Suspended NIA boss did not brief Buhari, NSA about N15bn Ikoyi cash — Presidency; ’Against the Run of Play’ contains distorted claims – Jonathan; I will reveal how Jonathan was removed in my forthcoming book — Tinubu; Those asking Buhari to resign are expressing their opinion – Femi Adesina; Abuja House Raid: Wike Accuses IGP Of Plot To Kill Him; N17bn Recovered Through Whistle-blowing Policy – EFCC; Nigeria’s getting out of Recession – Lai Mohammed; Assassination Attempt On Sen. Melaye: Police Arrest 6 Suspects . . .
The Presidency has debunked the claim by the suspended Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ayo Oke, that the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, was aware of the N43.4m stashed away at a private apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos. A government official told journalists on Saturday that in the first instance, “Oke did not brief the NSA at all about the existence of such funds or the projects they were meant for when the Buhari administration took office in May 2015, even though the money had been released in March the same year. The offifial stated: ‘The NSA office only got its first knowledge of the existence of such funds during the work of the presidential committee that audited the Defense Equipment Procurement in the Armed Forces. The Committee had observed certain payments from the CBN to the NIA and raised questions drawing the attention of the NSA. ‘When the suspended DG of the NIA discovered that that Committee was raising questions and to forestall the NSA from “blowing the cover,” he then gave his first report to the NSA on the existence of such funds and warned that the Committee’s job does not cover the activities or the spendings of the NIA. The Presidential Committee on Audit of Defense Equipment Procurement, in the course of its assignment came across information that the NIA received a huge sum of money in early 2015 from the former President. Based on this the NSA carried out a preliminary investigation during which the NIA claimed the money was released for some projects aimed at commencing the Agency’s 30th anniversary.This was in January 2017.”
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has reacted to the ‘Against the Run of Play’ written by Segun Adeniyi, Chairman of the editorial board of ThisDay newspapers. Airing his opinion on the the book, Jonathan said “I have just read Segun Adeniyi’s new book . . . My take on it is that the book as presented contains many distorted claims on the 2015 Presidential election by many of the respondents. There will obviously be more books like that on this subject by concerned Nigerians. However, I believe that at the right time, the main characters in the elections including myself will come out with a true account of what transpired . . .” The author had revealed that the idea for the book came when he decided to research into why it is difficult for incumbent presidents to lose elections in Africa. He had also stated that events that culminated in the defeat of President Jonathan, made it clear to him that while a credible opposition platform that the APC represented helped, it was not the main reason why the election went the way it did. So, he decided to interrogate the factors that led to that unprecedented electoral outcome in the country.
The Jagaban and a chieftain of the APC, Sen. Bola Tinubu, Friday, said he would publish a book detailing how ex-President Goodluck Jonathan was defeated by the opposition APC. The APC National Leader spoke at the launch of “Against the run of Play”, a book written by Olusegun Adeniyi, spokesperson to former President Umar Yar’adua, in Lagos. Political analysts beleive that Tinubu played a crucial role in the 2015 general elections, leading to the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari. Speaking at the event Friday, Tinubu, who spoke through his media aide, Tunde Rahman, disclosed that he would soon reveal how the APC merger culminated in the defeat of the PDP. “Asiwaju is also working on his own book to tell his account of what transpired, to tell how he was able to mould the APC to the extent that it was able to unseat an incumbent president for the first time in the history of our contemporary politics” Mr. Rahman said. Commenting on the controversial vice-presidential slot, Mr. Rahman said he made a good choice by picking Yemi Osinbajo. “That nomination (of Prof. Yemi Osinbajo) has been a very good choice from all the wonderful things the vice-president has been doing,” he said. There had been reports in the newspapers that Tinubu, according to the book, accused some leading figures in the APC to have worked against his emergence as Buhari’s running mate. Senate President Bukola Saraki and Nasir el-Rufai, Kaduna state governor, featured prominently in the names allegedly mentioned by the APC stalwart. Reacting to the reports, Mr. Rahman said Tinubu was serially quoted out of context in the newspaper reports, adding that readers should carefully read through his principal’s submission in the book.
