EBOLA, WHAT TOOK THEM SO LONG?

Once again all the doubters of the conspiracy theory surrounding the Ebola Virus Disease should now be assured that the journey has come full circle? Six months after the EVD has taken thousands of lives and a very big toll on the economy of the victim-countries, the American government has finally woken up and now ready to do something about it? Icheoku asks what took them this long?

America is known for rushing to the assistance of people in need within twenty-four notice - be it hurricane in the Phillippines or mudslide in Afghanistan or earthquake in some God forsaken part of the planet or even Evian Flu in Asia or Mesa Flu in Saudi Arabia; but Africa has been reeling under the scourge of Ebola for over six months now and suddenly, the mighty Yankees just remembered that some people in the jungle of Africa could use some help? Icheoku says it is all part of the agenda: - first Patrick Sawyer, an American, takes his deathly cargo to Nigeria on a mission? Then Western media, controlled by Americans, went to town crying fire in a crowded theater about the doomsday scenario that is ebola in Africa? From the blues came a vaccine out of San Diego, America, that could cure EVD, although a Spanish priest treated with the same vaccine died while the Americans survived? Several "infected" Nigerians equally survived and they never received this miracle-working American vaccine?

So after waiting in vain and nursing the disappointment that Patrick Sawyer's mission was not "accomplished", and seeing the Nigerian authorities declare triumphantly that the Ebola Virus Disease has been contained if not totally eradicated, they went back to the drawing board asking what happened with the plans to get something going in Africa's most populous country? The rest is now part of history.

Suddenly three thousand soldiers and few medical personnel are being sent to Africa to fight the EVD? Icheoku queries are these soldiers going to shoot or nuke ebola? Why soldiers instead of medical personnel? Icheoku asks why now? Why wait until after over two thousand Africans have been killed by this disease? Why now that Nigeria, to the surprise of the world, was able to manage and contain the EVD? Icheoku asks did plans to stir health crisis in African most populous country hit the brick wall and now another ploy disguised as aid must be put in the offing? Anyway, Icheoku urges the Nigerian authority not to accept this aid as they have no need for it any longer; moreso who knows the stuff hidden in the Trojan Horse aid package.

Ordinarily Icheoku is not usually a cynic, but paying closer attention to world's political economy and how certain objectives determine certain actions, it is increasingly becoming obvious that some things are just above certain pay grades. But one final advise to the Nigerian authorities, Icheoku urges them to be vigilant and watch closely before EVD could come back with a vengeance.


THE CHURCH IN NIGERIA TODAY - TUNDE BAKARE?

"The difference between the cinema and the church in Nigeria is that for the cinema you pay a gate fee before you enter but in the church, they let you come in before they take from you. Look at the population of people in church today and yet we have negligible righteousness in the country? So, something is wrong. I am not condemning what people are doing but if it is just a clever ploy to continue to control and manage people and get rich, then one day the people would say 'to your tent oh Israel.'" - Pastor Tunde Bakare. Icheoku says this pastor spoke for me and has possibly got a convert with his candid assessment of the 'casino royal' which all these churches have become in Nigeria. Just know the truth and the truth will set you free.


MARION GOTZE, THE MAN WHO SEALED IT FOR GERMANY.

MARION GOTZE, THE MAN WHO SEALED IT FOR GERMANY.
Icheoku says what an honor it is indeed to be so privileged to put the icing on the cake for one's country's World Cup win. Icheoku says congratulations to goal scorer Mario Gotze and his German national side for a well deserved victory over Argentina in the just concluded FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 finals. Germany is the new world cup champion, hurray!

DUTCH, WHEN A CHAMPION SETTLES FOR THIRD PLACE?

DUTCH, WHEN A CHAMPION SETTLES FOR THIRD PLACE?
Icheoku said it before and will say it again - Netherlands would have gone all the way to clinch the cup but for FIFA intervention and Icheoku stands to be corrected on this. Today they proved once again that they had the stuff champions are made of with their routing of host Brazil 3-0 and you wonder what a beautiful World Cup finals it would have been against Germany had FIFA's machination not so cruelly intervened. Anyway, their consolatory third place is not one of such cases where a half loaf is better than no loaf for Icheoku; and as a result Icheoku is not satisfied. The Dutch has been and remained Icheoku's favorite throughout the tournament and Icheoku will continue to believe they were forced out of the finals and no opinion can persuade otherwise. So long FIFA World Cup Brazil 2004 championship until Russia 2018; admitted Icheoku will tune in tomorrow to see how the finals is rigged. Congratulations Netherlanders, Ciao!

