Waziri to Obasanjo : Watch your mouth, respect your age

Last Updated on 11 September 2013

Former Chairman of the Watch your mouth Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Dr (Mrs) Farida Waziri,OFR has reminded former President Olusegun Obasanjo that ability to be used to witch hunt political enemies in the rabid pursuit of a third term agenda has never been part of the qualifications for appointment as chairman of  the anti-graft agency.

Waziri stated this while reacting to publications on allegations made against her by the former president. Obasanjo had been quoted as saying that Waziri was not qualified to head the EFCC when she was appointed chairman of the Commission.

According to the statement personally signed by Waziri “My attention has been drawn to a number of allegations made against me by Mr Obasanjo. One of such was the alleged involvement of former Delta state governor, James Ibori in my appointment. While I hold the office of a Head of state, either serving or retired in the highest esteem, I will like to put on record for the umpteenth time that this is totally unfounded, blantant lie and arrant falsehood. It is therefore worrisome when a man who has been twice a Nigerian head of state can descend so low to peddle falsehood. The truth is that I never met Ibori in my life until after months in office as chairman of the EFCC when I used to see him in the presidential villa.

It is on record today that I initiated the investigation that drove Ibori into the waiting hands of Interpol and Metpolice. As such, it is illogical and nonsensical for anyone to continue to insinuate that Ibori has a hand in my appointment. I remember this was one of the lies Obasanjo’s sit-tight pawns cooked to stop my appointment as EFCC chairman in 2008.

“On the issue of qualifications raised by Obasanjo, the qualification for appointment as chairman of the Commission as stipulated in its Establishment Act says that the chairman shall ‘be a serving or retired member of any government security or law enforcement agency not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police or equivalent; and possess not less than 15 years cognate experience’. Late President Yar’adua did not have to alter the Establishment Act when he was appointing me unlike what Obasanjo did.

“Again for the records, I served in the Nigeria Police force for 35 years and got to the pinnacle of my career before my appointment as EFCC chairman. If Obasanjo’s real age has not blurred his memory, I will like to remind him that I was a Commissioner of Police, Admin Force CID, CP General Investigations, CP Anti-fraud, CP X squad, CP Police Special Fraud Unit where I secured the first conviction in a case of Advance Fee Fraud in Nigerian history. These are all prime investigative organs of the Nigeria Police where I related with other law enforcement agencies including the FBI across the world. I must place on record that at SFU, I did not only relate with FBI, Interpol and Metpolice among others , we carried out joint operations at different times on a number of cases. I have also led the Nigerian delegation to the Interpol headquarters in France.

“To further expose the height of mischief in the allegations, the past and present chairmen of the EFCC have both worked under me, yet someone can open his mouth to say I am not qualified to head the same agency. This is in addition to my educational qualifications such as a first degree in Law, a Master degree in Law and another Master degree in Strategic studies. I doubt if Obasanjo himself can boast of this level of educational qualifications.

“I will also like to remind Obasanjo that no chairman of the EFCC has till date beaten my records in terms of investigation of high profile cases, prosecution, conviction and recovery.

“I will like to warn that those who live in glass house don’t throw stones and as such Obasanjo should not allow me open up on him. Respectable elder statesmen act and speak with decorum”

In the same vein, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) said on Wednesday,former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was wrong in his assessment of the appointment of Mrs. Farida Waziri to the office of Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as a slowdown to the country’s war against corruption, the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) said on Wednesday.

Granting an exclusive interview to Zero Tolerance, a magazine publication of the EFCC, Obasanjo had branded Waziri a wrong successor to Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, saying she was head-hunted by former Governor of Delta State, James Onanefe Ibori, now serving jail term in the United Kingdom for corruption-related offences.

But according to CACOL, Iboru couldn’t have head-hunted Waziri, based on her heart-warming performance; and if Ibori head-hunted her indeed, then that was the mistake of his life.

“If indeed James Ibori sponsored Farida Waziri to become the EFCC Chairman as claimed by the old soldier, that was the mistake of his life, which we are sure he is already regretting behind the bars now,” Executive Chairman of the Coalition, Debo Adeniran wrote in a statement.

“At the level of CACOL, Waziri proved to us that she was a dispassionate administrator. This is someone who openly disagreed with her supervisory minister that the EFCC had not cleared James Ibori, Bola Tinubu and George Akume as against the claim by Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke that the agency had cleared them of corruption charges.

 

“It was after Waziri denounced Adoke’s claim that she made it public that EFCC would begin Ibori’s prosecution. And true to her word, the prosecution of Ibori began and the agency did it diligently as much as the resources and personnel at its disposal could go.”

CACOL recalled that it was in the court from the beginning of Ibori’s prosecution in Kaduna to the end in Nigeria. It added that instead of pointing accusing fingers at Ibori, the question Obasanjo should ne answering is why is why the Federal High Court was treated as if one of its divisions is different from another — why the judicial system allowed Ibori, his deputy, and his accomplices who were also interrogated during the former governor’s probe to donate the building that housed the Federal High Court, Asaba and the one that housed the trial judge, Marcel Awokulehin?

