Saraki, Buhari: Matters Arising, By Pius Adesanmi

 

I have now listened to Bukola Saraki’s new soundcloud audio of an address in Yoruba to his supporters in Ilorin. It is indeed a galling tell-all, a compelling compendium of his grievances and animus against President Buhari.

Predictably, Buharideens are gushing all over Facebook and Twitter. I suppose they see this in their usual one-track way: Saraki is implicating himself. Evidently, they have not thought through the full implications of Saraki’s revelations: they never think through the implications of anything concerning Buhari.

There is nothing Saraki reveals about himself that we don’t already know: cold, calculating, and irredeemably corrupt, with a warped perspectivization of Nigeria as food to be dished out in a gourmandizing system of patronage. His grievance? Buhari is blocking the yam and the knife after receiving the proceeds of jibiti.

The level of self-implication in corruption by Saraki is why Buharideens are gushing. “Of 36 states”, Bukola Saraki boasts on tape, “I funded Buhari’s election in 30, excluding only the Southwest. I gave N200m, N300m, even N400million to some states, personally phoning bank managers for disbursement.”

This is not Bukola’s father’s money. It is Nigeria’s money that this irresponsible man is claiming to have so wantonly distributed to buy an election for Buhari. Only for things to turn sour after the election: all the juicy appointments he hoped to corner for his cronies in Abuja were denied him by Buhari.

To the Buharideens gushing all over the place, where in this audio clip did Bukola Saraki indicate that your god, Mr. Integrity, Mr. No Corruption, rejected this massive and illicit spending of Nigeria’s funds in his behalf? Remember the saying about the giver & receiver of loot? You are so carried away in your one-track, wishy-washy interpretation of the audio that the obvious implication is lost on you: Saraki is in fact openly saying that Buhari did not honour the ancient code of honour among thieves.

I hate to rain on your parade but Buhari does not come out smelling of roses in these revelations. Like Saraki, he comes out smelling of shit, deep shit. You people must always make Buhari the victim. Consider Adeosun. When she resigned, you whined that she embarrassed Baba by hanging on for too long – making Bubu the victim. The real question was: why did your Baba condone illegality for so long?

Here’s to a future Nigeria where Saraki and Buhari will both answer for the claims in that audio: corruption and campaign finance illegalities.

I’m Ready To Meet You In Court, Saraki Fires Back At Oshiomhole

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has stated that Nigerians are eagerly awaiting how President Muhammadu Buhari will handle the allegations of bribery levelled against APC chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.

Mr Oshiomhole is accused to have taken kickbacks during the just concluded primary elections in the party.

Mr Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, also described as an empty boast a threat by Mr Oshiomhole to sue Mr Saraki.

Mr Saraki said he “will be ready to meet him (Oshiomhole) in court.”

“Nigerians are waiting to see how the President will handle the serious allegations against his party chairman. We expect the President with his anti-corruption campaign to institute thorough and transparent investigation into the allegations against his party chairman.

“The failure of the President to get to the root of the matter will finally destroy his ability and that of the party to continue to talk of any anti-graft battle. The President should let the investigation be thorough, open and transparent. This is no time for any cover-up,” he stated.

Mr Saraki maintained that until the outcome of a thorough investigation is known to Nigerians and the APC chairman is cleared of the allegations against him, Mr Oshiomhole is not on a firm ground to talk about morality or fight against corruption.

The statement is coming two days after Mr Saraki attacked the APC chairman, saying he had no moral right to remain in politics following allegations of kickbacks levelled against him.

“Oshiomhole is somebody, who has been told to have been collecting not even naira but dollars from candidates and he is being accused by his party’s aspirants and Governors.

“I don’t think he has any moral ground, even to continue to be in politics not to talk about being a Chairman of a party,” Mr Saraki said in Ilorin on Tuesday.

Reacting, Mr Oshiomhole in a statement by his chief press secretary, Simon Ebegbulem, early Thursday threatened to sue Mr Saraki.

“It is equally sad, but not unexpected, that Saraki, who is politically drowning, would make such libelous comments against the national chairman of the APC. And I challenge Saraki to mention one name of an aspirant that gave money to the national chairman or we file a legal action against him.”

Since his defection to the opposition PDP, Mr Saraki has been in a battle with Mr Oshiomhole who at several times called for his resignation as Senate President.

You’re A Monumental Disgrace To Nigeria’s Democracy – Oshiomhole Blasts Saraki

The chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has threatened to sue Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki over his unwarranted attack and call for Oshiomhole’s resignation.

