Tag Archives: Jonathan

Breaking: I served Sanusi ‘the Jonathan medicine’, I have no regrets- Ganduje

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Sanusi was appointed during the administration of Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, in which Ganduje was deputy governor. He succeeded Kwankwaso in 2015.

Kano State Governor, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje on Tuesday gave reasons why he dethroned Alhaji Muhammadu Lamido Sanusi as the Emir of Kano.

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The governor said he took the decision to save the system and the traditional institution from abuse.

Governor Ganduje spoke at the presentation of a book on former President Goodluck Johnathan, authored by a journalist, Bonaventure Philips Melah.

According to him, Sanusi was not the best man for the throne at the time he was appointed in June 2014, saying that the deposed Emir was appointed to spite former President Goodluck Jonathan.

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Jonathan had in April 2014, sacked Sanusi as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over claims by the ex CBN Governor that $49 billion was stolen by some persons under the Jonathan administration.

Faulting Sanusi’s public outburst over the alleged fraud, Ganduje said the ex CBN Governor ought to have discussed the matter privately with the former President, who in turn could have ordered investigation into the allegation.

Ganduje said Jonathan took a bold step by sacking Sanusi as CBN Governor, even though the action created bad blood in certain circles.

The Kano Governor said: “Jonathan took a bold step in sacking Sanusi as CBN Governor, which created bad blood in certain circles.

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“When Sanusi said $49 billion was lost in Jonathan’s government, I said in my mind that No, you could have discussed with him (Jonathan) privately.

“You could have given him this clue and then he would know how to investigate even before those who had stolen the money would find a way of hiding the money.

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“That statement, I said in my mind was not honourable. That statement created bad blood”.

In June 2014, barely two months after he was sacked as CBN Governor, Sanusi got appointed as the Emir of Kano, a position that Ganduje said he did not deserve in the first place.

Governor Ganduje however sacked Sanusi as Emir of Kano on March 9, 2020, a decision the Governor said he took to “save the system and to save the institution”.

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Sounding derisively jocular, Ganduje said: “Sanusi was appointed Emir of Kano not because he was the best man for the throne but to retaliate what Jonathan did to him.

“That was in order to prove that what Jonathan did to him was wrong and that the people of Kano wanted their son as Emir and therefore they decided to appoint him as Emir.

“But when he was appointed, there were a lot of demonstration with people burning tyres here and there. But because of government backing, he was sustained on the stool.

“When I became governor, (that’s why you will laugh), I said yes, the Jonathan medicine is an important medicine.

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“That medicine, even though I am not a medical doctor, but that medicine would serve the same purpose, for the same disease and for the same patient.

“So I took my Jonathan medicine and decided to save the system, to save the institution and I applied it effectively. So Jonathan and I are on the same page. Actually, I have no regrets.”

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#Newsworthy

2023: Goodluck Jonathan express his mindset on return as President

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President Muhammadu Buhari defeated the then incumbent President, Jonathan in 2015.

Former President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has said that it is too early to talk about returning to office in 2023.

Speculations have been flying about, linking the Bayelsa-born politician to a possible return to the office he left 5 years ago.

But the speculations may have to continue as Jonathan could not give a definite position on his rumoured ambition.

Speaking briefly with reporters on Friday after attending an event organised by the Commonwealth Community Choir in Abuja, the nation’s capital, Jonathan was asked if he would be joining the presidential race for 2023, and he said, “It is too early to talk about that.”

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Recall with NoRM that some governors of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and chieftains of the party had recently visited Jonathan, as pressure continues to mount on him to contest the 2023 election.

They visited Jonathan at his Abuja residence to felicitate with him on his 63rd birthday anniversary.

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#Newsworthy

2023: APC Chieftain reveals Buhari’s stand on GEJ presidency

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The opposition party made this known in a statement on Sunday,November 22, through its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan.

A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Julius Ihonvbere has said President Muhammadu Buhari at the moment has not shown any sign indicating that he is backing the prospects of Dr Goodluck Jonathan taking another shot at the presidency.

Recalls reports have claimed that All Progressives Congress (APC) is trying to convince Jonathan, a former president, to run for the presidency on its platform in 2023.

The reports were heightened after some governors on the platform of the APC visited Jonathan to felicitate with him on his 63 birthday anniversary.

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However, Ihonvbere, who represents Owan West/East Federal constituency of Edo in the House of Representatives told Vanguard that he does not think president Buhari is considering presenting Jonathan as a successor.

He said:

“If it is the same president Buhari that we have seen so far, those who are reading his body language, I don’t know how they read it, I have not seen the body language saying that it is Jonathan he is going to present.

But Jonathan should also remember that under his administration, there were so many contradictions that he didn’t address.”

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The lawmaker advised the former president not to make any hasty decision regarding the 2023 presidency so that he does not lose the respect he attained after he conceded defeat in 2015.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that a recent visit by governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to former President Goodluck Jonathan has further affirmed that Nigeria is better under the governance of the opposition.

NoRM gathered that the PDP stated this in reaction to the governors’ visit on Friday, November 20, describing it as an endorsement of the PDP’s administration.

