I write to notify you, Mr. Jimi Disu, to please use your medium on classic radio and the Blog to address this suspected fraud and fowl play in the issuance of cerpac form.
Cerpac is an immigration form for regularization and obtaining residence permit by expatriates. At the moment, it is obtained from bank for $1000 [one thousand dollars] Plus N5000 commission. it is denominated in naira; payable in same amount [ in naira ] at the official exchange rate. I have obtained this form for my company anytime it is in need of it over the years. The selling bank changes most time when there is a change in the leadership of Immigration.
Presently, the selling bank is Skye bank. About November, 2014, I went to obtain same form, instead of selling at the official rate [official naira rate to the dollar], the bank was selling it at the parallel market rate. This trend has remained that way, even as we speak. I have complained about this and wrote to some radio and tv stations but guessed nothing tangible has been done about it.
Just this morning again, i needed the form only to get there to find out they have not returned from the parallel market price of last week; N240 to a $1, even when it has dropped to about N223 to $1. [ This means that, even now, skye bank with possible connivance with immigration authority, is selling a legal government document at an illegal rates
I feel that the anti corruption crusade of this administration should be taken to these bank and the Nigerian Immigration to carry out necessary investigation and put the records straight .
I cannot claim to know Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, the man who was the House minority leader of the 7th House of Representatives. He contested for the speakership of the 8th House of Representatives and failed in a transparent contest. He finally emerged as the House majority leader, after a gang of party members, doing the bidding of some powerful forces, held the nation to ransom for seven weeks. But I have heard a couple of good things about him from political discourse with friends and colleagues. He is said to be a fierce believer in the principles of party discipline and party supremacy. This is a good quality, no doubt. He is also said to be loyal to a fault to his godfather, Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Well, time will tell whether this is a vice or a virtue.
I have also heard about Gbajabiamila’s not-so-sterling past in the United States of America. His alleged debarment by the Georgia Supreme Court, after allegedly pleading guilty to charges of professional misconduct, was said to have earned him a 36-month practice suspension. Whether these are true or false, I hold not his US exploits against him. However, I dislike the hypocrisy about him, and I hold in contempt everything about him and people like him who see things from the perspective of one nation, two moralities. I am amused whenever I read in the media statements that sound like exhortation to the conscience of the nation attributed to him. That some people even take him seriously is baffling to me. But then again, that is the nature of our country.
Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is reported to have recently lambasted former President Goodluck Jonathan for lack of vision in the implementation of his policy on the railways. He said that the decision by that administration to rehabilitate the railway system, completed in 1903 to carry three million tonnes of goods, to meet today’s needs was not well thought through.
We agree with Obasanjo’s position that Jonathan lacked vision on the railways. This was evident with the contract bazaar that the railways under his watch became with huge sums wasted on contracts awarded to cronies and the bogus commissioning that turned Nigeria into a laughing stock in the world.
It is no longer a secret that since Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki was elected as the President of the 8th Senate on June 9, 2015, Predident Muhammadu Buhari has not officially engaged with him. Were Buhari to defer to precedent set by his predecessors, such interface between the Number One and Number Three would have taken place in the evening, on the day the National Assembly was inaugurated. Understandably, this did not happen because we are in a season of change. The Presidents produced by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the one produced by the All Progressives Congress (APC) are poles apart in terms of ideology, philosophy and above all, modus operandi. I shall dwell on the aforementioned differences in the near future. However, suffice it to say that even though politically incommodious, the path of the President and Saraki have crossed twice since June 9 – first at the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the APC and during the Eid-el-Fitri prayers in Abuja.
The National Publicity Secretary of Africa’s biggest opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh is in deep…(you know what). It is now his onerous task to first whitewash an administration that is painted as the worst ever. You know, according to current political correctness, the six years of Jonathan are worse than those of Ibrahim Babangida, Sani Abacha and Olusegun Obasanjo put together. Don’t forget that Jonathan did some good things in office. No, don’t even try to remember any. It is now politically correct to just use one black brush to paint it black (there was a rock group called Colour me Bad. I think Jonathan was the band leader). And the sad thing is that no one is prepared to defend the hapless man.
