The group gave this advice in a statement issued by its executive chairman, Debo Adeniran, which was made available to Aproko247.
ONE-YEAR AFTER PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI’S INAUGURATION: NOT YET UHURU! TIME TO CHANGE THE MEDIOCRE, INSENSITIVE AND THE INACTIVE ONES IN THE CABINET – CACOL
As the one-year anniversary of the inauguration of the present regime closes in, President Muhammadu Buhari has reportedly asked Nigerians to tell him if he should change any Minister in his cabinet, one year after the ascension of the All Progressive Congress to power at the Federal level following the party’s roaring victory at the 2015 general elections.
The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL welcomes this ‘openness to public appraisal – criticisms or commendation’ approach demonstrated by the President and views it as exemplifying and magnifying the essence of the ‘change’ Nigerians yearned and are still yearning for. In some quarters, some say 1 year is too early to access the performance of government but we think differently because the future begins today, and with this attitude of the President, the man who is at the very epicenter of what Nigeria is doing about its issues, we think it puts to pay the agreement of those who want to be ‘Buhari more than Buhari’. Thus, we commend the President for his humility and openness.
One year of governance after May 29, 2015, has definitely been topsy-turvy in almost every sector, but there are remarkable and impressive strides being achieved in some, particularly the anti-corruption war and the war against insurgency, some others however are utterly disappointing and reprehensible in their performances.
With regard to Ministries, topping the list as far as we are concerned in terms of abysmal performance that requires radical change is the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing. It is our view that the ministry has been the main one that has most misrepresented the campaign promises of APC and the change Nigerians expected. All the actions and policies of the Ministry have compounded the sufferings of Nigerians in multi-folds; from lack of power supply to the illogical hike in electricity tariffs, from continually decaying infrastructure to death traps as roads with a Housing sector that is ‘non-existent’ or in absolute comatose.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing keeps standing logic on its heads by asking the already impoverished Nigerians to bear the brunt of his failure by asking Nigerians to pay for darkness and for services not rendered even up to the effrontery of hiking the tariff of electricity against a background of a country in perpetual darkness. The Minister has made history by achieving the lowest, ZERO, mega watts for more than 18 hours in history of power generation in Nigeria; he has nothing to offer than damage, we call on Mr. President to ask him to honourably resign or he should be sacked!
As a coalition with special focus on anti-corruption, we have followed the role of the bench and the bar, the Judiciary in general vis-à-vis the anti-corruption war against corruption. Recognising a challenge in a process toward achieving a goal is to be honest with oneself and a sign of strength. In CACOL we define ‘corruption as any act of dishonesty’, therefore for us it will amount to ‘playing the Ostrich’ if we cannot come to terms with the reality of our Judiciary which the President himself aptly described a ‘headache’ in the anti-corruption war.
Our following of the role of the Judiciary informs why we are demanding the immediate replacement of Mr. Malami Abubakar as the Attorney General and Minister of Justice of this country to safe this government and the country from further embarrassment and criticisms.
The mantra of this government and one of the campaign cardinal points of its party is ‘fight against corruption’. For any government to succeed in its policies, programmes and agenda, the commitment, professionalism, soundness and integrity of the Chief Law Officer of that government must be impeccable and consistent. We are afraid, based on recent happenings, the current Attorney-General and Minister of Justice has fallen short of these critical requirements and incapable of delivering any fundamental departure from the corruption ridden past of governance in the country.
We recall the report of police investigation into the alleged forgery of 2015 Senate Standing Order by some Senators and staff of the Senate was reported to have been submitted to the Government and a DPP’s advice was issued on July 29, 2015, demanding prosecution of certain persons and officers. According to Punch Newspaper report of Monday May 9, 2016, page 2, “the legal advice with reference number DPPA/ADV/258/15 recommended that some suspects be prosecuted for criminal conspiracy, forgery, breach of official trust and unlawful assembly”. The Minister of Justice, since the assumption of office has consciously and deliberately refused to give effect to the Director of Public Prosecution’s (DPP’s) advice. According to the same newspaper report, Mr. Malami promised Nigerians a decision on this matter within a week as at 2nd of January, 2016 but failed to do anything. It has taken the indicting report of Punch Newspaper in reference for the Attorney General to issue an ultimatum to both Police and DPP’s office for necessary action.