DUTCH LOSS, REGRETTABLE.

Icheoku says unfortunately we missed the mark and for this we are indeed very sorry for projecting a Netherlands win over Argentina as well as in the finals against Germany. Why the Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal did not bring in his penalty-kicks best keeping goalie, Tim Kral, is beyond everyone's imagination. What is done is done and the coach has his conscience to worry about on the real reason behind the unthinkable. Icheoku griefs the Dutch loss as avoidable. You may please scroll down to page one to read further analysis.

NETHERLANDS V. GERMANY - FIFA WORLD CUP 2014 FINALS?

NETHERLANDS V. GERMANY - FIFA  WORLD CUP 2014 FINALS?
In the future of the FIFA World Cup 2014 championship holding in Brazil, Icheoku sees an all European championship final between Netherlands and Germany. Germany will defeat Brazil and Netherlands will defeat Messi and his boys during the semi finals resulting in an all European meet in the finals; following which Netherlands will emerge victorious. Icheoku remains steadfast in our projection that the Orange guys will carry the golden cup this 2014 and there is NO SHAKING in our conviction. Go DUTCH!

FIFA WORLD CUP BRAZIL 2014, LETS PLAY SOCCER.

FIFA WORLD CUP BRAZIL 2014, LETS PLAY SOCCER.
Icheoku tips Netherlands to win the cup - their performance against Spain in the opening and now Mexico, has irrevocably moved the process forward. Icheoku says 'Go DUTCH.'

CHIBOK ABDUCTION, BOKO HARAM OVERREACHES SELF.

CHIBOK ABDUCTION, BOKO HARAM OVERREACHES SELF.
To the kidnapped young school girls of Chibok, Icheoku says the world has heard your plight and is coming to your rescue, just hang in there. FYI:- Please you may scroll down for full commentary on this.

MADIBA, IN MEMORIAM

MADIBA, IN MEMORIAM
Icheoku says he made today's reality in South Africa possible, RIP Nelson Mandela.

GUITAR HERO, NIGERIA GUITAR PLAYING PRESIDENT.

GUITAR HERO, NIGERIA GUITAR PLAYING PRESIDENT.
Icheoku says President Bill Clinton played the saxophone; President GW Bush played and danced to the beat of African drums; President Barack Obama sang Al Green's Lets Stay Together; President Olusegun Obasanjo danced PSY's Gangnam Style; and even Madam Secretary of State Albright danced to Macarena and the other Madam Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also danced some South African tunes too. Now President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria just strung the guitar. Icheoku says whats up with all these presidents showing us the lighter side of themselves and displaying inert talents which duties of the state had somehow made redundant. Icheoku says the world especially Nigerians can use the million Naira smile on their President Jonathan's face. A country almost over-heating from stress of every kind can sure find some uplifting from their smiley president. Icheoku says GOOD for the country.

VLADIMIR AND LYUDMILA, NO LONGER AN ITEM!

VLADIMIR AND LYUDMILA, NO LONGER AN ITEM!
Icheoku says what mother Russia had put together, unbridled licentiousness and loneliness has put asunder; and so it is that the fabled strong man of Russia became a weakling on the home front and was not man enough to do what it takes to keep his home safe and secured. Russia's President Vladimir and First Lady Lyudmila Putin's marriage have gone with the wind; its center did not hold as cravings for younger skirts by Vladimir have driven the older love interest over the cliff and she had to walk away. Icheoku says yet another evidence that marriage does not work, never worked and will never work except for those who live in denial and put a facade of happily ever after. Icheoku says to Vladimir and Lyudmila, happy trails.

OBASANJO, DESERVES TO BE CAGED - YAKASSI.