“That situation, which we see as bribery to the judiciary, was not countenanced by NJC when CACOL raised it. Why is it that Marcel Awokulehin could strike out the 171-count charge preferred against Ibori on technical grounds rather than considering the merit of the charges? Why is it that the National Judicial Council did not countenance the content of CACOL’s petition to it on the observed travesty of justice only for Ibori to be convicted in the UK based on pieces of evidence provided by Waziri-led EFCC?

“Why wouldn’t the Ministry of Justice that has the oversight duty over EFCC identify the lapses in the charges against Ibori if they were indeed weak and indefensible?  Is Obasanjo saying that Waziri truncated the prosecution of Ibori and other politically-exposed persons?”

CACOL maintained that Farida Waziri would have been the best chairman EFCC would ever have if she was given adequate time in office or if she was appointed at the right time. It also accused Obasanjo of personally sabotaging his own investigation and those of others who served under him, knowing that their prosecution for corruption would have rubbed off negatively on him as the Chief Accounting Officer.

“We are aware that the former EFCC boss also got a discreet report about Obasanjo hence the former president prevailed on the Ministry of Justice to truncate her effort,” Adeniran continued.

“We are also aware that there are few people that Obasanjo wanted Waziri to persecute and she didn’t because the former could not provide enough evidence to charge them. Instead of witch-hunting Waziri, the former president should tell Nigerians about the money that changed hands during his third term bid; he should tell Nigerians about the Halliburton, Wilbross, Pentascope, Siemens Scandals; what of the billions he claimed to have been expended on the Power Project without any positive result? The old soldier should answer Nigerians how he went from having N20, 0000 in his account to becoming a multibillionaire overnight.”

Corruption Allegation: Obasanjo is a Joker — Atiku

Reacting to the same interview,former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar,  described Olusegun Obasanjo’s latest allegation against him as a joke, just like the several others made in the past.

Atiku’s boss had recently granted an interview to Zero Tolerance, a magazine publication of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), during which he revealed that the United States previously investigated Atiku and found him to be corrupt, prompting the ex-vice president to avoid travelling to the U.S. ever since.

“I don’t know if he can go to America,” Obasanjo had said in the interview. “He travels? Travels to where? To Dubai? Let him go to America and return to Nigeria.”

But responding in a statement signed on Wednesday by his media adviser, Garba Shehu, Atiku debunked Obsanjo’s claims.

“The former president is wrong,” Shehu said. “It is widely known that Atiku didn’t enter government broke. He declared his assets at the commencement of his Vice Presidency and did so at the end of his term as required by the constitution, which is a sacred document to Atiku.”

He disclosed that Atiku is currently returning from China after leading a private economic trade mission at the invitation of the Chinese government, and he travels often, having built a well-documented record of building industries and putting thousands of Nigerians to work — a record that has been thoroughly investigated.

 

According to Shehu, Atiku currently has no case against him by any arm of the law in any country in the world, including the United States, meaning Obasanjo’s repeated “jokes” about Turaki’s inability to travel to America have become cliché, tiresome and untrue.

Digging into the past, he recalled that in 2006, Obasanjo stationed his National Security Adviser (NSA) to stop Atiku from travelling to the US on the claim that the vice president risked arrest on arrival.  However, Turaki ignored the advice, leaving Nigeria to land at the Andrews Air Force Base, the official airport of the U.S. government, only to receive the best reception ever on a visit to America. He argued further that shortly before late Musa Yar’Adua was inaugurated as President, Atiku travelled to the U.S. for three months and the U.S. authorities would have arrested him then if he was truly guilty of corruption.

 

“It is time to start dealing in facts. Specifically, the fact is that Atiku’s visa to visit the United States has been recently renewed,” Shehu said.

 

“Another fact is Atiku is one of the most investigated politicians in Nigerian history. And every investigation, whether politically motivated here at home or by the FBI abroad, has yielded the same result every time: not guilty.

“If Atiku is guilty of anything, it is crushing persistent attempts at re-writing our constitution. Atiku has chosen the path of optimism and hope. Moving forward, he will continue working to fuel Nigeria’s economy through investment and job creation, while also passionately and persistently defending our young democracy.

 

Waziri to Obasanjo : Watch your mouth, respect your age

Last Updated on 11 September 2013

Hits: 596

Former Chairman of the Watch your mouth Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Dr (Mrs) Farida Waziri,OFR has reminded former President Olusegun Obasanjo that ability to be used to witch hunt political enemies in the rabid pursuit of a third term agenda has never been part of the qualifications for appointment as chairman of  the anti-graft agency.

Waziri stated this while reacting to publications on allegations made against her by the former president. Obasanjo had been quoted as saying that Waziri was not qualified to head the EFCC when she was appointed chairman of the Commission.

According to the statement personally signed by Waziri “My attention has been drawn to a number of allegations made against me by Mr Obasanjo. One of such was the alleged involvement of former Delta state governor, James Ibori in my appointment. While I hold the office of a Head of state, either serving or retired in the highest esteem, I will like to put on record for the umpteenth time that this is totally unfounded, blantant lie and arrant falsehood. It is therefore worrisome when a man who has been twice a Nigerian head of state can descend so low to peddle falsehood. The truth is that I never met Ibori in my life until after months in office as chairman of the EFCC when I used to see him in the presidential villa.

