A Timeline of Events that occurred between February 11-20, 2014

February 11, 2014

At last, President Goodluck Jonathan sacked the embattled Minister of Aviation, Ms. Stella Oduah. She however, did not go down alone. Other ministers that were shown the way out were Caleb Olubolade (Police Affairs); Godsday Orubebe (Niger Delta); and Yerima Ngama (State, Finance). “They were dropped, they did not resign,” a cabinet source revealed. Oduah’s approval for the purchase of two bullet-proof cars for N255m caused public outrage in the country with many Nigerians calling for her removal and prosecution. Nigerians, Jonathan finally did your bid.

Stella Odua

February 12, 2014

A ministerial nominee from Osun State, Abduljelili Adesiyan, made spirited effort to clear his name from accusation that linked him to the brutal murder of former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige, who was assassinated in his Ibadan home on December 23, 2001. Drama started when the Senate President, David Mark asked Adesiyan to make personal explanation on those things that were not included in his curriculum vitae, which he submitted to the Senate. The nominee commended the Senators for the opportunity offered him to stand before them to speak as a ministerial nominee. He noted that he was one of those wrongly accused to have had a hand in the death of Ige. He said, “It may interest you distinguished Senators to know that I am one of those wrongly accused to have had a hand in the death of my mentor, Chief Bola Ige. It was all political blackmail because I knew nothing about the death of Chief Bola Ige. I was detained for three and half years for something I knew nothing about. I stand here to say that I knew nothing about the death of Chief Bola Ige.” He described the late Ige as his political mentor whom he had no reason whatsoever to kill. He knew nothing about his death, believe…

The People’s Democratic Party in Rivers State criticised the invitation of former President Olusegun Obasanjo to the state by Governor Rotimi Amaechi. The governor had invited Obasanjo to inaugurate some projects executed by the Amaechi administration in Rivers State on February 17, 2014. But the state PDP described the former president’s invitation to the state to commission the Amaechi projects as a display of hypocrisy and pretence. It said the governor invited the ex-president to create the impression that both of them (Obasanjo and Amaechi) had overcome their resentment for each other. The party, in a statement by the Special Adviser to the Rivers PDP chairman, Mr. Jerry Needam, recalled that Obasanjo, in 2006, castigated the people of the state for wishing to have somebody like Amaechi, as governor. It also recalled that the former president instigated criminal investigation against Amaechi, who was then the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly and denied him the PDP governorship ticket. The statement added, “It is also on record that upon assumption of office much later, same Amaechi, in retaliation cancelled the Airforce Base Link Road named after Obasanjo by ex-governor Peter Odili.“Ironically, the same Obasanjo Link Road is one of the projects the former President is billed to inaugurate in addition to some schools and roads completed by Dr. Peter Odili, some of which he, Obasanjo, had between 2001 and 2006 formally inaugurated .” I just identified another act of hypocrisy.

Obasanjo with Amaechi, at a project commissioning in Rivers State

 

February 13, 2014

President Goodluck Jonathan announced a gift of N1m each for the 23 Super Eagles players that came third at the African Nations Championship held in South Africa. Jonathan made the announcement during a presidential reception held in honour of the players at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The President also announced a gift of N1.5m for the Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi, and N1m each for the three assistant coaches — Daniel Amokachi, Ike Shorounmu and Valere Houndinou. The team Secretary, the team doctor, physiotherapist, technical coordinator, the curator, psychologist, and the media officer, got N.5m each. Jonathan said ordinarily, Nigerians would expect that the nation should only celebrate when the team wins gold but he decided to host the players because they displayed an uncommon degree of resilience and discipline throughout the competition.He said although the players did not win the tournament, they made the nation proud and won the hearts of Nigerians. The President made a specific reference to the team’s match against Morocco during which they came from three goals down to win. Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi, in his opening remarks, said this period was the greatest moment for sports in the history of the nation, saying Jonathan would be remembered as the best president ever. Abdullahi recalled that he was reluctant to brief the Federal Executive Council about the team’s performance in South Africa because he felt the President is now used to winning gold and bronze was not enough for him. He said the President however, encouraged him to brief the council. This, he said, was a rare display of sportsmanship.

