The All Progressives Congress, APC, has denied zoning its presidential ticket to the Southern part of the country, ahead of the 2023 elections.
This is as the party said its doors were still open to candidates for the 2023 general elections, including the presidency.
It denied releasing any zoning formula for candidates on its platform ahead of the scheduled polls.
Secretary of the APC Caretaker Committee, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe issued the denial in response to reports that the party has zoned its presidential ticket to the south.
APC was reported to have zoned the President to the South, Vice President to the North, Senate President to the South and Deputy Senate President to the North.
However, Akpanudoedehe disowned the list.
In a statement, the APC Secretary said: “Our people should disregard the list. It is not from the Caretaker Committee, it is not from the party.
“This is absolutely false! Where was it done and at what occasion? This is a mere fabrication of the writer’s imagination. It is completely misleading.”
Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) has dismissed as baseless, reports that its officials are jittery over the alleged disappearance of records relating to former governor of Lagos State and All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Senator Bola Tinubu.
CCB dismissed the report in its reaction to a publication in an online medium that there was tension in the office over missing Tinubu’s assets declaration form and case file from the vault.
The report claimed that the bureau started searching for the file when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) wrote to request the documents.
The publication, which accused officials of the CCB of complicity in the alleged disappearance of the records, read that the situation could frustrate an ongoing corruption investigation into Tinubu’s assets by the EFCC.
But a source in CCB denied any tension in the office. He also explained that the so-called case file is no longer relevant in CCB since the charges against the APC chieftain were sent to the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) in 2007.
Tinubu was arraigned before the CCT in November 2007 for allegedly operating foreign bank accounts.
However, the three-man panel of the tribunal dismissed the case at Tinubu’s second appearance on the ground that “there was no significant basis to proceed against the defendant as the charges were defective and shoddy.”
The CCB source, who pleaded anonymity, said: “When Senator Tinubu was the governor of Lagos State, he had issue with his assets declaration and was arraigned before CCT but for some reasons known to him alone, nothing meaningful came out of the trial.
“And once we have charged the case to the tribunal, we don’t go back to it except if, maybe, there is an appeal. But there was no appeal from the Federal Government.
“The file did not come back to us because I went through the archive to see the petition of the file and found the case was charged to the CCT. So, if anybody is interested in the case file, he should go to CCT.”
Describing the move to get Tinubu’s case file as political, the source further attributed the development to the 2023 political race.
“I think the whole thing is because of his presidential ambition and they are trying to just make him calm. The case has long exceeded the appeal time. They can’t appeal that judgment but based on some constitutional provisions, fresh charges can be raised against him.
“The file is not even with us. It is already at the tribunal and if in the event they decide to bring up issues based on some fresh facts, it means we just have to start the entire case from the beginning based on what they are planning,” he said.
When asked if the file could be retrieved from the CCT, the source stated that in such circumstances, the bureau could only establish a new file and bring up his asset declaration form.
On the alleged tension, the source said: “There is no tension at the CCB. The board will be meeting tomorrow. You know we had some issues a few weeks ago on Senator Godswill Akpabio and the situation was tensed. It does not have anything to do with Tinubu.
“The truth of the matter is that I will not be completely wrong if I say there is some background play that is yet to come out clear if the information I have is correct. I also think they are trying to use the new man in EFCC to bring up some things against Tinubu.
“But they may not be able to make any meaningful headway unless they go through the issues of assets declaration. According to the constitution, such matters are not time-bound.
“It means we could still come up with fresh charges against him, a secure conviction against him, and have him banned from office for the next 25 years.”
Another source from CCB punctured the report, saying all records relating to assets declaration and other vital documents are electronically saved and could be retrieved whenever they are needed.
The source said the purveyors of the “malicious” report were ignorant of the collaboration between the CCB and EFCC in the fight against corruption.
A chieftain of Nigeria’s governing All Progressives Congress (APC), Nasiru Danu, has denied a report linking him to an alleged N51 billion fraud against the Nigerian government.