Oshiomhole described Saraki’s attack as pathetic and an irresponsible resort to petty politics.

Oshiomhole said Saraki, an usurper and pretender to the position of senate president, has no moral ground to call for his resignation, Chief Press Secretary to the APC national chairman, Mr. Simon Ebegbulem said.

“It is sad that Saraki, who just woke up from slumber occasioned by his crushing defeat at the Port Harcourt presidential primary election of his party, could degenerate to such a low level.

“It is equally sad, but not unexpected, that Saraki, who is politically drowning, would make such libellous comments against the national chairman of the APC.

“And I challenge Saraki to mention one name of an aspirant that gave money to the National Chairman or we file a legal action against him.

“Whereas, the basis on which he made those comments was tenuous and unjustifiable, it is on record that Saraki has been in the eye of investigations by the EFCC and the ICPC for sundry cases of corruption.

“That is the same man that has taken it upon himself to question Comrade Oshiomhole’s credibility.

“We challenge him to mention one person who has claimed that he gave money to Oshiomhole to influence him and the decision of the party’s national working committee (NWC) in the just-concluded primary elections.

‘We insist that Saraki with his kind of politics is nothing but a monumental disgrace to the nation’s democracy.

 

 

NEMA: Osinbajo saved thousands of Nigerians by approving N5.8bn – Adagbon

With international organistaions and local agencies running out of funds, and with food shortage at its crescendo, the acting President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo approved N5.8 billion for supply of food to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the NorthEast, thereby saving hundreds of thousands of Nigerians who were going to die out of starvation. The noble action of the Vice President has been misinterpreted in some quarters even though he acted within the ambit of the law. In this interview, Gloria Adagbon, a human rights activist makes a case for the Vice President and warns against politicizing everything.

Why didn’t the acting President involve NASS in the process before releasing N5.8bn?

Given that the law allows the Vice President to release such funds in an emergency, he seized the opportunity to do so. The national assembly has proven to be anti-progressive, it took them over six months to pass the budget, we could not let Nigerians die away while they padded the North East Emergency budget. The acting President needed to act and that was why he constituted the Presidential Committee which included Minister of fast Finance, Minister of Budget and National Planning, Minister of Agriculture, CBN governor, Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, SSA to the President, Office of the Chief of Staff, SSA to the President Planning and Coordination among others. It was an emergency and it would have been suicidal to go through the national assembly, given their greed and self-centeredness. The process was transparent, FG bought local grains from Nigerian farmers and the Nigerian Police, Nigerian Military including the Air Force, were actively involved providing essential and logistical support. There is nothing clandestine by the process, it was there for all to see.

Why was procurement process ignored before money was released?

The procurement process wasn’t ignored or bypassed. Like I explained earlier, this is an emergency and the acting President needed to act fast. Waiting for the agencies to ponder over procurement would have translated to massive loss of lives. The VP was never going to allow that happen under his watch as Acting President. Section 43 of the BPP Act empowered him to approve the funds in an emergency, which was what he did. He acted in good faith and he saved hundreds of thousands of lives by doing this. We must understand that international organisations including the World Food Programme, UNHCR, International Committee of the Red Cross and others were involved in this process, this was carried out transparently and in order. The international aid agencies like WFP were already dealing with shortage of funds to provide humanitarian aid, as funding was cut down by about 85%. This necessitated urgent collaboration between the Government and NGOs, in order to save lives of Nigerian citizens

Why didn’t the VP oversee and ensure the distribution of the rice donated by the Chinese govt?

You will recall that the acting President kicked off the multi-billion naira relief intervention plan for grain distribution in the NorthEast. At the time, about 1.8m people would be reached regularly and 40,000 metric tonnes comprising rice, maize, sorghum and soya beans grown locally by Nigerian farmers would be distributed. But to ask the acting President to monitor NEMA activities alone and leave other pressing issues in the country is ignorance on the part of such persons. Agencies were set up to be managed on day-to-day basis by persons that have been appointed and were qualified to do so. It’s not the duty of the acting President to micro-manage and monitor the delivery or distribution. Duties were delegated, and this was done appropriately.

What is the scope and job duties of the VP as NEMA chairman?

He has an oversight function he does not oversee the day to day running of the agency. It’s like asking the Chancellor of a university why some lecturers involve in sex for marks. This falls on the lap of the Vice Chancellor because he is involved in the day-to-day administration. It’s important to understand that the role of the chairman is somewhat ceremonial and that is why you will not find his picture or profile on the website of the agency. People demanding that he did not act as chairman are uneducated and mischievous, and if adults cannot understand the organogram of agencies, you fear for the kind of orientation of what they are passing on to the younger generation.

