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DEBO ADENIRAN response to question about the delay of Repatriation of the Corrupt Leaders

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DEBO ADENIRAN

Answer-The main thing that is stopping the repatriation is the inadequate commitment of the countries where Nigeria fugitives that are running away from their well-deserved trial for corrupt practices put Nigerian youth into. The countries are usually reluctant because they’re enjoyed the benefit of the loot that the Nigerian looters keep in their countries and they are not fully cooperative when it comes to extraditing them. The repatriation of Nigeria fugitives that are running away from trials for the corrupt crimes they have committed has been like that because the countries where they are granted residence are always reluctant to release them because they are enjoyed the benefit of the loot that have been kept in safe haven in their countries.

The countries are not unaware that those individuals couldn’t have owned the money in their various financial institution through legitimate means, they knew that it could have been stolen money from Nigeria but because they want the money to work for them for some time they are lackadaisical about cooperating with Nigeria towards repatriation of the money and extradition of the fugitive that have stolen it and they are hiding it in their country. They are also not in a hurry to let Nigeria have the benefit of those loots so that Nigeria will remain perpetually underdeveloped and they would be able to keep lauding it over Nigeria as one of the third world country that will be unable to develop its own industry so that they would keep on using Nigeria as a source of raw materials while they would be shipping their finished products to Nigeria as a veritable market for all the junks that they manufactured in their countries. So it is also because the Global Organisation UN has not given tits to several extant conventions that could have compel those countries to repatriate the stolen goods and money and extradite those who stole them through the mutual legal assistant treaty that we entered with many of these countries, at least Nigeria has mutual legal assistant treaty with UK, Switzerland and few other countries where some of the fugitives are hiding.

It is deliberate on the parts of those countries to deny Nigeria the benefit of his own wealth that’s why they are reluctant to extradite them and the corrupt elements that are hiding in those countries are shameless set of people who are not in a hurry to clear their name of corruption charges that are hanging on them. They know that Nigeria laws against corruption criminals is still very weak especially when it allows them to enter into plea bargaining that will lead to little of no conviction at the end of their trails so that they will be seen as just the regular political elite in Nigeria. So they know that there’s no stigma for stealing in the Nigeria status growth, that Nigeria status growth will not confer any stigma on them so they can still walk the streets free men and women even if they don’t clear their name forever, basically that might be the reason.

Another question was asked stating ‘should the Federal Government be blamed for it? HOC responded by saying not so much so we blamed the countries where this people are hidden and the weak international laws that should safeguard the interest of members countries that are not made effective by members countries too. The only area where we could blame the country that is Nigeria for is that the effort being made to get these people extradited for trial seems to be very weak; there had been adequate advocacy across the globe on the need to extradite these fugitives back to Nigeria to face trial. Places where protocols were to be observed the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice seems not also be in a hurry to get the protocol fulfilled so that these people would be transported back. However, it is the bottle neck that the resident countries for the fugitives dated that’s causing the long widening and ungulating protocol that the attorney-General is not in a hurry to go through.

Can Judiciary Be Blamed For The Delayed? It is not the case of those who have run outside the country, it is those that are within the country and are undergoing trials that we can blame the judiciary for. Yes to some extent actually more of the fault of the litigant the accused persons who have identify lawyers that have perfected the strategy of delaying cases and like i said the other time, many of them are not in a hurry to clear their names of the culpability or otherwise of corruption crime that are hung on their neck because the law does not shame adequately until recent times most of the judgement, punishment melted out on them are like slap on the wrist kind of punishment which didn’t deterred them from committing corruption crime.

So basically it is really some judicial officers not all of them, we know that some judges are corrupt and they also give room for the criminals to escape justices. And some lawyers and their consultant and alter-egos who will find every loophole to use technicality or may be delay tactics to prolong the adjudication into the cases. And that is why Orjis Okalu case took about 12 or more years, Jolly Iyanme and Joshua Dariye took nothing less than 8years of trial because of the delay tactics. They use all strategies and tricks under the heaven to make sure that the case didn’t progress in court despite the new administration of criminal justices act, they didn’t allow it to work the way the trackers of that laws have suggested. So basically it is not the court most of the time delayed it but some judiciary officers and the litigant themselves you know they much money with which they can bribe everybody to cause unnecessary delays and adjournment in their cases.

Judgement of Death Penalty? Ordinary I didn’t support the death penalty because when the wife kills the husband and the state kills the wife, the children would be left to suffer on their own and the country would have lost two man power so that is two human resources that could be useful to Nigeria. Nobody is completely useless not matter how criminally minded he is they only needed to be properly trained. If somebody kills you don’t need to kill that person because of whatever potentials that he or she has could be useful even when you sentence such a person to life imprisonment that would have been okay. But i don’t believe that it is the delayed that lead to death penalty, it is the fact that when you killed somebody the meditated murder the penalty in our status quote is death that was what has been handed down on her. Yes it doesn’t matter what leads to the altercation or to the struggle that lead to death of the husband as long as it has been proven that she actually stab him to death that is the judgement prepared by our laws of the land so she may not be able to do otherwise, it is after thought that she came up with so argument even when it has become a possible for us to hear from the other side and you can’t just take one side of the story no matter how palatable it sounds, the other party have the opportunity of explaining his own side. There is no good reasons why anyone should take the life of another because that means that all the right that the dead had have been put to perpetual jeopardy you can’t defend any right when the right to life has been taken so that is why we believe that the maximum sentence is to dead. The Nigeria should review his death penalties law to reflect the needs of the country for human resources and the man power development.