OBASANJO, DESERVES TO BE CAGED - YAKASSI.
"Whenever Obasanjo disagrees with a person, he will carry the fight to his place of worship, to his dining table and sometimes, he will even be fighting the person in his dream. He is unforgiving and his method of disagreement with people is sometimes a matter of life and death." - Tanko Yakassi; reacting to the recent outburst of Obasanjo in Dutse castigating President Jonathan for keeping him in the dog's house and away from calling the shots in Aso Rock. Icheoku adds, may be it is about time the Otta deity is arrested and tried for his numerous misdeeds during his presidency including the Halliburton scandal. Further, Obasanjo's membership of the PDP should be suspended since he is now more of a problem than a solution to the wellness of the party; which has increasingly become more apparent since he lost his third term bid to cling to power. But only if Icheoku were Jonathan and Jonathan were Icheoku?

ORAL SEX IS DANGEROUS, WARNS MICHAEL DOUGLAS?

ORAL SEX IS DANGEROUS, WARNS MICHAEL DOUGLAS?
Icheoku says the Surgeon General Michael Douglas has warned men to beware, pause and ponder before going downtown on their women. He spoke from experience having nearly died from throat cancer which he claimed resulted from his giving too much head to his women. Icheoku wonders which of his women gave him the cutties. You may scroll down for further and fuller story on main page .............

BOSTON MARATHON BOMBERS, HEADED TO NEW YORK.

"We don't know if we would have been able to stop the terrorists had they arrived here from Boston. We're just thankful that we didn't have to find out that answer." - Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York speaking on the Divine providence that stopped Boston Marathon bombers cold and prevented them from getting to New York to prosecute their terrorism act.

Icheoku says well put together Mayor and in a case where lack of desired answer was a preferred option.

However no one seems to acknowledge the hijacked guy, without whose cruel fate, those Boston Marathon bombers might still be on the run. Imagine a scenario where Boston operatives would have been looking for their suspects - "the dark-skinned" terrorists, while the real "fair-skinned" terrorists would be miles away in New York causing another mayhem. Thankfully a bad incident of a vehicle hijack led to the solving of such a heinous crime of no mean magnitude. As far as Icheoku is concerned, this guy is the real hero and deserves all the credits for solving the Boston Marathon crime and should get any and all available rewards thereto.

Also thanks to the technology of the IPhone and Mercedes' imbeded tracking devices which triangulated and honed operatives to the mad men of Russia from Dagestan Chechyna. The rest as they say, is now history and one lived in real time.

ORJI KALU SHOWS THE WAY FORWARD FOR THE IGBO

“We are embarked on a big and noble dream borne out of the necessities of our history and the imperatives of our justice, equity and fair play. While our history is a proud, large, and significant imprint in Nigeria, the reality of our contemporary existence has been rendered small by the politics of the Nigerian republic. This time calls for self-assertion and Igbo people must rise and answer the challenges with one voice." - Orji Uzor Kalu, speaking on the imperativeness of a united Igbo front to take on the Nigeria project. Icheoku agrees intoto; has said it before and again says it that in Orji Uzor Kalu lies the destiny of Igbo people of Nigeria in the Nigeria project. Igbo people must put aside their base restiveness and political disfunctionalities and follow the leadership being provided by this accomplished son of Igboland, the only Igbo man who other stakeholders of Nigeria from other tribes and zones truly respect and listen to. Peradventure this Orji Uzor Kalu's opportunity to lead the Igbos out of their political doldrums and into the promised land would be lost; but Icheoku strongly counsels against that as such golden opportunity rarely strikes twice. Icheoku loves the courage of Orji Uzor Kalu and prays he succeeds with the "Njiko Igbo" project whether in 2015 or any other future time.

CHINUA ACHEBE DEAD AT 82, ADIEU.

CHINUA ACHEBE DEAD AT 82, ADIEU.
Icheoku mourns a true son of the land who happened on the stage when Nigeria was not prepared for his kind. Regrettably the world reknowned scholar died frustrated at the rot that is Nigeria and the unwillingness of the ruling elite to fix the broken. Icheoku says sleep well Chinua and may the Almighty reward you for at least trying by speaking up against the decadence. His internment is scheduled for May 23, 2013 at Ogidi Anambra State Nigeria. Icheoku says so long Chinualumogu.

QUOTE ON THE MARBLE.

