Thursday, 29 May 2008

Important Documents Missing In Nigeria's Anti-Corruption Commission


chidi opara reports have been reliably informed that while the constitutional controversy regarding succession at the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC), goes on, with the newly appointed chairperson, Mrs. Farida Waziri, a retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police(AIG), unable to assume duty, rich and powerful friends of some former governors investigated for corrupt enrichment of selves while in Office, moved into the commission, taking away important documents, which are vital for the prosecution of these allegedly corrupt former public officers.

A strategically placed source at the commission told chidi opara reports that the failure of the newly appointed chairperson to assume duty have created a "loophole", which "those politicians" are now capitalizing on to remove "important documents", with the help of their "agents inside the commission".

The former chairman, Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, was earlier in the year, sent on course to the National Institute For Policy And Strategic Studies(NIPSS). His deputy, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, took over in acting capacity. Lamorde was recently sent on course also. Both Ribadu and Lamorde are Police officers.

The appointment of Mrs. Waziri on acting capacity, generated constitutional controversy, with the Nigerian Senate insisting that she should not assume duty as directed by the President, prior to her confirmation by the legislature.

As the controversy continues, allegedly corrupt ex- governors and their friends, according to our source, are having a field day at the commission, removing important documentary evidences.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

World Children's Day; Behold The Children Of Nigeria




chidi opara reports wishes all Nigerian children quick recovery from bad leadership.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Nigeria's Ruling Party In Early Lead In Two States Governorship Elections Re-Run


The Nigerian ruling Peoples Democratic Party(PDP)have recorded early lead in the Appeal court ordered governorship elections re-run in Bayelsa and Sokoto states, conducted on saturday, 24th May, 2008 by the Independent National Electoral commission(INEC).

Result sheets from majority of polling booths already collated, obtained by chidi opara reports, showed the PDP candidates, Messrs Timipre Sylva and Aliyu Wamakko of Bayelsa state and Sokoto state in an early lead.

The elections, especially in Sokoto state were largely peaceful, heavy security was however, visible in Bayelsa state. chidi opara reports noticed some pockets of disturbances in Twon Brass, Bayelsa state. These disturbances, we learnt were mainly from petty criminals who want to take advantage of the situation to extort money from politicians.This is a usual occurence during elections in Nigeria.

INEC had declared the PDP candidates in the two states, duely elected in the 2007 governorship elections, necesitating their being sworn in as governors. Their elections and subsequent swearing in were however, annulled by the court of Appeal and re-run elections ordered. The court of Appeal is the final arbiter in governorship election matters in Nigeria.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Yes, The Spate Of Kidnappings For Ransome In Imo State Is Politically Motivated‏

(Opinion From: Okechukwu Nwanguma)

I am deeply troubled by the increasing spate of kidnappings for ransom that has become a regular feature of daily life in Imo State. I have also heard of armed robbers operating in motorbikes double-crossing and robbing people of cell phones, jewelries and cash along the streets in the daylight. From far away Washington DC where I am currently doing a research fellowship on Police Reform in Nigeria, I have read from local news, through the internet ,incidents of kidnappings of wives and children of wealthy people in Imo State by criminals who demand huge sums of money in ransom. Before now, kidnappings and abduction for ransom were restricted to the Niger Delta where militants agitating for resource control were targeting mainly foreign staff of oil companies. Anambra State also witnessed criminal abductions sometime last year when some wealthy businessmen fell victim to kidnappers who were demanding ransom to free them. This was a purely criminal money-spinning venture. The type that was first recorded some years ago in Imo State was motivated by vendetta. The child of a medical doctor was abducted by some people who wanted to settle scores with a politician by stealing the corpse of a politician’s late father from the doctor’s mortuary, in order to recover their withheld share of loot from this politician. The doctor refused to cooperate with them and they had to kidnap his son and demanded ransom. I don’t remember the details of what followed. But the phenomenon which has assumed a frightening dimension in Imo State is probably politically motivated. Quite a number of kidnappings for ransom have been recorded in the last few weeks. And what amazes me is how politicians and public officials are involved in negotiating with these criminals; and law enforcement officials are completely helpless, thus rendering citizens hopeless and vulnerable.

I suspect that this development is masterminded by disgruntled PDP politicians who feel that Governor Ohakim may have denied them access to Imo State public treasury, or ‘breached faith with them’ over certain criminal and self serving evil bond they may have entered with him as a condition for helping him up to power. This may appear to be a re-enactment of the Ngige-era scenario in Anambra State, when corrupt and selfish politicians led by a nitwit,with the support of a megalomaniac President, unconscionably held Anambra State under siege and unleashed a harrowing and subversive terror against Ngige-whom they admittedly rigged into office- for refusing to hand over control of the destiny and commonwealth of the State to them.

Before now, there have been similar criminal and disruptive activities in Imo State. One of such was the early morning attack on a driver of one of the distribution vehicles of a national newspaper. The attackers attempted to leave the impression that the attack came from Imo State Government quarters in revenge for a distasteful story written by the newspaper on Ohakim. It became apparent that it was political enemies of the governor that masterminded the attack and made it appear as though it was Ohakim in order to sabotage and discredit his government.

