Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan’

The Truth About Nigeria’s Power Sector During the Jonathan Years

My attention has been drawn to the story ‘Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Jonathan wasted N11tn on electricity –SERAP’ published most prominently in The Punch newspapers on August 10, 2017 and less prominently in other papers.

While I cannot speak for others, I can certainly say that as touching former President Goodluck Jonathan, the story is false and is the fruit of the laziness of the researchers who could have taken advantage of the Freedom of Information Act that Dr. Jonathan signed into law in May, 2011 to get records and data from relevant government ministries, departments and agencies that would have given them a fuller picture instead of the narrow view they have.

Former President Jonathan could not have wasted ₦11 trillion or any other amounts of money for the simple reason that he was the Nigerian President who privatized the Power Sector beginning on August 26, 2010 when he launched the roadmap to power sector reforms and culminating on October 16, 2012 when the winning bids were announced for the sale of power generating and distributing companies.

SERAP may do well to remember that on Monday the 30th of September 2013, at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Former President Jonathan successfully handed over the bulk of Nigeria’s Power Infrastructure to successful private sector bidders after they had made payments for the assets they acquired.

At that event, he said “I congratulate our new owners who have taken over the engines and cables that are expected to drive not just the electricity industry but also the socio-economic well-being of the nation”.

In total, the Power Holding Company of Nigeria was split into six generation and 11 distribution firms, all sold separately, for about $2.5 billion for which the Jonathan administration received much deserved praise.

In fact, rather than wasting money, the Jonathan administration generated money for the federation from the sale of these assets which were seen to be transparent and followed global best practices.

Between May 6th 2010 when he was first sworn in as President to May 29, 2015 when he handed over power, the budget for the ministry of power under Dr. Jonathan was not up to ₦400 billion in total for the simple reason that his administration had succeeded in transferring most of Nigeria’s power assets, liabilities and personnel from the public sector to the private sector.

As such, it is evidently clear that any allegations that the Jonathan government wasted trillions is not a well thought out allegation at best and is a figment of the imagination of the makers at worse.

I do hope those papers which published this false report against the person of former President Jonathan and the administration that he led will be honorable enough to set the records straight for posterity.

May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Reno Omokri
For former President Jonathan

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How Jonathan’s kinsman in trouble over $289m special votes for NIA

It has been reported that a former boss of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) may have  some questions to answer from the Presidential Investigative Panel on   the $289 million allegedly withdrawn from the company’s accounts ostensibly for national security.

NAPIMS is a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The investigative panel, headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, is currently probing  the $43.4million haul made recently from the Orborne Towers,  Ikoyi, Lagos, and the  N200m curious contract awarded by the Presidential Initiative on the North-East.

The erstwhile NAPIMS boss, said to be a kinsman of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, was in charge of the company when the huge withdrawal was made during the last political dispensation.

The Ikoyi cash is believed to be part of the leftover of the NAPIMS funds.

But he won’t be the only to face the panel.

The committee said yesterday that it will invite “all relevant officials and private individuals who may be connected to both cases.”

For now, it is unlikely that Dr. Jonathan will be summoned by the committee, contrary to widespread speculations.

Media reports had suggested that Jonathan gave the go ahead for the release of the $289 million to the NIA and other security agencies from the account of NAPIMS.

It was also gathered yesterday that there will be no soft handling of anyone implicated in the $43.4million haul and the  N200m contract award.

Two top government officials – Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ayo Oke – were sent home last Wednesday over their suspected involvement in the matters.

President Muhammadu Buhari is understood to have told the investigative panel not to spare the rod or give soft landing to anyone found wanting.

Buhari demanded a thorough job no matter whose ox is gored, sources told The Nation.

The panel announced yesterday that its assignment will take place behind closed doors to avoid speculations and distractions.

Sources told The Nation that Buhari’s instruction to the Osinbajo Committee is straight forward.

