Gbenga Daniel Vs Amosun: Another Appeal Court Loss For PDP

Senator Ibikunle AmosunIndeed this must be a very bad season for the Vote-Robbery Party of Nigeria, sorry, we mean the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria’s ruling and ruining party.

This morning at the Federal Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan, Justice Chidi Uwa Panel struck out the petition of Governor Gbenga Daniel of Ogun State, which sought to prevent the Appeal Court President from re-constituting a new tribunal to try the case of electoral robbery brought by Senator Ibikunle Amosun of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) against the PDP.

The appellate court ruled that the president of the court of appeal, Justice Umaru Abdullahi, has the right to set up a new panel to hear election petitions in Ogun state.  She said it is within the jurisdiction of the president of the court of appeal, if he deemed fit, to set up a panel to retry the election petitions for fairness and justice, stressing that the most important thing is for justice to be done.

She ordered that a new panel to look into the electoral petition of Senator Ibikunle Amosun immediately for fresh retrial. Governor Daniel had, in May, 2008, sued the Appeal Court president to a Federal High Court, Abeokuta, Ogun state, seeking an order to restrain him from setting up a new panel to hear Senator Amosun’s petition.

It would be recalled that Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN), Counsel to the ANPP Gubernatorial Candidate, Senator Amosun, had exposed the former panel as biased because its members were being housed and fed by the Ogun State government, a situation, which he said, would not give room for fairness in its judgement.

Earlier this year, Justice Itsifanus Thomas, who was heading the three-member panel hearing the appeal, withdrew from the case at the resumption of the matter in Ibadan, and was replaced by Justice Datijo Mohammed. He based his withdrawal on the fact that he was a member of the original panel that ordered the petition to be retried by the lower tribunal.

This ruling has pulled the carpet from under the feet of embattled governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola of Osun State, who had been hoping to delay the retrial of the electoral heist of April 14 2007, which was earlier this week ordered for a new tribunal for retrial because the first tribunal led by Justice Thomas Naron was compromised and had perverted justice against Engineer Rauf Aregbesola, the gubernatorial candidate of the Action Congress (AC).

The Halliburton SCANDAL And “Ali Baba” Generals of Nigeria

AliBaba Generals of Nigeria - Abacha, AbdulSalam, ObasanjoDapo Olorunyomi and his team at NEXT Magazine broke tip of the corruption iceberg last sunday by realeasing some of the names of former Nigerian rulers who were alleged culprits in the Halliburton Bribery scandal. Ever since then, Nigerian media has been awashed with the heinous crimes committed against the fatherland by Obasanjo and his acolytes, things are no longer at ease for the people mentioned who are still living (we all know that Abacha, one of the alleged culprits is dead).

We culled the investigative reports from NEXT Magazine for your enlightenment over the global rot in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry and the culpability of Nigeria’s rulers. Read On.

The Halliburton Bribe Takers

By Dapo Olorunyomi and Musikilu Mojeed
March 29, 2009 12:40PM The Sun – Sunday 29/03/2009

Our so-called leaders are nothing but common bribe takers, according to US investigators who have got to the bottom of the Halliburton scandal.

The fingered personalities include three former presidents; Obasanjo, Abacha,and Abubakar- as well as a who’s who of Nigeria’s political and business elite.

At least three of our former presidents, Sani Abacha, Abdusalami Abubakar, and Olusegun Obasanjo, received millions of dollars in bribes from American and European contractors retained to build Africa’s first liquefied natural gas plant in Bonny, Rivers State, according to US law enforcement officials.

Also enmeshed in the vast and formalized bribery scheme is a long line of ministers, bureaucrats, top politicians, state and local officials and former oil minister Dan Etete, according to American investigators.

This cast of characters, charged with running the affairs of 150 million people in the heart of Africa, received stacks of US dollar bills in briefcases and sometimes in bullion vans.

In other cases they received their payoffs via electronic bank transfers involving such financial institutions as Citibank.

In all, these eminent Nigerians accepted at least N27 billion in bribes from the oil services companies in exchange for billions of dollars in contracts to build our liquefied natural gas plant, US investigators say.

American authorities are now pursuing their own citizens and corporations, notably the oil services company Halliburton, in connection with the scandal.

Halliburton has agreed to pay $579 million in fines and many of its agents face long jail terms.

Our law enforcement authorities, notably Attorney General Michael Aandoaka, have lately been making noises but have in reality done little to pursue those indicted in this scandal, which reveals us as a nation that fully justifies its reputation as one of the world’s leading cesspits for corruption and unrestrained graft.

How it all started

The origin of the Nigerian Liquified scandal can be traced back to 1994, when bids were submitted to build Africa’s first liquefied natural gas plant in Bonny, Rivers State, at a cost of $6 billion.

A joint venture company, TSKJ, formed in equal partnership between a French engineering company, Technip; an Italian engineering company, Snamprogetti; a US engineering company, KBR, of the Halliburton group; and the Japanese engineering and construction company, JGC, amplified corruption in Nigeria to unprecedented levels.

