Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Boko Haram Leader Arrested In N’djamena, Chad

A Chadian Public Prosecutor, Alghassim Khamis, said on Tuesday that one of the key Boko Haram leaders, Baana Fanay, who has been coordinating trafficking of weapons in Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad was arrested on Sunday in N’Djamena.

Gunmen Kidnap Wife of Former Acting Governor of Bayelsa State, South-South, Nigeria

Unidentified gunmen have kidnapped Madam Martha Binabo, the wife of former Speaker of Bayelsa State House of Assembly and the state former Acting Governor, Rt. Hon Nestor Binabo.

Radio Biafra, A Stitch In Time...

In two separate newspapers articles published in 2006 and 2009 in the New Sentinel and Sunday Trust, and credited to one of us, the manner Boko Haram’s total disregard for civil values was the point of discourse. The report in question warned that government’s disregard of this rebellious inclination of the group would amount a calculated catastrophe to society. The authorities ignored this at society’s general peril.

Major Counterterrorism Exercise Holds in London

Police officers, soldiers, emergency services and intelligence officials are taking part in London's largest counter-terrorism exercise to date.

DSS Allowed Back Into Aso Rock After Heated Arguments

PERSONNEL of the Directorate of State Services (DSS) and men of the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) posted to the Presidential Villa, Abuja, to protect President Muhammadu Buhari nearly exchanged blows on Monday at the Presidential Villa as the DSS personnel attempted to gain access into the offices.

Breaking News! Indonesia Military Transport Plane Crashes in Medan

A military transport plane has crashed in a residential neighbourhood of the Indonesian city of Medan in northern Sumatra, officials say.

Abducted Chibok School Girls 'Compelled To Join Boko Haram'

Some of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria have been forced to join Islamist militant group Boko Haram, the BBC has been told.

Tension Heightens in Anambra As Boko Haram Prisoners Allegedly Arrive Ekwulobia Prisons

There is fresh anxiety in Anambra State following reports that 47 Boko Haram suspects have been relocated to Ekwulobia Prisons in Aguata Local Government Area of the state.

Monday, 29 June 2015

DSP Tamuno Igbomie, Former Principal Security Officer To Patience Jonathan Assassinated in Abuja

A Deputy Superintendent of Police, Tamuno Jacob Igbomie, who was Principal Security Officer to the wife of the former President, Patience Jonathan, has been shot dead by unknown assailants.

Suicide Bomber Kill 5, Injure 10 in Leprosy Hospital Near Maiduguri, Nigeria

At least five people have been killed and 10 wounded after a suicide bomber blew self up outside a leprosy hospital on the outskirts of Maiduguri, emergency services said.

Veteran Nigerian Reggae Artiste Victor Essiet (Mandators) Kidnapped in Akwa Ibom, South-South Nigeria

Victor Essiet
Veteran Reggae musician, Victor Essiet of the Mandators has been kidnapped in his native Akwa Ibom State. According to a report by Vanguard, he was kidnapped in the Nsit Ubiom area of Akwa Ibom State on Saturday, June 27, 2015.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Police Rescue Lebanese Expatriates Kidnapped in Bayelsa

The Bayelsa Police Command on Friday said it rescued two expatriate construction workers abducted by unknown gunmen in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa.

President Buhari’s ADC Formally Requests For The Withdrawal of DSS Personnel from Aso Rock Villa

Abuja — Despite rebuttals by the Presidency that operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) were not ordered out of the presidential villa, Vanguard can authoritatively reveal that the Aide-de-Camp, ADC, to the President has formally informed the DSS that its personnel would no longer provide close body protection for the President as they are being replaced with men of the Nigerian Army and Police personnel “who were trained as Presidential Bodyguards.”

Obama Hosts Buhari July 20 To Strategize On Boko Haram

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama will host Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari at the White House on July 20 to discuss fighting the Boko Haram militant group, among other issues, the White House said on Thursday.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Gunmen kidnap Argentine Expatriate in Niger State, Central Nigeria

The Niger State Police Command on Thursday said an Argentine has been abducted by some unknown gunmen in the State.

Security Alert! Boko Haram 'Twin' Known As "Yanlabaiku" Springs Up In Kebbi State, Nigeria

A new Sect known as “Yanlabaiku” with membership of about 100 followers which is also preaching against Western education has emerged at Gwadangwaji, the outskirts of Birnin Kebbi, capital of Kebbi State. The Sect members share their wives and lays claim to Islam.

Niger Army Kill 15 Boko Haram Militants, Take 20 Prisoners

NIAMEY (AFP) - Niger's army killed 15 Boko Haram militants in the course of land and air operations against the armed Islamist group, the defence ministry announced Wednesday.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Suspected Kidnappers Kill Two Policemen, Kidnap Two Lebanese Expatriates In Bayelsa State, Nigeria

Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers on Wednesday killed two policemen and abducted two Lebanese nationals in Bayelsa State.

Revealed! The Secret Behind Boko Haram's Winning Strategy - Vanguard Investigation

This extensive investigation by Vanguard Newspaper reveals the high-level sabotage and intrigues on how Nigerian military officers are led to their death in the fight against Boko Haram. 

Is The U.S Tactically Soft-pedalling On Paying Ransom for ISIS Hostages?

Obama Administration Set To Loosen US Hostage policies. The White House will announce looser restrictions on private ransoms for hostages, while appointing a special envoy to lead the government’s contacts with foreign nations on hostage matters.

Boko Haram Militants Slit Throats Of 20 Villagers In Borno

Boko Haram militants attacked and killed at least 20 people including women in Borno Village; a fleeing resident has told Saharareporters.

The notorious group stormed the village of Debiro on motorcycles and pick-up vans burning down homes and shooting indiscriminately at the villagers.

The militants then rounded up at least 20 villagers and slit their throats.
Debiro is in Hawul Local government area of Borno state.

’’It was in the afternoon time when we started hearing gunshots and people were running helter-skelter, there was confusion everywhere, some were shot dead and many had their throats slit. We were helpless as our foodstuffs were carted away by the rampaging militants who later burnt down most of the houses in our village.''

''I can't say tell you the correct number of people killed, but at least 20 people including women had their throats slit.''‎ the fleeing resident told SaharaReporters.

Luka Yakubu, a resident in Kworjafa village near Debiro, told SaharaReportersby phone that after Boko Haram attacked Debiro village in the afternoon some people fled to Kworjafa, he said an unspecified number of villagers were killed. Debiro is a remote village located in southern part of Borno state; it's about 246 kilometers from Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.

Culled from:

Nigeria 'Consistently In Top Two' For Trafficking In UK - Anti-Slavery Commissioner

Hundreds of people from Nigeria are being illegally trafficked to the UK, where they face sexual exploitation or being forced into domestic servitude.

Withdrawal of Military From Checkpoints: Buhari Rescinds Decision, Okays Military Checkpoint In The North-East And 'Frontline States'

A day after ordering the dismantling of military checkpoints nationwide, President Muhammadu Buhari has relaxed the rule.

Why Every Organization Must Have A Business Continuity, Emergency Preparedness Plan

Food for thought:
True genius resides in the capacity for evaluation of uncertain, hazardous, and conflicting information’’. – Winston Churchill

Meaning and Scope of a Business Continuity Plan

Business Continuity Planning (BCP) also known as Business Continuity and Resilience Planning (BCRP) is a process of identifying potential threats, risks or worst-case-scenarios that can possibly undermine the day-to-day operation of an organization while also ensuring that Staff and assets are protected and able to function in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

United Kingdom Spy Oversight Court (IPT) Rules That GCHQ Acted Unlawfully Once Again

The U.K.’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), the judicial oversight body which handles complaints relating to domestic intelligence agencies, has ruled that GCHQ acted unlawfully in the handling of intercepted communications data in another case brought by civil liberties groups, including Liberty, Privacy International and Amnesty International.