It is appalling how politicians can sacrifice citizens’ personal security and endanger public safety in a nefarious bid to settle political scores. This cannot be allowed to happen in any country where the rule of law reigns, and where leaders know their responsibilities, and are capable of fulfilling them. The challenge before Ohakim is to fulfill the raison d’être of leadership: guarantee public welfare and security. Ohakim must rise to the occasion and guarantee the protection of public safety and personal liberty and security. He must confront these criminals headlong. Let him work out, with the police- both at the state and national levels, how to checkmate these criminals. It is embarrassing that people can make a living by compromising the liberty and safety of fellow citizens. The criminal act of kidnapping innocent women and children, no doubt goes with a lot of trauma, both for the victim and the relatives. And who are those public officials negotiating with these criminals? What is their stake in all this? Can’t they be questioned, and through them, track down these undesirable elements in society? If Ohakim cannot stop this madness, then let him throw in the towel, as it is done in all civilized societies.

(Nwanguma, a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow, wrote from Washington DC, U.S.A)

Displaced Niger Delta Militants Invade Nigeria's "HeartLand State"


The governor of Imo state of Nigeria, which also goes by the name,"HeartLand State", Dr. Godson Ikedi Ohakim is presently in fiece political battle with some top politicians in the state.

Copy of a security report obtained by chidi opara reports, indicates that a prominent male politician from Ikeduru local government Area of the state is leading the battle. Queing behind him are a prominent female politician from Owerri north local government Area and a notable male politician from Isiala Mbano local government Area and other not so prominent but equally influential politicians from the state. These politicians are mainly from the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP).

The most worrisome aspect of the security report was the revelation that some displaced militants from Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta states have been hired to make the state ungovernable. A senior security source who analysed the report, confirmed its authenticity.

Independent investigations by chidi opara reports indicated that the battle is centred on the sharing of the spoils of office. it is also discovered that the Governor is planning to hire members of MOVEMENT FOR ACTUALIZATION OF SOVERIGN STATE OF BIAFRA(MASSOB), to counter his opponents. An Imo state government house official who took our telephone call, but refused to disclose his name, however, denied this.

chidi opara reports further learnt that the nomination crisis that engulfed PDP in the 2007 gubernatorial election was responsible for the present state of affairs.

PDP, which was then the ruling party in the state had entered into a gentleman's agreement with Dr. Ohakim of the Progressive Peoples Alliance, on the sharing of the spoils of office. PDP, in the spirit of the agreement used its massive machinery to get the then PPA gubernatorial candidate elected. Ohakim, on assumption of office, according to a PDP official in the state, "reneged on the agreement".

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

MEND Leader; Henry Okah Collapses In Custody


The erstwhile spokesman of MOVEMENT FOR EMANCIPATION OF NIGER DELTA(MEND), Mr. Henry Okah, collapsed at about 9.00am today(20th May, 2008), while being interviewed by a prosecution team.

Mr. Okah, who is being held in solitary confinement in an underground cell at Rukuba barracks, the headquarters of 3rd Armour division of the Nigerian Army in Jos, capital city of Plateau state, Nigeria, was brought out at that hour for routine interview with the prosecution team. About five minutes into the interview, according to our source, Mr. Okah collapsed and was taken to a medical centre within the military facility, where he was revived, resulting in the rescheduling of the interview. Okah is being tried in secrecy for treason.

It will be recalled that chidi opara reports was the first news medium to report that the MEND chieftain is being held in an underground cell in the military facility. Okah's wife has since confirmed this, after a visit to her husband.

chidi opara reports was not able at the time of posting this report, to gather comprehensive information on what was responsible for Okah's collapse. A source at the medical centre where he was revived however, volunteered that the activist's blood pressure count "is getting higher".

Henry Okah and one Edward Atatah were on 3rd September, 2007 in Angola, arrested and detained on allegations of gun running and plotting to destabilize the government of Nigeria.

At the request of the Nigerian Government, the accused persons were on 14th february, 2008, extradicted to Nigeria and charged to court for treason. Okah's alleged accomplice was recently discharged. He is still being held in custody. Henry Okah's trial is continuing.

Presidency sources have however confided in chidi opara reports that there may be a political settlement eventually.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Nigerian President's Ill Health Unsettles Northern Political Elites


Northern Nigeria(Arewa) political elites have recently been seriously unsettled by the ill health of the President, Mr. Umaru Yar'Adua. We reliably gathered that the President's German doctors advised him recently, to resign and come for a lengthy comprehensive medical treatment or risk total fatal kidney failure.

The worry of the North is necesitated by the constitutional provision that, in the event of death, resignation, physical and/or mental incapacitation of the President, the Vice President will assume the position. The position is rotated between the predominantly moslem north and the largely christian south, albeit informally. The Vice President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan is a christian from southern Nigeria.