Soon after TSKJ was formed, it set up three companies registered in Madeira, Portugal to recruit two “consulting companies,” Tri-Star Investment Ltd, and Marubeni Inc, with the mandate to bribe Nigerian “officials of the executive branch of government, NNPC and NLNG officials, and political party leaders,” according to a sealed indictment filed at the United States District Court in Houston, Texas.

Three early decisions taken by TSKJ were: hiring a British lawyer, Jeffery Tesler, to coordinate the affairs of TriStar; signing up Wojciech Chodan, an American deal maker resident in the UK to assist him and contracting Messrs Matsuda, Endo, and Lida to run Marubeni.

According to the court deposition of Mr.Tesler, in a clinical application of the principles of division of labour,TSKJ mandated the Tri-Star team, which it disingenuously called “cultural advisors,” to focus only on bribing the “senior level officials”, while the Marubeni team was instructed to restrict itself to bribing the “lower level Nigerian officials.”

Thus while Tristar was incorporated in Gibraltar and had a budget of $130 million; Marubeni, incorporated in Japan, had a budget of $50 million.

Our investigations in the United States, France, the UK and in Nigeria spanned a three week period and were based on court indictments, depositions and interviews.

Bribery in a customary manner

Sani Abacha, Nigeria’s late Head of State, was the first significant point of contact for the TSKJ team, according to lawyers of the United States department of justice, who claimed in court depositions that, in August 1994, the CEO of KBR, Albert Jackson Stanley, and top executives of TSKJ struck an agreement with Abacha “to do business in a customary manner.”

Towards this end, a “cultural committee” of the sales and senior personnel officers of the four joint venture companies, as well as agents of Marubeni was put together to “consider how to implement, but hide, the scheme to pay bribes” to Nigerian officials.

The “cultural committee” in October 1994 worked out a programme of what it called “the downloading and offloading of payments through subcontractors and vendors.”

According to the U. S. Department of Justice, once a plan of how to distribute the bribes and a scheme to evade US bank monitors were resolved, the “cultural committee” gave Mr. Tesler the green light to meet the then petroleum minister, Dan Etete, to discuss and agree on the modalities.

This meeting held on November 02 1994, when Mr. Tesler handed Mr. Etete the bribe schema to secure Train 1 and Train 2 of the Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) contract.

It was made clear that $60 million was available to be shared. Out of this, $40 million would go to Mr. Abacha, while others would have to scramble for the remaining $20million.

A cultural committee to manage the graft

Keeping faith with the grand plan of the cultural committee, Mr. Stanley, the CEO of KBR, who was handpicked for this job by former U.S.Vice President Dick Cheney, rushed to Abuja three weeks after the November 2 meeting , to confirm if Mr. Abacha was comfortable with Tesler as a go-between.

Once this was understood on both sides, a series of decisions was made ahead of the signing of the Train 1 and Train 2 contracts.

In January 1995, Chodan and Stanley agreed to exclude any US citizens from participating in the bribe scheme. In March of the same year, TSKJ formally signed the $60 million contract with TriStar.

Furthermore, in December, TSKJ paid TriStar $1.5 million as commission for its “services,” and in April 1996, TSKJ formally signed a $29 million contract with Marubeni to settle the “lower level Nigerian officials.”

According to filings in the Houston District court, by the time the Train 1 and Train 2 contracts had been signed, Mr.Tesler himself wired $63,000 into a Swiss account of Mr.Etete.

French police prosecutors have determined that around the same time, in order to cover up his tracks, he also opened negotiations with Etete to purchase five per cent of the then minister’s holding in the OPL 245 Malibu oil block.

For this deal, Mr.Tesler wired a total of $2.5 million into the accounts of the former minister through the TriStar accounts.

Mr. Etete used three different names, according to the deposition, his personal name or Buzaki Etete, or one Omoni Amafegha, who Mr.Tesler told the French Court was a listed name on the board of Malibu.

Dele Adesina, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and Mr. Etete’s lawyer in respect of the Malabu oil block licence which the Obasanjo administration revoked in 1999, would not comment on this matter when asked.

He said: “I was only retained with respect of the revocation of the Malabu block; I have absolutely no knowledge of Mr.Tesler.”

Mr. Tesler’s brief was to make sure things moved smoothly. A key challenge at this point was unfettered access to Mr. Abacha at that time, and as he told French investigators, the man who made this possible was the former Inspector General of Police, M. D. Yusuf, who later became Chairman of the NLNG.

Mr.Tesler claimed he “downloaded $75,000 in two installments” into Mr.Yusuf’s pocket for this purpose. Information on the former policeman’s involvement in the TSKJ scandal, is not new.

In 2004, when a House of Representatives Committee headed by Chudi Offodile investigated the NLNG contract, it found out that Mr. Yusuf as NLNG chairman acted improperly in favour of TSKJ.

Petroleum minister at the time, Don Etiebet, had sought to ensure fair play in the contract bid between TSKJ, and the only other competitor, BCSA.

It “appeared that a decision had been taken even before the Board meeting of 24th Sept. 1994” that determined the contract, the Offodile report stated.