The IPT judged that GCHQ acted unlawfully and breached its own internal policies on interception, examination and retention of emails from two human rights organizations — the Egypt­ian Ini­tia­tive for Per­sonal Rights (EIPR) and the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) in South Africa — thereby breaching their human rights.

The court ruled only that “error” and “technical” failures led to the spy agency to break its internal interception policies.
In the case of the EIPR, the tribunal writes:
… the time limit for retention permitted under the internal policies of GCHQ, the
intercepting agency, was overlooked in regard to the product of that interception,
such that it was retained for materially longer than permitted under those policies.
We are satisfied however that the product was not accessed after the expiry of the
relevant retention time limit, and the breach can thus be characterised as technical

In its ruling pertaining to the LRC it writes that “the procedure laid down by GCHQ’s internal policies for selection of the communications for examination was in error not followed in this case”.

These internal policies are not detailed — with the IPT reiterating its “general duty” to avoid disclosing information that might be “contrary to the public interest or prejudicial to national security … or the continued discharge of the functions of any of the intelligence services”. Which of course has the convenient by-product of making it impossible to judge their judgement.

As regards the legality of intercepting emails from human rights groups, the IPT deems the communications in question were “lawfully and proportionately intercepted and accessed” — citing section 8(4) of RIPA.

However the recent independent review of U.K. surveillance legislation, conducted by David Anderson, condemned the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act as an incomprehensible patchwork — calling for new oversight legislation to be drafted “from scratch”. The U.K. government has also said it intends to “modernise” surveillance legislation in a forthcoming Investigatory Powers Bill.

“A comprehensive and comprehensible new law should be drafted from scratch, replacing the multitude of current powers and providing for clear limits and safeguards on any intrusive power that it may be necessary for public authorities to use,” wrote Anderson in his review.

The shape of RIPA’s replacement remains to be seen. In the meanwhile the extent of law breaches by U.K. domestic intelligence agencies operating under a problematic patchwork of legislation and, prior to Snowden’s whistleblowing, without parliamentary scrutiny in a climate of near perfect secrecy, is still being determined.

Commenting on the latest IPT ruling in a statement, James Welch, Legal Director for Liberty, said: “Last year it was revealed that GCHQ were eavesdropping on sacrosanct lawyer-client conversations. Now we learn they’ve been spying on human rights groups. What kind of signal are British authorities sending to despotic regimes and those who risk their lives to challenge them all over the world? Who is being casual with human life now?”
It’s the second time the IPT has ruled against GCHQ in a matter of months. Back in February the court judged that data-sharing activities between the NSA and GCHQ had breached European Human Rights law, again after a challenge by civil rights groups.

Despite that ruling the IPT deemed data-sharing activities to have been put on a legal footing since December 2014 — owing to their disclosure (post-Snowden), and the subsequent yielding of details about data-sharing policies and how legal compliance is achieved (not that those details have been made public, of course).

The IPT has previously also ruled that mass surveillance is compatible with human rights principles — although civil rights groups are challenging that position at the European level, in the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

The U.K. government has generally taken a far more hawkish stance on surveillance than European institutions, post-Snowden. Earlier this year Europe’s top rights body, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, adopted a resolution against mass surveillance, characterizing it as a threat to democracy and human rights. And last year the European Court of Justice struck down blanket data retention powers as disproportionate.

The U.K. government responded to the ECJ ruling by fast tracking emergency surveillance legislation. A new Conservative majority government is also now pushing to legislate to expand data capture investigatory powers, even as the NSA’s domestic surveillance capabilities are being curtailed over the pond in the U.S.

The latest IPT judgement confirms GCHQ intercepted the communications of human rights groups — something that U.S. intelligence agencies have also done, according to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who provided details last year in his testimony to the Council of Europe during their enquiry into mass surveillance.

Also last year Snowden spoke out against the ‘anything goes’ privacy intrusions of GCHQ — characterizing U.K. intelligence agencies as having “really no limits on their capabilities”. And when a domestic spy agency is found to have broken its own laws by its own oversight court in multiple instances it seems pretty clear that better limits are needed.

Culled from:
Tech Crunch

Niger Delta Ex-Militants Threaten To Restart Hostilities Over Lawmakers’ Jumbo Wages

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has threatened to resume hostilities in the region in protest of the huge salaries and allowances of federal lawmakers.

Last week, media reports had alleged that federal lawmakers would receive N9 billion wardrobe allowance this week. But Bukola Saraki, senate president, refuted the reports, stating that each lawmaker would only get a wardrobe allowance of N506, 600 per annum in line with the stipulation of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).

But Mend looks dissatisfied with the clarification and its spokesman, Jomo Gbomo, according to the an online news medium, TheCable, has threatened fire and brimstone.

“These wicked individuals appropriate to themselves huge and absurd salaries and allowances at the expense of the millions of hapless Nigerians, who have not been paid for months, their salaries, pensions and other benefits they deserve,” Gbomo said.

“The Niger Delta region, where the bulk of revenue that sustains the nation comes from, continues to suffer neglect, environmental degradation and lack, made worse by the very corrupt and visionless past government of Goodluck Jonathan and his cronies, some of who still shamelessly parade themselves on national television and other media platforms as ‘Niger Delta Activists’.

“Nigerians refuse to tolerate this ostentatious lifestyle of our lawmakers, whose main objective, it seems, is to enrich themselves and carelessly spend scarce resources.

“The Niger Delta people refuse to pamper and cater for the needs of these thieving Assembly rogues to their detriment. “If the lawmakers refuse to make the necessary adjustments needed to accompany the needs of the masses and the Niger Delta region, it may lead to the resumption of hostilities.”

ThisDay Newspaper

Monday, 22 June 2015

Female Suicide Bomber Kill 9 At Baga Market, Maiduguri

A female suicide bomber on Monday evening killed at least nine people at the famous Baga Market in Maiduguri, Borno State.

The incident happened around 4pm, witnesses said.

Sources said the woman targeted worshippers who were observing Asr prayers in front of some shops and succeeded in killing no fewer than nine people, including herself.

Trader Jafar Aliyu said the woman disguised as if she wanted to buy something.

"Like other women, the woman was seen near the Juma'at mosque where worshippers also observe daily prayers but she could not get access to the facility.

"She then went into the market and targeted worshippers, nine bodies have been taken away and many others sustained injuries," he said.

Another lady, who also strapped herself with explosives died before she reached her target near the Baga Market, also in Maiduguri.

"She was targeting some civilian JTF near the Dewak (old company) but the bombs in her body exploded," a vendor, who sells newspapers close to the scene, said.

Details will follow...

Dailly Trust Newspaper

Buhari Orders Dismantling of Military Check Points Across Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday ordered immediate removal of military check points nationwide.

This was disclosed to State House correspondents by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, Ismail Aliyu, after about five hours defence briefing to the President at the State House, Abuja.

He said the police will take over internal security.

Aliyu maintained that the Boko Haram insurgency will soon be over.

He said the Lake Chad Basin Commission nations are coming up with strategies to tackle the problem of insecurity.

He said: “The President has instructed the Chief of Defence Staff to get the Chief of Army Staff and Inspector General of Police to remove all the military men along the road across the country.

“The Nigerian Armed Forces are very ready, we have briefed him. One most interesting thing about it is that we are going out much happier because he has shown to us that he is still a soldier, he has updated and enriched our strategic plans.

“The second item that was discussed is the movement of the command centre to the Northeast. We have briefed him on how far we have reached on that and he has given us some additional assignment, but very soon the centre will be on.