“The President directed that there should be no cover up for anybody no matter how highly placed. He said there will be no soft landing for the suspended officials or any official or anyone closer to him who is involved,” a highly placed source said.

“And Buhari demonstrated this on Wednesday when the affected officials were suspended. Before the announcement was made, SGF Babachir Lawal earlier wanted to see him but he sent a message to him to go and see the Vice President.

“As a matter of fact, he had expected that one of the two suspended officials would have resigned given overwhelming public opprobrium on the allegations against him but he refused. “The President then decided that he cannot be bearing the burden of anyone.

“So, this committee is not the Kangaroo type or a soft landing panel to save anybody.”

The committee yesterday shed light on its mode of operation.

It said its sessions will be closed to the public to avoid speculations and distractions.

The committee made the clarifications through a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity to the President (Office of the Vice President), Mr. Laolu Akande.

It said: “The Presidential Committee ordered earlier this week by President Muhammadu Buhari to probe certain allegations against the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engineer Babachir Lawal, and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Mr. Ayo Oke has commenced its work in earnest.

“President Buhari on Wednesday established the three-man panel headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, with Attorney-General & Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami and National Security Adviser, Rtd Major General Babagana Monguno as members, to investigate allegations of legal and due process violations made against the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF and the discovery of large amounts of foreign and local currencies by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) in a residential apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos.

“In the discharge of its work, the panel is expected to invite all relevant officials and private individuals who may be connected to both cases.

“It will also obtain and scrutinize documents that may throw some light on the issues raised in both cases. All its proceedings will however be in closed sessions to avoid speculations, allow for full disclosure and enhance the pace of proceedings.

“The panel which is expected to submit its report to the President at the expiration of the 14-day deadline, will conduct its work with utmost diligence and without fear or favour.”

Investigation confirmed last night that ex-President Jonathan might not be summoned by the Osinbajo Panel.

On the alleged huge withdrawal of funds from the account of NAPIMS  termed Special Intervention Funds for the NIA,the source said: “”Since Jonathan’s kinsman was in charge of NAPIMS, it was convenient for the former administration to withdraw some funds from the account of the agency.

“Apart from NIA, some security agencies and offices benefitted from the Special Intervention Funds.

“The Presidential Investigative Committee may interact with a former Group General Manager and some select officials of NAPIMS who disbursed the Special Intervention Funds.”

A separate source said:”There are so many documents, EFCC investigative report, Senate Committee report and public officers involved in some of the projects or activities and funds being probed.

“The committee is unlikely to summon ex-President Jonathan. He is actually not on our radar. Let each public official carry his or her own cross.”

The three-man committee is expected to:

  • enquire into the circumstances in which the NIA came into possession of the funds,
  • how and by whose or which authority the funds were made available to the NIA,
  • and to establish whether or not there has been a breach of the law or security procedure in obtaining custody and use of the funds.”

Cancelled protest: A national shame, embarrassment – Soyinka

 In a an article shared on Shararepoters, Wole Soyinka said that he had written a letter to the Inspector-General of Police, through the Commissioner of Police, Lagos state demanding that the protest be allowed so as to respect and safeguard the constitutional rights of Nigerians.