Removal of Service Chief? I think each service chief has about two years tenure and these people have spent more than 4 years in offices and they are due for retirement and i would not know why the president his still keeping them. Am not of the school of thought that because they have runs out of strategies, ideas to secure Nigeria, we have not find it easy since a very long time to curb securities issues like; brigandage, banditry, herdsmen, insurgencies, militancy, outright terrorism and all other. It has always been with us and it was even fiercer during the last administration before the present than now because a lot of people have argued that may be more people have been killed, I don’t believe so because in those days territories were claimed by the terrorist, we have issue and now and then we know that the caution of issuer may not have been easy if they are no foreign backup against Nigeria those that wouldn’t want Nigerian to successed.

And you also know that the kind of bitter politics that we play in Nigeria could give rise to sabotage. So the opposition may be deliberate in empowering the bandits and the insurgence and all of them to sabotage the effort of the government. Remember that until when the borders were closed the issues of clashes between farmers and herdsmen was everyday issue but that has come down drastically when the borders were closed. Then that will give flesh to the argument that some foreigners could have being the one that are invading Nigeria’s farm in review to driving them away from their farm so that their won’t be enough produce and if their no enough produce we may want to import from neighbouring countries and we will still result to Petrol-dollar instead of Agro-dollar that the government says is working towards on. So basically we can’t rule out the possibility of sabotage when it comes to insurgency but then there must be a wisdom behind the drafters of the law that gives two years tenure to service chiefs, once it has lapse, may be you renew it and it has lapse again then you don’t need to keep on keeping them.

We may not be totally inform of what the President or Commander-in Chief consider to have retained them but if he doesn’t want to tell us we will only raise our own argument that their tenure has expired and the normal thing to do is to change them. If there are any objective reasons why he wants to retain them he should let us known so that our analysis of issues around it will be more objective. I believe that we have only one Nigeria Army and Nigeria Armed Forces so they are still from the same forces that we are going to draw more new Officers that will mount various position although there could be internal rancour among the Services if it was time to promote them and they don’t get the promotion well that may be a disadvantage but until the Commander in Chief tell us why he still retaining those people may be its from his own assessment having the benefit of high sight as a former military officer and Head of State he might know and he might have discovered that those are the best hands he could use for now because if he changed them and anything should go wrong, he also the chief accounting officer for everything that happens in this country and he will also take the blame so he might be thinking it time to do what is considered to be needful.

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF A COLLOQUIUM HELD IN HONOUR OF COMRADE DEBO ADENIRAN AS PART OF ACTIVITIES TO CELEBRATE HIS 60TH BIRTHDAY.

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COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF A COLLOQUIUM HELD IN HONOUR OF COMRADE DEBO ADENIRAN AS PART OF ACTIVITIES TO CELEBRATE HIS 60TH BIRTHDAY.

UNDER THE AUSPICES OF DEBO DISCUSSIONS – Dialectical Extrapolation on Babelian Oddities
THEME: LAUNDERED LOOT AS POTENTIAL FOREIGN RESERVE FOR AN ECONOMY: WHAT LESSONS FROM NIGERIA’S ABACHA
DATE: 15th May, 2020 TIME: 12 NOON

PREAMBLE
The colloquium was held at the Talk Hall, Angle 1706, Sango- Otta in honour of the Comrade Debo Adeniran, Executive Chairman of the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) as he marked his 60th birthday. Due to the need to observe social distancing and other protocols introduced by the Federal Government’s to prevent the spread of the dreaded Corona virus only about 15 participants were at the Venue. Most of the discussants joined the colloquium online via Zoom. DEBO Discussions is a regular interactive forum inaugurated on the day and is meant to hold at regular intervals as a retirement engagement by the Celebrant. The forum is meant to find meeting point on what is said, promised or meant by duty bearers (ruling elites) and what is understood, expected or desired by right holders (the citizenry) on socio-economic and political issues at different levels of government in Nigeria.

During the discussion, some observations were made by participants concerning the looted funds in Nigeria.

OBSERVATIONS
1. That there had been too much emphasis on the late dictator Gen. Sani Abacha’s loot whereas there are still many more looted funds stashed away in foreign banks while the culprits are moving about freely just because they are still alive.
2. That other past heads of state who are suspected of looting public treasury during their tenure in office should also be probed and their loot equally recovered
3. That such recovered loot could be used to provide critical infrastructures for the country.
4. That it is unfortunate that some of the petitions submitted to anti-corruption agencies by civil society organizations were not investigated.
5. That foreign countries that received these looted funds always paid back such funds without interest despite using them to develop their economies but give stringent conditions to repatriate the recovered loot.
6. That our foreign reserve is denominated in U.S dollars while America’s reserve is denominated in Gold which makes it less volatile like the U.S dollar.
7. That the youth of today are not showing much interest in assuming leadership positions.

RECOMMENDATIONS
Participants at the colloquium recommended as follows:
1. That the various petitions against corruption submitted by civil society organizations should be investigated while indicted culprits be properly prosecuted, their loots recovered and adequately punished.
2. That our leaders must be responsible, transparent, accountable and be just while holding public offices.
3. That anyone who has been accused of any corrupt act should not be allowed to contest public offices in any part of the country.
4. In view of number three recommendation above, the participants were of the opinion that our judicial system should be empowered to facilitate quick dispensation of justice especially on corruption matters so as not to deny innocent people their democratic right.
5. There is an urgent need to give the right education to Nigerian youths and re-orientate them so as to sharpen their leadership skills and prevent them from being perpetually enslaved by the ruling class.
6. The participants also encouraged the youths to know and bn always aware of their roles in the society.
7. It was also recommended that the discussion should not be limited to an online event and that it should be held at regular intervals.
8. That those guilty of corruption charges should be seriously punished and sanctioned so as to serve as deterrent to others.

CONCLUSION
In conclusion, participants at the colloquium commended the organizer of the colloquium for using the occasion of his birthday to discuss an issue that is so germane to national development and congratulated him on the occasion of his 60th birthday.