Mr Danu, in a report published by SaharaReporters on Friday, was named among other top officials to have siphoned money meant to improve the Nigeria Customs Service, a part of which was allegedly transferred to a foundation owned by President Muhammadu Buhari’s daughter, Zahra.
But reacting to the report, Mr Danu, through a March 6, 2021 letter to SaharaReporters by his lawyer, Bode Olanipekun of Wole Olanipekun & Co., described the publication as false, baseless and malicious.
“With particular reference to the Nigeria Customs Service, our client has informed us that he is not in any business relationship whatsoever with the Nigeria Customs Service and reference to him as part of a “Revenue Assurance Fraud”, or any scheme by which money was allegedly siphoned from the Nigeria Customs Service is deficient in any factual basis whatsoever. Emphatically, our client denies being part of any fraud including that alleged in your publication as involving “N51 billion,” Mr Danu said in his rebuttal.
“In the same vein, our client asserts, in the most vehement manner possible, that he did not transfer, or know about any transfer of N2.5 billion to any foundation, which he is purportedly a signatory to.
“From the content of your publication under issue, the undisguised import, aim, purport and intention it set out to achieve was/is to injure our client’s reputation and name, as well as deflate his estimation in the eyes of well-meaning people. With all respect, what is discernible from your publication under reference is acute malice, spite, viciousness and predetermination to lower and diminish the esteem of our client.
“You might wish to note that our client is involved in legitimate business enterprises that are widely acclaimed, both in Nigeria and within international business circles. He is the Chairman and Chief Executive of several companies, some of which he founded, and others, which, as a result of his reputation for being honest and fair handed, he was invited to chair. These companies, apart from providing unique solutions to societal problems, provide jobs and means of livelihood to at least 2000 Nigerians, as well as contribute their quota to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product. These, amongst other leadership qualities, earned him the conferment of the revered traditional title of the Dan Amana of Dutse.
“Our client’s position is that your publication was made, either with actual or constructive knowledge of the falsity of its content or without any effort to verify the authenticity of such damaging stories which any media outlet should be loath to publish. This is obvious, for instance, from the paucity of details as to time, place, account details, etc, in the publication. Such action is clearly indicative of bad faith and/or, recklessness, with respect.
Mr Danu then demanded the retraction of the publication from SaharaReporters’ official website and Twitter account.
He also wants the news platform to publicly apologise to him on its website as well as in at least three other newspapers with online and physical presence for seven days.
6th March, 2021
Sahara Reporters Media Group Inc
146 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001,
RE: LIBELOUS AND DEFAMATORY PUBLICATION AGAINST ALHAJI NASIRU HALADU DANU
We act as counsel to Alhaji Nasiru Haladu Danu, hereinafter referred to as ‘our client’, and we write you this letter on his instruction as well as on the basis of information he has provided to us.
Particularly, we write you in relation to your publication of yesterday, 5th March 2021, with the headline “How APC Chieftain, Danu, Customs Boss Defrauded Nigerian Government Of N51 Billion, Wired N2.5 Billion To Buhari’s Daughter” which was published on your website vide the link: http://saharareporters.com/2021/03/05/how-apc-chieftain-danu customs-boss-defrauded-nigerian-government-n51-billion-wired-n25.
The said publication was further disseminated through your Twitter account (@Sahara Reporters) at 9:00 pm. The content of the publication expressly made mention of our client in the following terms:
“A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Alhaji Nasiru Haladu Danu and some top officials of the Nigeria Customs Service recently defrauded the Nigerian government of N51 billion…
… Danu is an arrowhead in what is now known in some quarters as President Muhammadu Buhari’s oil mafia group
A source said the fraud, which implicates the Comptroller General of the NCS, Col Hameed Ali (rtd), was named “Revenue Assurance Fraud” by some officials of the agency,
Another source said N2.5 billion was also transferred to a foundation owned by Buhari’s daughter, Zahra, for which Danu is a signatory.
“Some top Customs operatives and one Alhaji Nasiru Haladu Danu shared N51 billion. N2.5 billion out of the fund was transferred to a foundation owned by President Muhammadu Buhari’s daughter.