What happened after Trains 1 and 2

Having put the Train 1 and 2 contracts in the can, TSKJ turned its gaze on the Train 3 contract. For this, Stanley flew to Abuja again in the second quarter of 1997, with the sole mission of asking Mr.Abacha to recommend a trusted front man to collect his bribe.

Shortly after he died on June 8, 1998, Mr.Tesler promptly erased him from the list of bribe beneficiaries, substituting him with the new helmsman, Abdulsalami Abubakar.

To keep the entire scheme on the rails, Stanley flew back to Abuja on February 28 1999, asking Mr. Abubakar, to recommend a trusted front man to collect his bribe.

Anxiety about the election

With an election already fixed for May 1999, TSKJ was anxious to wrap up the Train 3 contract before a change of power in Abuja.

Another meeting was held in London on March 05 1999, to come up with a strategy to achieve this objective.

One week after, TSKJ won the Train 3 contract for $1.2 billion. On March 18, 1999, TSKJ paid a kickback of $32.5 million into TriStar’s account, to bribe the Nigerian officials who facilitated the award of the contract.

Even though the lower class officials were eventually catered for in the bribe scheme, they always got the short end of the stick.

Thus, while the senior Nigerian officials had their bribes promptly paid, it took one year after TSKJ had signed the Train 3 contract before Marubeni lined the pockets of the lower class officials.

Computing the pay-offs up to January 2001, American prosecutors believe that a $2.5 million bribe was “off loaded” directly to the Swiss account of Mr. Abubakar’s frontman.

For four days last week, NEXT sought unsuccessfully, through his media consultant, to reach the former Head of State, sending him details of the court indictments but he declined to comment.

After the transition to civil rule in 1999, the United States Department of Justice attorneys stated that Mr.Stanley met with the new President, Olusegun Obasanjo and the then Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Gauis Obaseki, in Abuja on November 11, 2001, to designate “a representative with whom the joint venture [TSKJ] should negotiate the [obligatory] bribes in support of the award of the [forthcoming] Trains 4 and 5 contracts.”

One month later, on December 20 in London, Mr. Obaseki met Mr. Chodan and Mr.Stanley over lunch, to discuss the details of the Trains 4 and 5 contracts.

On Christmas Eve, TSKJ signed a $51 million deal with TriStar, to bribe Nigerian officials for the Trains 4 and 5 contracts.

Three months later, in March 2002, TSKJ won the Train 4 and 5 contract for $3.6 billion. Mr. Obaseki declined to respond to these charges when NEXT spoke to him on the phone.

He appeared to be more disturbed about how we got his phone numbers. “I am sorry I have no response to give” he said.

Mr. Obaseki’s email address and phone numbers are all listed on his own personal website. We also could not reach former president Obasanjo, for his comment on the bribe claims by Mr.Tesler.

Taking care of the political big boys Following the signing of contracts for Trains 4 and 5, all seemed to be going well between the new administration and TSKJ.

June 2002 would turn out to be a significant month in this narrative of sleaze between TSKJ and Nigerian government officials.

That month, TSKJ signed another $25 million contract with Marubeni to settle the bribes of the low cadre officials for the Trains 4 and 5 of the NLNG project.

It also signed a $23 million contract with TriStar to bribe the top officials for the Train 6 project.

However, Mr.Obaseki’s meeting with Mr.Tesler in London represented an important turning point in the scandal.

The former NNPC’s GMD’s message to the meeting, according to Mr. Tesler’s indictment papers, was that the time had come to bring in the political boys.

Apparently the Peoples Democratic Party gods needed to be appeased.

Indictment records from both the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the United States attorneys showed that in August 2002, Mr. Tesler wired $5 million to the account of a Port Harcourt based sub-contractor named Intels Energy Limited.

The money was received in the company’s account with Citibank Nigeria.

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and the late Shehu Musa Yar Adua are alleged to have substantial interests in Intels Energy Limited.

NEXT made repeated but unsuccessful attempts to speak to Intels officials on the phone.

A letter delivered to their Ikoyi, Lagos office asking for their response to this allegation is still unanswered .

A Mr. Joseph who was in the office said , “How did you people even get this information, ” adding that the letter must be forwarded to Intels Port Harocurt office.

Intels, according to our investigations, was the key sub contractor for Marubeni in bribing the lower level officials of the NNPC and NLNG.

Bullion van bribery

Both the Department of Justice and the Security and Exchange Commission’s attorneys, corroborated each other’s claim that $1million in $100 bills was deposited “to the NNPC official” at the NICON Hilton Hotel in a “pilot’s briefcase” for onward delivery to the PDP before the 2003 general elections.

The remaining $4 million was, according to the court filings, delivered in naira in a bul-lion van.

Audu Ogbe who was the PDP chairman at the time denied any knowledge of this and loudly called for an investigation.

A spokesman for Vincent Ogbulafor, the current chairman, said in Abuja last week that Ogboluafor also discounted this claim.

Phenomenal greed and sleaze

The planning, the scale and the sophistication of TSKJ’s web of corruption and its capacity to ensnare three successive heads of state, coupled with the elaborate scheme to set up corrupting agencies for lower and senior officials, stands out in the annals of official corruption in Nigeria.