Minister-of-Power-Chinedu-Nebo.jpg

 

February 14, 2014

An Abuja Federal High Court discharged and acquitted a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission could not prove a 16-count criminal charge bordering on a N9bn contract scam filed against him. Justice Evoh Chukwu, in a ruling on a no-case-submission filed by Bankole after the prosecution had called its witnesses, held that there was no evidence linking the former speaker to the alleged offences. The EFCC had accused Bankole of perpetrating a contract fraud, involving the purchase of two Range Rover bulletproof vehicles; two Range Rover vehicles (without bullet proof); three Mercedes Benz S-600 cars; 400 units of DSTV systems; 400 television sets; 800 units of desktop computers; 100 units of Sharp digital copier; and 400 units of HP LaserJets 2600N. The addresses presented by the companies which executed the contracts for the procurement of the items turned out to be false as well as other information provided in their profiles. Rich man no dey go jail for Naija, says the law.

Dimeji Bankole in court, during the contract inflation trial

February 15, 2014

President Goodluck Jonathan met some traditional rulers in All Progressives Congress states in what appeared to be political consultations ahead of his declaration of interest in the 2015 presidential election. Jonathan visited the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero; the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade; the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; and the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akinolu, in their palaces. A Presidency source said the visits were more political than courtesy visits. The source, who pleaded anonymity, said Jonathan visited the Emir of Kano because he (the President) would be leading other top government officials and Peoples Democratic Party chiefs to the state next weekend to receive a former governor of the state, Ibrahim Shekarau, who recently defected from the All Progressives Congress to the ruling party. Bayero had recently escaped an assassination attempt when gunmen opened fire on his convoy.

He was admitted in a London hospital and later discharged. While in Kano, Jonathan described Bayero as an asset to the country. The President was received at the Aminu Kano International Airport by the state Deputy Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, top government functionaries and PDP stalwarts in the state. The state Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, recently defected from the PDP to the APC alongside four other erstwhile PDP governors. Speaking at Bayero’s palace, Jonathan said the country was in dire need of people like the emir, who would continue to give valuable advice for lasting peace and stability in the country. Na today? “My visit to the palace is a private visit because I have not seen the emir since I visited him in the London hospital after an attack on him.” Jonathan left Kano for Ibadan, Oyo State capital, from where he moved to Ile-Ife and Oyo town. In Ile Ife, Osun State, Jonathan held a closed door meeting with the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, in his palace. The President said he had come home to visit his ‘father’ (Adeyemi) on private matters. How come he is bearing Jonathan instead of Adeyemi or Sijuwade. Anyway, we shall be here to witness what happens after 2015, if they would still remain his father’s. As for me, I refuse to be deceived.

 

February 16, 2014

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo enjoined Christians to participate actively in politics, saying they should not leave the nation’s governance to those he described as “evil ones.” Expatiation please, who are they? Obasanjo, who spoke in Abeokuta, Ogun State, warned Christians against being indifferent towards politics.

The ex-president told the congregation at the fifth anniversary thanksgiving service of the Chapel of Christ the Glorious King, a religious arm of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, that they should not shy away from partisan politics for the good of the entire country. I have taken my share, go get yours, he seemed to have said.

Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima said he had been a sad man since he assumed office three years ago. But only been smiling to appear cheerful. “If I have to open up to all of you here; most of the time, I try to wear smiles on my face but in the true sense, I have had very few moments of inner joy and happiness in the last three years,” Shettima said. He said this while bemoaning the activities of the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram, which has its base in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

The governor spoke at the inauguration of 22 units of model housing for the people of Maffa, in the outskirts of Maiduguri. “One of the few moments of my inner joy, like I said, is our gathering here to formally launch the Borno State Stalk Houses Eradication Programme, which is an ambitious scheme that is targeted at gradually eliminating stalk houses in different parts of Borno State and replacing them with model houses, at no cost to the beneficiaries. Today is one of the few moments of my life since I assumed the leadership of Borno State as governor in nearly three years that I could say to be truly happy. You all know the traumatic experiences we have been facing as a state since 2009. You will recall that in 2011, we took over administration and continued to manage the unfortunate insurgency that brought very tragic and unforgettable experiences to our beloved heritage, Borno.” See what Boko Haram made out of our governor.

