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Nigerian public university and threat of nepotism, ethno-religious exclusivity, parochial thinking, and incestuous intellectual culture

The problem of poor ethics is rampant in Nigerian universities but it is sadly not the biggest threat to university education in Nigeria. ...

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Nigerian public university and threat of nepotism, ethno-religious exclusivity, parochial thinking, and incestuous intellectual culture

Nigerian public university and threat of nepotism, ethno-religious exclusivity, parochial thinking, and incestuous intellectual culture

The problem of poor ethics is rampant in Nigerian universities but it is sadly not the biggest threat to university education in Nigeria.

The most pernicious deficits in the Nigerian public university sector are nepotism, ethno-religious exclusivity, insular, parochial thinking, and incestuous intellectual culture.

These problems have taken a toll on the primary missions of the universities: teaching and research.

Today, everyone agrees that the two most serious existential challenges to university education in Nigeria are poor teaching and poor research.

These two problems in turn are tied to the broken system of academic staff recruitment. The collapse of professional protocols for recruiting academic staff has over the last several decades brought many mediocre people into the Nigerian academy, faux academics who would never have entered the system had meritorious professional entry mechanisms been used.

The result is that the Nigerian university system is now saddled with a majority of professors and lecturers who have no interest in the passions and obligations of the academy, teaching and research, because they lack the capacity to fulfill these obligations and because they only see university academic work as a mere vocation, much like a civil servant sees his/her job. You show up and get paid at the end of the month while accumulating time and experience for the next promotion.

Which takes us back to the factors of nepotism and ethno-religious preference that now underpin normative operations and decision making in Nigerian universities.

In most public universities in Nigeria, academic staff is recruited simply with a note from the VC or from a governor, minister, or some other top government official. Such well-connected people are usually egregiously unqualified to enter the academy and do not possess the aptitude and skillset to cope with and thrive in the rigor of academic work. Nor do they even have any passion for academic work. There are scandalous stories of Heads of Departments coming to their offices to see strange faces with notes from this or that Oga asking the HOD to provide office space for the department’s new academic staff!

These mediocre academics enter the system because their highly placed benefactors or relatives simply want them to have a secured, pensionable government employment, and because such top university administrators and external influencers see public universities in crudely patrimonial terms as spaces in which to reward and place loyalists and family members.

Then you have a major aspect of the problem: the insistence on recruiting academic staff from preferred and favored ethno-religious and other parochial identities. No matter how qualified, passionate, and prepared a candidate is, in today’s Nigerian higher education system, they cannot make the cut if they do not belong to the preferred primordial community of a particular university and they are forced to give way for a mediocre candidate who comes from the right place and/or prays in the preferred manner.

This is a national virus that has destroyed the "universality" in the idea of the university in Nigeria. Federal universities in Nigeria have all essentially become catchment area universities, recruiting academics and in some cases admitting students mostly from their catchment areas. There are, in some cases, even further sub-ethnic and sub-religious fragmentations and dichotomies that determine who gets hired or admitted and who does not, or who gets elevated and who gets ignored, with absolutely no regard for ability or output.

I am a graduate of Bayero University, Kano (BUK), so I am what we call a proud BUKITE. That pride is anchored on something special. I am not one to romanticize the past as a perfect contrastive foil for the present, and the BUK of my undergraduate days had its problems of provincialism, professorial laziness, and poor ethics. However, when I attended the institution, my class was very diverse, refreshingly reflecting Nigeria's ethnic, regional, and religious plurality. Even the academic staff was fairly diverse.

As a result, the campus played host to an ecumenical, cosmopolitan intellectual culture. A vibrant intellectual community of multiple perspectives and approaches to questions existed and was nourished by the assemblage of students and faculty from different backgrounds.

For lack of a better term, the “caliphate” perspective was ever present as the dominant, modulating intellectual foreground, but many “non-caliphate” perspectives flourished, tempering, enriching, critically and productively engaging and ultimately unsettling the certitude of the caliphate perspective. As a result, those of us from non-caliphate milieus came away profoundly reeducated and humbled and those born and raised in the caliphate way of seeing were forced to become self-reflexive and to look outside themselves.

I have learned that since about 2005, the people of the catchment constituency where the university is located have reclaimed “their university” by admitting students and recruiting academic staff only from the catchment area — the Northwest. When I hung out with two BUKITE friends in Nigeria recently they both confirmed that the university now thoroughly reflects Kano and the northwest and is no longer demographically or intellectually national in character. How sad.

Federal universities in other parts of the country have, to varying degrees, similarly recalibrated to become extensions of their immediate sociocultural environments, resulting in intellectual and academic inbreeding and in incestuously insular intellectual reinforcement. Conversely, the very things that make the university a marketplace of ideas — diversity of thought, cultures, and perspectives — are now missing from these universities.

