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Lamentations of Tinubu’s Supporters

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By Eric Elezuo

Exactly two months into the presidency of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, things have literally fallen apart, and the centre can no longer hold. It is therefore, not out of place to say that ‘mere anarchy is loosed upon the world’ to borrow from a literary genius, William Butler Yeats. The level of devastation, hunger and lost of revenue in the 60 days of Tinubu administration has made even his core supporters lament openly, punctuating every cry with attendant regrets.

A cross section of Nigerians, especially supporters of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and that of Tinubu’s immediate and extended kitchen cabinet, have learnt their voices in condemnation of the policies that have continued to emanate from the coffers of the Federal government. The said policies have severally depreciated the average Nigerian, rendering him incapacitated in the economic equilibrium.

With the spontaneous “subsidy is gone” pronouncement, which the president said came about as a spot of an idle hour, Nigerians began a journey internalized hardship, which has been served to all and sundry, especially the less privileged.

Tinubu had said while addressing Nigerians in France during an interactive session, that he was possessed by the spirit of courage to remove subsidy on the inauguration podium, thereby deviating from the manifesto the party presented as regards gradual phasing out. The pronouncement was made without consultations nor a road map to achieving the aim or mitigating its consequences. It was not a surprise therefore, that the ripple effects continue to richochet negatively in the subconscious of the citizens. Today, according to the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), the average worker spends 70 per cent of his salary on transportation, and food prices have hit the roof.

Today, not only was the subsidy on fuel removed as the product sells for at least N617, policies affecting education, power, purchasing power of the naira among others have been released, further impoverishing the people. In unity schools as well as federal higher institutions, tuition fees have increased drastically and the NLC is planning a mother of all strike from August 2.

Much as the administration has given hopes of a better tomorrow after the present hardship, Nigerians are not convinced as the standard of living continue to slip through the hands of the populace. The present situation has developed a parlance of its own; ‘let the poor breathe’.

An Abuja resident, in a video which went viral, revealed that apart from holding the masses on the jocular through unpopular economic policies, Tinubu has been a cause of massive traffic congestion on the Abuja road each time he commutes to and from his office in Aso Rock.

The resident revealed that the President has not moved into his official residence in the Aso Rock Villa, but still lives in his personal home in Maitama, from where he comes to work every morning, and return to every evening.

“See the hold up we face every morning because Tinubu is going to the office. We have to be blocked from movement for a whole 30 minutes so that he will pass. This is not fair. He has refused to move into his official residence, but comes from his home in Maitama,” he said.

While a lot of the citizens are silent protesting through mass exodus to Europe, America and other countries of privileges, some others are venting their anger and frustration through the social media with recorded versions of their thoughts.

Speaking in Yoruba, a social media user, who identified himself as Kunle Ologundudu, lambasted the Tinubu administration in a 12 minutes video, saying that the expectations of Nigeria fall short of what is happening.

He said: “Bola Tinubu what’s happening? We are not understanding what’s going on.

“Nigerians are pained with the way things are going. Bola Tinubu, when did you assume power that the Nigerians are having a hiccup? An adage says the eyes that would be healthy for one’s old age will not have rheum (sleep crust) at an early age. Imagine a lady yet to be married into a family that’s already beating the mother-in-law. What will happen when she is finally married?

“When did you assume power that everything is extremely hard? Buhari is still being labeled as an unfortunate and incompetent president but what name suits you better? Many Nigerians were killed, extreme hunger ravaged the land, and many languished under the administration of Buhari. Eventually, it was with curses that Nigerians used to usher him out of office just like Ibrahim Babangida and General Sani Abacha.

“Bola Tinubu, do you want curses from Nigerians too? The hardship Buhari left for Nigerians, we thought you would cushion the effect. But instead of reliving the populace of this hardship, you intensified it. Many took you as the messiah; thinking you would embrace and execute the plans of MKO Abiola, not knowing it was an oppressor we were all voting for. We thought if a Yoruba is in power, he will be beneficial to us. Your antecedents in Lagos State were why many campaigned for you throughout the country. Many Nigerians could not have sound sleep because of hunger. The whip Tinubu is flogging Nigerians with is greater than what was experienced by Buhari.

