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The Lagos State Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Taofik Gani, has called for the prosecution of ex-governor Babatunde Raji Fashola.

Fashola has been accused of spending N78.3m on a personal website, N139m on the construction of two boreholes at the Lagos House, Ikeja, among other allegations.

Speaking yesterday, Gani who also commended Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for exposing Fashola, said that the party had been aware of Fashola’s spending for many years and had written petitions to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission but nothing was done.

He said the state government must go beyond revealing Fashola’s spending by probing his administration and prosecute him accordingly.

“It is good that the Lagos State Government is showing seeming boldness to expose former Governor Fashola but Lagosians demand more than this. Fashola should be prosecuted. It is only when the actual investigation and prosecution of Fashola are seen that Lagosians would take it seriously.

“It is our suspicion that what is happening is a mirage, a battle of wits between interest groups in the APC. So, we will not be overexcited because we feel that once the interest groups reconcile, the allegations will stop.

“We will, however, at this time, support all groups and individuals that call for the probe of the Fashola administration,” he said.

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Former Lagos state governor, Bola Tinubu has distanced himself from the recent attacks on former Lagos Governor, Raji Fashola. In a statement released from his media office on August 26th, Tinubu accused PDP of working towards causing a division in the APC after losing woefully in the last elections
He said no matter the devise used, APC will always surmount it. He
went on to state that his hand and heart are not in any way
connected to the recent attacks on the credibility of the Fashola-
led administration. His statement reads
“Apprised of their wiles, we in the progressive camp must be
wiser still. We must not allow ourselves to be pawns in this
cynical strategy. We cannot fall into their obvious snares for that would be embracing defeat when victory has already been won.
It is our responsibility to govern as the people want. It would be to our detriment to fall victim to our opponent’s sly instigations by allowing ourselves to be utensils picking each other
apart. This brings me to recent developments in the Lagos
political scene. Born of this motley stew is the recent gossip
mongering that I have willfully instigated false and negative
reports against former Governor Fashola to thwart him from
being appointed to a major post in the Buhari administration.
I want to declare clearly and categorically that these rancid
attacks do not come from me nor do I endorse them. Neither
my hand nor my heart is in these mean submissions. I deplore them. An attack against the performance of Governor Fashola
is indirectly an attack against me and the edifice of
achievements we have constructed in leading Lagos State out of a protracted time of stagnation and into an era of sustained progress and development. Lagos is a much better place than when we came into governance in 1999. Each year, it has gotten
better. With the APC at the helm, each subsequent year will be better yet. Babatunde Fashola has been an integral part of this improvement. He does not deserve the pillory. His record has
been applauded and will continue to be when all this rumor
mongering has died its natural and quick death. I am proud to
say that I played an instrumental role in bringing Governor
Fashola into politics in the first instance. He served as my
trusted chief of staff, performing excellently in that role. Due to his leadership qualities and diligent work ethic, I endorsed him for governor notwithstanding the stiff and vocal opposition of many. I am not ashamed of backing him. I believe the progress
the state made under his administration has more than
vindicated my endorsement. Fashola, the present Governor Akin Ambode including myself are the products of a progressive political institution and its programmatic expressions. I laid the
governance foundation and started the first lap, running as well as I could. I handed the baton to Fashola, knowing he would do the same. He did; he ran as well as he could. Now, he has handed to Ambode who is off and running as well as he can.

We have achieved much in Lagos; but, we recognise as much as
anyone that we have much more to do. We also know that
progress is fragile and easily undone while destruction is easily transacted but hard to undo. I for one am not the type to tear down my own house or to bring my enemy’s rubbish into it. We must remember something. We have always governed Lagos state as an open forum where democracy and free expression
were respected.

