer in polite expression, as if he has decided that the Imo House of Assembly is a joke house. A whole movie could be built around his many unconventional, provocative and even jarring utterances since his ordeal.

This big time embezzler must be impeached. His case is now that of  ‘’na so him dey do’’ I still remember when Sahara reporters in 2011 published that he  jumped bail in 1994 after United States law enforcement authorities obtained his arrest in a forgery sting? Agbaso and an accomplice Eugene Harding according to Sahara Reporters were arrested on June 20 1994 and charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument in the first degree. They were nabbed allegedly trying to defraud Abraham & Straus Department Store on Roosevelt Field, Old Country Road in Carle Place. When the story came up, it was dismissed as political propaganda. Now what can we say about this present scam that is a disgrace to Ndi-Imo. Na so him dey do abi? A  five star practitioner of the act of corruption?

Agbaso must go. We must not allow Imo state to be painted as a State that tolerates or even encourages corruption. It is important to understand that the deputy governor’s  behavior really is seriously criminal. We are not talking about neglecting some bureaucratic formality. We are talking about stealing from public coffers which is a crime against the progress of Ndi-Imo. We must oppose legalized official looting wherein political officers loot the state dry. We must fight all those that are insensitive to the plight of Ndi-Imo. I call for his removal and prosecution with the aim to reclaim all monies looted in order to massively invest it in education or health care or even roads that will eventually create jobs to wipe out poverty.Imo people are watching.

(Uwadi writes from Mmahu-Egbema, Imo State, Nigeria)

Special Report: Inaugural Homily Of Pope Francis I

Pope Francis I

Dear Brothers and Sisters, 

I thank the Lord that I can celebrate this Holy Mass for the inauguration of my Petrine ministry on the solemnity of Saint Joseph, the spouse of the Virgin Mary and the patron of the universal Church. It is a significant coincidence, and it is also the name-day of my venerable predecessor: we are close to him with our prayers, full of affection and gratitude.

I offer a warm greeting to my brother cardinals and bishops, the priests, deacons, men and women religious, and all the lay faithful. I thank the representatives of the other Churches and ecclesial Communities, as well as the representatives of the Jewish community and the other religious communities, for their presence. My cordial greetings go to the Heads of State and Government, the members of the official Delegations from many countries throughout the world, and the Diplomatic Corps.

In the Gospel we heard that “Joseph did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took Mary as his wife” (Mt 1:24). These words already point to the mission which God entrusts to Joseph: he is to be the custos, the protector. The protector of whom? Of Mary and Jesus; but this protection is then extended to the Church, as Blessed John Paul II pointed out: “Just as Saint Joseph took loving care of Mary and gladly dedicated himself to Jesus Christ’s upbringing, he likewise watches over and protects Christ’s Mystical Body, the Church, of which the Virgin Mary is the exemplar and model” (Redemptoris Custos, 1).

How does Joseph exercise his role as protector? Discreetly, humbly and silently, but with an unfailing presence and utter fidelity, even when he finds it hard to understand. From the time of his betrothal to Mary until the finding of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem, he is there at every moment with loving care. As the spouse of Mary, he is at her side in good times and bad, on the journey to Bethlehem for the census and in the anxious and joyful hours when she gave birth; amid the drama of the flight into Egypt and during the frantic search for their child in the Temple; and later in the day-to-day life of the home of Nazareth, in the workshop where he taught his trade to Jesus.

How does Joseph respond to his calling to be the protector of Mary, Jesus and the Church? By being constantly attentive to God, open to the signs of God’s presence and receptive to God’s plans, and not simply to his own. This is what God asked of David, as we heard in the first reading. God does not want a house built by men, but faithfulness to his word, to his plan. It is God himself who builds the house, but from living stones sealed by his Spirit. Joseph is a “protector” because he is able to hear God’s voice and be guided by his will; and for this reason he is all the more sensitive to the persons entrusted to his safekeeping. He can look at things realistically, he is in touch with his surroundings, he can make truly wise decisions. In him, dear friends, we learn how to respond to God’s call, readily and willingly, but we also see the core of the Christian vocation, which is Christ! Let us protect Christ in our lives, so that we can protect others, so that we can protect creation!

The vocation of being a “protector”, however, is not just something involving us Christians alone; it also has a prior dimension which is simply human, involving everyone. It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us and as Saint Francis of Assisi showed us. It means respecting each of God’s creatures and respecting the environment in which we live. It means protecting people, showing loving concern for each and every person, especially children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think about. It means caring for one another in our families: husbands and wives first protect one another, and then, as parents, they care for their children, and children themselves, in time, protect their parents. It means building sincere friendships in which we protect one another in trust, respect, and goodness. In the end, everything has been entrusted to our protection, and all of us are responsible for it. Be protectors of God’s gifts!

