It was with great amusement that I received news that the minister for propaganda, the rightly and prophetically named Lai Mohammed, was planning on releasing a new looters list.
The nation was witness to the flop of the pathetic looters lists he had earlier drawn up which read more like a list of noise makers drawn up by a primary school class captain who wanted to implicate his enemies.
After having been shamed at home and abroad for its one sided and fallacious list, the Buhari administration wants to redeem itself by releasing a third list, which from the look of things, will go into infamy like its two elder brothers.
The funniest thing is that both Lai Mohammed and President Buhari’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, had condemned the release of a looters list by the pioneer Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Chairman, Nuhu Ribadu in 2007.
It is very obvious that they have no moral compass. Their loyalties are only to their bellies. If not, why condemn a looters list released by Nuhu Ribadu and commend a looters list released by the Buhari administration?
In any case, Nigerians and the international community may find the list below to be a more credible list and I call on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission to investigate, interrogate and prosecute those contained therein, especially as I have produced details and named names, dates and amounts involved which stand at over $30 billion.
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. There are many others, including a South South ex-Governor who is close to President Buhari, whose security vote was incredibly substantial, but unless I have hard documentary evidence or eyewitness testimony, I have avoided listing such persons.
Muhammadu Buhari and His Cronies: On several occasions during the 2015 election campaign, then candidate Muhammadu Buhari said he did not know what fuel subsidy is and accused the Jonathan administration of scamming Nigerians through the scheme.
Again, on December 28, 2015, President Buhari said he was ending fuel subsidy. On May 12, 2016 the minister of state for petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, said subsidy had been removed. The price of petrol was increased on that basis to ₦145. Then on December 15, 2016, Vice President Osinbajo said there was no more fuel subsidy in Nigeria.
In the 2016 and 2017 budgets, the National Assembly made no provision for appropriations for fuel subsidy.
On Friday, December 22, 2017, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Maikanti Baru, said that President Buhari had authorized him to make fuel subsidy payments which he tried to hide by using the ingenious term ‘under recovery’.
On April 6, 2018, the minister of state for petroleum resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu revealed that ₦1.4 trillion was being spent annually on fuel subsidy payments by the Buhari administration.
Section 162 (1) of the Constitution provides that:
“(1) The Federation shall maintain a special account to be called “the Federation Account” into which shall be paid all revenues collected by the Government of the Federation, except the proceeds from the personal income tax of the personnel of the armed forces of the Federation, the Nigeria Police Force, the Ministry or department of government charged with responsibility for Foreign Affairs and the residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.”
Moreover, there is a Treasury Single Account policy in operation.
If all funds belonging to the federation are remitted into the Federation Account, if all Ministries, Departments and Agencies are bound by the TSA, how is it possible for President Buhari to unconstitutionally instruct the GMD of the NNPC to use funds which were not appropriated by the National Assembly to pay for a scheme that was scrapped?
This amount is more than twice what was spent by the Jonathan administration on fuel subsidy annually, yet under that government, fuel sold for ₦87 per liter which is half the price it is being sold for today at ₦145 per liter.
Not only should fuel subsidy not be paid, because the minister of petroleum, who also happens to be the President, said he had ended that policy, but even if it is being paid, it should not be at a higher amount than was paid under Jonathan.
Did the population of Nigeria double overnight? Did Nigerians become so rich in a depressed economy that they started consuming twice the amount of subsidy that they consumed a mere 3 years ago even when they are paying more for the product?
The inescapable conclusion is that the ₦1.4 trillion now being paid annually for fuel subsidy, according to Ibe Kachikwu, is money that is going largely to private pockets.
Rochas Okorocha: In a secret memo from a top diplomat and found on Wikileaks with the Canonical ID:06ABUJA483_a, Rochas Okorocha was identified as an embezzler of government funds. To quote the memo word for word, the top diplomat said “The head of the National Airport Management Authority (NAMA), Rochas Okorocha, was caught and dismissed for embezzling about $1 million through an inflated contract.”
Malam Nasir El-Rufai: In a secret memo from a top diplomat and found on Wikileaks with the Canonical ID:06ABUJA483_a, an American diplomat gave eyewitness testimony of how Nasir El-Rufai had gone from extreme poverty to extreme wealth almost overnight. To quote the memo word for word, the top US diplomat said “El-Rufai is at the CENTER of the corruption allegations. Well-known to PolCouns eight year ago, when he was homeless and seeking a loan to import a taxi from the UK, El-Rufai is said to have recently purchased seven upscale properties in a posh Abuja neighborhood.”
On June 20, 2017, saharareporters.com, a website that Malam Nasir El-Rufai himself had previously praised for its credibility, published government documents stating that Malam El-Rufai had awarded heavily over invoiced contracts to his wives, children and family members to the tune of ₦3 billion.
NNPC/Maikanti Baru: On August 30, 2017, the minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, revealed in a memo to President Buhari, which ended up getting leaked, that despite the legal requirement for all contracts above $20 million to be approved by the board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, has unilaterally awarded sundry contracts without due process to the tune of $24.5 billion.