Special Adviser on Media & Publicity to President Muhammad Buhari, Femi Adesina, has said that those calling for the resignation of President Buhari are “merely expressing their opinions”. Adesina said this during an interactive session with journalists at the launch of ‘Against The Run of Play’ a book written by Olusegun Adeniyi, chairman of THISDAY editorial board. The book launch took place at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) in Victoria Island, Lagos. “Saying the president should resign is an opinion but don’t forget that 15 million people elected the president so if one or two people express their opinion, will their opinion override that of 15 million people that voted for him?” he asked. “Those who are expressing their opinion have rights to their opinion.” On the state of Buhari’s health, he said: “There is no need for apprehension, God spared the president the first time. Remember he said that he has never been as ill as he was before. The same God that spared him will also ensure that he returns to full health. Nigerians prayed and God answered, Nigerians are still praying and God will still answer.” The president, who has missed two sessions of the federal executive council (FEC) meeting in a row, did not observe the Juma’at prayer at the mosque in the presidential villa. President Muhammadu Buhari has restricted himself to the presidential villa since March 10 when he returned to the country after a 49-day medical vacation in the UK.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, of is after his life. Wike told journalists in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on Saturday that before he travelled to Kaduna on Friday, the IGP directed his crack team to invade his home in Asokoro, Abuja supposedly acting on information from a whistle-blower. “I want to reiterate, the Inspector-General of Police is after my life,” he said. He claimed the planned raid was aimed at planting firearms, cash and other incriminating exhibits in his Abuja home, claims the police have denied. Wike said, “All attempts are being made so that they will go and plant either AK-47 or $1m in the governor’s house. They can even plant costly wristwatches as a propaganda tool. “I said I have to let Nigerians know that this is not the way to go about in democracy. Rather, this is an attempt to truncate democracy. That someone differs on issues does not mean you have to go after the person’s life.” According to the governor, the police also planned to obtain a search warrant from the court on Tuesday, as Monday is a public holiday, under the guise that they unaware that the house in question belonged to a sitting governor. He called on the police to come to his home in rivers to conduct their search, instead of his Abuja residence, which he hardly visits.
The Acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu said the commission has recovered about N17billion for the Federal Government through the whistle-blowing policy introduced in December last year. Magu made this revelation Thursday night while presenting the Anniversary Lecture to commemorate the 62nd Founders’ of the Nigeria Union of Journalists ( NUJ). Magu, who was represented by Dr. Akeem Bello, said in the lecture titled : “Before Corruption Kills Nigeria” that the money recovered was in naira and other foreign denominations. He reeled out the recovered loot to include: N521,815,000, $53,272,747, £122,890, and €547,730 respectively. Magu also said the anti-corruption agency had recorded 62 convictions in the first quarter of the year, including the former Governor of Adamawa, James Ngilari, who was prosecuted and jailed for corrupt practice. He appealed to the media to support the whistle-blower policy and join hands with government in subduing corruption which has hampered the economic growth of the country and is endemic in many facets of public. He cited the $2billion arms deal scandal that indicted the former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki and several former and serving senior military officers as one of the efforts of EFCC to battle corruption. “There is corruption in many ways and forms in the country and the ways by which the battle can be won is if the media and well-meaning Nigerians support the crusade. The EFCC is committed to pursuing its statutory mandate and to rescue the Nigerian state and its people from being killed by corruption. With the government and people of Nigeria behind the EFCC, we shall surely be victorious”, Magu said.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said on Saturday that Nigeria was gradually moving out of recession. Mohammed, represented by the Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr Bayo Onanuga, made the assertion at the biennial convention of the Nigerian Guild of Editors in Lagos. He said that going by a recent statement by the Central Bank Governor, the country would exit recession by the end of June. “ There have been other pointers for the good news as well. For two consecutive months, the National Bureau of Statistics has also reported a fall in inflation rate. “The exchange rate is regaining some sanity. As I said earlier, the worst appears to be over. We are clawing out of the woods of recession in weeks from now. I hope, in our various media, we shall begin to focus more on the positive developments in our economy, the growth in agriculture and mineral development, since the NBS last year, let out the secret that the Nigerian economy recorded a negative growth in the first quarter of 2016. Between 1980 and 2007 alone, the American economy experienced five recessions. The last one in 2007 was caused by the subprime mortgage crisis and led to the collapse of the US housing bubble. Informing the people that the government is working hard to end the recession will go a long way to give hope to the people. After all, it is said that ”if you keep hope alive, it will keep you alive” the minister said. (NAN)
The police on Saturday said they had arrested six suspects in connection with an assassination attempt on Sen. Dino Melaye in his home in Kogi on April 15. The Force Spokesman, CSP Jimoh Moshood, told newsmen in Abuja that the arrested suspects included a Kogi local government sole administrator and his orderly. Moshood said that items recovered included one Hyundai Ambulance bus allegedly used in conveying the attackers, five AK 47 rifles, One Beretta pistol and two locally made single barrel shot guns. Others were 25 expended shells of 7.62 mm ammunition, 13 expended shells of 9mm ammunition and 12 expended shells of gauge cartridge. Moshood said that the firearms had been sent for ballistic expert examination, test and analysis at the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department in Lagos. He said that following the attack on Melaye, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris swiftly deployed Police Special Tactical Squad (STS) team to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident. According to the police spokesman, the suspects used the telephone of the Sole Administrator’s orderly in planning the failed assassination on Mealy. Moshood said one of the suspects had confessed to the crime and admitted to have been sent by the sole administrator. “He was arrested with a serious criminal link to other active members of the gang,’’ said the Force spokesman.