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Buhari to Jonathan: looted funds must be returned

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President Buhari Loses Second Nephew In 23 Days

Former Head of State Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar facilitated President Muhammadu Buhari’s meeting with his predecessor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan,

Thursday night’s meeting at the Villa was at the instance of the 2015 Elections Peace Committee, following complaints by Jonathan that the President was not sticking to the peace accord they signed.

Jonathan also sought for understanding on alleged corrupt practices and mismanagement of funds under his administration, it was learnt.

A source said Jonathan claimed that he was hearing about some of the graft allegations  for the first time.

But Buhari was said to have insisted that all looted funds must be returned to the nation’s coffers.

He also restated his pledge that Jonathan had nothing to fear at all, according to a source who pleaded not to be named because of the “sensitivity” of the matter.

The outcome of the session was said to have informed Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s declaration at the weekend that the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption battle was not targeted at Jonathan.

According to the source, the parley was arranged by Abdulsalami.

Jonathan was uncomfortable that Buhari had moved against his ex-Chief Security Officer (CSO), ex-National Security Adviser (NSA) and some ministers.

The source said Jonathan asked the Abdulsalami Committee to prevail on Buhari not to “rubbish” him.

The source said: “For some weeks, Jonathan has been in the country to iron out some issues on his government.

Based on Jonathan’s complaint, Abdulsalami made efforts – five times- to get in touch with Buhari but the ex-Head of State could not get through on time. I think Buhari already had security reports on Jonathan’s emissary.”

At a point, Abdulsalami expressed his frustration to some former Presidents who also prevailed on Buhari to give the committee a chance to mediate.

The source added: “This was how Abdulsalami succeeded in securing an appointment from Buhari for Jonathan with a caveat that the immediate past President should feel free to bare his mind.”

Giving an insight into the talks, another source said: “Jonathan said he was hearing some of the allegations, especially financial sleaze, against his administration for the first time. He made it clear that he had nothing to do with some of these corrupt practices.

“He said whatever steps or actions the President intends to take; it should be within the framework of the peace accord the two leaders signed. Obviously, he wanted soft landing.

“He also pledged to cooperate with Buhari as much as possible on all steps he is going to take.”

Buhari, it was gathered, restated his pledge that Joanthan had nothing to fear. But he said there was no going back on the recovery of looted funds.

“The President reassured Jonathan that he has no personal agenda against him. But he insisted that whatever was stolen from the treasury must be returned,” the source said.

There were indications last night that ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s visit to Buhari was part of moves to “offer advice” to the President on the issues raised by Jonathan.

When contacted, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Mr. Femi Adesina, said: “I am aware that President Buhari met with ex-President Goodluck Jonathan but it was behind closed doors. I don’t have the details of what they discussed.”

Some of the issues which made Jonathan to seek peace talks with Buhari are:

  • probe of $2.1billion illegally withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account without recourse to the National Economic Council(NEC);
  • whereabouts of $4billion taxes and dividends paid by the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited between 2009 and 2014;
  • how the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) spent N3.8trillion in three years;
  • likely trial of some ex-ministers; and
  • list of looted funds, banks where they are kept and ex-ministers or government officials affected.

The National Economic Committee (NEC) had on June 29 raised a four-man panel on how NNPC spent N3.8trillion in three years.

The four “wise men” are Governors Adam Oshiomhole (Edo), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Mallam Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna) and Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe).

Awaiting the committee’s report, Governor Adams Oshiomhole joined issues with the immediate past Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on how $2.1billion in ECA was disbursed without approval.

He said of the $2.1billion, only $1billion was paid to oil marketers as fuel subsidy and about $1billion used for election purposes.

Although, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala claimed that the ex-President approved the spending of $1billion, Oshiomhole said Jonathan had no right to do so.

He said any withdrawal from Excess Crude Account ought to be approved by the National Economic Council (NEC).

 

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DHQ clarifies identities of arrested Owo church attack suspects

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Irabor Orders Troops to Smoke Out Unrepentant Bandits

The Defence Headquarters Wednesday gave details of the suspects arrested in connection with the June 5 attack on St. Francis Catholic Church Owo in Ondo State.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, had on Tuesday during a parley with media executives and editors revealed the names of the terrorists who masterminded the Owo attack.

Director, Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. Jimmy Akpor, in a statement yesterday, said the clarification became necessary because of the conflicting feedback on the earlier announcement.

