OFFICIALLY JAMES Onanefe Ibori, born August 4, 1958, was a two-term governor of Delta State from May 29, 1999 to May 29, 2007. A member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he was at one time seen as the most powerful or influential politician after the President.
He hails from Otefe in Oghara kingdom, Ethiope West Local Council. For his education, he attended Baptist High School, Oghareki, now Oghareki Grammar School and the University of Benin where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and statistics.
He started his working career with Mobil Oil Nigeria Limited; later joined the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as one of the pioneer staff in the marketing department of the corporation’s Warri Refinery and Petrochemical Company.
Between 1994 and 1997, he consulted for the Federal Government on public policy formulation and implementation. His major assignment during this period was the research, which resulted in the formulation of a national drug policy for the country.
In 1990, Ibori joined the National Republican Convention (NRC) and thus began a career in politics. In 1991, he contested but lost his bid for a seat in the House of Representatives, to represent Ethiope Federal Constituency.
He joined the Grassroots Democratic Movement (GDM) during the Abacha Transition Programme. With the death of Abacha, Ibori and other politicians in Delta State, formed the Delta National Congress (DNC). The party was one of the streams of parties that flowed into the PDP. .
Since leaving office in 2007, Ibori became an influence peddler. He literally financed the presidential campaign of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. And when Yar’Adua was elected, Ibori had a front seat in Aso Rock Villa. Even in the PDP, his views were respected. He was the most powerful politician, after the President.
One of the closest persons to the late president, few people got close to Yar’Adua without going through Ibori. His friendship with the late president was providential. As a former governor, exposed without immunity, Ibori knew he had influence, protection and power.
The list of political appointments by Yar’Adua, allegedly with Ibori’s signature is long. They include former Inspectors-General of Police, Mike Okiro and Ogbonnaya Onovo; former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mrs. Farida Waziri and former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Michael Aondoakaa.
David Edebvie, Principal Private Secretary to the late President, was Commissioner for Finance in Ibori’s government. He also worked in the Yar’Adua/Jonathan Campaign Organisation.
Yar’Adua made a case of going after corrupt politicians, even his former governor colleagues. Up till this point, Ibori was a name easily associated with corruption. His prosecution began at the Federal High Court, Kaduna, in 2007. But in spite of the charges of corruption around him, the Yar’Adua government put him on the country’s delegation to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, fuelling suspicions that the Yar’Adua administration was shielding Ibori from prosecution.
On September 10, 2007, Aondoakaa said in Abuja that the EFCC had cleared Ibori and former governors, Victor Attah (Akwa Ibom) and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (Lagos), over the sale of their states’ shares in EWN when the EFCC had not concluded investigations.
The EFCC denied. The EFCC in statement signed by Femi Babafemi stated: “The commission wishes to state emphatically that it has not at any time or in any correspondence with the persons referred to in the media reports or any other person, cleared them of complicity in all matters relating to them which are in court or still under investigations.”
As the cases of corruption thickened, Ibori alleged that former President Olusegun Obasanjo caused his problems, using Ribadu to “package me as the face of corruption and brand me as the greatest obstacle to Nigeria’s development.” He claimed that the problem was that he teamed up with other governors to oppose Obasanjo’s re-election bid in 2003.
“When I met him soon after the convention, he told me that he learnt that I had put forward the view that he was unmarketable and unelectable. He then vowed that he was going to make sure that I was unmarketable and unelectable,” Ibori said of Obasanjo. He also alleged that his campaign for resource control had upset Obasanjo.
Ibori had also claimed that Ribadu was moving against him because he refused to assist him in his bid to become the Inspector-General of Police.
While Ibori added that Ribadu’s claim that he offered him $15 million bribe was false, ribadu described Ibori’s claims as concocted.
“How could I have been seeking the assistance of a convicted felon for the highest police position in the country? If I wanted to be IG, he would be the last person I will consider to help me,” Ribadu said.
The First Republic Information Minister, Chief Edwin Clark, had said: “Ibori has no reason to accuse anybody for his travail. If he did not commit a crime, will Obasanjo manufacture offences against him? There is nothing to show that Ibori was against Obasanjo for the third term. After the third term, he and Obasanjo were hobnobbing; they were meeting together from time to time.