The southern slot was occupied by the immediate past President, Rtd. General Olusegun Obasanjo from 1999 to 2007. The north is to occupy the position from 2007 to 2015.

The President was recently taken to a German hospital in an unconscious state, where he underwent treatment for a kidney related ailment. He has since returned and have resumed duty.

Presidency sources however, informed us that the President now "does only skeletal duties" and attends to official matters "less than four hours on every working day". We have it on good authority that the secreatary to the federal government, Mr. Babagana Kingibe is now the de-facto President.

There is a serious move, according to a source close to the immediate past President, by members of his faction in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), to support the Vice President, "to assume his proper position". We have not been able so far to independently confirm if the immediate past President is personally involved in this move.

This move, we were further informed, greatly unsettled the northern political elites, who saw it as an attempt to wrest power from them.

We can now reveal that there are presently, noctunal meetings in the northern cities of Kano, Kaduna and Sokoto, to find a way out of this problem.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

MORE DESPERATE MOVES TO HIJACK NIGERIA'S NEW BODY OF FREIGHT FORWARDERS


There have been more desperate moves recently to hijack and control the new body of freight forwarders in Nigeria, known as council for the regulation of freight forwarding in Nigeria, established under the Act for the regulation of freight forwarding in Nigeria(Act 16 of 2007).

The Act gives the responsibility of midwifing the birth of the new body to Nigeria Shippers Council(NSC). The new body when operational, will be responsible for "determining the standards of knowledge and skill to be attained by persons seeking to be registered members of freight forwarders of Nigeria".

We were reliably informed that some powerful elements in Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents(ANLCA), in collaboration with some highly placed officials of NSC have been using money, influence, threats, blackmail and vital information withholding tactics to fence off qualified and credible practitioners from getting into council membership of the body.

A highly placed source in NSC informed us that negative security reports on many of the newly elected members of the council were ignored by NSC management prior to the election. Pressed to provide insight into why these persons are making these desperate moves, the source voluteered that these persons, although not qualified to practise freight forwarding in Nigeria, have been amassing wealth illegally in the system over the years. "It is understandable if they desperately want to continue to control the system", the source concluded.

Independent checks revealed that most of the big names in freight forwarding in Nigeria today cannot be said to be qualified to practise either by knowlegde or by skill. We discovered that although licensed by customs, they are mainly contact persons between Customs and Importers, and usually outsource jobs to the few qualified but less connected ones.

We had earlier reported that highly placed persons from the various freight forwarders' Associations, were, prior to the April 11th election into membership of the council,hustling to be elected into the new body.

An e-mail sent to ANLCA and NSC on April 18th, 2008 for comments have not been replied at the time of posting this report.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

NIGERIAN PRESIDENT'S CHIEF PUBLICIST DEVISES CREDIBILITY RUBBISHING SCHEME


The publicity division of Nigeria's Presidency, headed by Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, a journalist have devised a scheme to rubbish the credibity of "radical" online news media with focus on Nigeria, through the method of leaking false information to them.

We have been reliably informed that this new strategy is informed by the relentless expositions of Presidency secrets, especially the President's state of health, and the fraustrations of Mr. Adeniyi, occassioned by his inability to compromise publishers of these "radical" online news media.

The new strategy was successfully tried out recently when a top female publicity staffer in the Presidency on the instruction of Mr. Adeniyi, leaked false information to an online news medium to the effect that President Umaru Yar'Adua,who has just arrived the country from medical treatment abroad, has been flown abroad again for medical reasons.

This information,though false, was taken as true and published as breaking news. The publication signalled the commencement of the second episode of the scheme. This episode involves giving wide publicity to this error of judgement.The President's chief publicist is currently making a good job of this.

We have recently been getting a lot of this type of information from the Presidency, which after thorough investigations,always turn out to be false.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

NIGERIA'S SECREATARY TO GOVERNMENT IS ACTING PRESIDENT


Following the absence of Nigeria's President, Mr. Umar Yar'Adua from the seat of power,for sometime now, for health reasons, the Secreatary to the Federal Government, Mr. Babagana Kingibe is now the country's acting President, we can now authoritatively reveal.

When the President's ill health worsened recently, necesitating his being flown to Germany for medical examinations and treatment, he, on the eve of his departure, handed over power to Mr. Kingibe in contravention of the constitutional provision that power in such circumstance should be handed over to the Vice President.

Presidency sources informed us that the Vice President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan appears to be unperturbed about this development and appears to be comfortable with his ceremonial roles.

A powerful political cabal from the North, who we were told hijacked power in the Presidency insists that Mr. Kingibe should always act in the absence of the President, despite any constitutional provision in that regard.

"The veepee is aware of this, but does not want to ruffle feathers" an aide to the Vice President who pleaded for annonymity told us.

The President, who is running the Presidential slot of the North has been seriously ill for some time now and have consequently, stayed off duty.

Presidential position in Nigeria is informally rotated between the North and South for eight years respectively.