According to Ologbondiyan, the opposition receives the visit by APC governors as an apology by the ruling party to the PDP and Nigerians over the lies and other allegations deployed to grab power.

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Ologbondiyan went on to warn Nigerians to be careful of the APC’s antics, adding that the party will not allow the failedparty and its pranksters to mislead them once again.

He said:

“This visit to Jonathan by the APC governors is a direct acceptance of the successes recorded by our party in building a strong nation with a virile economy that was rated as one of the fastest-growing economies of the world.”

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#Newsworthy

Buhari Gov’t getting former president, Jonathan’s secret service – APC

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Jonathan lost to Buhari in the 2015 general elections, but he has since taken up several diplomatic assignments across the continent.

The All Progressive Congress (APC) on Friday said former President Goodluck Jonathan has supported the current administration despite being a card-carrying member of the Peoples Democratic Party.

APC Spokesman, Yekini Nabena, made the comment while appearing on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

Also appearing on the show was PDP spokesman, Mr Diran Odeyemi who said a number of APC governors are set to defect to the PDP.

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“Goodluck Jonathan has been working for this government,” Mr Nabena said. “He has been going to all African countries. If he is not a progressive person, he won’t have been working for this government. So the PDP should also know that.”

Recently, the ex-President led talks that helped to de-escalate the crisis in Mali.

Mr Nabena, on Friday, argued that Jonathan’s work is evidence of the APC’s progressive streak.

However, Mr Odeyemi disagreed, reiterating that the APC is set to witness a couple of top defections to the PDP.

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“Many APC Governors are talking to us,” Mr Odeyemi said. “Perhaps Nigerians have not seen the end of these activities. More Governors from APC are coming to join us. And I’m saying it with all emphasis.

“The question we have to ask ourselves is, what has been the achievements of APC now, that will now warrant people to join them, if not for selfish reasons? Nigeria knows which party to vote for in 2023 and that’s what we rely on.”

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#Newsworthy

2023: Jonathan reveal his intentions

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The speculations follows the recent warm relationship between the Jonathan and the Muhammadu Buhari families.

With speculations flying around of his possible bid to return to power in 2023, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has for the first time commented on the issue.

He has also been engaged in both local and international assignments by the present administration.

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It also follows projections that Jonathan would be the safest hand for the Hausa-Fulani oligarchy to support among eligible Southerners as a second Jonathan presidency would automatically mean power reverting to the north in 2027.

The recent visit of APC governors to President Jonathan further deepened the speculations. It came as Dr. Jonathan was absent at both the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP National Executive Committee, NEC meeting and the caucus meeting that took place last week.

Reacting to the speculations for the first time through his media aide, Mr Ikechukwu Eze, he dismissed the claim that only APC governors felicitated with him on the occasion of his birthday saying that a PDP governor in the person of Senator Bala Mohammed was also present.

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NoRM also reports that Senator Mohammed who served in the Jonathan administration and is presently the governor of Bauchi State is believed to be one of the arrow heads behind the move to return Dr. Jonathan to power.

Mr. Eze speaking on the 2023 permutations told Daily Trust: “PDP governors also visited him; it was not only APC governors. Governor Bala Muhammad was there, they visited him as a father and statesman to celebrate with him, it was not a political party affair.

“Anything you are hearing about 2023 is rumour and we don’t have time to be responding to rumours, the former President is a very busy person to be listening to rumours.”

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#Newsworthy

2023: APC leaders, govs ‘curry favour with’ Jonathan

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The Northern Governors’ Forum also congratulated Jonathan on his birthday.

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress may have begun moves to pull former President Goodluck Jonathan into the race, Noble Reporters Media has learnt.

NoRM gathered that some APC governors and party leaders on Friday night in Abuja held a meeting with Jonathan where the subject of their discussions centred on issues not unconnected with the 2023 presidential election.

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Our correspondent, however, gathered from sources privy to the meeting that the APC governors and leaders mounted pressure on the former president to prepare to take another shot at the nation’s number one seat in 2023 since he’s still constitutionally allowed to lead the country for another term of four years.

The APC governors who met with Jonathan, it was gathered were led by the Governor of Kebbi State, who also doubles as the Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, Atiku Bagudu. The others were Jigawa State Governor, Abubakar Badaru and the Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, who just defected to the ruling party a few days ago.

Also at the meeting were some APC leaders, including former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, said to have visited Jonathan in commemoration of his 63rd birthday.

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But NoRM learnt they were part of those who held a private meeting with ex-President Jonathan during their visit.

However, no member of the Peoples Democratic Party attended the meeting, sources said.

Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, had commended Jonathan for continuing to serve Nigeria with zeal and commitment.

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Lalong also described the former president as a true democrat whose “passion for the growth of democracy is reflected not only in his records while in office but also of his current engagements where he has travelled round the world to monitor elections and also engage with stakeholders”.

The Plateau governor further praised Jonathan’s patriotism and dedication to the unity, peace and development of Nigeria as well as his good counsel on various issues.

Lalong urged the former president to remain focused on his life of service which has brought honour and goodwill to Nigeria.

