WikiLeaks: How U.S. moulds Nigeria’s politics

0 0
Read Time:49 Second

Behind major developments in Nigeria, especially political ones, is the hand of the United States (U.S.) that has covertly orchestrated events to suit its purpose in the oil-rich nation.

The events referred to here happened before President Goodluck Jonathan was confirmed in May as substantive President.

Though the U.S. has allegedly intervened in the affairs of Nigeria over the years, a full picture of the extent of this intervention has only just emerged through a cable published by Wikileaks on its website.

Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said the account of his meeting with the former Ambassador of the United States to Nigeria, Robin Sanders, during the political crisis over the health problems and other issues involving late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in the WikiLeaks dump of U.S. diplomatic dispatches as “inaccurate.”

The expose as published by WikiLeaks as a result of the meeting with Sanders reported the U.S. describing President Jonathan as “inexperienced.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

Nigeria: Pastors Beheaded

0 0
Read Time:8 Minute, 23 Second

On Jul 26, 12 Christians were killed, including 3 pastors, in northern Nigeria after members of a Islamic nonconformist organisation Boko Haram launched attacks on military and supervision bases, according to contacts during VOM Canada.

The violence, that began in Bauchi state, widespread to Borno, Kano and Yobe states. Churches were set fervent and several people were abducted, including Christians. Many believers were threatened with genocide if they refused to modify to Islam. According to media reports, assailants decapitate 3 pastors: Pastors Sabo Yukubu, Sylvester Akpan and Pastor George Orji. The assailants were reportedly behaving on a instruction of a nonconformist group’s leader, Mohammed Yusuf. Yusuf was after killed by authorities.

The militants attempted to force a pastors to modify to Islam, though they refused to desert their faith. They were afterwards beheaded by guards who shouted “Allah Akbar” and dismissed several gunshots into a atmosphere in celebration.

These new reports of harm in Northern Nigeria simulate a trials believers endure. The Voice of a Martyrs actively supports persecuted believers in many ways by a Families of Martyrs fund, resources for widows to start businesses and a giveaway preparation during Stephen Centre. Pray God will comfort a families of those killed in these attacks. Pray a assent of Christ will order a hearts and minds of Nigerian Christians in a face of ongoing threats and danger

OS, Nigeria, December 11 (Compass Direct News) – The murderous rioting sparked by Muslim attacks on Christians and their property on Nov. 28-29 left six pastors dead, at least 500 other people killed and 40 churches destroyed, according to church leaders.

More than 25,000 persons have been displaced in the two days of violence, according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

What began as outrage over suspected vote fraud in local elections quickly hit the religious fault line that quakes from time to time in this city located between the Islamic north and Christian south, as angry Muslims took aim at Christian sites rather than at political targets. Police and troops reportedly killed about 400 rampaging Muslims in an effort to quell the unrest, and Islamists shot, slashed or stabbed to death most of more than 100 Christians.

Among Christians killed was Joseph Yari of the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA), Angwan Clinic,Tudun-Wada in Jos. On Nov. 28, his wife Mary Yari told Compass, he had returned from his workplace along Ibrahim Taiwo Road saying he was going to a Baptist church that Muslims were setting on fire.

“Shortly after my husband left, I heard anguished cries, only to be told that my husband had been shot dead on the premises of the church,” Yari said.

Her grief notwithstanding, she said she had forgiven the killers, as “they were ignorant of the crime they have committed because they do not know Jesus Christ.”

The Rev. Emmanuel Kyari, pastor of Christ Baptist Church, Tudun-Wada, told Compass that Joseph Yari died helping other Christians who repelled Muslim fanatics bent on burning down his church building.

“Yari was standing beside my wife when he was shot by Muslims,” Rev. Kyari said. “In addition to Yari who was killed, there were also three other Christians who were shot, and two died instantly.”

Among the six slain pastors was the Rev. Ephraim Masok, pastor of the ECWA Church in the Rikkos area of Jos, who had moved his family out of harm’s way and was returning to the church premises when Muslim fanatics attacked and killed him. Rev. Masok was buried on Saturday (Dec. 6).

A Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) leader in the Chawlyap area identified only as Pastor James was killed in the rioting that left Jos skies covered in smoke, as was the Rev. Bulus Tsetu of an Assemblies of God church. Names of the other three slain clergymen from Roman Catholic, Baptist and Deeper Life Bible churches were not readily available, but their deaths were confirmed, according to church leaders.

Rev. Kyari and the Rev. Benjamin Nasara of ECWA Plateau Church provided the casualty figures to Compass.