 Those who are against us were never placed in fear of the heavy hand of government descending on them even as they played funny tricks. We also must remember that in any
democracy, a number of people will always oppose you no
matter the quality of your performance.
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President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed concerned over the unfolding political situation in Guinea Bissau following the dismissal of the Prime Minister, Mr Domingos Pereira, and his cabinet by President Jose Mario Vaz. This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday by the president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina. It stated that Buhari had already sent former President Olusegun Obasanjo as his Special Envoy to mediate and help find a solution to the crisis brewing in that country. According to the statement, Buhari’s peace mission is in demonstration of true African solidarity and brotherhood. The statement maintained that Obasanjo had embarked on the first leg of his mission by consulting with the current Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Macky Sall of Senegal in Dakar on Thursday. “It is regrettable that while Chief Obasanjo was still consulting with President Sall, President Jose Mario Vaz of Guinea Bissau proceeded to appoint and swear-in a new Prime Minister in the person of Mr Baciro Dja, a development that has worsened the political situation in his country.’’ Buhari appealed for calm and called on the leadership in Guinea Bissau to exercise utmost restraint and ensure the maintenance of law and order as efforts continue to resolve the current crisis. The president, particularly, urged the leadership in Guinea Bissau, including the military, to ensure respect for constitutional order, sanctity of life and safety of citizens. He also enjoined them to avoid taking any further action that could threaten the fragile democratic institutions recently established in the country. Read More
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The Youth Wing of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has rejected former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu’s FIFA presidency bid.

In a statement signed by the Deputy Chairman of Ohanaeze Youth Wing in Abia State, Mr. Chetachi Ikpe on Thursday, the group said the former governor deserves to be in prison for the way he mismanaged Abia during his eight year tenure, and not FIFA.

The statement read in part: “It is with rude shock that Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Wing read in a newspaper over the purported endorsement of Orji Uzor Kalu as the next FIFA President.

“We are aware that FIFA, as the World governing body in charge of Football, it is only men of proven integrity that can only manage its affairs not people like Orji Uzor Kalu.

“Orji Uzor Kalu topped the list of corrupt politicians that Ohanaeze Youths sent to President Buhari for Speedy prosecution over the embezzlement of resources of Abia State, between 1999-2007 and should be in Prison not FIFA.

“The recent purported endorsement of Orji Uzor Kalu by Ohanaeze Youths is not true as the apex Igbo youths want Orji kalu in prisons, which automatically disqualifies him to contest for FIFA Presidency”
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President Muhammadu Buhari said Tuesday in Abuja that the
 prosecution of persons who have stolen national resources will begin in a matter of weeks. President Muhammadu Buhari Wikipedia

Speaking at a meeting with members of the National Peace Committee led by Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar in the Presidential Villa, President Buhari declared that his administration was irrevocably committed to doing all within its powers to break the vicious cycle of corruption, unemployment and insecurity in Nigeria.

"Nigeria has to break this vicious cycle before we can make progress," the President said, adding that his administration was diligently getting facts and figures pertaining to the nation's stolen funds, before proceeding to the prosecution of identified culprits.

President Buhari told General Abdulsalami and members of his committee that the Federal Government, under his leadership, will not only ask for the return of stolen funds that have been stashed in foreign banks, but will also ensure that those who stole the funds are put on trial in Nigeria.

The President also said that as part of its actions to address the national problems it inherited, his administration was reorganising Nigeria's revenue generating institutions.

The President explained that a single treasury account had been established for all Federal revenue to ensure greater probity, transparency and accountability in the collection, disbursement and utilisation of national funds.

"We have really degenerated as a country. Our national institutions, including the military, which did wonderfully on foreign missions in the past, have been compromised. But we are doing something about it. The military is now retraining and morale has been resuscitated.

"As Petroleum Minister under Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo in the 1970s, I could not travel abroad until I had taken a memo to the Federal Executive Council asking for estacode. Now, everybody does what he wants.

"That is why security-wise and economically, we're in trouble," President Buhari told his guests, adding that those who have stolen the national wealth "will be in court in a matter of weeks and Nigerians will know those who have short-changed them."

Gen. Abubakar and members of his committee urged the Federal Government to be guided by the rule of law in its fight against corruption.