“I also want to assure Nigerians that with what we have come out with from this meeting we are very enthusiastic that the issue of Boko Haram will soon be over.  He has given us hope that we will see peace and security in the very near future.

On what will be done differently, he said: “Now we have come as a united front, we have Chad, Cameroon, Benin and Niger. We have all strategised and we are coming out with one type of strategy that we are going to address the Boko Haram with, unlike before.”

He said discussion on change of service chiefs did not come up at the meeting.

The Nation Newspaper

Niger Delta Militants Are Taking Up Arms - Intel Report

Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh on Friday revealed that intelligence reports available to the Armed Forces showed that the Youths from the Niger Delta region have started taking up arms and engaging in criminal activities along the creeks and the water ways of the region.

Air Mashal Alex Badeh, who made the revelation during the inauguration ceremony of the permanent complex of the Headquarters of the Joint Task Military Force, Operation Pulo Shield, along Igbogene/ Okolobiri road in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, said the increase in illegal arms and ammunition possession by youths of the Region has led to an increase in cases of oil theft, kidnapping and other criminal activities in the region.

Badeh said though the Nigerian Armed Forces entered into an agreement with the Niger Delta youths and former militants to disarm and partner with the Federal Government on empowerment and development initiatives,the recent cases of criminality may force the military to review such agreement and turn its arsenal on the region.

According to Badeh, “Criminalities in the Niger Delta, we thought, have stopped but now they are on the rise again. But I know that our gallant men and women are equal to the task. We are after the bad men, we are good men and darkness can never overtake light. No nation can develop in the presence of so much criminality.”

Leadership Newspaper

Crude Oil Theft: NSCDC Set To Deploy Drones, Aircrafts For Aerial Surveillance

Dr Ade Abolurin, Commandant-General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), says the Corps had concluded plans to deploy about 500 drones and aircraft for proper surveillance of oil installations in the country. Abolurin disclosed this on Monday in Abuja at a meeting with senior officers of the Corps as part of efforts to strengthen its operational strategy.

He said that the move was in line with the new administration’s resolve to tackle the issue of oil theft headlong to boost the economic revenue accrued to the country. The NSCDC boss, who decried the spate of pipeline vandalism and oil theft in the country, said the corps was working round the clock to stem the tide.

He said the corps was exploring new ways to monitor and protect the pipelines, especially the use of technology and sophisticated gadgets to track down the vandals. “I can assure you that we are already exploring new approaches which will include the massive deployment of technology as opposed to the outdated conventional approach you are use to,’’ he said.

He said that some drones had already been deployed on a test run basis in some areas in the Niger Delta region such as Bayelsa, to test its efficacy. Abolurin also said that officers of the corp’s anti-vandalism unit had also undergone refresher training in line with international best practice to deal with the menace.

He said that so far this year about, 250 vandals had been directly arrested, while another 100 were arrested by other security agencies and handed over to them for prosecution, with 35 successfully convicted. He said the corps had also stepped up its protection of other critical infrastructure in the country such as power installation, telecommunication masts and equipment so as to ensure better service delivery to Nigerians.

The commandant-general called on the media, host communities and other stakeholders to cooperate with the NSCDC and other security agencies to tackle the challenge of oil theft and pipeline vandalism. On the issue of the recent promotion exercise in the corps, he said the process was done transparently and in line with due process as opposed to insinuations in some quarters.

He assured that the NSCDC would continue to do its best to ensure the security of lives and property in line with its mandate.

Source: Vanguard Newspaper 

U.S Charleston Church Shooting: ''We Avoid the Word Terrorism When The Victims are Black...''

Dylann Roof - Suspect
Terrorism, at least in our national imagination, springs from an ideology of insurgence. Terrorism is radical. It seeks to upset and overturn a society, and to shake it to its foundations. But in America, there are few ideologies less insurgent than the doctrine of white supremacy.

Boko Haram Spreads Terror to Niger Republic, killing At Least 40

The Islamist militant group Boko Haram has gone out of Nigeria to spread terror in neighbouring Niger for the second time, killing at least 40 people in two towns.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Nigeria Spends N4.62 trillion on National Security in 5 years, Yet Pervasive Insecurity Prevails - Premium Times

Amidst claims by Nigerian security agencies that they are being underfunded, PREMIUM TIMES can authoritatively report today that a total N4.62trillion has been allocated to the federal security sector in the past five years.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Terrorism: Kenya Police Issue $100,000 For The Capture A German Al-Shabab Fighter

Kenya police have issued a $100,000 bounty for the capture of a German man accused of fighting with al-Shabab in an attack on a military base. Two Kenyan soldiers and 11 al-Shabab militants were killed in the attack.

Convert Andreas M. from Bonn, who uses the alias Abu Nusaybah, is alleged to have taken part in the attack in Lamu county in Kenya on Sunday, which left two  Kenyan soldiers and 11 al-Shabab fighters dead.

Andreas M., 42, was injured during Sunday's attack and is now on the run, according to information from security forces.

Attacks by al-Shabab in Kenya rise

Sunday's attack is part of a growing number of assaults in Kenya carried out by the Somalia-based Islamist al-Shabab group.

Al-Shabab fighters killed 148 people in an attack on Kenya's Garissa University College in April.

Another foreigner, 25-year-old Thomas Evans from the UK, also took part in Sunday's assault and was killed in the fighting. Evans traveled to Somalia to join the militant group in 2012.

The reward for the capture of Andreas M. is part of a police campaign known in Kiswahili as Kaa Chonjo Usinyamaze ("Be alert, Don't Keep Quiet"), which was launched to tackle the threat from the jihadists.

Andreas M. disappeared in Kenya in 2011, before announcing that he had joined al-Shabab in the spring of 2012. He is initially thought to have got in contact with the group via Bonn's Islamic scene, and then traveled to Pakistan before being arrested by country's secret service.

He spent nine months in a local jail, but said afterwards that prison had only cemented his beliefs.

Andreas. M's Eritrean wife and their daughter also traveled with him in 2011 to Somalia. The mother and daughter are thought to be staying in an area of Somalia still controlled by al-Shabab.


Deutche Welle 

Chadian Military Carries Out Airstrikes on Boko Haram Positions in Nigeria

Chadian forces are carrying out airstrikes on Boko Haram positions in Nigeria, the Chadian army have confirmed.

It would be recalled that suspected Islamist suicide bombers killed at least 27 people in the Chadian capital N’Djamena on Monday in what appeared to be retaliation by Nigerian militant group Boko Haram for Chad’s leading role in a regional offensive against it.

At least 100 people were injured in two simultaneous attacks at around 9:00 a.m. (0800 GMT) on a police headquarters and training school. It was the first strike of its kind in the central African nation, which has emerged as a firm Western ally against Islamist groups in the Sahel.

The government, which said that four Boko Haram fighters were among the 27 dead, announced a raft of measures to tighten security in the capital which serves as the headquarters for a 3,000-strong French mission – known as Barkhane – fighting militancy in the region.

Chad, whose oil revenues have helped it emerge as a military heavyweight in the region, has been a driving force behind a campaign that has inflicted a series of defeats on Boko Haram since January.

More to follow…


PM News

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Terrorism: Home Made Bombs Explode, Kill 63 In Monguno, Borno State

A bag filled with improvised bombs discovered by operatives of the youth vigilante at a deserted camp of Boko Haram near Monguno village in Borno State, has accidentally exploded killing at least 63 persons, witnesses and security sources said.

The explosion, which occurred at about 5pm on Tuesday, had also left many persons injured.

An eyewitness and operative of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN), Haruna Bukar, told journalists on phone that a group of Civilian-JTF on patrol along Monguno-Marte route stumbled upon a bag containing metallic substances at an area where Boko Haram terrorists had once camped before they were dislodged by Nigerian soldiers in February this year.

