Atiku vs Buhari: Stop consulting presidency, constitute panel based on seniority, Frank tells CJN

A political activist and former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Comrade Timi Frank, has urged the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Tanko Muhammad, to stop unnecessary delay in constituting a Supreme Court panel to determine Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s case challenging the Presidential Tribunal ruling in favour of General Muhammadu Buhari.

Frank demanded that the CJN should constitute the Supreme Court panel based on the tradition of seniority and not “consulting or waiting on the advice of the presidency.”

In a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday, the political activist said it amount to injustice for the CJN to delay the constitution of the 7-man panel more than a month after the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) appealed the Presidential Tribunal’s judgement.

“We are reliably informed of an unholy alliance between the CJN and the presidency which is causing the delay in constitution of the panel, such move is dangerous for Nigeria’s democracy.

“The CJN must respect the normal tradition of following the order of seniority in selecting the justices. Even all the times Bubari himself had approached the Supreme Court in the past, order of seniority was followed.The precedent is set contrary to the ongoing shopping for judges who will be favorable to the whims and caprices of General Buhari and the APC.

“If anything contrary to the tradition of order of seniority which we all know is allowed to happen, that will confirm that the CJN has bowed to the pressure from the presidency and that will also confirm the allegation made earlier by the CUPP.

“It is obvious that the judiciary under the current administration seems to have been caged but it is high time our judiciary showed courage. The whole world witnessed the courage showed by the Supreme Court in the United Kingdom recently. Even in Africa, Kenya’s Supreme Court has also proven to be independent when it recently nullified presidential election of a sitting president, Nigeria’s judiciary must prove its worth in this case.

“A situation where the CJN has to consult the presidency or the AGF before a panel is constituted does not show an independent judiciary,” Frank stated.

While calling the attention of the international community on the matter, the Bayelsa born activist said in a democratic system once justice is not seen to be given, anarchy and chaos will be the order of the day.

Frank also called on the former CJNs to call Justice Tank to order, to avoid playing politics but adhere to precedents laid by them.

“Nigeria is greater and more important than General Buhari and his cabal. I therefore, call on the good people of Nigeria, the African Union (AU) and other International Community to ensure that the independence of the judiciary must remain sacrosanct and inalienable, and compel Justice Tanko to do the right thing,” Frank stated.

Atala-OML 46: APC seeks EFCC probe of Dickson’s plan to sell state-owned oil field

The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Yekini Nabena has called on the Economics and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate shocking details exposing the plan of the Governor of Bayelsa state, Seriake Dickson to sell off an oil field, Atala Marginal Field (OML 46) belonging to the state, months to the Governor’s handover.

This is coming after revelations that Governor Dickson illegally withdrew and diverted N17.5 billion from bank accounts belonging to the state government to prosecute the November 16 Bayelsa governorship election in the state.

In a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, the APC deputy spokesman, alleged that the peoples Democratic Party-led government in Bayelsa was planning to sell the oil field to fund the forthcoming governorship election.

“Our law enforcement and anti graft agencies cannot fold its arms while the state is being robbed to enrich the pockets of a few people and fund the election of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.

“The EFCC and NFIU must take immediate action before the outgoing Governor Dickson and his cronies bankrupt the state and sell our resources to themselves.

“Atala-OML 46, which was awarded to Bayelsa state by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), a subsidiary of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in 2003 is managed by the Bayelsa Oil Company Limited (BOCL). Hardy Oil Nigeria Limited (HONL) and Century Exploration and Production Limited (CEPL) are technical and financial services providers.

Details of the planned sale of oil field, according to the APC chieftain are contained in a September 5, 2019 leaked letter by Bayelsa Oil Company Limited (BOCL), Secretary/Legal Adviser, Barr. Oruah C. Mark to BOCL’s Board Chairman, titled: “RE: SALE OF 41% OUT OF BOCL’S 51% PARTICIPATING INTEREST IN ATALA MARGINAL FIELD (OML 46) TOGETHER WITH ITS OPERATORSHIP TO HALKIN GLOBAL INVESTMENT LIMITED.”

