"Alamieyeseigha has not been charged for any wrongdoing in the United Kingdom - or even in Nigeria. After he was picked up by the British Police at Heathrow Airport, he was taken to Ilford police station where he was asked a few questions and subsequently released on bail on self-recognition.
"It is a wicked lie to state that the governor was arraigned before a London court. Even the London Metropolitan Police have made it clear that this is an ongoing investigation. It appears that the governor has already been tried and convicted by sections of the media. Under British and Nigerian laws, (he) remains innocent until he has his day in a court of law".
Meanwhile, the British Government has asked its citizens to stay away from the Niger Delta and "in connection to IYC threat, British nationals are to be vigilant, maintain a low profile and avoid unnecessary movement out of business hours."The warning is in reaction to the threat by the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) to British citizens to vacate the Niger Delta following the arrest of Alamieyeseigha. The IYC said it could not guarantee their safety.
It insisted in a statement that the arrest is consistent with the historical pattern of aggression, which is "not acceptable".IYC President, Oyeinfie Jonjon and spokesman, Peter Ajube, who signed the statement, argued that the British has maintained hegemony against the Ijaws beginning from 1895, which it has further exhibited with the arrest of Alamieyeseigha.
"Our struggle for freedom and control of our God-given resources and environment did not begin today! We recall the Akassa war, the invasion and destruction of various Ijaw communities of Nembe, Brass and Okpoama in 1895 by the British forces", they said."We advise the British authorities and their collaborators in the Federal Government of Nigeria to immediately release our number one citizen otherwise we cannot continue to guarantee the safety of their investment and citizens in our territories".
The IYC also linked the recent questioning of some officials of the state government by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commision (EFCC) to a grand design to destabilise and divert the attention of its people from resource control and survival.
The state government said three UK-based Ijaw groups, including a delegation of Ijaw students, were to pay solidarity visits to Alamieyeseigha on Sunday and that the State Executive Council is in touch with him despite of his poor health.
"On Thursday, he was met at the IIford police station by Edwin Clarke ... who later accompanied (him) to his London home. (Clarke) was at Heathrow Airport en route Nigeria but had to cancel his flight when news of the governor's ordeal reached him", the government recounted. But the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), The Victims, and Advocacy for Democracy Dividends International (ADDI) - all human rights bodies - are some of the groups delighted at the arrest.
They see it as one of the most potent means of checking the grand looting of the economy by public officials.But Abuja's beating of the chest, hoping to use the development to enhance its anti-corruption profile, was carpeted as the groups accused it of watering the tree of corruption, rather than cutting it down.
ADDI President, Shola Ojeriakhi, insisted at the weekend that corruption is a phenomenon that oozes out from the Presidency and spreads to all levels of government, so it would be foolhardy for anybody to celebrate the ordeal of Alamieyeseigha in the sense of the anti-corruption crusade of President Olusegun Obasanjo.
"The fact that these people are being arrested abroad underscores the apparent impotency of the government here to fight the menace, because they are part of it. That is why we have not seen the result in the country. The arrest of Alamieseigha shows how cruel, wicked and insensitive our leaders could be to their people, who are hungry and unemployed", he said.CDHR National Secretary, Malachy Ugwumadu, taking the same position, said immunity for Alamieseigha does not hold water as he could not enjoy it on foreign soil.
"The PDP government is immersed in corruption. In fact, the PDP governors represent the worst advertisement of anti-corruption crusade in the country. The only drawback in the arrest is that it would soon be politicised", he stated.Describing the development as a welcome one, The Victims President, Akin Akinbobola, said the rot in government is at all levels, including the Presidency that coordinates the anti-corruption war.
"Where do these people get this mind to steal so much? Are they not human beings? Why do they do this when their people suffer so much? We are happy that, if for nothing, they are being exposed. What remains is to find the leader who would mobilise the people to act, as has happened in other countries".
