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NISER DG, Gbadebo-Smith blasts Sahara Reporters “You are Baised and Your Allegations False



Director-General of National Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), Dr Folarin Gbadebo has lambasted online news medium, Sahara Reporters over a story accusing him of impropriety.

In a rejoinder made available to The Boss, Dr Gbadebo Smith insisted that not only is the story false and baseless, it was disingenuous to drag the name of the Vice Preside into the matter.

The signed by Mr Gbadebo-Smiith reads “it has come to the attention of the National Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER) the report by Sahara Reporters, an Online Tabloid, published on the 23rd of April 2018, with spurious allegations leveled against the institute and the Director General by unknown persons.

It is pertinent to state that all of the allegations in the Sahara Reporters’ publication are false and baseless, and should be disregarded by the public.

One wonders why Sahara Reporters would allow its medium to be used for such irresponsible journalism. Their reporter did not make a serious attempt at “hearing the other side” or investigating the real facts of the case before publishing unfounded allegations.

More surprising is that Sahara Reporters chose to drag the good name of Nigeria’s Vice President into this false narrative and biased reportage, simply as clickbait, and in bad taste.

In my position as Director General of the Nigerian Institute for Social and Economic Research (NISER), I am constrained to respond to these baseless charges.

As to the false allegations, these are the facts:

✓ Unlike the baseless claims in the report, that the DG sold three 500KV electricity generators each valued at 30 million Naira for the sum of N700,000; as of today, the two working 500KV generators have not been sold and remain on the NISER premises.

✓ In addition, the 500KV generator which was sold was purchased in 1987 (30 years old) and have not worked since 2011. The pre-auction valuation of all generators was done according to Federal Government guidelines by the Federal Ministry of Works. However, the auction price was N1.7 million not N700,000 as claimed by Sahara Reporters.

✓ Other generators sold in the past year were sold as scrap. Three of which were purchased in 1993. One of these generators, which was donated as project equipment, was so old that no record of their dates of purchase existed. Total revenue realized from the 2018 auction of unserviceable equipment was N4.7 million and proceeds of the sale domiciled with the Federal Government.

✓ The process of sale of these generators followed government procurement guidelines to the letter and at no time was the DG part of the procurement process. (I have deliberately recused myself from any procurement process within the institute to avoid any slight hint of favoritism or bias).

✓ The Vice President did not and has never defended me in any case of corruption. The case in question was defended by Kola Awodein and co. Incidentally I was found innocent on all charges and discharged and acquitted by a tribunal of three serving judges. All allegations were found to have been fabricated by political opponents.

✓ The N500,000 research fieldwork grant was not reduced to N50,000. This claim is false. After discovering incidences of abuse and data forgery, management put in place an arrangement where researchers now receive their grants in tranches. AT each point, the researcher must prove that he/she actually went out into the field to collect the data before receiving the next installment.

✓ Researchers have not gone on international conferences only because of budgetary constraints. However, in 2018 researchers attended conferences in South Africa, Cote d’ivoire and Kenya all sponsored by the conference organizers. Furthermore, NISER has invested heavily in the retraining of research staff within NISER some of whom went on to support the Minimum wage macroeconomic modelling exercise.

✓ No research professor has resigned his appointment in NISER (The claim in the report is a complete fabrication).

✓ I did not refuse Sahara Reporter’s request for a discussion. I asked that the request be put in writing for record purposes and that my accusers be identified. Surprisingly, one hour 30 minutes after the reporter’s discussion with my secretary (I never did speak to them), their article was published.

Background and context

For the records, NISER was established in 1950 (not 1906) as WISER (West African Institute of Social and Economic Development). At independence in 1960, WISER became NISER relocating to the university of Ibadan and later moved to its own premises in the early seventies. Government, recognizing the critical role that NISER was mandated to play in economic development, that the institution was in a state of disrepair and for some time had suffered neglect and underinvestment, determined to reposition the agency for the benefit of the country.

In July 2017, when I assumed office, NISER an institution set on a small campus akin to a university, lacked running water, had no internet services and was receiving 4 hours of power a day from the public grid. The institution had lost its position on the global Think Tank rankings. At a point in its history, NISER ranked in the top one hundred Think tanks in the world. Presently, it is not ranked in the top 100 research institutes in Africa and is not certainly recognized in the world.
Research standards had declined and output was so low that there were only 8 publications on the website in 5 years. My mandate was to reposition the institute, restore the standards of scholarship and reestablish its lost glory.

Our story of positive change and development:
Since I assumed office as DG we have, in spite of federal government budgetary and funding constraints, put in place running water, instituted High speed broadband internet services campus wide and put a generator in the central building where the accounts, administration director of research and the DG’s offices are housed. The proposed sale of the giant generators was part of an optimization program, meant to provide funds to power the research buildings in a sustainable manner since the institute could not afford to fuel such huge generators.

Research standards have been strengthened and are now being rigorously enforced, and strict criteria for promotion reestablished. Government has provided initial funding for the physical renovation of the campus to begin. This process is being conducted is strict adherence to federal government procurement guidelines.

It is clear that any process of change this ambitious is bound to have detractors. Those members of staff of the institute who were invested in the status quo will be aggrieved by the disruptions and will fight back.