On his part, President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier congratulated Jonathan on his birthday, describing him as a leader who has brought honour to his country.

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The former president had lost his bid for a second term in office in 2015 to Buhari in 2015, but the duo have remained close since then with Jonathan representing the country in quite a number of international events.

Also, a year ago in his Otuoke, Bayelsa country home, Jonathan had hosted both Badaru and Bagudu when the governors paid him a thank you visit following the victory of the APC governorship candidate in the 2019 governorship election in the state, David Lyon.

But Lyon was later sacked by the Supreme Court which declared PDP’s Douye Diri the winner of the election.

Political watchers say the North and the APC are warming up to Jonathan with a view to queuing behind him for the 2023 presidential election on the platform of the party.


#Newsworthy

Atiku, Umahi, other APC Govs visit Jonathan

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The reason for the meeting was not disclosed, but it would be connected with the forthcoming 2023 presidential election.

The All Progressives Congress, APC, governors, Friday met with the former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in Abuja.

According to TheCable, David Umahi, governor of Ebonyi who recently defected to the APC from PDP; Atiku Bagudu, governor of Kebbi and chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum; and Abubakar Badaru, governor of Jigawa, were at the meeting.

Jonathan celebrated his 63rd birthday today. He was felicitated by many Nigerians. In his message, President Muhammadu Buhari prayed that the almighty God would grant Jonathan longer life, good health and more wisdom to keep serving the nation and humanity.

Similarly, the Northern Governors Forum had sent warm felicitations to Jonathan on his birthday.


#Newsworthy

Muhammadu Buhari felicitate with Goodluck Jonathan at 63

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He thanked Jonathan for his service to the country and the African continent, including his work in helping to restore calm to the Republic of Mali after a military coup earlier this year.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday congratulated his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, on the occasion of the latter’s 63rd birthday.

The president’s felicitations were contained in a statement signed by his spokesman, Femi Adesina.

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“On behalf of the Federal Government and Nigerians in general, President Muhammadu Buhari warmly felicitates with former President Goodluck Jonathan on his 63rd birthday, November 20, 2020, congratulating him for a life of service that has brought honour and goodwill to the country,” the statemnt said.

“The President notes, with appreciation, the peculiar and remarkable climb of the former president on Nigeria’s political ladder, and dedication that has kept him working most recently as ECOWAS envoy to bring peace to the Republic of Mali.

“As the former Nigerian President turns 63, President Buhari prays that the Almighty God will grant Dr Jonathan longer life, good health and more wisdom to keep serving the nation and humanity.”


#Newsworthy

Mali crisis: Interim president, Bah Ndaw makes first offical appearance.

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In his first public official appearance since being appointed Mali’s interim president — following the coup d’état in August, Bah Ndaw, a retired colonel and former defence minister from the camp of ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, met with ECOWAS mediator Goodluck Jonathan in Bamako on Thursday, on the eve of his swearing-in.

The former Nigerian president — who has been assisting with the ongoing political crisis over recent months, communicated in a meeting with his delegation, President Ndaw and other officers of the NCPS junta, that the 15 nation bloc could announce on Friday whether these official appointments would satisfy the organisation’s conditions to lift sanctions.

The 70-year-old interim president will rule for a maximum of 18 months before staging nationwide elections.

Junta head, Colonel Assimi Goita will serve as his interim vice president.


#Newsworthy…

Mali crisis: ECOWAS could likely decide this Friday.

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The West African bloc ECOWAS will likely decide on Friday whether to lift potentially crippling sanctions imposed on Mali after last month’s coup, its mediator said.

The mediator, Nigerian former president Goodluck Jonathan, called the 15-nation bloc’s sanctions “unfortunate” during a visit to Mali’s capital Bamako on Wednesday.

West African leaders have heaped pressure on the ruling military junta to return power to civilians since the coup toppled president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on August 18.

ECOWAS has used the sanctions, which include closing borders and restricting trade, as leverage in negotiations with the junta.

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Sticking points in those negotiations have included whether civilians or soldiers will run a transition government until fresh elections.

The junta asked for the sanctions to be lifted this week after former defence minister Bah Ndaw was named interim president, tasked with governing for at most 18 months before holding polls.

The 70-year-old retired colonel will be sworn in on Friday, alongside junta leader Colonel Assimi Goita, who will serve as interim vice president.

According to the transition plan adopted by the junta, Ndaw will then appoint a prime minister, with the decision expected within a few days.

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Jonathan, in Mali on Wednesday to assess the progress the junta has made in returning an order to the country, said that ECOWAS was “eager” to make a decision on the sanctions.

“ECOWAS doesn’t want any sanctions in any part of the community,” he told reporters.

However Jonathan added that it is up to Ghanaian President and current ECOWAS leader Nana Akufo-Addo to announce the decision.

“I believe that on Friday after the inauguration, probably he will make that pronouncement,” Jonathan said.

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– Sanctions have ‘direct impact’ –

Mali’s neighbours are anxious to avoid the fragile nation of some 19 million people slipping into chaos.

Swathes of the vast country already lie outside of government control, due to a lethal jihadist insurgency that first emerged in 2012 and has also inflamed ethnic tensions.