The scanned copy of the letter which I have made available has revealed that the Bayelsa state Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson has perfected plans to sell the state owned oil company.

Nabena alleged that governor Dickson has collaborated with the Managing Director of the BOCL, Mr Ebikabowei C. Dorgu, to assign 41% out of BOCL’s 51% Participating Interest in Atala Marginal Field together with its operatorship to Halkin Global Investment Limited (HGIL).

“On 5 Sept 2019, BOCL’s MD, Mr Dorgu instructed that certain named Board Members meet with him in the office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Bayelsa State Government House for an important official assignment.”

The letter reads: “Thereafter, I (Secretary/Legal Adviser) met him (MD) and he gave me two copies of BOCL’s Board resolution for execution. The resolution was a document authorizing BOCL Management to negotiate, execute necessary documents to assign 41% out of BOCL’s 51% Participating Interest in Atala Marginal Field together with its Operatorship to HGIL; inter alia. Unsigned copy of the resolution is hereby attached for your ease of reference.

“According to MD, the document was prepared by HGIL and in a brief moment I asked him of the NIO, (Ten Billion Naira) loan facility from Sterling Bank which he is currently processing and whether CEPL and HONL settlement and payoff has been concluded.

“However, he explained that those issues are on-going but that this transaction was directed by the Governor, and I was surprised that all these activities with a third party investor is happening without my knowledge.

“In the evening of the same day, the MD called me to meet and execute some documents for him at Brass Suit hotel,”

Mr Mark said that the MD of the BOCL, Mr Dorgu, requested for his signature to a copy of Farm-ln Agreement and Service Agreement between BOCL and HGIL.

“The Farm-ln Agreement assigns 41% out of BOCL’s 51% Participating Interest in Atala Marginal Field (OML, 46) together with its Operatorship to HGIL for a consideration of $4,000,000.00 (Four Million US Dollars) on the basis of three installmental payments; to wit: $500,000, $1,500.000 and $2,000,000 respectively.

“Highlights of the Farm-ln Agreement following my brief perusal of the document include:
1 . BOCL assigning 41% out of its 51% interest in Atala Marginal Field (OML 46) to HGIL in the sum of $4,000,000; with an initial payment of $500,000 at the point of execution of the agreement. Property in the 41% Participating Interest shall pass unto HGIL after the initial payment.

  1. Subsequent payments shall be made when BOCL is able to fulfill several conditions; including:
    a. Fulfilled the condition in respect of CEPL’s right of first refusal.
    b. Secured CEPL’s consent in respect of the assigned interest. Secured BOCL’s original Farmors’ (Shell) consent.
    c. Obtain the Consent of the Minister of Petroleum (Consent Letter) in respect of the assigned 41% interest.
    d. Amicable termination of BOCL/CEPL Technical Service Agreement together with its addendum as to enable the implementation of BOCL/HGIL Service Agreement.
    e. Facilitate the immediate joint review of BOCL, CEPL and HONL Atala Joint Operating Agreement in view of HGlL’s newly acquired interest.
    f. Strictly ensure that any additional interest made available by CEPL or HONL is solely acquired by HGIL.
    g. To ensure that BOCL holds only 10% interest in Atala Field for the life of the field.
    h. HGIL to fund BOCL monthly administrative cost at $100,000. And further carry BOCL’s 10% cost for the life of the field on repayment basis. Execute a new Service Agreement with HGIL; etc.

“In view of the provisions outlined above and the Service Agreement before me for immediate execution; I requested him to oblige me study the agreements with a view of forming a legal opinion in the hext twelve hours. He refused, stating that he was directed to get me sign the document without questions.

“I further requested for him to let me secure the authorization of BOCL Board Chairman but he refused, stating that he has secured the approvals of the Chairman and the Attorney-General of Bayelsa State. Finally, I told him that I cannot sign the documents in the instance. However, the MD became very angry and threatened to sack me if I do not resign by the next day in the morning.