PARTICIPANTS AT THE COLLOQUIUM
1. DEBO ADENIRAN
2. RT. HON. ADEYEMI IKUFORIJI (Former Speaker Lagos State House of Assembly)
3. Mrs. ABIMBOLA JUNAID
4. COMRADE DIDI ADODO
5. BARRISTER FEMI FALANA (SAN)
6. COMRADE MARK ADEBAYO
7. COMRADE OLAWALE ISMAIL
8. MRS. ABIMBOLA ADEGOKE ADEBAJO
9. MR AKIN AWOKUNLE
10. AREMO KAYODE MICHAEL
11. BABAJIDE
12. COMRADE (BARR) FEMI ABORISADE
13. JULIET ISI IKHAYERE
14. KOMOLAFE TEMITOPE
15. OKECKUKWU NDIRIBE
16. PELUMI FAULKNER
17. EGBINOLA BUKKY
18. ADESANMI ADEJOKE
19. AWE OLUWASEUN
20. TOLA ORESANWO
21. LANRE LEGACY ADELEKE
22. COMRADE LEKE ADEBANJO
23. Ms GBADEBO OMOTAYO
24. MR MUIDEEN OYEWOLE
25. COMRADE ABIODUN AREMU
26. MR FAWOLE RAPHAEL
27. CAPTAIN OGUNBIYI ABIODUN
28. OYEDEJI BOLADALE
29. EDU ALFRED
30. ALFRED AKEREJOLA
31. MR IDOGA ISAAC
32. MOTONI TAYE
33. OYEDOKUN FLORENCE
34. KOLA ARE
35. TOPE SOYOMI
36. OGBENI KOLAWOLE ISOLA (Represented Rt Hon Olakunle Oluomo, Speaker Ogun State House of Assembly)
37. OLASUPO OMOLUABI
38. TAJUDEEN O ANIMASHUN
39. HON KEHINDE JOSEPH (Represented Rt Hon Mudashiru Obasa, Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly)
40. COMRADE TUNDE ABIOYE
41. ADENIRAN BOLANLE
42. MAJOR JIMOH OLEGBILE
43. MR MUSIBAU OGUNLADE
44. MR OLAWALE SHOROYEUN
45. MR AKINNIYI SUNDAY
46. MISS TITILAYO KOLAWOLE
47. MR CHRISTIAN JOHNSON
48. MISS OMOLARA ABDULATEEF
49. MRS ADIJAT
50. MR TAIWO DAVID
51. ALHAJI WAHAB NIRAN ADEWOYIN
52. COMRADE OLA AGBOOLA
53. MR KABIRU
54. CHIEF JELILI ADELEKE
55. MR ARISE ADELEKE
56. MISS SAIDAT IDOWU
57. ALHAJI ABIODUN OLAJIDE
58. MRS OLUYEMISI ABIODUN

Signed:
Tola Oresanwo
On Behalf of the Organizing Committee

CORNERING 60 AS A SOCIAL GADFLY

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DEBO ADENRIAN

14th May, 2020 Press Statement

CORNERING 60 AS A SOCIAL GADFLY

It was fortuitous that he was born shortly before the Union Jack was lowered in the most populous black nation in the world, one of Nigeria’s longest serving social activists and Executive Chairman of Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, Mr Debo Adeniran seems to have his pathway in life already cut in struggle of sorts as the journey of affirmation of his own portion was greatly defined by what actions he could take to not jeopardize his role in life against the existential realities of his time and place. Born into a family of 9 children, the fifth in line and for parents that were largely peasants with major preoccupation as farming in Iresi, a small town in Osun state, he instinctively knew education must be a fancy and springboard towards whatever providence laid in front of life sojourn.

Since a sister was already attending primary school, he decided to push himself into school even without the prevailing rituals of parental accompaniment, raising one of his hands to touch left or right ears, etc. and resolved to begin classes early enough in 1965 as a five-year old. Incidentally, his parents wanted more of him on the farmland before he would grow up enough to start schooling like most others in his age-grade within the metropolis. The presence of a bully that was in same class and quite bigger and older finally ensured he waited till following academic session before he could start his academic sojourn at Baptist Day School, Iresi still at a tender age of six years old. This was followed up by an admission into Baptist Secondary Modern School as an existing post primary school in the town. He later applied and completed his Grade 2 education between 1973/74 and finished in 1976. Against his parents’ objection for further education to the paucity of funds, he sought admission to Ogbomoso High School but later settled for Odo-Otin Grammar School that was later closed down by the then Western state government. At a time, he, like others, were asked to bring his parents to the school as he wrote to mirror things happening in the school under the pseudo name, ‘Pen in my blood’ that also x-rays inadequacies of administration in the school. He therefore had to ‘rent’ a parent, Prince Abidoye, Uncle to former Governor of Osun State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola.

Through sheer determination and grit, Debo Adeniran, pursued his dream of higher education by self- sponsorship, albeit with support from his siblings, and attended Adeyemi College of Education, Ile-Ife in 1984, almost simultaneously with part-time (Distance Learning) classes at University of Lagos (Unilag) WITH Biology as a course of study. He was a Reggae musician and a member of the Rastafari movement, Rainbow Organization of Rastafarians of Nigeria (ROOTRON) where he met and became friends with late Rasta Kimono, Black Rice (Black O’ Rise), Olusegun Maiyegun (RedDrum) and many others. He was later introduced to Fela Anikuapo-Kuti (Abami Eda) and made to do his musical rehearsals at the shrine and later met with Dr. Bekolari Ransome-Kuti with whom he immediately got closer like fish takes to water. One of the remarkable steps that catapulted him to reckoning as a force within the Nigeria’s Human Rights group was when in late 80’s Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, IBB, the then Nigeria’s maximum military ruler was to be made the ‘Jagunmolu of Ibadanland’ by the Olubadan of Ibadan. He, with the late Gani Fawehinmi as his lawyer, challenged the proposed conferment in court as he insisted that Babangida had not done anything worthy for such recognition in Yorubaland or Nigeria as a whole. Before the case could be heard at the Federal High Court, Ibadan Debo’s part of Oyo state was carved out and named Osun State. That smart act by the self-acclaimed Evil Genius removed Debo’s locus standi to institute the action. This was at the same time that Mr Debo Adeniran was also collaborating with many other frontliners, like Alao Aka-Bashorun, Dr Friedrick Fasehun, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Comrade Ola Oni, Kanmi Ishola-Oshobu, Prof Toye Olorode, Dr Oladipo Fashina (Jingo) and the rest of the Ife Collective, Baba Omolola, Bamidele Aturu, Gani Fawehinmi, SAN, SAM, Femi Falana, and many others to protest the clampdown on activists, ostensibly over their opposition to IMF-induced Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) an its anti-poor conditionalities.

