The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has called on the Federal government, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and judiciary not allow the ‘delay tactics’ being deployed by former Governor of Plataeu State, Senator Joshua Dariye to scuttle the judicial process on his fraud case being prosecuted by the EFCC, for allegedly diverting N1.162bn from the state’s Ecological Fund, to private companies and individuals.
The Executive Chairman of CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran, reacting to the report that Dariye, currently representing Plateau-Central Senatorial district in the Senate, has accused his trial judge of bias through a letter written to the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, Abuja, described the move as an ‘overplayed tactic’ to escape justice!
“Akin to what the Senate President shamelessly resorted to over his case at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, Senator Joshua Dariye is accusing the trial Judge, Justice Adebukola Banjoko sitting over his fraud case of ‘undisguised bias’ to achieve the truncation of the criminal trials.”
“We know ex-Governor is not new to this game of ‘clogging the wheel of justice’, he practically maneuvered and toyed with the judicial system for over 9 years before this trial could start trial at all, an act which made the Nigerian Judicial system laughable.”
The EFCC, in 2007, preferred money laundering and charges bordering on the diversion of the Ecological funds against Dariye, APC, who recently decamped to the All Progressive Congress. He was reported to have sought an ‘application for transfer on ground of manifest and undisguised bias’. Justice Banjoko, on Wednesday adjourned the case to February 15, 2017 for hearing of the applications.
The CACOL Leader said, “we must warn the APC led Federal government that achieving justice in Dariye’s case must not be compromised on the altar of political expediencies. We say this based of the droves of corruption criminal suspects that are decamping to the ruling party, a party that rode to power on the mantra of ‘change and fighting corruption to a standstill’.”
“People like Dariye, Saraki, Stella Oduah and co do not deserve to be sitting in that prestigious Chamber based on how soiled their characters are. It is because of dis-honunourable persons like Dariye and his co-travelers that almost all that comes out of the Senate are never in tandem with the interest of the vast majority of Nigerians.’
“We call on the EFCC to ensure the diligent prosecution of the Dariye case and others to achieve logical conclusions which will see those whose culpability are established facing the full wrath of the law. They must not be allowed to cleverly wriggle through the labyrinths of the laws to pervert the cause of justice.”
“President Muhammadu Buhari in particular must ensure that the corruption criminal suspects seeking refuge in his party and residing in it do not escape justice if he intends to keep the credibility of the anti-corruption safe and the boat afloat!”
Wale Salami
Media Coordinator, CACOL
January 19, 2017
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The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL (formerly Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders) has condemned the arrest of Omoyele Sowore, Publisher of SaharaReporters on Wednesday by the Police. The Executive Chairman of CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran described the role and attitude of the Police as inappropriate and unacceptable.
Adeniran said, ‘This development is reminiscent of the dark days of the Military rule when journalists were hounded, intimated, tortured, harassed, detained and assassinated on regular basis. It is unfortunate that the Police are still living in that age and time, when arbitrary arrests and detentions were the order of the day. And this is in spite of our country being in a democracy.”
‘Let us assume without conceding that Sowore is guilty of the trumped-up charges of defamation, blackmail and threat to life; and if the Police had a petition on the matter, we should ask the Police if previously they had invited the journalist for interrogations? If they did, what was Sowore’s response, that is, did he honour the invitation? If he didn’t, what did the Police do? Where should it be the petitioner that had to carry-out the arrest on behalf of the Police?” Adeniran queried
The news of the arrest of the Publisher went viral yesterday in the Media when he posted online about an attempt on his life at GRA Ikeja. The attack was repelled by some construction workers, but the Police were said have intervened. From the Area F, Police station in Ikeja, Sowore posted that, “after the police intervened” soon as I was attacked by Lekan Fatodu and his friends in Lagos we were taken to the CP’s office in Lagos. Turns out he was in on this, he pulled out a supposed petition written by Lekan from his hat after that he became very hostile towards me and ordered that we be driven to State CID, at Panti in Lagos. It is very obvious that this was planned between Lekan Fatodu and the police.”
“Reportedly, the so-called petitioner was linked to laundering money for Femi Fani Kayode in the infamous arms deal scandal perpetrated under the last regime when money meant for arms were diverted for political campaigns. Therefore motive of this occurrence is not far-fetched.” Adeniran averred
He said “there are two obvious evil machinations in this illegal arrest of Sowore; first is the connivance of the Police in the episode and secondly, but more fundamentally, corruption fighting back voraciously. We all know the impressive role SaharaReporters have been playing in terms of exposing the corrupt elements in and out of government in Nigeria in particular and Africa generally. Sowore is actually a ‘thorn in the flesh’ of oppressors and the kleptomaniacs in our country which is why he is now been hounded. Nigerians must realize this; we must be vigilant as we can all see from this incidence that corrupt elements will go to any level including violence just to kill the anti-corruption mode the country is already in.”