“When he was campaigning, he said we would remove the subsidy. Many actually thought he has a concrete plan on how removing it will not bring so much hardship to Nigerians. But now, Nigerians are languishing in extreme hardship because of subsidy removal. Your government is only advising Nigerians to be patient, saying you just assumed power. You might think this advice is working while PMS is sold at N500. Currently, the same PMS is sold for N600. I rally for the South-West to vote for you, but you want to damage my reputation for giving my support to you.

“The hope of Nigerians was that you being a wise man will not thread the path of Buhari. The amount saved from subsidy removal, since you assumed power, should be made known to Nigerians. Of course, Nigerians don’t even know the actual amount PMS costs from importation. I just hope Nigerians have not been taken from frying pan to fire. Bola and Shetima, this is miserable. Sadly, PMS moved from N500 to N600, and the news is that the pump price would reach N800 by September, and N1000 by December 2023. I hope this is not a case of madness. All borders are closed. The prices of tomatoes and meats in the markets are unbelievable. What kind of destructive government is?

“The fact that you are now a president doesn’t mean we that campaigned for you cant advise you anymore. All Nigerians who initially have hope in you are now weeping. The kidnappers on Nigerian roads have now returned. Bola Tinubu, Shetima, Dele Alake, Gbajabiamila, the steps you have taken since you assumed power does not in any way inspire hope in Nigerians that you are here to help. This is because those making up your cabinet are a bunch of thieves. They all have court cases of missing billion of naira to account for. Of course, Bola Tinubu is aware of it. Those being probed by the EFCC for embezzlement are now the ones you are appointing. Where are we going in this country and who can save us from this predicament?

“The note Bola Tinubu started with is a sign that Nigerians should not be quiet about expressing their displeasure. I have always been saying that the fact that I campaigned for any politician does not make me the friend of any politician. If you do well in power, I will continue to support you. But I will never support thieves. If you amend your ways, I will support you again. I am a mouthpiece of the masses.

“Imagine, Nigerians are hungry yet the National Assembly is planning N70bn for their cars and all. They are excited as every month they take about N30bn yet they are even complaining it’s not sufficient.

“Whereas, they are planning N8000 for Nigerians every month. Bola Tinubu, if the borrowed N800bn was used to create companies that can employ at least 500,000 workers. You don’t this would cushion the hardship on Nigerians. What do they even think N8000 can do in the current hardship?

“It’s so sad that Tinubu’s administration started on a very bad note. It’s so unfortunate that we vote for Tinubu.
Anyway, this is not a fight, it is just a warning. The agenda you made known to Nigerians was different from the joker card you’re playing after you have been voted into power. Who will truly teach the Yorubas how to stick to their promises? Many Ibos in the diaspora have urged Bola Tinubu to free Nnamdi Kanu from DSS custody. Yet, no Yoruba is talking about the arrested Sunday Igboho. This is a slap to the Yorubas; their own child, no one is talking about him since he has been arrested. Then, someone will say the Yorubas don’t backbite. If so, where is the wisdom of the Yorubas or is it that they don’t need Sunday Igboho? The ibos are fighting for their own, yet the Yorubas are quietly doing nothing. It has been forgotten that Sunday Igboho was also arrested because he is fighting for the course of the Yorubas independence. If not for God, the Ibo would have taken Lagos from them. In case you don’t know, the part I played in this victory cannot be overemphasised. If I could change the tune of my support against this government, then you are in trouble. You have to start making amendments.

“Bola Tinubu and Shetima, is it a crime I supported you? You pleaded that we support the Yoruba. The success I have is that I have delivered the assignment the Yoruba sent me towards ensuring that a Yoruba became the president of Nigeria. Now it is left for Tinubu to set on a good course.

“Madam first lady of Nigeria, talk to your husband. He was even saying the price of fuel cannot be determined for now. Rumors have it that fuel might get to N1000 before this year’s December. This is just a stern warning of what coming if things are not properly coordinated to relieve the populace. My name is Kunle Ologundudu…”

Another social media commentator, who identified himself as Olalekan Olarewaju, reeled out insulting invective against the president and his administration, saying he is yet to understand the trend of events as what is happening is not what Nigerians bargain.

He said: “This is something I can postpone but I might not have time during the day again. I still don’t understand what is going on in Yoruba land. I still don’t understand it. If anybody understands it, please, can you enlighten me on what is going on in Yoruba land, especially Lagos state? I still don’t understand what is going on in Lagos State.