Alamieyeseigha arrest in London: Govs scramble to close foreign accounts
Monday, 19 September 2005 Four days after Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha was arrested by British police for alleged money laundering, fresh facts emerged weekend that 17 out of 19 governors operating foreign accounts have closed them in compliance with a directive by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) on such accounts.But Governors Orji Uzor Kalu and Rashidi Ladoja of Abia and Oyo states respectively are yet to close their foreign accounts according to chairman of CCB, Justice Bashir Sambo.
Speaking last weekend, Sambo explained that closure of the foreign accounts followed his Bureau's earlier directive to that effect to the affected governors, even as he refused to disclose names of the 17 governors.As he spoke, mixed reactions continued to pour in over the arrest of Alamieyeseigha by the British Metropolitan Police at London Heathrow airport last Thursday.
Chairman of Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, (CNPP), Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa and legal luminary, Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN), described the arrest as a manifestation of high scale corruption among public office holders in the country.
In separate reactions, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) and Ijaw People's Assembly (IPA), Lagos branch condemned the arrest saying that it was part of a grand plan to "destabilize the Ijaws and turn their attention away from the central issue of survival".
Also the Bayelsa State government on its part said Alamieyeseigha had not been charged before any London court as reported in the media.Elaborating on the operation of foreign accounts Sambo noted that "most of them explained that the accounts had been opened before their election to office. But all the same we asked them to close such accounts."He disclosed that two governors are yet to close their accounts in line with Bureau's directives."
But he added that "it was not the fault of the two affected governors but stringent financial policies of those countries the caused the delay."The bureau he said had written those countries to get further clarifications "but up till now no reply has been received from them."
Sambo assured Nigerians, however, that "the tribunal will not be compromised in whatever way in ensuring that justice is carried out in line with the constitution."
Kalu and Ladoja, it will be recalled, were in June arraigned before the Code of Conduct Bureau in Ilorin for allegedly defaulting in the declaration of their assets
Meanwhile, Balarabe, a former governor of old Kaduna State said Alamieyeseigha's arrest and subsequent arraignment in a British court is a national embarrassment and disgrace.
Speaking in similar vein Gani explained that the governor's travail was an indication of failure of institutions like the judiciary and security agencies created by the 1999 Constitution to fight social ills in the country.They spoke in separate interviews at the weekend. Alamieyeseigha was arrested at London's Heathrow airport by officers from the Metropolitan Police and was released after a two-hour detention which included a search of his house.
But speaking in an interview in Kaduna, Balarabe said the arrest of the governor was not a surprise because of the monumental corruption in high places in Nigeria.The former governor said it is not just governors that are corrupt but virtually everybody who is holding a public office is corrupt.Said he: "This arrest shows the level of corruption and stealing in the country.
"Right now there are serious allegations of corruption even against the president himself and these allegations were made not just by an ordinary person but by a state governor."This stealing is disabling the Nigerian nation. The fund being stolen is meant for development and reducing the suffering of the people."If we don't investigate these stealings and punish the culprits, we may not be able to stop the degeneration in the country and one day we may find ourselves in trouble.
"We know this country is headed by thieves. It is quite clear. Look at all these allegations of corruption against the governors, against the president, against the National Assembly and even the Judiciary. It is ridiculous that the EFCC is the one investigating Obasanjo on Governor Kalu's allegations. EFCC, in all honesty, cannot investigate Obasanjo because it is like Obasanjo investigating himself.
The former governor urged Nigerians to insist on a serious probe of the Obasanjo government instead of just watching a few clique milking the nation dry.This, he said, can be done through a mass protest demanding the resignation of the President; Alhaji Musa also commended the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and civil society organisations for the ongoing protest against the recent increase in the price of petrol.
On his part, Gani said the arrest of the governor is an indictment of public institutions like the judiciary, State Security Service (SSS) National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).Besides, he said the arrest has exposed the stupidity of Section 308 of the Constitution which confers immunity on the President, Vice President, Governors, and Deputy Governors against civil and criminal proceedings.
Advocating immediate amendment of the constitution to remove the contentious clause, Gani said its continued retention would further invigorate the affected public officers to loot the nation's treasury.Alamieyeseigha, he pointed out, owe Nigerians a duty to explain the source of money allegedly found on him as well as if he declared the amount and his London property to the Code of Conduct Bureau in the assets declaration form.