“When they found the bag containing what later turned out to be improvised explosives, they brought it to Monguno town where people gathered to take a looks at it. As they were busy fiddling with the content of the bag, the bombs went off with a massive blast that killed about 63 persons and injured dozen others”, said

“It was really a very sad incident that affected many families. Most of those affected are young men and a few number of females”.

An officer of the VGN in Maiduguri, Abbas Gava, had also confirmed the incident to journalists.

“Initially we thought it was a Boko Haram attack as it was being rumored in the town of Maiduguri”, he said. “But when we later checked, we discovered that it was somehow an accidental explosion caused by the foolishness of the Civilian-JTF operatives who discovered such a dangerous device and refusing to call on the police of military that has the expertise to handle such things. 63 persons dying without being attacked is a huge loss. This also further heightened our fears that a lot of sweeping needs to be done by the explosives ordnance department before people are allowed to go back to their liberated homes”.

Monguno is about 137km west of Maiduguri the Borno state capital.

Boko Haram terrorists had on the 25th of January, this year attacked Monguno and sacked a major military barracks there, killing hundreds within and around the town and carted away large number of munitions from the barracks after forcing soldiers to flee alongside civilians.

Nigeria military had on the second week of February retake Monguno from the Boko Haram terrorists after a heated gun battle that allegedly sent the insurgents fleeing.

Leadership Newspaper

Nigeria’s Lousy Schools Helped Spawn Boko Haram

CALABAR, Nigeria—Officials in Nigeria are always quick to attribute problems of education in the northeast of the country to the Boko Haram insurgency. But figures show that the country had the highest number of out-of-school children in the world, and a very poor standard of education of any kind, long before the sect began its uprising in 2009. And the numbers today are frightening.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

IAEA Tasks Nigeria To Ensure Safety, Security of its Nuclear Energy Programme

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has tasked Nigeria on the need to ensure that its nuclear power programme is safe, secured enough to provide electricity for 100 years.

The Deputy Director General, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Dr Mikhail Chudakov, gave the advice after a closed door meeting with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Defence House, Abuja on Monday.

According to him, Nigeria must be fully prepared and responsible for the safe operation of its nuclear power programme.

“IAEA is not in the position to push some countries to create nuclear power. But if any country decides to create peaceful nuclear power we will be there to help the country and to suggest our programmes in order to operate nuclear power in safe manner.

“Nigeria did a lot in order to create the necessary infrastructure (for nuclear power development).

Dr Mikhail Chudakov and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Defence House

“You should be reminded also that this is a specific source of energy and it should for 100 years and operate (necessary) for 100 years and that is why the country should be prepared for this and should be fully responsible for the safety culture; for safe operation of a nuclear power in the country.”

He commended Nigeria for its efforts toward the development of peaceful nuclear power plants.

In his remarks, Chief Executive of the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC), Dr Erepamo Osaisai, said the IAEA delegation was in Nigeria to assess the state of readiness of the nation’s nuclear power infrastructure.

He said that the delegation would be in the country for the next two weeks.

“The essence of this is that the IAEA, being the UN nuclear watch dog, is committed to nuclear safety and they are here to work with us to ensure that Nigeria adheres to the highest standard of nuclear safety.

“Their mission will go on here for two weeks and we hope and believe that is going to benefit our country.”

PM News

Anticorruption Template For President Buhari: 31 Ways To Rein in Pervasive Corruption, Impunity in Nigeria

Written by: Don Okereke

Food for thought:
‘’Dear Government…I’m going to have a serious talk with you if I ever find anyone to talk to.’’ – Stieg Larson

What Is Corruption?
For the sake of clearing any iota of ambiguity and to disabuse the minds of proponents of the retired debate in Nigeria who contend that stealing is NOT corruption, a definition of corruption suffices. Transparency International (TI), the global anti-corruption watchdog succinctly defines corruption as ‘’the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. It goes further to say that corruption can be classified as grand, petty and political, depending on the amounts of money lost and the sector where it occurs’’. Etymologically, www.vocabulary.com holds that corruption originated from a Latin word – com, or ‘’with, together’’, and rumpere, meaning to break. In other words, corruption is an action, outcome that breaks trustworthiness, good reputation. It further says that corruption encompasses a wide range of actions and inactions such as (1) Lack of integrity (especially susceptibility to bribery); (2) moral pervasion (the quality of not been in accord with standards of right or good conduct, (3) use of a position of trust for dishonest gain, (4) inducement of a public official to violate duty and (5) the process of decay; putrefaction.

Is Stealing, Corruption?
Nomenclature side, contrary to the philosophy of the old order that STEALING is not CORRUPTION, the foregoing definitions of corruption in the opening paragraph holds that stealing is an offshoot, variant of corruption; one is tantamount to the other. Stealing and other social vices can only ensue from a perverted (corrupt) mind. STEALING and CORRUPTION are birds of the same feather and MUST be treated as such.

Is Nigeria Synonymous With Corruption?
There is no gainsaying the fact that Nigeria is NOT synonymous with corruption. A recent United States investigation into the activities of the global football body - FIFA has shown that corruption is a global problem. FIFA President Sepp Blatter and his co-travelers currently enmeshed in a multi-million dollar bribery/corruption scandal are not Nigerians. The distinguishing feature in the strand of corruption in Nigeria and what is obtainable in other parts of the world is that this societal malaise is somewhat done with impunity and laissez-faire in Nigeria. Again, because of the weak institutions and lack of political will inherent in Nigeria, higher ratios of perpetrators waltz in Nigeria than in Western countries. For instance, an American firm – Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR), a Halliburton subsidiary was indicted for masterminding a $180 million bribery scheme to procure $6 billion in natural gas deals in Nigeria. The US authorities swiftly prosecuted and jailed the former CEO Albert "Jack" Stanley of KBR but his powerbroker Nigerian accomplices are scot-free.  

That is not to say that some big players, untouchables don’t slip away from been prosecuted for blatant corruption, larceny and unethical practices in the Western world. In what was likened to ‘’impunity of the global big players’’, not too long ago, HSBC agreed to a record $1.9 billion USD settlement with United States authorities after the bank admitted violating the United States Bank Secrecy Act, the Trading with the Enemy Act and other U.S. laws intended to prohibit money laundering.

Also recall that the FBI at one time deposed to an affidavit which reveals how one of Mexico’s most violent narcotic-trafficking drug cartels was laundering money into the U.S. through accounts with Bank of America. Sometime in 2010, Wachovia was ordered to pay a $160 million ‘penalty’ when they ‘failed’ to detect and investigate the use of their accounts by drug traffickers to launder money into the U.S., including a transfer of a whopping $378.4 billion. In the United Kingdom, Standard Chartered was fined $327 million USD for violations of sanctions laws involving transactions with Iranian entities. In Italy, the Vatican Bank came under serious media fire when information emerged that Italian prosecutors suspect it of laundering money for Sicilian Mafia Godfather on the run, one Matteo Messina Denaro. The Institute for Works of Religion, commonly known as the Vatican Bank, refused to disclose details of an account held by a catholic priest (Father Ninni Treppiedi) in connection with the money laundering and fraud investigation.

Does it not smack of corruption that the aforementioned financial institutions and their high-flying executives involved in the aforementioned deals wriggle out, are protected from jail terms despite staggering evidence against them? Is it that those institutions and the perpetrators are above the law? Is it that these Western governments prefer to elicit humongous sums of money as ‘fines’, ‘out-of-court-settlement’ (or whatever it’s called), from these institutions/their executives than to prosecute/convict them? Will the same practice be tantamount to corruption if brokered by the Nigerian government? Second base jare… My father tells me in Igbo language: ‘Onye aghogburu ka agbara’. Go figure it out. Please this is never an attempt to extenuate, fend for corruption in Nigeria or to derail the topic; just to prove to some sanctimonious, grandstanding, finger-pointing Western governments, institutions and folks that according to Transparency International’s classification, ‘grand corruption’ also fester in their clime.

