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|Re: Who Is The Best Living Politician In Nigeria? by GenBuhari(m): 12:32pm On May 28, 2012|
How Obasanjo and his inner circle Stole Nigeria's Billions of Dollars
Friday, 09 September 2011 17:09 [elombah.com]
Corruption pervades the entire levels of the private and public sector under the administration of Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, so said a US Diplomatic cables revealed by wikileaks. The report said that "the arrests in London of the Bayelsa and Plateau State governors have barely scratched the surface of the endemic corruption at the federal, state, and local level. The diplomatic cables noted that in a
widely-circulated August 22 letter to President Obasanjo, Abia State Governor Orji Uzor Kalu accused Obasanjo of corruption, listing a number of
dubious deals, including:
--Cancellation of the contract for the construction of the national stadium in Abuja, only to re-award the contract to a different vendor at a higher price.
--Use of public funds for capital improvements at two private schools secretly owned by Obasanjo.
Obasanjo's response was to agree to be "investigated by the EFCC, which reports to the President. When the EFCC invited Kalu to provide evidence to support his accusations, Kalu refused, pointing out that the EFCC was not an independent investigative body and had no authority to prosecute the President, and the investigation died out.
The President's chicken farm in Otta is one of the largest in Nigeria. A Presidential spokesman said in November 2004, in order to explain Obasanjo's personal wealth, that the farm generated about $250,000 per month in income, though it was nearly bankrupt in the late 1990s (ref
A). Regardless of whether the current income figure is accurate, at least some Nigerians think it is unlikely that Obasanjo's military pension and benefits were the sole source of investment for establishing this huge enterprise, valued by a construction engineer involved in the construction at
more than $250 million.
It is also widely believed that the President's inner circle also reaps hefty rewards with impunity. Some frequently cited examples are:
--Edmund Daukoro, recently named Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, was charged in 1994 for embezzling some $47 million as a managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The charges were abandoned, and Daukoro's political career soared when Obasanjo took office in 1999.
--Senator Florence Ita Giwa, indicted for misappropriation of funds by the Idris Kuta Panel in 2000, was pardoned along with other indicted senators, and she was named a special advisor to Obasanjo when she left office.
--The head of the National Airport Management Authority (NAMA), Rochas Okorocha, was caught and dismissed for embezzling about $1 million through an inflated contract; Obasanjo then appointed him as a senior aide, without requiring Okorocha to repay the stolen funds. Okorocha was
eventually fired on July 13 in a cabinet reshuffle, but went on to start a political party for his renewed presidential ambitions.
--The recent auction of oil blocks included some firms bidding,, sometimes with no prior ties to the oil industry, that were linked to Obasanjo associates, including Daukoro, Rivers State governor Peter Odili, Ogun State governor Gbenga Daniel, presidential advisor Andy Uba, presidential
chief of staff Abdullahi Mohammed, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Nasir al-Rufai and PDP Board of Trustees Chairman Tony Anenih.
--Anenih was indicted by the National Assembly for the sum of 300 billion Naira (approximately $2.4 billion) missing from Ministry of Works and Housing while he was the minister. The missing money is widely believed to have paid off 2003 elections "expenses," including to Balogun, in addition to
lining his own pockets.
--Minister of Finance Ngozie Okonjo-Iweala is said to have steered contracts to her brother (JonJon) with the help of el-Rufai. The contracts, said to amount to about $50 million, have been paid for consulting work for the Ministry.
--Al-Rufai is at the center of the corruption allegations. Well-known to PolCouns eight year ago, when he was homeless and seeking a loan to import a taxi from the UK, al-Rufai is said to have recently purchased seven upscale properties in a posh Abuja neighborhood. His demolitions of commercial and residential buildings in the capital have reportedly provided an opportunity for himself and several of his friends. After demolishing residential properties in Kubwa, the land was reallocated to several of his friends and to an investment company he allegedly owns. The community of Chika, where about two square miles of development was demolished in December, has allegedly been allocated to the same group of people.
--Chief Olabode George, current PDP National Chairman (Southwest) is a close friend of President Obasanjo and a leading proponent of the Third Term Agenda. He is one of the people accused of financial recklessness in the affairs of the National Port Authority, where he was chairman when the financial scandals were allegedly committed. He was retired from the Navy in the 1990s by the Babangida Administration after serving as military governor of Ondo State from 1987 to 1990 in addition to other military postings.
--Chris Uba, recently appointed to the PDP Board of Trustees, admitted rigging during the 2003 elections and attempted to kidnap the governor of Anambra state to try to collect payments for his efforts. Linked closely to several vigilante groups in the state, he is widely believed to be
responsible for the burning of many state government buildings in Awka, crimes that have yet to be solved.
|Re: Who Is The Best Living Politician In Nigeria? by GenBuhari(m): 1:02pm On Sep 04, 2012|
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