One of the victims, Rotimi Amaechi, has left the shores of Nigeria in anger for United Kingdom because of what one of his close allies tagged ” utter shock with Buhari’s last night’s appointments”
Amaechi was perceived as the cash cow and the arrowhead of the assault against former president, and kinsmen, Goodluck Jonathan.
One of the key factor that nailed Amaechi was a damning preliminary report of his stewardship forwarded to Buhari by Governor Nyesom Wike.
Wike had constituted a seven man Judicial Commission of Inquiry headed by Justice George Omereji to investigate alleged sale of some state assets as well as the projects for which funds were allegedly released but not executed .
Former deputy Governor, Ted Ikuru alleged that his former boss allegedly spent N812 million to furnish his private residence, adding that the former government also spent N4.96 billion on the proposed Justice Adolphus Karibi Whyte Hospital with no structures on the ground.
Wike had among others, asked the Commission of Inquiry to investigate the sale of Omoku 150 MW Gas Turbine , Adam 360 MW Gas Turbine, Trans-Amadi 136 MW Gas Turbine as well as the Eleme 75 MW Gas Turbine. –
He also said “I am confident that President Buhari will support my administration in the quest to tackle the massive corruption that characterized the Amaechi administration”
It was gathered that even though Amaechi was being considered, forces within both parties averse to his appointments had lobbied some folks around Buhari to insist the President gets a preliminary report on the tenure of Amaechi.
Said the source ” Wike we all know had told the world everything Amaechi did would be checked out, but there were other forces who ensured Buhari took a look at the prelim report sent by Wike on the alleged large scale fraud by his administration. The problem Buhari had was, he was careful about Amaechi because he did not want his SGF to be indicted for large scale fraud, because some of the evidence against Amaechi were damning.”
The appointments continue to elicit outrage against the backdrop of the lopsidedness of the picks.
Even though those with him insist Buhari has made sterling appointments, with consideration to competence and experience, this group has not been able to defend the appoint of a retired army colonel, Hameed Ali and Comptroller General of Customs.
Amaechi was head of the fund raising committee for his party, helped raised tons of cash, and almost emptied his state treasury for the emergence of Buhari.
First, the speculation was Amaechi could be picked to be the Vice Presidential candidate, then Yemi Osinbajo came. Next, he was promised either Secretary to Government or Chief of Staff.
Amaechi was two weeks ago screened by the Department of Security Services (DSS) for the position of SGF.
Shortly after the screening, a dinner was organized in his honor in port Harcourt.
It was gathered that despite pleas from his men and some close to Buhari that he would be given a ministerial appointment, Amaechi insisted he would not accept anything less than SGF after being governor twice.
Said the source ” It was a big shock to him. This is a man who almost laid down his life, fought Jonathan his kinsmen to the end, spent billions of his own money and state money to ensure Buhari emerged, and is treated this way? Who is the new SGF, where was he when we were working hard for Buhari”
According to another close ally ” He has left Nigeria, he was so upset, i think to just cool off and think of what to do next because in Rivers Wike has shut him out, and there is nothing much in Abuja”
Wike meets PDP senators, Orubebe
The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike on Thursday received the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leadership in the Senate in Rumuepirikom, his country home in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.
The PDP delegation was led by the Senate Minority Leader, Philip Aduda.
Also a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe met with Wike
Orubebe recently resigned from the Peoples Democratic Party.
In attendance at the meeting were the Senate Minority Whip, Chukwuka Utazi; Shuaibu Lau, Danjuma La’ah and Barry Mpigi.
A Government House source said the senators arrived at the governor’s residence some minutes past 3pm and immediately went into a closed door with their host.
The outcomes of the separate meetings were not made public.
ADC presidential candidate denies tax fraud allegations in US
The presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Dumebi Kachikwu, has denied allegations of tax fraud in the United States.
Kachikwu said this in a statement on Wednesday titled, ‘Allegations of tax evasion, fraud against me untrue, politically motivated’.
The presidential candidate said the allegations were propagated by his political opponents who were unhappy with his victory at the ADC Presidential primary.
The Roots TV boss, therefore, asked supporters to ignore online reports that the US government had indicted him for tax evasion running into millions of dollars.
The statement read in part, “A few days ago, my campaign team received information that one of the aspirants who lost out in the just concluded ADC presidential primaries was planning a series of smear campaigns against me.
“I was therefore not surprised when I saw this story. Contrary to the information being peddled, I was assessed an additional $9m several years ago by the US Inland Revenue Service.
“This amount was reduced to $2m and when the IRS sued to collect the amount, my lawyers didn’t contest it and instead waited for a default judgement in order to go to the next stage which is making an offer in compromise to reduce the amount to be paid. This is a standard legal practice in tax matters.”
Kachikwu also denied allegations that he delivered a bribe to convicted US Congressman, William Jefferson.
The ADC candidate said rather, he was the one who reported the former Congressman to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The statement further read, “(The report) claimed I had delivered a $100,000 cash bribe to curry the favour of the former US Congressman. This is another lie as multiple evidence abounds online clearly showing I was the victim who reported the US congressman to the EFCC and the FBI for defrauding my company.
“I have now instructed my lawyers to sue all digital media organisations who participated in the dissemination of this falsehood.”
The Roots TV boss said he was sure of victory in next year’s Presidential election.
Kachikwu, who is a younger brother to a former Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, surprisingly defeated a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, to win the ADC’s Presidential ticket.
Kwankwaso’s party gains one, Labour Party another as senators defect from APC, PDP
Two Senators on Wednesday announced their defection from their former political parties to another party ahead of the 2023 general election.
The Senators are: Francis Ezenwa Onyewusi representing Imo East Senatorial district and Haliru Dauda Jika representing Bauchi Central Senatorial district.
Their defection was made known by the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan during a plenary on Wednesday.
While Senator Francis Onyewusi who is a first-timer to the Senate was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and defected to Labour Party (LP), his counterpart in Bauchi was a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) before he defected to the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
The defected Senators cited injustice and inequity in their former political parties that made them fail the primary elections.
On Tuesday, three All Progressives Congress (APC) senators defected to other political parties.
Ahmad Babba Kaita, senator representing Katsina north; Lawal Yahaya Gumau, senator representing Bauchi north, and Francis Alimikhena, senator representing Edo north, all defected to other parties.
Kaita, who represents President Muhammadu Buhari’s senatorial district, defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) alongside Alimikhena.Advertisement
Gumau defected to the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), a party led by Rabiu Kwankwaso, former governor of Kano state.
The defectors have cited “marginalisation” and unfair treatment by their former parties as the reason for joining new parties.
Most of them were seeking reelection, but lost their tickets in their former parties.
The number of APC senators now stands at 66.
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