In some federal universities, such as the Federal University Otuoke, the mission to “reclaim what is ours” as our share of the national cake and to keep “outsiders” out is so brazen that there is a toxic convergence of two anti-intellectual and reactionary actions. One fight, directed mostly at Nigerian academics from other parts of the country, seeks to remake the institution in the image of its ethnic host community in recruitment and administrative hierarchy. The other seeks to undo a previous policy of recruiting and relocating diaspora academics to deepen the pedagogical and research talent pool of the young university.

Such projects of sub-national takeover of the university are fueled by a suspicion and a demonization of the national and diasporic Other as a disruptive, intrusive, and undeserving academic interloper who should go back to universities in his or her own natal or residential space.

The state universities are even worse in that most of them are not only unviable political creations but they also replicate the political and ethnic hierarchies and hegemonies in the larger politics of the state. And, of course, the governance of such universities depends on networks of loyalty and political support that correspond to the dominant patronage arrangements of particular governors and regimes.

In Benue State University for instance, no non-Tiv academic from Benue state (not to mention from another state) has ever been VC or ever will be, not because there have been no qualified non-Tiv candidates but simply because they are not Tiv by birth. BSU is governed consistently as an extension of the Tiv political hegemony in the state, and the distribution of administrative offices mirrors the distribution of political offices in the state. Meritocracy and excellence are happily sacrificed for a mediocrity that conforms to the prevailing political hierarchies in the state. How can such a space be called a university?

To complicate matters for BSU and other state-owned universities, the schisms of ethnic and zonal politics intersect with the volatile and fluid politics of personal loyalties and camps, all of which, combined, determines recruitment, promotion, rewards, and opportunity structures to the detriment of research and teaching excellence.

If the segregated and reclaimed federal universities are fostering academic incest by excluding brilliant “outsiders” and privileging mediocre insiders, the state universities are even more parochial since their network of inclusion and recruitment is not even the usual multi-state catchment area but rather a narrowly defined state indigene criterion. Most state universities are simply vernacular institutions reflecting the state’s civil service. They are not universities.

You cannot have institutions that are for all practical purposes not universities and expect them to behave like actual universities.

Institutions that incubate and cultivate mediocrity while doing violence to merit and the intellectual enterprise cannot but produce mediocre graduates and research output.


{Only First Paragraph was Edited}
The problem of poor ethics is rampant in Nigerian universities but it is sadly not the biggest threat to university education in Nigeria.

The most pernicious deficits in the Nigerian public university sector are nepotism, ethno-religious exclusivity, insular, parochial thinking, and incestuous intellectual culture.

These problems have taken a toll on the primary missions of the universities: teaching and research.

Today, everyone agrees that the two most serious existential challenges to university education in Nigeria are poor teaching and poor research.

These two problems in turn are tied to the broken system of academic staff recruitment. The collapse of professional protocols for recruiting academic staff has over the last several decades brought many mediocre people into the Nigerian academy, faux academics who would never have entered the system had meritorious professional entry mechanisms been used.

The result is that the Nigerian university system is now saddled with a majority of professors and lecturers who have no interest in the passions and obligations of the academy, teaching and research, because they lack the capacity to fulfill these obligations and because they only see university academic work as a mere vocation, much like a civil servant sees his/her job. You show up and get paid at the end of the month while accumulating time and experience for the next promotion.

Which takes us back to the factors of nepotism and ethno-religious preference that now underpin normative operations and decision making in Nigerian universities.

In most public universities in Nigeria, academic staff is recruited simply with a note from the VC or from a governor, minister, or some other top government official. Such well-connected people are usually egregiously unqualified to enter the academy and do not possess the aptitude and skillset to cope with and thrive in the rigor of academic work. Nor do they even have any passion for academic work. There are scandalous stories of Heads of Departments coming to their offices to see strange faces with notes from this or that Oga asking the HOD to provide office space for the department’s new academic staff!

These mediocre academics enter the system because their highly placed benefactors or relatives simply want them to have a secured, pensionable government employment, and because such top university administrators and external influencers see public universities in crudely patrimonial terms as spaces in which to reward and place loyalists and family members.

Then you have a major aspect of the problem: the insistence on recruiting academic staff from preferred and favored ethno-religious and other parochial identities. No matter how qualified, passionate, and prepared a candidate is, in today’s Nigerian higher education system, they cannot make the cut if they do not belong to the preferred primordial community of a particular university and they are forced to give way for a mediocre candidate who comes from the right place and/or prays in the preferred manner.