The ruling class was identified and broken down into its constituent parts: political, bureaucratic, and technocratic so as to isolate the beneficiaries of the graft.

TSKJ came fully prepared and well primed to sustaining this code named scheme over the decade it would take to come to fruition.

The multijurisdictional impact of the corruption is still unprecedented in Nigeria.

Keeping mute

Attorneys for TSKJ, KBR, and Halliburton in Nigeria, Templars Law Offices on Victoria Island, Lagos declined to answer questions about the conduct of their clients, saying “we cannot make any comment on TSKJ because they are no longer our clients.”

Yet, Templars maintains a relationship with both TSKJ and Halliburton on its website.

It indeed claims to maintain a “recent relationship, ” regarding multi-jurisdictiona l investigations in Nigeria, Switzerland, France, and the UK.

An office spokesperson declined to comment on when Templars severed its relationships with TSKJ and Halliburton.

But he was emphatic that the principal partner, Oghogho Akpata, who is the office lead on the TSKJ/KBR/Halliburton brief, would not be available for comments.

Investigating KBR

KBR or its principal officers are facing investigation and prosecution in at least five countries today.

Officers from Britain’s Serious Fraud Office(SFO), arrested Mr. Tesler, now 60, at his offices in Tottenham, London, on March 05.

He is to be extradited to the USA to face further questioning by the Department of Justice.

Also arrested with Mr.Tesler was Mr.Chodan, 71, who as an agent for Halliburton, wrote detailed diaries, describing meetings with the bribe consortium and representatives of the international oil companies.

From the United Kingdom, Britain’s Serious Fraud Office confirmed that there is an on-going investigation into the allegations of bribery and corruption against British businesses in Nigeria.

Since 2004, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has been investigating the conduct of Halliburton/KBR.

The investigation is ongoing, according to sources in Abuja.

Recently, the Swiss Justice department followed the steps of the Police Judiciare of France, which in 2003, started an investigation which revealed fraudulent Halliburton payments to Jeffery Tesler.

In their home country, the United States, KBR and Halliburton admitted last month to violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, by engaging in a decade-long bribing scheme to secure contracts in Nigeria.

The companies also agreed to pay a combined fine of $579 million to settle criminal and civil charges brought by both the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) for violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

The indictment of Mr.Tesler and Mr.Chodan, in all likelihood, will also open a floodgate of other suits.

This month the president gave full backing to the Attorney General, Michael Aondoakaa, to again investigate Halliburton for tarnishing the image of the country by bribing its officials.

Mr. Aaondoaka has assembled a team of local lawyers and briefed American-based financial crimes experts, to institute a suit against KBR and Halliburton for soiling the name of the country through the bribery schemes.

Also last Tuesday, the Nigerian Senate called on the Federal Government to identify the Nigerians involved and proceed to prosecute them.

Smart Adeyemi,one of the eight senators who sponsored the Bill said “the matter is so huge it can erase the prestige of the Senate and indeed of the Nigerian government to be legitimate, if this is swept under the carpet.”

The chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Anti-corruption, Sabo Nakudu, also takes the position that the allegations deserve “serious investigation” , although he was worried that “we haven’t got any petition in that regard and no report has been sent to us.

We just read about the thing in the newspapers. Unless we are able to come across some documentation to look at that kind of issue, there is nothing we can do.

We are just reading all these information in the newspapers like anybody else.”

In the 2003-2007 House of Representatives, when Chudi Offodile, as chairman of the House committee on pubic petitions, investigated the Halliburton scandal, he said he repeatedly ran into a brick wall.

The Offodile committee, however, recommended that all companies in the TSKJ consortium, as well as Halliburton be excluded from future contracts in the country.

The House sitting of September 2004, approved the committee’s recommendations.

In his response to the current phase of the scandal, Mr.Offodile, in a pained response, lamented how the NNPC and the Federal Government subverted all the best intensions of the legislature.

In spite of the legislators recommendations, NNPC went ahead to give KBR the contract to build the “topsides of the FPSO for Agbami Deep offshore field, owned by NNPC, Chevron-Texaco Petrobras and Statoil… [and that the] same KBR formed a Joint Venture with Snamprogetti, and JGC, all three Companies were members of the notorious TSKJ consortium and still won a $1.7Billion EPC contract to build the Escravos Gas to Liquids Project, owned by the NNPC and Chevron-Texaco, ” said Mr. Offodile.

He recounted a meeting in June 2005 when he accompanied then House Speaker Aminu Bello and Deputy Speaker Austin Opara, to brief President Obasanjo on the true situation of the Halliburton/ KBR.

“We were all seated at the President’s conference room, the Halliburton team led by Mr. Andy Lane, the Chief Operating Officer, the NNPC team, led by the Group managing Director, Funsho Kupolokun,” a few minutes later, one of the presidency staff walked up to the Deputy Speaker and informed him that I would not be part of the meeting.”

Offodile said adding that he was thrown out of the meeting. He described the situation as frustrating and painful because “once again, the Halliburton enforcers had their way.”