Among the 40 destroyed churches in Jos, they said, was the ECWA Church, Rikkos; Kaunar Baptist Church, Rikkos; Christ Baptist Church, Tudun-Wada; Nasarawa Baptist Church; Adebayo Street First Baptist Church; Sarkin Mangu COCIN Church; ECWA Church Kunga; Victory Baptist Church, Gofang; Deeper Life Bible Church, Ungwar Rimi; and Emmanuel Baptist Church, also at Ungwar Rimi.

Other Christians killed by Muslims in the rioting, the church leaders said, were Nenfort Danbaba of the ECWA Plateau Church and Oluwaleke Olalekan Akande of the Anglican Church from Ibadan, in southwestern Nigeria, who was on duty with the National Youth Service Program in Jos at the time of the crisis.

At the funeral service of Akande on Tuesday (Dec. 9), the Rev. Joseph Olatunde Alamu of the Cathedral Church of St. David, Kudeti, Ibadan, said young Christian men killed in the violence did not die in vain.

“Like the blood of Abel cried out for justice, they will not die in vain,” he said. “God will revenge.”

Akande’s parents also spoke at his funeral service.

“God knows why it happened that way,” Akande’s father, 84-year-old Pa J.A. Akande, said. “Oluwaleke, you will be remembered always for your love, steadfastness, courage, obedience and other attributes of your life with which you were endowed by your Maker. Sleep well in the bosom of your Maker.”

Akande’s mother, Madam Akande, told those attending the funeral that her 28-year-old son was too young to die.

“Little did I realize that your telephone call to me on Thursday, the 27th of November, 2008 would be our last conversation,” she said. “No leaf can fall from the tree without the authority, power and knowledge of God. And so I believe you shall rest peacefully in the bosom of our Lord Jesus.”

Akande was a graduate of physics/electronics at The Polytechnic, Ibadan, doing his one-year mandatory national service to Plateau State when he was murdered.

Rev. Nasara of ECWA Plateau Church told Compass that church history shows “the blood of the martyrs brings about the birth of the church. We see these ones who have gone ahead of us as the seeds that God is using to make the church in Jos North and Plateau state to germinate.”

Pre-Meditated Violence?

Rioting erupted in Jos in the wee hours of Nov. 28 while results of local council elections held the previous day were still being awaited. In the Nov. 27 elections, according to reports, Muslims in Jos North who suspected vote fraud – specifically, the late arrival of election materials to polling sites – raised a lament, and by 1 a.m. on Nov. 28 Muslim youth had begun burning tires, schools and churches.

The killing of non-Muslims followed in the early morning. Muslims began attacking Christians in areas such as Nasarawa Gwong, Congo-Russia, Rikkos, Ali Kazaure, Bauchi Road, Dutse Uku, Ungwar Rimi, and Tudun-Wada. Commands to defy authorities and join the “jihad” blared from a mosque loudspeaker in the Dilimi area, according to advocacy group Christian Solidarity Worldwide, including instructions to ignore a night-time curfew and attack anew.

Authorities’ efforts to halt the rampage, including a Muslim assault on a police barracks, accounted for the estimated 400 corpses reportedly deposited in a key mosque, according to CSW, citing security sources.

Christians tried to defend their lives and properties, and non-Muslim youths reportedly began retaliatory attacks on Muslims, mosques and Muslim houses in the early morning. The Nigerian military arrived before noon to try to rein in the mayhem, which continued into the night.

At the end of two days, hundreds of persons from both sides of the religious divide were killed, with others injured and hospitalized at Jos University Teaching Hospital, ECWA Evangel Hospital, OLA Hospital and Plateau State Specialist Hospital.

More than 25,000 displaced persons have taken refuge at Rukuba Military barracks, NDLEA (Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency) Barracks and Police Headquarters and Barracks, according to NEMA.

Rev. Nasara said the displacement of people who have lost their homes has had a severe affect on Jos churches.

“Right now I have two families and some Christian students from the university here, making up a total of 12 persons, who were displaced, and I have to take them in here in my house,” he said.

The Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, Roman Catholic archbishop of Jos Archdiocese and Plateau state chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, said in a statement that fanatical Muslims ignited the violence by attacking Christians.

“We were greatly taken aback by the turn of events in Jos – we thought it was a political issue, but from all indications it is not so,” he said. “We were surprised at the way some of our churches and properties were attacked and some of our faithful and clergy killed. The attacks were carefully planned and executed. The questions that bog our minds are: Why were churches and clergy attacked and killed? Why were politicians and political party offices not attacked, if it was a political conflict?”

Businesses and property of innocent civilians were destroyed, he added.

“We strongly feel that it was not political but a pre-meditated act under the guise of elections,” Kaigama said.