Keen to set an example to other countries, ECOWAS has taken a hard line, threatening a “total embargo” on the country should the junta install military leaders of an interim government.

Soldiers of FAMA (Malian Armed Forces) stand and salute during the national anthem at the ceremony of the 60th anniversary of Mali’s independence in Bamako, on September 22, 2020, one day after that Colonel Goïta, leader of CNSP, announced that the transitional presidency would be assigned to a retired colonel, Bah Ndaw, 70 years, ephemeral Minister of Defence in 2014. (Photo by MICHELE CATTANI / AFP)

Current restrictions ban commercial trade and financial flows, but not basic necessities, drugs, equipment to fight coronavirus, fuel or electricity.

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Junta leader Goita on Tuesday said that “in the coming days ECOWAS must remove these sanctions for the happiness of the Malian”.

“The international community is watching us… which is why we accepted the ECOWAS principles,” he added.

ECOWAS said at a summit on September 15 that the sanctions would be lifted as soon as its conditions were met, including the appointment of a civilian president and prime minister.

But the junta has yet to respond to other ECOWAS demands, such as the release of other officials detained during the coup such as ousted prime minister Boubou Cisse.

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Economist Etienne Fakaba Sissoko said that the sanctions — coupled with the coronavirus pandemic — meant that Mali was barrelling into a recession.

“The immediate consequence is a reduction in public expenditure. This has a direct impact on the population,” he told AFP.

Before the coup, the Sahel country had already been facing an economic downturn, aggravated by the jihadist insurgency and chronic inter-ethnic violence.

It was frustrations over this intractable conflict — plus economic concerns and perceived corruption — which spurred anti-Keita protesters onto the streets this year, with the building unrest culminating in the coup.


#Newsworthy…

AfDB: Adesina will not disappoint Africa – Jonathan.

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan has joined other African leaders and financial experts to congratulate the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina on his re-election.

The ex-President, who joined virtually, during Adesina’s swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday, said he is confident the AfDB President will not disappoint Africa and the shareholders in the bank.

To Jonathan, Adesina made a lot of achievements within the first five years of his first tenure as the AfDB boss.

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While thanking members of the board and shareholders for re-electing him for another five-year tenure, the ex-President recalled that when Adesina served as Minister of Agriculture during his administration, he (Jonathan) knew what he (Adesina) is made of.

He also expressed the confidence that Adesina will perform better when given the mandate to serve for another term in office.

“Let me first congratulate Adesina for making history, for the number of achievements he made within the first five years.

“Let me also thank all the shareholders for supporting him. I believe that in his second tenure, he will even do better.

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“Dr Adesina worked with me as my Minister for Agriculture and I know what he is made up of. I believe he will not disappoint the shareholders,” he said.

Jonathan’s remarks come after Adesina was sworn-in as the newly re-elected eighth AfDB President for a second term.

The event was attended by Heads of States, Governors, Nigeria’s former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, and over 200 external stakeholders who joined physically and virtually.

The Chairperson of the AfDB board of Governors and Ghana’s Finance Minister, Kenneth Ofori-Attah, administered the oath of office.


#Newsworthy…

Mali crisis: Boubacar no longer interested in Power – Jonathan tells Buhari.

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The ousted Malian President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, says he is no longer interested in returning to his former office.

This was according to Nigeria’s former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, who visited the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Wednesday.

Dr Jonathan, who is ECOWAS Special Envoy to Mali, was at the Villa to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari on the crisis in the West African country.

The meeting comes ahead of an extraordinary virtual summit by ECOWAS Heads of State and Leaders scheduled to take place on Friday.

Briefing the President on his recent visit to Mali, Dr Jonathan disclosed that his team was allowed to meet with the ousted President who confirmed that he resigned from office voluntarily.

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The former president also brought President Buhari up to speed on dialogue with the military coup leaders seeking to stay in power for three years, before holding elections in the country.

“They call themselves National Committee for the Salvation of the People,” Dr Jonathan was quoted as saying in a statement by President Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

He added, “We asked them to allow ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to return to his personal residence where he would be given tight security, but they said he could travel abroad and not return to answer questions they may have for him.

A photo taken on August 26, 2020, shows former President Goodluck Jonathan with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

“We also told them that what would be acceptable to ECOWAS was an interim government headed by a civilian or retired military officer, to last for six or nine months and a maximum of 12 calendar months.

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“The Interim Government would then organise elections to restore full constitutional order.”

According to the former president, the military leaders in Mali want ECOWAS to lift sanctions put in place as it is already affecting the country.

In response, he said, “But we told them that the authority to do such was only in the hands of ECOWAS Heads of State.”

President Buhari, in his remarks, stressed that the priority in Mali now should be securing the country which he said was largely occupied by terrorists.

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“About two-thirds of Mali is occupied by terrorists, and it makes common sense to secure the country, rather than pursuing individual interests,” he stated.

The President was, however, hopeful that the sub-region would take a common position on the issue when the leaders meet on Friday.