…. In 2019, Danu made headlines when he was arrested at Heathrow Airport, United Kingdom, for an alleged passport scam and money laundering.
Sahara Reporters gathered that the Dan Amana Dutse was caught with fake Malta Passport and in his possession, more than £200,000.00 in cash.
Sources said the £200,000.00 which Danu was carrying to give someone in the UK, according to him, was likely meant for Aisha Buhari who was then in London.
The above-reproduced portions, as well as the e-publication, were circulated to your over 3, 500, 000 (Three Million Five Hundred Thousand) followers on the said 5th March 2021.
As against the said allegations, it is our client’s position that he is a law-abiding citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with interests in legitimate business enterprises as is characteristic of his family which has been renowned for trading for at least seven decades. Whilst it is correct that our client is a member of the All Progressives Congress (in the exercise of his constitutional rights to freedom of association – see Section 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) (as amended)), he has never defrauded Nigeria in any way, shape, form or manner whatsoever.
Our client categorically states that he is not a member of any “oil mafia group”, and your publication’s reference to him as a member of such organisation is flawed and untrue.
With particular reference to the Nigeria Customs Service, our client has informed us that he is not in any business relationship whatsoever with the Nigeria Customs Service and reference to him as part of a “Revenue Assurance Fraud”, or any scheme by which money was allegedly siphoned from the Nigeria Customs Service is deficient in any factual basis whatsoever.
Emphatically, our client denies being part of any fraud including that alleged in your publication as involving “N51 billion”. In the same vein, our client asserts, in the most vehement manner possible, that he did not transfer, or know about any transfer of “N2.5 billion” to any foundation, which he is purportedly a signatory to.
Put differently and/or further, our client states that he is not a signatory to any account belonging to a foundation “owned by President Muhammadu Buhari’s daughter”.
In sum, our client knows nothing about any fraud in respect of the revenue of the Nigeria Customs Service; neither does he have any knowledge, latent or otherwise, of any transfer to any foundation owned by any of President Muhammad Buhari’s daughters.
The allegations in your publication also project, without any empirical evidence, that our client “was caught with fake Malta Passport and in his possession, more than £200,000.00 in cash” which he was conveying to the First lady, Hajia Aisha Buhari. Our client unequivocally avers that these allegations are false and ought not to have been published by your communication outlets if representations are to be made within altruistic journalistic limits especially, based on information easily accessible from official records.
For instance, Charge No. CR/126/126/19 – Federal Republic of Nigeria v. Rabbi Opara & Anor is currently pending before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja with regards to the Maltese passport issued to our client. A glean through the Court papers in the said suit would have given your company a fair view of the truth behind the issuance of the Maltese Passport to our client.
Furthermore, in demonstration of the fact that our client was not in possession of illegitimate funds in the United Kingdom, the Uxbridge Magistrates Court, coram McAllister J., on 7th September 2020, ordered a refund, with interest, of money held by our client; and which said money was not in the sum of £200,000.00 as wrongly represented in your publication.
From the content of your publication under issue, the undisguised import, aim, purport and intention it set out to achieve was/is to injure our client’s reputation and name, as well as deflate his estimation in the eyes of well-meaning people. With all respect, what is discernible from your publication under reference is acute malice, spite, viciousness and predetermination to lower and diminish the esteem of our client.
You might wish to note that our client is involved in legitimate business enterprises that are widely acclaimed, both in Nigeria and within international business circles. He is the Chairman and Chief Executive of several companies, some of which he founded, and others, which, as a result of his reputation for being honest and fair handed, he was invited to chair. These companies, apart from providing unique solutions to societal problems, provide jobs and means of livelihood to at least 2000 Nigerians, as well as contribute their quota to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product. These, amongst other leadership qualities, earned him the conferment of the revered traditional title of the Dan Amana of Dutse.
Our client’s position is that your publication was made, either with actual or constructive knowledge of the falsity of its content or without any effort to verify the authenticity of such damaging stories which any media outlet should be loath to publish. This is obvious, for instance, from the paucity of details as to time, place, account details, etc, in the publication. Such action is clearly indicative of bad faith and/or, recklessness, with respect. Arising from the foregoing, we have further instruction of our client to demand the following from you:
A retraction of @SaharaReporter’s tweet in respect of the publication under reference.