It is on record today that I initiated the investigation that drove Ibori into the waiting hands of Interpol and Metpolice. As such, it is illogical and nonsensical for anyone to continue to insinuate that Ibori has a hand in my appointment. I remember this was one of the lies Obasanjo’s sit-tight pawns cooked to stop my appointment as EFCC chairman in 2008.

“On the issue of qualifications raised by Obasanjo, the qualification for appointment as chairman of the Commission as stipulated in its Establishment Act says that the chairman shall ‘be a serving or retired member of any government security or law enforcement agency not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police or equivalent; and possess not less than 15 years cognate experience’. Late President Yar’adua did not have to alter the Establishment Act when he was appointing me unlike what Obasanjo did.

“Again for the records, I served in the Nigeria Police force for 35 years and got to the pinnacle of my career before my appointment as EFCC chairman. If Obasanjo’s real age has not blurred his memory, I will like to remind him that I was a Commissioner of Police, Admin Force CID, CP General Investigations, CP Anti-fraud, CP X squad, CP Police Special Fraud Unit where I secured the first conviction in a case of Advance Fee Fraud in Nigerian history. These are all prime investigative organs of the Nigeria Police where I related with other law enforcement agencies including the FBI across the world. I must place on record that at SFU, I did not only relate with FBI, Interpol and Metpolice among others , we carried out joint operations at different times on a number of cases. I have also led the Nigerian delegation to the Interpol headquarters in France.

“To further expose the height of mischief in the allegations, the past and present chairmen of the EFCC have both worked under me, yet someone can open his mouth to say I am not qualified to head the same agency. This is in addition to my educational qualifications such as a first degree in Law, a Master degree in Law and another Master degree in Strategic studies. I doubt if Obasanjo himself can boast of this level of educational qualifications.

“I will also like to remind Obasanjo that no chairman of the EFCC has till date beaten my records in terms of investigation of high profile cases, prosecution, conviction and recovery.

“I will like to warn that those who live in glass house don’t throw stones and as such Obasanjo should not allow me open up on him. Respectable elder statesmen act and speak with decorum”

In the same vein, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) said on Wednesday,former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was wrong in his assessment of the appointment of Mrs. Farida Waziri to the office of Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as a slowdown to the country’s war against corruption, the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) said on Wednesday.

Granting an exclusive interview to Zero Tolerance, a magazine publication of the EFCC, Obasanjo had branded Waziri a wrong successor to Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, saying she was head-hunted by former Governor of Delta State, James Onanefe Ibori, now serving jail term in the United Kingdom for corruption-related offences.

But according to CACOL, Iboru couldn’t have head-hunted Waziri, based on her heart-warming performance; and if Ibori head-hunted her indeed, then that was the mistake of his life.

“If indeed James Ibori sponsored Farida Waziri to become the EFCC Chairman as claimed by the old soldier, that was the mistake of his life, which we are sure he is already regretting behind the bars now,” Executive Chairman of the Coalition, Debo Adeniran wrote in a statement.

“At the level of CACOL, Waziri proved to us that she was a dispassionate administrator. This is someone who openly disagreed with her supervisory minister that the EFCC had not cleared James Ibori, Bola Tinubu and George Akume as against the claim by Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke that the agency had cleared them of corruption charges.

 

“It was after Waziri denounced Adoke’s claim that she made it public that EFCC would begin Ibori’s prosecution. And true to her word, the prosecution of Ibori began and the agency did it diligently as much as the resources and personnel at its disposal could go.”

CACOL recalled that it was in the court from the beginning of Ibori’s prosecution in Kaduna to the end in Nigeria. It added that instead of pointing accusing fingers at Ibori, the question Obasanjo should ne answering is why is why the Federal High Court was treated as if one of its divisions is different from another — why the judicial system allowed Ibori, his deputy, and his accomplices who were also interrogated during the former governor’s probe to donate the building that housed the Federal High Court, Asaba and the one that housed the trial judge, Marcel Awokulehin?

“That situation, which we see as bribery to the judiciary, was not countenanced by NJC when CACOL raised it. Why is it that Marcel Awokulehin could strike out the 171-count charge preferred against Ibori on technical grounds rather than considering the merit of the charges? Why is it that the National Judicial Council did not countenance the content of CACOL’s petition to it on the observed travesty of justice only for Ibori to be convicted in the UK based on pieces of evidence provided by Waziri-led EFCC?

“Why wouldn’t the Ministry of Justice that has the oversight duty over EFCC identify the lapses in the charges against Ibori if they were indeed weak and indefensible?  Is Obasanjo saying that Waziri truncated the prosecution of Ibori and other politically-exposed persons?”

CACOL maintained that Farida Waziri would have been the best chairman EFCC would ever have if she was given adequate time in office or if she was appointed at the right time. It also accused Obasanjo of personally sabotaging his own investigation and those of others who served under him, knowing that their prosecution for corruption would have rubbed off negatively on him as the Chief Accounting Officer.

