- Amaechi Demands N2bn From Fani-Kayode, Fayose’s Aide
Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has written to a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, and an aide to Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, Mr. Lere Olayinka, citing character defamation over the allegation that he (the minister) owns the $43m (about N13bn) seized by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission in Ikoyi, Lagos.
Amaechi, in letters dated April 14, 2017, written on his behalf by his lawyer, Mr. Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), to the two men, said his client had been defamed by the claims of the two men.
He is also demanding two separate sums of N750m totalling N1.5bn from Olayinka as compensation for the alleged “malicious” posts by the Ekiti State Governor’s spokesperson on his facebook timeline and twitter handle on April 14.
In his letter to Fani-Kayode, Fagbemi said it was wrong for the former minister to assume that Amaechi owned the flat and the money found in it.
Fagbemi said as a lawyer, Fani-Kayode knew that he ought to approach the Land Registry, especially in Lagos State, where he said there were proper records of property owners, in order to verify the ownership of the property in question.
He said the former deliberately refused to carry out a diligent search in order to achieve a malicious aim.
Fagbemi said Fani-Kayode had claimed through his twitter handle that “The $43m is Rotimi Amaechi’s. He owns the flat (where) it was found in too (sic.). NIA story is fake news. NIA does not keep cash in minister’s flats.”
He said the story was a lie and that it was aimed at impeaching the integrity of his client, who he described as a two-term speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly and a two-term governor of the same state.
Fagbemi said Amaechi neither owned the flat where the money was found nor owned the cash as well.
The letter reads in part, “Our client neither owns the cash nor the house where the cash was found and your story and claim are unfounded. As a matter of fact, our client does not own any house in Lagos State not to talk of keeping cash in one and your story is preposterous.
“Your twitter rant of 14/04/2014 at 04.16 was viewed by your 316. 000 followers, re-tweeted 1,209 times and made a favourite by 434 followers as of the time of writing this letter today at 7.15pm and the list is increasing by the minute and same has satisfied all the conditions needed for a successful defamation case against you.
“We have our client’s mandate to state to you unequivocally that the said twitter publication constitutes libel, and is defamatory of him as same (the claim) is aimed at impugning our client’s character and credit in the eyes of right thinking Nigerians and foreigners.”
In view of this, he gave Fani-Kayode a seven-day ultimatum to tender apology to the minister and that such apology be carried by five national dailies.
Fagbemi added that Fani-Kayode should pay his client N500m damages as “compensation for the malicious and defamatory claim.”
He threatened to sue the minister if the demands were not met within seven days.
The lawyer in two separate letters, each relating separately to facebook and twitter posts by Olayinka, demanded the sums of N750m as compensation for each of the posts.
Fagbemi quoted Olayinka as stating in the posts, “The Osborne Towers, a luxury residential complex in lkoyi, Lagos where EFCC said it found $43,449,947, £27,800 and N23,218,000 on Wednesday is owned by the Minister of Transportation. Rotimi Amaechi.
“The house was built by Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, the former Chairman of PDP through a loan from GTBank.
“He could not repay the loan so GTB took over the house and allocated the Pent House to Mu’azu and two flats
“Rotimi Amaechi bought TWO of the flats (7A and 7B). He then gave 7A to Mo Abudu, the TV presenter, who is suspected to be his girlfriend.
But the flat 7B, where the money was found, belong (sic) to Rotimi Amaechi.
“This is believed to be cash kept for 2019 elections.
“Let’s see how the cover up game goes.”
He also accused Olayinka of falsely making adulterous imputation against his client, who he stated “contracted a valid statutory marriage within the Marriage Act, which prescribes a ‘one-man one-wife’ union.”
The letter relating to the twitter post read in part, “Your twitter post of 14/04/2014 as at 07pm today was viewed by not less than 12,000 followers, retweeted 38 times and made a favourite by nine followers as of the time of writing this letter.
“Please note that the list is increasing by the minute and same has satisfied all the conditions needed for a successful defamation case against you. May we state at this juncture that our client contracted a valid statutory marriage within the Marriage Act, which prescribes a ‘one man-one wife’ union.
“Your baseless assertion that our client bought a flat for one Mo Abudu, whom you also claim to be his girlfriend, raises the assertion that our client is adulterous and is unfaithful to his marital vows.
“We have our client’s mandate to state to you unequivocally that the said twitter publication constitutes libel, and is defamatory of him as same (the claim) is aimed at impugning our client‘s character and credit in the eyes of right thinking Nigerians and foreigners.
“In the light of the foregoing, and in the spirit of a second chance, we have our client’s instructions to give you an ultimatum of seven days from the receipt of this letter to issue an apology in five national dailies and on your twitter handle.