According to Gani, the governor's arrest has vindicated his position that the allocations accruing to the Niger Delta Region is not being spent for the benefit of the people.Meanwhile, the government of Bayelsa State has said that Governor Alamieyeseigha has not been charged for any wrong-doing in the United Kingdom
Part of a statement by the State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Oronto Douglas read: "After he was picked by the British at Heathrow Airport, he was taken to Ilford Police Station where he was asked a few questions and subsequently released on bail on self-recognition.
It is a wicked lie to state that the governor was arraigned before a London court. Even the London Metropolitan Police has made it quite clear that this is an on-going investigation. It appears that the governor has already been tried and convicted by sections of the media. Under British and Nigerian laws, the governor remains innocent until he has his day in a court of law.
"The Bayelsa State Executive Council is in touch with His Excellency, Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha. Despite his poor health, the governor is in high spirits. On Thursday, he was met at the Ilford Police Station by Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, elder statesman, distinguished leader of the Ijaw nation, First Republic Minister and leader of the South-South. Chief Clark, who later accompanied the governor to his London home, was at Heathrow Airport en route Nigeria, but had to cancel his flight when news of the governor's ordeal reached him."
Similarly, IYC President, Oyeinfie Emmanuel Jonjon has said that the arrest of Alamieyeseigha did not come to the council as a surprise.Jonjon stated that the arrest and the recent questioning of some officials of the Bayelsa State Government by EFCC, "is based on frivolous petitions and is part of a grand plan to destabilize the Ijaw and draw their attention away from the central issues of survival."
According to Jonjon, in the long and historical relationship between the British and Ijaw, it is established fact that the British have never treated the Ijaw with fairness.He said the Ijaw struggle for freedom and control of resources and environment did not begin today as the Ijaw have always had very unpleasant experiences in the hands of the British while exploitation, domination and oppression have been the hallmark of the relationship.On his part, leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, NDPVF, Alhaji Majahid Dokubo Asari told our correspondent, "I have no comment."
OF ALMIEYESEIGHA, GOVERNORS AND NEMESIS: CRAZE WORLD.
Prince Charles Dickson and Sa’a Albashir
Jos, Plateau Nigeria
Nigeria, without doubt is a pacesetter. A little over one year, two incumbent Governors were arrested thousands of miles across the waters with, so much money that will marvel the legendary Forty Thieves and Ali Baba. This I dare to name the eight wonder of the world.
Our flair of learning very slow and forgetting very fast, we always seem to forget the 11th commandment, thou shall not be caught. In all these unfolding escapades, not forgetting the ransacking of the Maryland ‘home’ of the Vice President Atiku Abubakar, I bet you, the drama has not began.
Hopefully, maybe, God is after all a Nigerian. Thanks to His might, the controversial immunity clause of section 308 of the 1999 constitution does not exceed beyond the shores of this country.
There seems to be something at even between the London Metropolitan Police and the month of September. The alarm was set off of Alam of Bayelsa state on the 15th of this ‘holy’ month. Recall also the Governor Joshua Dariye of Plateau State was also arrested by the London Police (with) force on the 2nd of this month, last year over alleged money laundering.
Nonetheless, with mixed feelings of sadness and elevation, semi Head of States are being hand cuffed, like thieves in far away lands (not that they are not).
Over the last one year, the EFCC has been in the eye of the storm or is it storm of the eye, arresting and accusing everyone and anyone. The man-in-charge, Mallam Ribadu has been enjoying the spotlight, making several controversial statements and dancing in them. However that is not the issue, as much as the Commission has come under heavy fire as a hatchet team for the Presidency, the body has somehow helped in exposing the thieves that they all are, that is including the EFCC, Councilors, Chairmen for L.G.A. Governors, House of Representative members, Senators, the President and all that we refer to as leadership. Which kin world be this? Na craze world be dis.
We are forced by the necessity of prevalent issue of the man popularly called Alam by his fans to do this piece again on the further degeneration of our leaders to another level.
