PDP Chairman Chief Vincent Ogbulafor’s trial get big media play in Nigeria

vincent_ogbulaforLagos, Nigeria – President Goodluck Jonathan’s nomination of Namadi Sambo as his Vice President-designate, the trial of the Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Vincent Ogbulafor, for corruption and the arrest of ex-governor James Ibori in far away United Arab Emirates dominated front pages in the Nigerian media this week.

At the end of the seven-day mourning period for the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, new President Jonathan on Wednesday named the Kaduna State Governor, Alhaji Namadi Sambo, as his Vice President-designate and submitted same to the Federal House of Representatives for confirmation.

Also during the week, the PDP Chairman was arraigned in court over the 104 million naira (US$ 1 = 150 naira) corruption charges brought against him by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) while former Delta State governor Ibori, wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at home, was arrested in Dubai.

Ogbulafor’s resignation came in the wake of mounting pressure from the Presidency and the PDP governors.

“NASS receives Sambo’s nomination, set for screening on Tuesday”, was the PUNCH headline on Saturday. The paper reported that barring last-minute changes, the two chambers of the National Assembly will separately screen the vice-presidential nominee on Tuesday for Nigeria‘s second most important political office.

The GUARDIAN on Saturday wrote “Reps To Screen Sambo On Tuesday”, reporting that the House of Representatives will on Tuesday consider the nomination of the Kaduna State Governor, Alhaji Namadi Sambo, for the position of the country’s Vice President.

The TRIBUNE on Friday headlined its story “Jubilation in Kaduna, as Sambo becomes VP-designate”, reporting that it was jubilation galore in Kaduna on Thursday as supporters of Governor Sambo rejoiced over his appointment by President Jonathan as the vice president-designate.

The PUNCH, reporting under the headline “Corruption: PDP chairman, Ogbulafor resigns”, said after about one month of trying to swim against the tide, the PDP National Chairman, Ogbulafor, on Thursday resigned his position.

According to the ICPC charges, the offence that Ogbulafor and three others committed happened in 2001 when he was minister for special duties under President Olusegun Obasanjo.

THISDAY, THE SUN, GUARDIAN and THE INDEPENDENT also ran stories on Ogbulafor’s trial. Accelerated hearing in the case has been scheduled to start 21 June.

On the arrest of Ibori in Dubai, THE GUARDIAN headlined its story “EFCC seeks Ibori’s extradition to Nigeria”, with the rider “Arraigned, gets bail in Dubai”.

The paper said following news of the arrest of former Delta State Governor, Chief Onanefe James Ibori in Dubai on Wednesday, the EFCC was putting together a team of officials to begin negotiations for his extradition to Nigeria.

Ibori is wanted in London to answer to some money laundering charges.

“Ibori Gets Bail In Dubai, Reassures Supporters”, was the headline of THE INDEPENDENT whose story said former Delta State Governor, James Ibori, walked out of a Dubai court on Thursday on bail, after he was arrested the previous day.

“Ibori arraigned in Dubai, granted bail”, THE PUNCH also wrote on Thursday.

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