Buhari: ‘Mai Gaskiya’ Where is your Integrity?

President Muhammadu Buhari recently at a campaign rally said he had no regret being a man of integrity, adding that he was satisfied with his personality and that the people close to him and himself had not benefitted from government contracts since he came to power. However, a list of 30 alleged corrupt persons working for him was recently made public which has cast a dark cloud over his personality. PowerSteering reports.
Over the years President Muhammadu Buhari had laid claim to being a person of integrity thereby hypnotizing the electorate in the far north and earning him the acronym of ‘mai gaskiya’ i.e. man of integrity which enabled him to garner block votes from a large section of the North in 2015.
However a recent revelation by the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, seems to have changed this perception as he came up with a list of 30 alleged “corrupt” persons working with President Muhammadu Buhari.
The list comprises former Governor of Lagos State and All Progressives Congress APC Party chieftain Bola Tinubu, who is alleged to have been involved with a company Alpha Beta, a consultancy which is at the centre of a N100 billion fraud, tax evasion and money laundering petition.
Another close ally of the President is his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, who was alleged to have collected N29.9m from one Bako Waziri Kyari, a nephew to Abba Kyari who said the money was meant to facilitate the award of a contract. Adams Oshiomhole, former Governor of Edo State and National Chairman of the APC who has been travelling around the country with Buhari on his campaign train was accused of building mansions on a huge expanse of land worth more than N10 billion, in excess of his legitimate means of income as governor.
A staunch loyalist of President Buhari, Abdullahi Adamu, a serving senator and former Governor of Nasarawa State is being prosecuted alongside 18 others for allegedly stealing N15bn from the treasury through contracts awarded when he was governor for 8 years.
Another friend and close confidant of the President is Babachir Lawal, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) who was removed from office after he was indicted by a Senate committee which investigated the management of money meant to assist persons displaced by Boko Haram. Lawal was indicted for using his companies to get contracts worth millions of naira without executing the contracts. Only recently his case was revisited by the anti-graft agency Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC.
Folarin Coker, Lagos socialite and Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC); is alleged to be involved in a scandal involving the diversion of the sum of N3 Billion from an account of Lagos state government. The fund was diverted from the account of Lagos State Government Number Plate Production Authority when Coker was the managing director.
Controversial Minister of Information Lai Mohammed also made the list as he has been fingered in a N2.5 billion scandal involving the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, Is’haq Kawu Modibbo.
Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff is under close scrutiny as the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Enough is Enough (EiE), and BudgIT have sent a joint Freedom of Information request to Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, requesting him to use his good offices and leadership position to “urgently provide information on the 2015, 2016 and 2017 budget implementation reports of the Nigerian Army, including the amounts released (financial implications) and expended in fiscal years 2015, 2016 and 2017 for the various operations the Army carried out.” The groups also urged Mr Buratai to furnish them with “the amounts released (financial implications) and expended in fiscal years 2015, 2016 and 2017 for: Operation Lafiya Dole, Operation Safe Haven, Operation Python Dance, Operation Ruwan Wuta, Operation Delta Safe, Operation Mesa, Operation Harbin Kunama, Operation Awatse, Operation Tsera Teku and Operation Crocodile Smile.”
Another prominent player in Buhari’s cabinet is the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika which the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded for his arrest and immediate prosecution for reportedly using a non-existent national carrier to defraud the nation to the tune of N1.2 billion.
Wife of the president; Aisha Buhari, who occupies the next room to Mr President was not left out of the list of those that have soiled their hands. It will be recalled that Aisha, had caused the arrest of her own Aide De Camp, Sani Baba-Inna, a chief superintendent of police for receiving huge donations from politicians and business people on her behalf and then keeping the cash to himself. Mrs Buhari requested the Inspector General of Police, to arrest and compel Mr. Baba-Inna to refund the money, put at over N2.5billion.
Also Recently a fraud suspect paraded by the SSS indicted top associates of President Muhammadu Buhari and his wife, Aisha. A lady Amina Mohammed was accused by SSS of gaining unauthorized entries into the Presidential Villa over a period of time, during which she impersonated top government officials, including once identifying herself as the first lady of Kogi State. Ms Mohammed had multiple access to the residence of First Lady Aisha Buhari, and using her unrestrained access to the State House and several cover names, including Justina Oluoha and Amina Villa, Ms Mohammed was then able to cosy-up to persons close to power, including Alexander ‘Chicason’ Okafor, whom she allegedly duped of up to N150 million in November 2017.
The trial of Ibrahim Shekarau, the former Governor of Kano State at a Federal High Court in Kano is still on. Shekarau is standing trial alongside Aminu Bashir Wali and Mansur Ahmed on a six count charge of conspiracy and money laundering to the tune of 950million. They are alleged to have taken possession of the said sum, which was “part of unlawful act of Diezani Maduake” the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, for gratification purpose, in the buildup of the 2015 general elections. While the trial lasted, Ibrahim Shekerau recently defected from the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) to All Progressive Congress, (APC) under the party’s chairman, Adams Oshoimohole’s popular principle of “join APC and your sins are forgiven,” to avoid further prosecution and pressing of charges.
Also on the list is Adamu Muazu, former Governor of Bauchi State who at a particular time was invited by the EFCC for questioning over allegations of misappropriating N19.8 billion belonging to Bauchi when he was Governor of the state from 1999 to 2007. Iyiola Omisore, former Osun State Deputy Governor; and former Senator was some time back arrested and later released by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission after he agreed to refund the over N1.3billion he allegedly received from the office of the National Security Adviser.