Plateau Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Edward Pwajok said in a statement on Tuesday (Dec. 9) that 500 persons had been arrested in connection with the violence, and that they will appear for trial at the High Court of Justice and Magistrates Courts.

On Sept. 7, 2001, religious conflict in Jos resulted in more than four years of bloodshed, killing thousands of people and displacing thousands of others. In 2004 an estimated 700 people died in Yelwa, also in Plateau state, during Christian-Muslim clashes.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

Nigerians in Diaspora list 10 questions for PDP delegates

0 0
Read Time:2 Minute, 27 Second

CODEWIT-  NIGERIANS in Diaspora, under the auspices of  GEJ/SAMBO 2011 Diaspora Support Group,  Europe and America, weekend,  logged  10 questions they want Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, delegates to answer before  deciding on who, between President  Goodluck Jonathan and former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, they would vote for in the party’s presidential primaries.

Chairman of the GEJ/SAMBO 2011 Diaspora Support Group, Europe and America, Chief Lambert Igboanugo, in an electronic mail statement to Vanguard said Nigerians in Diaspora would hold the PDP delegates responsible for whatever happens to the country if they failed to make the right choice, adding,  “A wise decision to vote and protect Nigerian posterity is for the delegates to run carefully through the antecedents of these two individuals and know who best can advance the image of Nigeria in the international community because no country is an island and be trusted to deliver his promises”.

The ten questions are: “Who amongst them can freely enter the US with their families and be back to the country before the party primaries? Who amongst them can clear the air of suspicion of hurriedly relocating his family to Nigeria from the US to avoid arrest?  Who amongst them has still got to clear himself from administrative panel indictment which was officially gazetted? Who amongst them will rather abandon the party PDP (as his known antecedent has proven) if he loses the primary to his opponent? It was only Samson in Bible who stayed in the house to pull it down”.

Others are: “Who amongst them has Gen. Babangida sponsoring a pullout of questionable PDP members from the Party the moment his sectional consensus candidate loses to a national consensus candidate in the primary? Who amongst them has left in PTDF and other parasatals he headed, so much ooze of repulsive and repugnant odors, which the PDP delegates can never leave unnoticed? Who amongst them have had his tutelage in the most corrupt paramilitary service of the land until the 90s?

“Who amongst them is prostituting from one party to the other leaving his PDP and PDM ideological supporters in limbo?  Who among them cannot go to US to campaign his manifestoes to millions of Nigerian professionals expected to come and make a difference in the development of the country?  Who among them thinks the country can do away with Nigerians in US since he has legal difficulty in entering the country to sell his candidacy?   He added.

According to Igboanugo, “The party delegates should know that their votes must also determine the future of PDP if they are men and women of honour ready for transformational and re-building of Nigeria. Until these pertinent questions are answered to favour Nigerian posterity, PDP delegates owe Nigerians in Diaspora the explanations of what happened to the country after their voting”

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

Nigeria indicts Dick Cheney for bribery

0 0
Read Time:4 Minute, 33 Second

Political struggle in oil-rich nation highlights colonialism’s legacy

Recently, Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission indicted former U.S. Vice Pres. Dick Cheney for a bribery plot involving Halliburton Co. Cheney was the company’s CEO at the time of the incident. Halliburton allegedly paid $180 million in bribes to Nigerian officials to win a contract to build a multi-billion-dollar natural gas plant in Nigeria’s oil-rich southern delta. The charges against Cheney come against the backdrop of a heightening political struggle inside Nigeria over the economic future of the country and its relationship with the United States.

The ruling People’s Democratic Party which manages the EFCC is a right-wing political party with exceptionally close ties to the U.S. financial and military establishment. In truth, the EFCC actions against Halliburton were part of a desperate response by the ruling party to quell growing unrest ahead of national elections next year. Although the U.S.-backed PDP is the only viable political organization crossing ethnic, religious and regional lines in Nigerian electoral politics, there are signs that its dominance is weakening.

Since gaining independence from British colonial rule in 1960, Nigeria has undergone several political transitions, including military and civilian regimes. However, none of these regimes have been able to radically alter the colonial characteristics imposed on the country by the British and maintained today via world imperialism.

The British left behind a political framework designed to guarantee the flow of resources from Nigeria to advanced capitalist countries. By establishing a political order where rival ethnic and religious groups compete for economic gains, the colonizers hoped to prevent a unified  resistance to imperial rule. Since independence, rival factions in Nigeria have jostled to gain a small slice of the economic pie generated by the nation’s vast resources—while the biggest slice of the pie is plundered by imperialism. These conflicts have manifested as coups, internal wars and state corruption.