A photo taken on August 26, 2020, shows former President Goodluck Jonathan walking with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

He also believes the ECOWAS leaders will arrive at an amicable and generally acceptable position to all interested parties.

Recently, a series of protests erupted in the streets of Bamako, Mali’s capital despite rainfall and pleas from mediators to stay home, demanding the resignation of ousted President Keita.

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The Malian leader was later overthrown by mutinying troops on August 18, amid the lingering unrest in the country.

He was arrested and taken into custody along with the country’s Prime Minister, Boubou Cisse, as well as other senior government officials.

The coup has sent shockwaves around the West African sub-region, sparking fears that one of its most volatile states could collapse.

A day after he was forced out of office, President Keita bowed to pressure and announced that he had stepped down to avoid “bloodshed”.


#Newsworthy…

Jonathan arrives Mali with ECOWAS delegation.

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A delegation of West African leaders headed by former Nigerian President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has arrived in the Malian capital, Bamako on a mission to try to push for a speedy return to civilian rule after a military coup in the troubled nation.

The delegation plans to meet members of the new junta as well as ousted president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Rebel soldiers seized Keita and other leaders after a mutiny on Tuesday, dealing another deep blow to a country already struggling with a brutal Islamist insurgency and widespread public discontent over its government.

Mali’s neighbours have called for Keita to be reinstated, saying the purpose of the delegation’s visit was to help “ensure the immediate return of constitutional order”.

“ECOWAS appreciates what is happening in Mali and ECOWAS wants the best for the country,” Jonathan said after his arrival.

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“We’re going to discuss with all stakeholders and I think at the end of the day we’ll come out with something that is good for the country, good for ECOWAS and good for the international community.”

A delegation official said they would meet members of the junta and later Keita, who is being held with prime minister Boubou Cisse in Kati, a military base northwest of Bamako where the coup was unleashed.

Adding to the international pressure, the United States on Friday suspended military aid to Mali, with no further training or support of the Mali armed forces.

Colonel Malick Diaw (C), vice-president of the CNSP (National Committee for the Salvation of the People) smiles at a crowd of supporters as he arrives escorted by Malian soldiers at the Independence square in Bamako, on August 21, 2020. ANNIE RISEMBERG / AFP

‘We won’
But thousands of jubilant Malians took to the streets of Bamako on Friday to celebrate the toppling of Keita, who was reelected in 2018 but became the focus of widespread discontent.

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The crowds gathered in Bamako’s central square draped in the national flag and blasting on vuvuzela horns.

The rally, originally organised as an anti-Keita protest by a loose coalition that has led months of mass rallies against him, was recast to “celebrate the victory of the Malian people”.

“I am overjoyed! We won,” said Mariam Cisse, 38.

Speaking at the rally Ismael Wague, spokesman for the junta which calls itself the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, paid tribute to the public.

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“We merely completed the work that you began and we recognise ourselves in your fight,” he said.

Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (C) walks at the International Airport in Bamako upon his arrival on August 22, 2020 next to by Malick Diaw (4R), the Vice President of the CNSP (National Committee for the Salvation of the People) ANNIE RISEMBERG / AFP

‘Transitional council’
The junta has said it welcomes the ECOWAS visit but has not talked of restoring Keita to power.

“A transitional council, with a transitional president who is going to be either military or civilian” would be appointed, Wague told France 24 television Thursday.

Keita won election in a landslide in 2013, presenting himself as a unifying figure in a fractured country, and was re-elected in 2018 for another five-year term.

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But he failed to make headway against the jihadist revolt that has left swathes of the country in the hands of armed Islamists and ignited ethnic violence in the country’s volatile centre.

Thousands of UN and French troops, along with soldiers from five Sahel countries, have been deployed to try to stem the bloodshed.

In a sign of the continuing challenge facing the country, four soldiers were killed by an explosive device in the center of the country.

The ECOWAS visit to Mali comes after the UN’s peacekeeping mission in the country said a human rights team had gained access to the ousted president and other detainees on Thursday.

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A junta member said the coup leaders had released former economy minister Abdoulaye Daffe and Sabane Mahalmoudou, Keita’s private secretary, calling the move “proof that we respect human rights”.

Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (2L) walks at the International Airport in Bamako upon his arrival on August 22, 2020 next to by Malick Diaw (L), the Vice President of the CNSP (National Committee for the Salvation of the People). ANNIE RISEMBERG / AFP

While Keita and Cisse have no television, radio or phone, other detainees are in a training centre, where they are sleeping on mattresses and have a TV, according to witnesses to the visit.

The 75-year-old ousted president “looked tired but relaxed,” they said, describing his conditions as “acceptable”.

Tuesday’s coup was the second in eight years, and has heightened concern over regional stability as its jihadist insurgency that now threatens neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso.


#Newsworthy…

Mali crisis: Jonathan to lead ECOWAS envoys on search for coup solutions.

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to lead a team of ECOWAS envoys to Mali for talks following the recent coup in the country.

According to a member of the new junta and an ECOWAS source, the leaders are expected to arrive in the West African country on Saturday.

The source described the mission to Bamako as aiming “to help the search for solutions,” days after mutinying soldiers took over power in Mali.