“Your apology, which should be heartfelt, must be a total withdrawal of your claim and its imputations must also contain an expression of deep regret for this unwarranted attack and must also contain a complete retraction of the false statement of yours.
“We also demand from you a sum of N750,000,000.00 (Seven hundred and Fifty Million Naira) as compensation for the malicious and defamatory claim.
“Please note that the demand will increase with time if you fail to retract the statement and publication immediately.
“Failure to do any of these would be met with stiff legal actions which your defamatory act deserves. A stitch in time saves nine!”
He reproduced the same content, making similar demands of apology and N750m compensation in the second letter in which he stated that Olayinka’s “Facebook post of April 13, 2017 was viewed by your over 5,000 friends with 47 friends liking it, 84 people commenting on it and 43 people sharing it as at the time of writing this letter.”
In his response, however, Fani-Kayode said he had not received any court letters from Amaechi.
In a statement by his media aide, Jude Ndukwe, the ex-minister said, “We have been inundated with calls concerning a threat by Rotimi Amaechi to sue Chief Fani-Kayode for defamation over the $43m issue.
“We are not losing any sleep over this matter. We have not received any court processes or letters from Amaechi but when we do so, our lawyers will respond vigorously and appropriately.”
Buhari Leaves Abuja To Attend African Finance summit in Paris
President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja on Sunday for Paris, France, on a four-day official visit to attend African Finance Summit.
The Summit according to the statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu in Abuja is expected to focus on reviewing the African economy, following shocks from the Coronavirus pandemic, and getting relief, especially from increased debt burden on countries.
The statement further explained that the Summit, to be hosted by President Emmanuel Macron, will draw major stakeholders in the global financial institutions and some Heads of Government, who will, collectively, discuss external funding and debt treatment for Africa, and private sector reforms
“During the visit, President Buhari will meet with the French President to discuss growing security threats in Sahel and Lake Chad region, political relations, economic ties, climate change and partnership in buoying the health sector, particularly in checking the spread of Covid-19, with more research and vaccines, ” it said.
Shehu in the statement said before returning to Nigeria, President Buhari will receive some key players in the oil and gas sector, engineering and telecommunications, European Council and European Union Representative for Foreign and Security Policy and Commission, and members of the Nigerian community.
The President will be accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, Minister of Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, and Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire.
Also on the trip are National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Mohammed Monguno (rtd) and Director General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.
Restructure Nigeria Before 2023 Polls, Afenifere Tells Buhari
The pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, on Friday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to bury the idea of holding elections before restructuring the country.
The Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, who made the call at the group’s meeting held at his Ogbo residence in Odogbolu local government area of Ogun State, said: “there must be a country before elections are held”.
Adebanjo said: “We urge Buhari to bury the idea of holding an election before returning to federalism by restructuring the country.
“There must be a country before elections are held, it would be patriotic of him to heed this advice. If Gen. Buhari is sincere about keeping the country together, he must restructure the country now this is the only answer to halt the disintegration of the country. To save Nigeria, restructure the country now.
“We should be proud as inheritors of a noble heritage, the party (Afenifere) was founded on the political philosophy of federalism due to the multi-ethnic, multilingual, multicultural and multi-religious nature of our country”.
“Failure to adhere to this principle has been the cause of the instability that has plagued our country since Independence. Our consistent advocacy for the restructuring of the country to federalism is based on the founding philosophy of the party”.
“It is for this reason that the founding leader of the party is known as the father of federalism in Nigeria”.
“It is the only political system that can keep the country together in peace. It is mischievous for President Buhari’s government to accuse advocates of restructuring as secessionist and separatists”.
“It is the system that our founding fathers, The Saudarna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmad Bello, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe agreed to before the British government granted us independence in 1960, after the collapse of Macpherson constitution in 1953”.
“The present constitution which is the cause of instability in the country is imposed on us by the military-dominated by Northern Muslims after the coup of 1966”.
“The clamor for the return of the country to federalism is born out of the obnoxious provision in the constitution which has made economic and political progress impossible and this has been the main cause of instability in the country”.
“Our resolve for the restructuring of the country back to federalism is unshakeable. We assert we are no secessionist. It is those who oppose restructuring that are enemies of a United Nigeria. That all opponents of restructuring give impetus to secessionists”.
“We do not believe in the National Assembly which is a product of this fraudulent constitution to amend the constitution, it is immoral and illogical for a product of fraud to amend the fraud.
Six years ago, I warned the nation of the danger of voting for Gen. Muhammad Buhari, I accused him of being a feudalist by birth, a dictator by training and a religious fanatic”.