Again, there is the unnecessary and unwarranted controversy that surrounded the subterranean role of the Minister in the Nigerian Communication Commission NCC fine against the MTN. The Minister was accused of meeting and reaching agreements with MTN without involvement or representatives from the NCC. The Attorney-General was publicly accused of meeting, negotiating, agreeing terms and collecting N50 billion on behalf of the government without recourse to both the regulatory agency and supervisory ministry. Local and international criticisms greeted the unprofessional conduct of the Minister and secrecy associated with his negotiation with MTN. These reasons, amongst others necessitate the removal of the AGF and Minister of Justice.
On a brighter side, the Ministry of Defence, perhaps, deserves the best accolades considering the victories of Military against the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East and the improved protection of Nigeria’s territorial borders and of lives and property in the country. The patriotism of our gallant soldiers and their improved performances on the battlefields deserves the best of praises as their conquests warm the heart of Nigerians giving them hope for a greater country. We call on the government to ensure that the situation of the past where funds meant for military operations and personnel are NEVER again diverted for pecuniary needs of murderously corrupt public officials and military personnel.
The Ministry of Defence must remain awake, vigilant, combat ready and well motivated too. The emerging scenario in the Niger Delta must be under the priority attention of the military with a view of resolving the crisis via lawful and constitutional means. Yes, within constitutional means, this insistence is stemming from what Nigerians witnessed during the clash between the Shiite and the Military where hundreds of lives of civilians were wasted by the military for reasons that are yet to be discernible to anyone and does not conform with the statues as far as the rules of engagement between civilians and the military are concerned.
The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has not been impressive given the present state of the economy which at best can be described as ‘foggy’ and this appear to be consciously made so; with the scenario riddled by contradictions, somersaults, illogicality, indecisions and uncertainties. This is what is at the background of the present economic hardships; where the people are battling with challenges for very basic needs; from food to housing, power to energy and from education to employment etc. and with government appearing hapless.
The Minister for Finance and Economic Development seem to be overwhelmed with present the economic situation in the country. These times require the very best hands, for the period is indeed a very challenging one, as such a change in the Ministry is also suggested by CACOL as the economy is too central to all other aspects of our national life to left in the hands of the mediocre. Via the Ministry, an inexplicable Stamp duty, a N50 tax on Bank transactions from 1000 naira and above has been imposed. Yet the government has refused to fund education adequately; shunned Health and infrastructural development, failed to guarantee security of lives and property.
Yet, on the economy, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, the Central Bank and President Buhari’s political will deserve commendation and appreciation with the inauguration of the Treasury Single Account, TSA initiative; an initiative of the immediate past regime. The TSA after the first in six months of its operation had reportedly helped the Federal Government to able to save about 2.2 trillion Naira, an amount that is about half the budget for 2015. This huge sum of money would have ended up in private pockets without trace, with the TSA, several holes of corruption has been plugged giving the country the opportunity to plunge the gains of the TSA into the efforts for the revamping of the economy.
Almost all other Ministries are either prostrate or in comatose, some are even approaching non-existence in status. Nigerians can hardly tell what the Ministries of Education, Agriculture, Health, Aviation, Commerce and Industry, Solid Minerals Development etc. are doing in these very challenging times for the country. They all appear to have gone to slumber following the lack of clue on what to do.
The most tragic amongst the ‘comatose ministries’ perhaps are the Ministries of Education and that of Health, two very vital and foundational sectors of the society that cannot be toyed with as they link with existential reality. So far no clear educational policy or health policy has been declared and this has put both sectors in total disarray and catastrophic situations.
