ANTI-CORRUPTION NETWORK WRITES BARACK OBAMA TO IMPOSE VISA BAN ON 3 NIGERIAN MINISTERS

The Anti-Corruption Network (ACN) today escalated the war over the non-war against corruption in Nigeria by sending a petition to United States President Barak Obama, citing the dangers of failing to check “corruption with impunity” in the country, and linking it with growing insecurity.

“We are deeply concerned that if this gravity of corrupt practices goes on unchecked, unpunished and unabated, it will definitely worsen the unpalatable security situation and challenges we are already facing which its root course could also be traceable to destructive impact of corruption,” the group said in the letter, dated May 16 and routed through the US Ambassador in Nigeria.

Citing the influence of globalization, ACN asserted that insecurity in one part of the world becomes insecurity to the whole, and economic quagmire in one part will also affect the whole, especially in a case such as Nigeria’s as the most populous black nation in the world and with the greatest influence among Africa nations.

It cited the case of Plateau State during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, when Governor Joshua Dariye was illegally impeached, stressing that since then, that State has been in turmoil.

“Now the same sage is happening in Rivers State, where the Police escorted only five Members of the House to perform a similar act,” the anti-corruption group said.  “[Governor] Amaechi’s offence is that he is speaking out against injustices, oppression in the ruling class.”

Towards implementing the illegality in Rivers State, members of the House of Assembly are being lured with oil blocks, the petition disclosed.  “We have also refused to be used by those in Government to carry out mass protest against the Governor based on fictitious documents to implicate the Governor of corruption. We are also determined to protect any progressive Governor or citizens of Nigeria who are being intimidated by the Presidency for standing for the masses, including the media.”

Drawing attention to the huge investment of the US and other western countries in Nigeria, it called on them to use their good influence to persuade Nigeria’s present political leadership to “truthfully, sincerely and constructively fight corruption and punish corrupt officials.”

On the menace of “corruption with impunity,” ACN drew attention to cases or indictments that involve several high-profile public officials, including:
•    Diezani Allison-Madueke, the Minister of Petroleum Resources;
•    Elder Godsday Orubebe, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs; and
•    Mohammed Bello Adoke, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).
The petition also cited a variety of public documents and probes involving public bodies, such as:
•    The KPMG Report, “which indicted the NNPC, PPPRA and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources of massive Corruption and lack of transparency;
•     The Farouk Lawal Report of the House of Representative Investigative Committee, which “spoke elaborately of unprecedented Corruption between bureaucracy and the marketers of petroleum products;”
•    Aig Imoukede  Report, “which recommended refunds to the Government …yet the Honorable Minister of Finance, Mrs Okonjo Iweala one year after refunds has refused to tell Nigerians who refunded what and out of what as demanded by best practices in good governance and transparency;”
•    Nuhu Ribadu Report, which “also spoke about unprecedented and scandalous Corruption in the petroleum Ministry and its Affiliated Agencies and parastatal;”
•    NEITI Report, which “revealed that the NNPC is yet to remit #1.3 trillion Naira to the Federation account under the Chairmanship of Mrs. Deziani Alison Maduekwe… and that 600 million U.S dollars was withdrawn from the Joint Ventures Account with Chase Bank” and inexplicably squandered.

“It also revealed that 2.3 billion dollars was collected from Joint Ventures account and transferred to the NNPC headquarters for security reasons in the Niger Delta region,” the letter said.  “We all know that the Ministry of Petroleum has no relationship whatsoever with defense issues, as all the security Agencies including the police are funded by Appropriation Act.”

ACN also recalled that in 2011, about 280 billion Naira was budgeted and appropriated for oil subsidy, but that the Government of President Jonathan “ended up spending over 2.3 trillion Naira, over 2 trillion Naira above appropriation and of course half of Nigeria total appropriation, describing it as “unprecedented in Nigeria history” and against the law, and all of them taking place under Mrs. Alision-Maduekwe.

Reviewing previous corruption cases that involved Ministers and a former Senate President who were publicly disciplined, ACN pointed out that even if all those cases were to be put together, they would be “nothing to be compared to the mountain of corruption” against Mrs. Alison-Maduekwe.”

It expressed regret that the Jonathan administration has not only ignored all such cases during his time, he even chose to grant pardon to such convicts as D.S.P. Alamieyeseigha who, it noted, is carrying an international warrant of arrest for money laundering and escape from the United Kingdom, a move that certainly boosts corruption with impunity.