No independent inquiry was conducted into these allegations. The NNPC, instead, issued a statement claiming that the contracts were approved by President Buhari.
However, the dates the contracts were approved coincided with the dates the President was in London and had officially handed over to Vice President Osinbajo.
When the media pointed this out, the NNPC contradicted itself and said that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo approved the contracts.
However, Vice President Osinbajo released a statement on October 13, 2017, denying that he approved the contracts.
The truth about what happened to the almost $25 billion will not come to light now while Buhari is still in power.
Alhaji Abba Kyari: On September 20, 2016, saharareporters.com published a report that Malam Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to the President, had received a bribe of ₦500 million from the South African telecom giant, MTN, to help influence the reduction of the $5.2 billion fine imposed on them.
Given that the $5.2 billion fine was eventually and significantly reduced on December 3, 2016, just two months after the reports of the alleged bribe surfaced, a lot of credence has been given to those reports.
This is especially so as the former acting Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, ambassador Mohammed Dauda, in a sworn testimony to the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence, revealed that President Buhari’s kitchen cabinet comprising of Abba Kyari and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babagana Kingibe, had pressured him to share the $44 million Ikoyi millions.
After giving his sworn evidence, ambassador Dauda was dismissed and has now gone underground.
Abubakar Malami: Currently the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice. On April 8, 2018, investigative journalism website, The Cable, alleged that they have documents proving that AGF Malami “spuriously” hired lawyers at a cost to the Federal Government of ₦6 billion, to handle the repatriation of looted Abacha funds of $321 million (it would seem that contrary to President Buhari’s publicly stated position, Abacha did loot).
It was discovered that the immediate past Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke, had finished up the matter and there was no need for the engagement of the lawyers in the first place.
Incidentally, the lawyers alleged by The Cable to have been hired by Malami (Oladipo Okpeseyi, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), and Temitope Adebayo) had both worked for President Muhammadu Buhari’s party, Congress for Progressive Change, and also worked for the All Progressive Congress. Interestingly, the current AGF, Abubakar Malami, was the legal adviser of CPC.
Adebayo Shittu: Current minister of communications. On March 12, 2018, Mr. Shittu’s Special Assistant on media, Victor Oluwadamilare, revealed in a letter leaked to the media, that whereas Mr. Shittu was struggling financially prior to joining President Buhari’s cabinet, according to the said aide, he has almost overnight become fabulously wealthy to the point where he has, according to his own aide, “investments that run into hundreds of millions of naira in your less than three years in the office.”
Mr. Shittu was revealed by his aide to have suddenly come into possession of 12 luxury houses in Abuja, Lagos, and Ibadan and recently bought a brand new ₦93 million printing press. This is in addition to 25 luxury vehicles.
The total value of these largesses the minister has suddenly accrued, according to his aide, is conservatively estimated at ₦2 billion.
Babatunde Raji Fashola: Current minister of power, works and housing. It was established and even admitted by Fashola himself that he spent ₦78 million on his personal website.
Now, government funds should not be spent on a personal website. But even at that, the amount is grossly over bloated. ₦78 million was equivalent to half a million dollars at the time of the transaction.
Moreover, Info Access Plus, the company that got the said contract, released a statement stating that it received only ₦10 million from the Lagos state government for the website contract. The company further revealed that the website, www.fashola.com, already existed and the contract was only for ‘upgrading’ the site.
Also, substantiated allegations were made against Mr. Fashola with documented evidence indicating that he awarded a ₦139 million naira contract for the drilling of two boreholes at the government secretariat. This amount was equivalent to $900,000 at the time the contract was awarded. It goes without saying that two bore holes can be sunk for less than 5% of the amount expended by Fashola.
Rauf Aregbesola: It was reported in several investigating journals that the contract to provide schools in Osun state with the tablet nick named ‘Opon Imo’ was awarded to a firm linked to Governor Rauf Aregbesola‘s son at an inflated price of ₦8.6 billion. This allegation was also made in a petition by the Civil Societies Coalition for the Emancipation of Osun state (CSCEOS).
The introduction of the so called knowledge tablet was meant to boost education in Osun State. The curious thing however is that in the latest rankings from WAEC, only 46.77 per cent of Osun State students got five credits and above in the 2017 West African Senior School Certificate Examination. In fact, Osun State, which used to be one of the top performing states in education was outperformed by five northern states, including Borno, to emerge 24th position nationwide out of 36 states.
In 2016, the state fared even worse, ranking 29th among the 36 states and the FCT in 2016’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination results released by WAEC.
Usman Yusuf: Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme. Suspended by the minister of health for allegedly misappropriating approximately ₦1 billion. A probe panel was set up by the minister of health, Isaac Adewole. Mr. Adewole found the evidence against Mr: Yusuf compelling enough to warrant his suspension.
According to the investigative journalism website, premiumtimesng.com, their editors had cited the documents presented as evidence against Mr. Yusuf and their conclusion is that “cases of misconduct was clearly established against Mr. Yusuf.”
