Kano threatens to sue presidency, Abati for fraud

Northwest Univerisity, Kano

The Kano State government has threatened to sue President Goodluck Jonathan’s spokesperson, Reuben Abati, and the Presidency for advanced fee fraud, 419,  over the use of the state’s project photographs to promote President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election bid.

Mr. Abati, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, had, in a 10-part series of tweets on Sunday, used photographs of the 10-storey Northwestern University and students of the Kano State Institute of Informatics to illustrate key projects he claimed the President Jonathan administration executed in the six North-West states of Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara.

The 10-storey building in Mr. Abati’s illustration was a long-standing project of the Kano State government, which was only completed and made a campus by the state’s current governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso. The Kano Informatics Institute was also established in 2011, by the current governor.

Using the hashtags #DidYouKnow? #TransformationintheNorthWest #ForwardNigeria#UpJonathan #UpNigeria, Mr. Abati deployed images and graphics to illustrate what he called the president’s transformation of the North-West zone.

Mr. Abati’s tweets angered the Kano state government, which accused him of lying, deception and plagiarism and demanded the deletion of the tweet and a public apology.

The current Kano state governor, who is claiming credits for the brandished projects, is also a presidential aspirant and member of the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC.

The tweets also drew heavy public criticism against Mr. Abati and the presidency.

The presidential spokesperson has since deleted the tweet and replaced it with an infographic where the president’s achievements were illustrated with words scribbled in colourful speech bubbles.

Ahead of the February 15 general elections, Nigerian politicians with ambitions are desperate to brandish concrete achievements to convince the voting public they performed well in their current position, a prerequisite for public support.


More than 24 hours after the tweet was deleted, the Kano government said Mr. Abati is yet to apologise to it.

“We are giving him seven days to tender a public apology or we will sue him,” Jaafar Jaafar, the Special Assistant on Media to Governor Kwankwaso, told PREMIUM TIMES.

He said the state government was approaching its lawyers to kickstart plagiarism and advance fee fraud, aka 419, charges against the presidential spokesperson if Mr. Abati failed to apologise.

He argued that in addition to using the images without permission, the presidential spokesperson intended to deceive the public with those images and make pecuniary gains.

He said Mr. Abati’s action was planned to “hoodwink” Nigerians into believing President Jonathan’s administration was effective in the region.

Mr. Jaafar argued that such assumptions could have misled voters to re-elect the president in the forthcoming election and in turn make Mr. Abati richer.

“That is obtaining money under false pretence,” Mr. Jaafar said.

If Mr. Abati is charged, it would be the first time an aide of the President is tried for deception.

Mr. Abati could not be reached for comments. Telephone calls rang out and were not returned.

Text messages were not replied.


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  • Robert Johnson

    Ruben the two face lier, over to you!

  • Innocent

    I think Jafar’s is a strong argument under the advance fee fraud act.

  • Goodluck_Nigeria


    I am becoming very suspicious about the prominence that Rabiu Kwankwaso and Premium Tomes are giving to this structure housing the moribund North Western University that does not have a single qualified lecturer …… I hope they are not setting the building up for destruction by Boko Haram.

    Because those who conceived the project before Rabiu kwankwaso meant well ……… but unfortunately Rabiu Kwqanwaso is a founder and strong advocate for Boko Haram that has no place for education.

    The people of Kano State must be vigilant.

    • Wise Head



      That is NOT the issue. Don’t distract us. The presidency ‘stole’ and appropriated the project as theirs. It does not belong to them. It belongs to the Kano State Govt.

      Now, if a mistake was made, which is human, what prevents the presidency from saying so?

      Your brand of blind support for anything Jonathan is the same reason the President has failed to see reality. Folks like you daily tell the man he is better than Obama when in fact he is the worst we have ever heard!

      And to you: Do you honestly think Nigerians are fools? Do you think you are not a laughing stock? Please do a lot of introspection today.

  • Wole

    I am surprised that the presidency has refused to respond to this ‘allegation’. They have responded to others, but not this one. If this people know shame, they will know there is dignity in resigning when you have lost it.

