A former presidential aide, Rene Omokri, on Sunday, released what he called “RealLootersList”, describing it as the list that President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, “should have released”.
The list released on Sunday follows a previous one the ex-Jonathan aide released about a fortnight ago.
Those included in Mr Omokri’s new list include Nr Buhari, Mr Mohammed, Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola; Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Usman Yusuf, among others.
The list came hours after the federal government vowed to release the names of more persons alleged to have looted public funds.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday, Mr Mohammed said since the release of the first two lists of the alleged looters, there have been “overt and covert attempts to intimidate and blackmail the Federal Government into discontinuing the release of more looters’ names”.
Two previous sets of lists released by the government have been criticised for containing only the names of the members of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
None of those on the list has been convicted with some of them being prosecuted and others not being tried for any offence yet.
Persons mentioned in previous lists as well as civic groups like the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) have criticised the government for releasing the names. The national chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus has gone a step further by suing the minister and the federal government for including his name on the controversial list.
The minister, however, said the pressure being mounted on the government over its decision to expose looters is not unexpected.
“We know where the pressure is coming from. However, the die is cast. We will not stop until we have released the names of all those who have looted our commonwealth. Those who have not looted our treasury have nothing to be afraid of.”
He further challenged anyone who feels that he or she has been wrongly accused to seek redress in court, rather than “engaging in exhibitionist sophistry”.
In a lengthy statement, Mr Omokri said the nation was witness to the flop of the “pathetic looters lists” earlier released by Mr Mohammed “which read more like a list of noise makers drawn up by a primary school class captain who wanted to implicate his enemies.”
He also said his list was more credible and called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission as well as the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission to investigate, interrogate and prosecute those contained in his own list.
Read the full statement below:
The #RealLootersList That President Buhari and Lai Mohammed Should Have Released.
It was with great amusement that I received news that the minister for propaganda, the rightly and prophetically named Lai Mohammed, was planning on releasing a new looters list.
The nation was witness to the flop of the pathetic looters lists he had earlier drawn up which read more like a list of noise makers drawn up by a primary school class captain who wanted to implicate his enemies.
After having been shamed at home and abroad for its one sided and fallacious list, the Buhari administration wants to redeem itself by releasing a third list, which from the look of things, will go into infamy like its two elder brothers.
The funniest thing is that both Lai Mohammed and President Buhari’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, had condemned the release of a looters list by the pioneer Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Chairman, Nuhu Ribadu in 2007.
It is very obvious that they have no moral compass. Their loyalties are only to there bellies. If not, why condemn a looters list released by Nuhu Ribadu and commend a looters list released by the Buhari administration?
In any case, Nigerians and the international community may find the list below to be a more credible list and I call on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission to investigate, interrogate and prosecute those contained therein, especially as I have produced details and named names, dates and amounts involved which stand at over $30 billion.
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. There are many others, including a South South ex Governor who is close to President Buhari, whose security vote was incredibly substantial, but unless I have hard documentary evidence or eyewitness testimony, I have avoided listing such persons.
Muhammadu Buhari and His Cronies: On several occasions during the 2015 election campaign, then candidate Muhammadu Buhari said he did not know what fuel subsidy is and accused the Jonathan administration of scamming Nigerians through the scheme.
Again on December 28, 2015, President Buhari said he was ending fuel subsidy. On May 12, 2016 the minister of state for petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, said subsidy had been removed. The price of petrol was increased on that basis to ₦145. Then on December 15, 2016, Vice President Osinbajo said there was no more fuel subsidy in Nigeria.
In the 2016 and 2017 budgets, the National Assembly made no provision for appropriations for fuel subsidy.
On Friday, December 22, 2017, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Maikanti Baru, said that President Buhari had authorized him to make fuel subsidy payments which he tried to hide by using the ingenious term ‘under recovery’.
On April 6, 2018, the minister of state for petroleum resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu revealed that ₦1.4 trillion was being spent annually on fuel subsidy payments by the Buhari administration.
Section 162 (1) of the Constitution provides that:
“(1) The Federation shall maintain a special account to be called “the Federation Account” into which shall be paid all revenues collected by the Government of the Federation, except the proceeds from the personal income tax of the personnel of the armed forces of the Federation, the Nigeria Police Force, the Ministry or department of government charged with responsibility for Foreign Affairs and the residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.”
Moreover, there is a Treasury Single Account policy in operation.
If all funds belonging to the federation are remitted into the Federation Account, if all Ministries, Departments and Agencies are bound by the TSA, how is it possible for President Buhari to unconstitutionally instruct the GMD of the NNPC to use funds which were not appropriated by the National Assembly to pay for a scheme that was scrapped?
This amount was equivalent to $900,000 at the time the contract was awarded. It goes without saying that two bore holes can be sunk for less than 5% of the amount expended by Fashola.
Rauf Aregbesola: It was reported in several investigating journals that the contract to provide schools in Osun state with the tablet nick named ‘Opon Imo’ was awarded to a firm linked to Governor Rauf Aregbesola‘s son at an inflated price of ₦8.6 billion. This allegation was also made in a petition by the Civil Societies Coalition for the Emancipation of Osun state (CSCEOS).
The introduction of the so called knowledge tablet was meant to boost education in Osun State. The curious thing however is that in the latest rankings from WAEC, only 46.77 per cent of Osun State students got five credits and above in the 2017 West African Senior School Certificate Examination. In fact, Osun State, which used to be one of the top performing states in education was outperformed by five northern states, including Borno, to emerge 24th position nationwide out of 36 states.
