EFCC Uncovers $1.3 Billion Transferred From NNPC Account On Jonathan’s Order

In the never ending battle against corruption, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) detectives have uncovered another withdrawal of $1.3 billion made by former Petroleum minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke on the directive of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

The money which was removed from the accounts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was neither authorized by the National Assembly nor the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

Former Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is also believed to be unaware of the deductions.

Diezani Alison-Madueke is reported to have only relied on a memo from ex-President Goodluck Jonathan without recourse to the board of the NNPC.

A former Group Executive Director, Finance and Accounts of NNPC, Mr. Bernard Otti, has been quizzed by the EFCC over the money.

Otti is said to have also made available to the EFCC some documents, including approvals to withdraw the $1.3 billion by Mrs Alison-Madueke.

In two other instances, Jonathan wrote on two other requests mandating the former minister to take part of the cash from either NNPC Security Vote Account or from the “Gas Fund”.

According to reports, the cash was to fight kidnapping and other security threats in the Niger Delta, according to The Nation.

 

Jonathan Congratulates New President Of Liberia

Jonathan, who had just returned from Monrovia after leading the National Democratic Institute (NDI) International Elections Observation Mission to Liberia, posted the goodwill message to Weah on his Facebook page, on Friday.

Jonathan, advised Weah to maintain his open door policy in his new position, saying “everybody is a winner when democracy wins, and democracy has won today”.

Weah, a retired international footballer and standard bearer of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) was declared winner on Friday after the Boxing Day run-off polls by Liberia’s national electoral commission.

Jonathan also commended Liberians for demonstrating the willingness to give democracy a
chance.

“Throughout my political life, I have lived by the creed that nobody’s political ambition is worth the blood of their citizens.

“I am most grateful to the nation of Liberia and especially the candidates, Weah and Mr Joseph Boakai, for living up to this creed.

“As co-leader of the NDI International Elections Observation Mission to Liberia for these elections, I salute the zest for democracy of the Liberian people.”

Jonathan and other leaders of the NDI delegation had in a preliminary
statement issued in Monrovia on Thursday, acclaimed the polls as peaceful, orderly and well-organized.

Speaking of his experienced on the field on voting day, Jonathan said: “I am proud of Liberians, who have come from crisis to democracy and have shown themselves to be a model of peace and stability in the region.

“Democracy goes beyond election day, and if Liberia succeeds, West Africa succeeds, Africa succeeds, and the world succeeds.”

In the same vein, Kosovo’s former President Atifete Jahjaga, also congratulated the people of Liberia for exercising their right to vote and for making a historic step towards the consolidation of democracy in their country.

“It is my hope that the positive trends that we have observed during this election will be sustained and further improved during future elections.”

Jonathan hails Buhari at 75, describes President as ‘Rare Statesman’

In a statement issued by his Media Adviser, Mr. Ikechukwu Eze, former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari on his 75th birthday.

The statement read, “I wish to most sincerely congratulate you on your 75th birthday. My family and I are pleased to join your numerous well wishers to felicitate with you as you mark this day.

“Your Excellency, you are a statesman whose place in history as Nigeria’s leader, at different epochs in our nation’s development journey, is guaranteed.

“I pray that God Almighty that has kept you alive and healthy will continue to protect and strengthen you as you lend your efforts to the bid to realize our collective dreams for a greater and more prosperous nation.

“Congratulations!”

I Will Not Testify Unless Jonathan Appears In Court – Metuh

A former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Olisa Metuh, insisted before the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday that whether or not he would testify or call additional witnesses in his ongoing trial would be dependent on what former President Goodluck Jonathan would tell the court in respect of the case.

His lawyer, Mr. Emeka Etiaba (SAN), and the counsel representing his company — Destra Investments Limited — Mr. Tochukwu Onwugbufor (SAN), had earlier said this before the court on Monday.

But the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang had, in a ruling on Monday, dismissed the submission as unknown to law.

The judge stuck to the decision on Tuesday and ordered that Metuh would continue his defence on Wednesday, while ‎the court bailiff would make another attempt to serve Jonathan on December 11.

“Whether a party will call a witness or not cannot be predicated on the evidence of a witness yet to be called,” Justice Abang ruled again on Tuesday.

But Etiaba said he would appeal against the judge’s decisions.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had alleged in some of the seven counts preferred against Metuh and his company, Destra Investments Limited, that the ex-PDP spokesperson fraudulently received the sum of N400m from Office of the National Security Adviser without any justification and spent the funds on the party’s and personal affairs.

Metuh was also accused of transacting with $2m cash said to be above the threshold of cash payments prescribed by the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.

But Metuh had insisted that both the then NSA, Sambo Dasuki, who released the sum of N400m and, and Jonathan, who allegedly authorised the payment, were required to testify in the case.

While the summons served on Dasuki had been successfully executed, following which the ex-NSA had testified in the case, the court bailiff had so far been unable to serve Jonathan personally.