Apart from the maverick governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, mum is the word from that side. Even the effusive Femi Fani-Kayode has gone mute. I won’t even be surprised if he came out with a new song entitled: “Buhari’s songs of praise”! Where is Adamu Muazu, Tony Anenih, Anyim Pius Anyim, and all the other top cats of the Jonathan years? Why are they so silent in defending the records of the administration they were part of? And even if they are scared to show their faces, as it may be Nigerian to be, they should, at least, support some positive projection of their oga now.
The Summer is upon us and the new month of August is very significant for us in terms of activities. On Saturday the 22nd we will be having our Annual Summer Barbeque. The following Saturday August 29th(Bank Holiday weekend) is also the 4th Annual Nigerian Schools Alumni Sports and Family Fun Day. See details below:
1. SUMMER BARBEQUE: Hosted by Mr Fela Sanu (69- 73 set- Crimson House)
Venue: 4 The Ridgeway
Enfield , Middx, EN2 8QH
Date : Saturday 22nd August 2015
Time : 3.30 pm till late
Fee : Singles £10 ; Family : £15
BEHIND the bolted doors of Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison an old chalkboard hangs high above the wardens’ offices, keeping count of the inmates inside. It shows that just over 1,000 men live in the jail meant for Lagos’ nastier convicts. Of those, 639 are not convicts at all; they are awaiting trial.
Among them is Kayode Yukubu, Kirikiri’s longest serving pre-trial inmate. He was arrested in a raid in 2003 and charged with robbery. Yet after 12 years in the clink, no court date has been set. It is possible his case file has been lost. “I can do nothing,” he says, sitting in the jail’s suprisingly spruce chapel.
This is not a uniquely Nigerian problem: roughly 3m people around the world are locked away awaiting trial. Yet the overuse of pre-trial detention has reached crushing proportions in Africa’s most-populous country. Fewer than 18,000 of Nigeria’s 56,785 inmates have actually been sentenced, the prison service reported last year. Many detainees will exceed the maximum prison period for their crime before they even see the inside of a courtroom.
Biafra is not the Igbo nation, but the Igbo nation was part of Biafra. I think those agitating for BIAFRA should clearly state what Biafra is. And to make Biafra a reality, all Igbo speaking and non-Igbo speaking Easterners (SS/SE), who were part of the original Biafra must be involved. Otherwise we are mistaking the Igbo nation for Biafra. The circumstances that led to the declaration of Republic of Biafra cannot be wished away; and that was why the region as it were gave Ojukwu their support and looked up to him. And there is the general view that there was sabotage from non-Igbo speaking members of that union.
PREMIUM TIMES INTERVIEW: The Okonjo-Iweala who worked for me is different from the Okonjo-Iweala who worked for Jonathan – Obasanjo
Nigeria’s former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, took some time off his busy schedule to speak to a PREMIUM TIMES team at his Abeokuta home about some of the issues he wrote about in his book, “My Watch”.
The retired army general – in between joking with his interviewers, and threatening to walk out of the room – spoke at length about the reasons behind some of the key decisions he took while in office, his relationship with some key political figures, and the Halliburton bribery scandal.
Below is excerpt of the first part of the interview.
PT: Thank you sir for granting us this opportunity to talk about your book. Some people say it is selling like hot cake, I don’t know if it is true but that’s what people say. How has it been? What has been the financial reward from there?
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has filed 11 counts of fraud against the former Chairman of Ikeja Hotels Plc, Mr. Goodie Ibru, for allegedly defrauding the hotel to the tune of N1bn.
A copy of the charge sheet obtained by our correspondent on Sunday, was filed before Justice Raliatu Adebiyi of the Lagos Division of the Lagos State High Court.
Ibru was charged alongside three companies – Associated Ventures International Limited, IHL Services Limited and Clearview Investment Limited.