Whenever human beings fail to live up to this responsibility, whenever we fail to care for creation and for our brothers and sisters, the way is opened to destruction and hearts are hardened. Tragically, in every period of history there are “Herods” who plot death, wreak havoc, and mar the countenance of men and women.

Please, I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be “protectors” of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment. Let us not allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world! But to be “protectors”, we also have to keep watch over ourselves! Let us not forget that hatred, envy and pride defile our lives! Being protectors, then, also means keeping watch over our emotions, over our hearts, because they are the seat of good and evil intentions: intentions that build up and tear down! We must not be afraid of goodness or even tenderness!

Here I would add one more thing: caring, protecting, demands goodness, it calls for a certain tenderness. In the Gospels, Saint Joseph appears as a strong and courageous man, a working man, yet in his heart we see great tenderness, which is not the virtue of the weak but rather a sign of strength of spirit and a capacity for concern, for compassion, for genuine openness to others, for love. We must not be afraid of goodness, of tenderness!

Today, together with the feast of Saint Joseph, we are celebrating the beginning of the ministry of the new Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter, which also involves a certain power. Certainly, Jesus Christ conferred power upon Peter, but what sort of power was it? Jesus’ three questions to Peter about love are followed by three commands: feed my lambs, feed my sheep. Let us never forget that authentic power is service, and that the Pope too, when exercising power, must enter ever more fully into that service which has its radiant culmination on the Cross. He must be inspired by the lowly, concrete and faithful service which marked Saint Joseph and, like him, he must open his arms to protect all of God’s people and embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those whom Matthew lists in the final judgment on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison (cf. Mt 25:31-46). Only those who serve with love are able to protect!

In the second reading, Saint Paul speaks of Abraham, who, “hoping against hope, believed” (Rom 4:18). Hoping against hope! Today too, amid so much darkness, we need to see the light of hope and to be men and women who bring hope to others. To protect creation, to protect every man and every woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope; it is to let a shaft of light break through the heavy clouds; it is to bring the warmth of hope! For believers, for us Christians, like Abraham, like Saint Joseph, the hope that we bring is set against the horizon of God, which has opened up before us in Christ. It is a hope built on the rock which is God.

To protect Jesus with Mary, to protect the whole of creation, to protect each person, especially the poorest, to protect ourselves: this is a service that the Bishop of Rome is called to carry out, yet one to which all of us are called, so that the star of hope will shine brightly. Let us protect with love all that God has given us!

I implore the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, Saints Peter and Paul, and Saint Francis, that the Holy Spirit may accompany my ministry, and I ask all of you to pray for me!


News Report: Patriarch Of Constantinople To Attend Pope Inauguration

Bartholomew I

The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople; Bartholomew I will attend today’s inauguration mass of Pope Francis, chidi opara reports learned.

The Patriarch Of Constantinople is considered as first among equals in the Eastern Orthodox Communion. 

The Constantinople Patriarchy and Rome broke relationship in 1054. No Patriarch of Constantinople has been known to attended the inauguration of a Pope since then.
The presence of the Patriarch is considered historic.

Rev. Fr. James Puglisi; director of Centro Pro Unione, an Ecumenical Centre in Rome said that the participation of Bartholomew I is a strong signal in favour of ecumenical dialogue.

“First of all, it’s recognition of two local churches, the Church of Rome and the Church of Constantinople, which has ecclesiological significance. And the second reason is that the Metropolitan of Pergoman, John Zizioulas, who is the co-chair of the Orthodox-Catholic dialogue, is going to accompany him,” Puglisi said.

“So I think the importance of this is a way of showing, from the Orthodox side, the willingness to go further in this dialogue and to breach the divisions that have kept us apart for centuries,” the director added.

“They see in Pope Francis a person who has accepted a simple lifestyle, one that conforms to the Gospel. And emphasizing, first and foremost, that he is bishop of Rome, and I think that was really important. When he appeared, he spoke to his Church, who now elected him as head. And so, I know the Romans are very pleased with that, but I think it has ecumenical significance that shows that he intends to exercise his ministry, first and foremost, as bishop of Rome.” Fr. Puglisi emphasized.

The Coptic, Syrian, Armenian Orthodox churches and the Lutherans, Methodists and Baptists would also attend.

The head of the Orthodox Church in America and the head of the Taizé, an Ecumenical Community in France are expected to attend.