“And I still don’t understand what is going on in Yoruba land in general. One man, one fraudulent man called Bola Ahmed Tinubu cannot hold everybody to ransom. One foolish idiot, fraudulent man, a lazy man called Bola Ahmed Tinubu cannot hold everybody to ransom. If he’s not a lazy man, why is it that politics is a source of livelihood? Nothing to show apart from politics. He doesn’t have any industry, he doesn’t have any business, apart from being a mercantilist politician. So, I would not understand why one stupid idiot or a bastard called Bola Ahmed Tinubu will hold everybody to ransom in the hold of the South-West. I still don’t understand it. I still don’t get it. And I never knew that Yoruba are cowards. I never knew that Yoruba are the most, with due respect, are the most foolish tribe in Nigeria. Until one man called Bola Ahmed Tinubu appeared on the scene. I never knew that Yoruba people worship money until one man called Bola Ahmed Tinubu appeared on the political scene. I never knew that the Black are Cowards until one man called Bola Ahmed Tinubu appeared on the political scene. I don’t owe anybody an apology. I don’t. I don’t. I don’t. I don’t. Look at my face very well. I don’t owe anybody an apology.

“My name is Olalekan Olarewaju. So whatever you want to do, go and do it. Whatever you want to do, go and do it. Where another person’s madness ends is where another’s started from. Those that MC Oluomo and all that we think are strong are not strong. God bear me witness. We only allowed them in Nigeria. I’m not making mouth, if I’m with Tinubu in court, he will poo on himself. Who the hell is Tinubu? That he wants to Lord it over everybody. This is a man that has no school cert, his parents are unknown. The schools he attended are unknown. His names are unknown. He doesn’t have any name. All those names that he’s carrying, are fake names. This is a man that nobody knows his classmate when he was in school.”

On their part, a youth group, which identified itself as Youth Progressive arm of APC, told the president to have a rethink of some of his policies to help the ‘common Nigerian’.

Their letter reads:

“President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, we are the young progressive arm of the All Progressive Congress. We fought vigorously to get you elected. We hope for a new Nigeria under your leadership and believe your promises.

“Mr. President, how can you allow bribery, fraud, and corruption to taint a new administration? How can you allow your chief of staff, Femi Gbajabiamila, to continue to sub your authority? He’s allegedly hiding important files of national importance from reaching you. He continues to sabotage our nation’s financial dealings due to his monetary interests. He collected millions of dollars in bribes from the old managing directors and chief executive officers in government agencies to retain them and exempted them from the board dissolution.

“He’s currently selling public offices, appointments, board members, and other agencies’ positions to the highest bidder, President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. This is not a change Nigerians voted for. Already there is serious infighting within our party, the APC, and many youth and elder statesmen are angry at your leadership because of what Femi Gbajabiamila is doing by hiding documents, selling every position in government, and collecting millions of dollars in bribes. He’s slowly killing your new administration and Nigerians will turn against you if you allow this corruption to continue. Mr. President, God forbid that the Supreme Court declares a re-run of your election. Many angry youths and elders within the APC might betray you even if they are paid. Therefore, we are asking you to take charge of your government. Do not allow your Chief of Staff to be blinded by millions of dollars in bribes from old managing directors and chief executive officers in government agencies such as the NNPC, the NPA, NIMASA, NEMA, and other agencies.

“Mr. President, you recently borrowed 500 billion Naira for palliatives. However, these old managing directors and chief executive officers alone have spent over 500 billion Naira in paying unexecuted, fraudulent contracts to their cronies within the past one month because they know that they might be leaving any day. Nigerians are calling on you, Mr. President, to act, warn your Chief of Staff, and save Nigeria, dissolve these old managing directors and chief executive officers before they cripple our economy.”

Recall that Chief Dele Momodu, while granting an interview to Channels TV during the campaigns described Tinubu as a “potential dictator” based on his antecedents. The events of the past few weeks cannot be wrong.

Below is an excerpt from the interview:

Channels: You are inferring that he cannot be trusted as a friend. Is that what you are saying?

