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SERAP Sues Buhari Over Failure To Publish Details Of ₦800 Billion Recovered Loot

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images 13 2 SERAP Sues Buhari Over Failure To Publish Details Of ₦800 Billion Recovered Loot

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari over failure to “disclose information and documents relating to the names of people from whom N800 billion in looted public funds have been recovered, specific dates of the recovery, and details of projects on which the money has been spent.”
The President had in paragraph 78 of his speech to mark the occasion of the Democracy Day on June 12, 2020, stated that: “the government has recovered looted funds in excess of N800 billion. These monies are being ploughed into development and infrastructure projects.”
In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1064/2020 filed last Friday at the Federal High Court, Abuja, SERAP is seeking: “an order for leave to apply for judicial review and an order of mandamus to direct and/or compel President Buhari to publish a comprehensive list of names of people from whom N800 billion in looted funds have been recovered, the details of spending of the money, and the specific dates of the recovery.”
SERAP is also seeking: “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Buhari to instruct appropriate anti-corruption agencies to promptly, thoroughly and transparently investigate alleged payment of N51 billion of public funds into individual private accounts in 2019.”
Joined in the suit as Respondents are Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, and Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
In the suit, SERAP is arguing that: “The court ought to compel the Respondents to disclose the details and whereabouts of the public funds. There is no legally justifiable reason why the information should not be made widely available to Nigerians, especially as the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 (as amended) requires the government in section 15(5) to abolish all forms of corruption. That means ensuring transparency and accountability in the management of public resources and wealth.”
The suit followed SERAP’s Freedom of Information (FoI) request dated 13 June, 2020 to President Buhari, stating that: “The public has a right to know how recovered N800bn loot has been spent, and the details and purpose of the alleged payments of N51bn into individual private accounts. Transparency over transactions by the government is critical to ensuring public confidence in the integrity of management of public resources and wealth.”
SERAP is also arguing that: “Granting the reliefs sought will ensure transparency and accountability, as the information sought to be published will reveal the truth of where money is going and why it is there, and allow Nigerians an opportunity to assess the impacts of any projects carried out with the recovered loot and the alleged payments into individual private accounts.”
The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare and Opeyemi Owolabi, read in part: “As a signatory to the UN Convention against Corruption, the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Nigeria has committed to ensure transparent management of public resources, and unhindered access to public information. These commitments ought to be fully upheld and respected.”
“Transparency and accountability in governance is in the public interest. Publishing the details regarding the N800 billion recovered loot and investigating the alleged suspicious payments into personal accounts would be entirely consistent with Nigeria’s international anti-corruption commitments.”
“The authorities are required to set the highest standards of transparency, accountability and probity in the management of these resources and wealth, and the programmes that they oversee.”
“Disclosing the details of projects on which the N800bn recovered loot have been spent and publishing a comprehensive list of names of people from whom they have been recovered, as well as investigating alleged payment of billions of naira into individual private accounts, would be entirely consistent with the oft-expressed anti-corruption commitments by the government.”
It would be recalled that BudgIT, a civic tech organization, recently reported that “the open treasury portal by the federal government allegedly showed that payments totalling N51bn were made into individual accounts in 2019.”
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

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PDP Now Controls 16 States After Winning Edo, APC 19 States

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images 76 2 PDP Now Controls 16 States After Winning Edo, APC 19 States

*PDP states*
(1). Edo State – PDP
(2). Rivers State – PDP
(3). Delta State – PDP
(4). Bayelsa State – PDP
(5). Cross River State – PDP
(6). Akwa Ibom state – PDP
(7). Enugu state – PDP
( . Ebonyi state – PDP
(9). Benue State – PDP
(10). Oyo State – PDP
(11). Adamawa state – PDP
(12). Bauchi State – PDP
(13). Abia State – PDP
(14). Zamfara State – PDP
(15). Sokoto State – PDP
(16). Taraba State – PDP
*APC States*
(1). Borno State – APC
(2). Imo state – APC
(3). Kano state – APC
(4). Kaduna state – APC
(5). Nasarawa state – APC
(6). Kogi state – APC
(7). Niger State – APC
( . Plateau State – APC
(9). Jigawa state – APC
(10). Kastina state – APC
(11). Kwara state – APC
(12). Kebbi state – APC
(13). Lagos – APC
(14). Ogun state – APC
(15). Yobe state – APC
(16). Gombe state – APC
(17). Ekiti state – APC
(18). Osun state – APC
(19). Ondo state – APC
*Anambra state is APGA.*
Geopolitical Zones:
North Central – APC 5, PDP 1
North East – APC 4, PDP 2
North West – APC 5, PDP 2
South East – APC 1, PDP 3, APGA 1
South South – APC Nil, PDP 6
South West – APC 5, PDP 1
2023 permutation begin!

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Tinubu, Oshiomhole quiet days after APC loss in Edo

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Tinubu Oshiomhole 880x536 1 Tinubu, Oshiomhole quiet days after APC loss in Edo