A veteran of many agitations to make Nigeria’s ruling class more accountable and responsible, he suffered many detentions and inhumanity, especially from the military, which he insisted has no business with governance and should return the country to a democratic order to birth rule of law rather than retroactive decrees that rarely satisfy conditions for accountability, equity and openness that remain natural ingredients for good governance and societal progress. He co-founded and served many mass-based organizations like: –
➢ National President, Youth Environmental Programme for West Africa (YEPWA)
➢ Pioneer Secretary-General, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR)
➢ First General Secretary, Gani Fawehinmi Solidarity Association (GFSA)
➢ Inaugural Assistant General Secretary, Campaign for Democracy (CD)
➢ Founding General Secretary, Movement for Yoruba Autonomy (MOYA)
➢ Principal, Grassroots PowerPoint Institute for Political Education (GPIPE)
➢ Head, Strategy Committee, Centre for Constitutional Governance (CCG)
➢ National Coordinator, Child Help in Leadership, Democracy Rights and Education in Nigeria
(CHILDREN) Project
➢ Executive Chairman, Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL)
➢ National Chairman, People’s Action for Democracy (PAD)
➢ Founding Member, SAVE NIGERIA GROUP (SNG)
➢ Founding member, National Intervention Group (NIG)
➢ Head Consultant, First Faculty Ventures (FFV)
➢ Chairman/CEO, FirstFun Ventures
➢ Editor-in-Chief, Corruption-Watch

With the rapid depletion of the pool of Activists or what could be termed as conscientious objectors in the country and apparent disinterest in speaking truth to power by the holloi polloi or same elements that suffer serious jeopardy due to maladministration, occasioned by economic mismanagement and despoliation, we appreciate the goodness in having a rich reservatory and encyclopaedia of modern struggles in reinventing Nigeria. As he celebrates his silver jubilee today, 15th May, 2020, it offers the younger generation of Nigerians a rich opportunity to reflect on the right values of Hard-work, Honesty, Boldness, Resilience and Focus as against the get rich syndrome that seems to override all interests and considerations today. Just as that revolutionary Africa author, Frantz Fanon noted, “Every Generation, must out of obscurity, discover its mission, and either fulfil or betray it.” This admonition is moot when the youth as compelling majority of Nigeria, reflects and resolves on redirecting their purpose towards achieving the much needed and true change for Africa renaissance….

60 Hearty Gbosas for Debo Adeniran, the living anti-Corruption crusader in our today’s troubling nation.

Ikenna Aghagbobi
For: Coordinator of Media and Publications, CACOL

CACOL ESTABLISHES ITS C-GATE ANTI-CORRUPTION CAMPAIGNER IN VARIOUS LGAs IN LAGOS STATE

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The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOl has inaugurated its Good Governance, Accountability, Transparency Education (C-GATE) programme in ten units from various local government areas, LGAs, in Lagos state.
In a release issued by its Media and Publications Officer, Toyin Odofin on behalf of the Executive Chairman of the Centre, Debo Adeniran he noted “ this inauguration is a culmination of various activities hitherto embarked upon towards taking full ownership of the fight against corruption in the country. It would be recalled that since the advent of this democracy which many observers, nationwide and internationally, prefer to describe as a civil rule rather than true or wholesale democracy, successive governments have enacted one law or policy programme to fight the menace of corruption. Incidentally, none of this policy formulation has been able to effectively tackle corruption in a very radical and ground sweeping manner, devoid of sentiments, cherry-picking or favouritism to provide enough deterrence that would at least, discourage majority of our public office holders from corruptive acts. This programme is for our anti-corruption educators at the grassroots, which was aimed to watershed our onerous assignment of stamping out corruption out of Nigeria’s body polity.
In Nigeria today, the effects of corruption has been felt and identified as a major cause of why we remain a mono-cultural economy, why our refineries were destroyed and we have become the only oil-producing nation without a single petroleum refinery with just campaign promises that have remained a pipe dream and nothing but ‘political promises’ till date. Up till this moment, Nigeria has no single law that empowers our anti-corruption agencies on inviting and interrogating those that are suspected of living above their means to either explain the source of such sudden wealth or forfeit same. All this has further confirmed our fear and suspicion that, as the conscience of the nation, the civil society (of which the Media is an integral part) cannot and must not leave the fight for eliminating the ugly ogre of corruption from our social space or at least, reduce it to the barest minimum. It is in this wise that CACOL has initiated this programme, which has been running concurrently in both Lagos and Osun states, to take the fight against corruption from the same elites that are responsible for our economic woes and social miasma, and owns the fight for necessary result and effectiveness.

The CACOL boss added, “Consequently, this event climaxed series of enlightenment and education on what constitutes corruption, how to identify, shame and shun it; as well as best ways of engaging our budding public office holders from campaign stage to assumption of office at various levels. Ten different units were instituted and given their authority banner (s) to show their authenticity of CACOL’s insignia. With this formal inauguration of ambassadors or foot-soldiers of CACOL’S anti-corruption campaign, the aim is to ensure that Nigeria does not remain the same in our crusade for a sanitized and corruption-free society.”