ACN appealed to the United States and President Barack Obama to impress it upon the Nigerian Government and President Goodluck Jonathan to stand firm against corruption.

It also recommended that the visas of all indicted corrupt government officers and those of members of their immediate families be withdrawn, particularly for Petroleum Minister Alison-Maduekwe; AGF Adoke, Minister of Niger Delta Orubebe, former Governor of Kogi State Ibrahim Idris, former Managing Director of Oceanic Bank, Cecilia Ibru, and Justice Abubakar Talba, a judge of the Abuja High Court.

ACN’s letter comes at a particularly bad time for Mr. Jonathan, who has been strongly criticized by the United States lately over a number of issues.  It also comes at a time the government is negotiating for Mr. Jonathan to visit the White House as a way of boosting his image as he prepares to run for president again in 2015.

On several occasions, including during visits of President Jonathan and Vice-President Namadi Sambo to Washington DC, the US has encouraged the Nigerian government to do something about Nigeria’s bourgeoning corruption industry.  Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also made stops in Nigeria in which she blasted growing corruption and the failure of Nigeria’s leadership to lead by example.

Last year, as Nigerians demanded he declare his assets, Mr. Jonathan famously declared, “I don’t give a damn.”
Full text of the letter:

ACN/NEC/CORRP./VOL 1/004
16th May, 2013

His Excellency
Mr. Barack Obama
The President
United States of America (U.S.A)
White House Washington D.C.

U.S.A

Through,

His Excellency

The Ambassador

Embassy of the United States of America

Diplomatic Zone

Abuja, Nigeria.

 

Your Excellency,

CORRUPTION WITH IMPUNITY AND INSECURITY IN NIGERIA

It is with absolute sense of responsibility duty and patriotism that we in the Anti-Corruption Network have deemed it necessary to draw your Excellency’s attention to the practices of Corruption with impunity that is ongoing in Nigeria under the present Administration. We are deeply concerned that if this gravity of corrupt practices goes on unchecked unpunished and unabated, it will definitely worsen the unpalatable security situation and challenges we are already facing which its root course could also be traceable to destructive impact of corruption.

We are conscious of the fact that in todays globalized world, insecurity in one part of the world is insecurity to the whole, economic quagmire in one part will also affect the whole, particularly in the case of Nigeria as the most populous black Nation in the world and as the greatest influence among Africa nations. It is in the light of the foregoing and taking into consideration. During Obasanjo’s era, Joshua Dariye of Plateau State, was impeached with less than the required number of Legislators, since then Plateau State has never been the same.

Now the same sage is happening in Rivers State, where the Police escorted only five Members of the House to perform similar act. Ameachi’s offence is that he is speaking out against injustices, oppression in the ruling class.

To further carry out the act Members of Rivers State House of Assembly are being lured with oil blocks. We have also refused to be used by those in Government to carry out mass protest against the Governor based on fictitious documents to implicate the Governor of corruption. We are also determined to protect any progressive Governor or citizens of Nigeria who is been intimidated by the Presidency for standing for the masses, including the media house.

The U.S.A huge investment in Nigeria and those of other Western Countries and others that we are calling on the U.S.A Government to use their good influence to call on our present political leadership to truthfully, sincerely and constructively fight Corruption, punish Corrupt officials and serve deterrence.

EXAMPLES OF THE CASES OF CORRUPTION WITH IMPUNITY

1)   Mrs Daziani Allison Madueke: the Honorable Minister of Petroleum Resources, she has been indicted by five different investigative panel Committees reports at different time, yet she confidently remains in charge of the Ministry unperturbed.

2)   The KPMG Report: Indicted the NNPC, PPPRA and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources of massive Corruption and lack of transparency.

3)   The Farouk Lawal Report of the House of Representative Investigative Committee: Spoke elaborately of unprecedented Corruption between bureaucracy and the marketers of petroleum products. It is commonsensical as well as logical to observe that the marketers can not dip their hands into Government coffers to pay themselves without approval from NNPC, PPPRA, Minister of Petroleum, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) AND OF COURSE Minister of Finance. Unfortunately till date no Government Official in these Ministries and Agencies has been invited by the Anti-Graft Agencies or Police on these outrageous subsidy scandals.