"I know you have'nt been in a position to actually execute foreign policy, but every time you've offered an opinion, you've been wrong." - President Barack Hussein Obama counselling Mitt Romney.

MEDICORITY IS KILLING NIGERIA - CHINUA ACHEBE

"What has consistently escaped most Nigerians in this entire travesty is the fact that mediocrity destroys the very fabric of a country as surely as a war – ushering in all sorts of banality, ineptitude, corruption and debauchery. Nations enshrine mediocrity as their modus operandi, and create the fertile ground for the rise of tyrants and other base elements of the society, by silently assenting to the dismantling of systems of excellence because they do not immediately benefit one specific ethnic, racial, political, or special-interest group. That, in my humble opinion, is precisely where Nigeria finds itself today." - Professor Chinua Achebe, an excerpt from his latest literary work "There was a country." Icheoku adds, this is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth; and anyone who does not like to hear the truth about the real and true situation on the ground in Nigeria should just jump off the bridge or like Zimbabwe's strongman Robert Mugabe would put it, go hang.

ONLY THE POOR WISH THEY HAD STUFF?

“I’m not that interested in material things. As long as I find a good bed that I can sleep in, that’s enough.” - Nicolas Berggruem, the homeless billionaire.

A GOOD MAN IS A GOOD MAN - MADONNA

"I was being ironic on stage. Yes, I know Obama is not a Muslim - though I know that plenty of people in this country think he is. And what if he were? The point I was making is that a good man is a good man, no matter who he prays to. I don't care what religion Obama is - nor should anyone else in America." - MADONNA, the material girl explaining her reference to President Barack Obama as a "black Muslim?"

ABATI'S ODE TO JONATHAN, A RESPONSE.

"Yes, great minds like Abraham Lincoln, Mahtama Ghandi, Martin Luther King and Kwame Nkrumah made the world easier. Yet whatever they achieved was with plainness of approach, honesty and integrity. They were not attained with dourness and stupidity. They came out of a vibrant methodology and pragmatic visions. Jonathan lacks these qualities. Comparing the man Jonathan to these great minds is illusory and vain." - Dr Olusegun Fakoya

PUTIN, REHABILITATE YOURSELF


SACRIFICE IS THE KEY.

The safest place for the ship is the harbor but the ship is not made for the harbor; therefore to succeed, you must venture out of your comfort zone and mightily sacrifice.

OBAMA ON CHANGE

"You don't have to hide who you love to serve the country you love - military's don't ask, don't tell, is over. That is what the promised change is all about and we delivered." Icheoku says, just the truth Mr President and four more years to "That One" who really gets it.

NAGGING KILLS, COMMUNICATION SAVES !

Study has established that nagging is the shortest and surest route traveled to bring a marriage to a crashing end. It is even considered deadlier than infidelity and adultery put together; so couples you now know - if you want to end it asap, just let that trap of yours run afoul without ceasing. On the positive side, couples who render each other their ears enjoy marital bliss using the Faiss principles of "give and take and compromise" as their guiding light. So chose today how you want your union to go and then do what needs to be done to get there.

HIV/AIDS ALERT !

Beware, thirty four (34) million people live with HIV/AIDS world world; SCARY?


THANK GOD WE DO NOT LIVE THERE, IRAN AND SAUDI ARABIA.

Do you know that ADULTERY is a death-penalty offense in Iran and that APOSTASY is also a death-penalty offense in Saudi Arabia? Be thankful for your freedom, those of you who are not confined in both enclaves, especially the Elliot Spitzers and Arnold Schwarzeneggers of this world; and should we add former President Clinton, except that those mullahs do not consider polishing the knob sexual enough to qualify as adulterous.

A WORD MADE FOR NIGERIA GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS?

"What's the point of being in the government if you don't try to make things better, which means trying to change things." - Richard Holbrooke, speaking as it would seem to Nigerian government officials who usually go into government only to enrich themselves and not make things better for the people, period!

THE PROBLEM OF IGBO PEOPLE, IDENTIFIED!

"Listen when the song of the frog resounds from the marshes. Listen to what they have to say. It is good to come together. It is good to reach agreement. It is good to make the voices of many the single voice of all." - HRH Justice Eze Ozobu, citing the Battle of Herero as reference point to finding solution to Igbo peoples' problem of intractable dysfunctionalism.