After the sorry tale of Dariye, the crisis, state of emergency, his arrest in London, and subsequently escape in the ‘middle of the right like the thief he is , a pending court case with the mallam in suit, who is bent on nailing him, and his being permanently wanted by the London security authority. Who would want to be in his shoes? Insha Allah, there is always a more ambitious and zealous Nigerian who would break records. Lord, 1 million Pounds and 780,000 Euros no be yam. Alam don tear belle for dis craze world.
That Governor Alamieyeseigha was arrested, detained, held, call it whatever is not news, that he is innocent until proven otherwise is also true. I am not an Ijaw man, but I am concerned enough with facts to be able to classically view him as a typification of the rot in our Nigerian system. Whether an Ijaw man or not, does not give you the license to rip your state apart. I am sure true Ijaw sons and daughters would really, be really ashamed of this yeye Governor-General.
Sometime in 2000, before really settling down the Bayelsa lord called Governor –General by his Ijaw fans, spent over I billion Naira in feasibility studies on all sorts of business that till today are still on the magical drawing board, the contract were awarded to phony, non-existent companies. Till date, the only more traveled Governor than Alam is Jigawa’s Saminu Turaki. Plus, minus derivation Bayelsa State gets an average of 4 billion Naira monthly, with 3billion Naira disappearing into thin air, four years ago N34 million was used in clearing the State radio and television complex site. Same time he went to the capital market to get 15billion Naira. This man should probably be tied to the stakes and shot by the common man (Judgmental). Why should one not be?
After all he was embarrassed in London as he was coming in from Germany, where he had gone for surgery or is it check-up. What was the essence of the millions he spent on the health sector, if he could not subject himself to the “state of art” facilities he had put on ground in the health sector? He could have come straight home but how could he, he had to go “HOME” home for most of them is now London, Maryland, and anywhere not in Nigeria. He had to go home to London to tidy up some few million Pounds, the way Governor Dariye does from time to time till the bubble burst. The way almost all thirty – six Governors do.
How many of these Governors had a square meter, in all the places they have houses now. Most of them have bought ranches, golf courses and museums, not forgetting the ones who have refineries. Very few of these Governors can say with a sense of strong sense of pride “I have done well in my State. when billions of Naira have disappeared into thin air. State monies have been approved at speeds alien to our bureaucratic setting because the elephant projects are in their wives, brothers, kids, and grandma and granduncles names.
Let’s talk; morals have disappeared, with all our Governor possessing mistresses, concubines and some of them celebrated “square” men. Do we expect much? I know of, at the last count six Governors who beat their wives, yet cannot beat bad roads, dirty water and terrible health facilities in six years. In one particular state, a major road has always be rehabilitated by same contractor, every year, since 1999, the company belongs to the Governor’s sister.
Amongst the success stories of our State Governor include how very many of them have battled their deputies, Tinibu’s crying old grandma Kofoworola, Orji and Enyinna, Turaki, Ayo Fayose and Aluko, at least they all learnt from their father and mother, Obj and Atiku. Like Alams, the Bayelsa general, who picked up a PhD from far way U.S.A. He is a classical example of his mates, many of the Governors have done same, all just to be addressed as Dr this and that. Akume, Turaki, Attah, and others are doctorate degrees holders both honourary and dishonourary. If facts are followed, only Donald Duke and Ayo Fayose of Cross River and Ekiti are just Mister and nothing more. However Donald Duke has been plagued by the fake or falsified paper syndrome, Ayo Fayose too. Craze World.
In Ekiti state, a documentary was shot of a poultry in Ibadan, Oyo State as part of the Governor’s achievement in a “100 days in office” commercial news.
In Lagos state, heaps of dirt, enough to replicate the twin towers in the U.S.A. Robberies, kidnap and extra-judicial killings,no one bothers that Lagosians are dying from poor infrastructure.
Look I will try to keep to few lines per state, so one can be spared the agony.
In Abia, the 2007 Presidential hopeful, has left Aba and is every other week in Maryland, Berryland and all lands outside Umuahia, that is when he is not fighting Obj or asking his mother those who should make his cabinet.