It appears that Mr. Aoandoaka, who reportedly travelled to London and Washington last week also has an eye on the civil forfeiture processes for some of the monies and investments derived from the bribes.

Officials at the Serious Fraud Office in London declined comments on Mr. Aoandoaka’s statement, saying investigations are still going on.

NEXT can however authoritatively confirm, that no mutual legal assistant requests have yet been filed from the Attorney General’s office to give substance to his stated desire.

Sources working in UK and US law enforcement agencies told NEXT the attorney general’s request for support on the Wilbros case has not been honoured due to a perception of official stalling and stonewalling on the part of Nigerian anti-corruption and law enforcement agencies.

Local attorney’s reviewing Aoandoaka’s strategy say it is self serving and funny.

“It is empty braggadocio couched in legal phraseology, ” says Jiti Ogunye, a lawyer on Aoandoaka’s strategy.

“When you say you are going to sue a company for damaging the image of a country, you are speaking in the realm of libel. A country is a subject in international law, I’m not aware of a situation in which a country as an entity sues an individual or another country for libel. I think his statement should just be dismissed.”

But Carol Ajie, another lawyer thinks that Aondoaka’s pursuit of Haliburton might be “in order to compel Haliburton to disclose the names of bribe takers since the giver and taker of bribes are both guilty.”

Breaking News: NBA Moves Against Oyinlola’s Lawyer – Aftermath Of Appeal Court Verdict

nba-letterNemesis seems to have begun its fury of vengeance as the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) commenced investigations into the unethical romance between impostor Governor Oyinlola’s leading counsel, Otunba Kunle Kalejaiye (SAN), and members of the inglorious Osun State First Election Petition Tribunal, led by Honourable (in)Justice Thomas Damar Naron, (apology to late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti).

According to snippets of information that filtered out of the NBA Disciplinary panel, work has commenced in earnest to unearth the allegedly disgraceful act of secret telephone communications between Kalejaiye and the Tribunal Chairman – Naron.

The recent verdict of retrial by the Justice Victor Omage-led Appeal Court panel conclusively pointed to many instances at the lower tribunal where justice was miscarried and perverted against Engineer Rauf Aregbesola. This was a water-shed that pour the cold water on embattled governor Oyinlola on Monday, having been caught pants down. He struggled with many words to reassure his supporters after the verdict of the Appeal court that he is still the ‘legitimate’ governor of Osun State.

Kalejaiye - The Face of A LiarThe cowardice of Kalejaiye was many times exposed when he was challenged by THE NEWS magazine to sue for defamation if the alleged call logs of the tripartite secret telephone communications between Naron-Oyinlola-Kalejaiye during the trial of the case were untrue. He hid his threats inside his shell like a tortoise.

A legal luminary whom we recently interviewed after the verdict last Monday told us of the 3-phase battle of which the first had just been concluded. He said that the second and third phases would go pari-pasu. that is Obtaining justice at the yet to be constituted re-trial tribunal and punishing the culprits who perverted justice at the First Election Petition Tribunal.

The NBA Disciplinary Panel had set a two-week target to get to the root of the matter. Understandably, Kalejaiye had become so tensed and uncomfortable by the heat-beam of investigative searchlight focused on him. He had hoped to escape this ugly end with a declaration of victory for Oyinlola last Monday, Alas! It was a disaster for his hope were dashed by the unanimous indictment by the Appeal Court led by Honourable Justice Victor Omage.

Now, the chicken has come home to roost.

Please, Help Osun State ICT

Dear Editor,

Information and Communication Technology is the tool for development for many underdeveloped countries. That is if the governments of these underdeveloped countries actually intend to improve the standard of existence of their constituents. ICT is meant to solve the problem of unaccountability, inefficiency, corruption and negligence in government administration.

It is to empower the youth and create opportunities that will integrate all industrial and academic sectors. Considering the affluence and abundance of human resources available, ICT represents the meal ticket for a country like Nigeria. India is a commendable precedent. Most importantly, ICT brings transparency and organisation to government administration in providing services.

Well if the policies on ICT by the federal republic of Nigeria or the various whitepapers by relevant government agencies and stakeholders are to go by, ICT is given priority over everything to be the apparatus to support the efficient delivery of services from all government agencies. Unfortunately, no thanks to self-absorbed and greedy leaders, ICT is more of a burden to the tax-payers and populace in general than reinforcement. Ironically, ICT is used to perpetrate what it is meant to assuage: CORRUPTION. A good example of how not to ICT and e-Governance is the Osun State Government.

Listening to the budget read out by the governor towards the end of last year, one could conclude that ICT is being hinged on as the bedrock for all levels of administrative and governmental services. In a nutshell, absolute e-Governance in its entirety for Osun State will be employed. Only problem is, he sounded like a broken record with enough supply of electrical power to keep it going.

For the last six years, he has repeated the same rhetoric without an ounce of action. However, in the same period of time, an implausible amount has been squandered on the scheme. So what really happened to all the money appropriated for the scheme so far? And since it is blatant that results are not being obtained, why are more funds being dedicated to the project?

