I don’t know if anything is true or false. What I do know is that in a presidential system, various aides and pressure groups try and pull the President towards the direction that they believe is best. Is that not why they even have lobbyists in Washington DC? One does not have to jump on the rooftops and sound populist every time in order to be
branded “patriotic”. Sometimes the true
patriots are those who apply pressure where it matters most – and sometimes on some issues, that might be in private. The facts of the matter are clear and are all now in the public domain and I list some of them sequentially:-
1) On 07 June, 2013, the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC) wrote to the President. This was a damning and vitriolic attack where words like “fraud” and “misrepresentation” were used freely. They also recommended that strong action be taken against the CBN Governor and ALL the Deputy Governors. FRC attacked an entire
institution (CBN) + its Board with reference to CBN’s 2012 accounts. Please note that the 07 June 2013 letter was issued by FRC in response to CBN’s earlier response to its query;
2) About three months later, CBN wrote to Mr President drawing attention to revenue shortfalls and NNPC’s failure to credit the Federation Account with all the money that it was supposed to. If there is a shortfall, then there is a problem. Whether it is $49bn, $10bn or $20bn is not the issue. Even $1bn is a serious problem;
3) Item 2) above later became public
knowledge before item 1), but both
allegations subsist. They were always both going to end up in the public space in whatever order because there are no secrets in Nigeria;
4) Like CBN did when queried by FRC, NNPC came up with supposed explanations of where the money went. NOI and others called for a forensic audit to determine whether NNPC’s claims/explanations can withstand
5) Last week, Mr President suspended the CBN Governor citing Item 1) above;
6) Conspiracy theorists have been at work from the first day. FRC has given some of us, who are on the boards of companies that publish financial statements, sleepless nights because we are forced to comply with their
cumbersome dictates. We have no choice because they are empowered by law as some kind of financial watch dog. FRC was also clearly giving CBN “hell”. Why were they “after CBN”? Conspiracy theorists have the “answers”. I don’t. Some conspiracy theorists argue that the CBN Governor was suspended because he blew the whistle on the NNPC, while others argue that CBN only blew the whistle on NNPC in order to distract attention from their own travails with FRC. I do not care about conspiracy theorists. At
the end of the day, two things must happen:-
A) NNPC’s assertions must be subjected to a proper forensic audit; and
B) CBN must provide satisfactory answers to FRC’s queries.
If CBN does (B) above successfully, then they (FRC) must be made to tender a public apology to the CBN and its Board and “heads must roll” in FRC and the Governor should be recalled from suspension. That the CBN
Governor said publicly that he will not go back is irrelevant. If NNPC “fails” its forensic audit, then all relevant heads around there must also roll. That is my position in private and in public.
I felt “liberated” to make this comment
because the President has now named his nominee to replace Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi at the end of his tenure.
Accordingly, people can no longer say:
‘Atedo is saying all these because he wants to be CBN Governor’.
I speak because I want my country to
NB: Peterside was the Managing Director of former IBTC
Chief Anyim Pius Anyim,
Secretary to the Federal Government of
RE: CENTENARY AWARD TO OUR LATE FATHER, CHIEF GANI FAWEHINMI (SAN)
We acknowledge the receipt of your letter, dated February 24, 2014, which was routed through Mr Tony Akiotu, Group Managing Director, DAAR Communications, Abuja, wherein our late father, Chief Gani Fawehinmi
(SAN) was chosen as one of the awardees of the Centenary celebrations of Nigeria by President Goodluck. Jonathan. We want thank the Federal Government for considering our late father for this HONOUR. However, for reasons stated here under, our family has decided it would be inexpedient to
accept the award:
1. In the list of the awardees published by the Federal Government, was the name of former military dictator, General Ibrahim Babangida, who as military president, severally detained
and tortured our late father. In the course of one of such illegal and inhuman detentions, our late father’s cell was sprayed with toxic
substances while in Gashua prison in 1987. The cumulative effect of that dastardly action led to our father, a non- smoker, contracting lung cancer which eventually led to his death
on September 5, 2009. We therefore, find it morally incongruous and psychologically debilitating for our family to stand on the same podium with General Babangida to receive
2. Our late father was empathetic to the
sufferings of our people, particularly students. In the last 72 hours, 59 innocent students were mowed down by the blood- thirsty Boko Haram
terrorists in Yobe state, while 20 other girls were similarly abducted by these same band of terrorists. These girls are still in captivity while their fate is unknown. If our late father were to
be alive, would he be wining and dining with all the glitterati at a Centenary celebration under these circumstances? Certainly no.