“We are aware that the former EFCC boss also got a discreet report about Obasanjo hence the former president prevailed on the Ministry of Justice to truncate her effort,” Adeniran continued.

“We are also aware that there are few people that Obasanjo wanted Waziri to persecute and she didn’t because the former could not provide enough evidence to charge them. Instead of witch-hunting Waziri, the former president should tell Nigerians about the money that changed hands during his third term bid; he should tell Nigerians about the Halliburton, Wilbross, Pentascope, Siemens Scandals; what of the billions he claimed to have been expended on the Power Project without any positive result? The old soldier should answer Nigerians how he went from having N20, 0000 in his account to becoming a multibillionaire overnight.”

Corruption Allegation: Obasanjo is a Joker — Atiku

Reacting to the same interview,former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar,  described Olusegun Obasanjo’s latest allegation against him as a joke, just like the several others made in the past.

 Atiku’s boss had recently granted an interview to Zero Tolerance, a magazine publication of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), during which he revealed that the United States previously investigated Atiku and found him to be corrupt, prompting the ex-vice president to avoid travelling to the U.S. ever since.

“I don’t know if he can go to America,” Obasanjo had said in the interview. “He travels? Travels to where? To Dubai? Let him go to America and return to Nigeria.”

But responding in a statement signed on Wednesday by his media adviser, Garba Shehu, Atiku debunked Obsanjo’s claims.

“The former president is wrong,” Shehu said. “It is widely known that Atiku didn’t enter government broke. He declared his assets at the commencement of his Vice Presidency and did so at the end of his term as required by the constitution, which is a sacred document to Atiku.” 

He disclosed that Atiku is currently returning from China after leading a private economic trade mission at the invitation of the Chinese government, and he travels often, having built a well-documented record of building industries and putting thousands of Nigerians to work — a record that has been thoroughly investigated.

 

According to Shehu, Atiku currently has no case against him by any arm of the law in any country in the world, including the United States, meaning Obasanjo’s repeated “jokes” about Turaki’s inability to travel to America have become cliché, tiresome and untrue. 

Digging into the past, he recalled that in 2006, Obasanjo stationed his National Security Adviser (NSA) to stop Atiku from travelling to the US on the claim that the vice president risked arrest on arrival.  However, Turaki ignored the advice, leaving Nigeria to land at the Andrews Air Force Base, the official airport of the U.S. government, only to receive the best reception ever on a visit to America. He argued further that shortly before late Musa Yar’Adua was inaugurated as President, Atiku travelled to the U.S. for three months and the U.S. authorities would have arrested him then if he was truly guilty of corruption.

 

“It is time to start dealing in facts. Specifically, the fact is that Atiku’s visa to visit the United States has been recently renewed,” Shehu said.

 

“Another fact is Atiku is one of the most investigated politicians in Nigerian history. And every investigation, whether politically motivated here at home or by the FBI abroad, has yielded the same result every time: not guilty. 

“If Atiku is guilty of anything, it is crushing persistent attempts at re-writing our constitution. Atiku has chosen the path of optimism and hope. Moving forward, he will continue working to fuel Nigeria’s economy through investment and job creation, while also passionately and persistently defending our young democracy.

 

CACOL Flays FG Over Iphones Order

The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has censured the ostentatious lifestyle of the federal government.

 

It was reported that the Chief Executive Officer, Gold and Co., United Kingdom, Amjad Ali, told, The Independent (a United Kingdom newspaper) that his firm was fulfilling an order from the Nigerian government for 53 gold-plated iPhone 5S mobile handsets as part of the memorabilia for Nigeria’s 53rd Independence anniversary on October 1, 2013.

 

 

Speaking on behalf of the Coalition, its Executive Chairman, Debo Adeniran described the action of the FG as an height of insensitivity to the plight of the Nigerian masses.

 

He said, “This government is just proving day by day that it is the worse that Nigerians will ever experience. That is a demonstration of insensitivity to the plight of the Nigerian masses and a misplaced priority. How can a government that claim it would collapse if ASUU’s demands are acceded to muster enough resources to procure such phones? It is very unfortunate that Jonathan is proving to the masses on whose back he rose to power that he actually does not give a damn about what anyone thinks.

 

This is a country that a preponderance of its population is living below poverty line; this is a country where children under age 5 still die in droves of preventable causes; ours is a country where maternal death rate is still alarming; this is a country where everybody who goes out is not sure if he would return safely; this is a country that has become leprous in the eyes of the world because of its inability to fight corruption bedevilling its economy. Independence celebration should be a period of sober reflection. Whatever must be done should show sobriety where we would cast our mind back to where we started, how far we have gone, the losses we have made.

 

Purchasing such items is telling Nigerians that our leaders are indifferent to the suffering of the masses. With this kind of ostentatious choice, the federal government is blocking the ray of hope that the Nigerians have that we may have respite after the independence celebration.”

 

The human rights crusader however urged the FG to reorder its priority to make life meaningful for the Nigerian masses.