“All the houses he bought in London, was it Obasanjo who told him to buy the Total Oil company in Benin; and the purchase of N5 million worth of diesel every month from Total, which came to about N300 million; and the shares he bought from Afribank, the N5 billion spent in Afribank, was it Obasanjo who was responsible for that?”
Kwara Governor, Abdulrazaq Declares 24-hour Curfew
Following the outbreak of violence in some quarters of the State, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State has declared a 24-hour Curfew on the state starting on Saturday.
Governor Abdulrazaq made this known in a statewide broadcast on Friday night.
Recall that on Friday some residents of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital stormed the warehouses where the government stored COVID-19 palliatives expected to be distributed to citizens.
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The warehouses, located at the cargo warehouse of the International airport in Ilorin as well as the agro-mall located in the Sango area of the state were totally ransacked as residents struggled to pack as much food items as they could.
Abdulrazaq said, “Lives are being threatened. Businesses are being looted. Public properties have been targeted. This is unacceptable. It is not who we are.
“To curb these acts of criminalities, I hereby declare a 24-hour curfew in Ilorin metropolis from midnight today October 23rd, 2020. This is in line with Sections 1, 2, and 4 of the Public Order Act Chapter 382 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004.
“People are urged to stay indoors in compliance with this curfew. This will be reviewed as we watch developments.
“Our observation is that what has happened today is not a protest, it cannot be defended under any guide, it was a pure act of criminality as some people are hiding under the guise of nationwide protest.”
Lagos Policemen Brutalise PUNCH Journalists For Covering #EndSARS Protest
Two PUNCH journalists, Femi Dawodu and Segun Odunayo, were on Wednesday brutalised by policemen guarding the Lagos State House of Assembly in Ikeja.
The duo had gone to cover events around the Alausa area, a major demonstration ground of the #EndSARS protesters calling for a total overhaul of the Nigeria Police Force.
According to the PUNCH, both Odunayo and Dawodu were recording a live video of activities in the area when the policemen accosted them and ordered them to stop the recording.
After showing the policemen their identity cards, indicating that they are journalists covering #EndSARS protests and monitoring compliance with the government-imposed curfew, the policemen became annoyed and pounced on them.
Odunayo said the policemen tortured them for four hours, adding that they stripped them of their clothes, laid them on the floor, beat them with a stick and guns, and took a video recording of them while torturing them at the Lagos State House of Assembly.
Odunayo said, “Femi and I were at the Secretariat in Alausa around 7 am and were doing a live video of the activities going on in the area. We were heading back to the expressway when a group of armed policemen accosted us at the Lagos State House of Assembly roundabout and immediately collected our phones. We showed them our ID cards, but they refused to let us go.
“What got the policemen annoyed was that we saw them using a stick and a rubber to beat a young man, and during the live video, they heard me saying that they were beating someone. So, after they arrested us, they tortured us and demanded that we should do another live video denying the statement, but we refused.
“Each Time we refused, they slapped us, used a stick to beat us, used the butt of their guns to hit our heads and bodies after stripping us of our clothes. All they wanted was for us to do another live broadcast to claim that we lied and we didn’t because we told the truth.”
Dawodu said it took the intervention of the state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi before they were released at the Alausa Police Station, adding that before their release, the policemen took their details, including their addresses, took a video record of them and threatened to go after them if any negative report was published about what happened.
He said, “The policemen were transferring the aggression of what is happening regarding the #EndSARS protest on us. They later took us to the Divisional Police Station in Alausa, and if not for the DPO, the policemen guarding the LSHA that arrested us would have done more grievous things to us.
“The PPRO and the DPO later spoke with them, and we were released.
“But despite his intervention, we were told to write statements. They collected our details, address, took video recordings of us making false statements during the torture, and threatened to use it to blackmail and go after us if we end up doing any bad report against them.”
CCTV At Lekki Toll Gate Was Not Removed -Lekki Concession Company Says
Lekki Concession Company in their press release has debunked the rumour that the Lekki Toll Gate CCTV camera was not removed.
According to the press release by the company which condemns the unlawful killings of the peaceful protesters said no one gave the order for the removal of the Closed Circuit Television System as the CCTV is still intact as of the time of this report.
Speaking further, the concession company revealed that if the CCTV was to be removed, it would require the use of machinery to reach the heights that they have been installed.
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