A public apology to our client to be issued vide your website and Twitter account @Sahara Reporters to be published for seven (7) consecutive days from the date of first publication.
Public apologies to be published in at least 3 newspapers with online and physical presence across Nigeria for seven (7) consecutive days.
Kindly note that, in the event that the legitimate demands of our client, as communicated herewith are not met within seven (7) days from the date of this letter, our client will be left with no option but to use all avenues available to him under the law to seek redress and halt a reoccurrence of the events complained of herein.
PP: Wole Olanipekun & Co.
Bode Olanipekun, SAN
Former governor Seriake Dickson has said his noticeable absence from recent functions organized by Bayelsa State Government was not an indication that he is fighting his successor, Douye Diri.
Rather, the former Governor said his absence from activities organized by Bayelsa State Government was deliberate and in consonance with his values and principles of non- interference in the administration of Diri, who took over from him on Feb. 14, 2020.
Dickson, who is now a senator representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District of the state, said this in a statement he issued on Thursday.
He also reiterate his support for Diri’s administration while disowning attacks against the Governor by some of his former aides.
The former Governor spoke against the background of claims by Dr John Idumange, a former General Manager of Bayelsa Broadcasting Corporation, alleging diversion of N3 billion agricultural loan obtained by Dickson’s administration.
Idumange, who was an aide on Research and Documentation to Dickson, who was governor from 2012 to 2020, claimed the present administration was diminishing the efforts of Dickson’s government.
He claimed that he had so far, recorded 17 cases of diversion of the N3 billion loan obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Idumange also claimed that he would report the alleged fraud to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) when the count reached 25.
Dickson, who washed his hands off the allegations, urged his supporters to close ranks and work for the success of Diri’s administration.
“I want to advise that no one who is supportive of me, a member of our party or who claims to be, should be publicly critical of our government. This is unacceptable.
“I am aware that some of our party stalwarts and members that I led in these unprecedented battles and victories, have one complain of non-inclusion or the other which is normal.
“The governor and the party are available to address these issues and as such, do not call for a public attack on our government because an attack on the governor and his government is an attack on our party and I do not approve of such.
”My role and my duty as former governor and the first governor to have done eight years, who midwifed the process of reelection, is to advise, support and pray for the success of this administration.
“My take is that every person in the current administration at all levels, beginning with the governor is part of our team,” he said.
The senator however, urged the governor, members of his team and the party leadership to take steps to unify and create an atmosphere of inclusiveness and togetherness.
Dickson maintained that as a political family, the governor remained the leader of the party.
“The governor is head of both the party and the government and he has my support and I urge all stakeholders to stop the divisive politics and give him their support,” he said.
He said where the present governor deemed fit, he could consult stakeholders for their inputs and advice.
Diri was sworn in on Feb. 14, 2020 following a Supreme Court Judgment of Feb. 13 which sacked the erstwhile governor-elect, Chief David Lyon.
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has denied collecting salary in his eight years as Osun State governor.
The minister, through his Media Adviser, Mr Sola Fasure, denied report claiming that he secretly received 96-month salary arrears towards the completion of his two terms.
“The report is entirely a piece of fiction, a good exemple of fake news and disreputable journalism. Let me state categorically again, that Ogbeni Aregbesola did not receive any salary in the entire duration of his eight-year stint as governor in Osun.
“His reason being that the state government provided accommodation, security, transportation, food and other conveniences for him and would not need to pay for these from his pocket.
“He also explained that all his children are grown up and have graduated and would not need to pay school fees again, reason he donated his salaries to the state government. The author of the report claims to have got the information from some anonymous government officials. He provides no evidence.”
Deputy Whip of the House of Representatives and member representing Isuikwuato/Umunneochi federal constituency (APC), Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha has refuted the media report of her arrest and detention by the operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS.
Onyejeocha who made the rebuttal while fielding questions from newsmen in her Ngodo Isuochi country home Friday evening dismissed the media report as “laughable”.