This is a national virus that has destroyed the "universality" in the idea of the university in Nigeria. Federal universities in Nigeria have all essentially become catchment area universities, recruiting academics and in some cases admitting students mostly from their catchment areas. There are, in some cases, even further sub-ethnic and sub-religious fragmentations and dichotomies that determine who gets hired or admitted and who does not, or who gets elevated and who gets ignored, with absolutely no regard for ability or output.

I am a graduate of Bayero University, Kano (BUK), so I am what we call a proud BUKITE. That pride is anchored on something special. I am not one to romanticize the past as a perfect contrastive foil for the present, and the BUK of my undergraduate days had its problems of provincialism, professorial laziness, and poor ethics. However, when I attended the institution, my class was very diverse, refreshingly reflecting Nigeria's ethnic, regional, and religious plurality. Even the academic staff was fairly diverse.

As a result, the campus played host to an ecumenical, cosmopolitan intellectual culture. A vibrant intellectual community of multiple perspectives and approaches to questions existed and was nourished by the assemblage of students and faculty from different backgrounds.

For lack of a better term, the “caliphate” perspective was ever present as the dominant, modulating intellectual foreground, but many “non-caliphate” perspectives flourished, tempering, enriching, critically and productively engaging and ultimately unsettling the certitude of the caliphate perspective. As a result, those of us from non-caliphate milieus came away profoundly reeducated and humbled and those born and raised in the caliphate way of seeing were forced to become self-reflexive and to look outside themselves.

I have learned that since about 2005, the people of the catchment constituency where the university is located have reclaimed “their university” by admitting students and recruiting academic staff only from the catchment area — the Northwest. When I hung out with two BUKITE friends in Nigeria recently they both confirmed that the university now thoroughly reflects Kano and the northwest and is no longer demographically or intellectually national in character. How sad.

Federal universities in other parts of the country have, to varying degrees, similarly recalibrated to become extensions of their immediate sociocultural environments, resulting in intellectual and academic inbreeding and in incestuously insular intellectual reinforcement. Conversely, the very things that make the university a marketplace of ideas — diversity of thought, cultures, and perspectives — are now missing from these universities.

In some federal universities, such as the Federal University Otuoke, the mission to “reclaim what is ours” as our share of the national cake and to keep “outsiders” out is so brazen that there is a toxic convergence of two anti-intellectual and reactionary actions. One fight, directed mostly at Nigerian academics from other parts of the country, seeks to remake the institution in the image of its ethnic host community in recruitment and administrative hierarchy. The other seeks to undo a previous policy of recruiting and relocating diaspora academics to deepen the pedagogical and research talent pool of the young university.

Such projects of sub-national takeover of the university are fueled by a suspicion and a demonization of the national and diasporic Other as a disruptive, intrusive, and undeserving academic interloper who should go back to universities in his or her own natal or residential space.

The state universities are even worse in that most of them are not only unviable political creations but they also replicate the political and ethnic hierarchies and hegemonies in the larger politics of the state. And, of course, the governance of such universities depends on networks of loyalty and political support that correspond to the dominant patronage arrangements of particular governors and regimes.

In Benue State University for instance, no non-Tiv academic from Benue state (not to mention from another state) has ever been VC or ever will be, not because there have been no qualified non-Tiv candidates but simply because they are not Tiv by birth. BSU is governed consistently as an extension of the Tiv political hegemony in the state, and the distribution of administrative offices mirrors the distribution of political offices in the state. Meritocracy and excellence are happily sacrificed for a mediocrity that conforms to the prevailing political hierarchies in the state. How can such a space be called a university?

To complicate matters for BSU and other state-owned universities, the schisms of ethnic and zonal politics intersect with the volatile and fluid politics of personal loyalties and camps, all of which, combined, determines recruitment, promotion, rewards, and opportunity structures to the detriment of research and teaching excellence.

If the segregated and reclaimed federal universities are fostering academic incest by excluding brilliant “outsiders” and privileging mediocre insiders, the state universities are even more parochial since their network of inclusion and recruitment is not even the usual multi-state catchment area but rather a narrowly defined state indigene criterion. Most state universities are simply vernacular institutions reflecting the state’s civil service. They are not universities.

You cannot have institutions that are for all practical purposes not universities and expect them to behave like actual universities.

Institutions that incubate and cultivate mediocrity while doing violence to merit and the intellectual enterprise cannot but produce mediocre graduates and research output.