Momodu: I’m referring to dictatorship, nothing else. Democracy, I just said it now, I will never support a dictatorship. I suffered under a dictatorship. I was in detention. I was in exile for three years. I will never, that is why some of those who are trying to dictate that by fire, by force, someone must become president, I have told them, count me out of it. Dictatorship has no way in my books. So once you begin to demonstrate dictatorship…

Channels: in your books, Bola Tibubu is a dictator?

Momodu: He’s a potential dictator, let me use that word.

Channels: That is why, that is the spirit of your articles.

Momodu: The spirit of my article was an academic exercise. There was no way I disparaged him.

Time will tell what the Tinubu administration holds for Nigeria as the lamentations rise by day. It’s also a matter of time before the uprising begins.

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Behold! The Asiwaju of Edeland, Gov Ademola Adeleke

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By Eric Elezuo

The ancient town of Ede in Osun State is set to host the who’s who in Nigeria’s political and traditional institutions as the Executive Governor of the state, His Excellency, Senator Ademola Nurudeen Jackson Adeleke, is installed as the Asiwaju of Edeland.

The one in town event is scheduled to hold on Monday, May 13, 2024 at the Grounds of the Palace of the Timi of Ędę, HRH Oba Adesola Munirudeen Lawal (Laminisa 1), on the same day the governor, who has been termed as ‘performing’ will be celebrating his 64th birthday.

The Asiwaju title was previously held by Governor Adeleke’s elder brother, Isiaka Adeleke, who passed away on April 23, 2017.

Among dignitaries expected at the event are the former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, members of the Osun State executive and legislative councils, federal legislators, members of the diplomatic Corps, business men, politicians across the nation, entertainers and the general public.

THE MAN, ADEMOLA JACKSON ADELEKE

He has one of the most jovial personalities, combined with a mien that is down to earth and thoroughly enterprising. Many call him ever smiling senator; some others call him dancing senator while a whole lot of others call him the incoming governor. He is the Senator, who represented Osun West Senatorial district in the Nigeria’s upper legislative chamber between 2015 and 2019. He is Ademola Jackson Adeleke, a distinguished contender for the Osun governorship seat. 

Born of the Adeleke family of Ede in Osun State on May 13, 1960, Adeleke commenced his primary education at Methodist Primary School, Surulere Lagos State before he was privileged to relocate to Old Oyo State to continue his education at Nawarudeen Primary School, Ikire.

Adeleke was born Nurudeen Ademola Adeleke to a Muslim father and Nnena Esther Adeleke, an Igbo Christian mother. Like him, Adeleke’s father, Raji Ayoola Adeleke was a Senator and the Balogun of Ede land in Osun State. His father, Raji Ayoola Adeleke was also the leader of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN).

On completion of his primary education, he moved on to The Seventh Day Adventist Secondary School, Ede to begin his post primary schooling. In the later years however, he attended Ede Muslim Grammar School Ede, where he completed his secondary school education and subsequently relocated to the United States of America, joining his two older brothers, who were also studying there.

In the United States, he joined Jacksonville State University, Alabama, and studied Criminal Justice, with minor in Political Science.

To prove doubting Thomases, who wiped up controversies around his educational qualification, wrong, he went back to school and got enrolled at Atlanta Metropolitan State College in the United States, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice in 2021.

A businessman and administrator of no mean repute, Adeleke was the humble Group Executive Director at his brother’s company, Pacific Holdings Limited from 2001 to 2016, where his credible performances shot the company to enviable heights; a height it is still enjoying till date.

It is imperative to note that before he joined Pacific Holdings Limited, Senator Adeleke worked with Quicksilver Courier Company in Atlanta, Georgia, US, as a service contractor from 1985 to 1989. His dexterity to work earned him a progression in career, and he berthed as Vice President at Origin International LLC, Atlanta, Georgia, US, a flavours and fragrance manufacturing company. His meritorious stewardship lasted a period of five years, from 1990 to 1994.

Not a few has described Adeleke as the philanthropic capital of Ede, as his influence in aiding the less privileged and downtrodden remains top notch. He is a voracious believer in community development, and has not spared any expense to see that his community receives global influence.

Politically, Adeleke is a beacon of light and hard nut to crack, having remained an albatross to opposing powers and a reference point to ideal administration.