 

 

Abimbola Adegoke

Media Officer, CACOL

 

12 September, 2013

 

Waziri to Obasanjo : Watch your mouth, respect your age

Last Updated on 11 September 2013

Hits: 596

Former Chairman of the Watch your mouth Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Dr (Mrs) Farida Waziri,OFR has reminded former President Olusegun Obasanjo that ability to be used to witch hunt political enemies in the rabid pursuit of a third term agenda has never been part of the qualifications for appointment as chairman of  the anti-graft agency.

Waziri stated this while reacting to publications on allegations made against her by the former president. Obasanjo had been quoted as saying that Waziri was not qualified to head the EFCC when she was appointed chairman of the Commission.

According to the statement personally signed by Waziri “My attention has been drawn to a number of allegations made against me by Mr Obasanjo. One of such was the alleged involvement of former Delta state governor, James Ibori in my appointment. While I hold the office of a Head of state, either serving or retired in the highest esteem, I will like to put on record for the umpteenth time that this is totally unfounded, blantant lie and arrant falsehood. It is therefore worrisome when a man who has been twice a Nigerian head of state can descend so low to peddle falsehood. The truth is that I never met Ibori in my life until after months in office as chairman of the EFCC when I used to see him in the presidential villa.

It is on record today that I initiated the investigation that drove Ibori into the waiting hands of Interpol and Metpolice. As such, it is illogical and nonsensical for anyone to continue to insinuate that Ibori has a hand in my appointment. I remember this was one of the lies Obasanjo’s sit-tight pawns cooked to stop my appointment as EFCC chairman in 2008.

“On the issue of qualifications raised by Obasanjo, the qualification for appointment as chairman of the Commission as stipulated in its Establishment Act says that the chairman shall ‘be a serving or retired member of any government security or law enforcement agency not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police or equivalent; and possess not less than 15 years cognate experience’. Late President Yar’adua did not have to alter the Establishment Act when he was appointing me unlike what Obasanjo did.

“Again for the records, I served in the Nigeria Police force for 35 years and got to the pinnacle of my career before my appointment as EFCC chairman. If Obasanjo’s real age has not blurred his memory, I will like to remind him that I was a Commissioner of Police, Admin Force CID, CP General Investigations, CP Anti-fraud, CP X squad, CP Police Special Fraud Unit where I secured the first conviction in a case of Advance Fee Fraud in Nigerian history. These are all prime investigative organs of the Nigeria Police where I related with other law enforcement agencies including the FBI across the world. I must place on record that at SFU, I did not only relate with FBI, Interpol and Metpolice among others , we carried out joint operations at different times on a number of cases. I have also led the Nigerian delegation to the Interpol headquarters in France.

“To further expose the height of mischief in the allegations, the past and present chairmen of the EFCC have both worked under me, yet someone can open his mouth to say I am not qualified to head the same agency. This is in addition to my educational qualifications such as a first degree in Law, a Master degree in Law and another Master degree in Strategic studies. I doubt if Obasanjo himself can boast of this level of educational qualifications.

“I will also like to remind Obasanjo that no chairman of the EFCC has till date beaten my records in terms of investigation of high profile cases, prosecution, conviction and recovery.

“I will like to warn that those who live in glass house don’t throw stones and as such Obasanjo should not allow me open up on him. Respectable elder statesmen act and speak with decorum”

In the same vein, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) said on Wednesday,former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was wrong in his assessment of the appointment of Mrs. Farida Waziri to the office of Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as a slowdown to the country’s war against corruption, the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) said on Wednesday.

Granting an exclusive interview to Zero Tolerance, a magazine publication of the EFCC, Obasanjo had branded Waziri a wrong successor to Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, saying she was head-hunted by former Governor of Delta State, James Onanefe Ibori, now serving jail term in the United Kingdom for corruption-related offences.

But according to CACOL, Iboru couldn’t have head-hunted Waziri, based on her heart-warming performance; and if Ibori head-hunted her indeed, then that was the mistake of his life.

“If indeed James Ibori sponsored Farida Waziri to become the EFCC Chairman as claimed by the old soldier, that was the mistake of his life, which we are sure he is already regretting behind the bars now,” Executive Chairman of the Coalition, Debo Adeniran wrote in a statement.

“At the level of CACOL, Waziri proved to us that she was a dispassionate administrator. This is someone who openly disagreed with her supervisory minister that the EFCC had not cleared James Ibori, Bola Tinubu and George Akume as against the claim by Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke that the agency had cleared them of corruption charges.

 

“It was after Waziri denounced Adoke’s claim that she made it public that EFCC would begin Ibori’s prosecution. And true to her word, the prosecution of Ibori began and the agency did it diligently as much as the resources and personnel at its disposal could go.”

CACOL recalled that it was in the court from the beginning of Ibori’s prosecution in Kaduna to the end in Nigeria. It added that instead of pointing accusing fingers at Ibori, the question Obasanjo should ne answering is why is why the Federal High Court was treated as if one of its divisions is different from another — why the judicial system allowed Ibori, his deputy, and his accomplices who were also interrogated during the former governor’s probe to donate the building that housed the Federal High Court, Asaba and the one that housed the trial judge, Marcel Awokulehin?