“I accused him of being a tribalist who has no respect for the rule of law. We were bombarded with the propaganda that he will ruthlessly fight corruption which they said was the bane of Jonathan administration”.
“They even told us that as a military man, he would wipe out Boko Haram in 6 months. But after six years in office, we now know better. Buhari has failed in his promises to the electorate”.
“Our economy is in tatters, corruption is growing in arithmetical proportion. Our security has collapsed to the extent that Buhari’s government has become so helpless that it now negotiates with Bandits who are so powerful that they dictate the terms of the negotiation. Kidnapping, murder, rape and various acts of criminality pervade the length and breadth of the country unabated”.
“The clamour for Gen. Buhari to resign or be impeached is growing louder and louder every day”.
“As a cover-up for his misdeeds, Gen. Buhari has resorted to silence the opposition by raising the false alarm that former military officers and prominent leaders of the ethnic organization and some Emirs are planning a meeting to pass a vote of no confidence in him. You will wonder even if that allegation is true when is it illegal or unconstitutional in a democracy for citizens to associate. Freedom of association is embedded in our constitution”.
“He also raises a false alarm that people are planning a coup. I assert Gen. Buhari has failed woefully, he has no clue about the problems facing Nigeria. He should go now before he plunged the country into a crisis the end of which nobody can foretell”.
“The Yoruba people are the only ethnic group that has never called for secession. We have invested in a united Nigeria that we will resist any act that will lead to its break up. We will be in Nigeria as equal partners in a federal Nigeria. A Nigeria in which we will play a second fiddle is most unacceptable”.
Therefore, our irreducible minimum condition of staying in Nigeria is a restructured Nigeria. Anything short of that is ‘‘to thy tent, oh Isreal.” The unity of the horse and the rider in which a section of the country is the rider and we the horse is most unacceptable.
Afenifere by our resilience and consistency over the years has proved to be the most reliable and dependable organization in the country”.
“I assert very confidently that from the First Republic we are the only national party in the country”.
“It is our consistent and persistent agitation for the right of minorities that has given birth to Edo, Delta, Rivers, Cross River and Akwa Ibom states in the South and Benue, Plateau, Borno, Kwara and the Adamawa States in the North”.
“Our party manifesto of Free Education, Free Health and Integrated Rural Development as successfully implemented in the West is not confined to Yoruba land but applicable and implementable beyond Yoruba land across the length and breadth of Nigeria.
“Afenifere is the beacon of progressive politics. The political philosophy of federalism propagated by our leader the sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo is now the sing-song all over the country today.
I hereby appeal to all our members who for one reason or another have sojourned in the other parties to come back home, you will be welcome with open arms. There is room for the youth to rise to leadership on the merit of their performance.
“It is cheering that the call for the restructuring is no longer limited to Afenifere, PANDEF and Middle-Belt forum, The Northern Elders Forum, Arewa Consultative Forum have joined the crusade”.
While declaring the group support to the decisions of the Southern governors in their efforts towards tackling the problem of insecurity facing the country, Chief Adebanjo said, “Afenifere welcomes and endorse fully the resolution of the Southern Governors Forum. And we hope Gen. Buhari in the interest of Nigeria unity, peace, tranquillity and economic progress give serious attention to the recommendation”.
ICPC Declares Buhari’s Son-In-Law, Two Others Wanted For $65M Fraud
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses Commission (ICPC) has declared Gimba Kumo, a son-in-law of President Muhammadu Buhari, and two others wanted over alleged misappropriation of $65 million National Housing Funds.
Mr. Kumo, a former managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, had in 2016 married Fatima, the president’s daughter, in Daura, Katsina State.
The ICPC in its list of wanted persons declared Mr. Kumo wanted alongside Tarry Rufus and Bola Ogunsola over the alleged fraud.
In the notice signed by its spokesperson Azuka Ogugua, the ICPC urged the public to provide information about the whereabouts of the wanted persons.
“The persons whose pictures appear above, Mr. Tarry Rufus, Mr. Gimba Yau Kumo, and Mr. Bola Ogunsola, are hereby declared WANTED by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in connection with issues bordering on misappropriation of National Housing Funds and diversion of the sum of Sixty Five Million dollars ($65,000,000).
“Anyone who has useful information on their whereabouts should report to ICPC Headquarters Abuja, any of the ICPC State Offices, or the nearest police station” the notice read.
In April, the senate committee on public accounts had summoned Mr. Kumo to explain the alleged irregular award of N3 billion contract when he was still at the bank.
The committee issued the summons following a query raised in a 2015-2018 report by the office of the auditor-general of the federation (AuGF) against the FMBN.
According to the report, the contract was awarded in four phases and was overpaid to the tune of N3,045,391,531.97.
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