Spearheading the rot is the permanent secretary to the Bureau of Computer Services and Information Technology (BCSIT), Mr Abiodun Oladapo. But it is believed that he has had the full support of Governor Oyinlola. Between the two of them, the state is experiencing corruption at the highest level. Mr Oladapo has ensured that he is the sole driver of ICT in the state by marginalising the necessary stakeholders to develop ICT in the state. Delusions of grandeur will be an understatement with Mr Oladapo. He has made himself the go-to IT knowledgebase in Osun state and would not tolerate any sign of superiority in knowledge form professionals.

The truth is, this man lacks the knowledge and leadership acumen to be leading the state’s ICT framework. Many young, talented and promising professionals have been disappointed when they tried to work with government agencies. You want a mouse or a keyboard; you have to go to him. It is that inane. The Bureau is a one-man business awarding itself contracts through proxies and delivering very sub-standard services at exorbitant fees. The fact speaks for itself; it has been six years since this so called ICT façade started yet there are no services for the masses and the internet network is epileptic.

Why isn’t there a committee on ICT in the state? If it does exist, it is non-functional. What is the federal government monitoring body doing and why isn’t the EFCC in the state yet. The fact is these two individuals are wasting so much of the resources not sufficient for Osun state. Osun defender should please do their investigation and reveal to the whole world these guys are up to.

Next Phase Prayer Points For Aregbesola’s Victory

Gentlemen,

I am an Ekiti indigene and ardent supporter of Engr Rauf Aregbesola’s heroic effort to re-establish progressive governance in Osun State.

Curiously, i just discovered this website today and could not but imagine what i have been missing.

I am one of the millions of people who heeded the Engr’s call for prayers in the week preceeding Monday’s judgement. I prayed fervently for justice and righteousness to reign in Ibadan Appeal Court and i make bold to say that God answered our prayers. To Him alone be all the glory.

I want to urge here that the battle to free our people from the currupt and despotic rule of the Poverty Dev Party should continue on this multi-dimensional approach until victory is assured. I want to suggest that our next prayer focus should be that Heaven should move the mind of Justice Abdulahi to select God-fearing and courageous judges for the to-be-reconstituted Tribunal. Judges like Nabaruma of the Edo election Appeal court. who will look at the despots squarely in the face and fearlessly deliver justice.

While, the political strategists continue to lead us at the front, we too will not rest on our oars until total and final liberation is achieved for the people of Osun State.

I commend your gallantry.

Yours in the Struggle

Segun Adeyeye

Port-Harcourt, Nigeria

Appeal Court Verdict: The World Stood Still For Aregbesola

Stand Still For AregbesolaThe verdict of Nigeria’s appeal Court over the Aregbesola vs. Oyinlola case was long-awaited and prayed for, but when it came calling, the digital world seemed to have held its breath momentarily, as the online version of Osun Defender Newspaper became the home to information-hungry web surfers globally.

That case has proved to be a landmark one as global watchers of judicial corruption and international students of electoral disputes came feasting on the snippets from the courtroom proceedings on OSUN DEFENDER DOT ORG today.

Osun State was practically shut down today as schools, offices, shops were shut down because of the high-tensioned police presence and uncertainties associated with the expected verdict by Justice Victor Omage-led Appeal Court panel sitting in Ibadan.

Osun Defender took citizen journalism to another glorious dimension in the digital history of mass communication in Nigeria. With over 36,000 hits fom 122 nations, (as at the last count at 10.05 P.M. Nigerian Time) spreading as far as Australia to Austria, from France to U.K; from Brazil to California in the United States of America; from South Africa to Abidjan. A deludge of commentaries by supporters and sympathisers from all over Nigeria: Owerri, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Lagos, Abuja, Iseyin, Kano, Lafia, Brinin-Kebbi, Ogbomoso, and even from the Osun State Government Secretariat, Bola Ige House, Abere.

aregbesola victoryThe goodwill was overwhelming. Engineer Rauf Aregbesola’ digital profile has risen over the last 10 months to become among the most celebrated and, in fact, he is digitally-speaking, the most optimized politician in Nigeria.

The print media was not left out. P.M. News, Vanguard, THE PUNCH, NEXT and hordes of first-time visitors from Nigeria’s Number One Website, THE NAIRALAND FORUM which commands over 6 million hits monthly – all came to witness and celebrate the digital miracle being enacted after the order of BARACK OBAMA web exploits on the Nigerian scene.

While many of the young generation’s commentaries expressed dissatisfaction with the ruling for not going the whole hog by declaring with boldness that Engineer Rauf Aregbesola as the legitmately elected governor of Osun State, particularly after indicting Naron tribunal pervertion of justice. Others pointed out that the role of the appeal court is corrective and could not have gone beyond the level of accepting the forensic and other evidences which had criminally been rejected by Naron tribunal.

Many of the young generation expressed their bitterness and disappointment with a system that “… sustained a vote-robber to spend full-term of a stolen mandate to exhaust his loot before returning the mandate to the rightful owner”, describing it as ‘judicial madness’.