{Only First Paragraph was Edited}

CBN policy to levy a transaction charge on deposits and withdrawals is wrong

CBN policy to levy a transaction charge on deposits and withdrawals is wrong

The CBN policy purporting to levy a transaction charge on deposits and withdrawals above a certain threshold is wrong and can be challenged on several fronts. I will highlight only a few

1. The selection of the a few southern states is discriminatory. It is also unclear whether the domicile status of your account precludes you if you made the deposits/withdrawal in Lagos. For instance, your account is domiciled in Kebbi and the deposit/withdrawal occurred in Lagos or vice versa.

2. It can be argued that the CBN directive is contrary to the relationship contract between an account owner and his/her bank and therefore null and void (at least until the bank updates its terms and conditions and expressly seeks consent from the account holders or implied consent is derived).

3. Banks are private sector businesses and to that extent can't be run as an extension of the public sector. While banks run under licensing, the regime does not extend to becoming an appendage of the tax authorities or as "branches" or outposts of the CBN. A cashless society emerges dynamically from the interplay of technology and its adoption. It is not something to legislate about. You simply encourage it. 

4. Most importantly, the Naira is a legal tender in Nigeria and therefore its use or acceptability cannot be restricted, restrained or countermanded unless you change the law. While you can charge fees to use alternative payments methods, naira cannot be charged or taxed in any monetary transactions between a giver and a taker. For instance, I can choose to pay a N10 million debt with one kobo coins if I can source it. It is unlawful for the creditor to refuse the coins. The courts will affirm this character for any legal tender as long as the originating transaction is legitimate. It is for this reason payment service providers charge fees on credit cards but none on debit cards.


What the CBN can do is to specify a lower limit of "vaults cash" that banks are authorised to keep beyond which level the excess must be kept with the CBN. It can then charge banks for depositing into and or withdrawing cash from its own vaults. It is up to the banks to then work out what limit of cash deposits their customers can make on the average to stay within the limit or how to recover the cost of using CBN vaults to it from their own customers who withdraw heavy cash. The indirect method appears legal and legitimate but the direct method is ill-thought out and perhaps unlawful as long as the naira remains a legal tender.



The CBN policy purporting to levy a transaction charge on deposits and withdrawals above a certain threshold is wrong and can be challenged on several fronts. I will highlight only a few

1. The selection of the a few southern states is discriminatory. It is also unclear whether the domicile status of your account precludes you if you made the deposits/withdrawal in Lagos. For instance, your account is domiciled in Kebbi and the deposit/withdrawal occurred in Lagos or vice versa.

2. It can be argued that the CBN directive is contrary to the relationship contract between an account owner and his/her bank and therefore null and void (at least until the bank updates its terms and conditions and expressly seeks consent from the account holders or implied consent is derived).

3. Banks are private sector businesses and to that extent can't be run as an extension of the public sector. While banks run under licensing, the regime does not extend to becoming an appendage of the tax authorities or as "branches" or outposts of the CBN. A cashless society emerges dynamically from the interplay of technology and its adoption. It is not something to legislate about. You simply encourage it. 

4. Most importantly, the Naira is a legal tender in Nigeria and therefore its use or acceptability cannot be restricted, restrained or countermanded unless you change the law. While you can charge fees to use alternative payments methods, naira cannot be charged or taxed in any monetary transactions between a giver and a taker. For instance, I can choose to pay a N10 million debt with one kobo coins if I can source it. It is unlawful for the creditor to refuse the coins. The courts will affirm this character for any legal tender as long as the originating transaction is legitimate. It is for this reason payment service providers charge fees on credit cards but none on debit cards.


What the CBN can do is to specify a lower limit of "vaults cash" that banks are authorised to keep beyond which level the excess must be kept with the CBN. It can then charge banks for depositing into and or withdrawing cash from its own vaults. It is up to the banks to then work out what limit of cash deposits their customers can make on the average to stay within the limit or how to recover the cost of using CBN vaults to it from their own customers who withdraw heavy cash. The indirect method appears legal and legitimate but the direct method is ill-thought out and perhaps unlawful as long as the naira remains a legal tender.



EFCC Seeks To Tender Evidence Extracted from Telephone Over Grass-cutting Scandal

EFCC Seeks To Tender Evidence Extracted from Telephone Over Grass-cutting Scandal

Babachir Lawal
Justice Jude Okeke of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), High Court, Maitama on Wednesday September 18, 2019, heard how evidence linking the company used by the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, to allegedly defraud the federal government to the tune of N500million (Five Hundred Million Naira,) was extracted from a telephone.

Lawal and his younger brother, Hamidu David Lawal, Suleiman Abubakar, Apeh John alongside two companies, Rholavision Engineering (fifth defendant) and Josmon Technologies (sixth defendant), are facing prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on an amended 10-count charge, bordering on fraud, diversion of funds and criminal conspiracy to the tune of over N500million (Five Hundred Million Naira, only).

