Connect with us

News

Seek Forgiveness From God, Nigerians, Ribadu Tells Ibori

Published

on

Former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu has refuted claims that he was after the former governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori, that his investigation and prosecution by the Ribadu-led anti-graft agency was for selfish reasons.

Ribadu, who spoke from his base in the United States of America (USA), said that comments credited to Ibori that his ordeals in the hands of the EFCC during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo were as a result of his refusal to accede to some requests by the former EFCC boss were baseless and full of self delusion.

His immediate reaction was blunt: “Don’t you think what he has said lacks substance? That it does not even deserve a response? Of course, my immediate reaction will be that he is involved in self-delusion. His comments are baseless and deserve no reaction, but for record purposes, I will react,” Ribadu said.

He said that it was incorrect for the former governor to claim that he (Ribadu) approached him for a job in Geneva. According to him, the former governor does not have such credibility in the international community. He also insisted that he was not desperate for positions and had never approached Ibori for any favour.

Ribadu said it would be wrong for him to approach somebody he had investigated for a job, adding that Ibori made a big mistake to think that he (Ribadu) was looking for something. According to him, such material things like money and power have never been too important in his life.

Ribadu further responded with questions: “Who was he by the time I was in office? Is he saying that he is the one who formed President Yar’Adua’s government? How can I approach him to get me a job in Geneva? Ask the people in Geneva. Between me and him who will they listen to? How can I approach an… for an international job?”

He said further: “Is he telling Nigerians that he is the one who owns the courts and tells the judges what to do? Is he saying that he is the one who determines the ruling of the judges? Was he the President of the Court of Appeal, which determined the ruling in the presidential election petition? I want him to respond and for Nigerians to reflect on that.

“It is very sad that people like that will have a platform to talk. It is very sad that our country will keep producing leaders like that.”I am telling him and people of his kind that instead of continuing to promote a sinful life and continue to spend huge funds to promote propaganda against me and the people, they should make peace with God and Nigerians will forgive them for what they have done to us.

“Instead of spending money to hire foreign lawyers, let him come to terms with himself, make peace and return any stolen money. As for me, he is making a big mistake to think that I am looking for something. Power and money are not important to me.

“I promise him that I will continue the fight until I drop dead and that is why I will not die now and that is what is motivating me to continue. They have a hard fight ahead of them, himself and people like him do have a hard fight ahead of them.

“My assurance is that Nigerians will one day get justice. Justice will one day come to Nigeria. It is a delusion that does not warrant a response, really, but I say this for record purposes.”

The former governor of Delta State had told newsmen in Lagos on Friday that Ribadu decided to humiliate him after he had rejected his overtures to assist him become the Inspector General of Police(IGP) and also ensure the annulment of President Yar’Adua’s election.

Ibori had said on Friday: “I can say without any fear of contradiction that I have and hope I still have a good relationship with the erstwhile chairman of the EFCC, even though he now denies that he is a friend. I am a Christian and will not deny him.

“Very many times, he tried to get me to assist him in one way or the other, including his desire to become the Inspector General of Police. In his approach, he posited that in his estimation and knowledge of Nigerian politics, I was one of those who could help him achieve it.

“On another occasion, he attempted to recruit me to join a crusade to annul the presidential election of 2007. In fact, he promised that if I did, he would not file charges against me and would not prosecute me.

“I told him to give me time to reflect on it. But it would be stupid of me to have bought into his blackmail, so I ignored him. When he then realised that I was not succumbing to his cheap blackmail, he decided to go ahead with his plan of humiliating me.”

Ibori said that an observer had alerted him in November 2007, while he was attending the United Nations session with the Nigerian delegation in New York, that Ribadu planned to frame him that he attempted to give him a $15 million bribe.

Accordingly, he said he put a call through to Ribadu who, according to the former governor, denied the allegation.”Interestingly, he himself has contradicted his statement severally with regards to the alleged bribe, especially in his statement in the English court,” Ibori claimed.

He also alleged that Ribadu’s grudge against him was also because he insisted on due process in the suit filed against him at a Kaduna High Court, which has now been transferred to Delta state.

He said: “My lawyers challenged both the detention, the jurisdiction of the court and the seizure of my passports, all of which were vigorously argued at the lower court and at the appeal court.

“It was finally resolved at the appeal court, where the court agreed with my lawyers that the jurisdiction where the alleged crime was committed is the Benin Division. The appeal court also granted the release of my passports.”

“All of this, I think, did not go down well with the erstwhile EFCC chairman. Since my arrest, detention and eventual prosecution, my team of lawyers have consistently assured me that I will be fully exonerated because there is no evidence to support the charges.”

Chief Ibori said that it was not in his character to join issues with people on the pages of newspapers but that he had to respond now because of pressures from political associates, friends, colleagues and well-wishers.