“We demand an immediate halt to the harassment of Sowore, he must not be detained understand this circumstance or any other one unjustly. He must be allowed to enjoy his freedom of expression, movement and all the other fundamental human rights to the fullest!”
Wale Salami
Media Coordinator, CACOL
January 12, 2017
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The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, has reiterated its’ position on the lingering debacle over the non-confirmation of Mr. Ibrahim Magu as the substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC based on what has been described as a ‘security report’ which emanated from the Department of State Security Services. We view the situation as one which is getting more appalling and ridiculous on daily basis.
The ‘security report’ from media reports of listed the ‘infringements’ purportedly committed by the EFCC boss. They include; Magu’s arrest, detention and suspension by the Police, that the sum of N40m was paid for renting an apartment, which costs N20m per annum, possession of official EFCC documents in his private residence during the period Farida Waziri was the EFCC boss amongst others.
Without prejudice to the veracity or otherwise of these “infringements”, we insist that what is really at the background of the debacle is the reality that the Senate knows Magu’s salts and the fact that he is worth it! The Senate as presently constituted from the leadership to the rank and file members, is peopled by deeply corrupt elements that deserve no space in such a quintessential Arm of government in a democracy that it is fledging.
We find it utterly ridiculous that it is at this point that the DSS is just coming up with so-called infringements after about a year of Magu superintending over an Agency of government that is so central to the anti-corruption drive of our country. Clearly, there is the auspicious need for Nigerians to really take back their country from a political class that is hell-bent on imposing and spreading the virus called corruption in the polity. Their effrontery in fighting back given the ‘anti-corruption mode of the people’ now knows no limits.”
Our take is that, we, collectively and urgently need to rescue our country; regain our respect within the comity nations to a large extent. A fundamental thing we must realize is that the fight against corruption is actually about sustaining a national consensus that will focus on our strong desire to sanitize our country. The point is that, at some time as people, we forget our goals and focus on frivolities at the expense whatever gains of what we consciously describe as ‘anti-corruption mode of the people’ that has recently activated in the country. Let’s get serious, we must recognize the inevitable need to own the anti-corruption drive and raising the bars regardless of the occupiers of power at any point, we cannot afford let down the guard. The consequences of corruption need not be over-emphasized, for our socio-economic reality says it all.
The DSS and Senate’s current connivance over Magu betrays conscious mischief and conspiracy if the last time the DSS carried out a ‘sting operation on corrupt judges and the fire and brimstones that came from the Senate were anything to take serious at all. It is important to state that we understand perfectly the imperatives of holding ‘principle of separation of powers’ in constitutional democracy as sacred! But won’t we be engaging in national tomfoolery if we pretend not understand what is at stake on this issue? We must always be circumspective and objective when some of these ‘conflicts’ within a ruling class that has overtime established themselves as incurably greedy props up. What actually, constitute our priorities if we indeed profess to anti-corruption and the effort to rid our country of the virus of corruption that is so deeply seated in our system as whole?
The truth is, if mischief was not involved, why would the DSS submit the so-called damning report to the Senate, rather than begin where they should have begun? For crying out loud, the head of the DSS sits on the Board of the Commission of EFCC as constitutionally required by the Act that established the agency i-e. EFCC Establishment Act 2004! Again, why would such a sensitive report on someone who has occupied such a sensitive position for about one year be delayed till this time? What sort of security apparatus will so wickedly wait till now while our country was at such ‘grievous’ risk before releasing this apparently manufactured allegations against Magu? If the allegations were true, it only tells a lot about the kind of people who the country has put its security in charge of. We need serious introspection on this disgraceful attitude which we consider as punishable under the code of conduct of intelligence and security agencies and personnel.
Magu, who chairs the board and other members were obviously open to scrutiny and must have been subjected to same logically given the sensitivity of their designated roles as security and intelligence agents.
The open rivalry amongst the security agencies has once again reared its ugly and embarrassing head in the present debacle which we need to find take serious note of. It’s truism that even the DSS is required to report to a higher hierarchy in our security system, making it compulsory for the Service to report to the office of the National Security Adviser. The Service and all other security agencies must not be seen to be partakers in the self-serving ways of the political class.