Members of the National Peace Committee who accompanied Gen Abubakar on the visit were Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, His Eminence, Alhaji Sa'ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Primate of the Anglican Church of Nigeria.

Others were Justice Rose Ukeje (rtd), Prof Ameze Guobadia, Vanguard Newspaper Publisher, Sam Amuka, Dame Priscilla Kuye, Senator Ben Obi, Dr. Yunusa Tanko, and Dr Arthur-Martin Aginam.

The National Peace Committee, formed before the 2015 general elections, was granted permission by the President to transform to a National Peace Council.

Femi Adesina

Special Adviser to the President

(Media & Publicity)

August 11, 2015
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They include former Special Adviser to the President on Media Reuben Abati, former Chief Security Officer, Gordon Obua, and former Aide-de-Camp, Col. Ojogbane Adegbe.

The decision to withdraw the official passports of the former aides of Dr Jonathan was to prevent misuse and conflict with new aides and officials of President Muhammadu Buhari, who assumed duties on May 29, 2015, Saturday Vanguard reports.

The affected former aides, it was gathered, had returned the passports to the Presidential Villa preparatory to being handed over to the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS.

Nine other key officials of the Jonathan Presidency, who were also issued with official passports have also been stripped of the travel documents.

The development may also not be unconnected to ongoing probe of the Jonathan administration.

But the Nigerian Immigration Service has denied any hidden agenda, saying it was a normal routine.

NIS Public Relations Officer, Mr. Joachim Obua, said it was normal for officials of government to surrender their official passports at the end of their tenure.

“It is important for the position to be made clear that official passports are not the property of anyone holding it. Once you complete your assignment you have to return it to the NIS”, he said.
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The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), has lamented the calibre of the large entourage that accompanied Mrs. Toyin Saraki, wife of the senate president, to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The agency had invited the former First Lady of Kwara State for questioning over alleged fraud.

CACOL noted that the entourage “mainly of the nation’s ‘honourable’ law-makers from both the higher and lower chambers”, was disturbing.

Temitope Macjob, CACOL Acting Media Officer, quoted Debo Adeniran, the Executive Chairman as saying the group “is particularly disturbed and miffed at what it termed not only a show of shame and gross irresponsibility but a clear anti-thesis of what their primary constitutional duty is.”

Continuing it said, “one cannot but wonder how far President Buhari would be able to go in his avowed war against corruption in this country, if the very lawmakers, who are expected to give him the needed support through the provision of enabling legal frame-work with which to successfully prosecute the war, are openly, though tacitly, fraternizing with corruption by turning themselves into bodyguards of a suspected criminal.

“Press reports have it that a total of twenty-five legislators abandoned their statutory duties to follow Mrs. Saraki to the office of the EFCC and most of who waited for over the six hours that the exercise lasted.

“They are doing the jobs Nigerians didn’t elect them to do. Although they have the right to presume that she is not guilty until convicted but do not have the right to portray her innocent of the allegations made against her, even before being interrogated

“Their conduct presupposed that they are determined to intimidate the EFCC in its task of tackling corruption. It’s sad that they choose to abandon their statutory role of law-making while playing the meddlesome interloper, thereby diminishing the exalted chambers they represent.”

Adeniran likened the incident to that witnessed during Olusegun Obasanjo’s days, “when Bode George was accompanied by shameless praise-singers who had to roll out drums, clad in ‘Aso Ebi’ and danced in and around the court premises in solidarity with the accused each time he appeared in court to answer to corruption charges. What a society; what a mentality?” He wondered.

CACOL observed that, “this singular act by these legislators, is a clear indication that certain members of this very important arm of government, if not called to order, are out to make the job of eradicating corruption or at least, stemming it to the barest minimum, by Buhari’s administration, more complex and difficult than ever envisaged.

“The Coalition calls on Nigerians to get ready and be set to confront anybody, group or institution, that is out to frustrate President Buhari’s efforts at wrestling to submission this gargantuan, seemingly untamable monster, called corruption and save Nigeria from its destructive tendencies.