Shortly after he lost his brother, Senator Isiaka Adeleke, who died in April 2017, he contested the Osun West 2017 Senatorial by-election after the death of his brother, emerging as the winner under the Peoples Democratic Party, where he decamped to from the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Having emerged senator, Adeleke’s political influence waxed stronger, an on July 23, 2018, he emerged as the governorship candidate of PDP in Osun State after defeating Akin Ogunbiyi by seven votes. Efforts made to deprive him of the mandate was twated by the courts.

Adeleke’s lawyer in his defense claims his secondary school hasn’t come out to deny his testimonial asking the court to dismiss the Case. The court dismissed the suit stating that the plaintiff could not prove Adeleke’s forgery.

Adeleke ran for Osun state governorship election under the PDP against top contenders Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola of APC and Iyiola Omisore of SDP on 22 September 2018. The election was declared inconclusive by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) while Adeleke was leading, and a rerun slated on September 27, 2018. The candidate of the APC Oyetola was declared winner after the run-off. Adeleke protested the result describing the election as a “coup”.

Much as on March 22, 2019, the tribunal sitting in Abuja declared Adeleke the winner of the election, the Supreme Court later affirmed Gboyega Oyetola as the authentic winner of the 2018 Osun State governorship election on Friday, July 5, 2019

Popularly known as the Dancing Senator because of his penchant to joyfully react to the sounds of music, Adeleke is uncle to one of Nigeria’s popular musicians, Davido.

Governor Adeleke is married to an equally successful businesswoman and a self-made boss. They are blessed with three children who are all entertainers. They are B-Red and Shina Rambo and a daughter, Nike Adeleke. He is the uncle of one Nigeria’s primus inter pares in entertainment, Davido.

As expected, Adeleke is moving Osun State to the greatest of heights as he promised, and many who know him agree that there are still very many more in the offing.

HIS EXTRAORDINARY EASE OF DOING BUSINESS STRATEGY 

The governor has shared good news on the ease of doing business in the state as follows:

In continuation of our administration’s effort to improve the state economy and encourage the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), we have completed the harmonization of multiple taxes and levies collected by different government departments, agencies, and ministries across all business sectors of the state economy including the informal sectors into a single bill. This Harmonized Bill curates all levies, which businesses are expected to pay on an annual basis as a single bill.

This initiative is to promote ease of doing business by ensuring seamless and convenient payment of levies and taxes due to individuals and businesses across the state in equal or unequal tranches and ensure the issuance of Harmonized Bill Certificate upon completion of payment of the total amount.

I hereby note to all business owners in Osun state both in formal and informal sectors that the official online payment channels for the state is pay.irs.os.gov.ng; POS machines in Tax stations across the state; commercial banks across Nigeria; and Money Transfer Services for those outside Nigeria.

In addition, we have also completed the deployment of Automation System for improved service delivery on payment of rent and lease on government properties; processing of Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) in 45 days; Electronic Affidavit System; Electronic State of Origin and Local Government Area of Origin portal; Mobile tax stations; Online Tax payment system etc.

OFFICIAL PROFILE OF GOVERNOR ADEMOLA ADELEKE, THE NEW ASIWAJU OF EDELAND

Governor Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke, the Executive Governor of Osun state and the new Asiwaju of Edeland is a pan Nigerian by birth, by philosophy and by worldview. Born at Enugu as a son of independence on 13th May, 1960, the new Ede frontliner widely acknowledged as the Olosun of Osun is a tactical politician, a businessman, show business activist and a humanist within philanthropism. The ever lively, urbane scion of the Adeleke family of Ede North Local Government is an innovative entrepreneur, a grassroot political figure and a strong advocate of good governance, then as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and now as the Governor of Osun State.

From his childhood, the Asiwaju is a man of complex character, a young man with multiplicity of talents and an adult with widely praised open heart, strong will and constancy of adaptation to ideas and innovations. From his secondary education at Ede Muslim Grammar School to his sojourn to the United States and tertiary education at the Jacksonville State University, Alabama where he majored in criminal justice, the Ede frontliner demonstrated deep business interest, unconventional approach and a rare mastery of intricacies of politics, business and social life.

Despite hailing from a well to do family, the Asiwaju was in the United States and Nigeria, a man in search of opportunities for self growth and advancement. His passion for self development and business prosperity occasioned his joining the Quicksilver Courier Company in Atlanta, Georgia, US, as a service contractor between 1985–1989. He progressed to Origin International LLC, Atlanta, Georgia, US, a flavours and fragrance manufacturing company where he served as Vice President from 1990 to 1994.