The most ridiculous in ideas out of the Ministries, is perhaps the Ministry of Agriculture with its warped suggestion for the importation of grass from Brazil for the cattle being reared by private individuals (herdsmen). This, like the idea for the creation of grazing zones represents favouratism for a particular group at the expense of other peoples’ rights which is unacceptable and must be resisted by all right thinking Nigerians.
The truth is that the present economic situation is a manifestation of the non-profundity and the lack of preparedness inherent in the ‘change’ the APC-led Federal government rode upon to win the general elections in 2015 basically. It reflects the futility of ‘cosmeticism’ and redecoration as strategic approaches for revamping an economy already in woe, as a result of the hitherto existing economic direction i.e. the neo-liberal economic order.
Above all, the present administration needs to holistically approach the myriad of issues bedeviling the polity. There are no rooms for excuses as the condition of existence of the average Nigerian continue to deteriorate on daily basis, the excuses will not assuage the pains and sufferings of the people.
Government should fulfill the very reason why it was instituted in the first place! The primary question to pose; is to ask, what is the general and specific purpose of governance or of government? General in the sense of why do we as a society need a government and what kind of governance do we need in general? And specific in the sense of what is the specific goal, objective and socio-economic program of this new regime, this new government? Government is a social contract between the governed and the government as espoused in Chapter 2 of the Nigerian Constitution explicitly. The government is supposed to (constitutionally empowered) to harness the resources of the society for the provisioning of social welfare for the (majority) people, including their security and harmony.
A year after the inauguration of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal government, it is pertinent to come to terms with what is real and what is fad or farce. The worst thing may not be so much about where we are coming from but much more about in which direction we are going, we dare say. And the way things stands, Nigerians are more concerned with the direction the Nation is moving. The ordinary Nigerian wants to be able to feed; to be sheltered, to be gainfully employed, to be educated, secured and to live in harmony, as simple as that!
Long Live, Nigeria!
Executive Chairman, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL
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Omatseye’s conviction, proof anti-corruption war’s working – CACOL
The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has described Friday’s conviction and sentence of Mr. Raymond Omatseye, a former Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), to five years jail term by a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos as a sign that the anti-corruption war is working.
ALLEGED CORRUPTION CRIMINALS UNDER PROSECUTION AND THEIR CLAIMS TO ILL HEALTH; JUSTICE MUST TAKE ITS FULL COURSE – CACOL
Heavy Knocks For Buhari’s Anti-Corruption War
As President Muhammadu Buhari’s fight against corruption continues, anti-graft agencies struggle to convince Nigerians that it is not selective, Gbenor Adeoye writes.
Many Nigerians have come to the realisation that corruption is a major challenge standing between the country and a good life for the citizens, hence their support for President Muhammadu Buhari, who many have dubbed as the “new sheriff in town”.
CACOL COMMENDS PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHAR AND EFCC AS THE ANTI-CORRUPTION WAR ACHIEVES ITS FIRST CONVICTION – CACOL
The Executive Chairman of the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, Mr, Debo Adeniran has congratulated the Federal Government, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and other security agencies as the anti-corruption war achieves its first conviction.
The EFCC had accused Mr. Omatseye of engaging in contract splitting and bid rigging to the tune of over N1.5bn while in office as the DG of NIMASA. The offence, the anti-graft agency said, contravened Section 58(4) of the Public Procurement Act 2007.
Mr. Adeniran in reacting to the development said that, “the recent judgment delivered by Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court, Lagos, which convicted former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Mr. Raymond Omatseye, to 5 years imprisonment over a contract scam involving N1.5bn is heartwarming and welcomed.”
The CACOL Chairman, sad that “It has always been our position that the conviction of corruption criminals was possible if the cases are handled diligently; from information gathering to arrests and from prosecution to conviction. The truth is that 99% of the so-called corruption crimes suspects are mostly likely to be found guilty if their cases were diligently handled.”