“That situation, which we see as bribery to the judiciary, was not countenanced by NJC when CACOL raised it. Why is it that Marcel Awokulehin could strike out the 171-count charge preferred against Ibori on technical grounds rather than considering the merit of the charges? Why is it that the National Judicial Council did not countenance the content of CACOL’s petition to it on the observed travesty of justice only for Ibori to be convicted in the UK based on pieces of evidence provided by Waziri-led EFCC?

“Why wouldn’t the Ministry of Justice that has the oversight duty over EFCC identify the lapses in the charges against Ibori if they were indeed weak and indefensible?  Is Obasanjo saying that Waziri truncated the prosecution of Ibori and other politically-exposed persons?”

CACOL maintained that Farida Waziri would have been the best chairman EFCC would ever have if she was given adequate time in office or if she was appointed at the right time. It also accused Obasanjo of personally sabotaging his own investigation and those of others who served under him, knowing that their prosecution for corruption would have rubbed off negatively on him as the Chief Accounting Officer.

“We are aware that the former EFCC boss also got a discreet report about Obasanjo hence the former president prevailed on the Ministry of Justice to truncate her effort,” Adeniran continued.

“We are also aware that there are few people that Obasanjo wanted Waziri to persecute and she didn’t because the former could not provide enough evidence to charge them. Instead of witch-hunting Waziri, the former president should tell Nigerians about the money that changed hands during his third term bid; he should tell Nigerians about the Halliburton, Wilbross, Pentascope, Siemens Scandals; what of the billions he claimed to have been expended on the Power Project without any positive result? The old soldier should answer Nigerians how he went from having N20, 0000 in his account to becoming a multibillionaire overnight.”

Corruption Allegation: Obasanjo is a Joker — Atiku

Reacting to the same interview,former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar,  described Olusegun Obasanjo’s latest allegation against him as a joke, just like the several others made in the past.

Atiku’s boss had recently granted an interview to Zero Tolerance, a magazine publication of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), during which he revealed that the United States previously investigated Atiku and found him to be corrupt, prompting the ex-vice president to avoid travelling to the U.S. ever since.

“I don’t know if he can go to America,” Obasanjo had said in the interview. “He travels? Travels to where? To Dubai? Let him go to America and return to Nigeria.”

But responding in a statement signed on Wednesday by his media adviser, Garba Shehu, Atiku debunked Obsanjo’s claims.

“The former president is wrong,” Shehu said. “It is widely known that Atiku didn’t enter government broke. He declared his assets at the commencement of his Vice Presidency and did so at the end of his term as required by the constitution, which is a sacred document to Atiku.”

He disclosed that Atiku is currently returning from China after leading a private economic trade mission at the invitation of the Chinese government, and he travels often, having built a well-documented record of building industries and putting thousands of Nigerians to work — a record that has been thoroughly investigated.

 

According to Shehu, Atiku currently has no case against him by any arm of the law in any country in the world, including the United States, meaning Obasanjo’s repeated “jokes” about Turaki’s inability to travel to America have become cliché, tiresome and untrue.

Digging into the past, he recalled that in 2006, Obasanjo stationed his National Security Adviser (NSA) to stop Atiku from travelling to the US on the claim that the vice president risked arrest on arrival.  However, Turaki ignored the advice, leaving Nigeria to land at the Andrews Air Force Base, the official airport of the U.S. government, only to receive the best reception ever on a visit to America. He argued further that shortly before late Musa Yar’Adua was inaugurated as President, Atiku travelled to the U.S. for three months and the U.S. authorities would have arrested him then if he was truly guilty of corruption.

 

“It is time to start dealing in facts. Specifically, the fact is that Atiku’s visa to visit the United States has been recently renewed,” Shehu said.

 

“Another fact is Atiku is one of the most investigated politicians in Nigerian history. And every investigation, whether politically motivated here at home or by the FBI abroad, has yielded the same result every time: not guilty.

“If Atiku is guilty of anything, it is crushing persistent attempts at re-writing our constitution. Atiku has chosen the path of optimism and hope. Moving forward, he will continue working to fuel Nigeria’s economy through investment and job creation, while also passionately and persistently defending our young democracy.

 

Waziri to Obasanjo : Watch your mouth, respect your age

Last Updated on 11 September 2013

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Former Chairman of the Watch your mouth Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Dr (Mrs) Farida Waziri,OFR has reminded former President Olusegun Obasanjo that ability to be used to witch hunt political enemies in the rabid pursuit of a third term agenda has never been part of the qualifications for appointment as chairman of  the anti-graft agency.

Waziri stated this while reacting to publications on allegations made against her by the former president. Obasanjo had been quoted as saying that Waziri was not qualified to head the EFCC when she was appointed chairman of the Commission.

According to the statement personally signed by Waziri “My attention has been drawn to a number of allegations made against me by Mr Obasanjo. One of such was the alleged involvement of former Delta state governor, James Ibori in my appointment. While I hold the office of a Head of state, either serving or retired in the highest esteem, I will like to put on record for the umpteenth time that this is totally unfounded, blantant lie and arrant falsehood. It is therefore worrisome when a man who has been twice a Nigerian head of state can descend so low to peddle falsehood. The truth is that I never met Ibori in my life until after months in office as chairman of the EFCC when I used to see him in the presidential villa.