Why is the House calling for the reinstatement of the six NEMA directorsand sack of the NEMA DG?

This is the clearest case of corruption fighting back. The directors in NEMA were accused of corruption and financial misappropriation. EFCC found monies in their accounts that could not be accounted for, but instead of insisting that these directors be probed, House of Reps led by a certain Ali Isa jumped to their defence insisting that they be reinstated. The House had claimed that Civil Service Rule was grossly abused, and natural justice turned upside down even after the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita and acting EFCC chairman Ibrahim Magu had appeared before the Committee to explain that their suspension was in order. EFCC explained that they were suspended in order to allow detectives unfettered access to vital documents. The directors knew what investigators would find and they immediately got corrupt lawmakers to make noise out of nothing. This is a shame and that is why this administration has insisted that if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill us.

 

Did the VP release N5.8bn or N33bn?

The VP only approved N5.8billion as against the N33billion peddled about in the media by some unscrupulous persons. These are agents of fake news who are trying all they can to tarnish the blistering career of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo but unfortunately for them, Nigerians are wiser now. We know our left from our right and we can see clearly. If you have read all the reports from NEMA to the House of Reps report, you will find that the VP approved N5.8 billion which was very much in order. We must not allow agents of fake news to derail us in our fight against corruption.

Maryam Sanda: Police, Dry Cleaner Give Conflicting Testimonies

Three witnesses including a police officer and a laundry man were yesterday presented in the murder case against Mayam Sanda in the case involving the death of her husband Bilyaminu Bello.

Late Bello, son of former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chairman, Haliru Bello was allegedl killed by Sanda in November, 2017.

Sanda is standing trial alongside her mother, Maimuna Aliyu; her brother, Aliyu Sanda, and their house-help, Sadiya Aminu, at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) sitting in Maitama.


Prosecution counsel, Fidelis Ogbebe presented the three witnesses, Hamza Abdullahi, Simon Okon and Usman Aliyu to a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Maitama.

The laundry man, Abdullahi, while giving his testimony noted that he heard late Bello’s noise on the fateful day.

“On November 17,2017, I was lying down around 1-2am when I heard Mr Bilyaminu’s voice, I stood up and went to meet him, then I saw him holding a shirt he used in covering one side of his chest, two minutes later, the wife came out with a car key and said we should help her take him (Mr Bilyaminu) to the car. When we tried to raise him we discovered there was blood.

“I and the other two put Bilyaminu in the car, then the wife drove the car. While in the car, Bilyaminu’s wife asked me of a nearby hospital which I told her was Maitama Clinic. Getting to the clinic, we met a nurse that helped us call the doctor. Upon the doctor’s arrival he asked what happened, he asked her three times and she did not respond. Then the doctor asked us to take him to another hospital after which we moved to Maitama General Hospital, again the doctor there asked what happened. This is how when she opened up and said they have fighting since morning.”

“The doctor later discovered that Bilyaminu had died. From there the doctor asked her to make calls and she said her phone and that of her husband got destroyed while they were fighting. She was then given a phone and she told her relatives the news.

The relatives came, collected her veil and covered the deceased. Then the deceased mother came, she opened her son’s face and looked at it. While looking, she noticed a knife stab on the chest of her son and bites on the left and right hand side of the chest. One of his fingers was cut and also his private part.

“When we got back home, we discovered that the bloodstain we left had already been cleaned, then I asked Alabi who cleaned it and said he was not the one.”

An Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) attached to the Maitama Police Station, also narrated his version.

“At about 03:45hours, I was on night duty then I received a call from the Maitama General Hospital that a lady was there with a lifeless body. On arrival I met Maryam standing beside the deceased who was covered with a veil.

“I immediately removed the veil and took some pictures and I handed over the deceased to the mortuary for autopsy and then took the accused to the police station. Upon reaching the station, Maryam volunteered to write a statement.

“In her statement she wrote that she and her husband had misunderstanding, while they were fighting, she broke a shisha bottle (also known as the ḡalyān, is a single or multi stemmed device that is used to either smoke or vaporise flavoured tobacco). Due to the slippery nature of the floor, he slipped, fell on the broken bottle and it injured him. I asked her if this is all what she has to say and she replied, yes. I signed and she was detained.