Abdulrasheed Maina, former Pensions Board boss who headed a pension reform task force during the Goodluck Jonathan administration, was indicted in 27 out of the 35-count charge filed against his alleged accomplices, including ex-Head of Service Stephen Oronsanye. Maina is regarded by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, as the prime suspect in the alleged diversion of billions of naira, from the pension fund through the office of the head of service, between 2010 and 2014.
Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, former Minister of State for Defence, had told the EFCC in his statement of oath that he received N4.7bn from the Office of the National Security Adviser under the leadership of Col. Sambo Dasuki in June 2014. He confessed that he was the one who collected the N4.7bn and distributed it. Obanikoro has returned N104m and has pledged to return N480m in installments every four months.
Governor Yari of Zamfara state has been engaged in a fierce battle with the EFCC for over a year following allegations that he diverted nearly N700m which formed part of the Paris Club refund due to his state. In July last year, a Federal High Court in Abuja ordered an interim forfeiture of the sums of N500m and $500,000 (N180m) said to have been looted from the Paris Club refunds made by the Federal Government in favour of the 36 states of the federation. The sums of money said to have been recovered from two firms, First Generation Mortgage Bank Limited, and Gosh Projects Limited, were allegedly linked to the governor. The EFCC also alleged, in an affidavit filed in support of its ex parte application seeking the interim forfeiture of the sums of money, that the N500m was diverted to offset Yari’s personal loan obtained from the First Generation Mortgage Bank Limited.
Rotimi Amaechi, who was the Director-General of the Buhari Campaign Organisation in 2015, has been charged with the task of ensuring that Buhari is elected a second time. The Minister of Transport, who is the face of the Buhari campaign, was indicted by the Justice George Omeregi-led Rivers State Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up to investigate the sale of state assets. He and others were accused of allegedly misappropriating N97bn through the sale of the state valued assets. Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, had alleged that $150m (N30bn at the time) was spent on Buhari’s campaign in 2015. Amaechi challenged his indictment but lost at the Appeal Court. Although anti-graft agencies have refused to state if he is under investigation or not, he has yet to clear his name and is still under investigation by the state government. The Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Emma Okah, insisted that Amaechi was not cleared by the panel that indicted him on the sale of some assets belonging to the state. Also, a top official at the Government House in Port Harcourt pointed out that at the last count on the matter, the former governor had gone to the Supreme Court. An appeal filed by Amaechi against the Justice George Omereji-led panel was in May 2017 dismissed by the Appeal Court in Port Harcourt.
Orji Uzor Kalu, former Governor of Abia State who governed Abia State from 1999 to 2007, was one of the most influential politicians in the South-East during his time in government. After leaving the PDP, he formed the Progressive Peoples Alliance from where he contested and lost a senatorial election in 2015. The following year, he defected to the APC and has paid several visits to the President since then. Recently, he visited the President in his hometown of Daura, Katsina State, where he was bestowed with the title, ‘Dan Baiwan Hausa’ by the Emir of Daura, Alhaji Umar Farouq. According to the emir, Kalu was bestowed with the title in appreciation of his “unwavering support for our son, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, Bayajida II .”
However, the former governor has been having a running legal battle with the EFCC since leaving office.
The EFCC alleged that Kalu and the others committed fraud between August 2001 and October 2005. It accused Kalu of utilising his company (Slok Nigeria Limited) to retain in the account of First Inland Bank, now First City Monument Bank, the sum of N200m. The commission said that the sum formed part of funds illegally derived from the coffers of the Abia State government. The EFCC also said that the accused retained, in different bank accounts, about N2.5bn belonging to the state government, adding that he diverted about N3.2bn from the coffers of the same government.
Regardless of his travails, the former governor has insisted that he will do all within his power to ensure that Buhari is re-elected.
Senator Godswill Akpabio; the former governor of Akwa Ibom State has been under probe by the EFCC for over three years based on allegations that he diverted over N100bn from the coffers of the state between 2007 and 2015. It will be recalled that Akpabio was welcomed into the APC by the President himself.
The former governor, who represents Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District, recently vowed that the APC would take over Akwa Ibom the way Adolph Hitler invaded Poland. Akpabio is arguably the closest defector to Buhari and has vowed to do everything possible to ensure Buhari is re-elected.
Alhaji Aliyu Wammako, a former governor, who is currently in charge of Buhari’s campaign in Sokoto State; who served as governor from 2007 to 2015, is under investigation over allegations of theft of public funds and money laundering totaling N15bn, an allegation he has vehemently denied.
Others on the list were Vice President Yemi Osibanjo; Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State; Alhaji Seminu Turaki, a two-term former Governor of Jigawa State; Alhaji Junaid Abdullahi, in-law to President Buhari, who is the Executive Secretary, Border Communities Development Agency (BDCA);
It is worthy of note that President Muhammadu Buhari uses every opportunity to tell the whole world that he is a man of integrity but he is not a man of his words. Before his victory in 2015 he had said he would only serve a single term as President as such it is strange that he is now contesting for a second term in 2019. Also in 2011 when he wept, and swore that he would never run for an elective position ever again, the same person is now going for a second term in office.
When Buhari was a military Head of state in 1984, the colour of the national currency, Naira was changed overnight. This prompted those trading with Naira outside the country to rush back to Nigeria in an attempt to change the naira in their possession. One of such persons was the father of Buhari’s ADC who brought 53 suitcases of Naira into the country. Buhari turned a blind eye and buried his so called integrity as he allowed the suitcases to enter the country.
Where is the integrity of Mai gaskiya?

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