The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has yesterday, identified 54 corrupt aspirants on the platform of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP.
The commission said it has forwarded their names to the party to disqualify them from contesting for any public offices.
Six top officials of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), who are Civil Servants, were yesterday re-arraigned before an Abuja High Court in Gudu by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over their alleged involvement in a N5.2 billion fraud.
They were accused of fraudulently facilitating the withdrawal of monies from an account of the agency domiciled with the CBN, pretending to use same to settle over 65 alleged fictitious companies that were purportedly engaged in Grid Extension and Solar Electricity Project funded from the 2008 Amended Budget of the REA.
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) presidential aspirant and former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, is still bitter about his premature retirement from the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
For this, Ribadu has accused President Goodluck Jonathan of retiring him “for no just cause”.
Although the ex-EFCC boss was dismissed from the police by the late President Musa Yar’Adua, Jonathan reversed the decision, when he took over, and converted the dismissal to retirement.
But, Ribadu is still not happy with the gesture.
In an interview with the Nigeriavillagesquare, a United States (U.S.)-based Nigerian website, the former anti-corruption crusader said, vis-a-vis the rumour making the round that he was fronting for the Jonathan presidency: “This is a government that has retired me for no reason.
ABUJA – In spite of the highly publicised intention of the former Chairman of the Economic Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, to contest the forthcoming presidential polls under the ticket of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Vanguard confirmed yesterday that Ribadu is yet to register in the party as a card-carrying member.
Vanguard findings at the ACN national headquarters showed that Ribadu’s name was not among the names of the members of the party from his state, Adamawa, nor from his Ward, Yola.
“We are happy to hear him declare his ambition under our party,” a source at the ACN office told our reporter yesterday, “he is one of the many high profile Nigerians who have integrity and command broad respect that are fighting to carry the flag of the ACN in the presidential race but he is yet to register and become a card carrying member of the party.” (more…)
Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, and Leader of the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) Tunde Bakare have called on President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene in the crisis in the Ogun House of Assembly, to save the situation from further degenerating.
Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, and the convener of the SNG, Tunde Bakare, both indigenes of Ogun State, called on Mr. Jonathan to ensure that acts that run contrary to justice and constitution should not be allowed to subsist. (more…)
|BY PETER NKANGA
Ogun, Abia, Nasarawa and Imo States ate the most corrupt states in Nigeria according to a National criminal victimisation and safety survey held between 2007 and 2009 involving 10,228 respondents across the 36 states of Nigeria and Abuja.
The survey was conducted by CLEEN Foundation (formerly known as the Centre for Law Enforcement Education); Practical Sampling International (PSI), a field survey company; and DC Pro-Data Consult Ltd, a data management company.
The study also came up with interesting findings on Nigerians fear of cime:
“The fear of being a victim of crime is far higher than the possibility of being a victim. People who are afraid of crime are virtually incapacitated. It affects social relationships, economic activities, political stability and confidence, especially in the government and law enforcement agencies,” said Etannibi Alemika, a professor of criminology at the University of Jos.
The findings revealed that an overall national figure of 86.6 per cent of respondents expressed a “very high degree of fear”, with the most troubled respondents residing in Gombe, Abuja, Plateau, Ebonyi, Ondo and Sokoto. It also revealed that the dominant forms of crime in the country were theft (money, GSM handset, agricultural products, cars, etc), robbery, domestic violence, physical assault and burglary.
From the statistics provided, three-fifths (60 per cent) of all respondents said corruption has increased in the last three years, with Ogun, Abia, Nasarawa and Imo States being perceived as the most corrupt states in Nigeria.
On public officials viewed as most corrupt, Mr. Alemika said 51.7 per cent of respondents complained of having been solicited for bribe by the Police in the past 12 months. This was followed by the department of Immigration (29.8 per cent), the Federal Road Safety Corps (29.4 per cent), the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (27.6 per cent), the Custom Service (26.0 per cent) and lecturers in tertiary institutions (23.2 per cent).
“More than 50 per cent of those who report to the Police said they were dissatisfied with the police. The major source of this dissatisfaction has to do with their lack of capacity and gross ineffectiveness. Then, police treatment of complainants and their integrity or lack of it, which has to do with bribery and the Police colluding with suspects,” said Mr. Alemika.
Reason for the study
Explaining the objectives of the survey, CLEEN Foundation’s executive director, Innocent Chukwuma, said, “investment in producing reliable statistics on crime in Nigeria and promotion of their use in police planning and deployment” has been overlooked over the years, making the federal government, which controls law enforcement agencies, to appear “helpless and hopeless”.
“Our objectives include generating reliable complimentary data to official statistics on crime and assist policy makers in crime prevention and control planning. It will provide the Police with an information base that would help it in the deployment of policing resources to areas most needed and contribute in reducing the high level of fear of crime in Nigeria,” Mr. Chukwuma said.
Moses Olusola, the general manager of Practical Sampling International, said the stratified multi-stage random selection procedure was used to select female and male adult respondents aged 18 and above across the 37 states, who had lived in urban and rural households for a period of not less than six months.
The conveners of the conference said the survey’s findings will soon be published in a book and advertised in the newspapers for easy access by the public.
An attempt by former Delta State Governor James Ibori Monday, to stop the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from arresting him failed as the Federal High Court, Asaba, refused to give such an order
Mr Justice Ibrahim Buba held that “it is premature” for Ibori to bring up the case.