The media offered the nation a space of relief when it carried the expected news of a mutual accommodation reached by the organizers of the demonstration planned for tomorrow Monday February 6th. The theme in summary: public discontent with the state of the nation and its governance. From the beginning, the organizers had cited quite an extensive list of such areas of concern and demands for urgent attention. To my personal consternation, today’s (Sunday) the same media countered that announcement with a stiff repudiation from the apex of the Police command – the office of the Inspector-General. It is such a huge disappointment, and a disservice to the cause of democracy, tolerance of dissent, and principle of inclusive governance. An unnecessary but important reminder: the battle for the right of lawful assembly of citizens in any cause, conducted peacefully, has been fought and won several times over. It is time that this contest is gracefully conceded. It must be consolidated by its routineness as a choice of action at the front of any people’s democratic participation. This battle has been won legally, constitutionally, and even morally. It enjoys near global acceptance as one of the means of actualizing the protocols of a people’s Fundamental Human Rights. It comes therefore as a deep embarrassment and a national shame that this latest attempt at denial of these protocols rears its head at a time when one of the largest gatherings of humanity is taking place in one of the former totalitarian states of Eastern Europe – Romania. Its size has been assessed as the largest in former Eastern Europe since the fall of the Berlin wall. It was triggered by the state attempt to water down the criminal code against corruption and has brought out hundreds of thousands of people into the streets and stadia, day after day, until the much-awaited announcement of the withdrawal of the obnoxious decree. This should resonate within the current Nigerian governance that has made the anti-corruption crusade its mantra. The Police attempt to reverse the hands of the democratic clock is even more appalling at a time when open demonstrations are taking place all over the world against the policies of a recently elected president of the United States, whose democratic formula this nation allegedly serves as Nigeria’s adopted model. Across numerous states of that federated nation, ongoing at this very moment, is the public expression of rejection of a president’s policy that has also pitted the Executive against the judiciary. We have heard of no preventive action by the police, nor arrests of demonstrators. Again and again, efforts, both under military and civilian orders have been made to stifle the rights to freedom of expression by Nigerian governments – Buhari, Babangida, Obasanjo, Abacha, Jonathan….and now again, Buhari? These efforts have been, and will always be resisted. It is a moral issue, as old as settled humanity. It has been settled in other parts of the world. Nigeria cannot be an exception, not as long as her citizens refuse to accept the designation of second, even third-rate citizens. I have sent a message to the Inspector-General of Police, through the Commissioner of Police, Lagos state, urging both to respect and safeguard the constitutional rights of the people. I hope that, even at this eleventh hour, legality and the democratic imperative will prevail. Finally, I shall be less than honest if I do not add the following, mostly directed as a warning to the very polity on whose behalf the democratic war is joined, again and again: Dear Nigerians!!! Due to security concerns and public safety consideration. I hereby announce the cancellation of the planned March. A video posted by Innocent Idibia (@official2baba) on Feb 4, 2017 at 1:59pm PST Minus a minuscule but highly voluble minority, mostly of pitiably retarded polluters of the common zones of public interventions, I do not know of any citizens of civilized community who do not subscribe to the fundamental Right of the Freedom of Expression in any form, as long as it is peaceful, and non-injurious to humanity. I would hate to conclude that the security agencies, or the government they serve, at this stage of national development and recent history, would choose to align themselves with such an unteachable minority.

Wole Soyinka

Photo:Youths advocates for GEJ to come back in 2019

Former Nigeria President, Goodluck Jonathan Ebele has been advocated to come back in 2019.

When he visited Sokoto state yesterday to pay a condolence visit to the family of the late Sultan of Sokoto, Ibrahim Dasuki, who died recently. During his visit, some residents of the state were seen carrying placards displaying “Come back baba Jonathan”.Goodluck-Jonathan

Politics : I didn’t detain anybody under my administration -Jonathan

jonathanAccording to http://www.punchng.com , former President Goodluck Jonathan said decisions taken by his administration were guided by the overall interest of the nation and not ethno-religious or personal considerations.

Jonathan said this during the Nigerian Lawyers Association’s annual dinner and merit awards ceremony held in New York, on Saturday.

He noted that Nigeria belongs to all Nigerians and as such leaders must resist anything that might want to make them pursue a regional or narrow agenda.

The former President’s whose comments were tweeted on his tweeter handle @GEJonathan, also reeled out what he said were his administration’s achievements in promoting democracy and the rule of law.

Jonathan, who spoke on the theme, “Diversity as our Bridge to Tomorrow,” said in one tweet, “No matter what my critics said about me, I ensured that there was both freedom of speech and freedom after the speech.”