What Are The Causes of Corruption in Nigeria?
The primary cause of corruption in any society is avarice! Corruption is also a function of fragile political structure and process, weak government institutions (the security agencies, the judiciary etc.). Other causes of corruption are: abject poverty especially in the midst of plenty, poor remuneration of workers, lack of transparency, deep-rooted culture of impunity (the nothing-will-happen-syndrome and mentality in Nigeria), lack of societal values - a society that basks on instant gratification, ethnic jingoism and lack of patriotism, ‘national cake syndrome’ (folks see leadership positions/appointments in Nigeria as an invitation to devour the national cake – oyel money).

Nigeria’s ‘Missing’, Squandered Oil Money and Corruption Ranking

Nigeria is said to have lost $400 billion USD to political corruption since crude oil was discovered in commercial quantity over four decades ago. Global Financial Integrity estimates more than US$157 billion in the past decade has left Nigeria illicitly’’. British Prime Minister – David Cameron was said to have pointedly asked former President Goodluck Jonathan what happened to the over $100 billion USD that Nigeria made from oil and gas in 2012. Transparency International (TI) ranks Nigeria 136 out of 176 countries with a score of just 27 out of 100 on the 2014 Corruption Perception Index. TI says ‘’85 per cent of Nigerians surveyed believe corruption has increased from 2011 to 2013 and that corruption hits hardest at the poor in Nigeria who make up more than 40 per cent of the 179 million people’’.

The Far-reaching Effects, Consequences of Corruption:
Corruption is cancerous and dangerous to the wellbeing of any nation because it mortgages the lives and future of not just the present generation but those unborn. Other short and long-term impact of corruption on Nigeria include: it undermines democracy, good governance, rule of law, accountability, erodes confidence, increases the cost of doing business, slows economic development and growth, lowers quality of public infrastructure/goods and services, increases abject poverty, leads to untimely death (importation, sale of fake drugs). Corruption also permeates the educational system: parents offer bribes to secure admission into higher institutions for their wards; lecturers accept bribes (students call it ‘sorting’) to award marks to students and so on and so forth. Some argue there is a correlation between corruption and insecurity - that corruption fuels insecurity in Nigeria. According to Ms. Diane Kohn, anti-crime Program Coordinator at the US Embassy in Nigeria, ‘’Corruption is affecting Nigeria’s security’’. Due to corruption and lack of proper inspection at our Ports, land borders and airports, it is very easy to import arms, explosives and all manner of contraband into Nigeria with a butterfly effect on instability, insecurity.

Now That Change is Here:

Nigerians passionately yearned for CHANGE. The craving for change was so electrifying that when it became apparent CHANGE was inevitable, the erstwhile administration became panicky. Hawks in the administration made subtle and apparent political maneuverings and brinkmanship to truncate the electoral process but their plans came to naught. Thank God common sense prevailed. Change must not just be a cliché; let the political change and goodwill that we have in Nigeria now metamorphose into a change of mental attitude and orientation that will permeate every strata and fabric of our national life. There MUST be a collective will and action to rein in corruption and impunity in Nigeria. An Igbo proverb suffices: ‘’ofu osisi anaghi eme oke ohia’’ (A single tree does not make a forest). There is no CHANGE and nothing will CHANGE if Nigerians only bank on President Buhari’s integrity, incorruptibility while everyone else persist in his/her old way of life.

Recommendations: How To Stop, Eradicate Corruption in Nigeria:
In an interview on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS programme, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s former Finance Minister said, ‘’No one can fight corruption for Nigerians except Nigerians.  Everyone has to be committed from the top to the bottom to fight it”. Continuing she said, “And I think there are two key things that need to be done all along, and it’s not just in Nigeria. It’s in many developing countries that you need to do this…you need to, coupled with – by all means pursue those who are corrupt, punish them, you know, make sure there’s no impunity. But that has to be coupled with something which doesn’t get as much attention, which is building institutions...’’. To stop corruption in Nigeria, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) advocates that President Buhari must inter-alia, look into ’all unresolved cases of corruption including in the aviation, oil subsidy scandal, alleged mismanagement of trillions of Naira by the Security and Exchange Commission, missing N300 billion in the petroleum ministry since 2011; and others should be urgently and satisfactorily addressed…, prioritize prevention of corruption by carrying out reforms of institutions of governance including the judiciary, the police, anticorruption agencies, and the regulatory authorities on electricity…and lead the process to domesticate and effectively implement the UN Convention against Corruption within the legal system”.

Having reconciled the meaning, causes and effects of corruption in Nigeria, as a patriotic and passionate Change Agent, I took it as a duty (a national assignment) to brainstorm comprehensive ways the Buhari administration can successfully stem the tide of endemic corruption and impunity in Nigeria. Agreed corruption permeates the nation’s fabric hence there are no quick fixes. To rein in pervasive corruption and impunity in Nigeria, the fight against corruption must be holistic and premised on: (1) Deterrence/Prevention (2) Early detection (nipping it in the bud!) and (3) Imposition of rigorous sanctions/punishments or restitutions on convicted culprits/masterminds of corruption in Nigeria. Granted corruption akin to prostitution is challenging to be completely exterminated in any clime, outcomes in Scandinavian countries (Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland), in Singapore amongst others, proves that corruption can indeed be subdued to the barest minimum if the political will is there and the right measures are implemented. The following steps will surely go a long way to stop or rein in wanton corruption and impunity in Nigeria:

1.   Leadership by example: The aura, mien and body language of a leader makes a lot of difference. If you are a no-nonsense person, your wife, family members and friends will know there are lines that must not be crossed when dealing with you. Buhari supposedly instructed his aides after he won the presidential election to always respect traffic rules. Granted that may not be practicable for security reasons but this demonstrates his desire not to be above the law. With President Buhari’s ascetic and Spartan disposition, hopefully gone are the days when Nigerian public officials flaunt, rub in their ill-gotten wealth with reckless abandon. A classic example on how the body language of a leader can send a wrong or right signal. Mr. Teh Cheang Wan, a former Minister of National Development in Singapore was said to be an alter ego of then Prime Minster Lee Kuan Yew (LKY). The former was investigated for accepting two bribes of $500,000 and he reportedly made an attempt to have audience with his friend – Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew but the later refused to see him. Mr. Teh Chean Wan got the message. He committed suicide thereafter before he could be formally charged.

Dear President Buhari, the cliché in your inaugural speech that “you belong to nobody and that you belong to everybody’ is quite cheering. Insha Allah, the next few months to four years will tell if this was mere rhetoric. For your information, a Civil Society Group – CDD West Africa has launched a twitter handle - @Buharimeter to track your campaign vow delivery. Social media played a fundamental role in your popularity and victory at the polls; it can as well play a role in your failure if you slack. For a start, President Buhari, we are told your predecessor(s) amassed, arrogated about a dozen (i.e. 12) ‘Presidential jets’ to the office of the President. You don’t need all that; sell off at least 10 of those jets. Recall the British Prime Minister is not entitled to any ‘Presidential jet’. Courtesy of ‘First Lady’ Aisha Buhari, Nigerians now know that anyone that wanted to see her predecessor had to pay $50,000 before s/he can have access to the first lady. This must not continue.