His Royal Highness was analogizing the problems of rudderless adriftness, lack of a collective pursuit and single purposefulness as well as the absence of one identifiable leadership and/or spokesperson which are afflicting the Igbo people of Nigeria. According to this retired jurist and now traditional ruler of Owa Imezi community, Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State, Nigeria, for the Igbo nation to make any meaningful and serious political headway in Nigeria, they MUST first learn to become and fight their cause as an indivisible army of one. They must end being a motley of disorganized, noisy and often ignored mob-like people, each with his or her divergent, incoherent idea and agenda on how to move the process forward. Icheoku says with this pointy truth, this jurist has identified the single cause of Igbo peoples' problem and thus earned a place in the annals of Igbo history for pointing the light on the way forward for the Igbo nation. It is now left for the Igbo people to imbibe this message, a gospel truth. and learn to articulate and marshal their viewpoints as one indivisible and fully harmonized entity!

ICHEOKU SAYS, BEHOLD THE CARNAGE OF DOGO NAHAWA, JOS-NIGERIA!

Take a gory excursion into the Islamic Northern Nigeria Hausa-Fulani barbarism at Jos, Plateau State of Northern Nigeria, click link:-

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

NIGERIA, SOME HIGH-UP CORRUPTION CASES STILL PENDING?

The new year 2009 is lurking around the corner and the ever-dopey Nigeria President Umaru Yar'Adua has promised Nigerians that his now Supreme Court legitimized presidency will finally wake up from its slumber. Icheoku says, Mr. President if you must wake up, wake up to some of these high-up corruption scandals as it will give you the necessary boost needed, to once again make your presidency palatable to many Nigerians and the world at large. These are corruption scandals from the highest echelon of the Nigerian society involving the former president Olusegun Obasanjo family and a sitting Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Jubril Aminu! If these corruption cases are not taken care of, the inaction will be interpreted to the untouchable-status of these fellows involved and will once again portray your presidency as either being in the tank with corruption or you, as too wimpy to strike decisively.

1. Iyabo Bello Obasanjo's three (300) hundred million Naira bribery scandal:- the daughter of former president Olusegun Obasanjo was involved in a three (300) hundred million Naira Health ministry bribery scandal and to date, this matter appears to have been swept under the corrupt Nigerian carpet. Why would this be and yet Umaru Yar'Adua purports to be running an anti-corruption government? Icheoku is not saying that the daughter of your mentor must be jailed for dipping her hand in the Nigerian pie, no, but that the investigation into the alleged gratification be concluded one way or another. Nigerians need clarity of purpose as it appertains to this very scandal. First it involves a former first daughter and some accomplice to the crime, former Minister of Health Professor Adenike Grange and Gabriel Aduku as well as some other officials were fired because of this, so why treat Iyabo Bello Obasanjo differently as an untouchable? This question must be conclusively resolved by your government for its credibility. The 56-Count Criminal Charge of Fraud and Embezzlement of public funds levelled against Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello by the EFCC has not been adjudicated; since the prosecutor, James Binang read it out in court as follows: “That you, Iyabo Obasanjo Bello (now at large) sometimes between December 2007 and March 2008 at Abuja within the jurisdiction of the high court of the Federal Capital Territory while serving as the chairperson, Senate Committee on Health in the National Assembly, dishonestly retained the sum of N10, 000,000 belonging to Federal Government of Nigeria, having reason to believe same to be stolen property thereby committed an offence punishable under section 317 of the Penal Code cap 352, Law of Federation of Nigeria (Abuja)1990.”