Reports of her alleged arrest and detention by DSS has been trending on social media since Thursday.
She said she was never involved in any criminal activity to warrant invitation by any security agency let alone being detained.
Onyejeocha said the malicious report was planted by her detractors who felt threatened by her rising political profile.
She urged members of the public to ignore such unfounded reports intended to distract her and said she was too busy to be distracted by such distractions.
“It’s laughable! Did I steal or break any law? Such a thing is only in the imagination of my detractors”, she said.
Ghanaian veteran actor, Prince Yawson popularly known as Waakye has said he has no regrets for actively participating in the New Patriotic Party’s campaign to retain power in the 2020 general elections.
Ghbase.com a few weeks ago reported that Waakye who is a known supporter of the NPP had expressed regrets over his support for the party and had gone on to render an apology to Ghanaians.
However, in an interview with Oman Channel monitored by GhanaWeb, the actor categorically denied pronouncing any regrets for supporting the NPP.
According to Waakye, his motive for campaigning for President Akufo-Addo was to see him retain his seat and having seen that achieved, not even losing his sanity will cause him to regret supporting the NPP campaign.
“I will never say anything like that even if I lose my sanity. Because the person I was supporting won so why will I now come out to express any regret?”
He said his call for unity following the end of the campaign season may have been misconstrued by people who are claiming he has regretted supporting the NPP.
Waakye who recently earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from My Life Theology University in Accra further maintained that his current position as a preacher entreats him to be more circumspect about his political endeavours.
“I went into the campaign at the back of the NPP but the political season is over. When another political season comes and it behoves on my heart to speak then I will know what to do. For now, I am a preacher and as a preacher, you don’t have to involve yourself in politics too much. I won’t be a preacher who indulges in things that are not warranted,” stated.
Watch Waakye’s interview below:
Mr Adamu Mustapha, National Auditor of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has denied accusing the National Chairman of the party, Mr Uche Secondus of financial impropriety.
Mustapha said this when he addressed newsmen on Thursday in Abuja.
He also denied alleging any form of misdemeanor against any member of National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.
“My attention has been drawn to misleading reports in a section of the media on three memos I presented to the NWC for deliberation.
“To say the least, I am shocked that routine memos can be so mischievously misrepresented in the media ostensibly to achieve a sinister purpose against our party.
“For the avoidance of doubt, all the issues raised in the memos were exhaustively deliberated in the NWC meeting.
“The deliberation was conclusive because on all the items raised, approvals were sought and granted by both the NWC and the National Executive Committee (NEC) of our great party.
“I want to state clearly, that I did not make any allegations of any form of financial impropriety against the National Chairman, neither did I made allegation of any form of misdemeanor against members of the NWC,” he said.
Mustapha said that the NWC was not divided as it was working in the collective interest of PDP.
He also urged media practitioners to always crosscheck facts, before going to press to avoid misleading the public.
The Minister-designate for Lands and Natural Resources Hon Samuel Abu Jinapor has denied any incident between him and a former Minister of Agriculture Alhaji Mohammed Muniru during the December 2019 Damba festival of the chiefs and people of the Buipe Traditional area in the Central Gonja District of the Savannah Region where he (Abu Jinapor’s) father is the Paramount Chief.
Samuel Abu Jinapor who was grilled by the Parliaments vetting committee on 24th February, 2021, for over three hours on many issues, in answering a question on his fracas with Alhaji Mohammed Muniru Limuna said; “I recalled a report on one of these portals which said I was engaged in some brawl with somebody in my constituency and the picture came out only for it to turn out that the picture was actually shot in Adabraka whilst I was at Fufulso/ Nyangwuripe and the enclaves Achubunyor and other places. So reports by these portals be looked at with greatest of respect be looked at carefully”.
He further said; “Mr Chairman the allegation that I gave a fisticuff with Alhaji Muniru Limuna former minister for agriculture and disrespected former President Mahama my first response is that the Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa Hon. member for North Tongu is a very good friend of mine.. we are extremely close, we are like family and am sure he will attest to the fact can that I will not engage in an argument let alone fisticuff”.