The label that I am “Osinbajo’s man”, meant to disparage me, is one that I wear with great pride. It is a privilege and indeed an honour to serve under an administration that is led by a President and Vice President who stand for rectitude, integrity and vision and remain committed to make Nigeria better.

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Ayu Debunks Suspension Report, Says ‘Only INEC Can Suspend Me’




By Eric Elezuo

The National Chairman pf the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, has debunked the report of his suspension by his Benue ward, noting that only the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) can suspend him.

Ayu made the clarification in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Communications, Mr. Simon Imobo-Tswam,  and made available to The Boss.

The embattled chairman, who was via a letter dated March 24, 2023 suspended by the ward, said the ward executive was teleguided, and those goading the executive were ignorant.

Describing the entire report as rumour, Ayu informed that “Article 57(7) of the PDP Constitution as Amended in 2017 expressly prohibits any organ of the party or executive committee of the party at the Ward or State Level from taking any disciplinary measure against any member of the party’s National Executive Committee,” stressing that the actions of the Ward executive are exercises in futility.

He therefore, advised the general to ignore the rumour as “those behind the plot are only investing in expensive illusions.”

Read the statement in full:

Our attention has been drawn to rumours that the PDP National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, has been suspended by the Executive Committee of his Ward.

We wish to state categorically and with all emphasis at our disposal thus:

1. The PDP National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, has not been suspended by his Ward. Some members of the Exco are only being teleguided by political gamblers to cause mischief and nothing more.

2. For starters, Article 57(7) of the PDP Constitution as Amended in 2017 expressly prohibits any organ of the party or executive committee of the party at the Ward or State Level from taking any disciplinary measure against any member of the party’s National Executive Committee.

3. The purported suspension is, therefore, an exercise in futility as it derives its strength majorly from gross illiteracy, ignorance, gambling and desperation. It has only mischief, drama and propaganda value.

4. But more than this, the so-called suspension letter was written by an illiterate before hand, and only given to the coerced members to sign somewhere in Makurdi.

6. This is why the original date is typexed and 24 March imposed on it. And this is also why it states that the presidential/NASS and Governorship/State Assembly elections held on 25th and 18th March, 2023 respectively.

7. From what we know, document itself is fraudulent as the signatures of the Ward Executives were forged or obtained under duress.
The chairman, his deputy and legal adviser didn’t sign. The 14th person on the list didn’t sign too. She was at NKST Ambighir for the Holy Communion.

8. In fact, the same applies for Nos. 5, 8 and 16. At the time they were supposed to be in Makurdi with the other coerced, intimidated and induced members of the Exco, they were actually in their villages, going about their normal businesses.

9. Up till now, about nine members of the Ward Exco are still being held hostage in a location in Makurdi for obvious reasons. And expectedly, their mobile numbers have been switched off. It is instructive.

10. The general public is hereby advised to ignore rumours to this heinous effect. Those behind the plot are only investing in expensive illusions.

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Former Chief of Staff, Oladipo Diya is Dead




A former Chief of Staff, General Oladipo Diya, has died.

The death of the former General was made by a statement signed by Barrister Prince Oyesinmilola Diya, on behalf of theDiya family.

Read the statement…

On behalf of the entire Diya family home and abroad, we announce the passing on to glory of our dear husband, father, grandfather and brother, Lt- General Donaldson Oladipo Oyeyinka Diya (Rtd) GCON, LLB, BL, PSC, FSS, mni.

Our dear daddy passed onto glory in the early hours of 26th March 2023.
Please keep us in your prayers, as we mourn his demise in this period. Further announcements will be made public in due course.

Barrister Prince Oyesinmilola Diya, on behalf of the family.

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I’ll Never Validate an Illegitimate Outcome of a Flawed Process – Atiku Abubakar




By Eric Elezuo

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has denied authoring a fake press statement making the rounds in the media, reiterating that he will never validate am Illegitimate outcome of a Flawed process.

The former Vice President made the clarification in a statement he personally signed, stressing that the so called press release did not emanate from him or his office, adding that his lawyers still have his unflinching mandate to challenge the outcome of the February 25 presidential election.

The Waziri Adamawa restated his stand in joining lovers of democracy around the world to condemn the election and completely reject the ‘predetermined outcome’ of the election.

Read the statement below:

I have been notified of a fake press release attributed to me and purportedly giving legitimacy to the widely rigged presidential election of February 25.

The so-called press release did not emanate from me or my office, and it should be treated with repudiation, untrue, and deliberately contrived by those who illegally appropriated the mandate of the Nigerian people.

For the avoidance of any doubt, I wish to state categorically that my lawyers still have my unflinching mandate to challenge the outcome of the February 25 presidential election.

I join other lovers of democracy in Nigeria and friends of our great country in the outright rejection of the predetermined outcome of the February 25 election.

I shall continue to challenge the legality of that election, alongside my party, the Peoples Democratic Party.

The decision to challenge the sham election of February 25, the worst election in our democratic history, is not predicated on my personal interest but for the interest of Nigeria and its people. It is aimed at deepening democracy and ensuring that we do not confer legitimacy to an outcome of illegitimacy.

My commitment to the democratic struggle in Nigeria is beyond an election season.

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