    • Swagger

      They never respond to any! Remember Wendell Simlin scandal involving Omokri? Remember #BringBackJonathan involving Okupe? Remember Modu Sheriff’s Chad photo distributed by Abati? Jonathan doesn’t give a damn about nothing, he’s the grandfather of impunity who works hard daily to make Obasanjo a saint…

    • True Nigerian

      Well, if they had any shame, Nigeria will not be the embarrassment that it is today. Remember, he (Reuben) also tweeted photos of Mr President in a comfortable company of a known Boko haram sponsor, Ali Modu Sherrif in the Chadian President’s office. Apparently, he did not see anything wrong with that, and only God knows what exactly he wanted to achieve by tweeting that image without any explanatory words accompanying the tweet. As soon as the furious reaction of the Nigerians that are still sane enough to know what is wrong or right was kindled by that tweet, Mr Abati pulled it down and tweeted in reverse that the president did not go with Ali Modu and that the meeting was not arranged; that is depsite the fact that evidence clearly showed otherwise. He is still in his job; But why not? After all, Nigerians had to protest on the street in order for this government to allow the “honourable resignation” of a minister that stole more than $1m in car purchase fraud. Meanwhile their protests has not succeeded in getting the same results for another minister that has 5 official indictments for frauds and corruption which are now a slap on our wrists when you consider than $20b has now disappeared under her watch whilst a few of her cronies have now also managed to steal N2trillion in the name of fuel subsidy fraud in just under 2 years.

      Nigeria, under Jonathan’s leadership, is effectively a shameless nation; an enclave where the leaders are proud of shame.

  • Wise Head

    I have told Kwankwaso before, and I will tell him again: too much of bitterness and bottled-up hatred could be very injurious to health. Go and check all his statements on Jonathan for a long time now and see them reeking and oozing with raw bitterness and spite. You can oppose your opponent; you can even initiate a struggle to remove him from power, but you can do all these without undue bile, hate and bitterness. At least, for your own health. And by the way, we are being told that Kwankwaso only added about 5% or even less of finishing on the said structure which was erected by his predecessors, and he is not letting us hear word. What would happen if he was the person that built the project from the scratch? I think Kwankwaso and his aides have too much time in their hands. While I do not condone the carelessness manifested by Abati in choosing a wrong picture for the said tweet, I am glad that he has not bothered to dignify this Jaafar fellow and his excessively bitter master with a reply.

    • Ahmad

      Burry your mumu head in shame. Can’t you see that the fraudulent actions of the government is what is buttressing Kwankwaso’s posture towards Jonathan administration? “Wise head” indeed!

      • Wise Head

        Read my post again. I said if you examine Kwankwaso’s statements for a long time, not just this week – his bitterness is even less in this recent case – maybe, he has begun to heed my advice. Again, Kwankwaso just put in about 5% of finishing in the project, and he is making all the noise. What will he do if he built it from the scratch? Do you really in your heart of hearts believe that Abati did this intentionally? If he must steal pictures, should he do that from man that habours a legendary bitterness against his boss, and for the simple reason that he (GEJ) is today what Kwankwaso can only dream to become. GEJ is not the cause of Kwankwaso’s problems, so, he should wait for his own time.


      Hogwash! Why are you engaging in reverse reasoning and selective perception? The issue here is that Abati/Presidency made a false claim on a project executed by the Kano State. Instead of addressing that, you are engaging in pseudo morality. You have forgotten the saying that he who must come to equity must come with clean hands. Please give us a break.

    • tundemash

      If Kwankwaso only added about 5% , what percentage did Dumbo add to lay claim to it ?

      • Otile

        Whose oil money are you killing people for? Did Imam Kwankwaso raise the 5% from groundnut pyramids, or dry sand dunes, or from manure?

  • Wole

    Fellow Nigerians,

    We know them. Those in the opposition want us to break our fast. You see, the whole presidency is fasting right now. We have this spiritual instruction not to respond to any provocation from the North, especially from Kano. So we will refuse to talk.

    But if I may say something: have you collected your PVC? Please let’s continue the good work we have started. We have never lacked power in this country – in the PDP we have it. Have you ever heard ‘ACN, Power!? No, that will never happen. It is the one and only PDP, Power! The opposition calls us power of darkness. Please tell them: before light there was darkness. We will break even.