On Monday, while ordering the court bailiff to make another attempt to serve Jonathan with the witness summons, the judge insisted that the trial must continue with Metuh either testifying himself or calling another witness other than the former President as his next witness.

The judge then fixed Tuesday for continuation of trial.

But at the resumed hearing on Tuesday, Metuh’s lawyer, Etiaba, insisted that Metuh still wanted Jonathan to first testify before deciding on whether or not the defendant would personally testify in the case.

Jonathan May Receive Subpoena On Metuh’s Case Dec 11

A bailiff of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday gave an indication that he would, on December 11, 2017, might be able to serve former President Goodluck Jonathan the subpoena summoning him to testify as a defence witness in the trial of a former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh.

This was contained in an affidavit filed by the bailiff informing the court that several attempts to serve the former President in his Abuja home had failed.

The bailiff, whose affidavit was read by a court registrar during the Monday’s proceedings, stated that at the last attempt to serve Jonathan, a guard said the former President, said to have travelled abroad, would only be available on December 11.

Reading from the bailiff’s affidavit, the registrar said the bailiff was asked to return to the residence in the afternoon of December 11 to serve the former President.

In response, Metuh’s lawyer, Mr. Emeka Etiaba (SAN), said he, the lead defence counsel, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), and Metuh himself, had received threats to their lives following their move to have Jonathan summoned to testify in the case.

But he said the threat would not yield to the threat as they would insist Jonathan testify in the case.

Etiaba said, “This subpoena is one that has generated quite a lot of controversy, not just to our client but to myself.

“The threat goes to the life of the first defendant, myself and Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu.

“This will not make us change our mind as to whether His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, will come and testify or not. But we shall only plead with this honourable court to allow the make another attempt on December 11, 2017 at serving him with the subpoena.”

GEJ Accuses Borno Governor Of Frustrating War Against B’Haram

Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, former Minister of Youth and Sports recently launched a book the Ex President Goodluck Jonathan refers to as a mere gossip that is full of lies.

The book, which is titled, “On a Platter of Gold — How Jonathan won and lost Nigeria,” was launched in Abuja on Thursday.

At the launch, Borno State Governor, Mr. Kashim Shettima, described the former President as a bad leader who made poor choices while in power.

But, Jonathan, in a statement signed by his media aide, Mr. Ikechukwu Eze, in Abuja on Friday, described the governor’s claims as parochial and jaundiced.

The former President debunked the allegations of poor governance and highlighted what he described as his key achievements, which he said were yet to be matched by any other leader.

He further challenged the governor to come clean about the roles he allegedly played in the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls, stressing that it went beyond the dismissive claim that “Jonathan thought I kidnapped Chibok girls.”

Jonathan also accused the governor of frustrating the war against Boko Haram.

The statement read in part, “He [Shettima] should be able to tell us if it was Jonathan’s poor choices that led the governor to expose the students of the Government Girls’ Secondary School in Chibok to an avoidable danger, in total disregard of a Federal Government’s directive to the governors in the three states most affected by Boko Haram to relocate their students writing the West African Senior School Certificate Examination to safe zones.

“The governor is now denying that he had no hand in the kidnap of the Chibok girls even before anybody accused him of culpability. However, we share the view of those who insist that the governor had other things up his sleeve when he promised the West African Examinations Council that he would secure the girls and ended up doing the very opposite, by deliberately abandoning them to their fate, without any security presence in their school.”

The former President said that it was instructive that while other governors in the zone heeded the security advice, Shettima was the only one who “flagrantly” flouted it.

“Should we also fail to point out that his decision to reward the principal of Chibok Secondary School, who was uncharacteristically absent on the night the terrorists stormed the school, with the post of a commissioner, did throw up more questions than answers?” he asked.

He challenged the governor to explain to the people of Borno State and Nigerians what he did with the over N60bn Local Governments Fund, which he said were left by his predecessor, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.

The former President further described Abdullahi’s book as sour grapes — full of lies and gossip.

He said it was unfortunate that Shettima claimed at the presentation of the book that he [Jonathan] wasted the goodwill he commanded because of bad governance and poor choices in office.

The statement said, “As a man who had never seen anything good in the administration of Jonathan on account of party and other differences, it has remained our consistent view that in a democracy, Governor Kashim Shettima and others like him are entitled to their opinion, no matter how jaundiced.

“However, it is a sad commentary on the character of some of our politicians that they go to any length to make spurious statements in pursuit of the sad narrative to remain politically correct.

“We cannot be deceived by his crocodile tears and patronising claim that ‘Jonathan is essentially a decent man,’ which is a ploy he deployed to justify his false allegation of a lost glory.

“The man who today speaks of squandered goodwill should be able to tell Nigerians what percentage of the votes Jonathan got in 2011 from Borno State at the height of that his envisaged glory, according to Shettima, and what it became in subsequent elections.

“What was obvious yesterday and has remained today is that Governor Shettima and those who think like him never liked Jonathan based on some parochial and paternalistic sentiments.”