CACOL BACKS CALLS FOR PROBE OF FEDERAL ALLOCATIONS TO OTHER TIERS OF GOVERNMENT

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The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL in a release by its Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran and signed by Adegboyega Otunuga, its Coordinator, Media and Publications, Adegboyega Otunuga, has lent its voice to the call for the Federal Government to probe virtually all the states’ governments in the federation and their local councils’ counterparts for not just their allocations accruable from federal governments but also other sources like their internally generated revenue (IGR) extracted from taxes, rates and usage of its properties and cognate holdings. This is primarily necessary as they all hold these fiscal functions on behalf of the people and not just on behalf of selves.

The Anti-Corruption tsar noted, “ In lending our voice to the general calls of Nigerians in groups and as individuals, for proper accountability and probity to be fostered in the country, we hereby call on the federal government of Nigeria through the office of the Attorney General of the federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and other relevant anti-corruption agencies, to spring into action and probe how the allocations to all the 36 (Thirty-six) states and 772 (Seven Hundred and Seventy-Two) local governments, including those local council areas created for ease of administration, were managed so far by those levers of government. This would go a long way in recovering much of the public funds and federal allocations that have been whimsically and carelessly siphoned by at those levels. This becomes germane when we consider how the states’ governments have shortchanged many of the local governments in their allocations by diverting such into their private pockets while on occasions, they both collaborate to loot such resources to the detriment of the general public and the society at large, which should naturally profit from those resources.

“As much as CACOL backs the calls for financial autonomy of the local governments without any let or hindrance, we must note that both the 1979 and 1999 Constitutions of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the United Nations Convention and African Union Charter Against Corruption, etc., clearly confer such oversight powers on the Federal Government and its agencies. This is so even if the polity is to restructure today for greater effectiveness and accountability. Without such leverage, the other tiers of government become a Lord of the manor and consequently deny the people, in whose custody the sovereignty must rest, the benefits of government. This is why in other climes, the local councils as the nearest authority to the grassroots, usually provide those salient services like housing/council flats, primary health care, neighbourhood roads, good drainage system, interconnectivity within the areas, etc., which makes governance more impactful to all and sundry. The National Assembly is, on the other hand, empowered and mandated to perform similar oversight on the finances of the Federal Government towards discouraging incidences of impunity and conspiracy at mismanaging the collective resources.”

The CACOL boss added, “Without any equivocation, it is very clear that the drafters of our Constitution and Presidential Model of governance, could not have wanted a ‘jungle Republic’ where anything goes as many of our officeholders behave at a different stage of governance today. For the entire country to be sanitized and ridden of corruption, the searchlight must be beamed on these other levers such that the kind of recklessness and official irresponsibility that led to a situation where a Councillor was collecting higher salary and emoluments than a University Professor in our clime during this same dispensation in the past, would not rear its ugly head again. We are seriously convinced that if much of the wastage and mismanagement that afflict our state governments and their local councils are checkmated, governance would take on a more relieving nature and make life more abundant for our people.”

FORFEITURE OF ALUKO’S USD73MN, N350MN PROPERTIES: CACOL HAILS ORDER

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The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has praised the order of the Federal High court in Lagos concerning three (3) properties that hitherto belonged to Kola Aluko, a known ally of former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke, following an ex parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In a release issued by CACOL’s Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran and signed by the anti-graft organization’s Coordinator for Media and Publications, Adegboyega Otunuga, he stated, “We received the news of the forfeiture order on certain properties that were located in choice areas, both in Lagos and Abuja by Kola Aluko, one of the closest allies to former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke. These properties in question were on Plot 3389 and Plot 3390, House 2, Margaret Thatcher Close, Asokoro Cadastral Zone, Abuja as well as Avenue Towers, Plot 1391, Tiamiyu Savage Street, Victoria Island, Lagos. They were reportedly bought for N350mn, USD18mn and USD55mn (Three Hundred and Fifty Million Naira, Eighteen Million American Dollars and Fifty-Five Million Dollars) respectively totalling over Twenty Billion Naira (N20bn) as purchased sum for the properties illicitly acquired altogether.

“CACOL under its former name Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders had first blown the cover on the illegal acquisition of these properties through illicit funds of corruption by writing petitions to the EFCC about six (6) years ago. This is after we received an intelligence report on how Mrs. Allison Diezani was embarking on unethical conduct and secret transfer of production rights in the oil mining leases through various cronies. Prominent among the companies used to perpetrate these frauds were KAA and Atlantic Energy Holding Limited, based in the British Virgin Island after receiving humongous and suspicious transfers from its sister companies namely, Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited and Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited that were based in Nigeria. Through our investigation, we were able to discover that all this manifest corrupt dealings went on for over three years, resulting in siphoning and looting of the country’s scarce resources. It is therefore, relieving and huge justifications of our principled stance that grabbed corruption by our esteemed public officials, is primarily responsible for the effervescent poverty, suffering and situation of want and helplessness the ordinary Nigerians have been made to confront in their daily existence. This is considering the fact that if a snippet of stealing could result into over N20bn (Twenty Billion) being spent on properties, you could then imagine how much has been stacked away by this same element in the course of this condemnable gang-looting of our commonwealth. Little wonders then that our roads are largely not motorable and our public hospitals are without drugs, while poverty walks on all fours in the country.”