4)   Aig Imoukede  Report: This report recommended refunds to the Government and indeed some refunds have been made, yet the Honorable Minister of Finance, Mrs Okonjo Iweala one year after refunds has refused to tell Nigerians who refunded what and out of what as demanded by best practices in good governance and transparency. Ideally, this nature of refund means indictment, yet no prosecution is ongoing talk less of jail.

5)   Nuhu Ribadu Report: The Nuhu Ribadu report also spoke about unprecedented and scandalous Corruption in the petroleum Ministry and its Affiliated Agencies and parastatal.

6)   NEITI Report:  Revealed that the NNPC is yet to remit #1.3 trillion Naira to the Federation account under the Chairmanship of Mrs. Deziani Alison Maduekwe. It further revealed that 600 million U.S dollars was withdrawn from the Joint Ventures Account with Chase Bank and squandered on an inexplicable reason till date.

It also revealed that 2.3 billion dollars was collected from Joint Ventures account and transferred to the NNPC headquarters for security reasons in the Niger Delta region. We all know that the Ministry of Petroleum has no relationship whatsoever with defense issues, as all the security Agencies including the police are funded by Appropriation Act.

We recalled with great pain that in the year 2011 about 280 billion Naira was budgeted and appropriated for oil subsidy, however, the Government of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan ended up spending over 2.3 trillion Naira, over 2 trillion Naira above appropriation and of course half of Nigeria total appropriation. This is unprecedented in Nigeria history and against the extant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. All of these took place under Mrs. Deziani Alision Maduekwe supervision as the Minister of Petroleum.

(2) We have chronicled and reported cases of Corruption in the Ministry of Niger Delta Headed by Elder Godsday Orubebe.

(3) Corruption in the Ministry of Power

(4) Corruption by Honorable Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke.

THE POSITION OF THE PUBLIC POLICY TRADITION

The Public Policy Tradition recommends Suspension for any Government official indicted in cases of Corruption. We are deeply disturbed under the present Administration headed by President GoodLuck Ebele Jonathan, this act has not been applied afore mentioned glaring cases of Corruption. Undoubtedly, the administration is rather encouraging, shielding and promoting corrupt practices.

THE PUBLIC POLICY TRADITION APPLICATION IN THE PAST

1)   Chief Sunday Afolabi, former Minister of Internal Affairs during the President Obasanjo regime was removed over the National Identity card scam

2)   Professor Fabian Osuji, former Minister of Education was also removed over allegation of Corruption.

3)   Chief Adolphus Wabara, former President of the Senate, Federal Republic of Nigeria was removed over bribery allegation

4)   Professor Grange and Architect Gabriel Aduka, former Minister of Health and Minister of State for Health respectively were both removed from office on allegation of Corruption, to mention but few.

The Corruption cases against these mentioned Minister and the Senate President combined are nothing to be compared to the mountain of Corruption against Dezaini Alison Maduekwe alone (Minister of Petroleum) not to talk of others yet the Jonathan administration have turned a blind eyes to all cases of corruptions under him, instead President Jonathan went ahead to grant pardon to Mr. D.S.P. Alamesiagha who is carrying an international Warrant of Arrest for money laundry and escape from United Kingdom in a move that certainly boost Corruption with impunity. Major Magaji a man who committed Sodomy had sex with four men and was sentence to jail by the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. Supreme Court in her judgment described the act by Major Magaji as brazen bizzare and barbaric, yet he got President Pardon.

Our Appeal:

1)   We want to seriously appeal to the Government of the United State and President Barack Obama to use his good office and diplomatic influence to impress it upon the Nigerian Government and President Goodluck Jonathan to stand firm against Corruption.

2)   We recommend that all indicted Corrupt Government officers visas and members of their immediate families be withdraw particularly for the following officers;

v Deziani Alison Maduekwe – Minister of Petroleum Resources.

v Mohammend Bello Adoke – Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation.

v Elder Godsday Orubebe – Minister of Niger Delta.

v Alhaji Ibrahim Idris – Former Governor of Kogi State.

v Cecilia Ibru – Former M.D. Oceanic Bank PLC.

v Justice Abubakar Talba – Judge of the Abuja High Court.

We sincerely appreciate the great sacrifice you will have to make in reading through this lengthy letter of ours and the attached evidences of Corruption documents. We however hope that will deserving attention in the common interest of peace, political stability and security of our two countries.

Accept please the assurances of our high esteem.

Yours Sincerely,

 

Otunba Dino Melaye

Executive Secretary

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