When Nigeria made a transition from military dictatorship to multi-party “democracy” in 1999 led by the PDP, many Nigerians hoped for a profound transformation of the inherited system. But this change never happened. After a handful of elections were won handily by the PDP, the system remains intact as economic life continues to decline for most Nigerian people.

The most recent U.N. Human Development Report ranked Nigeria near the very bottom in the areas of health, literacy level, income and standard of living. At the same time, Nigeria’s enormous oil reserves made it among the 10 fastest growing economies in the world.

There is a sharpening social divide in Nigeria between elites who use their political positions to benefit from capitalist development under a client state and the majority of Nigerian people who remain poor, unemployed and dispossessed from their lands. Popular demonstrations are starting to transcend ethno-religious and regional boundaries and are taking on an increasingly national character against bribery and theft by leaders who act as agents for imperialist corporations and militaries.

The PDP led the creation of the EFCC in 2003 to co-opt the growth of a potential nationalist resistance movement against their comprador links with oil companies and investors. The PDP strategically defines the problem of corruption as stemming from the immoral behavior of a few “bad apples”—individual corporations or opposition politicians—to avoid the fact that the system itself is a corrupting force in society.

The patronizing mission of the EFCC to “imbue the spirit of hard work in the citizenry and discourage ill gotten wealth” is totally in line with the PDP’s ideology as a capitalist and socially conservative organization. In 2008, Nuhu Ribadu, the former anti-corruption chief of the EFCC, was fired by the PDP after he began investigating top officials from the ruling party. Many Nigerian commentators saw this as retribution for his harsh pursuit of party insiders.

This year, Ribadu announced his intention to run for president  with a main opposition party against PDP incumbent Goodluck Jonathan. The popularity of his candidacy has made it clear that the Nigerian people view corrupt ties between the Nigerian state and multinational corporations as an important issue in the election.

In addition, new Wikileaks cables reveal that Shell Oil Company spied extensively on key decision-makers in Nigerian government ministries. According to the leaked cables, Shell Oil exchanged intelligence with the U.S., in one case providing them with the names of Nigerian politicians it suspected of supporting militants.

Regardless of the outcome of next year’s election, it is likely that a long-term national struggle is underway in Nigeria. Nigerians of every ethnicity and religion are recognizing that as long as the governing power in their country continues to represent the interests of multinationals and investors over the working majority, the country will continue to be a victim of oppression and super-exploitation.

Indications are that in the coming months political struggles will likely intensify in Nigeria, possibly opening the door for a sweeping national and democratic transformation which will deal with the political and socio-economic manifestations of colonialism. The misery of the majority of Nigerians is the direct result of the plunder of Nigeria’s resources by the United States and other imperialist countries.

Progressives and revolutionaries in the United States should be prepared to help defend Nigeria from U.S. intervention should a transformational people’s struggle escalate.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

Nigerian player collapses and dies in match

0 0
Read Time:1 Minute, 0 Second

LAGOS — A 21-year-old Nigerian footballer died on Sunday after collapsing during the first-half of a Premier League match. Ocean Boys defender Emma Ogoli slumped to the pitch in the 39th minute of the home game against Niger Tornadoes in Yenagoa and died on his way to hospital. “Ogoli is dead.

He collapsed around the 39th minute of action and was rushed to hospital where he was confirmed dead,” said Ocean Boys spokesman Eddy Ohis. “It is heart-breaking.

Just when we were getting set to celebrate our first home win in four years over Niger Tornadoes, we now are mourning.” Ohis said an autopsy will be carried out on Monday at the Federal Medical Centre in Yenagoa, southern Nigeria. “I have received the official report from the match commissioner for the game on this very tragic incident,” said NPL official Tunji Babalola. “The player was not involved in any contact.

He died on his way to hospital.” The 21-year-old left-back was in his second season at Ocean Boys after featuring for local rivals Bayelsa United. Ocean Boys, Nigeria league champions in 2006 and FA Cup winners two years later, defeated Tornadoes 2-0 Sunday.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

Swedish police: Explosions were terrorism

0 0
Read Time:3 Minute, 42 Second

STOCKHOLM (Codewit.ccom)– Two blasts that shook a busy shopping street in central Stockholm were an act of terrorism, officials said Sunday, in what appeared to be a suicide bombing. It would be the first such attack in the Nordic country.

Police would not comment on a motive for the Saturday attack, which left the apparent bomber dead and two people injured. But a Swedish news agency said it received an e-mail threat just before the blast in which the writer claimed to have visited the Middle East “for jihad,” and referred to the country’s soldiers in Afghanistan and a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad that outraged the Muslim world.

The terror threat alert in the Nordic country is not being raised from its current elevated level, although police are investigating the attacks as “a crime of terror,” spokesman Anders Thornberg told reporters.

