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Dogara to Buhari: You’re not the only corrupt-free Nigerian

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Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has declared that there were millions of Nigerians spread across the globe who are corrupt-free aside President Muhammadu Buhari.

This as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday said it recovered a total of N500 billion between 2015 and 2018 while 486 convictions were secured within the three years.

Dogara, who spoke yesterday at the commissioning of the new Corporate Headquarters of EFCC in Abuja, acknowledged that President Buhari has won global acclaim for his hard stance against corruption.

He said: “The chairman made a statement about a reference that was made of Nigeria as a fantastically corrupt country. Incidentally, that statement was made in a city that is the home of illicit funds. The person also stated that Nigeria leads the world in criminal enterprise. In fact, that in the University of Lagos, you can study and major in credit card fraud.

 

“That’s the narrative out there, but that must change due to the fact that we have, seating before us here, a president who has won global acclaim as being corrupt free. I can tell you that he is not alone in Nigeria, there are millions of Nigerians that we come across day-by-day that are corrupt-free.”

Dogara, who made an allusion to the Holy Scriptures, said: “As a representative of history, a prophet cried to God and said there was no pure prophet anymore, that they had all bowed their knees to Baal. God replied this prophet that He had reserved in that city thousands who had not bowed their knees to Baal.

“There are millions of Nigerians that have not bent their knees to the god of corruption, that fact I must emphasize.”

Also, Dogara said the building of the new EFCC headquarters was a demonstration of the Federal Government’s commitment to the fight against corruption.

The Speaker explained that it was necessary for the government to now begin to place emphasis on staff and officials of the commission whose trust and sacrifice is critical to the entire anti-corruption war.

“Mr. President, we have the responsibility to insulate the officers and men of this agency from temptation and that means we have to better their condition of service,” he added.

 

In his remarks, Buhari told the gathering that he will not be deterred from continuing with his anti-corruption war despite prevailing hitches.

The President said he was imprisoned for three years the last time he made an attempt to fight corruption in the country.

He said: “My first attempt to fight corruption, corruption fought back. I was detained for three years. In spite of that, my objective of fighting corruption remains steadfast.

“I have made significant progress on fighting corruption since 2015. We are pursuing corruption everywhere.

 

“I see in the office the resolve of Nigerians to fight corruption. We must change our ways of handling public trust. War on corruption is not easy to fight. We must encourage Nigerians to change their attitude. We are not engaged in witch-hunting,” the President added.

Buhari, who said that his administration has made progress in the fight against graft since it took over in 2015, promised to hold corrupt officials to account, no matter how long it takes.

 

The President said his government has recovered trillions of naira that were stolen in the past few years, and is still pursuing recoveries everywhere to make sure that everyone who has been found culpable is made to answer for his or her crime under the law.

While seeking collaboration of the judiciary, which is a critical stakeholder and partner in the war against graft, the President also called on the legislature which provides the framework for the anti-corruption war to add more verve to the determination of his government to rid the brazen menace witnessed in recent years.

This, he said, could be done through the review of archaic provisions in the country’s laws and proactive passage of new legislations.

“We must change our ways of handling public trust. Corruption not only kills governments, but destroys societies. It is the major reason why we are struggling with basic developmental issues that other comparable nations have long overcome.

 

“War of corruption is not an easy one to fight, because it affects so many different branches of our lives, so much that some people do not even consider breaking trust is anymore a crime. It has become the norm. That is why we must fight this attitude and encourage Nigerians to change their attitudes and perspectives.

“The goal of this administration is to ensure the protection of public trust, and the anti-corruption war is at its centre. We never intended, and we are not engaged in witch-hunt, but we are determined within the laws to call people to account,” he said.
Buhari further appealed to Nigerians to support regulatory agencies like EFCC, adding that fighting corruption is everyone’s concern.

Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, told guests at the event that the new building was conceived in 2005 with the contract awarded to construction giant, Julius Berger in 2010.
According to him, the headquarters will accommodate 700 staff members of the organisation and has a laboratory and health facility.

 

Magu said that since Buhari took over office in 2015, the EFCC has secured about 486 convictions, with 89 of them secured in 2018 alone. The commission, he said, has recovered about N500 billion looted funds.

“From January to date, we have secured 89 convictions. We have secured 486 convictions in two and half years.

 

“So far, we have recovered over N500 billion. We are also making strides as regards prosecution of high profile cases,” Magu said.

To demonstrate the renewed efforts at prosecuting and convicting high-profile individuals, Magu drew attention to the recent conviction of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dr. Joseph Nwobike.

Magu said: “For the first time in history, we have secured the conviction of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

“There is no better time than now to fight corruption so that the international community will no longer view Nigeria as fantastically corrupt.”

Dignitaries at the event included Secretary General of the Commonwealth of Nations, Baroness Patricia Scotland; former President of South Africa, Mr. Thabo Mbeki, federal lawmakers, ministers and traditional rulers, among others.

 

The new office is located in Jabi area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The construction of the new building, which is fully funded by the Federal Government, cost about N24 billion.

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Jonathan warns Buhari against rigging Ekiti poll

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan has cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari against succumbing to pressure to subjugate democracy by rigging the Ekiti State governorship election, in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC), stating that such action would haunt him at the end of his tenure.

 

Dr. Jonathan also advised him against bowing to any such pressure to use presidential powers negatively, but urged President Buhari to use his powers to strengthen democracy in Nigeria. The former President, who gave this advice during the inauguration of the first over-head bridge in Ado- Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, warned that President Buhari would be haunted by posterity if he does “because what you go with is the name that you leave behind.”

 

His words: “I don’t believe anybody can defeat the PDP in Ekiti if election is going to be held. I want to advise President Buhari not to deploy power to truncate Ekiti election. Though as a President, you have the power, but don’t do that because of posterity. History will record whatever you do and the power of a leader is determined after leaving office and not when he is in the office.