It is on record today that I initiated the investigation that drove Ibori into the waiting hands of Interpol and Metpolice. As such, it is illogical and nonsensical for anyone to continue to insinuate that Ibori has a hand in my appointment. I remember this was one of the lies Obasanjo’s sit-tight pawns cooked to stop my appointment as EFCC chairman in 2008.

“On the issue of qualifications raised by Obasanjo, the qualification for appointment as chairman of the Commission as stipulated in its Establishment Act says that the chairman shall ‘be a serving or retired member of any government security or law enforcement agency not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police or equivalent; and possess not less than 15 years cognate experience’. Late President Yar’adua did not have to alter the Establishment Act when he was appointing me unlike what Obasanjo did.

“Again for the records, I served in the Nigeria Police force for 35 years and got to the pinnacle of my career before my appointment as EFCC chairman. If Obasanjo’s real age has not blurred his memory, I will like to remind him that I was a Commissioner of Police, Admin Force CID, CP General Investigations, CP Anti-fraud, CP X squad, CP Police Special Fraud Unit where I secured the first conviction in a case of Advance Fee Fraud in Nigerian history. These are all prime investigative organs of the Nigeria Police where I related with other law enforcement agencies including the FBI across the world. I must place on record that at SFU, I did not only relate with FBI, Interpol and Metpolice among others , we carried out joint operations at different times on a number of cases. I have also led the Nigerian delegation to the Interpol headquarters in France.

“To further expose the height of mischief in the allegations, the past and present chairmen of the EFCC have both worked under me, yet someone can open his mouth to say I am not qualified to head the same agency. This is in addition to my educational qualifications such as a first degree in Law, a Master degree in Law and another Master degree in Strategic studies. I doubt if Obasanjo himself can boast of this level of educational qualifications.

“I will also like to remind Obasanjo that no chairman of the EFCC has till date beaten my records in terms of investigation of high profile cases, prosecution, conviction and recovery.

“I will like to warn that those who live in glass house don’t throw stones and as such Obasanjo should not allow me open up on him. Respectable elder statesmen act and speak with decorum”

In the same vein, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) said on Wednesday,former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was wrong in his assessment of the appointment of Mrs. Farida Waziri to the office of Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as a slowdown to the country’s war against corruption, the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) said on Wednesday.

Granting an exclusive interview to Zero Tolerance, a magazine publication of the EFCC, Obasanjo had branded Waziri a wrong successor to Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, saying she was head-hunted by former Governor of Delta State, James Onanefe Ibori, now serving jail term in the United Kingdom for corruption-related offences.

But according to CACOL, Iboru couldn’t have head-hunted Waziri, based on her heart-warming performance; and if Ibori head-hunted her indeed, then that was the mistake of his life.

“If indeed James Ibori sponsored Farida Waziri to become the EFCC Chairman as claimed by the old soldier, that was the mistake of his life, which we are sure he is already regretting behind the bars now,” Executive Chairman of the Coalition, Debo Adeniran wrote in a statement.

“At the level of CACOL, Waziri proved to us that she was a dispassionate administrator. This is someone who openly disagreed with her supervisory minister that the EFCC had not cleared James Ibori, Bola Tinubu and George Akume as against the claim by Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke that the agency had cleared them of corruption charges.

 

“It was after Waziri denounced Adoke’s claim that she made it public that EFCC would begin Ibori’s prosecution. And true to her word, the prosecution of Ibori began and the agency did it diligently as much as the resources and personnel at its disposal could go.”

CACOL recalled that it was in the court from the beginning of Ibori’s prosecution in Kaduna to the end in Nigeria. It added that instead of pointing accusing fingers at Ibori, the question Obasanjo should ne answering is why is why the Federal High Court was treated as if one of its divisions is different from another — why the judicial system allowed Ibori, his deputy, and his accomplices who were also interrogated during the former governor’s probe to donate the building that housed the Federal High Court, Asaba and the one that housed the trial judge, Marcel Awokulehin?

“That situation, which we see as bribery to the judiciary, was not countenanced by NJC when CACOL raised it. Why is it that Marcel Awokulehin could strike out the 171-count charge preferred against Ibori on technical grounds rather than considering the merit of the charges? Why is it that the National Judicial Council did not countenance the content of CACOL’s petition to it on the observed travesty of justice only for Ibori to be convicted in the UK based on pieces of evidence provided by Waziri-led EFCC?

“Why wouldn’t the Ministry of Justice that has the oversight duty over EFCC identify the lapses in the charges against Ibori if they were indeed weak and indefensible?  Is Obasanjo saying that Waziri truncated the prosecution of Ibori and other politically-exposed persons?”

CACOL maintained that Farida Waziri would have been the best chairman EFCC would ever have if she was given adequate time in office or if she was appointed at the right time. It also accused Obasanjo of personally sabotaging his own investigation and those of others who served under him, knowing that their prosecution for corruption would have rubbed off negatively on him as the Chief Accounting Officer.