A suave businessman and administrator, he served as a Director of Guiness Nigeria Limited between 1992- 1999 where he contributed immensely to the expansion of the multinational company. He was later appointed Group Executive Director of Pacific Holdings Limited from 2001 to 2016. Senator Adeleke is also an acclaimed creative Industry entrepreneur and mentor. As a talented creative figure, he mentored world rated ace musicians while his family members and children are leading stars in the global music industry.

As a man ever restless in pursuit of self growth and opportunities, the Asiwaju again opted to restart his educational sojourn which he suspended because of business and entrepreneurial preoccupations. In 2019 after he was rigged out of a governorship election he clearly won, Governor Adeleke, in a can do spirit, re-enrolled at Atlanta Metropolitan State College in the United States and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice in 2021.

All along and considering his family background, the frontliner was for years both a political servant and leader, learning the rope from his father (Senator Ayoola Adeleke) , a second republic progressive Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and his brother, Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke, the First Executive Governor of Osun State. His business teeth were sharpened by his brother, the global business mogul, Dr Adedeji Adeleke while his political potency was strengthened by his sister, the Yeyeluwa of Edeland, Chief (Mrs) Dupe Adeleke- Sanni. The celebrant of today was eventually elected the President of the Adeleke dynasty, representing the sons and daughters of the great Adeleke family at home and abroad.

Having been thus fortified by his innate personality, his family background and his multifaceted experience, his political participation predated 1991 but he took the front seat in 2017 when he was elected with a landslide victory as a Senator for Osun West Senatorial District in 2017. His popularity reached a peak when he won the Osun 2018 governorship election before the open rigging and manipulation that was globally condemned.

As a man of steel character, the frontliner took the gauntlet again in 2022 and beat the incumbent to reclaim the stolen mandate of 2018. Imole as the Governor is popularly known has since been delivering on good governance, winning applause and praises from far and near.

In December 2023, he was honoured with a doctorate degree by the Valley View University, Accra, Ghana. The Vice Chancellor lauded the Governor’s multi-million naira education scholarship as a Senator, his sterling records on workers welfare as a Governor, his performance on infrastructure upgrades and his commitment to due process, rule of law and fear of God.

He has received several awards including the Governor of the Year Award by Champion newspapers in 2023, Sahel Standard Man of the Year in 2022, Vanguard Newspaper Governor of the Year on Infrastructure and a host of other recognition. The frontliner serves on several national governmental committees including being the representative of the South West on the National Minimum Wage Committee.

The new Asiwaju of Edeland is a strong family man, an avid sport lover, a man of God and a David of our time with incessant passion for praise singing and adulation of God Almighty.

Courtesy: Governor’s Office, 2024.

By this new office, Governor Adeleke is now the one who leads in Edeland, and is expected to use his office to better the lot of the people of Ede.

Congratulations sir!

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You’re Non-Existent, Fubara Tells Amaewhule-led Rivers Assembly

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Rivers State Governor, Similaya Fubara, has taken a swipe at the Martin Amaewhule-led group of lawmakers at the state House of Assembly and declared that they do not exist anymore in the eyes of the law.

“Let me say it here, those groups of men who claim that they are assembly members, they do not exist. I want it to be on the record,” Fubara declared

The governor stated this when he received on courtesy visit the Bayelsa State delegation of political and traditional leaders, led by former Governor of the State, Senator Seriake Dickson, at Government House in Port Harcourt on Monday.

Fubara and 26 members of the assembly loyal to former governor, Nyesom Wike, have been at loggerheads after the move to impeach the governor was thwarted.

He told the delegation that he has been showing restraint since the political crisis escalated in the state.

The governor further stated that despite wielding state powers that he can deploy to achieve his aim, he has continued to act as the big brother in the face of intimidation and unwarranted attacks.

“So, I want you to see the sacrifice I have made to allow peace to be in our state. I can say here, with all amount of boldness, I have never called any policeman anywhere to go and harass anybody.

“I have never gone anywhere to ask anybody to do anything against anybody. But what happens to the people that are supporting me? They are being harassed, they are being arrested and detained.

“There is no week that somebody doesn’t come here with one letter of invitation for trump-up charges and all those things,” he said.