Most of the readers and commenters considered the judicial drama as justice delayed and postponed which must not be allowed to be derailed or denied.

Breaking News: Oyinlola Going… Going… Appeal Court Upholds Aregbesola’s Grounds of Appeal

Hon. Justice Omage: (11:21 A.M.) – Endorsed the grounds of appeal by the appellant, saying they are credible and satisfactory grounds.

Hon. Justice Omage: (12:08 P.M.) – I am satisfied with the Police Security Report marked “SECRET”. It is a public document and therefore it is accepted by this court.

Hon. Justice Omage: (12:28 P.M.) – Forensic analysis reports by Adrian Forty, and Physical inspection by Tunde Yadeka are important and decisive as documetary support by petitioners to prove their case. We should not allow tecnicalities to batter the substance of the case.

Hon. Justice Omage: (12:33 P.M.) – I hereby direct the case to the President of the Appeal Court to re-constitute a new tribunal to retry this case.

From the accounts above, live from the appeal court sitting in Ibadan, this is a landmark case because, NARON TRIBUNAL HAS BEEN INDICTED, and AREGBESOLA HAS BEEN VINDICATED.

Count Down To D-Day: Oyinlola’s Thugs Attack OSUN DEFENDER And The NATION Newspapers

osun-defenderAs the impending Appeal Court defeat of “Do-or-die” vote-robbers of Osun State dawns this morning, reports all over Osun State, from Ilessa to Osogbo shows a fortified presence of over 6,000 policemen and security men with reinforcements from neighbouring States of four units of Anti-Riot Mobile Police force strategically located across the state.

The heavy police presence was triggered by a series of violent attacks on supporters of Engineer Rauf Aregbesola, the Action Congress Gubernatorial Candidate.  PDP thugs attacked vendors selling OSUN DEFENDER and The NATION Newspapers yesterday (Sunday) morning.

Right from the last sitting of the Appeal Court when the Oyinlola sensed that his manipulation of the truth has begun to fail and fall flat at the Appeal Court, thugs were dispatched to attack AC supporters even at the premisces of the Appeal Court sitting in Ibadan. 22 of such miscreants were immediately apprehended by the vigilant policemen.

The Court of Appeal, Ibadan is billed to deliver its judgment today on a petition brought before it by Aregbesola against the fraudulent imposition of Brigadier-General Olagunsoye Oyinlola on the people of  Osun State by INEC.

OSUN DEFENDER has undergone a digital transformation since August 2008 after the controversial and discredited ruling of Justice Thomas Naron-led Tribunal. It has gone from being a provincial newspaper to global stardom, grossing daily visitors from over 108 countries and over 32,000 daily hits. It is today among the Topmost read papers online by Nigerians in Diaspora, which also is acknowledged by AFP, REUTERS, YAHOO News and GOOGLE NEWS as breaking political news from Osun State, Nigeria.

Activities in Osogbo, the state capital, were normal with little vehicles on the road even as sources said that the judgment fever had gripped many towns in the state including Ife, Ikire, Ikirun, Iwo, Ejigbo, Igbajo, Ila, Iragbiji, Gbongan, among others.

The state had been abuzz with anticipation and excitement since Thursday when the date of the appeal court judgment on the governorship petition became public knowledge.

Prayer Points For Aregbesola’s Victory On Monday, At The Appeal Court

prayers for AregbesolaFor all those who have set apart today Sunday, 29th March, 2009, for fasting and prayer for the judicial victory of the ‘Symbol of Oranmiyan’, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola, at the Appeal Court on Monday, the following paryer points and prophecies are given to add to your prayers.

This is similar to the prayer and fasting by our Muslim brothers and sisters on Friday, 27th March, 2009. It is also a complement to all the inter-denominational and fervent prayers for the triumph of TRUTH over falsehood and murderous deception orchestrated by the Olagunsoye Oyinlola administration.

  1. We issue a spiritual quit notice against every power that has stolen the popular mandate of Osun people on April 14, 2009, in the name of Jesus.
  2. O God Arise, in Your Mercy, and overthrow the stubborn goliath of Osun State politics, in the name of Jesus.
  3. Every structure of sorrow, oppresing and enslaving the poor people of Osun State for the past six years, Hear the Word of the Lord, SCATTER UNTO DESOLATION!!! in the name of Jesus.
  4. Contagious laughter and unspeakable joy, visit us tommorow at the appeal court sitting in Ibadan, in the name of Jesus.
  5. prays

  6. O God, guide Justice Victor Omage and his judicial panel to proclaim the truth without fear and rule in favour of the Appellants, In the case of Aregbesola Vs. Oyinlola, tomorrow in Jesus mighty name.
  7. O God of Elijah, let your fire fall and plague the enemies of Osun State with madness unto death, in tha name of Jesus.
  8. Every evil plot asigned to frustrate divine justice being delivered at the appeal court tommorrow, BACK FIRE, in the name of Jesus.
  9. Our Father and our God, annoint Rauf Aregbesola with oil of victory like you did for Cyrus in Isaiah 45:1-3, to shatter the gates of slavery and oppression in Osun State, so that prosperity and genuine development will be enthroned, in Jesus name.