“Notwithstanding the foregoing, it is my considered opinion that BOCL cannot lawfully assign its interest in Atala Marginal Field (OML 46) without CEPL’s consent or involvement not just for CEPL’s right of first refusal in light of the obvious truth and since CEPL is entitled to 80% revenue from BOCL’s 51% as repayment for BOCL’s carried cost (interest) from 2011 till date. Consequently, until all the legal issues surrounding Atala Marginal Field pursuant to BOCL letters to CEPL and HONL are lawfully and amicably resolved, any investor buying interest in Atala Marginal Field (OML 46) is likely to buy a lawsuit.

“It is also my opinion that whosoever is directing the approval of this transaction must be the end-point or overall beneficiary of the transaction; while BOCL, its staff and Bayelsa State as a whole will lose terribly. I therefore, distance myself from this ungodly act in its entirety.

“Sequel to the foregoing, it is highly recommended that the activities of the MD concerning his secret dealings (one-man-show) regarding the management of BOCL, Atala Marginal Field (OML 46), OPL 240, BOCL’s lawful Partners and potential investors be called to order or checked immediately in order to forestall the apparent intention of des

Bayelsa gov election: Frank backs Saraki’s reconciliation panel, appeals to defectors

A political activist and former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Comrade Timi Frank, has expressed support for the reconciliation panel headed by the former Senate President Bukola Saraki in his home state of Bayelsa.

Frank said the political experience and influence of the former Kwara state governor had begun to yield good fruits within the rank and file in the state’s ruling party.

In a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Monday, the Bayelsa born activist said the state has been a traditional PDP state since 1999 and nothing should be allowed to destroy the legacy.

He also appealed to those who are aggrieved as a result of the outcome of the primary election to give Bukola Saraki-led reconciliation panel a chance.

Frank expressed confidence that Senator Saraki will look at all issues and aggrieved parties dispassionately and make necessary recommendations for peace to reign.

While appealing to those who are considering leaving the PDP in the state to give Saraki panel a chance, Frank said for the sake of the party and the development of the state, they should look beyond the individuals involve in the disagreement but the larger interest of the state.

He also appealed to governor Seriaki Dickson to show commitment to whatever recommendation make by the Saraki-led panel so as to allow peace, saying going to an election as a divided house might be dangerous to the party.

“As a stakeholder in the state, I appeal to Governor Seriaki Dickson to work with Saraki-led reconciliation committee and meet all the conditions that might have been recommended to bring about the necessary peace to stop the ongoing defection within the PDP.

“I still believe that victory is possible for the PDP in the coming governorship election if the governor and all other stakeholders will make sacrifices and give each other a sense of belonging.

“I also appeal to all the aggrieved parties to give Saraki a chance to amicably resolve their grievances because the former Senate President is known for always delivering on any assignment given to him by his party (PDP).

“The party members and Bayelsans should not forget the sacrifices and efforts of the likes of former President Goodluck Jonathan by ensuring their full support for the candidate of the PDP who is a traditional party in Bayelsa.”

He, however appealed to all the governors, National Assembly members and other national leaders to mobilise support for the party in Bayelsa to avoid a defeat.

Pro-democracy group demands immediate constitution of panel to hear Atiku’s Supreme Court’s case

A group under the aegis of Democracy Vanguard of Nigeria in Diaspora (DVND) has expressed worries over the delay in constituting a 7-man panel at the Supreme Court to determine the case of Presidential candidate of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the last general elections, Atiku Abubakar.

In a statement Sunday in Abuja, jointly signed by Leonard Ishiguzo, Yakubu Mohammad and Timothy Sule; the Director Outreach, North America Coordinator and President of DVND respectively, the group alleged that “there is an unholy alliance between the CJN and the presidency which is causing the delay in constitution of the panel,” saying such move is dangerous for Nigeria’s democracy.

It said, “Reports and indications hovering in the air is that Mr. Buhari and his trains are doing everything possible, abusing the power of the office of the president to influence Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad into ‘technically delaying the constitution of the 7 man justices to preside over the case.’ The purpose is self-defeating.”

The DVND added, “There are also alternative plans to jettison the historical precedents of the courts by choosing the judges according to positioning in the court to a style of staccato nomination by determining judges who will be favorable to the whims and caprices of Mr. Buhari and the APC.

