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What Okorocha did with N420m ISOPADEC money – Imo govt

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Deputy Governor of Imo State, Rt. Hon. Gerald Irona says the state Government decided to set up an investigative panel to look into the management of the Imo state Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, ISOPADEC, following reports of mismanagement of the Commission by previous administrations.

The Deputy Governor gave the explanation while receiving a delegation of stakeholders from Ohaji, in Ohaji Egbema Local Government Area, under the auspices of Ogbako Ohaji, a socio-cultural organisation, led by Chief Goddy Obodo.

“Few weeks before the last administration of His Excellency, Rochas Okorocha left, over Four Hundred and Twenty Million was released on the orders of the former Governor to buy vehicles”, he said.

“The funds were not for ISOPADEC use, but for other uses. The funds were ISOPADEC funds. The salary wage bill is a little over Forty million and they were receiving about Ninety Five million.

“There were a lot of issues. We now insisted that we must look into what has transpired. We are not witch hunting anyone. We just want to get things right.”

“The government set up an investigative panel; a panel of enquiry to look into how the Commission was managed in the past years. We need to know how much was received by the Commission and how the funds were utilized.

“We need to know what they did with our money and who played what role. We want ISOPADEC to work well.”

“We must ensure that ISOPADEC functions properly as an interventionist agency. It is unacceptable that till date, communities in Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta do not have portable water and electricity.

“The new ISOPADEC management must rise to the challenge of addressing the needs of the people.

“We constituted an ISOPADEC Advisory Council to be able to guide and encourage the new management, with a view to ensuring that the spirit and letters of ISOPADEC are strictly adhered to. The era of sharing ISOPADEC money is over.”

On funding, the Deputy Governor assured that the Commission shall be funded according to the law establishing it, even as he charged the new management on accountability.

“ISOPADEC must be accountable. It shall be funded according to the law establishing it. Funding will not be an issue. The issue will be how to manage the funds. It calls for prudence. There must be consultation, transparency and accountability.”

He further assured the delegation that Adapalm Nigeria will be properly managed in the interest of the citizens.

Speaking earlier, leader of the delegation and former lawmaker, Chief Goddy Obodo expressed gratitude to the government of Chief Emeka Ihedioha for considering Ohaji indigenes in political appointments, assuring him of their continued support.

“We are here to identify with you. Carry our message of gratitude to Governor Emeka Ihedioha. We are here to express our happiness. Within one month of our administration, we are already feeling a wind of change”, he said.

“For Eight years, ISOPADEC was almost closed down. For eight years, no one from Ohaji benefited anything from ISOPADEC. The people of Ohaji that have so far been given appointments are tested and trusted. They will not fail you.”

Other members of the delegation were: former Commissioner, Barr. Golden Nwosu, Chairman, Interim Management Committee of Adapalm, Dr. Anthony Kerunwa, ISOPADEC Chairman, Barr. Magnus Obido, member of ISOPADEC Board, Hon. Emeka Alihie, Imo State Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Hon. Damian Opara, among others.

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Arewa

Boko Haram: EFCC, ICPC told to probe NGOs undermining Nigeria’s fight against terror

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and other anti-graft agencies have been asked to probe some Non Governmental Organizations undermining the ongoing fight against terror in Nigeria.

The Public Accountability Network, a civil society organization, which made this call on Sunday, decried the activities of some NGOs operating in Nigeria, which had contributed to the rising cases of terrorism in the nation.

PAN said it was shocked to discover that some non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were in the business of providing wholesale support to Boko Haram and Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) in order to remain in business.

Addressing newsmen on Sunday, the group through its Executive Director, Mark Daniel Atawodi, called for ban of any group found to have been collaborating with Boko Haram for their selfish interest.

He also urged the relevant authorities to go the extra length to put indicted organizations and their managers on trial with a view to securing the stiffest punishment possible to deter those that have the intention of supporting Boko Haram and ISWAP to remain persistent threat to Nigerians.

His statement below:

The confirmation by the Nigerian Army that Action Against Hunger, an NGO operating in the Northeast was “aiding and abetting” terrorists in this regard did not come as a surprise to us.

Public Accountability Network(PAN), with its sister NGOs had in the past raised concerns about the surreptitious activities of unscrupulous group that hide behind their international status or affiliation to commit crimes in Nigeria.
It is commendable that the Nigerian Army has proactively banned Action Against Hunger following the discovery of its support for terrorism.