    Yeah, we have done well in this government. My wife joined the league of widows and widowers. That will add to her cap as Dame Hypo. A beg support us. We have built 2500 Almajari schools. We expect BH guys to join these schools soon. Sekau will be the senior prefect in one of the schools. We have rebuilt all airports in this country. When I return to power, by the grace of God, there will be airport in every local government.

    We have credible people in our party. Ribadu is now with us. He has been PDP true and true. Alams is still here. The club is not complete with Bode Goerge, Ikimi and the rest of them.

    Let me tell you this secret – please keep it as top secret, I only want one more term. When my distractors said I promised to stay in power for just one term, they didn’t know I actually wanted the 2015-19 term not the 2010-14. You know why? My first six years prepares me for my real ‘first term’ in office.

    If you vote for us, we will reward you handsomely. Buruji Kasamu is my campaign coordinator in the SW. He will settle you. I have another gift for you in Baba Obasanjo’s bedroom. Your wives and daughters will collect it on your behalf. Please let them go their alone.

    Hemmmm, Fellow Nigerians, there will be no election in Kano and Sokoto in 2015. Let them cry all they can. We will conduct election in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.

    • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)


  • Maria

    Who does not know that this government personifies fraud and 419? Please Kano government, teach the hypo some lesson.

    • Warri Boy

      You don’t have to pretend to be someone else. Only big mumus believe every other is as mumulee as they are. @Wahala aka @Maria…Orhue!

  • True Nigerian

    Hahahahahahaha! Funny Jonathan, his funny Presidency and very effusive funny advisers! So very funny! No, I meant very ridiculous, risible and embarrassing! If they can’t get it right on simple details like this one, how on earth do you expect them to get it right on the more complex issue of effective governance? I mean, the government does not even know what it did and what it didn’t do. Hahahahaha! Utterly ridiculous! But that is exactly how Nigeria has been governed over the last 6 years – knee-jerk response to deep-rooted problems, pettiness as a policy, individualism as an answer to institutional challenges, self-interests as a substitute to public interests, personal egos as priority over superior arguments and reasoning, ethno-religious posturings as a replacement to sound policy arguments and national interests.

    No such country is seated among the greats in the comity of nations; if as a citizen of such a country, you come from the lower or middle social class of the society, your yesterday is more promising than your tomorrow! But that is not the worst. The very worst of the sordid tales is that most of the victims think they are punishing someone else (for example me or northerners) by cheering the kind of horrendous leadership that perpetuates the above odium and utter hopelessness in the name of leadership! You, the citizen, will reap the country you sow!

    • Kitunde

      lol…I’m cracking up too…Bunch of jokers…I include the etnic champions too!

      • Kitunde

        that should read ethnic

  • Mohammed Alimu Mohammed

    This is the second time this Abati guy is dragging GEJ into his high profile scandal and unprofessional publicity job. first, accusing GMB that ended in court and tarnishing the respected Guardian News Paper and now Kano State Government that will likely end-up in court too creating a big PR problem in election period? GEJ should sack this man.


      Those who speak for this President are his biggest problems. In addition to the examples you have given, Doyin Okupe recently embarrassed the Presidency when he said no Leader/President has ever resigned in times of war. The APC succeeded in countering that by saying Neville Chamberlain resigned as Prime Minister of Britain in 1940….at the height of World War II. The Presidency had no response to that.

      If I were the President, I will not take Okupe, Abati, Omokri with me into the New Year, which is an election year.

  • clairvoyance

    Please go ahead and sue them their own don too much. lies, deception, deceit that’s all we hear, get from those rag heads in the presidency.

  • I Hate Sycophant Truly

    Presidency will never stop to amuse us. They claimed all roads all over the nation had been given face lift and the economy is booming, the development is at astronomical rate but I and the discerning minds still looking for the development. Now, they go so far to the North to disgrace themselves of development they know nothing about.

  • True Nigerian

    Reuben, na only you tweet come? Diaris tweeter oooo!!!! 🙂

  • True Nigerian

    For me, one of the most crucial reasons why GEJ must be sacked is because he doesn’t know how or when to sack people that deserve a sack. He sheepishly retains employees that make him look like a misprogrammed robot that is causing mayhem but can’t be deactivated or decommissioned. If a President does not even know what is good for him and his electoral interests, how on earth will he know what is good for the country? The equation doesn’t balance!