Kashim Shettima

 

February 17, 2014

President Goodluck Jonathan named Brig. Gen Jones Arogbofa (retd.) as his new Chief of Staff. Presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati, disclosed this on his Twitter handle. Abati said the appointment takes immediate effect. Arogbofa replaced Chief Mike Oghiadomhe who was asked to resign. He was at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where the President’s Principal Secretary, Hassan Tukur, handed over to him. Tukur occupied the office of the CoS in acting capacity when Oghiadomhe left.

 

February 18, 2014

The life of a 17-year-old student of Bowen University, Opeyemi Odusanya, was cut short by some cult members in Lagos. It was gathered that the undergraduate was murdered for allegedly rejecting sexual advances from some youth in the area and also for “being too proud.” The victim was a 300 level student of Biochemistry at the university. Police authorities said Opeyemi was stabbed to death by the cultists at her parents’ house in the Alakuko area of Lagos. Further that the culprits were residents of the area.

 

February 19, 2014

Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Lamido Sanusi, reacted to his suspension by President Goodluck Jonathan, vowing to head for court to challenge his suspension. Sanusi, who spoke on CNBC Africa few hours after his suspension, said challenging his removal in court was not to ensure that he returned to the office but to preserve the integrity and independence of the apex financial institution. He equally dismissed the sundry allegations made against his leadership at the CBN, saying the allegations were not new. Sanusi described his suspension as political, wondering why the Presidency had waited for this long to remove him from office.

 

February 20, 2014

The House of Representatives had a rowdy session over the suspension of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido  Sanusi, by President Goodluck Jonathan. Debate on the suspension of the CBN governor started when the Minority Whip of the House, Samson Osagie (APC-Edo), raised a point of order on the suspension of Sanusi. According to Osagie, the CBN Act of 2007, as amended does not empower the President or anybody else to suspend the CBN governor. He said section 11 (7) of the Act only empowered the President to remove the governor, subject to the approval of two-third majority of the Senate. The legislator stressed that the allegation of financial recklessness reported by the Accounting Standards Board upon which Sanusi was suspended did not indicate if he was given fair hearing. But Leo Ogor, PDP-Delta, said the action of the President was a process that could lead to Sanusi’s removal as stipulated in the CBN Act. Also, Ralph Igbokwe (PDP-Imo) said that Section 11 of the CBN Act, empowered Jonathan to suspend the governor. However, Nkoyo Toyo (PDP-Cross River) cautioned the House not to politicise the matter. The House later mandated its committees on Justice and Legislative Compliance to compile all resolutions of the House indicting public officers but on which action had not been taken. We are looking forward to their report anyway.

At the Senate, however, the upper chamber said the President acted within the ambit of his statutory functions by suspending Sanusi. Senate’s spokesman, Enyinnaya Abaribe, reacting to the suspension, said the President, by suspending Sanusi was well within the range of his statutory function as President. But Senator Babajide Omoworare (APC Osun East), in his reaction to Sanusi’s suspension, told journalists in Abuja that the President’s action was illegal and contrary to the provisions of the CBN Act.

He said the CBN Act prevented the President from doing so except in the case of outright sack of CBN governor, which he said must be presented to the Senate for two-third majority approval. “Sanusi, no doubt, has been the crown witness in the matter of alleged mismanagement of Nigeria’s oil proceeds to the tune of $49.8bn within the last two years, which made his suspension very uncomfortable to Nigerians and her strategic foreign partners at this time,” he said.

 

Oyewale Adesiyan

Brig. Gen Jones Arogbofa (retd

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