Continue Reading

News

NIMASA Delivers Marine, Transport Building To Port Harcourt Varsity

Published

on

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has handed over the complex housing the Institute of Marine and Transport Technology to the University of Port Harcourt, in Rivers State.
A statement from the agency indicated that the building was initiated by its previous leadership.
“The initiative dated back to 2012/2013 when the former Director-General of the agency, Dr Dakuku Peterside, decided to build a maritime training institute.
“The initiative is not peculiar to the University of Port Harcourt. It is present in all the six geopolitical zones of the country.
“Any investment in education is definitely worthwhile. Research has shown that lack of education is relatively responsible for maritime crimes in the Niger Delta Region.
“We hope beneficiaries of this Maritime institute will be instrumental in making Nigeria a major maritime nation,” the statement said.
It quoted the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Abraham Georgewill, who was represented by the VC Administration, Prof. Clifford Ofurum, as thanking NIMASA for selecting the university as the location for the maritime institute.
Ofurum assured NIMASA that the university would provide adequate faculty to ensure courses were accredited and recognised globally.

Continue Reading

News

Wigwe’s Family Announces Burial Plan

Published

on

The family of Herbert Wigwe has announced the burial plans for the Wigwes.
Wigwe, alongside his wife, Chizoba, and son, Chizi, died in an helicopter crash in the United States on February 9.
The crash also claimed the lives of a former Chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, Abimbola Ogunbanjo, and two crew members.
According to the plan, the funeral ceremony will commence on Monday, March 4, 2024.
Meanwhile, the Redeemed Christian Church of God, City of David, where Herbert used to be a staunch member before his demise, was conspicuously missing from the list of churches scheduled to host two of the programmes.
According to the funeral plans, on Thursday, March 7, a combined Service of Songs will take place at RCCG, Ressurection Parish at Jakande Estate, Lekki, Lagos State while a combined funeral service will be held on Saturday, March 9, at RCCG, Lion of Judah Parish, Isiokpo, Rivers State.
The absence of the City of David parish on the list has, however, raised concerns despite the acknowledgement of the late Wigwe’s immense contribution to the parish while he was alive.
The Pastor in Charge of the parish, Idowu Iluyomade, had paid glowing tributes to the late bank chief while reacting to his sudden demise.
Iluyomade, who described the deceased as God’s general, added that he donated generously to the church.
Speaking during a service titled: “Barrier Shattering Thanksgiving (Sunshine Service)” on Sunday, February 11, the clergyman recalled how Wigwe spent about N500m for God Children’s Great Talent Project and how he adopted some children.
He said, “Wigwe was the Chairman of the Finance Committee with Pastor Siju, and I remember when we wanted to start the fundraising, he took us to Eko Atlantic, he put a marquee there, he brought people from America to come and see, and in that event, we raised about N600m. One would have thought he would sit back; he kept going. He told me we’ll do it.
“When this place was ground zero, he paid five years rent for a branch when there was nothing, just to assist. Then later, he said ‘I’ll give you two branches – one on the left, one on the right,’ and he paid five years each (10 years). Nobody would support a Greenfield, if you’ve built, yes, you can go. One of his purposes was to assist us.”
However, while friends and families of the deceased were still mourning, Iluyomade’s wife, Siju, threw a lavish 60th birthday party.
The lawyer, pastor and founder of the Arise Women Foundation held the birthday on Sunday, February 18, 2024.
Distinguished guests, including billionaires and monarchs, were on hand to rejoice with her at the party, which took place at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island Lagos. Also present at the event was popular singer, Chinedu Okoli, better known by his stage name Flavour N’abania.
Some Nigerians, however, expressed their displeasure at the celebrant for holding a party barely weeks after the tragic deaths of prominent members of the church.
This also fuelled insinuations about a seeming connection between the development and the decision of the family not to have considered the parish in the burial plans.