The CACOL Boss added, “It is so unfortunate or rather very ridiculous and inexplicable that the name Allison Diezani Madueke today, is synonymous with everything that is vile, preposterous and repugnant especially where corruption is concerned. After all the opportunities offered her to serve the generality of the people in Nigeria, she simply went ahead to coordinate a corruption ring which intent was to fleece the entire nation and thereby render its economy prostate. Her team and tenure while she called the shots as number one in the petroleum sector represents a monumental disaster and great disservice to the entire country. While we commend the EFCC Team, led by Ibrahim Magu for their relentless fight against official corruption, we implore the presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Liman to, within the stipulated time, issue a final forfeiture order of all the properties and return them to source, the pulse of the Federal Republic of Nigeria while adequate punishments should be meted to serve as a deterrent and a just dessert for evils of corruption and its harbingers.

NDDC: HOW CORRUPTION DESTROYED A MORAL INTERVENTION

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was established in 2000 with the mission of facilitating the rapid, even and sustainable development of the Niger Delta into a region that is economically prosperous, socially stable, ecologically regenerative and politically peaceful. The Niger Delta is today defined officially by the Nigerian government as an area that extends over and about 70,000 km2 (27,000 sq. mi) and makes up 7.5% of Nigeria’s land mass. Historically and cartographically, it consists of present-day Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers States. In 2000, however, Obasanjo’s regime included Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River State, Edo, Imo and Ondo States in the region. It is typically considered to be located within nine coastal southern Nigerian states, which include: all six states from the South-South geopolitical zone, one state (Ondo) from South West geopolitical zone and two states (Abia and Imo) from South East geopolitical zone. Of all the states that the region covers, only Cross River is not an oil-producing state.

The Niger Delta is a very densely populated region sometimes called the Oil Rivers because it was once a major producer of palm oil. The area was the British Oil Rivers Protectorate from 1885 until 1893, when it was expanded and became the Niger Coast Protectorate. The delta is a petroleum-rich region and has been the center of international controversy over pollution, especially caused by oil exploration within the region with the claim of lack of necessary precaution and requisite provisions that could mitigate the ecological disaster occasioned by the oil exploration. The Niger Delta and the South-South geopolitical zone (which contains six of the states in Niger Delta) are two different entities. The Niger Delta separates the Bight of Benin from the Bight of Bonny within the larger Gulf of Guinea. The area was the British Oil Rivers Protectorate from 1885 until 1893, when it was expanded and became the Niger Coast Protectorate. The core Niger Delta later became a part of the eastern region of Nigeria, which came into being in 1951 (one of the three regions, and later one of the four regions). The majority of the people were those from the colonial Calabar and Ogoja divisions, the present-day Ogoja, Annang, Ibibio, Oron, Efik, Ijaw and Ogoni peoples. The National Council of Nigeria and Cameroon (NCNC) was the ruling political party of the region. The NCNC later became the National Convention of Nigerian Citizens, after western Cameroon decided to separate from Nigeria. The ruling party of eastern Nigeria did not seek to preclude the separation and even encouraged it. The then Eastern Region had the third, fourth and fifth largest indigenous ethnic groups in the country including Igbo, Efik-Ibibio and Ijaw.

In 1953, the old eastern region had a major crisis due to the expulsion of Professor Eyo Ita from office by the majority Igbo tribe of the old eastern region. Ita, an Efik man from Calabar, was one of the pioneer nationalists for Nigerian independence. The minorities in the region, the Ibibio, Annang, Efik, Ijaw and Ogoja, were situated along the southeastern coast and in the delta region and demanded a state of their own, the Calabar-Ogoja-Rivers (COR) state. The struggle for the creation of the COR state continued and was a major issue concerning the status of minorities in Nigeria during debates in Europe on Nigerian independence. As a result of this crisis, Professor Eyo Ita left the NCNC to form a new political party called the National Independence Party (NIP) which was one of the five Nigerian political parties represented at the conferences on Nigerian Constitution and Independence.

A new phase of the struggle saw the declaration of an Independent Niger Delta Republic by Isaac Adaka Boro during Nigerian President Ironsi’s administration, just before the Nigerian Civil War.

This new era of resistance in the Niger Delta and local communities led to the demands for both environmental and social justice from the federal government, with Ken Saro Wiwa and the Ogoni tribe presenting themselves as the leading figures for this phase of the struggle. Cohesive oil protests became most pronounced in 1990 with the publication of the Ogoni Bill of Rights. The indigenes protested against the lack of economic development, e.g. schools, good roads, and hospitals, in the region, despite all the oil wealth created. They also complained about environmental pollution and destruction of their land and rivers by foreign oil companies. Ken Saro Wiwa and nine other oil activists from Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) were arrested and killed under Sani Abacha in 1995. Although protests have never been as strong as they were under Saro-Wiwa, there is still an oil reform movement based on peaceful protests today as the Ogoni struggle served as a modern-day eye opener to the Peoples of the region. When long-held concerns about loss of control over resources to the oil companies were voiced by the Ijaw people in the Kaiama Declaration in 1998, the Nigerian government sent troops to occupy the Bayelsa and Delta states. Soldiers opened fire with rifles, machine guns, and tear gas, killing at least three protesters and arresting twenty-five more.

Since then, local indigenous activity against commercial oil refineries and pipelines in the region have increased in frequency and militancy. Recently foreign employees of Shell, the primary corporation operating in the region, were taken hostage by outraged local people. Such activities have also resulted in greater governmental intervention in the area, and the mobilization of the Nigerian army and State Security Service into the region, resulting in violence and human rights abuses. In September 2008, MEND (Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Deltans) led by Asari Dokubo, a former Law student at the University of Port-Harcourt, UniPort, released a statement proclaiming that their militants had launched an “oil war” throughout the Niger Delta against both pipelines and oil-production facilities, and the Nigerian soldiers that protect them. Both MEND and the Nigerian Government claim to have inflicted heavy casualties on one another. In August 2009, the Nigerian government granted amnesty to the militants; many militants subsequently surrendered their weapons in exchange for a presidential pardon, rehabilitation programme, and education.