One of the charges read: "That you Engineer Babachir David Lawal, while being the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and a director of Rholavision Engineering Ltd on or about the 22nd of August 2016 at Abuja in the Abuja judicial division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, did knowingly hold indirectly private interest in the contract awarded to Josmon Technological Limited but executed by Rholavision Engineering Limited for the removal of invasive plant species and simplified irrigation to the tune of N258,132,735.99 (Two Hundred and Fifty Eight Million, One hundred and Thirty Two Thousand, Seven Hundred and Thirty Five Naira, Ninety Nine Kobo) only, by the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) through the Presidential Initiative for North East (PINE) and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 12 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000."
Babachir Lawal
Justice Jude Okeke of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), High Court, Maitama on Wednesday September 18, 2019, heard how evidence linking the company used by the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, to allegedly defraud the federal government to the tune of N500million (Five Hundred Million Naira,) was extracted from a telephone.

Lawal and his younger brother, Hamidu David Lawal, Suleiman Abubakar, Apeh John alongside two companies, Rholavision Engineering (fifth defendant) and Josmon Technologies (sixth defendant), are facing prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on an amended 10-count charge, bordering on fraud, diversion of funds and criminal conspiracy to the tune of over N500million (Five Hundred Million Naira, only).

One of the charges read: "That you Engineer Babachir David Lawal, while being the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and a director of Rholavision Engineering Ltd on or about the 22nd of August 2016 at Abuja in the Abuja judicial division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, did knowingly hold indirectly private interest in the contract awarded to Josmon Technological Limited but executed by Rholavision Engineering Limited for the removal of invasive plant species and simplified irrigation to the tune of N258,132,735.99 (Two Hundred and Fifty Eight Million, One hundred and Thirty Two Thousand, Seven Hundred and Thirty Five Naira, Ninety Nine Kobo) only, by the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) through the Presidential Initiative for North East (PINE) and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 12 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000."

Burden of Service: Adoke Lied - Magu

Burden of Service: Adoke Lied - Magu

The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, Ibrahim Magu is alarmed by the brazen attempt by former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke to rewrite history and portray himself as victim of persecution regarding the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission's investigation of the OPL 245 Settlement Agreement.

In the last few days the Nigerian media has been awash with previews of Adoke's book, titled: "Burden of Service: Reminiscences of Nigeria's former Attorney General," in which he took aim at the EFCC boss as being part of a deadly triumvirate that had been hounding and persecuting him since he left office in 2015. The other two alleged traducers, mentioned by Adoke are the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and former senate leader, Alli Ndume. Adoke claims that he had been viciously maligned by this threesome to the extent that he contemplated suicide.

Specifically, he claimed in Chapter 8 of the book, that Magu was recruited by Prof. Osinbajo to hound and persecute him despite, as he claimed, his role in reinstating Magu to the EFCC from the police "where he had been vegetating."

Adoke attributes his source of information on the alleged Osinbajo instruction to Magu against him to an unnamed governor from the North West, who according to him, claimed Magu told him that he had the instruction of Osinbajo to "deal with Adoke."

Adoke equally claims that an unnamed senator also confided in him that Magu nursed a personal grouse against him because he believed that he (Adoke) owned half of the Centinary City in Abuja.

That Adoke neither named the North West governor nor the Senator that provided the weighty intelligence on which he took Magu to the guillotine in his book, could only mean one thing: the claims are tissues of lies, contrived to entertain and attract underserved attention to himself. The acting Chairman of EFCC Ibrahim Magu categorically states that at no time did the Vice President discuss, counsel, or direct him in any way on any issue concerning Mr. Adoke. It is wicked and evil to make such a false allegation against anybody especially where it is based on hearsay.

These yarns, being spewed by hirelings of the former AGF are nothing but a marketing gimmick, dubiously orchestrated to wet public appetite and sufficiently stir curiosity ahead of the official release of the book on September 16, 2019.

But it is obvious that what Adoke is offering the reading public in the account of his sojourn in governance is nothing but a bouquet of half truths and plain lies.

The accounts in Chapters 8 and 9 as it relates to the EFCC and its Chairman, Ibrahim Magu are not only inaccurate but self serving.

For the records and emphasis, Magu never received any instructions from the Vice President, neither had he communicated verbally or in writing to any governor from the North-West or senator about such a patently false purported instruction from Osinbajo to "deal with Adoke."

The EFCC is not the battle axe of political figures and could not have been called out to deal with anyone. Adoke's ploy is simple. He wants to create a false narrative that the offenses for which he has been charged are not genuine but are the product of some high level conspiracy against him. But, first of all, there is no discernible reason for such a conspiracy. Secondly, it is an entirely false premise. It is clear that this is symptomatic of a drowning man clutching at straws.