The September 19 , 2020 Edo State governorship election has come and gone but the embers of the episodic event continue to glow in the glade of public discourse.
Although 14 parties fielded candidates for the poll , the result of the election showed it was a two- horse race between the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress .
According to the Independent National Electoral Commission, PDP candidate , Governor Godwin Obaseki , polled 307, 955 votes to defeat his closest rival and APC candidate , Osagie Ize – Iyamu, who got 223, 619 votes .
The electoral umpire on Sunday subsequently declared Obaseki as the winner of the keenly contested election . INEC also on Tuesday presented certificates of return to the re -elected governor and his deputy, Philip Shaibu, at INEC office in Aduwawa , Benin City, the state capital .
The President , Major General Muhammadu Buhari ( retd. ) , has since congratulated Obaseki on his re – election . The APC national body has also conceded defeat and congratulated the opposition PDP and its candidate .
But while the congratulatory messages poured in for Obaseki and his party , nothing has been heard from the quarters of former National Chairman of the APC , Adams Oshiomhole; and former Lagos State Governor , Bola Tinubu , who were active political actors during the electioneering process that preceded the election .
how Tinubu , in a televised broadcast a few weeks to the election , accused Obaseki of not being a democrat and how he had asked the people of Edo to reject him at the polls.
Tinubu , an APC chieftain , had also said Obaseki committed an impeachable offence in the heat of the crisis that rocked the Edo State House of Assembly weeks before the election .
On his part , Oshiomhole, who was Edo governor from 2008 to 2016 , was instrumental to the emergence of Obaseki as his successor . The two, however, soon fell out and Obaseki , who was elected on APC platform in 2016 , defected to the PDP on June 19 , 2020, after being denied APC ticket owing to intra – party squabbles .
Oshiomhole during the build – up and politicking to the 2020 governorship election in the state had said he sold a bad product to the people of the state in 2016 when he campaigned for Obaseki.
Armed with a megaphone at a rally late July 2020 , the former APC national chairman , who vigorously campaigned for Ize – Iyamu this time around , had gone on his knees and had asked his supporters to repeat a prayer after him .
He had said , “ To those I sold the product that turned out to be fake , God you know I didn ’ t know he was fake . Only time shall tell who a man is. In the name of the poor he has borrowed to consultants he transferred the money .
“ With our broom , we shall sweep him out . Together, we will bring your servant who is God – fearing , who will not repeat his mistakes and will complete the project of taking Edo to the next level . All these and many more we say in the mighty name of our Lord Jesus Christ .”
Meanwhile , despite the fact that the APC national body conceded defeat in the election , the party in the state rejected the outcome of the poll , alleging foul play and citing alleged “ strong – arm tactics ” .
Ize – Iyamu also said he was still “ studying the results along with other party members” and will announce his next move soon .
When contacted , Oshiomhole’ s media aide , Victor Oshoke , told in a telephone interview on Tuesday evening that his principal has no comment or reaction to make on the outcome of the election .
He said , “ The result has been announced and the party in the state is consulting ; the position of the party will be released very soon . Oshiomhole does not have a personal opinion to make on the election now – he is waiting for the party ’ s position. ”
Oshoke added, “ We have a candidate and we are waiting for the candidate’ s statement . When the candidate speaks , Oshiomhole will align with the candidate’ s decision . Edo APC is waiting for our candidate to speak. ”
On his part , Tinubu ’s spokesperson , Tunde Rahman , told our correspondent in a telephone interview on Tuesday evening that his principal would speak “ at the appropriate time ” .
“ Asiwaju has not spoken . At the appropriate time , he will speak on that election , ” Rahman tersely responded when asked of his principal ’ s reaction to Saturday’ s poll .
In the meantime , Obaseki on Tuesday called on Oshiomhole, Ize – Iyamu and other APC members to put their differences aside and work for the betterment of the state.
“ We have no malice, the only thing we disagreed on is in the approach in moving Edo forward ,” the re – elected governor said .

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Lose Akeredolu If You Will , But Do Not Push Ondo To 1983 – Segun Showunmi

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images 67 1 Lose Akeredolu If You Will , But Do Not Push Ondo To 1983 - Segun Showunmi

The news coming out of Akoko in Ondo State, where the thugs of the All Progressives Congress’ Rotimi Akeredolu, under his supervision, ran amok in front of the Oba’s palace, shooting and destroying the vehicles of his rival, Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party, requires the attention of all men of goodwill, especially President Muhammadu Buhari.
History must not repeat itself, as this ugly incident draws my mind back to 1983 when another Owo man was governor like Akeredolu in Ondo State. Those who were around then would shiver when they think back and remember the public disorder that became known as ‘wetie’.
A piece by Bayo Olupohunda in The Punch of November 8, 2016, captures the issue.
“The Second Republic, which was barely four years and three months old, was truncated when the military struck again in December of 1983 to bring to an end another corrupt and violent civilian regime. Once again, Ondo State, which had been carved out of the old Western Region as one of the five states created by former military ruler, Yakubu Gowon, erupted into an orgy of violence during the election of that year. One of Awolowo’s protégés, Adekunle Ajasin, was contesting re-election under the umbrella of the UPN. His deputy, Akin Omoboriowo, who had also fancied his chances had defected to the ruling NPN.
“He was backed by the federal might of the Shehu Shagari-led government. At the election, Ajasin had a clear lead, but the NPN, intent on taking the state from the UPN, had put Omoboriowo in a clear lead as a result was being announced. Then, the inevitable happened. The widespread protests that followed the announcement of Omoboriowo turned violent, and the state became a war front. Political thugs and supporters of both parties turned the state into a theatre of war.
“There were fears and apprehension as people loyal to one of the parties were targeted and killed. Houses were torched. The security agencies were powerless in a bid to rein in the perpetrators of the violence. In the end, Omoboriowo was driven out of the state and spent some time in exile. The 1983 violence was a repeat of the Western Region crisis. The effect of the violence was instant. It provided a further excuse for the military to put an end to the Second Republic that was already wracked by monumental corruption.”
Ondo is different in the Yoruba nation. They have demonstrated the ability to act their intention. They are brave, independent and fearless. Whosoever allows Ondo to go the way of violence risks too much. Mr President, you have a duty to read the riot act to all parties. Ondo must not go to the dogs. Rotimi Akeredolu, lose if you will, and go in peace, that you may salvage whatever is left of your battered image.

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