2. Senator Jubril Aminu's twelve (12) million dollars Siemens bribery scandal:- This serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from Adamawa State was a co-beneficiary of a twelve (12) million dollar bribery scandal which was extorted from Siemens as a condition precedent for winning some contracts in Nigeria. Ever since the scandal broke, the powers that be in Nigeria have been in an over-drive attempt to wish the matter away but to no avail. Icheoku is calling on Umaru Yar'Adua to show some example with this bribery scandal that no one, including a sitting Nigerian Senator is above the law. In the United States if America a long term Senator from Alaska Ted Stevens was convicted and forced out of office for receiving some gifts but in Nigeria, a senator who demanded and received bribe is still being sheltered by the government of Umaru Yar'Adua as a sitting Nigerian Senator?
Siemens paid a total bribe of approximately $12.7m to some Nigerian officials for four telecommunications contracts valued about $130m. Icheoku says that this twelve million dollars bribe was probably the amount by which that contract was extra over-valued as a company like Siemens will not take a loss in a contract - not from Africa, anyways! According to a high ranking official within Siemens Limited Nigeria, corrupt payments in 2000 and 2001 commonly reached 15 to 30% of the contracts’ value. It is instructive to note that Olusegun Obasanjo was the president of Nigeria at this period under review. The Siemens bribery scandal blew open in October 2007, after a Munich court had found the company guilty of bribing government officials in several countries and fined it 201 million Euros in penalties.
It is very hypocritical that subsequent to this scandal, the Umaru Yar'Adua's Federal Government of Nigeria "suspended" dealings with Siemens and the EFCC commenced investigations, but as soon as the euphoria died down, the Federal Government went back to doing business as usual with Siemens; without any fine being levied or paid by Siemens as was done in the US and Germany. Icheoku says, this is very instructive as to the seriousness with with Umaru Yar'Adua is fighting corruption in Nigeria; more-so since the implicated Nigeria Senator Jubril Aminu is still a serving Senator and chairs its' foreign affairs committee. Justice must not only be done but must be seen to been done. Senator Jubril Aminu should loose his seat at the senate and face prosecution in the spirit of charity begins at home anti-corruption stance of Umaru Yar'Adua's government. Anything short of this is unacceptable to Nigerians and the world at large who continually views Nigeria as a very corrupt country, where some highly placed government officials are corruption personified and are deemed untouchables.

3. NigComSat five (500) hundred million dollars junk Chinese satellite contract scandal:- the third in hierarchy of Icheoku's high-up corruption that demands the immediate attention of Umaru Yar'Adua in the new year is the 500 million dollars junk satellite, which failed less than 18months after it launched into orbit? Nigerian Communication Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) Limited in conjunction with a Chinese company embarked on this white-elephant project, fully seized of the fact that it was ill-timed, ill-conceived, ill-equipped, ill-constructed by unskilled artisans, manufactured of sub-standard materials, ill-managed, not space-worthy, defective and not what the Nigerian populace needs at this time of abject hunger, joblessness, insecurity, election-rigging and general malaise pervading the country. The boyish, clean-shaved face T. Ahmed Rufai - the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NIGCOMSAT should be held to account on why he sunk Nigeria's whopping $500 million dollars in such a worthless enterprise. This becomes very imperative because the Chinese contractors to the satellite project has a litany of past sordid projects some of which failed and yet non of this unsatisfactory past performances were factored in before awarding such a huge contract to them.

Icheoku says of all the corruption scandals in Nigeria, including those involving former governors, these three enumerated corruption cases call for rapid attention of the anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria. President Umaru Yar'Adua must show Nigerians that he means business with his anti-corruption stance and that no one is untouchable in the fight. President Umaru Yar'Adua, please this is the time to act and act you must and decisively too; in order to validate yourself as a true anti-corruption president of Nigeria. Any other thing to the contrary will only perpetuate the perception that Nigeria is a very corrupt country, run by corruptible and contemptible fellows and yourself, inclusive!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The scam that consumed two ministers
By Agency Reporter
Published: Thursday, 1 Jan 2009
The year is about to end; and for ministries and parastatals, this is a time to be careful, given the development in the Ministry of Health over its unspent funds.

Skip to next paragraph

Photo file
The embattled Former Minister

A N300m scam blew open on March 25 and it culminated in the forced resignation of two ministers and suspension of the Permanent Secretary and six directors.

The former minister, Prof Adenike Grange, and her Minister of State, Mr. Gabriel Aduku did not only lose their jobs after being in the saddle for just nine months, they were also arraigned in court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

But the height of the whole drama was the revelation that the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Health each collected N10m.

According to the lawmakers involved, the money was meant for a capacity building trip to Ghana.