Adoke ran well outside the track when he said he was instrumental to reinstating Magu, to the EFCC from the police “where he had been vegetating." The Commission is unaware of Adoke's role in Magu's return to the Commission in 2012 after being away for a few years. It is well known that the EFCC Acting Chairman is a pioneer staff of the Commission, with many stripes to his sleeves by way of accomplishments that have no link to Adoke.

Magu and the EFCC have no interest in any public spat with Adoke who remains a suspect under investigation for criminal offences and against whom a competent court had issued a subsisting warrant for his arrest. The said warrant has already been executed by the International Police Organisation which placed him on its wanted list. The option before Adoke is to return home and answer to his charges.

It is however gratifying that the former AGF abandoned the idea of committing suicide as taking that route would have amounted to a monumental waste of resources on the part of the EFCC. So much has been spent in diligently investigating the OPL 245 scandal that the Commission needs Adoke to be alive to answer to his charges, and clear his name before the court.

It makes no sense to deceive the people with claims that he had been exonerated of any wrong doing by the court. As a senior advocate, he should know that a civil suit cannot exonerate one from criminal liability.

It is important for the public to know that the investigation of the lucrative Oil Prospecting License 245 Settlement deal, otherwise known as the Malabu Scandal, by EFCC was not an enterprise in witch-hunt or malice. The Magu-led leadership of the Commission, in consideration of persistent public demand for closer scrutiny of the transaction, coupled with emerging information suggestive of opacity in the consummation of the deal, acted in national interest to determine that overall public good was not sacrificed on the altar of personal interest of those who perfected the deal.

The investigation had been discreet, with no threat of direct physical harm to Adoke or any other person implicated in the deal.

The Commission's investigation holds Adoke liable in the matter of the implementation of the settlement and resolution of agreements on Oil Prospecting License OPL 245 and OPL214 between Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd, belonging to former Petroleum Minister, Dan Etete and the federal government of Nigeria in 2010

It could be recalled that former President Olusegun Obasanjo had revoked the OPL 245, which the late General Sani Abacha granted to Etete, who was his Petroleum Minister and reassigned it Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company. Etete’s Malabu Oil and Gas, however, reclaimed the oil block in 2006 through the court. While Shell challenged the decision, a fraudulent settlement and resolution was perfected under President Goodluck Jonathan’s government with Shell and Eni buying the oil block from Malabu in the sum of $1.1billion.

EFCC's investigations however revealed crimes, that border on conspiracy, forgery of bank documents, bribery, corruption and money laundering to the tune of over $1.2 billon against Malabo oil and Gas Ltd, Shell Nigeria Ultra deep (SNUD) Nigeria Agip Exploration (NAE) and their officials. Some of those officials are already facing criminal trials in Switzerland and Italy.

The investigations further revealed that Etete and others fraudulently received an aggregate sum of US$ 801,540,000 (Eight Hundred Million, Five Hundred and Forty Thousand United States Dollars) from Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company, Nigeria Agip Exploration Ltd and ENI SPA in relation to the oil prospecting license.

Adoke as the Attorney General and Minister of Justice allegedly abused his office in respect of the granting of the oil prospecting license OPL 245 to Shell and ENI.

A prima facie case, bordering on official corruption was established by the Commission following the investigations, culminating in court charges against Adoke, Etete and others, which is still pending before the FCT High Court and the Federal High Court.

The arraignment of Adoke SAN, Etete and others could not take place because they along with other defendants have remained at large, refusing to make themselves available for trial.

The former chief law officer of the federation prefers to remain in self exile, and engage the Commission in needless media war.

Having now satisfied his long desire to titillate the public with some tales by moonlight in the mould of a semi author-biography, Adoke should now make himself available for trial.
The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, Ibrahim Magu is alarmed by the brazen attempt by former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke to rewrite history and portray himself as victim of persecution regarding the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission's investigation of the OPL 245 Settlement Agreement.

In the last few days the Nigerian media has been awash with previews of Adoke's book, titled: "Burden of Service: Reminiscences of Nigeria's former Attorney General," in which he took aim at the EFCC boss as being part of a deadly triumvirate that had been hounding and persecuting him since he left office in 2015. The other two alleged traducers, mentioned by Adoke are the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and former senate leader, Alli Ndume. Adoke claims that he had been viciously maligned by this threesome to the extent that he contemplated suicide.

Specifically, he claimed in Chapter 8 of the book, that Magu was recruited by Prof. Osinbajo to hound and persecute him despite, as he claimed, his role in reinstating Magu to the EFCC from the police "where he had been vegetating."