The governor added, “I am saying all these because of what my senior said here. I don’t think the other party has shown any restraint. I am the one who has shown restraint in the face of this crisis.

“I am the one that is badly hit, even when I have all the government instruments to shake up the table. But, why will I do it? I believe that peace is the best relationship to cultivate.”

He revealed that he had always been present at any meeting that was called to resolve the crisis in the state but after each meeting, he was met with a new dimension of the crisis from the opposing side.

He, however, vowed to continue to be peaceful, acknowledging that power is transient.

“We might have our division, but I believe that one day, we could also come together, but it has gotten to a time when I have to make a statement that they are not existing. Their existence is me allowing them to exist. If I de-recognize them, they are nowhere. I want you to see the sacrifice I have made in allowing peace to reign in our state,” he concluded.

The Punch

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Yahaya Bello vs EFCC: The Tussle Continues

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By Eric Elezuo

With the declaration of the Apppeal Court, sitting in Abuja over the weekend, ordering a stay of proceedings in the contempt charge instituted by Yahaya Bello, former Kogi governor, against Ola Olukoyede, chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the stage seems set for an elongation of legal fireworks between the two feuding entities.

The declaration was a follow-up of Bello, who approached the Kogi High Court, seeking an order to issue and serve the respondent (EFCC chairman) with “form 49 notice” to show cause why an order of committal should not be made on him.

The judge, after listening to the arguments of the applicant’s counsel, the submission and the exhibits attached in the written address, granted Bello’s prayers and ordered Olukoyede to be summoned to appear before the court to answer the contempt charge.

However, while it is believed that the crisis of apprehending the former governor for prosecution is an institutional matter, many on the other hand, has accused the EFCC chairman of attaching a lot of personal interest in the matter going by the way he is fighting tooth and nail to see Bello in custody.

In a chat with editors at the EFCC Headquarters, Jabi, Abuja, the anti-graft agency chairman swore to follow the prosecution of Bello to the logical conclusion.

He also vowed that all those who obstructed the arrest of the former governor would be brought to justice.

The EFCC is seeking to arraign Bello on 19 counts bordering on alleged money laundering, breach of trust and misappropriation of funds to the tune of N80.2 billion.

“If I do not personally oversee the completion of the investigation regarding Yahaya Bello, I will tender my resignation as the EFCC Chairman,” Mr Olukoyede had vowed, adding that those who obstructed the arrest of the former governor would be brought to book. This was a veiled accusation against the governor of Kogi State, Usman Ododo, who used security agents to forestall the arrest of Bello in Abuja.

Olukoyede had also accused Bello of paying his children’s school fees upfront with funds from the atatae coffers.

“A sitting governor moved $720,000 directly from the government account to the Bureau de Change and used it to pay for the school fees of his child in advance in a poor state like Kogi, and you want me close my eyes under the guise that I’m being used. Use by who? At this stage of my life? By who for crying out loud?

“I didn’t initiate the case, I inherited the case file,” he retorted.

The EFCC had sought to arrest Yahaya Bello following his absence from court, and an order by Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court in Abuja after his absence in court.

He was absent from court for his arraignment on a 19-count charge of alleged money laundering to the tune of ₦80bn.

The judge relied on sections 384(4) and (5) of the Administrative and Criminal Justice Act 2015, directing the counsel to the immediate past governor to receive a copy of the charge.

The court held that where it had become impossible to effect personal service of a legal process on a defendant, such could be done through substituted means.

Justice Nwite further held that it was clear that the former governor failed to appear in court for his arraignment.

Notable minds including veteran journalist, Dele Momodu; human advocate and constitutional lawyer, Mike Ozekhome among others have said that the brazen nature with which Olukoyede is going about the matter smacks of personal vendetta, noting that now that the court of appeal has ordered a stay of execution of the contempt of court charges against Olukoyede, everyone must maintain status quotes, and allow Bello to respond to court summon, as the case is now between him and the court of Justice Nwite.

On his part, Momodu has lashed out at the EFCC for selective prosecution, wondering if Olukoyede has any personal stake in the matter, adding that generally the EFCC misfired in the Bello saga.

He said in part, during his Instagram live show:

“I don’t work for EFCC but from all the things that I have read, a lot of them, they misfired. That is the honest truth. They misfired. They didn’t do their due diligence. When you said a man took out money and paid for his children’s school fees, just as he was about to leave power, and you go and check the documents and you see that these things started happening from 2021, 2022 (laughs); I am not an illiterate.