Since the formation of NDDC in year 2000, its mandate has remained: –

• Formulation of policies and guidelines for the development of the Niger Delta area.
• Conception, planning and implementation, in accordance with set rules and regulations, of projects and programs for sustainable development of the Niger Delta area in the field of transportation including roads, jetties and waterways, health, employment, industrialization, agriculture and fisheries, housing and urban development, water supply, electricity and telecommunications.
• Surveying the Niger Delta in order to ascertain measures necessary to promote its physical and socio-economic development.
• Preparing master plans and schemes designed to promote the physical development of the Niger Delta region and the estimation of the member states of the Commission.
• Implementation of all the measures approved for the development of the Niger Delta region by the Federal Government and the states of the Commission.
• Identify factors inhibiting the development of the Niger Delta region and assisting the member states in the formulation and implementation of policies to ensure sound and efficient management of the resources of the Niger Delta region.
• Assessing and reporting on any project being funded or carried out in the region by oil and gas companies and any other company, including non-governmental organizations, as well as ensuring that funds released for such projects are properly utilized.
• Tackling ecological and environmental problems that arise from the exploration of oil mineral in the Niger Delta region and advising the Federal Government and the member states on the prevention and control of oil spillages, gas flaring and environmental pollution.
• Liaising with the various oil mineral and gas prospecting and producing companies on all matters of pollution, prevention and control.
• Executing such other works and performing such other functions, which in the option of the Commission are required for the sustainable development of the Niger Delta region and its people

For the Commission to be able to achieve all or most of those aforementioned objectives and make the region to be on a sustainable development, the NDDC has collected almost N2tn (Two Trillion Naira) from both the Federal Government, the oil companies operating within the region and internal revenue from taxes, sales, etc. According to the former Acting Managing Director/CEO of the Commission, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, the Federal Government has, since its inception in 2001 to 2015, contributed a total of about N521BN (Five Hundred and Twenty-One billion Naira) to the NDDC while the total contribution of the oil companies is over N940bn (Nine Hundred and Forty Billion Naira) and other sources of revenue, including the internally generated, stands at over N7bn (over Seven billion Naira). She also disclosed that over 8,000 (Eight Thousand) infrastructural projects and five hundred and ninety-four (594) programmes were carried out within same period. Upon all these huge resources so far made available to the Commission, she disclosed that over N900bn (Nine Hundred Billion) Naira remains as shortfall in Federal Government’s contributions to the Commission from inception to date while the commission is yet to receive any contributions from the Ecological Fund since inception and issue as contributions from Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG) from gas processing remains cloudy.

With this much in focus, governors of the states that make up the NDDC, led by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, met with President Buhari at the State House, Abuja within the week and complained about the mammoth corruption and secrecy that have characterized the operations of NDDC, thus robbing the region of its much vaunted goal of setting the region on sustainable development and growth. This prompted the President to declare his intention in ordering a forensic audit of the operations of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) from 2001 to 2019, following persistent criticisms of the operations of the organization by various stakeholders within and outside the region. Since this declaration by President Muhammadu Buhari, many Nigerians have hailed the government for taking this bold step in sanitizing the operations of the NDDC, currently led by Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba and called for complete overhauling of its operations to reposition it for capabilities and result. We cannot but agree with this general opinion that the Niger-Delta Development Commission, NDDC, as a child of necessity that birthed during a most checkered history of the region, though has achieved some remarkable feats since inception; but like most good things ever created in Nigeria, has been tainted with corruption in its operations thus denying the region the grace of its full benefits. This is why we expect all stakeholders, particularly from the region, to be more proactive and eschew any bitterness towards ensuring that this golden hen that lays the valued egg gets its due share of modernity and social development on all required fronts. That could only be the minimum target from this presidential order on the forensic probe of its operations since inception.

ZAMFARA N84MN FRAUD: CACOL CALLS FOR HOLISTIC PROBE

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The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL has called for the holistic probe of some INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) officials over the breach of trust and criminal diversion of the ad hoc staff allowance to the tune of N84,696,000 (Eighty-Four Million, Six Hundred and Ninety-Six Thousand Naira) fraud.

In a release issued by the Media and Publications Officer, Toyin Odofin on behalf of the anti-graft organization’s National Coordinator, Mr. Debo Adeniran he noted, “It was reported that Abdullahi Nasiru had written a petition to the EFCC on behalf of all presiding officers that worked for INEC during the 2019 presidential and governorship elections in Zamfara State, where the petitioner alleged that the ad hoc staff were each denied payment of their N6,000 movement allowance for the two elections. He further alleged that what INEC paid to them was different from what other states paid their ad hoc staff. Also, INEC allegedly paid its staff the sum of N9,000 in Zamfara, while INEC in other states such as Sokoto paid N12,000. All these shortfalls in payment were what accumulated to the said amount, i.e. N84,696,000.

The said INEC officials who diverted the allowance were; Administrative Secretary, Hassan Sidi Aliyu; Head of Operations, Hussain Jafar; State Accountant,  Abdullahi Yusuf Abubakar; and Abdulmumin Usman. The arrest of these commission officials was what led to the stormed of the EFCC at the state office of the commission, also the recovery of over N65mn stacked in two fireproof safes during a search conducted in offices of the HOD Accounts and Cashier of INEC in Zamfara State.

“Efforts are being made by EFCC to recover the money criminally diverted by the three INEC heads of department and Electoral Officers of the 14 local governments in Zamfara State, namely, Abdullahi Sambawa, Zurmi LGA; Aliyu Jafaru Goronyo, Maradun LGA; Balarabe Ahmed S Gobir, Gummi LGA; Amadu Ibrahim, Gusau LGA; Mohammed Bashir Musa, Kaura Namoda LGA; Dalhatu Usman Musa,Birnin Magaji LGA; Abdulmumin Usman, Maru LGA.”