“Nigeria is greater and more important than Mr. Buhari and his cabal. We call on the good people of Nigeria, the International Community and the African Union to ensure that the Independence of the judiciary must remain sacrosanct and inalienable. To do otherwise is to court anarchy and chaos.

“A credible, clear, crystal, conforming situation that allows the Supreme Court to function without any abysmal interference from the Executive will foster law and order and will bring back the trust and confidence Nigerians have in the judiciary.”

The group also commended Alhaji Atiku Abubakar for shunning violence after the poll, saying his resolve to seek redress through judiciary shows the PDP candidate is a true democrat who loves his country than his personal ambition.

“We want to applaud Mr. Atiku Abubakar who deserves encompassing encomium for successfully stopping his electors and voters from taking the laws into their hands, which demonstrates his strong democratic principles and his belief in the judiciary.

“This is a constant, credible and compelling evidence that Mr. Atiku Abubakar is one of the most endearing and qualified candidate in the election.

“So much to say that Nigeria is obfuscating and confiscated by the Buhari dictatorship whose stock-in-trade is willful disobedience to the court orders and the harassment of Judges who they feel will deliver justice without fear or favor.”

RUGA: Activist tackles governor Umahi over policy, freedom of speech

A political activist and crusader for democracy, Ambassador Pascal Oluchukwu, has condemned the decision of Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state to allow the establishment of the RUGA settlement in the state.

Ambassador Oluchukwu specifically accused the governor of plan to mortgage the future of young ones in the state for personal gain after leaving office as governor.

In a statement made available to newsmen on Sunday, Oluchukwu, who is also the spokesman of the Organisation of Ebonyi State Indegenes in the Diaspora (OESID), said if the governor refuse to back out of the plan to impose RUGA programme on the Ebonyi’s ancestral land, “the governor should be ready for some unpalatable backlash from the people.”

The activist said: “Enough is enough. We, the peace loving people of Ebonyi State, will not allow Governor Umahi to mortgage our future in his blind support of the federal government abhorrent agenda, while pursuing his personal ambition after his tenure ends in 2023.

“We, the people of Ebonyi state cannot accept such dictatorial posturing from a man that was only given a limited time and a democratic mandate to lead (not to rule).”

Oluchukwu argued that the decision to house what he described as “outlandish program is a sovereign one that cannot be taken by the Governor, without recourse to the people of the state, where the real sovereignty resides.”

While calling on governor Umahi to immediately rescind the decision, the young activist noted that “the way and manner the Ebonyi state governor has been cowering and intimidating Ebonyi politicians, shows that he (governor) does not value democracy.

He, however urged the hovernor to appreciate the true essence of demmocracy and allow the Ebonyi people to express themselves freely which he called part of tenet of democracy.

“Sacking politicians and condemning stakeholders with differing views and opinions is a trait common to dictators and not acceptable attribute of freely elected democratic leaders. We cannot take Umahi’s degradation and oppression against the people of Ebonyi. He has created a fierce Political Atmosphere already in Ebonyi, and we are tired of his misrule.

“Millions of Ebonyians are suffering and wallowing in abject poverty, while the Governor keeps looking at inconsequential things. Civil servants haven’t been paid for many months now, and the state is suffering; yet, the Governor focuses on his will to build an International Airport that will only serve his selfish interests while the state keeps sinking into peril” Oluchukwu stated.

Environmental Splendour: FCT gets 1000 trees as Cosgrove embarks on CSR to commemorate Customer Week



Multiple award-winning Real Estate Development Company, Cosgrove, has kick-started a one-thousand-tree-planting-programme as a gesture of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to commemorate 2019 Customer Week.
The activity also reflects the environment-friendly policy of the premier real estate development company that is currently building over 1000 automated homes in three estates in the FCT.