Akpor said Irabor had confirmed the arrest of four suspects through the collaborative efforts of the military and DSS personnel at Eika, in Okehi Local Government Area, Kogi on Aug. 1.

“Those arrested included Idris Abdulmalik Omeiza (a.k.a Bin Malik), Momoh Otohu Abubakar, Aliyu Yusuf Itopa and Auwal”

“The Defence Chief said, preliminary investigation revealed that Idris Abdulmalik Omeiza was the mastermind of the terror attack on the Owo Catholic Church.

“As well as the attack on a Police Station in Adavi Local Government Area, Kogi State on 23 June 2022, during which a policeman was killed and weapons carted away,” he said.

Akpor said Irabor also mentioned the arrest of another terrorist, Idris Ojo, aged 32, who was apprehended at Ayetoro Osi, Ondo State through the combined effort of military and DSS personnel on August 7. 

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Muslim-Muslim Ticket: Pope not against my appointment as DG of Tinubu’s campaign – Lalong

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Director-General of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Organization, Simon Lalong, says he will not resign as the party DG campaign organisation.

Mr Lalong said that even Pope is not opposed to his appointment

Mr Lalong, who is also the Governor of Plateau, an ardent Catholic, said the Pope had not told him that accepting to lead the Muslim-Muslim APC presidential ticket was against the tenets of Christianity.

Some groups had staged rallies in Abuja, calling on Mr Lalong to reject the offer to serve as the DG of APC presidential campaign organisation.

However, the governor said he would not reject his new appointment just to satisfy the wishes of certain individuals or groups.

”The Pope is not angry with my decision to be the DG of the Muslim-Muslim presidential campaign.

“I came back home and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) welcomed me at the airport.

”The next day I addressed stakeholders of Plateau and I told them why I’m accepting and then there was jubilation, all of them accepted.

“So, if you see people talking about me rejecting, I have already accepted – is not an issue. Some of them have already keyed into it – I’m a Christian. If you watch my TVC interview I saw, I was born a Catholic, baptized a catholic, confirmed a catholic.

“Today, I went through missionary schools. I was taught by missions that I respect my being a Christian.

“I have been given the highest award by the Pope, I still hold that award – the highest Papal Award, I want people to know, Knight of Saint Gregory the Great, I have it and one day if you want I will wear my uniform and come here. So those who are talking about it I don’t even know where they are.

“I hold a Papal Knight and as a catholic everything we do, we do it and send the advice to the Pope.

“The Pope has not told me that what I’m doing (to accept Director General) is bad – As a catholic, we take that direction.

“But, generally as a governor of a State, I’m not responsible to only my faith. I’m responsible to other people who belong to other faiths, who are not even Muslims or Christians’’

He urged Nigerians to grow up from ethnic or religious sentiments.

Mr Lalong said that he had already accepted the job and there was nothing anybody could do to dissuade him from performing his responsibilities.

Mr Lalong said he was in the Presidential Villa to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the University of Jos as a national cancer centre as well as granting presidential pardon to the former Governor of the state, Joshua Dariye.

According to him, the people of the state will remain grateful to the president for delivering a lot of democratic dividends to the State.

“My visit to the President is to come and show him appreciation because of what he has done for Plateau State in the last few months.

”Just a week or two ago, we just got approval to make the University of Jos a Cancer Centre.

“I saw over N3 billion approved for the institution as a special centre for cancer. So, it’s not a small achievement.

“Recently, the President approved the establishment of an orthopaedic hospital in Jos, Plateau; the only one in North-Central.

“He also approved the establishment of a Federal Medical Centre in Wase. Another one is the Federal Polytechnic Shendam, which is almost starting this year in October to be precise.

“The president has also approved the conversion of the Federal College of Education, Pankshin, to a Federal University of Education and immediately approved the establishment of another Federal college of Education in the State.

“We were just celebrating that one then we also heard of the establishment of a Zonal campus of the Nigerian Law School for North-Central in Jos.

“We cannot have all these achievements and not come and show appreciation to the President,” he said. 

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PHOTOS: Oluwo of Iwo visits Olubadan

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The Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, on Wednesday visited Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Olalekan Balogun Okunmade Alliwo II.

Oluwo said his visit was symbolic as he has a maternally relationship with the Alliwo Lineage, the source of Olubadan.

Oba Akanbi is maternally related to the Alliwo Compound where he was said to have lived for many years.

Oba Akanbi described the visit as a friendly father and son meeting.

He prayed for a successful reign for Oba Olalekan Balogun Okunmade

Here are pictures of the visit:

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