Adoke attributes his source of information on the alleged Osinbajo instruction to Magu against him to an unnamed governor from the North West, who according to him, claimed Magu told him that he had the instruction of Osinbajo to "deal with Adoke."

Adoke equally claims that an unnamed senator also confided in him that Magu nursed a personal grouse against him because he believed that he (Adoke) owned half of the Centinary City in Abuja.

That Adoke neither named the North West governor nor the Senator that provided the weighty intelligence on which he took Magu to the guillotine in his book, could only mean one thing: the claims are tissues of lies, contrived to entertain and attract underserved attention to himself. The acting Chairman of EFCC Ibrahim Magu categorically states that at no time did the Vice President discuss, counsel, or direct him in any way on any issue concerning Mr. Adoke. It is wicked and evil to make such a false allegation against anybody especially where it is based on hearsay.

These yarns, being spewed by hirelings of the former AGF are nothing but a marketing gimmick, dubiously orchestrated to wet public appetite and sufficiently stir curiosity ahead of the official release of the book on September 16, 2019.

But it is obvious that what Adoke is offering the reading public in the account of his sojourn in governance is nothing but a bouquet of half truths and plain lies.

The accounts in Chapters 8 and 9 as it relates to the EFCC and its Chairman, Ibrahim Magu are not only inaccurate but self serving.

For the records and emphasis, Magu never received any instructions from the Vice President, neither had he communicated verbally or in writing to any governor from the North-West or senator about such a patently false purported instruction from Osinbajo to "deal with Adoke."

The EFCC is not the battle axe of political figures and could not have been called out to deal with anyone. Adoke's ploy is simple. He wants to create a false narrative that the offenses for which he has been charged are not genuine but are the product of some high level conspiracy against him. But, first of all, there is no discernible reason for such a conspiracy. Secondly, it is an entirely false premise. It is clear that this is symptomatic of a drowning man clutching at straws.

Adoke ran well outside the track when he said he was instrumental to reinstating Magu, to the EFCC from the police “where he had been vegetating." The Commission is unaware of Adoke's role in Magu's return to the Commission in 2012 after being away for a few years. It is well known that the EFCC Acting Chairman is a pioneer staff of the Commission, with many stripes to his sleeves by way of accomplishments that have no link to Adoke.

Magu and the EFCC have no interest in any public spat with Adoke who remains a suspect under investigation for criminal offences and against whom a competent court had issued a subsisting warrant for his arrest. The said warrant has already been executed by the International Police Organisation which placed him on its wanted list. The option before Adoke is to return home and answer to his charges.

It is however gratifying that the former AGF abandoned the idea of committing suicide as taking that route would have amounted to a monumental waste of resources on the part of the EFCC. So much has been spent in diligently investigating the OPL 245 scandal that the Commission needs Adoke to be alive to answer to his charges, and clear his name before the court.

It makes no sense to deceive the people with claims that he had been exonerated of any wrong doing by the court. As a senior advocate, he should know that a civil suit cannot exonerate one from criminal liability.

It is important for the public to know that the investigation of the lucrative Oil Prospecting License 245 Settlement deal, otherwise known as the Malabu Scandal, by EFCC was not an enterprise in witch-hunt or malice. The Magu-led leadership of the Commission, in consideration of persistent public demand for closer scrutiny of the transaction, coupled with emerging information suggestive of opacity in the consummation of the deal, acted in national interest to determine that overall public good was not sacrificed on the altar of personal interest of those who perfected the deal.

The investigation had been discreet, with no threat of direct physical harm to Adoke or any other person implicated in the deal.

The Commission's investigation holds Adoke liable in the matter of the implementation of the settlement and resolution of agreements on Oil Prospecting License OPL 245 and OPL214 between Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd, belonging to former Petroleum Minister, Dan Etete and the federal government of Nigeria in 2010

It could be recalled that former President Olusegun Obasanjo had revoked the OPL 245, which the late General Sani Abacha granted to Etete, who was his Petroleum Minister and reassigned it Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company. Etete’s Malabu Oil and Gas, however, reclaimed the oil block in 2006 through the court. While Shell challenged the decision, a fraudulent settlement and resolution was perfected under President Goodluck Jonathan’s government with Shell and Eni buying the oil block from Malabu in the sum of $1.1billion.

EFCC's investigations however revealed crimes, that border on conspiracy, forgery of bank documents, bribery, corruption and money laundering to the tune of over $1.2 billon against Malabo oil and Gas Ltd, Shell Nigeria Ultra deep (SNUD) Nigeria Agip Exploration (NAE) and their officials. Some of those officials are already facing criminal trials in Switzerland and Italy.

