Ten scandals that rock Nigeria in 2008

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

NDDC Scandal: Ambassador Sam Edem, former Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), was suspended for paying N510 million to a sorcerer to allegedly facilitate his obtaining contracts from the Akwa Ibom State Government.

Ambassador Sam Edem has been arrested for allegations of paying N510 million out of a total contract sum of N800 million to one Dr. Perekambowei Oga. Dr. Oga is popularly known as Matthew Sonoma, a sorcerer, to spiritually influence the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Dr. Godswill Akpabio. This diabolic influence would lead to the governor awarding juicy contracts to Ambassador Edem and also to kill Mr. Timi Alaibe, the Managing Director of NDDC. It appears that Ambassador Edem believes Mr. Timi Alaibe is an obstacle in having his way on decision-making, in the commission as well as persuading Vice President Goodluck Jonathan to protect him in the event of plans to remove him from the Board of NDDC.

Discovery of fake LG in Oyo State: The House of Representatives Committee on Youth Development was able to unravel a mysterious local government area in Oyo State. The sum of N4.7billion capital vote of the Federal Ministry of Youth Development in the 2008 Budget had been allocated to the local government area. The Chairman of the committee, Honourable Depo Oyedokun, who is from Oyo State, was alarmed to discover that a council area in the state goes by that name it was given “Respat”.

House of Representative Cars Scandal: The House bought 380 Peugeot (model – 407) cars for its committee members at an inflated cost of N2.359 billion from Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited. The actual cost for the purchase of the Peugeot cars should have been N1.938 billion (VAT inclusive). It took a petition from a Lagos lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole, on the issue and pointed out other anomalies in the transaction.

The House of Representatives Committee on Ethics and Privileges set up a panel to investigate the alleged sleazy purchase of the 380 Peugeot cars. The Committees submitted three separate reports of its investigation into the N2.3bn car scandal to the House.

Police Equipment Fund:
The Police Equipment Fund scandal was brought to public knowledge because of internal conflict among the original promoters of the idea: Godson Ewulum, Joseph Agharite, Ibrahim Dumuje, and Kenny Martins.

Godson Ewulum, Joseph Agharite and Ibrahim Dumuje were the brain behind the formation of PEF. They later sold the idea to Kenny Martin, an in-law of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Kenny Martin presented the idea to the President, and the idea was implemented after a recommendation from Presidential Committee on Police Equipment Fund. It was Godson Ewulum that put the scandal on the media radar because he felt he has been sidelined from the management of the PEF and that Kenny Martin and Ibrahim Dumuje had stolen N50billion from Police Equipment Fund.

Osun State Election Petition Scandal: The News, a reputable print media, published on Sunday July 6, 2008 the unethical romance between the governor’s lawyer, Kunle Kalejaye and the tribunal judges. The News had published logs of supposed calls and text messages from Kalejaiye to Justice Thomas Naron, Chairman of the Osun State Elections Petitions Tribunal. According to Rule 34, Rule of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners (2007), "a lawyer should not do anything or conduct himself in such a way as to give the impression or allow the impression to be created that his acts or conduct are calculated to gain or have the appearance of gaining special personal consideration or favour from a judge."

Demotion and Dismissal of Nuhu Ribadu: Mallam Nuhu Ribadu was removed as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Ribadu and five other police officers were nominated and sent on senior executive course at NIPSS, Kuru, Jos, last year. In the first week of August, 2008 while on course, the Police Service Commission, (PSC) announced the demotion of Ribadu and 139 other officers to their former positions. The PSC said the promotions to their current ranks skipped due process and caused disaffection in the Nigeria Police Force. Everyone knows that PSC was acting under the disguise of execution of rule of law. On graduation day, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu was dragged out of the hall during the graduation ceremony of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies at Kuru subsequently; he was prevented from graduating. Ribadu was later dismissed from the Nigerian Police by the Police Service Commission, (PSC) on recommendation of the Police Disciplinary Committee. He was sacked for indiscipline, insubordination and absence from duty.

Witch-Children Scandal: If there was anything that damaged the Nigeria’s image internationally, it was the documentary of "Saving Africa's Witch Children” that was aired by the UK Channel 4 on November 12, 2008. The damages would not go away easily because video clips of documentary are till circulating on Youtube, and people are constantly viewing them. It is took Akwa Ibom State Government a negative coverage from international media pass the Child Rights Bill to law in Akwa Ibom. I wonder what the first lady of the state was doing when all this wickedness happened under her watch.

Nigerian Power Scandal: A special Committee on Power and Steel was set up to probe whether or not $10 billion or $16 billion had been 'spent' by the former administration on addressing electricity issues. It was later found out that the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, gave out power contracts without following due process.

Sex scandal: The Sun newspaper published on 13th January, 2008 an accusation made by Gbenga Obasanjo, Olusegun Obasanjo’s first son, that his wife of having sex with his father (Olusegun Obasanjo) to gain government contracts when his father was President of Nigeria.

Yar’Adua’s False Resignation: Channels Television aired September 16, 2008, a report about the possiblity of President Umaru Yar’Adua resignation because on his health status. The report happened to be a hoax; subsequently, Channels TV licence was revoked. The Management of Channels Television claimed that they got the report as an email from the News Agency of Nigeria (government owned wire service). Managing Director of NAN, Mrs. Oluremi Oyo, stated that the e-mail was from the agency, and She promised that NANS would incorporate measures that would improve better information management and dissemenation in order to prevent the spread of misleading information in the future.
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