“How do you expect me to believe everything they said when they were too much in a hurry to prosecute him that they did not take their time to check the file. Once you allow a lacuna in law, everything will fall flat.

“That is it. I am not one of those people who will say because I don’t like APC and because I supported Dino Melaye in the last election in Kogi State. Dino is my guy. But, I will not because of that be blinded by hatred for Yahaya Bello and say yes, he should go and surrender himself to EFCC when there is an existing injunction.

“And he is not the only governor who went to court and if the court has granted him that, so be it. We all know that our judiciary is not so perfect but you know, even at that, law is law, it must be obeyed. If we disobey the rule of law, then, we will have to obey the rule of the jungle. So, I never said that they are lying, it is their own statement that shows that they didn’t do their due diligence.”

TheCable, in its report, recalled that “a Kogi State high court presided over by Isa Jamil Abdullahi, had ordered Olukoyede to appear before it on May 13 to show why he should not be committed to prison for allegedly disobeying its order restraining the EFCC from arresting or taking any action against Bello.

“However, the EFCC chairman filed an appeal against the court summon.

“Olukoyede filed two motions, one seeking a stay of execution of the summon, and another one asking to serve processes on Bello via substituted means by pasting the process at his Abuja residence on No 9 Bengazi Steet Wuse Zone 4.

“In its ruling, a three-member panel of justices led by Joseph Oyewole granted the two motions.

“The appellate court fixed May 20 for the hearing of the substantive appeal marked CA/ABJ/CV/413/2024.

“Bello had on February 8, 2024, instituted a fundamental rights enforcement suit, asking the court to declare that “the incessant harassment, threats of arrest and detention, negative press releases, malicious prosecution” by the EFCC, “without any formal invitation, is politically motivated and interference with his right to liberty, freedom of movement, and fair hearing”.

“The former governor also sought an order “restraining the respondent by themselves, their agents, servants or privies from continuing to harass, threaten to arrest or detain him”.

“On February 9, the Kogi high court granted an interim injunction restraining the EFCC from “continuing to harass, threaten to arrest, detain, prosecute Bello, his former appointees, and his staff or family members, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive originating motion for the enforcement of his fundamental rights”.

On March 12, the EFCC filed an appeal against the interim injunction because the court could not stop the commission from carrying out its statutory responsibility.

The Kogi high court delivered judgment on the substantive motion on notice on April 17 wherein the presiding judge granted an order restraining the EFCC “from continuing to harass, threaten to arrest or detain Bello”.

However, the judge directed the commission to file a charge against Bello before an appropriate court if it had reasons to do so.

The judgment coincided with the recent “siege” laid on the Abuja residence of  Bello by EFCC operatives seeking to arrest him.

The commission had also obtained a warrant of arrest against the former governor from the federal high court in Abuja.

The EFCC is seeking to arraign Bello on 19 counts bordering on alleged money laundering, breach of trust and misappropriation of funds to the tune of N80.2 billion.

At the scheduled arraignment on April 18, Bello was absent.

At the court session, Abdulwahab Mohammed, counsel to Bello, told  Emeka Nwite, the presiding judge, that the court lacked jurisdiction to grant the warrant of arrest in the first instance.

He referenced the February 9 interim injunction issued by the Kogi high court, adding that the appeal filed by the EFCC was still pending.

However, the EFCC has filed a notice to withdraw the appeal.

In the notice filed on April 22, the anti-graft agency said the withdrawal was predicated on the fact that events have overtaken the appeal.

The commission also admitted that the appeal was filed out of the time allowed by law.

With the present status, legal minds are of the opinion that matters have returned to status quo, and Justice Emeka Nwite, reserved the right to order Bello’s appearance in court, and await his appearance before any other injunction can be  made.

“For now, it is not about who won or who did not. The matters of the case rest with the invitation of Bello by Justice Nwite. Bello was absent during his first summon, and the case was adjourned. So, everyone has to keep the calm and wait for the next hearing and see if he appears or not as directly by his lordship,” Ozekhome noted.

As it is therefore, May 20 will be a deciding factor for both Bello and EFCC as the tussle for who laughs last continues.

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