“When we go through the existing criteria and the series of events that occurred it fits well within the description of a terror crime,” Thornberg said. He declined to elaborate.

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt described the attack as “a most worrying attempt at a terrorist attack.” Bildt commented in a Twitter message that it “failed — but could have been truly catastrophic.”

Thornberg did not confirm local media reports that the man who died had explosives strapped to his body. He also would not say if the man was a suspected suicide bomber as widely reported by Swedish media, but added that police have “a totally clear picture about that” but were not sharing the information.

He said there were no indications so far that other people were involved.

“If this is a suicide bomber, then it’s the first time in Sweden,” he told The Associated Press.

In the incident that rattled normally peaceful Stockholm, a car exploded near the shop-lined pedestrian-only Drottninggatan street in a burst of flames, causing panic among Christmas shoppers. Shortly afterward, a second explosion hit higher up on the same street. Witnesses reported seeing a man lying on the ground afterward with blood appearing to come from his abdomen.

The exploded car contained gas canisters, rescue workers said.

Ten minutes before the blasts, Swedish news agency TT received an e-mail saying “the time has come to take action.” According to the news agency, the e-mail referred to Sweden’s silence surrounding artist Lars Vilks’ 2007 drawing of Muhammad as a dog and to its presence in Afghanistan, where it has about 500 soldiers in the NATO force.

“Now your children, daughters and sisters shall die like our brothers and sisters and children are dying,” the news agency quoted the e-mail as saying.

According to TT, the man said he visited the Middle East “for jihad,” but that he could not tell his wife or child about it.

“I never went to the Middle East to work or to earn money, I went there for jihad,” the agency quoted the e-mail.

Police said they were aware of the e-mail, which had also been addressed to Sweden’s security police, but couldn’t immediately confirm a link to the explosions.

Two people were taken to the hospital with light injuries.

Sweden — which has so far been spared any large terrorist attacks — raised its terror threat alert level from low to elevated in October because of “a shift in activities” among Swedish-based groups that could be plotting attacks there.

The security police said then that the terrorism threat in Sweden remained low compared to that in other European countries.

Vilks’ drawing in a local Swedish newspaper infuriated Muslims. In May, vandals unsuccessfully tried to burn down his home in southern Sweden after he showed a film about Islam and homosexuality during a lecture at Uppsala University.

Last month, police in neighboring Denmark said the Scandinavian country remained a “high-priority terrorist target” because of separate cartoons of Muhammad that sparked riots in the Muslim world in 2006.

In September, a Chechen man accidentally set off a letter bomb, believed to have been intended for the Jyllands-Posten newspaper that first published the 12 cartoons. In January, a Somali man, armed with a knife and an ax, broke into Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard’s home, though Westergaard was unhurt.

Police in Norway said that three terror suspects who were arrested in July in an alleged al-Qaida plot there were likely planning an attack against the Jyllands-Posten.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

Nigeria: Saluting Sanusi’s Courage

0 0
Read Time:4 Minute, 11 Second

Recent alarm raised by the federal lawmakers, especially the senate, that the central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s claim that 25% of the Federal Government overhead in the 2010 budget was been gulped by the National Assembly members would not surprise Nigerians in that the parliamentarians penchant for grandiose and ostentations life styles which the perk of office offers, has elicited numerous scandalous sleaze on the national treasury.

There is no gainsaying that Sanusi’s Wednesday, 1st of December, 2010 revelation was a tip of the iceberg, given that the continuous public outcry that the remuneration and salaries of the insignificant 469 lawmakers against the majority of 150 million Nigerians was dealing a dead blow on the nation’s economy.

Sanusi it was reported had at an academic exercise last week in Okada, Edo State, delivered a lecture on the state of the Nigerian economy where accordingly he revealed that 25% of the 2010 budget was been spent on the lawmakers, a statement which infuriated the national assembly to summon the CBN governor who in response insisted that he quoted figures obtained from the office of the director of Budget of the Federation.

Displaying an uncommon princely mien and indignation to the vexed outrageous budget manipulation, Sanusi exhibited rare courage and bravado which is least expected of a supposed corruptible Nigeria public servant by telling it to the faces of the lawmakers that their reported allowances is costing the federal government a quarter of its 2010 budget overhead. This audacity of the CBN governor ultimately not only serve as a litmus test to other public officers to be open to Nigerians in their budget processes but to shun corruption and the illicit act of padding government budgets to the detriment of the impoverished Nigerians.

There are various accounts that buttress this misnomer that the Nigeria budget process is laden with corruption. In 2006 precisely, a senate president and sitting minister in the then president Olusegun Obasanjo federal executive cabinet were accused of “Budget for Bribe” allegation amounting to over N100million. Other members of the House of Representatives which include a current sitting Governor were also fingered but denied the alleged impropriety.