The EFCC, in one of the counts, alleged that Ibru and his co-suspects conspired amongst themselves to steal a sum of N867,700,990.00 being the profit due to Ikeja Hotels Plc, adding that the suspects received the stolen sum through Starwood Limited, the managers of Sheraton Hotels, Ikeja. The alleged offence was said to be committed between January and December 2010
“…. whoever that is indicted of corruption between 1999 to the time of swearing-in, would be pardoned”
– President Mohammadu Buhari
on March 11, 2015 at a Campaign rally in Kaduna
“The right thing to do is to probe at least the administrations from 1966 when this level of corruption and criminal wastefulness of resources started…”
– Balarabe Musa, Former Governor of Kaduna State
in The Sun of July 25, 2015.
It is becoming increasingly clear that President Mohammadu Buhari really has no interest in fighting corruption. It is embarrassing and disappointing that President Buhari conveys confusion and contused confidence about the war on corruption. The defeat of corruption is the greatest desire of Nigerians. It is why Nigerians felt that he should be given a chance after rejecting him at the polls three previous times. So far, President Buhari has not been able to come up with any clear cut policy, rules and guidelines as to how he plans to fight corruption.
We arrived Abeokuta in the first ink of dusk, at about 5pm. We were visiting the city’s most iconic figure, the white-haired, white-bearded, tall, grand fellow of many battles and accolades.
Before we made the turn to the bush, a sign was unmistakable. Louis Odion, the writer in resting, who sat beside me in the car, read the sign. Roared Louis in a guttural register: “Any trespasser will be shot and eaten.”
The imprimatur of the poet. All around were trees. We drove on, and a sense of rural splendour fell over me. The serenity of trees. Birds. Leaves in lush colour. Earth Edenic. Modernity alienated. A shadow cast not by twilight but by the peculiar colouring of a forest. It was as though I was on my way to my mother’s home village in Delta State.
THE First Quarter Economic Report for 2015 released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last week indicates a significant slide in Nigeria’s external trade. The report shows that Nigeria recorded an estimated total external trade of $26.74 billion in the first quarter of 2015. This is a decline of 27.2 percent from the level recorded in the corresponding quarter in 2014. Figures recently released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) have also corroborated the steep decline in our external trade. This poor economic outlook is a challenge to the President Muhammadu Buhari administration that is yet to come out with its economic blueprint.
From the CBN report, which profiled the overall trade balance and financial accounts within the first quarter of 2015, it is apparent that the sharp drop is largely due to the continuing fall in crude oil prices, the repatriation of investment income and lower foreign investment flows associated with the uncertain political environment during the general elections.
It will shock Nigerians to know that more people have died as a result of Fulani/indigene clashes in the last half a decade than have died from terrorist activity occasioned by the Boko Haram terrorist sect. As horrific as individual Boko Haram activities are, they pale in comparison to the barbarous slaughter of over 500 men, women, and children in a single night of terror at Dogo na Hauwa village of Plateau State of 2010.
Terrorist activities occasioned by the Boko Haram terrorist group have been largely localised in Nigeria’s North-east save for some sporadic attacks in other parts of the North and the Federal Capital Territory.
Title-crazy civil servants are scared of being sacked, The Nation learnt at the weekend.
Officials, who violated the Public Service Rule banning titles until after retirement, may be retired in the coming civil service reforms.
Only those whose titles were traditionally inherited may be spared but their postings and conduct will be put under watch.
According to sources, the government is disturbed that most of the top civil servants with honorary awards actually bought them at high fees.
LAST Thursday, Nigerian media professionals and others within the pen fraternity gathered to celebrate and honour one of their own, a man widely regarded as a leading icon and doyen of Nigerian journalism and one who had significantly contributed and is still contributing to its evolution.
It was an occasion that lived up to its billings. The large crowd of not just who is who in the Nigerian media circle but also well-wishers from all walks of life that graced the occasion more than attested to this.