However, at the behest of the EFCC, the House Committee returned its share but the Senate Committee under the leadership of Senator Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello refused to return the money. Attempts to get Iyabo to answer some questions at the EFCC on the matter, forced her to go underground for some days, before she succumbed to pressure to make herself available.

Consequently, Yar’Adua appointed the Minister of Labour, Dr Hassan Lawal to supervise the Ministry until the appointment of Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin and his Minister of State, Dr Aliyu Hong as minister and minister of state respectively, last week.

Anonymous said...

Siemens Escapes Trial In US Probe Reveals Deeper Nigerian Role In Scandal
By Laolu Akande New York

SIEMENS, the German Construction firm implicated in a large-scale international corruption scandal that included bribes to top Nigerian officials in the last presidency may have escaped serious criminal trial of its officials in the US. This follows the company's admission that it actually paid bribes estimated at $1.4billion across Asia, Africa, Europe, Middle East and Latin America.

The German company simply agreed to pay a punitive fine of about $1.6B both to the US and European authorities. Hefty as it is, observers say considering the widespread international bribery that Siemens engaged in, the fine was a smart payoff to avert criminal and other civil suits in the US. Siemens did not question the findings of the US Security Exchange Commission, SEC, that revealed among other things that the company paid bribes to a Nigerian president and his deputy.

Sources at the US SEC maintain that the presidency in Nigeria played an active role in the bribe scandal raising concerns in diplomatic circles on why the current Nigerian government has not started any serious investigation on the matter. Previous reports had linked some former Nigerian ministers with the scandal but the outcome of the US government probe stated categorically that the topmost echelon of the federal executive was involved.

The media in the US had been focussing on the wife of a former Nigerian vice president even as fingers were pointed at the former president. No names have been mentioned so far but the dates (between 2000 and 2007) the alleged bribery was said to been committed have largely helped to limit the searchlight on the immediate past presidency in Nigeria.

According to Ken Silverstein, a US journalist who is the Washington Editor of Harper's Magazine, "Siemens paid millions in bribes to win $130 million in telecommunications contract in Nigeria. He added that "the recipients were likely a former president and vice president of Nigeria, and the Wife of a former Nigerian vice president, a dual U.S.-Nigerian citizen who lives in the United States."

A New York Times report noted that Siemens "telecommunications unit was awash in easy money. It paid $5 million in bribes to win a mobile phone contract in Bangladesh, to the son of the prime minister at the time and other senior officials. According to court documents....(the) group also made $12.7 million in payments to senior officials in Nigeria for government contracts."

Curiously, in the US, Siemens has not technically paid any bribes but has been fined by the US government for paying bribes abroad and violating accounting records. There are now concerns that the Nigerian government, which made commitment to fight corruption has not brought any serious charges against the German firm beyond speculations of possible revocation of Siemens contracts. Also, government has not started any investigation of its officials implicated in the scandal.

Siemens is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, which allows the US authorities to subject the firm to the home laws. To stem further damage, the German company quickly agreed to a fine and settled the case out of court. It decided last month to pay what New York Times described as a "record total of $1.6 billion to American and European authorities to settle charges that it routinely used bribes and slush funds to secure huge public works contracts around the world." The paper added that the fine sum "dwarfs the previous high for a foreign corruption."

Siemens has also pleaded guilty in a federal court in Washington to civil charges that it violated a 1977 law banning the use of corrupt practices in foreign business dealings. It agreed to pay $450 million to the US Justice Department, equivalent of the Nigerian Justice Ministry and another $350 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission. By the agreements, Siemens has cleverly averted a long drawn criminal trial that will have prolonged the lifespan of the scandal and possibly sent officials of the company to jail. It also stood the risk of being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange if it had allowed the case to go all the hog.

Investigations described Siemens' bribery schemes as "standard operating procedures for corporate executives who viewed bribery as a business strategy." Linda Chatman Thomsen, the head of the US S.E.C.'s enforcement division, was quoted as saying the schemes were "unprecedented in scale and geographic reach."

At home in Germany, Siemens would be paying fines totaling 395 million euros ($540 million) besides, another $290 million levied by a Munich court last year. US officials said most of the bribe transactions were carried out by middlemen posing as consultants and who delivered suitcases filled with cash to bribe foreign officials including top Nigerian government officials.