By the Act that established the EFCC, the board of the commission consists of the following members,
‘(A)                  A chairman, who shall-
(1)      Be the Chief Executive and Accounting officers of the Commission
(2)   Be a serving or retired member of any government security or law enforcement agency not below the rank of Assistance Commissioner of police or equivalent, and
(3)   Posses not less than 15years cognate experience
    (B)       The Governor of the central bank or his representative, and
     (C)       A representative each of the following federal Ministries
                (1) Foreign Affairs,
                (2) Finance,
                (3) Justice,
         (d) The Chairman National Drug Law Enforcement Agency or his representative,
         (e) The Director General of-
              (1) The National Intelligence Agency
              (2) The Department of State Security Services or his representative,
          (f) The Registrar- General of the corporate Affairs Commission or his Representative
      (g) The director general, Securities and Exchange Commission or his representative,
      (h) The Managing Director, Nigeria-Deposit Insurance Corporation or his representative
      (i) The Commissioner for Insurance or his representative,
      (j) The postmaster-General of the Nigerian Postal services or his representative,
    (k)  The Chairman, Nigerian Communication Commission or his representative
    (i) The Comptroller –General, Nigerian Customs Services or his representative,
  (M) The Comptroller-General Nigeria, Immigration Services or his representative
  (n) A inspector General of Police or his representative,
  (o) Four eminent Nigerians with cognate experience in any of the following that is finance, banking and accounting, and
 (p) The secretary to the commission who shall be the head of administration
2. The members of the Commission, other than the Chairman and the Secretary shall be part times members
3. The chairman and members of the Commission other than ex-officio members shall be appointed by the President and appointment shall be subject to the confirmation of the senate.
The above should be instructive enough to expose the present mischief for the undiscerning to see and for the need for us all to remain vigilant as corruption fight backs. We once again, call for the resignation of Mr. Bukola Saraki as the Senate President given the plethora of corruption cases his is indicted for. He lacks the moral grounds and integrity to occupy such a national space which should be sacredly reserved for leaders who are men of honour.
We hasten to remind us not to quickly forget the melodramatics that has been orchestrated by the present Senate; these includes how they mobilized themselves in embarrassingly large numbers to queue behind an individual that till the moment has not proven his innocence at the Code of Conduct Tribunal over the corruption charges hanging round his neck. The strange term ‘budget-padding’ also came into our national lexicon within the life span of the present NASS so far with the manner the budget 2016 was handled.
And it is the same Senate that have brazenly utilized different crooked means of causing confusion to achieve the bid to shield themselves from scrutiny while tactically escaping the jaws of justice. It is the same attitude that is responsible for the several attempts to strip the people of their fundamental human right to expression via their yet-to-be discarded idea to shut down the Social media. Oppressors and corrupt elements are never comfortable with transparency, public accountability and probity and that is what is fundamental about this unnecessary ‘confusion’.
We must collectively demand that the Senate fulfils its duty as dictated by the constitution. We must look beyond the parochial lens of the so-called friction said to be existing within the different arms of government. We do not need to pander to obviously corrupt ways of the ruling class to guarantee that independence of each arm of government is not abused and for checks and balances in governance not be jeopardized. It is about our country, we dare say that, it is much more beyond the antics of the present occupiers of the corridors of power including President Muhammadu Buhari, his party, the APC and others. Let us take back Nigeria now, it is our country!
Debo Adeniran
Executive Chairman, CACOL
December 17, 2016
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Mr. Debo Adeniran, Executive Chairman of the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, has lampooned the National Assembly over its proposal that 20% of the 2017 Budget be dedicated to constituency projects. “they are not just greedy, they are insensitive to the parlous state of the country. If that proposal should come to fruition, we should then expect not just the aggravation of corruption; we should expect its conflagration.” He averred
The anti-corruption Crusader was reacting to the news that the Senate has made the demand that 20% of the 2017 budget should be allocated for constituency projects. He said “it’s like adding salt to injury! What did they do with the 2016 budget? That is the first question to ask. And for crying out loud, 20% represents a whooping sum of 1.4Trn of the projected budget of N7.2tn for 2017.”
 “How could we afford to prioritize constituency projects which in most cases are just conduit pipes for corruption over more important issues including how to immediately get our country out of this gnashing economic recession? He queried
“Our position had always been that there is no need for legislators to be taking funds for constituency projects because the whole idea and practice is susceptible to sharp practices.  Some legislators go to the extent of contracting these projects to themselves directly or indirectly, that is if the projects get implemented at all.”
“Our position is that, the practice should be stopped, what is more logical is that the legislators should engage in NEEDS Assessment in their respective constituencies which will help in identifying and separating the real and felt-needs of their constituents. It is the outcome of these assessment that will inform government’s prioritization in its response to people’s needs.”
Continuing, Adeniran said “It is the outcome of these assessments that the legislature would pass to the Executive with a demand for the real needs of each constituent to be captured in the national budget. The legislature will also get a chance to cross-check whether the demands of their constituent were captured in the budget or not, when the Executive brings the Appropriation bill back to the NASS, and there would be opportunity to amend the bill.”
“Fortunately, it is the legislature that oversights all government projects and can always check the Executive at that level. We therefore emphatically condemn the proposal as we are convinced it would only aggravate and conflagrate corruption. Constituency projects only put the principle of ‘separation of powers in jeopardy, the oversight powers of the legislature is adequate enough, the whole practice should be abandoned! He concluded
Wale Salami
Media Coordinator, CACOL
December 10, 2016
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