Chief Executive Officer, Cosgrove, Mr Umar Abdullahi who led the team discussed the motivation for the tree planting activity saying, “It is an effort to give back to society, to serve society and make efforts that will regenerate environmental splendor


“Yes, we build the best automated homes, but we also believe in the development of serene environment around a home as it adds value to the structure,” he added.  
Discussing the environmental benefits of trees, the remarkably young CEO said, “Trees are a source benefit to nations; they support economy, absorb harmful gases, support wildlife, improve mental health, offsets environmental impacts and help control flood.”


“Trees give off oxygen that we all need to breathe, trees also reduce the amount of storm water runoff, which reduces erosion and pollution in our waterways and may reduce the effects of flooding,” adding that species of wildlife depend on trees for habitat. Trees also provide food, protection, and homes for many birds and mammals.
“Trees are the oldest living organisms on the planet, not only are they aesthetically beautiful, but they offset environmental impacts and create a healthy, clean environment for us to enjoy.”


While he explained that trees prevent nearly $7 billion in health costs annually by filtering air pollution and preventing more adverse effects, the CEO of the innovation oriented organisation added that trees increase aesthetic value of homes reducing energy costs, adding that recent studies show that mature trees planted in a nicely manicured yards could increase a home’s value 1 – 19 percent. 


“In fact, neighborhood streets with shady trees can be a staggering 6 – 10 degrees cooler than streets without trees. This not only affects the comfort of the neighborhood but also reduces the area’s energy needs.
He called on homeowners to consider increasing the value of their homes by planting trees around. He explained that although it make take a while to grow to maturity, but noted that they will eventually grow and be enjoyed by residents for many years to come.


The Cosgrove Team is lead by a remarkably young man whose penchant for innovation and flawless service delivery continued to advance the credibility of the company. The activity was also an avenue for team bonding among staff, in order to engender healthy social relationship among staff which will lead to cooperation with a view serve customers better.

Bayelsa gov election: Dickson procuring arms, new milltant camps, Nabena raises alarm

…Backs traditional rulers in decrying arms stockpile

The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Yekini Nabena, has joined traditional rulers in Bayelsa state in raising alarm over weapons being stockpiled in the state ahead of the November 16 governorship election.

“Bayelsa state is being transformed to a war zone ahead of the election. Governor Seriake Dickson has seen clearly that defeat is imminent for his candidate and has now resorted to deploy violence to force his will on the people.” Nabena told newsmen Thursday in Abuja during his regular media interaction.

“Recently, traditional rulers in Bayelsa state reported to INEC on the arms stockpile in the state which is happening on the watch of the current state government. As the INEC chairman stated, traditional rulers don’t belong to any political party, and they don’t support any candidate, so our security agencies cannot afford to fold their hands on this, we must take their reports very seriously. We have a duty to protect INEC and the voters to ensure free and safe elections.” He said.

The Bayelsa-born APC chieftain called on heads of security agencies to closely monitor the operations of their personnel in the state before and during the governorship election.

“Coupled with the state security outfit, Operation Doo Akpo which Governor Dickson is using to harass political opponents in his party PDP and APC members, supporters and leaders in the state ahead of the governorship election, the Governor has also boasted openly that he has the money to pay the police and army, including their retirement benefits if they work for him in the elections. He has gone ahead to set up an army and police base in his village. (Toru-Oras). The Inspector General of Police and Chief of Army Staff must not allow this happen.

“Which money is Governor Dickson relying on to rig the election? It is the federal allocation meant for Bayelsans. I call on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and particularly the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit to monitor deployment of Bayelsa funds.” He said.

Nabena said the people of Bayelsa are ready to defend their votes and reject the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate and Governor Dickson’s stooge.

“The popular APC candidacy of David Lyon has thrown the camp of governor dickson into disarray. The recent wave of high profile defections from the PDP to the APC is clear proof that the wind of change is blowing across the state. Governor Dickson’s rigging and intimidation plans will fail because Bayelsans are ready to defend their votes.” He said.

When asked about the chances of APC considering that the ruling PDP in the state has been in power since 1999, the APC deputy spokesman said Bayelsans are currently rooting for change.

“This coming governorship election in Bayelsa state is not about being in power for years, its about people saying they are tired of inefficient and lack of development that has dragged the state backward. The people want change and they are ready to embrace APC fully in this November 16th governorship election,” the APC chieftain stated.