Mr Jinapor said; “Mr Chairman in all humility and modesty, anybody who deals with me even casually, will attest to the fact that I’m a gentleman. I don’t even engage in arguments, let alone fisticuff..he Hon. Alhaji Muniru Limuna is my uncle, he is my direct uncle and in Northern customs, it will be completely scandalous, it will be a sacrilege for me to even talk back at him. I met him two weeks ago at a funeral and we had a very cordial engagement. I have absolutely nothing against Alhaji Muniru Limuna, he is my uncle and we get on very well”.
On the issue that resulted in the incident to Buipe, that is Hon Jinapor’s alleged disrespect of refusing to stand up when former President John Dramani Mahama arrived at the Damba Durbar grounds, the Lands and Natural Resources Minister-Designate said; “Former President Mahama and me disrespecting him, let me say again Mr. Chairman say that the allegation and this claim was an allegation which was waged extensively and vigorously in the run-up to the 2020 campaign in my constituency, it was run by the opponent; we all do know the influence former President Mahama wields in the Savannah Region, that is not in doubt, that is not in doubt because that is his home Region but...
“So is it only politically expedient for one to say this person is against president Mahama or this person has insulted President Mahama and it is always for political gains and this is a public hearing and there are a lot of things I can’t say on this platform”.
“Anytime I see President Mahama, I will rise on his side today, I will rise on his side tomorrow; if not for nothing at all for the Office he occupied”.
“President Mahama, I’m sure would attest to that he knows I respect him so much. Mr Chairman, people say all kinds of things trust me with the greatest of respect. I create your indulgence that people see all kinds of things. It Is unfortunate I have to be answering some of these”.
“I did give him (former President Mahama) the respect and in fact is sad. in our custom when I meet him in private I don’t stand, I squat to greet him and he knows. He knows that is a misrepresentation of somebody who doesn’t know the custom is for you to squats…on this occasion, I went to meet him there and I rose and Hon. Majority Leader when he got up to speak I rose”.
In December 2019, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor is reported to have lost his cool and openly insulted the former Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Mohammed Muniru-Limuna at the Damba Festival in Buipe in the Central Gonja District of the Savannah Region.
Abu Jinapor according to MyNewsGh.com said; “Bullshit, foolish man” among other unprintable adjectives on the former Minister who is his Uncle.
The news portals said it gathered that Former President John Dramani Mahama graced the event and when he rose up to speak from the dais, other dignitaries stood up as a sign of respect but the New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary candidate for Damongo remained seated, an act the former Minister observed was a sign of disrespect.
“I approached him quietly and asked he stands up even if the man was not his candidate but by virtue of the fact he is a former President but in response, he told me Bullshit”; Alhaji Limuna confirmed to MyNewsGh.com.
He disclosed that he walked away and returned later to confront him as to who he was referring to but that open the floodgates to another round of insults.
“He told me in the face I am a foolish man and that he will repeat it 20 times if offered another opportunity. Abu then rushed on me as though he was going to punch me but was restrained by Joyce Bawah Mogtari,” Alhaji Muniru reportedly said.
The first daughter of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Fatimah Abubakar has denied media reports that she revalidated her membership with the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The former commissioner for health in Adamawa State in a statement said the report was unfounded, noting that she no longer has a political affiliation.
There were media reports that she revalidated her APC membership in Jada Local Government of the state with her signature duly attached to the documents.
She said her signature on the APC revalidation documents in circulation was forged.
Fatima recalled that in 2015 when she was appointed as commissioner, the condition was that she had to join the APC.
According to her, “since I concluded my duty as commissioner, I have veered into private practice, with no political affiliation.”
She said she was surprised to read her purported revalidation of APC membership.
“for the avoidance of doubt, I did not revalidate any membership of APC which was necessitated by my call to service in 2015,” Fatima said.
“Indeed, I have been in Abuja, never travelled to Jada where the purported revalidation was said to have taken place, and neither filled a form nor signed any document. The signature appended to the document in circulation is not my signature.”
She urged the public to disregard the report claiming she revalidated membership of APC.