“We are aware that the former EFCC boss also got a discreet report about Obasanjo hence the former president prevailed on the Ministry of Justice to truncate her effort,” Adeniran continued.

“We are also aware that there are few people that Obasanjo wanted Waziri to persecute and she didn’t because the former could not provide enough evidence to charge them. Instead of witch-hunting Waziri, the former president should tell Nigerians about the money that changed hands during his third term bid; he should tell Nigerians about the Halliburton, Wilbross, Pentascope, Siemens Scandals; what of the billions he claimed to have been expended on the Power Project without any positive result? The old soldier should answer Nigerians how he went from having N20, 0000 in his account to becoming a multibillionaire overnight.”

Corruption Allegation: Obasanjo is a Joker — Atiku

Reacting to the same interview,former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar,  described Olusegun Obasanjo’s latest allegation against him as a joke, just like the several others made in the past.

 Atiku’s boss had recently granted an interview to Zero Tolerance, a magazine publication of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), during which he revealed that the United States previously investigated Atiku and found him to be corrupt, prompting the ex-vice president to avoid travelling to the U.S. ever since.

“I don’t know if he can go to America,” Obasanjo had said in the interview. “He travels? Travels to where? To Dubai? Let him go to America and return to Nigeria.”

But responding in a statement signed on Wednesday by his media adviser, Garba Shehu, Atiku debunked Obsanjo’s claims.

“The former president is wrong,” Shehu said. “It is widely known that Atiku didn’t enter government broke. He declared his assets at the commencement of his Vice Presidency and did so at the end of his term as required by the constitution, which is a sacred document to Atiku.” 

He disclosed that Atiku is currently returning from China after leading a private economic trade mission at the invitation of the Chinese government, and he travels often, having built a well-documented record of building industries and putting thousands of Nigerians to work — a record that has been thoroughly investigated.

 

According to Shehu, Atiku currently has no case against him by any arm of the law in any country in the world, including the United States, meaning Obasanjo’s repeated “jokes” about Turaki’s inability to travel to America have become cliché, tiresome and untrue. 

Digging into the past, he recalled that in 2006, Obasanjo stationed his National Security Adviser (NSA) to stop Atiku from travelling to the US on the claim that the vice president risked arrest on arrival.  However, Turaki ignored the advice, leaving Nigeria to land at the Andrews Air Force Base, the official airport of the U.S. government, only to receive the best reception ever on a visit to America. He argued further that shortly before late Musa Yar’Adua was inaugurated as President, Atiku travelled to the U.S. for three months and the U.S. authorities would have arrested him then if he was truly guilty of corruption.

 

“It is time to start dealing in facts. Specifically, the fact is that Atiku’s visa to visit the United States has been recently renewed,” Shehu said.

 

“Another fact is Atiku is one of the most investigated politicians in Nigerian history. And every investigation, whether politically motivated here at home or by the FBI abroad, has yielded the same result every time: not guilty. 

“If Atiku is guilty of anything, it is crushing persistent attempts at re-writing our constitution. Atiku has chosen the path of optimism and hope. Moving forward, he will continue working to fuel Nigeria’s economy through investment and job creation, while also passionately and persistently defending our young democracy.

 

CACOL Flays FG Over Iphones Order

The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has censured the ostentatious lifestyle of the federal government.

 

It was reported that the Chief Executive Officer, Gold and Co., United Kingdom, Amjad Ali, told, The Independent (a United Kingdom newspaper) that his firm was fulfilling an order from the Nigerian government for 53 gold-plated iPhone 5S mobile handsets as part of the memorabilia for Nigeria’s 53rd Independence anniversary on October 1, 2013.

 

 

Speaking on behalf of the Coalition, its Executive Chairman, Debo Adeniran described the action of the FG as an height of insensitivity to the plight of the Nigerian masses.

 

He said, “This government is just proving day by day that it is the worse that Nigerians will ever experience. That is a demonstration of insensitivity to the plight of the Nigerian masses and a misplaced priority. How can a government that claim it would collapse if ASUU’s demands are acceded to muster enough resources to procure such phones? It is very unfortunate that Jonathan is proving to the masses on whose back he rose to power that he actually does not give a damn about what anyone thinks.

 

This is a country that a preponderance of its population is living below poverty line; this is a country where children under age 5 still die in droves of preventable causes; ours is a country where maternal death rate is still alarming; this is a country where everybody who goes out is not sure if he would return safely; this is a country that has become leprous in the eyes of the world because of its inability to fight corruption bedevilling its economy. Independence celebration should be a period of sober reflection. Whatever must be done should show sobriety where we would cast our mind back to where we started, how far we have gone, the losses we have made.

 

Purchasing such items is telling Nigerians that our leaders are indifferent to the suffering of the masses. With this kind of ostentatious choice, the federal government is blocking the ray of hope that the Nigerians have that we may have respite after the independence celebration.”

 

The human rights crusader however urged the FG to reorder its priority to make life meaningful for the Nigerian masses.

 

 

Abimbola Adegoke

Media Officer, CACOL

 

12 September, 2013

 

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