Anti-corrruption group petitions EFCC against Fedelity Bank boss demands arrests

An anti-corruption advocacy group, Global Integrity Crusade Network (GICN) on Monday criticised the anti-graft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over an alleged cover-up of a case involving the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo.

The GICN in a letter dated 14th October, 2019, signed by its Chairman, Board of Trustee/President, Barr. Edward Ejembi Omaga and submitted to office of the Executive Chairman of the commission, a copy of which was made available to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday expressed disappointment over the delay of the case.

Omaga in the letter, alleged that the case which was instituted against Okonkwo after 2015 general elections by the EFCC at Federal High Court sitting in Lagos with Charge Number: FHC/4419c/18, might have been swept under the carpet like other high profile cases which reverberated throughout the pages at newspapers but in the end nothing came out at them.

The letter partly read, “We are at a loss as to the sudden quietness, lethargy and cold feet developed by the Commission regarding the case. That Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo is still walking the streets freely despite the myriad of allegations leveled against him which should have since landed him in jail is rather worrisome.

“It gives the impression to the prying public and those of us in the Civil Society family that the case may have been swept under the carpet like other high profile cases which reverberated throughout the pages at newspapers but in the end nothing came out at them.

“No doubt, the continuous occupation of the position of Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank Plc by Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo brought more harm than good to investors and customers of the Bank. The unintended effect of this development is that the entire economy of Nigeria is sabotaged with distrust and unending anarchy reigning supreme in the all important banking sector.”

The anti- corruption organization being Non-profit and Non-Governmental in nature is registered at the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML), an arm of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with number RN: SC 151407936.

It had earlier been reported that Mr Okonkwo, who is still facing prosecution in the Federal High Court in Lagos was arrested alongside other members of staff of the bank by the Commission for allegedly receiving $115 million in cash from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

According to reports, others arrested included the Head of Operations of the Bank, Martins Izuogbe. Alison-Madueke was said to have deposited the $115 million in the Bank as preparations commenced for the 2015 presidential election.

She was said to have invited Okonkwo to Abuja, where she briefed him on the deal.
Okonkwo allegedly accepted to receive the money into the Bank’s coffers despite the fact that Alison-Madueke did not have an account with Fidelity Bank Plc.

However, the anti-graft advocacy group, has given the EFCC 14 days ultimatum to make public, status of the report of criminal prosecution of Mr. Okonkwo at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

The group, which premised his demand upon Freedom of Information Act of 2011, also threatened to shut down the headquarters of EFCC in Abuja, CBN and Fidelity Bank branches in both Lagos Abuja with massive protest if the commission failed to avail it the report.

Omaga said, “As an organization which has integrity as its watchword and abhors all forms of corruption, we have considered it imperative to demand and we hereby DEMAND based on the Freedom of Information Act. 2011 that you avail us the status report of the criminal prosecution of Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo at the Federal High Court silting in Lagos.

“This will enable us carry out independent assessment of all the cases pending against him with a view to ascertaining whether or not we would advise our private investigators to dig deep and supply more facts and documents capable of aiding the Commission in the performance of its duties.

“Consequent upon the foregoing, we expect that you will hearken to our demand as contained herein within (14) Fourteen working days from the date hereof. In the unlikely event that we do not hear from you, we will not hesitate to lead thousands of our members to massively occupy the EFCC Headquarters, Central Bank of Nigeria as well as Fidelity Bank Plc offices both in Abuia and Lagos.

“The aim of our massive occupation of the aforesaid offices will be to draw the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari, the International Community, media and other critical stakeholders in the banking sector to the corruption going on in Fidelity Bank Plc and how our efforts at reversing some have been thwarted and undermined by the unsupporlive posture of the EFCC.

“This will be without prejudice to the exercise of our right to institute civil proceedings under Section 1 (3) of the Freedom of lnformation Act. 2011 for purposes of seeking, amongst other reliefs, an order of mandamus compelling the EFCC to carry out its duties under the law.”