This prayers was sent by an Oranmiyan supporter from Oman, please, add your own prayers too to trhe growing list of marathon prayers for victory for Engineer Rauf Aregbesola.

Police Detention Of Bisi Akande And Lai Mohammed Is Condemnable

Yesterday’s clampdown on opposition leaders, septuagenarian Chief Bisi Akande and Alhaji Lai Mohammed, National Chairman and Publicity Secretary respectively, of the Action Congress party has been condemned by human rights groups and international watchers of democracy.

A press release signed by the General Secretary of National Democratic Forum (N.D.F), Comrade David Bankole, described the act as an “intolerant descent into a police-state by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)…”

Nigeria's Opposition, Action Congress AC leaders Akande, Mohammed and Tinubu

The N.D.F accused the Nigeria Police Force of playing out the repressive scripts of the PDP, wondering why has the police failed to unravel or conclude the numerous assasinations of other leaders (Harry Marshall, Bola Ige, Suliat Adedeji, etc).

The AC leaders who voluntarily reported to the Police Force Headquarters Annex, Obalende, after being subtly invited to find out more about their allegation that plots had been hatched by an unnamed desperate PDP caucus to assassinate former Lagos State Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu. They came in company of their legal counsel, Prof. Yemi Osibajo (SAN) and other human rights lawyers.

Sources said the police actually looked for the two politicians during the week, especially after the meeting of political parties but when they learnt that they had left Abuja for Lagos, the state command was directed to contact them for their side of the entire saga.

Meanwhile, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who was also the party’s presidential flagbearer in the 2007 polls, has asked the police to release them.

Also in a statement released by the party in Abuja yesterday, AC said the police had invited its National Chairman Akande and Mohammed to share information with them (police) over the allegation.

“We condemn this brazen attempt to intimidate the opposition. We condemn the use of the police by the PDP-led Federal Government to score a cheap point. We say unequivocally that it is all part of the PDP plan to rig the forthcoming governorship re-run in Ekiti State.

“We call for the immediate release of our spokesman, while putting on notice those bent on silencing the voice of the opposition that no amount of intimidation or harassment will cow us at the AC.”

Release Detained 24 Anti-Corruption Activists Now! – CDWR

teachersOne Arrest Too Many!

The Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR), Osun State Chapter, hereby condemn in absolute terms the latest attacks on fundamental rights of twenty four (24) pro-democracy activists by the Osun State government in collusion with the state judiciary and the police command. The twenty four activists including the chairman of CDWR in Osun State, Alhaji Waheed Lawal (who also doubles as State Chairman of National Conscience Party (NCP)) and Coordinator of Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), Mr. Debo Adeniran, were on Monday, 23rd March, 2009 asked to be remanded in Ilesa Maximum Prison on the order of Magistrate Olalekan Ijiyode of the Osogbo Magistrate Court 11.

It will be recalled that the activists were first arraigned in court on 14th of July, 2008 for undertaking a peaceful procession to condemn the criminal hobnobbing of the justices of the Justice Naron-led Osun State Election Petition Tribunal with the counsels to Osun State governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola. They were then detained for two weeks before they were granted bail and released. Since then, there has not been any further pursuance of the case by the state prosecutors. However, consequent upon the Appeal Court, Ibadan ruling which cancelled the illegally conducted local government elections held in late 2007 – a case in which Alhaji Waheed Lawal, as the Chairman of the National Conscience Party (NCP) in the state is one of the plaintiffs – the state government, using the state police command and the pliable state judiciary had to embark on another round of repression of perceived opposing and dissent views.

The manner in which these activists were detained further betrays the treachery of the judiciary in the state. The same Magistrate Court granted these activists bail on 23rd July, 2008. While none of the activists jumped bail or failed to appear in court, the Magistrate again ordered their detention! This is a sheer miscarriage of justice. However, this is not the first time the judiciary in the state will be used to settle political scores. It will be recalled that immediately after the 2007 election over 500 persons predominantly supporters of opposition parties and civil society activists have been detained by the Osun State government in collusion with the state judiciary and the police command, under frivolous and trump-up allegations – violence, bomb blast, etc.

It is funny that these while these 24 activists, who protested against corruption of the judiciary and pecuniary commercialization of justice, are being victimized and repressed, the nation’s judiciary that claims to be the custodian of rule of law and justice has not dug deep into the allegations against the justices of the Election Petition Tribunal, who were alleged to have played treacherous roles during the proceedings of the Tribunal. What manner of judiciary is this?

Consequently, we in the CDWR hereby call for the immediate release of all the detained twenty-four (24) activists and end to culture of repression in the state. We call for the immediate removal of the state police commissioner who has become a willing tool in the hands of the state government and ruling party against the dissent views. We wish to state that the right of association, expression and protest are surely guaranteed in the constitution and charters on human rights, therefore any attempt to deny the citizens these rights by the government and judiciary will undermine the continued existence of the state.

Signed: Kola Ibrahim

Coordinating Secretary