In other tweets he said, “Under my watch, not a single Nigerian was sent to prison because of anything they wrote or said about me or the administration. Nigeria had neither political prisoners nor political exile under my administration. We enacted the Freedom of Information Act and by that we tore the veil of secrecy covering governance.”

Perhaps in a veiled reference to the face-off between security agencies and some judges over allegations of corruption, Jonathan said, “We gave institutions unlimited freedom and ensured that the NBA (Nigerian Bar Association) and other professional institutions were devoid of any government influence, we enacted the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 to promote efficient management of criminal  justice institutions in Nigeria.”

He also used the opportunity to tell his guests that he could not be accused of nepotism because “most of my principal aides in government hailed from different ethnic nationalities.”

On appointments into the nation’s electoral management body, Jonathan said, “We ensured that appointments into INEC were not based on personal relationships.”

He enjoined Nigerians in the Diaspora especially those in the United States to continue to give support to democratic governance back home.  Although Jonathan did not mention any Nigerian being incarcerated for holding an opposing political view to the administration which succeeded him, it is common knowledge that several of his former aides and political associates are currently in custody on corruption related charges.

As at the last count, the nation’s former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), his spokesman, Reuben Abati, ex-National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisa Metuh and a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, are being detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on corruption charges.

There have been cases of bloggers  and a print journalist in Kaduna who were detained on charges bordering on their views considered critical to those in power.

The Leader of the opposition in the House of Representatives, Mr. Leo Ogor, in his reaction to the development said Nigerians had come under threat since President Muhammadu Buhari came into power.

He alleged that there was also “abuse of the judicial process,” which he said, had resulted in disobedience to court pronouncements.

However, the Executive Director of the Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education, Dr. Ibrahim Zikirulahi, expressed a different view.

He said,  “Ex-President Jonathan claimed there was more freedom under his regime. Is it freedom to steal our collective wealth? Is it freedom to criminality and terror or freedom to political assassination? With the heinous crime committed against the Nigerian state under Jonathan’s watch, it is shameless on the part of the ex-President to make those provocative statements.

“There are no political detainees and no political exiles in Nigeria today. What we have are those hunted by their corrupt practices while they were in office under ex-President Jonathan.”

Attempts to get a reaction from the Presidency did not yield results. The Special Adviser to the President (Media), Mr. Femi Adesina, told one of our correspondents that he was boarding a flight and was not in a position to speak.

Jonathan Aide, Adegbe at war with EFCC at the court over detention

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Former Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan’s aide is at war with Economic and Financial Crimes Commission at the law court over his detention.

But the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has said the continued detention of a former Aide-de-Camp to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Col. Ojogbane Adegbe, is on the directive of the Nigerian Army.

The anti-graft agency also denied serving on him a summons, inviting him from the United Kingdom, where he had been attending a military course after serving as the President’s ADC till May 29, 2015.

This is contained in a counter-affidavit, which the commission filed to oppose the suit filed by Adegbe, demanding N100m compensation from then EFCC for alleged unlawful detention.

Justice Yusuf Halilu of a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Jabi, Abuja, entertained arguments for and against Adegbe’s application on Thursday and fixed March 1 for judgment.

Adegbe has been in EFCC custody since February 11 in relation to investigations into alleged fraud in the procurement of arms meant to fight terror group, Boko Haram, in the North-East.

But one of EFCC’s lawyers, Mr. Francis Jirbo, who deposed to the commission’s counter-affidavit, opposing the suit, stated that the anti-graft agency never prompted the Army to summon Adegbe from the UK for the investigation.

The counter-affidavit states, “In further response to the paragraph six of the affidavit in support of the applicant’s (Adegbe’s) application, the respondent (the EFCC) states that it has never invited the applicant for any investigation.

Should Jonathan be probed?

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Should Jonathan be probed? This question has gone viral on social media.

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