2.   Public declaration of assets for ALL public officers and that of their “IMMEDIATE FAMILY” members (husband, wife and children) on appointment or assumption of assignment and after disengagement. – We understand that Mr. President and the vice president have declared their assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB). Nigerians are clamoring that the CCB expedites the process of making the declaration public. Other public officials must follow suit and publicly declare their assets forthwith. Nigerians are very creative; geezers are known to embellish or ‘pad up’ their asset declaration to include assets they don’t currently own but intend to acquire when they ascend to power, leadership positions. The essence of their immediate family members also declaring their assets is to ensure the public official doesn’t pass off his/her loots to his/her family members. It does not end by making those asset declarations public, relevant law enforcement agents, citizens must invoke the provisions of the freedom of information law to ascertain physical evidence of such declared assets and point out discrepancies where they exist. On a lighter note, Nigerians will not raise eyebrows if it emerges that President Buhari’s updated asset declaration includes a horse because it is fresh in our minds that his Nigerien counterpart offered him one as a gift. Hopefully that’s not a Trojan Horse?

3.   Encourage genuine whistleblowing – While the United States and some Western governments are bent on silencing the likes of Edward Snowden and Julian Asange (WikiLeaks) for taking whistleblowing to a whole new level, others contend their actions are in the best interest of humanity. Edward Snowden’s revelations have profoundly impacted and will continue to impact United States domestic and foreign policies. For one, the United States National Security Agency (NSA) which hitherto had almost unprecedented powers is been asked to be accountable and a bit more transparent. Here in Nigeria, it is not easy been a whistleblower. The erstwhile Central Bank Governor and current Emir of kano – Mallam Lamido Sanusi Lamido was unceremoniously booted out from the apex bank after he lifted the lid on Nigeria’s endemic corruption by alleging that $20bn was missing from the Nigerian treasury. There was even an attempt by one ‘Wendell Simlin’ to frame up Sanusi as one of Boko Harams’s sponsors through a document he circulated online. The metadata of the Word document subsequently uncovered the said Wendell Simlin to be (Pastor?) Reno Omokri, President Jonathan’s social-media adviser. Symptomatic of the Jonathan’s laissez-faire attitude to graft and malfeasance, Reno Omokri kept his job despite the profound embarrassment this caused the administration. One is gladdened by a report on Premium Times Newspaper of June 6, 2015 to the effect that the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) has pledged to protect corruption whistle-blowers in Nigeria. In statement by the ICPC spokesperson, one Rasheedat Okoduwa, the Commission ‘’threatened to investigate and prosecute any official or head of government Ministries, Departments or Agencies that victimizes staff who expose corruption corrupt practices in the MDAs’’. We can now have Whistleblowers Association of Nigeria (WBAN).

4.   Using Technology To Fight Corruption - Thanks to technology, Nigerians can use their mobile devices to capture corrupt practices and upload them online – YouTube, Twitter etc. Please take note that Nigerians can avail themselves the following platforms: website - http://stopthebribes.net/ where they can fill a form, by sending a mail to info@stopthebribes.net, an SMS to 08131234567, 09035200933, a tweet with the hashtag: #stopthebribes or with an iPhone and Android Apps to report incidents such as assault, unlawful detention, unlawful arrest, illegal roadblocks, bribery and other societal malaise. Transparency International also advocates an initiative known as ‘’citizen monitoring of public works or infrastructure’’. This entails the government making information – cost of contracts awarded etc. easily accessible and involvement of conscious citizens in monitoring those contracts and to report malfeasance to appropriate authorities. Perhaps this is what ex-president Jonathan meant when he promised that he will use technology to fight corruption.

5.   Strengthen and Reform Anticorruption Agencies, public institutions - As President Obama once articulated, ‘Africa needs strong institutions, not strong men’. There must not be sacred cows or smoke-screens in the fight against corruption! To tame corruption in Nigeria, President Buhari must have the ‘balls’ to step on big toes. It is high-time the EFCC, ICPC were strengthened, reformed and made independent. Nigerian anti-corruption agencies must not to be apron strings of the Executive arm of government or an instrument to witch-hunt political opponents.

6.   Separate the office of the Minister of Justice from that of the Attorney General of the FederationThere is no gainsaying the fact that separating the office of the minister of justice from that of the attorney general of the federation will boost Nigeria’s anti-corruption drive. A situation where the Minister of Justice doubles as the Attorney-general of the federation and wields the power to arbitrarily, unilaterally terminate or discontinue any case instituted by the EFCC, ICPC et al, no matter the merits of the case, is subject to abuse and encourages corruption.

7.   Implement Far-reaching Judicial reform – In an interview, Vice President, Prof. Osinbajo concurs that ‘’Nigeria’s judicial system as presently constituted is slow and makes it easier for people to get away with criminal acts’’. He went further to say ‘’we have to fix the criminal justice system to ensure that criminal trials are speedy and that anyone who is guilty of an offence will be punished for that offence’’. While you are at it Sir, your administration will do well to send a bill to the National Assembly for a Special Court that will handle corruption cases with dispatch. Granted provisions have to be in place to avoid abuse, the National Assembly will do well to pass the ‘’Bill for an Act to make Comprehensive Provisions for the Confiscation, Forfeiture and Management of Properties derived from unlawful activities and for other connected Matters (HB.693) into a law if they have not done so.  

Judicial reform is not complete if the Judiciary/the Nigerian Bar Association does not purge itself of bad eggs in its midst. Financial autonomy to the judiciary and good remuneration to judicial officers will also go a long way in guaranteeing their autonomy and stamping out corruption in their fold.

8.   Rein in slap-on-the-wrist sentences, bastardized plea-bargain regime which fuels corruption in Nigeria. The wise saying of Aesop, that ‘we hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office’ is very apt in Nigeria. Quickly recall the example of one Yakubu Yusuf, ex-deputy director of the Nigeria Police Pension fund who was convicted for stealing about N32bn and was sentenced to two years imprisonment with an option of fine (N750, 000) which he paid pronto after the court judgment and took a waltz. Is it not ludicrous that the duo of Messrs. Yakubu Yusuf were fined N750,000 for ‘stealing’ N32billion, Michael Igbinedion jailed 6 years with an option of fine - N3million for laundering N25billion while another Nigerian, 31-year old Kelvin Ighodalo was jailed 45 years for stealing a Sony Ericson mobile phone valued at N50,000 belonging to Governor Rauf Aregbesola? Or is justice for sale in Nigeria? The ilks of Emmanuel Nwude, Tafa Balogun, Diepreye Alamiesigha, Cecelia Ibru, Lucky and Michael Igbinedion etc. were all given a pat on their back for very weighty offences. Dr. Peter Odilli, ex-governor of Rivers State still enjoys ‘immunity’ even after stepping down as governor having secured a dubious ‘perpetual’ injunction restraining the EFCC from arresting or prosecuting him. Other influential politicians and money bags have frustrated their trials with adjournments and technicalities. Whatever happened to the Farouk Lawan bribery scandal?

9.   Financial Autonomy for Local Government Areas – Local Government Areas (LGA’s) has become conduit pipes for some unscrupulous governors to siphon public funds. Yes, let the States have some oversight function over the LGA’s but let the Local Councils receive their allocations directly from the federation account as against the existing practice of channeling their funds through the respective states.

10.                     Invoke a coherent national census – Mr. President, please what is the population of Nigeria? You often hear – Nigerian population is ‘about’ 170, 179 million but we can’t say for sure how many we are. Nigeria does not need opaque, Byzantine and devious approximations in the name of census. How can we plan, know the number of voters, number of people that need food, employment, healthcare or allocate resources and infrastructural projects if we can’t even say for sure how many people we have in Nigeria?