“We will receive the ECOWAS delegation with pleasure… it is important to talk to our brothers,” a junta official in the country told AFP on Friday.

Recently, there have been a series of protests by Malians who took to the streets of the nation’s capital despite rainfall and pleas from mediators to stay home, demanding the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

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Amid the lingering unrest in the country, Keita was overthrown on Tuesday by mutinying troops, who took him, Mali’s Prime Minister Boubou Cisse, as well as other senior government officials into custody.

Avoiding Bloodshed
The coup has sent shockwaves around the West African sub-region, sparking fears that one of its most volatile states could collapse.

(File) Former President Goodluck Jonathan is seen in Bamako, the capital of Mali on July 23, 2020. AFP/MICHELE CATTANI.

President Keita, who seemed to have bowed to pressure, said on Wednesday that he had stepped down to avoid “bloodshed”.

Two days after the Malian leader was taken into custody, the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) announced that it would dispatch a high-level delegation to the country.

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The regional body explained that this would ” ensure the immediate return of constitutional order” in Mali, saying it would suspend the country from its internal decision-making bodies.

In their various reactions, Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, and other West African leaders condemned the action of the soldiers and demanded that Keita be restored as president.

The coup was also condemned by the African Union, the European Union, and the United Nations, among others.

On Thursday, UN human rights officials gained access to President Keita and the others, although the junta said it had released two prisoners, retaining 17 others.


#Newsworthy

Mali crisis: Jonathan briefs Buhari – calls for dialogue

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday visited President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

During his meeting with the President, Jonathan briefed his successor on the crisis rocking Mali, calling for dialogue to resolve the problem.

Jonathan was accompanied by members of the team on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Mission to Mali.

Although the ex-President did not grant an interview to State House reporters, a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, indicated that Jonathan proposed dialogue as the way forward.

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“We told them that no international organization, including the African Union (AU), United Nations (UN), and others, would agree with their position. We continued to emphasize the need for dialogue,” Jonathan was quoted as saying.

The former President added that the Constitutional Court had been reconstituted and inaugurated, while vacancies in the Supreme Court had been filled, thus sorting out the judicial arm of government.

On his part, President Buhari thanked Jonathan for what he called “the stamina you have displayed” on the Mali issue.

He counselled further consultations with the Chairman of ECOWAS, President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic.

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Jonathan’s visit to the villa comes barely a month after he met with his successor to brief him on the political development in Mali.

The former President who is part of the envoy from the West Africa bloc ECOWAS made a surprise visit to the Sahel on August 11, on the eve of opposition-led demonstrations against embattled President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Speaking at a press conference in the capital Bamako that evening, Jonathan said “demonstrations do not solve problems per se” and talks would resolve the crisis.

As part of the measures to broker peace in the country, West African leaders met on July 24 amid protests for the resignation of President Keita.

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The day-long summit, however, ended without a deal to soothe the country’s escalating political crisis.

Five of the region’s leaders met Keita and leaders of a protest movement clamouring for his resignation, as a long-running jihadist insurgency threatens to throw the country into chaos.

The presidents of Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Niger have scheduled meetings with Malian President and leaders of a protest movement clamouring for his resignation.

But the intervention failed to seal a deal and Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou — at the talks along with the leaders of Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria — said Western African bloc ECOWAS would hold a summit on July 27.

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Deepening crisis
Keita, who came to power in 2013, has come under increasing pressure to end Mali’s long-running jihadist conflict.

The poor nation of some 20 million people has been struggling to contain an insurgency that has driven hundreds of thousands of people from their homes since 2012, despite the presence of foreign troops.

In the latest violence, a French soldier was killed and two others were wounded in a suicide car bomb attack in northern Mali, according to France’s presidency and the French army.

But much of the current tension was sparked in April, when the constitutional court tossed out 31 results from the parliamentary elections, benefiting Keita’s party and sparking protests.

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Tensions then ratcheted up into a crisis on July 10 when an anti-Keita rally organised by the June 5 Movement turned violent.

Three days of clashes between protesters and security forces left 11 dead and 158 injured in the worst political unrest Mali had seen in years.

Seeking a way out, ECOWAS mediators suggested forming a new unity government including opposition members and appointing new constitutional court judges who could potentially re-examine disputed election results.

But the June 5 Movement had already rejected any outcome that did not involve Keita’s departure.


#Newsworthy…

GEJ briefs PMB on peace mission to Mali

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday met with former President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

During the meeting, Jonathan briefed the President about his follow up mission to Mali.

The former President led a special team to Mali in a bid to bring a lasting solution to the leadership crisis in the country.

This combination photo shows President Muhammadu Buhari and his predecessor Goodluck Jonathan

The Jonathan led-delegation to Mali had recommended a unity government for the landlocked, West African country and he expects that the Malian President would set up the unity government soon.

President Buhari’s meeting with his predecessor comes just three days after he approved the naming of the Railway Complex in Agbor – the operational hub of the Itakpe-Warri line – after him (Jonathan).

Presidential aide Tolu Ogunlesi had announced the news on Saturday via Twitter.