Ibori went to court after he was declared wanted by EFCC on April 10, praying that the anti-graft agency be restrained from arresting and trying him for an offence for which he had been acquitted.
Justice Buba held that the court lacks the power to stop a statutory agency from arresting anybody in connection with a criminal act.
According to him, the court’s intervention would only be necessary where such a body acted ultra vires.
The EFCC, he said, did not violate any law by inviting Ibori.
Justice Buba said: “It is only after EFCC has stated the reason why it declared Ibori wanted that he can be in a position to claim that he was being invited on old charges or not. But as EFCC has not stated why he was needed, Ibori cannot make such claims. Until a baby is born, you cannot tell whether the child will be a boy or a girl.”
But Justice Buba disagreed with the EFCC that the court lacks jurisdiction to hear the case.
EFCC had argued that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit.
Ibori’s Media Assistant, Mr. Tony Eluemunor, said it would be wrong for EFCC to think that it has won ‘a great victory’, because this is not only obviously a pyrrhic victory, but it has come at a great price to EFCC.
He said it was clear EFCC disobeyed all known norms of investigation by declaring Ibori wanted, and failed to specify why it took that step.
Eluemunor said the judgment has given the lie to newspaper speculations that Ibori was wanted to account for Delta State shares in Oceanic Bank
Ibori, he said, was not crying wolf when he accused EFCC of persecution and not prosecution because EFCC failed to state in court why he was declared wanted.
Raj Bhojwani, an alleged associate of Nigeria’s former Military Head of State, Sani Abacha and Nigeria’s present Ambassador to South Africa Buba Marwa has been sentenced to six years after depositing tens of millions of pounds from army deal in St Helier bank
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) getting more active and showing greater courage, the impression that there are still fat, sacred cows strutting the grazing field of corruption is disappointing.
As the Commission vigorously investigates the Siemens bribery scandal with the interrogation of some highly placed Nigerians, it is a mockery of justice that it has no-go areas in the investigation and prosecution of perpetrators of financial crimes and corruption-related cases.
One would have expected the Commission to handle the high-profile Halliburton bribery case with its renewed vigour. But no, the Commission said last week that it would not revisit the controversial case unless it is so directed by the Presidency.
The Commission initiated the investigation of the case and had progressed it steadily, but its spokesman said it is a no-go area because ” a Presidential Committee headed by the office of Inspector-General of Police is now in charge.”
The late President Umaru Yar’Adua set up a Presidential Committee in 2007 to take the case off the EFCC. The Committee headed by the then Inspector General of Police, has EFCC Chairman, and representatives of the National Security Adviser, State Security Service and National Intelligence Agency as members.
Its terms of reference, among others, are “to establish the extent of involvement or culpability of any Nigerian in the bribery scandal and the sums of money allegedly paid out to any person in Nigeria by Halliburton as bribes in respect of the Bonny LNG Project; and to liaise with the Swiss authorities with a view to tracing and recovering any sum stashed in Swiss banks for the benefit of those involved in the Bonny Liquefied Natural Gas Project bribery scandal.”
Between then and now, while many Nigerians have been sentenced to jail or have been kept behind bars to await trials over far lesser offences; while various reports have revealed Nigerians suspected to be involved in the scandal, nothing seems to be happening.
The bribery scandal began in 1994, when the NLNG board under the chairmanship of MD Yusuf, opened bids for the award of contract for the Liquefied Natural Gas Project in Bonny, Rivers State. A consortium of four companies – Technip of France, Snamprogetti , a subsidiary of ENI SPA of Italy; Kellog of the United States later known as KBR and Japan Gasoline Corporation, which was registered as TSKJ, bid for the contract with BCSA. TSKJ is a subsidiary of Halliburton. TSKJ subsequently won the contract for $1.8 billion in September, 1994.
However, the lid over the bribery scandal that influenced the contract award to TSKJ was blown open in June, 2003. Further investigation into the Nigerian deal was opened in France in October, 2003, where it was deposed at the hearings that Jeffrey Tesler, a 60-year-old British lawyer, was the intermediary between Halliburton and the Nigerian government, who channelled the bribery money through Tri – Star Investment Limited owned by him.
All that is public knowledge now! Also of public knowledge is Tesler’s confession in court that the payments he made included two transfers amounting to $75,000 to Yusuf, then chairman of the LNG, that awarded the original contract to the consortium. His testimony showed that the bribe was used to secure Yusuf’s support in facilitating a meeting between TSKJ officials and the late Sanni Abacha.
Why Nigeria should dilly-dally with such a high profile case, with a big impact on the country’s image and its attraction as an investment destination, has become a sad statement on its anti-corruption efforts.
The long wait for justice has been made more depressing by unconfirmed reports that the Presidential Committee has indeed sent a report of its findings that implicate some highly placed Nigerians and former heads of state, to President Goodluck Jonathan.
So many people have been smeared by these reports in the public domain, and will forever remain tarred if the case remains inconclusive. That perhaps is why former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, wrote to President Jonathan last month hoping that it “would bring about a decision of the Federal Government to make available to the public, the full details of the circumstances surrounding the Halliburton bribe scandal and who, if anybody, are the culprits.”
All the developments on the case are now in the glare of the world. In the interest of justice and for the image of the country, the Federal Government should move quickly to bring the case to a judicial conclusion. It should disabuse the minds of Nigerians that in these times and age, there are still sacred cows.