The statement further said that the Jonathan government assembled a “yet-to-be-matched crop of dynamic cabinet and economic management team made up of tested technocrats like Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (former Minister of Finance), Dr. Shamsuddeen Usman (former Minister of National Planning), Mr. Olusegun Aganga (former Minister of Trade and Investments) and Dr. Akinwumi Adesina (President of the African Development Bank and former Minister of Agriculture).

Metuh’s Trial: Court Orders Ex-President Jonathan To Appear On Wednesday

The Justice of the Federal High Court in Abuja  Justice Okon Aban on Tuesday confirmed that he had signed a subpoena compelling former President Goodluck Jonathan to appear in court on Wednesday to testify in defence of a former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh.

However, it is clear now as this confirms the story published on Tuesday that the judge signed the subpoena to be served on Jonathan after retiring back to chambers at the end of Monday’s proceedings.

The judge confirmed this on Tuesday during the resumed trial of Metuh and his company, Destra Investments Limited, on seven counts of money laundering involving alleged cash transaction of $2m and fraudulent receipt of N400m meant for procurement of arms from the Office of the National Security Adviser.

‎Confirming the summons on Jonathan on Tuesday, Justice Abang said he received Metuh’s application for a subpoena to be issued on Jonathan at about 3.59pm on Monday.

The judge said, “Indeed, at the close of business yesterday being October 23, 2017, precisely at about 3.59pm, the registrar forwarded to the court in the chamber a subpoena to compel former President Goodluck Jonathan to appear in court to testify a the instance of the first defendant (Metuh).

“Therefore in line with section 241(1) of Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 and having regard to the subsisting judgment of the Court of Appeal in the appeal CA/A/159C/2017, between Olisa Metuh and Federal Republic of Nigeria dated September 29, 2017 to the effect that it will be tantamount to violating the right of the first defendant to fair hearing not to sign the subpoena.

“I have no option other than to sign a subpoena to compel former President Goodluck Jonathan to appear in court on September 25, 2017 (Wednesday)to give evidence at the instance of the first defendant.”

But while being interrogated by the judge on Tuesday, a registrar of the court said the bailiff of the court had yet to serve the subpoena on Jonathan as of Tuesday morning.

Most of Metuh’s defence witnesses, including Mr. Ben Nwosu, who ended his testimony earlier on Monday, had insisted that the sum of N400m paid to the ex-spokesperson for the PDP from the Office of the NSA in November 2014, the money being part of the case against Metuh, was directly authorised by Jonathan.

Metuh, had therefore through his lead counsel, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), told Justice Abang on Monday that he would seek to subpoena the ex-President as a defence witness.

Ikpeazu said the defence had written formally to Jonathan notifying him of the intention to have him testify in court but that the former President did not reply.

N5.1b Fraud: Witness Reveals How Jonathan’s Aide Allegedly Laundered Money For Patience

Orji Chukwuma, a persecution witness in the ongoing trial of a former Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to the former President Goodluck Jonathan, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, on Tuesday told Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, how Mr. Dudafa allegedly laundered several billions of Naira for former First Lady, Patience Jonathan.

Mr. Dudafa is standing trial alongside Joseph Iwuejo, his ex-account officer, who allegedly aided him to perpetuate the fraud.

Messrs. Dudafa and Iwuejo, who also claimed to be ‘Taiwo Ebenezer’ and ‘Olugbenga Isaiah’, between June 2013 and June 2015, were alleged to have used different companies to fraudulently launder various sums of money to the tune of N5.1 billion.

At the resumed hearing today, Mr. Chukwuma, an investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, told the court how one Murtala Abubakar, a Bureau de Change operator, admitted having collected several million in dollars from Dudafa.

“We discovered, in the course of our investigation, that Abubakar was directed to pay the various sums of money into different accounts provided by Dudafa,” Chukwuma said.

Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, Mr. Chukwuma also told the court that the money was given to Mr. Dudafa at the Aso Rock Villa by Patience, the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Giving further testimony, Mr. Chukwuma told the court that Mr. Dudafa used some companies: ABY Resources Limited; Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited; Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited; Ibejige Services Limited and DeJakes Fast Food & Restaurant Nigeria Limited to warehouse and manage the monies found in his possession.

The prosecution witness further stated that the defendant did not declare his interest in these companies in his Asset Declaration Form and that the monies found in his accounts at two new generation banks were proceeds of crime.

Also, Mr. Dudafa, through his lawyer, filed an application urging the court to release his international passport temporarily to enable him to go for a medical appointment outside the country.

In his response, the prosecution counsel, Mr. Oyedepo urged the court not to grant the application on the grounds that the EFCC had written to a Lagos State government hospital to examine Mr. Dudafa’s health and to determine whether he could be treated in the country or abroad.

Mr. Oyedepo, however, told the court that he had yet to receive any response from the hospital.
Consequently, Justice Idris adjourned to October 24 for the hearing of the application and November 14 and 15, 2017 for the continuation of trial.