3. In the past few weeks, the polity has been assaulted with putrid odour of corruption with the alleged $20 billion missing in NNPC, a development that became the Archilles heel of Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the suspended
Governor of Central Bank. As an anti-
corruption activist, if he were to be alive, our late father would have confronted the issue head-long and possibly gone to court. With the issue still raging, would our late father have
accepted this award at this critical moment? Certainly no.
4. Our late father was unrepentantly for the UNITY of Nigeria. However, with the level of profligacy in some of the events celebrating NIGERIA’S Centenary, our late father would
have preferred these multi- million Naira expenditures channeled to our decrepit Teaching hospitals, than unproductive razzmatazz that do not improve the socio-Economic well being of our people.
Sir, for these reasons, our family respectfully
declines to receive the award about to be conferred on our late father by the
government. Please, accept the assurances of our highest consideration.
Long live Federal Republic of Nigeria.
MOHAMMED FAWEHINMI, ESQ.
(For and on behalf of late Gani Fawehinmi
ABUJA—THE Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed yesterday faulted claims by the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the corporation did not connive with some Swiss oil dealers to short change the
country to the tune of $6.8 Billion.
Mrs Ahmed also alleged that the sum of $22.8 billion was not disclosed by NNPC in its audited financial statements through alternative funding arrangement with its joint venture partners. The NEITI Boss based her allegation on the 2009 2011 audited report of her organization. According to Ahmed, who testified before the House of Representatives joint committees on
Petroleum Resources, Upstream, Petroleum Resources Downstream and Justice probing the allegation, the country lost N98.3 billion to NNPC in exchange rates compared to Central
Bank of Nigeria, CBN official exchange rate between the period.
She also insisted that the hearing Bernes revelation on NNPC was true.
Her claims on Bernes were further
substantiated by her organization’s Executive Secretary who said that “there is similarity in NEITI audit report and the Bernes Declaration
report”, stressing that, “the report (Bernes Declaration report) has a lot of substance in it”.
Going further, Ahmed also faulted the
allocation of 445, 000 barrels per day for local refineries through NNPC saying that, “the 445,000 barrels per day allocation should be reviewed to the actual refining capacity of the
refineries” Also testifying, the Managing Director of the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), Mr Haruna Momoh told the committee that Nigeria was not losing $8 billion annually through swap arrangement of
crude oil between NNPC and some foreign oil companies.
Ruling on the issues, the Committee Chairman, Honourable Ajibola Muraina adjourned the investigative hearing till March 25. He also mandated the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Director, Department of Petroleum
Resources, DPR, Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Acting Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Executive Secretary of Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA among others to appear before the Committee on the date.
President Jonathan has come under verbal attack from youths who felt offended by his threat to pull out Nigerian troops for one month when reacting to the statement credited to Borno State Gov. He (Jonathan) said, “The issue of the governor of Borno
State, the statement is a bit unfortunate,” Mr. Jonathan said. “I don’t expect a governor to make this kind of statement and if the governor of Borno State felt that the Nigerian
armed forces are not useful he should tell Nigerians, I will pull them out for one month whether he will stay in his Government House,”.
A world boxing champion-turned-opposition leader has declared he is running for president in Ukraine.
Vitaly Klitschko, one of the protest leaders in Ukraine, made the announcement on Tuesday in a press briefing in the capital Kiev.
Klitschko is head of the UDAR (Punch)
party, which led protests in Kiev against
then President Victor Yanukovich.
A presidential election has been set on May 25. On Monday, Klitschko said Yanukovich was responsible for all causalities during the three-month protests that brought him down.
Klitschko spoke hours before meeting with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who was in Kiev to discuss measures to shore up the country’s ailing economy.