End…

DEMAND FOR STATUS REPORT OF CRIMINAL PROSECUTION OF MR. NNAMDI OKONKWO MANAGING DIRECTOR/CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF FIDELITY BANK PLC FOR CONSPIRACY AND MONEY LAUNDERING MADE PURSUANT TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT, 2011.

Our Global Integrity Crusade Network (GICN) is on indigenous pro democracy. human empowerment and onti-corruption Civil Society Organization duly registered at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) Abuja with number CAC/IT/No. 104969. The organization being non-profit, non governmental and non partisan in nature is also registered at the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML), an arm of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with number RN: SC 151407936. We are a group of lawyers, paralegals, background check consultants, private investigators, human rights activists, media practitioners and policy analysts dedicated to advocating for integrity, justice, probity and transparency in public offices. Over the years, our members have worked tirelessly with relevant agencies to fight injustice, impunity, corruption, terrorism and economic sabotage with a view to nudging Nigeria on the path of transformation.

As President Muhammadu Buhari strives continuously to stamp out corruption from Nigeria and recover the huge funds looted by public office holders during the 2015 General Elections, GICN is delighted to note with great enchantment the laudable achievements of the EFCC under your visionary leadership. Needless to state that the number of convictions recorded so far instilled fears in the hearts of public officers and private actors alike, to engage in fraudulent and corrupt practices, as they are wary of the attendant consequences that would befall them if found culpable. This has even led to the coinage of the popular horism that “the fear of EFCC is the beginning of wisdom”.

It is in public domain that Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo who now holds sway as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank Plc some time in 2015 conspired with Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke, former Minister of Petroleum Resources to conceal in Fidelity Bank Plc, the Sum total of $153,310,000 being part of proceeds of unlawful activity to wit: corruption contrary to Sections 18 (a) and 15 (2) (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act. 2011. The sum was said to have been deployed to bribe INEC Officials in different States of the Federation for purposes of compromising the electoral process in favour of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, who was then contesting for a second term in office. Indeed, patriotic Nigerians heaved a sigh of relief upon hearing that criminal charges were instituted against Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo and other suspects at large before the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos vide Charge No: FHC/4419c/18. The expectation was that by now the outcome of prosecution would have been made known to the public with a view to reinforcing the confidence reposed on the EFCC. Unfortunately, this expectation was dashed as it does appear that the much gusto and determination with which the Commission started the case have fizzled out.

We are at a loss as to the sudden quietness, lethargy and cold feet developed by the Commission regarding the case. That Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo is still walking the streets freely despite the myriad of allegations leveled against him which should have since landed him in jail is rather worrisome. It gives the impression to the prying public and those of us in the Civil Society family that the case may have been swept under the carpet like other high profile cases which reverberated throughout the pages at newspapers but in the end nothing came out at them. No doubt, the continuous occupation of the position of Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank Plc by Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo brought more harm than good to investors and customers of the Bank. The unintended effect of this development is that the entire economy of Nigeria is sabotaged with distrust and unending anarchy reigning supreme in the all important banking sector.

We submit that the recent crisis that engulfed the Bank under the leadership of Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo as it has to do with non payment of accrued entitlements of staffers under the umbrella of Concerned Note Counters Association of Fidelity Bank (CNCAFB) which has now metamorphosed into Association of Aggrieved Fidelity Bank Statts (AAFBS), if not resolved as a matter of urgency, has the propensity to pull the Bank down just like what happened to other commercial banks in the past. The agitations by these interest groups which are still ongoing have been attributed to the massive fraud, injustice, maladministration going on in Fidelity Bank. There are facts pointing to the direction that the managerial credentials of Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo are questionable. Mr. Okonkwo has been accused severally of running the affairs of the Bank like his personal enterprise and engaging in all sorts of corrupt and arbitrary practices. He has caused unnecessary tension, disaffection and unrest in the Bank to the extent that the hitherto harmonious industrial relations that had existed between management and staffers have been terribly strained.