We are however concerned that banning this one NGO is not enough. Action Against Hunger is a mere tip of the iceberg. It is just one of the many organizations that have engaged in activities that are inimical to the interest of Nigeria.

With Action Against Hunger being found out, its other accomplices have by now gone underground, since they will by now be doing their utmost to conceal their illicit activities. The network of these groups is extensive since they include local, continental and international NGOs that gained access to the theatre of operations under the pretext of carrying out humanitarian work.

It is therefore critical at this stage that the Nigerian Army, working with sister security agencies, conduct an audit of NGOs working in areas plagued by Boko Haram insurgency. The essence of this audit is to ascertain the authenticity of the statement of claim that each organization made to gain access to the region. Violation of the terms on which they were accredited to the area would flag other mischief they have been up to.

The Nigerian Army must similarly leverage the special skills available in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and the ICPC to trace the sources of finances of these NGOs. This is against the background that many of them are being financed by foreign interests that are obsessed with destroying Nigeria as a sovereign nation.

Even some local NGOs are complicit of running errands financed from such questionable funds that allowed them to operate as proxies and franchises for the larger saboteurs.

We consequently demand that the Army, working with these anti-graft agencies, immediately investigate the finances of all groups operating in the Northeast.

This investigation should cover what entities paid monies to NGOs operating in the area and the expenditure items of these organizations. In order words, Nigerian want to know who gave them money, what the moneys are meant for, who received the moneys and what the funds were spent on. In the event where payments are traceable to individuals, comprehensive background checks should be carried out to rule out any links to Boko Haram, ISWAP or any other terrorist group.

Our demand is based on the realization that these NGOs have the incentive to undermine Nigeria, an assignment they have assiduously carried out with all sense of impunity:

The criminal NGOs are supporting Boko Haram and ISWAP as a way of ensuring that the terrorists survive the military operation in order for them to validate their failed projections that the terrorists will bring about the end of Nigeria. The discovery of this treachery has however confirmed that Nigeria will overcome the evil they plotted for the country.

These NGOs are pained that their militant wings as represented by the terrorists have repeatedly taken beatings from the military. By supplying food and medication to these terrorists Action Against Hunger aims to reverse the progress made against the insurgent. This leaves us wondering if it is only food and medication that this NGO gave the terrorists since they could also have been behind the recent sophisticated weapons that the terrorists have been taking into battle.

They are also disappointed that the campaign of calumny mounted against the Nigerian state by its partners, like Amnesty International have only made the country stronger while the terrorists they are eager to allow to overrun the country are continually being defeated.

But they should not have taken their disappointment to the point where they further compromise the safety of the innocent Nigerians that will become the victims of a well fed Boko Haram.
The quest for increased donor funding, which would be possible when Boko Haram continues to remain a treat is an attraction for these terrorist NGOs.

They want to provide food and logistics that strengthen Boko Haram so that they will continue to have justification for requesting more funds. This is the lowest form of immorality. No one should prop up terrorists simply in order to raise more funds.

There has been concerns that the subversive activities of these questionable NGOs are at the instance of certain countries that have economic and geo-strategic objectives in Nigeria’s northeast. They have become the vehicles for delivering whatever interventions these countries have for undermining Nigeria.

Nigerians should not forget that the Army had in the past caught out some associates of these NGOs using the cover of their work in the region to gather intelligence that they then pass on to the terrorists.

This particular objective of the indicted NGOs is o dangerous that it has been identified as a key factor in the instances when troops were ambushed. Genuine stakeholders had raised concerns about this but they were dismissed as conspiracy theorists.

The lie of providing food and care for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) when in reality they were servicing Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists is also conveniently being used as manipulated data that will be misinterpreted to create the impression that things are more dire than the reality on ground suggests.

Action Against Hunger and its fellow pseudo terrorist NGOs might have tainted the concept and practice of humanitarian relief work as seen from the resulting public ire, we nonetheless recognize that there are good organizations that are doing good work in in providing succour to persons and families affected by the activities of terrorists. We wholeheartedly welcome the objectives and the activities of these good ones especially at a time that humanity is being threatened by insurgents. We recommend such groups as the shining example that those scheming to profit from the human misery caused by terrorism.

With the knowledge that we now have of the subversive role being played by organizations like Action Against Hunger, we call on the United Nations and its subsidiaries, supra-national bodies and responsible donor partners to stop funding this organization and others with links to it. These potential donors must, in the interest of humanity, ensure that they implement stringent pre-qualification parameters for funds recipients to ensure that the resources they have earmarked for helping humanity are not diverted for terrorists’ use.