“In company of the relatives, we visited the incident scene where I saw some broken bottles on the floor but there was no bloodstain. I went to the bedroom still there was no bloodstain, I had the exhibit (the shisha bottle) in my hand.

“Coming back to the office, I met the relatives of the deceased who put forward an application that the deceased be released and be buried according to Islamic rights. With this, the deceased was released. I then handed over the matter to the state criminal investigative department (CID) to carryout investigations.

“The state CID (official) was asked to write a statement which he did. That is how the autopsy was not done as they claimed, it is against the religion. They afterwards buried him.”

In a cross examination, the defendant’s lawyer, Olusegun Jolaawo, asked Mr Okon if he discovered any other thing aside the bottle and he (policeman) said no.

Mr Okon added that as at the time he took the pictures of Mr Bilyaminu, the wounds were still fresh.

Ogbebe however said there were four more witness that he would like to present to the court but they wre not present.

Trial Judge, Justice Yusuf Halilu, has adjourned the matter to November 26 for continuation of hearing.

Saudi Prosecutor Reveals Who Gave Order For Khashoggi’s Killing

Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor said on Thursday the person who had ordered the killing of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi was the head of the negotiating team sent to repatriate him

The prosecutor, Shaalan al-Shaalan , also said that the whereabouts of Khashoggi’s body remained unknown.

The prosecutor told reporters in Riyadh that investigations were still ongoing to locate the remains of the slain journalist.

The public prosecutor had earlier said he was seeking the death penalty for five out of 11 suspects charged with the murder of Khashoggi.

He said 11 out of 21 suspects had been indicted and that their cases would be referred to court, while the investigation with the remaining suspects would continue in order to determine their role in the crime.

Khashoggi, a critic of Saudi policy, was killed in the country’s Istanbul consulate on Oct. 2.

He was killed after a struggle by a lethal injection dose and his body was dismembered and taken out of the building, Shaalan told reporters in Riyadh.

Riyadh had offered numerous contradictory explanations for Khashoggi’s disappearance before saying he was killed in a rogue operation.

The case sparked global outcry, opened the kingdom to possible international sanctions and tarnished the image of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Turkish officials had accused Prince Mohammed of ordering the murder while President Erdogan said the killing was ordered at the “highest levels” of the Saudi government.

U.S. President Donald Trump had suggested ultimate responsibility lay with the prince as de facto ruler.

A travel ban had been imposed on a top aide to the crown prince, Saud al-Qahtani, while investigations continued over his role, Shaalan said.

He said Qahtani had met the team ordered to repatriate Kashoggi ahead of their journey to Istanbul to brief them on the journalist’s activities.

Qahtani has already been fired from the royal court.

Turkey says it has a recording related to the killing which it has shared with Western allies.

President Tayyip Erdogan said the recordings are “appalling” and shocked a Saudi intelligence officer who listened to them.

The Queen Shows Off Her Sense Of Humor At Prince Charles’ Birthday Party

She cracked a few cheeky jokes about her son’s 70th.

 

Queen Elizabeth showed off her cheeky sense of humor while giving a sweet speech about her son, Prince Charles, turning 70.

“It is a privilege for any mother to be able to propose a toast to her son on his 70th birthday,” Her Majesty said Wednesday during the party at Buckingham Palace.

“It means that you have lived long enough to see your child grow up. It is rather like — to use an analogy I am certain will find favor — planting a tree and being able to watch it grow,” she added, referring to Charles’ love of the environment.

“My mother saw me turn 70, of course,” the queen added. “And she was heard to observe that 70 is exactly the age when the number of candles on your cake finally exceeds the amount of breath you have to blow them out.”

Elizabeth said that over his 70 years, she and her husband, Philip, “have seen Charles become a champion of conservation and the arts, a great charitable leader, a dedicated and respected heir to the throne to stand comparison with any in history, and a wonderful father.”

“Most of all, sustained by his wife Camilla, he is his own man, passionate and creative,” the 92-year-old queen said.

She ended the speech with another joke, directed at the organic food line Charles’ started in 1990 called “Duchy Originals.”

“So this toast is to wish a happy birthday to my son, in every respect a ‘duchy original,’” she said. “To you Charles. To the Prince of Wales.”

Celebrations for Prince Charles’s big milestone started months ago, with his son, Prince Harry, kicking off things with an affectionate speech at an event just days after his own wedding to Meghan Markle.

BBC One also put together a documentary to celebrate that Prince of Wales’ 70th, which revealed sweet tidbits (like Charles’ impression of gobbling turkeys).