And indeed, for the organisers led by Mr Lanre Idowu, the Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Publications, it was mission accomplished, especially when the man of the moment, Mr Sam Amuka, was, for once, persuaded to bask in the euphoria of his celebrity status against his preferred self-effacing disposition.
While we await more memoirs of “yesterday’s men and women”, of whom Abati is not a model one, announcing that not every Nigerian is amnesic becomes necessary. Not all are gullible. And for all who have failed us, may their pathway to oblivion be smooth, and that to redemption be of understood lessons. As for Abati, with a pen to keep his memory alive and to manipulate the gullible and the amnesic, he will be remembered by some of us as that firebrand who served the government with his brains locked in a drawer at the headquarters of The Guardian. I’m shocked that he’s shocked that his phones no longer ring. As if a failed salesman deserves “well done” phone calls.
Oblivion is a scary place. And for all who walked in the corridors of power and had enjoyed a reign expected to last longer, an abrupt end would surely be remembered with a painful nostalgia. Such pain must be the inspiration for Reuben Abati’s first engagement with the media after leaving office, in a widely shared and contested account of his inglorious stint as Spokesman to President Goodluck Jonathan from 2011 to 2015.
According to Transparency International, a global movement against corruption, understanding corruption is the first step in fighting it.
But what is corruption? Corruptie.org, another anti-corruption organisation, simply defines corruption as the misuse of entrusted power (by heritage, education, marriage, election, appointment or whatever else) for private gain. This broad definition covers not only the politician and the public servant, but also the CEO and CFO of a company, the notary public, the team leader at a workplace, the administrator or admissions officer, and so on.
A much more difficult, scientific definition for the concept ‘corruption’ was developed by professor (emeritus) Dr. Petrus van Duyne: Corruption is an improbity or decay in the decision-making process in which a decision maker consents to deviate or demands deviation from the criterion which should rule his or her decision-making, in exchange for a reward or for the promise or expectation of a reward, while these motives influencing his or her decision-making cannot be part of the justification of the decision.
The out gone Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, is reported to be looking outside the high command for explanations regarding the abysmal failure of the military under his watch to effectively check the menace of the terrorist group, Boko Haram. Among other factors, he drew the whipping boys of failed public officers and the media, in the blame game. In the process, he succeeded in confirming already established fact that he failed to rise to the challenges of his office as the man in command and control.
When Boko Haram struck, particularly with the kidnap of the Chibok Girls, the military high command of which he was one was caught clay-footed and lacking in the immediacy of response to such situations. The precision for which the military is famous, was in this instances lacking. It took them months to even accept that Boko Haram posed a threat to the nation’s security. When eventually they made up their minds to attack, the attempt was feeble and half-hearted. While the terrorists were mobilising and inching deep into the country, taking over towns and villages, the top echelon of the military establishment was busy bickering and wearing itself out in inter service rivalry.
Back in the 70s, my close friends and I fantasized about speed as most young people are wont to do. We loved those sleek, ugly- beautiful cars that promised, not just driving pleasure, but also speed in the realm of Formula One.
An advert that encapsulated this and made speed look glamorous was from BMW, the German ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’. In most of the magazines of our time, Esquire, Playboy, Time and Newsweek, it emblazoned its message of speed. ‘If you are late to the airport’ it advised, then the car to take out of your garage was a BMW and went on to emphasize the take-off power of a BMW engine by stating the 0 to whatever Miles- Per- Hour in 10 seconds. This advert caught my imagination as it did many of my friends.
Two of my childhood friends, Wole Adeloye and his senior brother Kayode, who was my primary school classmate—and rival—have had a life-long relationship with cars and speed. Wole, till today, tries to attend a motor show at least once a year and goes on the auto-bans whenever he can squeeze the time. He has also been able to drive many of his dream cars by renting them when on trips to Europe and America apart from having owned more than a couple of high-tech cars like Porsche, Mercedes and yes, BMW. Kayode on the other hand, has confessed to doing 150 miles per- hour on the auto-banns recently. He also boasts that any car he cannot take off the road due to an engine fault, will have to be towed.