Again, Premium Times report that their investigations revealed that Mr. Yusuf used his closeness to President Buhari to countermand the minister of health’s decision and was reinstated to his position.
According to Punch Newspapers “When our correspondent reached out to him to respond to the allegations levelled against him last December, Yusuf had said, “F*ck you, and f*ck the minister”-This is the type of character that has been reinstated by President Buhari to Head the NHIS after being suspended for a ₦1 billion scam.
Lai Mohammed: Currently serving as minister of information, Mr. Lai Mohammed used his office to intimidate a parastatal under his ministry to engage in unethical practices.
Documentary evidence reveal that Mr. Mohammed was alleged to have begged his subordinates at the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for a ‘loan’ of ₦13 million to enable him travel to China, an act which is against civil service rules and against the rules of public decency.
A civil society organization, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) describes Mr. Lai Mohammed’s action as “a subtle attempt at blackmail and a sinister plot to seek to extort N13 million from one of the agencies under his ministerial supervision. The action is absolutely against President Muhammadu Buhari’s current anti-graft disposition which is signposted in the bringing into being of the Treasury Single Account (TSA).”
How many other parastatals, departments and agencies has Lai Mohammed gone a-begging and for which he has not been exposed. Yet this is the same man that goes about parroting lies, half truths and innuendo against others.
EFCC: The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is currently headed by Ibrahim Magu, a man whose confirmation as Chairman of the EFCC was denied down by the Senate after a negative report on him by the Department of State Security.
Under his tenure, Nigeria made her worst ever retrogression in the Transparency International annual Corruption Perception Index, moving 12 places backward from 136 to 148.
Also, the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units, which is the officially recognized global body that fosters cooperation in the fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism, has suspended Nigeria because Mr. Magu’s EFCC has, in their opinion, continued to leak financial information passed on to them to the media. This information they leak is overwhelmingly information related to opponents of the Buhari administration.
When they suspended Nigeria, the Egmont Group gave as reason the “repeated failures on the part of the FIU, (Nigeria) to address concerns regarding the protection of confidential information.”
At various occasions between 2017 and 2018, Mr. Magu publicly declared that the EFCC had recovered looted funds totaling ₦739 billion.
However, in a leaked memo to Mr. Magu by the minister for finance, Kemi Adeosun, the minister asserted that contrary to the public claims by Mr. Magu that ₦739 billion has been recovered by the EFCC, only ₦91.3 billion had been deposited by the commission into the treasury. She then demanded to know the whereabouts of the balance of the monies.
Between what Mr. Magu claims to have recovered and what the EFCC paid in, there is a difference of ₦647.7 billion.
Shehu Sani, a Senator elected under the banner of the ruling APC has alleged that the looted funds recovered by this administration has been ‘relooted’.
Unfortunately, rather than accept the truth that there is an unprecedented corruption, ineptitude and nepotism in their government, the Buhari administration continues to promote the propaganda that our current economic malaise is as a result of the mismanagement of Nigeria’s economy by the Jonathan administration.
However, even members of President Buhari’s cabinet have testified publicly to the fact that the President, his vice and their fallacious minister of information have falsely accused the previous government.
Speaking on February 1, 2018 at a civil society engagement workshop on the Power Sector Recovery Programme in Abuja, the minister of works, power and housing, Babatunde Fashola, in trying to defend himself from allegations of ineptitude as regards the epileptic power supply in the country, ended up vindicating both Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP, albeit unintentionally.
At that event, Mr. Fashola said:
“We hear all our so-called experts who say (non-availability of) power is why the economy of Nigeria is not growing. That is not factual and it is not correct. At the time when we had less power in 2013 and 2014, THE ECONOMY OF THIS COUNTRY WAS GROWING AT SEVEN PER CENT PER ANNUM. We had less power then than we have now, but the economy was growing.”
Nigerians can now see that Mr. Fashola, in a Freudian slip, was made by God, to expose the truth that his boss, his party and his colleagues have been trying to suppress for the past three years, namely that former President Jonathan developed and grew Nigeria’s economy at an unprecedented and consistent growth rate of over 6% per annum and handed over a thriving economy that was projected by CNNMoney to be the third fastest growing economy in the world when Dr. Jonathan handed over power to President Buhari.
Unfortunately, due to the ineptitude of the Buhari administration, a booming economy became an economy in recession in just one year under the All Progressive Congress.
In less than three years, President Buhari has borrowed more money than the PDP borrowed in the last sixteen years. Yet the economy has gotten worse! Buhari is 75 years old. Who do you think will pay for these loans he is taking?
And to those who think Buhari’s APC is better than the PDP should consider this fact. The Southwest states were the top states in education until the APC took over there. The Southeast/South-south states were educationally disadvantaged until PDP took over. Now they are on top. Do not take my word for it. Google WAEC state by state rankings for the last 5 years yourself.
The corruption by the APC government is so pervasive that it has not only affected the economy, but it has affected knowledge acquisition.
Bestselling author of Facts Versus Fiction: The True Story of the Jonathan Years: Chibok, 2015 and Other Conspiracies.