The National Assembly then set up an investigative committee to look at the Obasanjo’s allegation. But alas the House particularly, exonerated its member accusing Obasanjo of passing judgment without trial. Obasanjo it will be recalled had rushed to national television to announce that members of the National Assembly had the penchant of over bloating budget estimates sent to it by the executive arm for consideration. The president had argued that such reasons accounted for why he could not implement the budgets progressively for the development of the country. He also accused the parliamentarians of padding the budget with ridiculous figures that were not accounted for on the long run while also faulting their push for constituency projects.

While the House of Representatives absolved its members of any complicity, senator Adolphous Wabara and professor Fabain Osuji, former minister of education were not lucky as both were striped of their exalted positions. It must be generally accepted that since 1999, the country’s budgeting process has been laced with absurdities such that government expenditure has only benefited political office holders both in the executive and legislative branch to the detriment of majority of Nigerians.

At this juncture, it is worthy to concede this modest effrontery to the Kano born prince in the current outlandish budget face-off between him and the NASS since it brought to the fore his gallantry. His disclosures no doubt is a welcomed development as it reinforces the apprehension in clear terms that in the face of government’s dwindling revenue and threats to the national economy, the federal parliamentarians allocated to themselves a whooping N136.259 billion as recurrent overhead from the total N536.268 total federal government overhead representing 25.4 of the total 2010 annual budget.

Expectedly Nigerians loathe this lopsidedness, with no exceptions to political office holders across the country and the self seeking measures of the Omisore empanelled parliamentarians in particular and entire National Assembly. For if they must be patriotic and see their electorates first, then there is the need for a rethink for downward review by the Abuja lawmakers, while it is expected that the Director General of the Budget office of the Federation be summoned to shed more light on the controversial overheads. Because whether it is 25.4 percent or the finance Minister’s percentage computation of N158 billion of N3.9 trillion which is the clarion call by Nigerians and other key government institutions for downward review of the lawmakers allowances, period.

While we salute Sanusi’s doggedness against the face of intimidation, we commend his undeterred posture to drum, point blank, to the federal lawmakers that they are fat cats milking the Nigerian treasury recklessly.

We greet this courage, and to the lawmakers, “We say a word is enough for the wise”.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

Pfizer pressure Nigeria to drop drug lawsuit

0 0
Read Time:2 Minute, 53 Second

Pfizer hired investigators to dig up dirt on Nigeria’s then-attorney general early last year in an effort to pressure him to drop a $6 billion lawsuit against the company, according to a classified U.S. diplomatic cable.

The high-profile litigation, which stemmed from a 1996 drug experiment conducted on perilously ill children, was settled privately after the meeting that led to the April 20, 2009, cable.

The cable was released this week by the anti-secrecy Web site WikiLeaks and represents just the latest twist in the case’s 14-year saga. In a statement, Pfizer called the new allegations “simply preposterous.”

The Pfizer drug trial, whose tale has been compared to the plot of the Academy Award-winning movie “The Constant Gardener,” has become notorious since its details were first made public in a 2000 investigative series in The Washington Post, and in a follow-up investigation in 2006 that led to homicide charges against the company.

In 1996, Pfizer’s researchers selected 200 children at an epidemic hospital in Nigeria, then gave about half of them an untested oral version of the antibiotic Trovan. The other children were given a comparison drug. Researchers did not obtain signed consent forms, and medical personnel said Pfizer did not tell parents their children were getting an experimental drug. Pfizer’s lead investigator later acknowledged that he personally created and backdated a key ethics approval document.

Eleven children died during the trial and others suffered disabling injuries. Pfizer said it broke no laws and that the deaths and other problems resulted from meningitis

Nigerian officials brought criminal and civil charges in 2007, one set filed by state officials and the other $7 billion case brought by federal authorities.

The 2009 cable, classified as “confidential,” says that Pfizer’s country manager, Enrico Liggeri, met with U.S. officials in Abuja to discuss the cases.

“According to Liggeri,” the cable says, “Pfizer had hired investigators to uncover corruption links to federal attorney general Michael Aondoakaa to expose him and put pressure on him to drop the federal cases. He said Pfizer’s investigators were passing this information to local media.

“A series of damaging articles detailing Aondoakaa’s ‘alleged’ corruption ties were published in February and March. Liggeri contended that Pfizer had much more damaging information on Aondoakaa and that Aondoakaa’s cronies were pressuring him to drop the suit for fear of further negative articles.”