The facility will now be known as the Goodluck Jonathan Railway Station and Complex, Ogunlesi said.


#Newsworthy…

President Buhari names Railway Complex after Jonathan

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the naming of the Railway Complex in Agbor – the operational hub of the Itakpe-Warri line – after former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Presidential aide, Tolu Ogunlesi announced the news on Saturday via Twitter.

Ogunlesi credited the news to Minister of Transport, Chubuike Ameachi.

The facility will now be known as the Goodluck Jonathan Railway Station and Complex, Ogunlesi said.

A file photo of former President Goodluck Jonathan and President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Transport Minister, Amaechi, also confirmed the renaming while noting that the test-running of the newly renovated rail line’s new coaches is still ongoing.

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The Itakpe-Warri rail line has a length of 276 km and links Warri in Delta State to Ajaokuta in Kogi State.

Slide to see images

The rail service has 12 stations with two located between Itakpe, Ajaokuta, and Warri.

Other stations include: Eganiy; Adobe; Itogbo; Agenebode; Uromi; Egehen; Igbanke; Agbor; Abraka; Okpara and Ujewu stations.

The line, which was started in 1987, was built to move iron ore from mines around Itakpe to the steelworks at Ajaokuta but was abandoned for many years.

Slide to see images

#Newsworthy…

Reno Omokri mock Jonathan’s enemies – says they are reaping what they sow

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A Nigerian Political critics and motivational author, Reno Omokri, drops a hot one at those who were agaist the Government of Ex-president Godluck Jonathan.

According To The Controversial Author, Reno Omokri, the vice president of Nigeria, adams oshiomhole, is reaping exactly what he had planted, Reno wrote,” Oshiomhole, you make me laugh. You and your dethroned NWC members say you may be going to court. Let me ask you one question:

Does General @MBuhari respect court judgments? Enjoy your Buhari and stop crying! Your chickens have come home to roost”


#Newsworthy…

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Jonathan, Obasanjo, Other attack US on AfDB presidency probe request


Former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan, among other ex-leaders have backed Adesina Akinwumi, the President of African Development Bank (AfDB).

The United States had called for his fresh probe despite his clearance by the Ethics Committee.

Adesina, Nigeria’s former Minister of Agriculture, had since denied all allegations against him.

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In their joint statement gathered by NobleReporters from Obasanjo’s spokesman, Kehinde Akinyemi, they said Africa is facing unprecedented challenge with the COVID-19 and that all hands must be on deck to tackle the pandemic.

The former leaders said Adesina has been doing a remarkable job in steering the organization.

They recalled that the Bank announced a $10 billion crisis response facility to support countries in Africa.

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The ex-presidents noted that AfDB successfully launched a $3 billion “Fight COVID-19 social bond, the largest ever US dollar-denominated bond in world history.

“Powered by his vision and leadership, the shareholders of the Bank from 80 countries, all approved a general capital increase of $115 billion for the Bank, the largest in its history since establishment in 1964. The Bank has been doing a lot for women, with a $3 billion fund to provide access of finance to women, supported by G7 countries and Africa”, they said.

The leaders said across the continent, the Bank’s presence and work have been highly visible and impactful.

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According to them, in less than five years, the Bank’s High 5 agenda has impacted over 333 million people, from access to electricity, food security, access to finance via the private sector, improve transport and access to water and sanitation.

They noted that AfDB has maintained its stellar AAA rating among all global rating agencies and that the shareholders have all played very important roles in supporting the Bank to achieve these impressive results.

The leaders said Adesina, “who some whistleblowers alleged to have violated the Banks’ Code of Ethics, has firmly and consistently declared his innocence of these allegations”.

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The statement stressed that governance is all about respecting and abiding by rules, laws and established governing systems of organizations.

“In the case of the AfDB, while differences may exist among parties, the best way to address them is to first respect the rules, procedures and governance structures of the Bank. To do otherwise will be tantamount to undermining the Bank and its long and hard earned reputation, and that of its President.”

They described AfDB as pride for all of Africa, and that Adesina has taken the Bank to enviable heights.

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The former leaders added that Africa is battling with COVID-19 and that the Bank and its President should not be distracted.

Ex-presidents who signed that the statement were Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan, Boni Yayi, Hailemariam Desalegn, John Kufour, Joyce Banda, Joaquim Chissano, Tandja Mamadou, Mohamed Marzouki, Benjamin Mkapa, Ameenah Gurib-Fakin, Rupiah Banda, Kgalema Motlan and Jakaya Kikwete.


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: SSA to Ex President, Doyin Okupe And Wife Recovers. [Nigeria]

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A former Senior Special Assistant to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, says he and his wife, Aduralere, have just been discharged after spending about two weeks in an isolation ward in Sagamu, Ogun State, for Covid-19 treatment.

Okupe said this in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

He wrote, “On April 23, my wife Aduralere and I tested positive for the Covid-19 virus. That same day we were moved to the isolation ward facilities in Sagamu. Glory be to God Almighty Jehovah and His Son Jesus Christ through whose blood that was shed for us at Calvary and by whose stripes we became healed and tested negative twice for the Covid-19 Virus. We were discharged from the isolation centre, in the early hours of today.”