“We should share President Buhari’s assertion that ‘if we fail to kill corruption, corruption will kill us’. It must be seen as a collective responsibility; Buhari can’t do it alone.”

Debo Adeniran concluded by asking Nigerians not to spare corrupt characters, whoever they may be, but adopt CACOL’s slogan to “name, nail, shame and shun corrupt leaders, anywhere, everywhere”
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Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai, has expressed the determination of the present administration in the state to improve public welfare and empower people to make the best of their talents.

In a state broadcast to the people of the state, governor El-Rufai reiterated, “We have sent the signals that change really means placing the needs of the people as our priority. Not for us to surrender to vested interests and people. Those that used to corner fertilizers, grains and other items or infect our civil service with ghost workers or inflate and abandon contracts will certainly be unhappy. But we shall not be distracted from our priorities to deliver public services to our people.”

Malam El-Rufai added that the present administration in the state was irrevocably committed to a leaner less expensive government, with well motivated civil servants, teachers and health care workers.

“We need an efficient public service to be able to deliver public goods, and we shall get it. As we make political appointments to help drive our development agenda, we are seeking people who have capacity to do the job in a way that benefit all of society that the appointee of patrons of the appointees.

“The work of change that you have charged us to do requires a commitment to sacrifice, cooperation and hard work by all. So far, we have started taking the necessary decisions to set a new direction for the state and make the government an enabler of development rather than a guzzle of revenues.”

He explained that the state government had decided to make the budget confirm to the state’s financial reality, stressing that over the years, the state budget became a process to justify spending, not a mechanism to achieve results, structure economic development and improve social cohesion.

“Therefore, budgeting in Kaduna State will henceforth be based on the zero-based budgeting system. This means that every expenditure item
will have to be justified both in terms of its necessity, cost and availability of funds vis-a vis other competing needs before it can be included in the state budget.

“We have made clear our intention to devote a larger chunk of the state’s resources to providing public service. We have signalled that a government, elected by majority vote, should serve the majority.”
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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, appears to be closing in on the immediate past Governor of Enugu State, Sullivan Chime, with the invitation of his former Chief of Staff, Mrs. Ifeoma Nwobodo on Thursday.

The invitation of Mrs. Nwobodo was said to be the beginning of a comprehensive probe into the administration of the former governor.
According to an EFCC source, the former Chief of Staff arrived the anti-graft agency’s headquarters in Abuja at about 9.30am yesterday to respond to issues against her and her former boss.

The source added: “The former Chief of Staff was immediately ushered into the interrogation room to meet a team of crack detectives”.
The sundry allegations border mostly on conspiracy, money laundering, misappropriation of public funds and abuse of office.

Responding to a question, the source added: “I think her invitation is the beginning of some allegations against the administration of ex-Governor Chime.
“We have so many petitions against the former governor. But since his Chief of Staff was central to the coordination of government activities, we need to hear from her first”.

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Anambra State legislative election petitions tribunal on Friday threw out a motion challenging the election of former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah into the Senate.

Oduah, elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, represents Anambra North in the Senate.

Dubem Obaze, the petitioner, and his party, All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), had approached the court to nullify Oduah’s victory based on alleged electoral fraud during the March 28 elections.

The dismissed documents were voter registers used for the conduct of the senatorial election in Onitsha North, Onitsha South and Ogbaru local government areas.

Justice Hezekiah Solanke in his ruling said: “We are puzzled at the rationale of the motion as we find it difficult to accept the petitioner’s intention in frontloading the documents. The application is unnecessary and has only succeeded in delaying the time of this tribunal.”

Oduah’s counsel, Osita Nnadi (SAN), the petitioner’s counsel, Chike Onyemenam (SAN) and PDP counsel, Chuma Oguejiofor, all agreed to invite 15 witnesses each when hearing commences.

The counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Jude Nnodum (SAN), however said he would invite 11 witnesses.

The tribunal adjourned the petition till August 3rd for the commencement of hearing and hearing of issues for determination.


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