 

“The will of the people must be allowed to stand at all times, because power belongs to them and we must respect their verdict through the ballots. I am using this opportunity to call on Mr. President. I was there, and

 

I know (that) when you are there, there is so much pressure from everybody to use all the powers you have to subjugate democracy,” he said. He, therefore, called on Buhari not to bow to pressure by attempting to subjugate democracy in Nigeria, as doing that would amount to undermining the country’s path to greatness.

 

Jonathan said that advanced countries of the world today achieved greatness from the selfless sacrifices made by both leaders and followers. Part of the sacrifices, he said, made by their leaders includes not interfering with the democratic process that brings in successive leaders into office.

 

“All the great democracies you are seeing in the world, those great countries were built by people who made sacrifices to make their countries great.” Jonathan also used the opportunity to commend Nigerian youths whom he described as great and hardworking people. Although he admitted that the youths were confronted with challenges, especially not being encouraged with creativity, he called on governments at all levels to encourage them to be hard-working. He further stated: “We have challenges – no power for creativity. With the limits we have, we know the great things you are doing.”

 

The former President expressed optimism that with the level of support by the people, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is a party to beat in the forthcoming election. Jonathan further called on Ekiti people to vote for the PDP in the July 14 governorship polls even as he thanked them for their support to Governor Ayodele Fayose. He commended PDP for choosing youthful governorship candidate and his running mate, adding: “Nigerian youths are not lazy. I don’t believe that, because I have worked with them closely.

They are great people with great potential who should be celebrated by any leader.” In a veiled reference to Buhari’s recent statement abroad, he said “As leaders we must make sure we present a country that will make us proud and not to use our country as a negative example in Africa to the outside world.

 

The idea of portraying Nigerians’ negative manners had occurred on two occasions under this present government. These are mistakes we should not make.” He thanked the people for their support for the PDP since 2015 and urged them to do more in the coming governorship election.

 

“Fayose will never compromise the interest of Ekiti people for anything. He is a leader who speaks truth to power. In fact, Fayose is a leader and he has done well for his people. Any leader who wants to encourage his people must encourage the education of the youth. If you don’t encourage the youths, they will be exploited. “As youths, you have to be aware that we are operating a knowledge-based economy. So you must be proficient in the use of computer. You can’t compromise this if you want to fit into the 21st  century economy,” he said.

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Nigeria more transparent under Buhari –Lai Mohammed

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Solicits TI’s support on anti-graft war

 

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said Nigeria is more transparent under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. The Minister said this to a delegation of Transparent International (TI) led by its Chair, Delia Ferreira Rubio, who visited him in Abuja, saying President Buhari’s  administration is committed to eradicating corruption in the country. “Nigeria has never had a more transparent and more accountable government than the Buhari’s administration,” the Minister said.

 

He regretted that TI and the local civil society organisations affiliated to it have not offered the necessary support to the Federal Government in its anti-corruption war. The Minister, therefore, called on TI to support Buhari’s ant-corruption war, especially in the area of advocacy and capacity building. He noted that when the government disclosed that 55 people stole N1.34 trillion between 2006 and 2013, a section of the civil society alleged that the publication was one-sided, instead of supporting the govern  ment’s action.

 

He tasked TI and its affiliates to show more understanding for the sociological complexities of fighting corruption in Nigeria since the nation operates a federal system of government. The Minister said Nigeria is succeeding in its anti-corruption fight because the fight is led by a President, whose integrity is beyond reproach, noting that his worst critics won’t say he indulges in or encourages corruption.

 

Earlier, Ms Ferreira Rubio had told the minister that her visit to Nigeria, which incidentally was her first in Africa, because the country can set the tone for the continent in the fight against corruption.

 

She added that TI’s mandate is to offer support through civil society organisations and the private sector to foster the fight against corruption. Ms Rubio advised that while the government is doing a lot to fight corruption, it should ensure more transparency and more efficiency in service delivery.

 

“We are not an opposition anywhere in the world. We are just an NGO working in over 100 countries of the world. We are not enemies. We are here to help,” she said.

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Woman appeals to IG over missing husband

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She should check SARS –PPRO

 

Mrs. Adeshina, wife of a Lagos State politician, Mr. Okokuku Adeshina, has called on the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris (IGP), to warn and caution his officers as not only her husband’s life is in danger but all. Tina, who spoke with journalists over the weekend, said Idris should compel his officers and men to stop being instruments in the hands of politicians who use them to harass their opponents.

 

The distraught woman disclosed how some policemen stormed their house at Ikorodu area of the state on Tuesday evening, and without any search warrant, and whisked her husband away to an unknown destination.

 

According to her, she said her husband called her with an unknown number two days after he was whisked away by the policemen, who wore antirobbery jackets over the mufti clothes, and told her to run far away with the children.

 

She said, her husband told her that it was a political big wig in the state that was behind his present travails in order to win him over to his camp. “My husband called me with an unknown number and said I should take the children to a safe place that the policemen that came to arrest him on the pretence over land dispute are actually working for an opposition politician who wants him to join his party,” she lamented.

 

“Yesterday, an unknown number called me again and I quickly answered thinking it was my husband but the person on the line told me that my husband had escaped.

 

I haven’t been able to get through to him on his phone since the day he was taken away and the man that called claimed to be a policeman that helped him escape, while on their way to the hospital. I believe that my life and those of my children are now also in danger and I don’t want to die,” Mrs. Adeshina cried. However, when contacted, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Chike Oti said, he was not aware of the arrest.

 

Oti, however, said Mrs. Adeshina should go to SARS office to check if her husband is there. It is only when she has done this that he would then know what to do.

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