    • Realnigerian

      GEJ knows what he is doing. People should stop saying he doesn’t know. He knows. He is a just pure EVIL!!!

      • abeem

        I honesty think he does not know better. It is all about IQ and wisdom, the ability to discern right from wrong. Management 101 teaches us that a leader functions by using his staff to make decisions. The leader ask for inputs from his staff or recommendations on an issue to gain perspective and then make a decision based on the variety of opinions and perspectives his staff has provided. A good leader does not just rubber stamp decisions taken by his subordinates or advisers; he weighs the implications and then take action based on what he think is the right course of action to take given the circumstances of the situation.
        It seems this man does not have the capacity to handle the enormous responsibilities attached to the office of the president so he relies on his people to set the agenda and direction. I am sure nobody will be offended if I said that debating is the least of actions that he enjoys doing or want to be engaged in; therefore, to say he suffers from inferiority complex will be an understatement as he cannot effectively debate his staff. And so if you can’t debate your people when they come up with an argument for or against a proposed action, you just have to rubber stamp their recommendation and live with the consequences of your action. This to me is what I think is going on with this presidency.

    • The truth matter

      You should go and ask your father if GEJ know what he is doing or not

  • Truthometer

    Someone needs to sue their clueless and deceptive ass. Government of Dumbo thrives on lies, deception and propaganda. But unfortunately, the judiciary works for Dumbo and PDP, not for Nigerians.

  • the_adviser

    Kano state government dare not take federal government as they will lose. Federal Government money executed the project. Kano state contributed zero naira to federal government treasury.

    • tundemash

      that might sell at your amnesty camp not in a court of law !

    • Otile

      This is true.

  • Paschal

    Ample and usual waste of time. go to court already.
    We know una.
    Making it so very hard for this GEJ government not to win again.
    If only we have more credible options.

    • tundemash

      Must your GEJ be fraudulent to win ? Why claim credit for a project he didn’t execute mumu ?

      • Otile

        Whose oil money built the project? Mine is a question, I will not add mumu or any other insult.

  • Spoken word

    This presidency does not obey court orders so it will just be a waste of time and resources.

  • Warri Boy

    …and the NigerDelta will sue Kano for its beggarly dependence on Niger Delta resources and collection of survival funds from the Niger Delta.

    • Yemi


    • tundemash

      get education… go read the constitution !!!

      • Ovietesiri

        Shut up! Which constitution? How many have you read? …and which constitution did you apply when Emir chased Oba from the throne in Ilorinand took over with his knife, bow & arrow. Nonsense

      • Otile

        Abubakar tundemash, which constitution, the one mangled by your greedy Fulani masters to continue stealing our oil money? The constitution is corrupt.

    • Chicknonso


  • Warri Boy

    A new research & prospect for natural resources has just revealed that over 91% of Igbo land of South East Nigeria has oil & gas deposits in commercial quantities. Now, the truth of the matter is, as more and more natural resources are discovered in Igbo land, the more precarious the existence of Nigeria becomes. I need not explain more than that.

    But, it is the North who should be busy 24/7 digging and searching for resources with vigour, who is causing destruction of lives, infrastructure and motley of chaos left, right and centre. Honestly, I don’t know what is wrong with them. Fighting Presidency or fighting to get there in the hope of controlling another man’s resources is merely an exercise destined for futility. Not even a military govt can control my resources talk less of civilians. So, the North should stop its mischief and destruction in its own interest and begging serious digging…and as long as they despair not, I am confident they will find something. Even if na Lead dem find, mineral na mineral and all of them na resouces.

    • Stephanie

      What do you hope to achieve with the Oil? How will it pay you and your family members directly?



    • abeem

      Don’t feel bad, angry or grumpy; just advise Abati to be truthful and not deceptive and to live by the code and ethics of his journalism profession.

      • Otile

        So this is you mantra now …dont feel bad, angry or grumpy bla bla bla… as if you are saying anything.

        • abeem

          Certainly so, to drive Mr. Oyel Money and his ilks crazy.

          • Otile

            This is what you armed robbers always do to people, rob your victim, beat him up and insult him to drive him crazy. Yet you expect peace in one Nigeria.