In 2016, the state fared even worse, ranking 29th among the 36 states and the FCT in 2016’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination results released by WAEC.
Usman Yusuf: Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme. Suspended by the minister of health for allegedly misappropriating approximately ₦1 billion. A probe panel was set up by the minister of health, Isaac Adewole. Mr. Adewole found the evidence against Mr: Yusuf compelling enough to warrant his suspension.
According to the investigative journalism website, premiumtimesng. com, their editors had cited the documents presented as evidence against Mr. Yusuf and their conclusion is that “cases of misconduct was clearly established against Mr. Yusuf.”
Again, Premium Times report that their investigations revealed that Mr. Yusuf used his closeness to President Buhari to countermand the minister of health’s decision and was reinstated to his position.
According to Punch Newspapers “When our correspondent reached out to him to respond to the allegations levelled against him last December, Yusuf had said, “F*ck you, and f*ck the minister”-This is the type of character that has been reinstated by President Buhari to Head the NHIS after being suspended for a ₦1 billion scam.
Lai Mohammed: Currently serving as minister of information, Mr. Lai Mohammed used his office to intimidate a parastatal under his ministry to engage in unethical practices.
Documentary evidence reveal that Mr. Mohammed was alleged to have begged his subordinates at the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for a ‘loan’ of ₦13 million to enable him travel to China, an act which is against civil service rules and against the rules of public decency.
A civil society organization, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) describes Mr. Lai Mohammed’s action as “a subtle attempt at blackmail and a sinister plot to seek to extort N13 million from one of the agencies under his ministerial supervision. The action is absolutely against President Muhammadu Buhari’s current anti-graft disposition which is signposted in the bringing into being of the Treasury Single Account (TSA).”
How many other parastatals, departments and agencies has Lai Mohammed gone a-begging and for which he has not been exposed. Yet this is the same man that goes about parroting lies, half truths and innuendo against others.
EFCC: The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is currently headed by Ibrahim Magu, a man whose confirmation as Chairman of the EFCC was denied down by the Senate after a negative report on him by the Department of State Security.
Under his tenure, Nigeria made her worst ever retrogression in the Transparency International annual Corruption Perception Index, moving 12 places backward from 136 to 148.
Also, the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units, which is the officially recognized global body that fosters cooperation in the fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism, has suspended Nigeria because Mr. Magu’s EFCC has, in their opinion, continued to leak financial information passed on to them to the media. This information they leak is overwhelmingly information related to opponents of the Buhari administration.
When they suspended Nigeria, the Egmont Group gave as reason the “repeated failures on the part of the FIU, (Nigeria) to address concerns regarding the protection of confidential information.”
At various occasions between 2017 and 2018, Mr. Magu publicly declared that the EFCC had recovered looted funds totaling ₦739 billion.
However, in a leaked memo to Mr. Magu by the minister for finance, Kemi Adeosun, the minister asserted that contrary to the public claims by Mr. Magu that ₦739 billion has been recovered by the EFCC, only ₦91.3 billion had been deposited by the commission into the treasury. She then demanded to know the whereabouts of the balance of the monies.
Between what Mr. Magu claims to have recovered and what the EFCC paid in, there is a difference of ₦647.7 billion.
Shehu Sani, a Senator elected under the banner of the ruling APC has alleged that the looted funds recovered by this administration has been ‘relooted’.
Unfortunately, rather than accept the truth that there is an unprecedented corruption, ineptitude and nepotism in their government, the Buhari administration continues to promote the propaganda that our current economic malaise is as a result of the mismanagement of Nigeria’s economy by the Jonathan administration.
However, even members of President Buhari’s cabinet have testified publicly to the fact that the President, his vice and their fallacious minister of information have falsely accused the previous government.
Speaking on February 1, 2018 at a civil society engagement workshop on the Power Sector Recovery Programme in Abuja, the minister of works, power and housing, Babatunde Fashola, in trying to defend himself from allegations of ineptitude as regards the epileptic power supply in the country, ended up vindicating both Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP, albeit unintentionally.
At that event, Mr. Fashola said:
“We hear all our so-called experts who say (non-availability of) power is why the economy of Nigeria is not growing. That is not factual and it is not correct. At the time when we had less power in 2013 and 2014, THE ECONOMY OF THIS COUNTRY WAS GROWING AT SEVEN PER CENT PER ANNUM. We had less power then than we have now, but the economy was growing.”
Nigerians can now see that Mr. Fashola, in a Freudian slip, was made by God, to expose the truth that his boss, his party and his colleagues have been trying to suppress for the past three years, namely that former President Jonathan developed and grew Nigeria’s economy at an unprecedented and consistent growth rate of over 6% per annum and handed over a thriving economy that was projected by CNNMoney to be the third fastest growing economy in the world when Dr. Jonathan handed over power to President Buhari.
Unfortunately, due to the ineptitude of the Buhari administration, a booming economy became an economy in recession in just one year under the All Progressive Congress.
In less than three years, President Buhari has borrowed more money than the PDP borrowed in the last sixteen years. Yet the economy has gotten worse! Buhari is 75 years old. Who do you think will pay for these loans he is taking?
And to those who think Buhari’s APC is better than the PDP should consider this fact. The Southwest states were the top states in education until the APC took over there. The Southeast/South-south states were educationally disadvantaged until PDP took over. Now they are on top. Do not take my word for it. Google WAEC state by state rankings for the last 5 years yourself.
The corruption by the APC government is so pervasive that it has not only affected the economy, but it has affected knowledge acquisition.
Bestselling author of Facts Versus Fiction: The True Story of the Jonathan Years: Chibok, 2015 and Other Conspiracies.