“Also, one begins to wonder why our electoral system continues to wobble and fumble with all the allowances to it from respective federal and state governments, year in year out. This is a confirmation of how such scarce resources simply vanish into thin air through syphoning of the larger proportion of sums budgeted and diversion of such finances.

The CACOL boss added “It is therefore incumbent on the two anti-graft agencies, the EFCC and ICPC (Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission) to sustain and further intensify their commendable efforts in nipping much of this illegal expropriation of our resources in the bud and recover the ill-acquired wealth as much as possible, with a view to plugging them back to their original purposes.”

CACOL BEMOANS RECURRENT CULTURE OF CORRUPTION AFFLICTING NHIS AND CALLS FOR HOLISTIC REFORMS TO REPOSITION SCHEME

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The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL has decried the incessant corruption activities that take place at National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) since it was set up at the behest of the Federal Government of Nigeria to cater for urgent health needs of ordinary Nigerians at an affordable cost since the birth of this democratic dispensation in 1999.

In a release issued by CACOL’s Coordinator for Media and Publications, Adegboyega Otunuga on behalf of the organization’s Executive Chairman, Mr. Adegboyega Otunuga, he said, “The National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, as a body corporate, was established under Act 35 of 1999 Constitution by the Federal Government of Nigeria to improve the health of all Nigerians at an affordable cost. It was established to provide social health insurance in Nigeria where health care services of contributors are paid from the common pool of funds contributed by the participants of the Scheme in line with international best practices.

“It is a pre-payment plan where participants pay a fixed regular amount. The amount/funds are pooled, allowing the Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) to pay for those needing medical attention. It is primarily a risk-sharing arrangement which can improve resource mobilization and equity. Health Insurance is a social security system that guarantees the provision of needed health services to persons on the payment of token contributions at regular intervals. The pool of resources is usually financed by participants, who pay a regular token, the government and on occasions, employers of individual participants. It is today regarded as the most widely used form of health care financing worldwide.

“However, the scheme has been consistently mired in unbridled corruption since inception, prominent amongst which was the crisis that birthed the probe of its Executive Secretary, Professor Usman Yusuf, on July 2017. This was a sequel to two separate petitions by Solomon Agbo and Dr Tunde Ladele, who accused the Executive Secretary of Nepotism and Fraud. This invariably led to his suspension by the then Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Ademola. It would be recollected too that the suspension order was upheld by Professor Yemi Oshinbajo, who was the acting president at that point in time. It is therefore, heart-wrenching to note that the same National Health Insurance Scheme is again, enmeshed in a fraud allegedly perpetrated in its Health Maintenance Organizations, Clearline International Limited over which two persons, including an employee of the NHIS, have been arrested while the Head (Media and Public Relations) of the scheme, Ayo Osinlu, has already admitted that humongous amount of money is involved and that appropriate investigations and apprehension of those indicted are being carried out.

“The Boss of the anti-graft organization added, “There is no doubt that this scheme is intrinsic to whatever plans and programmes the current government has in assisting Nigerians to overcome its teething health challenges. It is, therefore, commendable that the Spokesman of NHIS, Mr Ayo Osinlu, also confirmed the reforms and rebranding ongoing at the level of the health insurance scheme. Howbeit, we advise that such reforms must be holistic and taking cognizance of the tripartite arrangement of the scheme by ensuring that ordinary Nigerians, who are the main targets of the scheme, are adequately represented and protected by adopting enough checks that could discourage and nip in the bud, incessant occurrences of corruption within the implementation of this laudable scheme. This must be such that not only would corrupt enrichment by individuals and officials be prevented but that the reforms and rebranding are such that majority Nigerians is captured in the scheme with adequate access to qualitative and affordable health provisions in the country.”

NDDC N67 BILLION PROJECT SCAM; CACOL CALLS ON THE ANTI-GRAFT AGENCY TO WADE-IN

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The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership CACOL has called for the intervention of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) into the recovery of over N67billion disbursed for Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) contracts.

In a release issued by its Media and Publications Officer, Toyin Odofin on behalf of the Executive Chairman of the Centre, Debo Adeniran stated “it is not enough for the Committee of the House of Representatives on abandoned projects which was awarded by the NDDC to investigate and bring to book the looters of such funds, but also with the support of the anti-graft agency that establishes an independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission vesting it with the responsibility for investigation and prosecution of offenders thereof.

The report has it that, the Committee has urged the NDDC to recover N61.4 billion from contractors who abandoned sites ‎and another N5.8 billion alleged excess payment to others as discovered in a preliminary report of the investigation by the committee. According to the committee chairman, over 600 contractors were dubiously awarded contracts by the NDDC across the states of jurisdiction. Also, one of the officials told ‎NDDC that the lawmakers that 49 of the contracts awarded across the Niger Delta region were terminated and 342 others stalled. CACOL as an anti-corruption and transparency organization with total disdain for any corruptive acts, especially by government officials directly or through proxies, agencies or their representatives, believes that these allegations and the amount involved is weighty enough to attract the interest and intervention of relevant anti-graft agencies in the country, with a view to investigating and redressing the anomalies, where relevant.

However, it is on this note that the Committee’s chairman revealed that the Commission, apart from engaging in questionable dealings, lacked effective control mechanism in the award of contract and project finance which led to flagrant abuse of due process. Also, it was discovered that the commission’s approved budgets from 2008 to 2018 stood at N2,832,611,325,966; and the total receipts, N1,848,774,602,103.

The CACOL boss added, “Considering the monumental woes and destruction corruption has wreaked on Nigeria till date, no stone should be left unturned in beaming searchlight wherever the scourge bares its fangs, irrespective of whoever is involved. This is why we are using this medium to call on the anti-graft agency, ICPC to, as a matter of urgency and national interest, wade in and bring whoever is culpable in depriving the Niger Delta people of the
needed development by short-changing them through the NDDC to book without much ado so as to serve as a deterrent to others.”

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