Sir, you will agree with us that the benefits of a corruption-free society cannot be over-emphasized. Therefore, we owe it as a public duty to ensure that the battered image of the country in the eyes of international community is redeemed at all cost. As an organization which has integrity as its watchword and abhors all forms of corruption, we have considered it imperative to demand and we hereby DEMAND based on the Freedom of Information Act. 2011 that you avail us the status report of the criminal prosecution of Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo at the Federal High Court silting in Lagos. This will enable us carry out independent assessment of all the cases pending against him with a view to ascertaining whether or not we would advise our private investigators to dig deep and supply more facts and documents capable of aiding the Commission in the performance of its duties.

Consequent upon the foregoing, we expect that you will hearken to our demand as contained herein within (14) Fourteen working days from the date hereof. In the unlikely event that we do not hear from you, we will not hesitate to lead thousands of our members to massively occupy the EFCC Headquarters, Central Bank of Nigeria as well as Fidelity Bank Plc offices both in Abuia and Lagos. The aim of our massive occupation of the aforesaid offices will be to draw the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari, the International Community, media and other critical stakeholders in the banking sector to the corruption going on in Fidelity Bank Plc and how our efforts at reversing some have been thwarted and undermined by the unsupporlive posture of the EFCC. This will be without prejudice to the exercise of our right to institute civil proceedings under Section 1 (3) of the Freedom of lnformation Act. 2011 for purposes of seeking, amongst other reliefs, an order of mandamus compelling the EFCC to carry out its duties under the law.

As we look forward to hearing from you soonest, kindly accept the assurances of our highest regards.

Yours faithfully.

For: GLOBAL INTEGRITY CRUSADE NETWQRK (GICN)

Gov poll: APC group calls for total reconciliation in Bayelsa


…Wants discussion with Alaibe, Timi Frank, Orunimighe, others

A group of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the platform of Young Stakeholders Forum (YSF), South-south zone has called on the national leadership of the party to urgently embark on a total reconciliation move within and outside the party to ensure victory ahead of November 16th governorship election in Baylesa.

The group believe that the chances of APC taking over Bayelsa currently is very high but the party’s governors forum, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) and the Bayelsa state leadership of the party, under the former governor Timipreye Sylva, should forget about political sentiments for now by reaching out to those who matters in Bayelsa politics.

In a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Sunday, signed by its coordinator, Hon. Charles Ibinabo, the group said after a careful study of how the election will play out, Bayelsa is up for APC if it leaders could reach out to some persons and ensure total reconciliation among its members.

Hon. Ibinabo specifically called on the presidency to convene an urgent round table meeting with all the aggrieved governorship aspirants in the state and secure their commitment to the election, adding that Timi Alaibe’s political family, including former APC Bayelsa state chairman, Chief Tiwe Orunimighe and the former APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Timi Frank, who had predicted a victory for APC, among others should be engaged.

“Timi Alaibe’s political family can not be ignored in Bayelsa politics. This is a man with massive supporters across all the political parties in the state and being a former APC leader in the state, he should be talked to.

“For the former APC state chairman, Chief Tiwe Orunimighe and the former APC spokesman, Timi Frank, their support become necessary because of their antecedents, the area they come from and their influence in Bayelsa politics.

“In 2015, Timi Frank was in APC and his prediction of the then candidate of the party came to pass. He has also said that APC will take over Bayelsa in the forthcoming election, we should embrace these voices and bring them on board to achieve total victory.

“We recalled that in the last governorship election in Osun state, the party stakeholders reached out to members of the opposition political parties like Chief Oyiola Omisore and it brought about the victory for APC.

“We are also in the know that the PDP is more desperate to win the state again, and it has set up a reconciliation panel headed by the former Senate President Bukola Saraki. We expect our party to move fast and reach out to those we think can add value to APC winning more state in the South-south,” the group stated.

The young APC stakeholders, however, revealed that on its own part, it has set up a 5-man delegation to meet Chief Alaibe, Chief Tiwe Orunimighe and even Timi Frank in Dubai, among others before the election.

The group specifically appealed to the Minister of Petroleum, Chief Timipreye Sylva to forget about whatever might have happened between him and the aforementioned before and give peace a chance to achieve the desire goal for the APC.