          • abeem

            Yours is a proven case of insanity, seek help before it is too late. Just my 2 cents.

  • the truth

    Leave all this running to media for sympathy.please go ahead and sue him.wanting to cry wolf for something that is irrelevant,how does this make my garri I buy everyday cheaper? Please talk how we can take this country forward

    • abeem

      This is the beauty of democracy. To you, it might be irrelevant, but to me I see it as a positive action that Nigeria is making giant strides in holding people accountable. When we talk about corruption, it is not merely stealing money from the government; it could take different dimensions as in this case of a highly placed government official, to wit the press secretary to the president, being sued for deception for laying claim to an achievement that does not belong to his principal. The intent to deceive the public and gain from the action in terms of support with can transfer to votes is patently clear from the action of Abati in this case.
      The claim was not unfounded as the tweet has been deleted. So I say kudos to Kano State Government and thumbs down to Abati who, as a PhD holder, should know better because plagiarism has no place in PhD dissertations or in the Journalism profession . Hmmm, I guess integrity and good moral etiquette are not part of the ethics and code of conducts that the current holder of the press secretary to the president of Nigeria subscribes to.

      • Otile

        Whose oil money are you talking about in this case?

        • abeem

          You are always short on arguments but long on sentiments. Debate the facts and quit ranting on issues that are not relevant to the current discourse.

          • Otile

            Without oil there would be no Northern Nigeria as you know it today. Without oil you would be in Ijebu Ode farm toiling all day long, no school no western education, none of the long or short arguments you are blaming me for. See I go for the root of the matter instead of distractions. I know this drives you crazy.

            Ask Imam Kwankwaso where the source of fund for that impressive structure came from, if he is honest he will tell you it is from oil. You know this too, so why argue about who painted the walls or who published the picture of the beautiful building? Anybody can do those, but who provided the money?

            SE SS have been robbed silly to build Arewa and SW.

          • abeem

            Just one piece of advice for you: “Don’t feel bad, angry or grumpy; just advise Abati to be truthful and not deceptive and to live by the code and ethics of his journalism profession.”

          • Otile

            It is easy for you to advise someone not to feel bad after robbing him silly.

          • abeem

            I am sure you want a solution to your problem, right? Go and seek counseling before the situation gets out of hand. I see a psychiatric problem developing down the road.

          • Otile

            Why not talk substance? You said I was short on arguments, then I brought in just a few points expecting you to respond intelligently, but what did you do? As usual, you veered off, now talking about counseling and psychiatry.

            Next time stay away from those of us you can’t face in any thing in life. You will always be overwhelmed and put to shame, that time you turn to insults as your last resort. That’s what most of you weak-minded people do here.

          • abeem

            Otile, if there is anyone who should be admonished to argue intelligently, you are looking at that person in the mirror, it is you! Your argument is always infantile or shall I say puerile, because your shenanigan is always on stolen oil money and short of substance, 100% of the time.
            If you are wise, you should concentrate on gathering facts and getting ready to approach the courts to argue your case and bringing criminal proceedings against those you have identified as crooks who have stolen your wealth. Online forums is not the platform to get justice if you have been wronged and running from one forum to another certainly is not the way to go!
            The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome; I hope you understand the message I am trying to convey to you, Mr. Oyel Money!

  • Shahokaya

    The structure was built in 1983 by the regime of Abubakar Rimi as Kano Chamber of Commerce.It was painted in 2002 by the regime of Kwankwaso who renamed it Ado bayero house. It was renamed as ICT centre by Shekarau in 2007. In 2013 Kwankwaso turned it to a temporary site of North West University. In 2014 Jonathan stole it as one of his executed projects.

    • Otile

      Whose oil money was used to build the structure in the first place?

      • Ahmed

        @ Otile, where do you think was Kano before oil exploration?
        Kano has been a commercial hub of the trans – Sahara route hundreds of years before Niger-Delta was ever discovered (and probably inhabited)! Kano had always stood its ground as a self sustaining Kingdom and state and its no different today.

        • Otile

          Before oil Kano only had shabby mud houses. If there was no oil in SE SS Kano would still have shabby mud houses. The question is whose money was used to build this imposing structure?

          • Reno Omokri

            Your great grandmothers to be precise

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