Bollywood Superstars, Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone wed In Italy

India’s two leading Bollywood actors Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone have tied the knot in Italy, local media reported, but initially missing are photographs of the star wedding.

“Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh get married in Italy in a traditional Konkani (South Indian style) ceremony,” a local news agency said.

Filmmaker Karan Johar was the first among the couple’s friends to congratulate them.

Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone
Though Johar is not part of Deepika and Ranveer’s wedding he took to social media to wish them well.

“Such a stunning gorgeous and beautiful couple!!!! Nazar utar lo! Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh !! Badhai ho !!! Love you both!!! Here’s to a lifetime of love and joy,” Johar wrote on Twitter.

The first photographs about the wedding were published by Deepika on her Instagram page and they immediately went viral, drawing over five million likes and 200,000 comments in a few hours.

Ranveer Singh also published the two photographs on his own Instagram, but they earned fewer likes, 3.5 million.

One comment describes Deepika as “insanely beautiful’.

Initial reports said the couple reportedly opted for a strict no-photos policy and urged guests not to post pictures on social media from the ceremony.

Many people mostly Bollywood actors have posted wishes and congratulatory messages for the couple on social media.

“Huge congratulations Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh !! Here’s to the blissful ever after of every step you walk together,” wrote actor Nimrat Kaur.

Zamfara Twins: Kidnappers Demand N15m, Vow To Kill One If Payment Not Made On Time

The abductors Zamfara twin sisters have threatened to kill one of the girls if payment of their ranson is not made on time.

The twins, Hassana and Hussaina, were kidnapped last month in Dauran town while distributing the invitation cards of their wedding.

A family member, Ibrahim Abubakar, who spoke with the kidnappers and the twins on phone said the kidnappers had reduced the ransom to N15million.

“We are only able to get N6m selling our properties and receiving contributions from family members, politicians, traders and ordinary people,” Mr Abdubakar told DAILY NIGERIAN on Thursday night.

In a viral audio clip, one of the twin sisters, Hussaina was heard sobbing, complaining about maltreatment and appealing for help.

“I am battling with headache. We are in dire situation, they are about to kill us,” Hussaina sobbed.

“The beat us every morning. Please help rescue us. Even yesterday, they slaughtered some people in our presence.

“We are starving. Please get contributions even from the general public.”

But one of the abductor’s interjected, saying the call would be the last he would make with the twins as they failed to deliver the ransom.

The state government had last week directed the recruitment of 8,500 civilian Joint Task Force operatives from 17 emirate councils across the state to assist security agencies in combating insecurity.

Timi Frank Threatens To Name Politicians Who ‘Bribed’ Oshiomhole

Timi Frank, former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has threatened to publish names and amounts paid to Adams Oshiomhole, APC National Chairman during the party primaries.

He also claimed that Mr Oshiomhole collected over $50million from different aspirants and candidates.

According to Mr Frank, a large percentage of the money was paid to Mr Oshiomhole through proxies from Imo, Zamfara, Adamawa, Ogun states, among others.

In a statement signed in Abuja on Thursday, the former APC spokesman said: “I dare say that this singular act of refusing to order the prosecution of Oshiomhole over sundry acts of bribery and corruption he committed as contained in the DSS report, President Buhari has shown that his APC-led administration is a stinking house of corruption,” he said.

Expressing surprise at Mr Oshiomhole’s latest ordeal, he said the former labour leader will go down in history as a party chairman who allegedly received such “humongous bribe within a short period of time in office”.

Mr Frank, however, called on the president to act on the recommendations of the DSS by ordering “Oshiomhole’s sack and prosecution, if his (Buhari) government is actually fighting corruption or opposition”.

He continued: “We are in the know that President Muhammadu Buhari has received the DSS report on Adams Oshiomhole and Nigerians are patiently waiting for the action or inaction of his government, because this is an administration that has claimed fighting corruption as an achievement.

“In the history of party administration in Nigeria, no party chairman has been accused of collecting the jaw-breaking amount of money allegedly collected within a short period in office like Comrade Oshiomhole has allegedly done.

“Instead of Oshiomhole to clear his name, he has taken to diversionary path asking the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki to resign. Nigerians are not gullible. We shall wait to see how the acclaimed anti-corruption regime will act on this particular issue.

“This same Oshiomhole has been attacking the Senate President, calling on him to resign on moral ground. Can Oshiomhole now step aside while investigation into his financial malfeasance is ongoing to justify his much talked about morality?”