Continue Reading

News

Economy: I Take Full Responsibility, Nigeria ’ll Recover-Tinubu

Published

on

President Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday, appealed for patience from Nigerians over the current economic hardship in the country, giving the assurance that there was light at the end of the tunnel.
The President said he was fully aware and took responsibility for the difficulties Nigerians had been subjected to on account of government policies.
He said he would not complain but welcome all criticisms since he was the one who asked to be Nigeria’s President.
The President spoke in Akure, the Ondo State capital, during his visit to the leader of the pan-Yoruba sociopolitical organisation, Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti.
He also paid a condolence visit to the family of the late former Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, who passed on in December following a protracted battle with cancer.
The fuel subsidy removal and other economic reforms instituted by Tinubu have attracted public censure following the high costs of living, food inflation and other side effects.
The situation compelled the Nigeria Labour Congress to hold a nationwide protest on Tuesday.
The congress also threatened further mass action if the government failed to address the economic crunch within two weeks.
However, addressing public concerns over his economic policies, the President said, “Nigeria will survive the current economic challenges. There is light at the end of the tunnel. I requested the job, and I am not complaining about it. I take full responsibility.”
This was contained in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, titled, ‘President Tinubu: I take full responsibility for the nation; we are building an efficient Nigeria that is inclusive and fair to all Nigerians.’’
Tinubu emphasised his commitment to leading Nigeria towards economic and social prosperity, saying, “We are meeting our obligations to the international community. To lenders, we have not defaulted, and we are not going to default. We are navigating the twists and bends on the road to Nigeria’s prosperity.”
On reforming Nigeria, the President said his task would be to ensure fiscal and true federalism, as well as the broad-based manifestation of the philosophy of “what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.”
He acknowledged the understanding and support of all Nigerians in the face of the harsh but temporary economic conditions, assuring them that their patience and perseverance will not be fruitless.
“But, through perseverance, Lagos emerged as the fifth largest economy in the entire continent of Africa. We must manage this moment with wisdom and grow Nigeria responsibly.
“I campaigned for this office to serve Nigeria’s interests and I was elected. Some said I would not last in the tribunal and came up with all sorts of predictions, but even when in court, I remained focused.
“We cannot allow Nigeria’s economy to be exploited. We cannot abandon our economy to marauders. I am determined to re-engineer our finances and curb selfish interests permanently,” he stated.
Speaking on behalf of Afenifere, Pa Olu Falae, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, who read the address of Pa Fasoranti, commended Tinubu for his commitment to Nigeria’s progress and expressed support for his administration’s efforts.
“You have kept your word to return to this place where we all prayed for you, and this shows that you are a man of your word,” the elder statesman stated.
Pa Fasoranti asked President Tinubu to be fair and courageous, declaring that such traits were the hallmark of the Afenifere family.
“Today, you are carrying our flag. We are noted for integrity, competence, fairness, and courage. Your performance so far has shown that you understand the full gravity of your mandate, which is to show the Nigerian people that a good government is possible,” he said.
Fasoranti also charged the President on institutional reforms, saying, “Mr President, please also seek institutional reforms that would strengthen our federation and make Nigeria safer and more prosperous. Try and balance the budget and execute capital projects that would create more employment. We thank you for welcoming the idea of state policing.’’
He added, “We want each of the geopolitical zones to have greater responsibilities for security, food production and infrastructural development. Since the removal of fuel subsidy, which was costing Nigeria $10bn yearly, the state governments have been receiving hefty allocations from the Federation account.
“Mr President should persuade the governors to allow this change of fortune for the states to reflect at the grassroots so that life can be better for our people. They should not just buy rice and yams for the people. They should create employment, improve education and build new infrastructures. Today, life is truly challenging for most people and the state governments have an important role to play to transform society.”
Fasoranti received the President in the company of some Afenifere leaders, who included a former governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, Chief Sehinde Arogbofa, Deji of Akure, Oba Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo; Chief Kole Omololu, among others
Earlier, the President had paid a condolence visit to Akeredolu’s family in Owo and also visited the palace of the Olowo of Owo Kingdom, Oba Ajibade Gbadegesin Ogunoye III.
Speaking at the palace of the monarch, Tinubu eulogised the late Akeredolu as a statesman and a distinguished legal luminary who served his people with unwavering dedication.
“We lost an illustrious son. Akeredolu was very close to me and an ally. He was a son of the soil, and I have come to pay homage,” the President said.
He extended his prayers for the good health, progress, and prosperity of the traditional ruler and the community and thanked the people of Owo for their support to the bereaved family.
Accompanied by the Governor of Ondo State, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, Tinubu also commiserated with the Akeredolu’s widow, Betty, the children, and other family members.
Addressing the widow and the family members, Tinubu said, “God will be with you. Your children will do well in life. May you all end well. May God be with you and uphold you,”
The wife of the late governor expressed appreciation for the President’s visit, describing Tinubu as a good friend and brother to her late husband.
She also thanked the South-West governors for their contributions to the burial of the late governor. She particularly thanked Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for single-handedly repatriating the remains of Akeredolu back to Nigeria.
She said, “On behalf of my family, I appreciate Mr. President. We understood he couldn’t attend the burial ceremony due to the dictate of Yoruba culture. He couldn’t have attended the burial of his younger brother.
“Coming today (Wednesday ) is a big deal because we are in a better atmosphere. I also express my profound gratitude to the southern governors for their immense financial contributions to the burial, most especially, Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who singlehandedly brought Aketi’s remains back to Nigeria. We appreciate this huge show of love and we are grateful and forever indebted to him.
“I requested that Mr President see where Aketi has been laid to rest and he followed me. We are deeply grateful to Mr. President for coming. He is indeed Aketi’s brother and friend.
“I told Mr. President, yes, Aketi has left but he lives because he left behind legacies. It is our wish that those legacies continue and are built upon where necessary.”

Continue Reading

Trending