Aondoakaa told The Guardian, the London newspaper that first reported on the cable, that he knew nothing about Pfizer’s attempts to investigate him.

The Nigerian state of Kano settled with Pfizer for $75 million in July 2009. Details of the federal settlement were never reported.

A Pfizer representative in a phone interview Friday declined to discuss specifics of the cable or Liggeri’s alleged comments. In its written statement this week, Pfizer said it negotiated the confidential settlement with the federal government “in good faith and its conduct in reaching that agreement was proper.” Pfizer said it had agreed to pay the legal fees and expenses incurred by the federal government in the litigation and no payment was made to the federal government of Nigeria itself.

According to the cable, Liggeri also told U.S. officials that the lawsuits were “wholly political in nature,” and that the humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders also gave children Trovan. Officials with the organization said that is not the case, and other records suggest that only Pfizer would have had access to Trovan at the time.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

Halliburton May Pay Nigeria $500 Million To Keep Cheney Out of Prison

0 0
Read Time:53 Second

Earlier this week, Nigeria charged former Vice President Dick Cheney with doling over $180 million in bribes to government officials, but a new GlobalPost report suggest that it could take more than twice that much to keep him out of prison. On Wednesday, the country’s anti-corruption agency accused Cheney of making the payments while he was head of Halliburton’s engineering subsidiary, KBR, in the years prior to 2007. KBR, which is no longer a part of Halliburton, owned up to the bribes, and reportedly agreed to pay $597 million in fines. But Cheney himself is still on the hook. Femi Babafemi, the spokesman for Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, tells GlobalPost that Halliburton is negotiating a plea deal with Nigeria that could involve a $500 million settlement. (Raw Story points out that “it’s not clear from the GlobalPost report if the $500 million figure refers to the amount Halliburton will have to pay or whether that amount would cover all the companies that have been charged.”) If convicted, Cheney would face three years in Nigerian prison.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %

Nigeria: Between EFCC and AGF

0 0
Read Time:7 Minute, 52 Second

Tunde Oyesina writes on the seeming cold war between the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and how this could affect prosecution of corruption war in Nigeria.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is an organ of the Federal Government created to curb the rate at which corruption is growing in the country. Though the commission has come under criticisms, it has made a mark.

It is now contentious, however, if the commission remains effective after the exit of its former boss, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, as far as prosecuting high-profile cases is concerned.

During Ribadu’s tenure, the commission forged relationship with similar organisations in other parts of the world, making it difficult for stolen public funds to be repatriated abroad.

A former Inspector-General of Police, Tafa Balogun and former governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, were prosecuted and jailed, though some people considered their conviction a slap on the wrist.

Also, the EFCC arrested, paraded and commenced the prosecution of former Governors Saminu Turaki, Orji Kalu, Chimaroke Nnamani, Joshua Dariye, James Ibori, Ayo Fayose and Jolly Nyame, who only a few months earlier were  protected by Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution which granted them immunity from prosecution while in office.

The arrest and arraignment of these former governors helped to send a message about the limits of immunity. The point was well made that no one would again be allowed to mismanage public resources. Apart from the hounding of corrupt public officials, the EFCC adopted other measures, including plea bargaining in pursuit of its mandate.

There is no doubt that the nation will suffer in the hands of corrupt leaders who will perpetrate their acts if this cold war is allowed to persist.”

The EFCC had brought renewed respect to Nigeria with the country receiving better rating on the international corruption index. Before the creation of the EFCC in 2003, Paris, France-based Financial Action Task Force had blacklisted Nigeria as a destination for capital investment. With the EFCC in place and its proven vigilance, more investors developed confidence in the Nigerian system, the evidence of which was borne out by the increased robustness in the banking sector and the capital market.

The commission arrested and investigated over 5,000 people for various crimes within its purview and countless number of convictions was made In 2007, the commission sustained an established pattern of activism against economic and financial crimes. Economic crimes as defined by the EFCC Act in Section 46 covers crimes such as the embezzlement of public funds, currency trafficking, drug trafficking, money laundering, tax evasion, dumping of toxic wastes and smuggling and all such acts which may have a damaging effect on the national economy. Financial crimes, on the other hand, refer to advance fee fraud, cyber crime, capital market fraud, currency trafficking and counterfeiting, and any such attempt to earn wealth illegally. The commission invited prominent bankers for questioning, senior public officers too and it gave trouble to frauds. At a time, there were over 500 persons in its cells, while it prosecuted over 150 cases in court.

In the run up to that year’s elections, the commission warned the then sitting governors that anyone among them who had stolen public funds, would be arrested immediately they left office. Indeed, it announced that 16 state governors and two former governors were being investigated and would be picked up by its men. The commission did not quite keep to this promise, but it was generally believed that the speed with which many of the former governors fled abroad as soon as they handed over power on May 29 was not unconnected with the threat.

