A NATION IN DENIAL

It’s about sixty days to the next presidential Elections and our country is still in denial.

A NATION IN DENIAL

 It’s about sixty days to the next presidential Elections and our country is still in denial.

According to the Nigerian bureau of statistics, the unemployment rate in Nigeria has grown between 2017 – 2018 from 17million+ to 22million+. Though the government find it convenient to blame the previous administration or any other person else but itself for the woes of the nation. But while it is convenient to do that, the truth of the matter is that a nation whose leader says that its youth are lazy, its other leaders are corrupt and keep fighting dirty publicly to undermine the position of the legislative am of government will surely have issues.

We have seen how the row between the US president and leaders of the US Congress is having negative impact on the economy with stock exchange ending trades in red for several days now. If that can happen in a society where there is still a semblance of the rule of law, how much more in country where everything works like a jungle.

Recently a malicious rumour was been peddled by paid 5th columnists to the effect that plans have been perfected to either force the Senate president to resign or impeach him over his role in a Paris club refund that was made to all states in the country as bailout for the payment of salaries.

The claims are as follows;

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, this time around might be forced by the Presidency to write his resignation letter, or be impeached, as President Muhammdu Buhari begins to study the letter written by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, indicting the Senate President and his Aides, for laundering up to N3.5 billion from the Paris Club loan refund, Post-Nigeria has gathered.

In the report, the EFCC narrated how Saraki, using his Deputy Chief of Staff and other Aides, laundered N3.5 billion that he allegedly received from the Paris Club loan refund to State Governors.

”The Presidency has decided to fight the war. The National Assembly must be cleansed just like the Judiciary. The time is now, and the Presidency has no option than to start with Saraki.”

This came as the anti-graft agency has started probing a former Heritage Bank Executive Director, Robert Mbonu, three Aides of Saraki, and three others, on how N3.5 billion was wired into some accounts.

The cash is said to be part of the N19 billion, allegedly diverted from the N522.74 billion initial refund to States.
In a report to the Presidency, the EFCC confirmed that it had traced $183,000 into the account of a Dubai jeweler.

The EFCC report said in part: “Mr. Robert Mbonu, is alleged to have received N3.5 billion into his company’s (Melrose General Services Limited’s) account, from the NGF through Account 0005892453, domiciled in Access Bank.
“Investigation revealed that one Kathleen Erhimu is the Relationship Manager to Dr. Bukola Saraki’s account with Access Bank.

“That Saraki at a meeting introduced one Joseph Oladapo Idowu and Gbenga Peter Makanjuola to her and Hon. Makanjuola, thereafter introduced Robert Mbonu to Ms Kathleen Erhimu.

“That Halima Kyari, the Head of Private Banking Group, stated in a letter dated 13th December, 2016, that Mr. Robert Mbonu requested a transfer of Melrose General Services Company account, from a Business Account to a Private Banking Group Platform, as he was expecting huge funds into the account.
“Subsequently, on the 14th December, the sum of N3.5 billion was lodged into Melrose General Services Company account number 0005892453, domiciled in Access Bank, from the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF).

“That on the 10th of January 2017, Mr. Robert Mbonu, through Melrose General Services Company, transferred the sum of N99,820,000 to Caddington Capital Limited, belonging to Ms. Oluyemi Braithwaite, who transferred same to Hassan Dantani Abubakar’s FCMB Ashrab Nigeria Limited, for the sum of $200,000. The dollar equivalent was handed over to one Mr. Peter, in Abuja.

“That on the 19th December, there was a cash withdrawal of the sum of N50 million from Melrose General Services account via cheque, by Hon. Gbenga Peter Makanjuola.
“Also, the sum of $1,570,000 was received by the trio of Mr. Gbenga Peter Makanjuola, Mr. Kolawole Shittu, and Mr. Oladapo Joseph Idowu, at various times and locations at Abuja, FCT.

“They further claimed that Investigation further confirmed that Cactus Communication Limited is owned and operated by Joseph Oladapo Idowu, an Aide to Bukola Saraki.

“That Mr. Kelechi Edomobi also transferred the sum of N1m on the 15th of January, 2017, to Joseph Oladapo Idowu’s personal account number 0001679877 with Access Bank Plc.

“That Asterio Energy Services Limited on the 21st and 22nd of December, 2016, transferred $100,000 and $85,000 to Bhaskar Devji Jewellers LLC in Dubai, respectively the same company that Dr. Bukola Saraki repeatedly made transfer to from his Black Card Account.

“Furthermore, other payments from Melrose General Services Company have also been linked to companies that Dr. Bukola Saraki has interest in, and carry out transactions with.
“This includes the sum of $183,000, which was transferred to Bhaska Devji Jewellers, Dubai, a company Dr. Bukola Saraki had repeatedly made payments to.
“Also, the sum of N200 million was transferred to Wasp Networks Limited, that subsequently transferred the sum of N170 million to Xtract Energy Services Limited, a company that routinely made deposits into Dr. Bukola’s Access Bank United States Domiciliary Account.”

But the question right thinking people who know you can’t his behind a finger are asking is as follows:

Why is this article silent on the fact that the firm – Melrose was awarded a legitimate contract by The NGF to verify the data on loan repayments by the 36 States?

Why is it silent on the fact that the firm performed and completed the verification, and was paid legitimate contractual fees.

Why is it silent on the fact that the 36 States got a benefit by way of loan refunds for the payment of salaries and pensions?

What is silent and more curious is the fact that The NGF who awarded the contract have till date, neither denied, rejected or declined the contract and our performance.

The linkage to the Senate President is unfortunate and at best mischievous.

The so-called investigation is information easily verified from the firms bank statements.

Whose business is it how the firm decides to utilise its duly earned fees?

Even professional consultancy jobs are now used by fake news propagandist to score cheap political points.

Let’s not forget that the army recently raided rivers state where they are training youths to shore up security in the state under the pretext that the state government is training militia meanwhile a latter record showed that the same army had been pre-informed before the commencement of the same program.

When a nation and its leaders engage in this kind of mudslinging game, the resultant effect is that both foreign and local investors will have no choice but to look elsewhere for investment in order to guarantee the safety of their investments.

Recently a UK envoy warned investors from that country against doing business with Nigeria for the simple reason that our government has no respect for the rule of law.

How can a legitimate consultancy transaction signed and agreed between two parties be turned into a subject of policemen blackmail in our country. How easily can Right thinking people subscribe to the continuation of this kind of governance.

With the ongoing battle between our leaders and the imminent fear and jitters that elections bring to the mind of investors, our leaders need to get their acts together so that we won’t have a situation where the number of the unemployed will rise between now and May 2019 from its current 22million+ to over 27million. And at the end of the day, it is the ordinary masses that will bear the brunt of this battle of egos.

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