11.                     Reform the security agencies (Police, NSCDC, the Army, Navy, Air force, other para-military agencies), encourage professionalism and provide adequate remuneration, equipment to them. At the risk of extenuating corrupt practices but it is valid that poor remuneration and condition of service of these public officials immensely promotes corruption. The Police and other Security Agencies are a reflection of the larger society. There are reported cases of cultists, felons and terrorist sympathizers wangling their way into these agencies. Efforts must be made to fish out bad eggs especially at the point of entry (recruitment). Military and para-military personnel’s in the Western world earn reasonable wages and can afford the basic necessities of life hence they don’t have to take bribes to sustain themselves. Again, the laws there are working and with the increasing use of body cameras and gadgets by security agents in the aforesaid climes, there is a high chance of erring security agents to be caught, sacked and convicted if they derail.

12.                     Probe and Root out corruption in the military: Transparency International avers that corruption in Nigeria’s military must become a top priority. Nigeria’s military establishment scored a very poor ‘E’ grade on a scale from ‘A’ to ‘F’ in the last Transparency International UK’s Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index, which appraises corruption risk in Defence establishments around the world. With trillions of naira (billions of dollars) expended on the fight against Boko Haram yet the Nigerian military hitherto struggled to confront, rein in a so-called rag-tag Boko Haram. Nigerians and indeed posterity will like to know the quality and capacity of Nigeria’s military inventory and how military budgets were expended all these years. If you need a reference material in this regard, may I humbly recommend this article by Sonala Olumhense’s: ‘’Let us probe Nigeria’s Defence Spending” and the abovementioned Transparency International Defence anti-corruption yardstick.

13.                     Put an end to sale of application forms, recruitment scams by government agencies – It is preposterous for the Armed forces, the Immigration and other government agencies to ‘extort’ money from prospective applicants in the name of ‘’application fees’’ since these government agencies have annual budgets for recruitment and training.

14.                     Please entrench a culture of justice, equity, fairness. End this culture of ‘na mu ne’ (Hausa: favoritism, ‘he’s one of us’). Let’s herald a Nigeria where merit is not sacrificed in the altar of nepotism and mediocrity. Let the best, most qualified be recruited, appointed! Enlistment into the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA), State Security Service (SSS) and other prestigious federal and State establishments MUST not be exclusive preserve of candidates with powerful godfathers. A situation where a plethora of Nigerian graduates, job-seekers seldom believe there is merit anymore is not good for Nigeria’s posterity. Many Nigerian youths have lost faith in Nigeria; they will bluntly tell you that it is not what you know or studied in the university but who you know. Punch Newspaper of November 7, 2012, Page 9 goes thus, ‘’The Federal Character Commission says it has started investigations into 16 federal government agencies for secretly employing people in violation of the Federal Civil Service guidelines’’. A while ago, the Nigeria Customs also smashed a fake job syndicate in its fold. ‘’An audit committee in the Nigeria Custom discovered that 44 Cadets on training got their appointment letters by bribing corrupt officers of the Service’’. An ‘’Employment Scandal rocked the Nigeria Immigration Service’’. A unique feature in the aforementioned scenarios: the recruitment exercises were not advertised; slots were exclusively reserved for powerbrokers and their cronies. The foregoing buttresses the well-known fact that many government jobs in Nigeria are seldom advertised or competitive. In saner climes, these are very serious infractions and heads will roll. In Nigeria, you will hear a Committee has been set up and that’s the end of it.
15.                     Mandate ALL revenue generating, collecting Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) to henceforth remit EVERY dime they collect/generate to the federation account. This is pertinent because probe of the Stella Oduah bullet-proof car saga showed that some agencies in the Ministry of Aviation seldom remit revenues within their purview to the federation account.

16.                     Make the prerogative of mercy or Presidential pardon more stringent – Granted this right is entrenched under Sections 212(1) and 175(1) & (2) of the Nigerian Constitution and empowers the President and State governors to grant conditional or unconditional pardon to a convict, or to substitute, reduce, commute or remit the length of sentence and/or the severity or quantum of punishment and penalty or forfeiture, imposed on that person by a court of law. Given the unprecedented furore, controversy generated by ex-President Jonathan’s pardon of his former boss – ex-Governor of Bayelsa state - Mr. Diprieye Alamieyeseigha, Shetima Bulama (former MD of Bank of the North) and five others, it is high time this prerogative of mercy was made more stringent and doesn’t become an instrument of political patronage. This discretionary power must be exercised with the highest sense of responsibility, probity, equity, circumspection and consistent with the letters and spirit of the law. Otherwise just as former Niger-Delta militants were given a clean slate via a presidential amnesty, another Nigerian President/Governor could wake up one morning in the near future and pardon the ilks of Boko Haram’s leader - Abubakar Shekau.

17.                     Electoral reform – Election rigging – thwarting the popular, collective will of the citizenry is arguably one of the worst strands of corruption. Often times you hear that so and so Governor or political office holder has lost his seat sequel to the courts upturning his/her supposed ‘victory’ at the polls and that is where it ends. The politician goes home with what s/he looted during his stint and is a free man. Beef up the Election Offenses Commission to vigorously prosecute electoral offenders.

18.                     Check Political Campaign Funds and Illegal Donations – As you know, it appears Nigerian political parties are above the law. Preparatory to the 2015 presidential election, the PDP in flagrant disregard to extant laws raised a whooping N21 billion for its presidential candidate, though the party later suggested part of the money was for the building of its secretariat. Recall that Section 38 (2) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act expressly forbids companies from donating gifts, property or money to any political party or association. More so, Section 91 (2) of Nigeria’s Electoral Act 2010, as amended, specifies that ‘’the maximum election expenses to be incurred by a candidate at a presidential election shall be N1 billion. By the way, are funds, donations to an aspirant, the exclusive preserve of that candidate or is it for the party? For instance, say N2 billion was contributed to Buhari’s presidential campaign and N1 billion was expended, what happens to the balance? Does it become your money or that of your Political Party? Such issues should be straightened out.

19.                     Ensure strict financial regulation and intelligence surveillance of financial transactions – Tightening the noose on financial institutions will check corruption and another variant of it – unprecedented level of money laundering from Nigeria. Beam searchlight on the plethora of Nigerian bank branches outside the shores of the country, some of them may be conduit pipes for money laundering.
20.                     Genuine cooperation and partnership with Western governments, institutions to check money laundering– As they say, it takes two to tango. The ilks of James Ibori, Sani Abacha et al could not have perfected their trade if Western financial institutions did not get their own cut. The Global Financial Index (GFI) reveals that the massive outflow of illicit money out of Africa to the West is ‘’facilitated by a global shadow financial system comprising tax havens, secret jurisdictions, disguised corporations, anonymous trust accounts, fake foundations, trade pricing, and money laundering techniques’’. UK Banks facilitated late Sani Abacha’s laundering of $4 billion USD (£2.8 billion). Also, the EFCC Chairman – Mr. Lamorde asserted that ‘’as much as $14 billion USD in cash was taken out of Nigeria between January and August 2012 through Nigeria’s airports’’.

21.                     Ensure that award of government contracts, crude oil blocks etc. are very transparent and in line with global best practices.

22.                     Enable unfettered access to public information and free speech. Unnecessary bureaucracy enshrined in the freedom of information law must be purged.

23.                     Unbundle and reform the byzantine NNPC said to be a cesspit of corruption and an ATM to previous administrations. The NNPC MUST not continue to be a regulator and a player in the oil industry. Transparency International is tasking the Buhari administration to publish a believable audit of accounts for the US$20 billion hole that former Central Bank Governor and now Emir of Kano – Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, alleged was in the accounts.

