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‘Awolowo Told Me He Did Not Trust Babangida’ – Orji Kalu

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images 2020 10 18T174146.052 'Awolowo Told Me He Did Not Trust Babangida' - Orji Kalu

Orji Uzor Kalu, senate chief whip, says Obafemi Awolowo, the late former premier of the western region, told him he refused to work with the Ibrahim Babangida military regime because he never trusted his government.
Kalu, who was governor of Abia state from 1999 to 2007, also said he turned down an offer to lead a campaign seeking to keep Ibrahim Babangida as military head of state.
In his newly released autobiography, ‘My Life’, the former governor of Abia state recalled how top officials of the Babangida regime had contacted him to lead the sit-tight campaign but he declined as he was “guided by national interest”.
‘WHY AWOLOWO REFUSED TO WORK WITH IBB’S REGIME’
Kalu said Awolowo had rejected the invitation of the political bureau set up by Babangida after they asked him to join in their search for recommendations regarding Nigeria’s political future.
The author said he saw the sage’s refusal as a red flag and decided to visit him to find out why.
“He told me he did not trust the military and that nothing in his crystal ball suggested that the military was sincere about bringing the country back to civil governance,” Kalu wrote of his meeting with Awolowo.
“I learnt from him that there existed two types of the military which he described as professional and mercenary military.
“He told me the military government was of the latter type (and) assured me that he had not seen anything in the IBB regime to assure him of their messianic mission.”
‘I REJECTED OFFER TO LEAD CAMPAIGN TO EXTEND IBB’S REGIME’
Babangida became military president in August 1985 following a coup that ousted the then head of state, Muhammadu Buhari.
He promised to hand over power to civilians in 1990 under his first transition to democracy programme before later changing the dates — first to 1992 and then 1993.
He then annulled the June 12, 1993 presidential election, further confirming fears that he wanted to sit tight in office.
In the autobiography, a copy of which was made available to TheCable, Kalu, who was a member of the house of representatives at the time, said he “personally resisted every pressure” to prolong that regime even against the decision of the National Republican Convention (NRC), his party at the time.
He wrote: “I was extremely disgusted when the 16 state governors who were elected on the platform of our party paid a solidarity visit to IBB in Aso Rock and pledged their unflinching loyalty to the military leader.
“Perhaps, it was a strategy for keeping their governorship seats; perhaps, which is more likely, they were responding to some irresistible inducement.
“Indeed, legislators on both sides received ‘encouragement’ from both Abiola and the military government for support.
“Abiola’s battle to win the support of the National Assembly meant a lot of money for the legislators. The government also sent its lobbyists to work at the National Assembly with a huge financial arsenal.
“They practically invaded the legislative buildings ‘persuading’ lawmakers to support the annulment and endorse the president for another two to four years more to give him a chance to clear the mess created by the annulment.
“I was contacted by these lobbyists, who were actually functionaries of government, who wanted me to be the arrowhead of the campaign for prolongation of the transition period, and by implication extension of Babangida’s stay in office. I turned them down.
“I told them that if oga (Babangida) wanted me to help him stay further in power, he should tell me himself. I must say that despite my closeness to the president, he never mentioned to me that he wanted to stay further.
“So, I took that to mean that he did not really want to campaign for the extension of his tenure but that some of his top officials were doing so on his behalf as cover for their own selfish motives.”

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Fintiri Condoles With Adamawa APC Over Chieftain’s Death

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images 30 4 Fintiri Condoles With Adamawa APC Over Chieftain’s Death

Press Secretary to the Governor, Humwashi Wonosikou, made this known to press in a statement issued on Monday.Fintiri who described the demise as shocking, also sympathized with the family, Mubi Emirate over the loss, noting that Muhammad would be remembered for his tenacity and contributions to the growth and development of Adamawa state.He urged APC to take solace in Allah, describing the deceased as a great party man who used his experience towards contributing to the progress of the party and the state in general.

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EFCC Confirms Attack On Commission’s Website

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images 28 4 EFCC Confirms Attack On Commission’s Website

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Monday admitted that its official website was attacked by yet-to-be identified cyber criminals during the weekend.

A group of activists with a motto: ‘We are anonymous’ had last Friday announced on Twitter in a series of tweets that it had gained access into some critical federal government agencies’ websites in solidarity with #EndSARS protests going on in the country.

The agencies, as announced by the activists included websites of EFCC, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) among others.Checks revealed that the commission’s website on Friday showed it was offline due to an internal server error.