“Some of the corruption criminals have the wherewithal to take advantage of the lacunae in our laws and the shoddy prosecutions to escape justice. There should be thoroughness in investigations and diligence in prosecutions for all the cases of corruption; these will a long way in ensuring that corruption criminals do not cleverly escape the wrath of the law.” Mr. Adeniran added,
We commend the efforts of the Federal Government, the EFCC and the civil society organizations as the anti-corruption war is beginning to bear fruits with recovery of loots and the latest conviction. We hasten to repeat our call for life imprisonment for convicts that stole any amount above 1 billion naira, and they should be made to work diligently for their own upkeep via whatever skills they possess previously or has been able to learn behind the bars.
“They should be used as objects to educate the young, the youth and all when they go on excursion to the prisons, seeing former corrupt leaders in such situation will certainly serve to deter the potentially corrupt. Furthermore, whatever assets traced to such convicts should be deemed to be proceeds of corruption and confiscated by the Nigerian state.’’ The Executive Chairman of the Coalition concluded.
Media Coordinator, CACOL
21 May 2016
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ON THE RECENT RESCUE OF TWO CHIBOK GIRLS; WE COMMEND OUR GALLANT TROOPS AND PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI – CACOL
The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has commended Nigeria’s gallant soldiers and the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for the efforts so far in the battle against insurgency; a scourge of the nation, and his unwavering effort in rescuing the 219 girls abducted from the Federal Government Girls College in Chibok.
CACOL’s commendation is coming on the heels of the successful rescue of two of the girls held in captivity for over two years by the infamous Boko Haram insurgents. With the successful rescue of the girls, hope has come alive
“The rescue has vindicated all that had consistently called for the rescue of the girls, while conspiracy theorists were busy politicizing with issue to the extent that they claimed no girl was missing.” Said Debo Adeniran, the Executive Chairman of CACOL, in his reaction to the development.
“The rescue of the girls, apart from confirming that indeed the girls were abducted, the rescue has also provided an opportunity to get information about the remaining girls that are still in captivity, and this will go a long way in helping the rescue of Chibok girls.” Mr. Adeniran averred
On the suggestion coming from some quarters that the husband of one of the rescued girls, must be held responsible for the travails of Amina Ali Nkeke, Mr. Adeniran said ‘’such suggestions are unfair to the young man, who is also victim of the Boko Haram insurgency. The truth is that boys too do get abducted and conscripted under the circumstance of choosing between living or dying. The young man could not have been a mastermind in the insurgency, I dare say.”
We urge the government and our gallant troop not to relent in their efforts to rescue the girls that are still in captivity. Equally, some of the conscripted boys whose involvement in the insurgency is as involuntary as the abducted girls need recue and rehabilitation owing to the brutality of mind and body they would have suffered in the hands of the master-mind of the insurgency. We also call for government’s direct involvement in the rehabilitation of the rescued girls particularly their health care, education, security and sheltering.” Mr. Adeniran concluded.
Media Coordinator, CACOL
20 May 2016
On The Recent Rescue Of Two Chibok Girls; We Commend Our Gallant Troops And President Muhammadu Buhari—CACOL
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BEYOND THE COMMENT OF DAVID CAMERON AND HYPOCRITIC PATRIOTISM; NIGERIA IS INDEED ‘FANTASTICALLY CORRUPT’
The reported comment attributed to the Prime Minister of UK, Mr. David Cameron, that Nigeria is ‘fantastically corrupt’ as the International Conference on Anti-corruption is going on has divided the opinion of Nigerians with some calling for head of the UK PM and vilifying him for speaking the obvious!
The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL is towing a different line on this and takes the position that Mr. Cameron’s comment stems from the reality that Nigeria is indeed profoundly corrupt which justifies the fierce fight the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government is prosecuting against corruption.
We view the comment not as an attack on Nigeria or the President, but as an honest comment on the corrupt system that have subsisted and characterized even several regimes before the present administration in Nigeria. The fact is that the UK has even been more helpful than harmful in the fight against corruption in the country. For instance, it took the UK to be able to make James Ibori to answer for some of his very outrageous corruption crimes against the background of him having escaped about 171 charges of corruption in Nigeria by maneuvering through the judicial system.