We want to conclude by asking that ban of any group found to have been collaborating with Boko Haram is not enough. The government should go the extra length to put indicted organizations and their managers on trial with a view to securing the stiffest punishment possible deter those that have the intention of supporting Boko Haram and ISWAP to remain persistent threat to Nigerians.

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Buhari

Soyinka: ‘Sowore, Welcome To The Club’ As Nobel Laureate Slams Buhari Regime As Being Paranoid

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Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, says the President Muhammadu
Buhari regime has attained an “unprecedented level of paranoia”
following the charges of treason filed against human rights activist,
Omoyele Sowore.

In a statement on Saturday, Soyinka said the nation had failed to
learn from past experiences.

He said, “This is utterly depressing news. So, the Sowore affair has
moved beyond harassment and taken on a sinister direction. Outside the
country where I happened to be engaged at the moment, I can testify
that the immediate reaction around me was to dismiss this as yet
another grotesque product of fake news, of which Nigerians have become
the greatest practitioners. I confess that I also joined in this
school of thought – at the start.

“Further checks have however confirmed that this government has indeed
attained an unprecedented level of paranoia. I do not believe that the
justice department itself believes in these improbable charges, as
formally publicized.

“So, once again, we inscribe in our annals another season of
treasonable felony. History still guards some lessons we have yet to
digest, much less from which to learn. Welcome to the Club, Mr.
Omoyele Sowore.”

The Buhari regime had on Friday filed seven counts of treasonable
felony and money laundering against Sowore.

The charges were filed a day before the expiration of the detention
order of the Federal High Court in Abuja permitting the Department of
State Services to keep the activist for 45 days.

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Ezekwesili reacts to Buhari govt charges against Sowore

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Former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili has reacted to the charges brought against human rights activist and pro-democracy campaigner, Omoyele Sowore, by the Nigerian Government.

Nigerian government on Friday placed a seven-count charge of treasonable felony and money laundering against detained activist and Convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Sowore.

Sowore, a presidential candidate in the February 2019 presidential election was charged along with Olawale Bakare, also known as Mandate.

The charges were signed on behalf of t‎he Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), by Aminu Alilu, a Chief State Counsel in the Department of Public Prosecutions of the Federation‎, the Federal Ministry of Justice.

In the charges instituted against the defendants, the prosecution accused Sowore and his co-defendant of committing conspiracy to commit treasonable felony in breach of section 516 of the Criminal Code Act by allegedly staging “a revolution campaign on September 5, 2019 aimed at removing the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

The prosecution also accused them of committing the actual offence of reasonable felony in breach of section, 4(1)(c) of the Criminal Code Act, by using the platform of Coalition for Revolution, in August 2019 in Abuja, Lagos and other parts of Nigeria, to stage the #RevolutionNow protest allegedly aimed at removing the President.

Reacting, Ezekwesili on her Twitter page, said the FG might have caged Sowore but they cannot cage his ideas.

She wrote, “We stand on with @YeleSowore and defend his constitutional right and freedom to protest any matter of Governance that worries him.

“Mr Sowore’s convening of Citizens to protest Poor Governance – via #RevolutionNow- is Constitutionally guaranteed.Gratitude to his legal team.

“Democracy and Voice are Siamese Twins.The good kind of Siamese Twins. No one regardless of their position is given the right to shut down Voices like @YeleSowore ‘s for daring to disagree.

“How long shall it take before the FG understands the Basics of Democracy?Our FG @NigeriaGov led by @NGRPresident @MBuhari may think they have ‘caged’ @YeleSowore because he dared to challenge Bad Leadership and Poor Governance through #RevolutionNow.

“Not so, actually.His Idea can never be caged. Why?You cannot cage an idea whose time has [email protected] is unconstitutionally and unlawfully detained for calling out deadly incompetence of the @NigeriaGov of @MBuhari

“Not even the Judiciary is spared this spread of deadly incompetence.Here’s the thing. This level of Incompetence is too costly and unsustainable.

“It is painful that @YeleSowore bears the brunt of the collective dissatisfaction of the Citizens of Nigerians toward a grossly incompetent and intolerant @AsoRock.

“We must thank him for once again reminding us that. The Power of the People is greater than the People in Power!

“When the Citizens of Nigeria are ready, neither @YeleSowore nor anyone else need publicly mobilize them and be accused of “wanting to overthrow a government”.

“The Citizens shall on their own rid themselves of a trenchantly incompetent and wicked Political Class.”

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