The activists also announced that they had gained access to the Twitter account of National Broadcasting Corporation via the victim-agency’s account, where they also posted #EndSARS protest materials on the agency’s Twitter timeline.

Confirming the attack, spokesperson of the commission, Wilson Uwujaren, in a tweet said the attack was successfully repelled.

He wrote, “Though there were attempts, over the weekend, to compromise the website by some cyber criminals the attacks were successfully repelled. The EFCC website is up and running.”

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Money Laundering: Court Gives Senator Ndume 21 Days To Produce Maina

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images 23 3 Money Laundering: Court Gives Senator Ndume 21 Days To Produce Maina

The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Monday, gave Senator Ali Ndume who is representing Borno South, 21 days, to produce the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, who has repeatedly failed to appear for continuation of his trial on money laundering charges.
The former pension boss is facing a 12-count criminal charge the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, preferred against him and a firm, Common Input Properties & Investment Limited.
Maina spent over seven months on remand at the Kuje Correctional Center before the court released on bail after Senator Ndume agreed to stand surety for him.
EFCC alleged that he used account of the firm and laundered funds to the tune of about N2billion, part of which he used to acquire landed properties in Abuja.
EFCC has already opened its case and called witnesses that included bankers and Maina’s relatives, who testified and tendered exhibits in evidence before the court.
However, the Defendant had since September 29, failed to appear in court for his trial, even as the prosecution alleged that he has jumped bail.
*Senator Ndume had on October 2 when the matter came up for trial, informed the court that he does not know the whereabouts of the Defendant.
Likewise, at the resumed proceedings on Monday, the lawmaker, lamented before the court that all his efforts to locate the 1st Defendant, proved abortive.
Ndume begged the court to issue an arrest warrant to enable security operatives to track down and apprehend Maina.
Ndume said he was willing to forfeit his own freedom to ensure that Maina is arrested and produced before the court.
Addressing the court after he was queried about Maina’s whereabouts on Monday, Ndume said: “My lord, I understand that the defendant is in Abuja and I did all I can to locate him without any definite result.
“My lord, I am constraint because I cannot take the law into my hand.
“I had reported to the DG SSS, the AIG of Police Investigation; I even wrote to police commissioner and I also reported the case to DPO of Jabi where the defendant resides.
“But my lord, even if I see Maina today, I can’t force him to come to court. I am appealing to u to issue a warrant on him.”
Trial Justice Okon Abang then reminded Ndume that the legal implication of such arrest warrant is that he would also be remanded in custody pending when Maina is apprehended.
“I don’t mind my lord. My concern is to have him in court so that I can continue my life”, Ndume responded.
He told the court he had only met Maina once in his life before he decided to stand as his surety, being the lawmaker that represents his constituency.
Besides, Ndume told the court that he was pressurized to stand surety for the Defendant by three former governors.
“As a senator serving him (Maina), his family, wife, mother and uncle appealed to me to stand as a surety.
“I went to prison to confirm for myself whether he was actually sick and the prison officers told me that he was actually sick and appealed to me to be his surety so that he could have access to medical attention.
“Orji Kalu when he was in prison then, Joshua Dariye, former Governor of Taraba, Rev. Jolly Nyame, all appealed to me in the prison to assist him.
“It took me eight months my lord to take that decision. In fact, I have to be given an indemnity by his uncle; signed by me, him and a lawyer that Maina would always be in court.
“He guaranteed but since that day, I went to Maitama Hospital to check their record, I went to Abuja Clinic, I went to the house he is purported to be living in Jabi, Abuja.
“This is one of the professional hazards we face as lawmakers, representing the good, the bad and the ugly.
“If I was not a serving senator, I wouldn’t have cause to stand as surety,” Ndume added.
He decried that Maina who claimed to be ill, had recently released a video clip which went viral on social media about his state of health, but refused to make himself available.
“I am helpless before you my lord. I appeal that such innocent citizens like me holding a public office for over one million people should not be subjected to this,” Ndume pleaded.
Earlier, EFCC’s lawyer, Farouk Abdullah, applied for leave of the court to try Maina in absentia.
He also urged the court to not only revoke Maina’s bail, but to also direct his surety, Ndume, to pay the sum of N500million, being the total bail bond.
Maina’s lawyer, Francis Oronsaye, opposed the application to revoke his client’s bail, though he also admitted not knowing his whereabouts.
“My lord, the information we have is that the Defendant is admitted in hospital after a surgery. He said he was undergoing treatment after the surgery and the location was not disclosed.

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