24.                     By every means possible, encourage local refining of petroleum and subsequently remove the fraudulent petroleum subsidy that supposedly drained about N2.7 trillion from the Nigerian treasury (more than half of the 2013 budget) during President Jonathan’s administration. Since Nigeria is still losing 400,000 barrels of crude oil daily to oil bunkering (the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) says Nigeria lost $11 billion USD to oil theft, vandalism in a 2013 report) despite the so-called ‘Crude oil Pipeline Protection Largesse’ awarded to some Niger-Delta militant kingpins, the contract is a fraud and should be canceled forthwith.

25.                     Stop the fraudulent import duty waiver racket. Any good news on the import duty waiver controversy involving Coscharis motors during the Oduahgate saga? What happened to the ‘’Special Audits of Accounts of Civil Pensions for the Period 2005-2010 report’’?

26.                     Make the use of ‘Security votes’ auditable – This Security vote conundrum is probably the biggest conduit pipe for corruption by public/government officials in Nigeria. Imagine the 36 State governors entitled to upward of N6 billion each annually as security votes and they owe no one any explanation as to what they use the money for. Granted they should have security votes but let there be a requirement for them to account to say the National Security Adviser (NSA), how such monies were/are appropriated.

27.                     Rein in wanton profligacy by government and payment of outrageous salaries, allowances to public officials. It is commendable that Mr. President is bent on reducing the number of Minsters and possibly ministries. This gale of slashing of salaries by upwards of 50% pioneered by the governor of Kaduna state – Mallam El Rufai should be emulated by other governors and other public officials. It beggars belief that some state governors gallivant and carouse in ‘Private Jets’ abi helicopters, a good number of them had the effrontery to contribute N50 million each to the reelection campaign of the erstwhile president while owing civil servants some 10 months’ salary arrears. National Assembly members must rise to the occasion and also slash their unconscionable entitlements said to be the highest in the world. It is unacceptable for the remuneration of a Nigerian Senator to treble President Obama’s annual salary. The so-called ‘Constituency fund’ must be well-harnessed and accounted for. Suggesting via his twitter handle @benmurraybruce on how the current government can cut the cost of governance, newly elected Senator Ben Murray Bruce and Chairman of Silverbird Group says, ‘’we must be realistic. If we have to borrow to pay salaries, it’s a sign we must cut salaries including for Senators.’’ He went further to say, ‘’...left for me, we must sell the Presidential fleet. Public servants, including the President, must only use made in Nigeria Peugeot as official cars.’’

28.                     Create a ‘Special account’ where loots, forfeitures from corrupt individuals are lodged. The Nigerian public space is constantly awash with the news of purported discovery and repatriation of the so-called ‘Abacha loot’. In addition to previous ‘Abacha loots’ repatriated to Nigeria, Switzerland recently discovered fresh Abacha loot to the tune of $380 million (about N75.2bn). To paraphrase the infamous question Mrs. Patience Jonathan posed to parents of the abducted Chibok girls; ‘na only Abacha waka come abi na only Abacha loot Nigerian ‘oyel’ money? Is it because Abacha is late? The gap-toothed General nko? What of the one that midwifed our current democracy after Abacha’s demise? The Ota General nko? Those ones did not loot ‘oyel’ money abi? Okay, ‘continuu’…all these Abacha loot they are returning, how’s the government spending the money sef? Folks contend that the looted monies returned to Nigeria are re-looted again by the establishment.

29.                     Reinvigorate the National Orientation Agency (NOA) as well as the Federal and State Ministries of Information to continually enlighten Nigerians on the implications, consequences of corrupt practices through time-tested public enlightenment instruments: use of posters, handbills, and adverts on print and electronic media (jingles). In other words, an avant-garde version of the old War Against Indiscipline (WAI) will do Nigeria a lot of good.

30.                     Will Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) please stand up! The FIRS must not be a paper-tiger!  Our undoing in Nigeria is not the absence of good laws or lack of institutions; it lies in the implementation of laws and inability of institutions to carry out their functions effectively. One of such institution is the FIRS. Section 8 (1) of the FIRS Act mandates the agency to ‘’adopt measures to identify, trace, freeze, confiscate or seize proceeds derived from tax fraud or evasion’’. Section 35 (3) also mandates the FIRS to ‘’cause an investigation to be conducted into the properties of any taxable person if it appears to the FIRS that the lifestyle of the person and extent of the properties are not justified by his source of income’’. So why are they allowing these powers to lie fallow?

31.                     Finally, beam your searchlight on real estate acquisitions and investments in Nigeria. Nigerian corrupt officials learnt hard lessons from the mercurial Mr. James Ibori, erstwhile governor of Delta state currently serving jail term in the United Kingdom with his assets confiscated in that country. The newfound stratagem of Nigerian corrupt government officials is using front-men to ‘wash’ their ill-gotten money in posh real estates, shopping malls and hotel chains in the nook and cranny of Nigeria. Buoyed by proceeds of corruption and money laundering, some apartments in Abuja and Lagos are more expensive than commensurate apartments in New York or London. Anybody can trace the antecedents of Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Steve Jobs etc. and say this is how they made their money. How many of Nigeria’s present day nouveau-riche, high-flying billionaires were known 15-20 years ago? Let the EFCC or the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) audit these posh Estates in Nigeria: their owners, residents and their source(s) of income and evidence of tax payments. Perhaps there should be an extant provision in the statues of EFCC mandating prospective buyers of houses above a certain threshold to tender legal evidence of their source(s) of income to the EFCC before sealing such deals. We don’t need a seer to convince us that a civil servant, whose annual remuneration barely amounts to N3million but owns a N60 million naira house (not inherited and have no private business), is patently corrupt.

Nigeria is in dire need of a radical and comprehensive corruption prevention, detection and speedy prosecution/conviction regime (stiffer penalties and increased jail terms). If Nigerian law slams 5 years jail term on WAEC examination cheats why can’t there be stiffer penalties for corruption/stealing? José Ugaz, chair of Transparency International, reminds us that ‘’Nigeria’s new president (Muhammadu Buhari) has committed to fight corruption. Nigerians must hold him to that promise and the corrupt must be brought to justice.” We equally appeal to our Western friends bent on making their famed cities (London, New York, Switzerland etc.) the financial capital of the world, to do less pontification and take radical steps to stifle loopholes that encourage wheeling dealing of looted money in their clime.

I close by quoting Bess Myerson, first Jewish Miss America, 1924-? Who said, "The accomplice to the crime of corruption is frequently our own indifference." All hands must be on deck if we must fight and annihilate corruption in Nigeria! See Something, Hear Something, Say Something! 


Written By:

©Don Okereke
(Entrepreneur, Security Analyst/Consultant, Ex-Serviceman, Writer/Blogger, Change Agent)
Contact me on: donnuait (a) yahoo.com
Follow me on Twitter: @DonOkereke

June, 2015

1.    Transparency International
2.    Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
3.    Zero Corruption Coalition (ZCC)
4.    Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC)
5.    Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL)
6.    Anti-corruption Network
7.    Citizens Arise Movement of Nigeria (CAMON)
8.    Niger-Delta Anti-corruption Network (NIDAN)
9.    Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC)
10.                       Grassroot Anti-corruption Awareness Network Initiative
11.                       Nigeria Anti-corruption Ambassadors (NACA)
12.                       Nigeria Liberty Forum (NLF)
13.                       Inter-Agency Task Team on Anti-corruption (IATT)
14.                       Technical Unit on Governance and Anti-corruption Reforms (TUGAR)
15.                       Anti-corruption Internet Database (ACID)
16.                       Anti-corruption Authorities
17.                       Transform Nigeria
18.                       Concerned Nigerians
19.                       Stop Corruption Nigeria
20.                       Integrity Nigeria
21.                       CDD West Africa
22.                       OSIWA
23.                       SERAP
24.                       CLEEN Foundation
25.                       www.antigraft.org