Some of the EFCC’s major achievements in 2007 included the jailing of a number of bankers who had defrauded their customers or engaged in money laundering. Kingpins of 419  were sent to jail, including one Ade Bendel, who had defrauded an Egyptian General, Ali Abdul Aliah, to the tune of about $800,000.

There was also the Wilbros Scandal. Wilbros Group Incorporated, an American company, had allegedly paid a bribe of over $6 million to officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC) to facilitate a gas pipeline contract.

The EFCC promptly invited all the named persons for questioning. But perhaps the cumulative effect of the work of the EFCC could be seen in how it succeeded in criminalising illicit wealth.

In a country where questions are hardly asked about the source of an individual’s wealth, the EFCC impelled the people to adopt a change of attitude.

When the present boss of the commission, Farida Waziri, came on board, it was believed that the commission would not go far even till now. Some still believe that the EFCC has lost its effectiveness, but the commission under the leadership of Mrs Farida Waziri has made certain remarkable feat.

The EFCC recorded over 100 convictions in the last two years. And from a country that achieved notoriety world-wide as the bastion of advance fee fraud emerged “Project Eagle Claw,” a unique software which tracks and destroys scam mails before they get to their target, thus marking a sharp decline in the number of advance fee fraud cases originating from Nigeria. Recoveries in corruption and money laundering cases also stand at $3.5 billion.

These milestones, recorded over a period of two and a half years with Waziri at the helm of affairs are testimonies to the effectiveness of the EFCC and underline its importance in the battle against corruption and economic crimes.

Indeed, since the agency was established in 2003, it has changed the face of law enforcement in Nigeria with achievements made in the execution of its core mandate, which is the eradication of all forms of financial and economic crimes.

EFCC forced its way into national and global consciousness from the outset when it swooped on the band of fraud, seized the proceeds of their crimes and put them to trial. The likes of Emmanuel Nwude, Amaka Anajemba, late Maurice Ibekwe, Fred Ajudua and Adedeji Alumile, alias Ade Bendel, who moved about in convoys with police escort were all taken out of circulation. Even now, most of the notable 419 kingpins are either in jail or facing trial. A good number have also fled the country and now operate from neighbouring countries.

Today, the agency has over 100 high-profile cases in court and has recorded a number of high-profile convictions, among which are the conviction of former deputy national chairman of the PDP, Chief Olabode George.

Chief George is serving a two-and-a-half-year term alongside five others for their roles in the N100 billion contract splitting scam in the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

Similarly, Cecilia Ibru, a former chief executive officer of Oceanic Bank Plc., is serving an 18-month jail term  for sundry financial crimes, while conceding assets valued at over N195 billion to the state. The Ibru case is a landmark of sorts, not in terms of the length of prison term, but by the quantum of assets recovered.

Without doubt, it is the single biggest recovery by any law enforcement agency in Nigeria. The manner the recovery was made is quite commendable. It was civil and bereft of high drama.

The conviction of Ibru appears as the climax of the EFCC sanitisation efforts in the banking sector after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sacked the managing directors of five stressed banks for sundry financial malpractices in 2009.

The commission has recovered over N180 billion for the banks, depositors’ funds that was almost lost as unsecured loan. The effect of this on the economy is obvious. In the short term, it has helped to shore up the liquidity of the stressed banks. EFCC’s involvement in the saga has also impressed it on bank executives that it is no longer business as usual.

But in recent times, there has been a lot of challenges against the EFCC and this has been traced to many factors such as alleged cold war between the EFCC boss and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Muhammed Adoke, who is the chief prosecuting officer of the nation. This could have been said to be the cause of the slow pace which prosecution of high-profile cases are being handled.

This alleged lack of understanding between the EFCC boss and the number one law officer of the country was reported to have pushed Waziri to the point of attempting to resign from her duty of ripping the nation of corruption.

Furthermore, the sour relationship between EFCC and the office of the AGF has delayed prosecution of some high profile cases and even the withdrawal of some on grounds of plea bargaining.

This seems to be a clear departure from the EFCC as Nigerians knew it, which had corruption cases prosecuted headlong.

There is no doubt that the nation will suffer in the hands of corrupt leaders who will perpetrate their acts if this cold war is allowed to persist.

It is, therefore, pertinent for the EFCC boss and the AGF to work hand in hand to continuously clear the nation of corrupt elements.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
Happy
0 0 %
Sad
0 0 %
Excited
0 0 %
Sleepy
0 0 %
Angry
0 0 %
Surprise
0 0 %