By Dele Sobowale
“Justice Mohammad Idris of a Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered President Muhammadu Buhari to hold all successive administrations since the return to civil rule in 1999 to account on the spending of the recovered loot” – a national newspaper.
Are you aware that in addition to the four refineries in Nigeria – Portharcourt I and II, Warri and Kaduna, this country also had a 30 per cent interest in West African Refinery, Sierra Leone which was handed over to President Obasanjo’s government in 1999? Are you also aware that has Obasanjo so far failed to account for that national assets and its disposal, he was handed a list of assets forfeited by Abacha to the Federal Government on May 26, 1999 – in the last decree –Decree No. 53 – which was the last signed by General Abdulsalami Abubakar as Head of State, Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria? Are you also aware that other Abacha loot, returned between 1999 and May 2007, when Obasanjo was forced to step aside, remain unaccounted for and might have been re-looted? Prepare yourself for a shock – if it is still possible to be shocked in Nigeria by anything done by leaders of the PDP who had access to the corridors of power – especially the self-righteous Obasanjo. His administration established the template for looting Abacha loot. But, permit first a diversion – a necessary one.
Obasanjo had since made a caustic comment about the court order. He called Justice Idris “stupid” for daring to ask Buhari to ask Obasanjo to account for OUR money and other assets. That shows Obasanjo in his true colours. A honest man if asked to account for other peoples property which he held in trust does not resort to abuse. He would open the records for all to see that he had integrity. But, not Obasanjo. It is in his character. Back on April 8, 2012, three individuals who knew Baba Iyabo better than most Nigerians had the following to say about the man.
First, former Senate President Ken Nnamani: “He personally authorized the disbursement of N50m each for 109 Senators, as well as other sums of money, which amounted to an excess of N8bn to pass the third term bill into law.”
Then, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila: “He spent over N10bn on the agenda. His aides came to me to solicit support for third term. He also attempted to enlist the support of a former US President, Mr Bush, for the project, but it failed.”
Finally, read what Honourable Halims Agoda had to say. “It was Obasanjo’s personal agenda. He sought the support of the National Assembly, but it was thrown out..”. In the front page report of a national newspaper on the day under reference, titled “Obasanjo a joker, liar, he was behind third term – Nnamani, others”, Nigerians and the entire world were presented with the man Obasanjo. From what Nnamani alleged, he was involved in bribery and corruption – spending funds whose sources were undisclosed. Readers will begin to get an idea of where the money came from by reading my book – PDP: CORRUPTION INCORPORATED. Obasanjo created the PDP as we know it today. Jonathan just took the party to the next level.
Now, let us examine some indisputable evidence to support Justice Idris’ call on Buhari to ask Obasanjo and others to account for our resources. Please notice the word “resources” because what is missing is more than money – as will soon be demonstrated shortly.
Decree No 53, as earlier stated was the last decree signed by General Abubakar, who after it was placed in the Gazette, wanted it withdrawn for reasons still unknown. A desperate but failed effort was made to retrieve all the copies. Consequently, few copies of the Decree are in existence and most people are not aware of it. Among the few is available at Unijankara kept under lock and key. Below however is the summary of all the assets forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria under the FORFEITURE OF ASSETS, ETC. (CERTAIN PERSONS) DECREE 1999.
Properties/Assets Belonging To Late General Sani Abacha.
Plot 135(A6), House No. 12, Zaire Crescent, Maitama; Plot 574 (A4), Yakubu Gowon Crescent near ECOWAS Secretariat, Asokoro; Plot 2824 (A6), Block No. 17, along Danube Street, Maitama; Plot 650 (A6), Rhine Street, Maitama; Plot 1487 (A4), Justice Mamman Nasir Street; Plot 2480 (A6) Alvan Ikoku Street, Maitama; Plot 636 Adeyemo Alakija Street, Victoria Island (Cowry House).
Finally, 30 per cent shares valued at $420,000 USD, in West African Refinery, Sierra Leone (Purchased from UNIPETROL).
In addition to the properties listed there were the following cash items: $625,263,187.19; 75,306,886.93 pounds sterling and N100,000,000. In those days with the US dollar exchanging for N130 per dollar and a pound fetching N250, the total Abacha loot alone Abubakar handed to Obasanjo’s government was about N100 billion. That was just from the first set of loot found in Nigeria. Wait util next week to find out how much was forfeited by Abacha’s National Security Adviser, Ismaila Gwarzo, Mohammed Abacha, Abdulkadir Abacha, Alhaji Bashir Dalhatu and Chief Tony Ani. Then you will begin to understand why Obasanjo does not want a probe of the Abacha loot…..
NEXT WEEK: “If he [Obasanjo] is claiming that he never initiated the idea, who then initiated the release of more than N8bn from CBN coffers? Is it not the President that has access to CBN vaults?” Senate President, Ken Nnamani. Raiding CBN by Presidents pre-dated Jonathan. Baba started the civilian version in 1999.
CBN GOVERNOR: CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS ARE BLAMING THE VICTIM.
“Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny.”
William Shakespeare, 1564-1616. (VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTES).
If there is one public official who has earned my total sympathy these days, it is the Governor of Central Bank, CBN. There must be occasions, these days, when poor Mr Godwin Emefiele must be asking if there aren’t easier ways to make a living. Personally, I admire his guts, his tenacity, his patriotism and his courage under the constant bombardment of attacks – mostly defamatory. If he is not accused of selling dollars to unnamed beneficiaries below official rate, he accused of conducting secret recruitment unknown to the Presidency. All the critics, without exception argue from narrow perspectives of the CBN’s challenges and options available. They are like so many blind men each holding a part of an elephant and thinking he knows what an elephant is. Nobody has offered a comprehensive alternative to what he is doing.
Yet, I can state authoritatively that if there is any official most closely watched by government, it is the CBN Governor. He had made no important decision without approval from Aso Rock. Those asking for his sack are wasting their time. Bet on it. The guy is smart.