The immediate past Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Allison Madueke is currently facing corruption charges in the UK, an individual who also was on the run from justice; a fugitive from justice in Britain, Diepreye Alamesiagha was granted state pardon in Nigeria, another fugitive from justice in the same Britain is spending his third term in the Senate and we think Mr. Cameron is ‘insulting’ us?!
CACOL sees Cameron’s assessment as being informed by what had happened in Nigeria in the past; events in the past such as the Halliburton and Siemens scandals, the police pension scam, the power project scam, the Security and Exchange Commission scam and others. legislating for good people of Nigeria? Is not fantastic that an ex-convict in Britain came back to Nigeria to become a powerful governor? Is it not fantastic that the same man is now back in Britain as a guest of her majesty over similar corruption charges he had been discharged and acquitted in Nigeria?
Rather than whimpering and engaging in hypocritical patriotism, Nigerians should introspect and confront the reality of how badly corruption has eaten into the fabric of our National life. We cannot afford to be hiding behind a finger, covering our faces when our behinds are in the full glare of the world, which would amount to nothing but plain absurdity!
While acknowledging the somewhat sarcastic statement of the UK PM and understanding the context, CACOL’s response is to draw the attention of the UK and its Prime Minister to some cogent issues on the anti-corruption drive in Nigeria as they have to do with the United Kingdom and other countries at the anti-corruption conference beyond trivialities and ‘mocking’.
First, we call on the United Kingdom as host of the ongoing international anti-corruption conference and other World Leaders at the ongoing anti-corruption conference to extract a commitment from President Muhammadu Buhari to re-open and resume of action on the Halliburton and Siemens bribery scandals that indicted several former Heads of Nigerian government, some of their spouses and other prominent leaders in Nigeria with a view of bringing the culpable among them to book.
The United Kingdom and other participating countries should as a matter of urgency play similar roles that Germany and others countries linked with international scams that have helped exposed those involved and even applied punitive against their nationals that were collaborators in the scam.
The re-opening and resumption of activities on the Halliburton and Siemens bribery scandals with the aim of bringing those culpable in the bribery and money laundering scandals to book is very imperative to proving the anti-corruption war being led by President Buhari to be profound enough.
The background to the Halliburton and Siemens scandal to remind all, is about a reported settlement agreement with reached the federal government November 22, 2010, under which Siemens will pay 7 billion Nigerian Naira (approx. $46.5 million) to the Nigerian Government in exchange for the EFCC dropping charges against Siemens AG, Siemens Nig Ltd and four of its officers. The settlement payment was variously described as “restitution” and “disgorgement”.
In connection with the TSKJ/Bonny Island bribery matter, on November 25, 2010, it was reported that the EFCC arrested ten Halliburton employees in Nigeria during a raid of the offices of Halliburton Energy Services Nigeria Limited in Lagos, as well as one employee each from Saipem Contracting Nigeria and Technip Offshore Nigeria. On December 7, 2010, the EFCC reportedly filed corruption charges against Halliburton, former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney (who was the CEO of Halliburton during the period at issue), Albert Stanley (former CEO of KBR), David Lesar (current CEO of Halliburton) and William Utt (current CEO of KBR). Technip, Snamprogetti and JGC Corporation were reportedly also charged on the same day. The case reference was Federal Republic of Nigeria v. Halliburton and others, CV/435/10, High Court of Justice, Abuja Judicial Division (Abuja).
We call on World leaders at the conference particularly countries where loots stolen from Nigeria are being stashed help facilitate the repatriating the loots. We urge other countries to be proactive by emulating the UK in helping Nigeria fight corruption as demonstrated in the manner the Dipreye, Ibori, Diezani and others’ cases were handled and are being handled.
“Name, Nail, Shame and Shun Corrupt Leaders Anywhere, Everywhere”.
Executive Chairman, CACOL
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THE CLAMPDOWN ON STUDENTS’ UNIONISM WILL AGGRAVATE THE CRISES IN THE IVORY TOWERS
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