The former Presidential aide thanked Ogun state Governor, Dapo Abiodun, who sent him prayers very regularly, in spite of his busy schedule as chief executive.

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“I thank the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker, who was a flower girl at my wedding in 1977. I also thank the health workers under the leadership of Dr Olaitan and Dr Ayeni.

“It is incredible what dangerous and sometimes sacrifices they paid, including very long hours of work stretching for a week at a time, all to ensure that we, the patients under their care live. My wife and I are grateful to you all,” he said.


#Newsworthy…

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[Nigeria] Former Health Minister Dies At 66 – Jonathan Mourn.

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Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has condoled with the Government and people of Sokoto State over the exit of Dr. Haliru Alhassan who passed on at the age of 66 years.

The late Alhassan served in the administration of Jonathan as minister of state for health and later minister of health.

In a condolence message to the family of the deceased, the former President described Dr. Alhassan as a committed patriot who made his mark in public service, adding that he “served the nation to the best of his abilities.”

Jonathan noted that the late minister contributed so much to the efforts towards reforming the health sector and the overall improvement recorded in the sector under his administration.

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He further recalled that late Dr. Alhassan played a key role in the nation’s success in combating and containing Ebola during the 2014 outbreak.

The former President prayed to God to grant the soul of the departed eternal rest.


#Newsworthy…

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[Nigeria] Kanu Sends Message To Jonathan, Warns Buhari.

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Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has advised ex-President Goodluck Jonathan to challenge the allegations against him by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

Kanu said this on Thursday while reacting to moves by Buhari administration to subpoena bank records of Jonathan and his wife, Patience.

The IPOB leader warned that his group would no longer tolerate the intimidation and harassment of former President Jonathan and his wife, Dame Patience.

IPOB also said those who were calling for the accounts of Dr Jonathan and his wife were the real people looting funds in Nigeria.

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Kanu urged Jonathan to abandon his ‘gentleman toga’ and confront the government headlong.

He said: “They are now pursuing former President Goodluck Jonathan after looting the country and are now shopping for loans from lending agencies. They have not given the account of the N13.9 billion meant for Aso Rock clinic, yet the same people are asking for the account of a former president and his wife to disgrace them and make them scapegoats in their misrule.

“They are also pursuing Mrs. Diezani Madueke because they want to divert attention of Nigerians and the world from their incompetence and looting, but they have not responded to the allegation of looting of N13.9 billion meant for Aso Rock clinic which alarm was raised by the wife of their president against the cabal in the government.

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“We in IPOB are warning them to leave former President Jonathan and his wife, Patience, alone.

“You may toy with Jonathan because he allowed you to do that to him, but do not toy with Patience, otherwise we will bring down Nigeria.

“We are surprised that PANDEF and Ohanaeze Ndigbo have all kept quiet to this renewed attack on Jonathan.

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“It is high time Dr Jonathan dropped his gentleman’s toga and defend himself, his wife and family members.”

Meanwhile, Jonathan had in a statement by his Spokesman, Ikechikwu Eze clarified that he has no account or property abroad.


#Newsworthy…

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Nigerian Govt demand Former President, Jonathan’s bank statement, 2 others.

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The Nigerian Government has requested for the account statements of former President Goodluck Jonathan, his wife Patience, Diezani Alison-Madueke, a former Minister of Petroleum Resources and Rilwanu Lukman, according to Bloomberg.

Bloomberg reports that the banks told to provide the bank details of Jonathan and others include Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and New York branches of Deutsche Bank AG and United Bank for Africa Plc.

Nigeria is requesting “all documents concerning any transactions to, from, or for the benefit” of Jonathan and his wife between 2009 and the present day.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, was quoted by court documents as saying that information contained in the document will help an ongoing investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to know individuals in the Process & Industrial Developments Ltd gas deal.

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Although Malami didn’t mention Jonathan as a subject of the EFCC probe, the former head of state appears alongside the ex-ministers in Nigeria’s proposed subpoenas.

“There is good reason to believe that ministers at the highest level were involved in a corrupt scheme to steal money from Nigeria,” Attorney General Abubakar Malami said in court filings submitted on March 24.

He said P&ID had no ability or intention of ever performing the contract, which required the company to build a gas processing plant and the government to supply gas.

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Lorna Schofield, a US district judge, gave Nigeria permission to send copies of its application to the banks, eight of which had been served by April 15. However, the court has not decided whether to give Nigeria access to the documents.

In the court filings, Nigeria said the EFCC has not found direct evidence that the public officers received payments from P&ID or its affiliates.

It said the 10 banks are “likely to have processed US dollar transactions connected to P&ID’s operations as either correspondent banks or the New York branches of foreign lenders”.

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Nigeria hopes to overturn a $9.7 billion judgement awarded against it for a breach of agreement in a gas project.

A spokesman for P&ID said Malami’s application is “nothing but an absurdly overbroad fishing expedition” arguing that the AGF manufactured a claim of fraud and bribery to avoid paying the judgement debt that amounts to about 30% of the country’s foreign reserves..


#Newsworthy…

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