In Cross River, its no different, the State that prides itself in producing over 2million tones of cassava, common garri, a bye product of cassava is not as cheap as it should be, with the Governor pretty more concerned with Obudu and TINAPA, tourism without food in the stomach. Good Luck.
Plateau’s Dariye is the secretary of dismissed or better still, suspended Governor’s forum, the Mushere accountant turned chief has achieved more than any Governor in terms of solidarity visits and numbers of persecution from the Presidency, his only equal being Governor Ngige and now Alams. The State has remained under–developed. Yesterday Metropolitan Police, a day before EFCC, last week State of Emergency, its one week, one trouble. With Mantu, Obj, Jang, Sango and Ifa chasing the State and the people continue to suffer.
Akwa Ibom in competing favourably with its counterpart Bayelsa in terms of projects I call elephantiasis. First getting involved with Econet wireless, then starting and faltering with some fancy Independent Power Project. For a State whose 2004 budget was more than that of Ghana, yet the story is same everywhere you go. Since 2001 that particular power project contract has been awarded and signed twice to different companies. Craze World
Professor Nnamani, Oh I meant, Dr Nnamani the traveling circus lecturer of Enugu State has delivered over 50 papers on different topics, and bolstering his CV for the post of Vice President, while the State University’s Teaching Hospital cannot get accreditation, all we hear is ebe-ano (where we dey). We still dey there. To God be the glory he has dealt with all opposition in the State to the point the Senate President had to raise an alarm.
In Delta state, for all the billions received it has been, Ibori the truck driver, Ibori the Governor with his party throwing and attending colleague Lucky of Edo state. The two states both former Bendel have nothing to show for all the billions of derivation, plenty noise and nothing to show. All the Governors of both states have been doing is sharing the “love” I mean the pay. Both States are bee hive of anti-social behaviour. Craze World
Recently one of the Governor celebrated his birthday and one of the national dailies of 59 pages had adverts of 19 fulls pages and seven half pages, all congratulating the 40-something plus TIV (Thief in power).
Ladoja and Adedibu is the only story of Oyo state, casualties are on the increase and no one cares. State subventions are spent on thugs and political jobbers.
Agagu, Oyinlola, Gbenga Daniels and co are all strongly scheming for 2007, so all the monies meant for development projects, health, education and other facets of the common man is being hoarded as we wait for 2007.
In Taraba, Journalists on a project on the educational sector were begged to take photo shots of a prominent government official’s house as part of schools renovated.
In Adamawa, too many elephants, the grass is suffering badly, despite the best of efforts from Boni Haruna. The Atikus, Marwa, Zwingina, Jibril Aminu, would not allow for peace. The Holy Teacher in Kano, Shekerau has been busy doing shakara with Kwankwaso.
In Gombe, Niger, and Nasarawa, even if they have done nothing, they would revel in the joy of at least having added more Universities to the fray. For Gombe, three years after the incumbent Goje is still chasing Hashidu the former, in Minna, at least the fear of IBB and the closeness to Abuja has paid off.
For Nasarawa State, the Governor is playing his power game to remain relevant after 2007. Every year he has had one major crisis or the other. The Governor is one of the many amongst his colleague (fellow Governors) whose many achievements are more real in the pages of paper then on grand.
The Governors are busy fighting the traditional institutions, quarrelling with all power blocks, playing chess with the masses, impoverishing their respective States, ruling like the state is their bathroom annex. The place of posterity is lost on most of them. Surrounded by sycophants who are telling them that blue is red. Nemesis would catch up with all these Governors.
Despite all the propaganda by the Bayelsa State government, truth is truth, even if the Governor was set-up, I pray that more Governors be set –up like that. A bunch of crooks, what was the Governor doing with 1 million Pounds and 70 thousand Euros. Lets alledge that at least 20 Governors have that much, that would be 20 million Pounds and millions of Euros. Money meant for roads, hospitals, schools and poverty alleviation programmes. I make bold that all the governors that steal public funds will face not just the Metropolitan Police, but the Almighty