The investigations further revealed that Etete and others fraudulently received an aggregate sum of US$ 801,540,000 (Eight Hundred Million, Five Hundred and Forty Thousand United States Dollars) from Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company, Nigeria Agip Exploration Ltd and ENI SPA in relation to the oil prospecting license.

Adoke as the Attorney General and Minister of Justice allegedly abused his office in respect of the granting of the oil prospecting license OPL 245 to Shell and ENI.

A prima facie case, bordering on official corruption was established by the Commission following the investigations, culminating in court charges against Adoke, Etete and others, which is still pending before the FCT High Court and the Federal High Court.

The arraignment of Adoke SAN, Etete and others could not take place because they along with other defendants have remained at large, refusing to make themselves available for trial.

The former chief law officer of the federation prefers to remain in self exile, and engage the Commission in needless media war.

Having now satisfied his long desire to titillate the public with some tales by moonlight in the mould of a semi author-biography, Adoke should now make himself available for trial.

3-Man Syndicate Arrested for Impersonating EFCC, ICPC (with Photos)

3-Man Syndicate Arrested for Impersonating EFCC, ICPC (with Photos)

Operatives of the Uyo Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arrested three men in Uyo the Akwa Ibom State Capital, for allegedly impersonating operatives of both the Economic and financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC. The arrested suspects are Norbert Rampa, 51; Patrick Essien, 50; and Gabriel Daniel, 32.

Rampa, Essien and Daniel, along with other members of their team had paid a courtesy visit to the Commissions office in Uyo, on September 19, 2018, under the Grassroot Development Advocacy Initiative (GDAI) which they claim was a registered organisation, under the auspices of National Anti-corruption Coalition (NACC).

During that visit, their National Director, Essien, spoke extensively on the several trainings that their members had gone through to ensure grassroot engagements in budget processes, aimed at sustaining the fight against corruption. Rampa who introduced himself as the Director of programmes emphasised on their 'robust' collaboration with the ICPC, with an unsettling request that they be granted operational powers, to which the zonal head refused and advised them to report all perceived corrupt practices to the Commission.

But the team paid no heed to that advice as some of its top ranking members embarked on various levels of forgery and impersonation to facilitate their criminal activities which must have been going on for years under the guise of 'Grassroot Initiative'.

The modus operandi of this criminal extortion is purely hinged on intimidation of innocent persons and extortion of same under the pretext that they were in an operational joint tax force of both the EFCC and the ICPC.

But they ran out of luck when they picked on one Aloysius Udobong, an elderly retiree for their game of intimidation and extortion.

When they initiated their move to intimidate and extort Udobong but could not, they decided to send in a fictitious petition against him to the EFCC, with well concocted claims that he was a corrupt retired public servant.

When Udobong was invited for questioning, he volunteered his statement against the 'Grassroot' trio, with documented evidence of their forgeries and false claims which instantly turned the table against them as they automatically became the suspects.

According to Udobong, sometime in 2018, the syndicate issued him a letter of investigation purportedly emanating from the EFCC and attempted to extort him, but when they discovered that he wasn't willing to comply with their financial demands, they left. But returned again to his residence in 2019 with more letters this time, showing details of all his assets and properties, threatening to prosecute him unless he "settled" them.

After his statement had been taken, Mr. Udobong also presented some of the various invitation/investigation letters which he claimed were personally delivered to him by Rampa. On seeing the forged letters, operatives of the Commission decided to carry out a search of their various apartments. The outcome of that search completely established the fact that Rampa, Essien and Daniel, had been impersonating the EFCC and ICPC in the state and beyond.

Some of the forged documents recovered from their apartments include: forged EFCC letter-headed papers; ICPC operational jackets; forged Identity cards of National Anti-corruption Coalition of ICPC/EFCC Partnership; various forged letters to individuals and organisations purportedly coming from EFCC and ICPC; forged investigation letters to First Bank of Nigeria; handwritten drafts of fake petitions against individuals; forged investigation letters from the suspects to the complainant Mr. Udobong and a Desktop computer.

Other forged items recovered include a fake letter headed paper clearly written: 'a national anti-corruption coalition (NACC) of ICPC/EFCC partnership, that captured Rampa as 'Head, Intelligence Investigator/Operations', a forged EFCC letter headed paper with the Commission's logo on the left hand side and the coat of arms on the right hand side and forged identity cards.

The trio were arrested on Friday, September 13, 2019, by operatives of the Commission in Uyo and are currently providing useful information. They will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.













Operatives of the Uyo Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arrested three men in Uyo the Akwa Ibom State Capital, for allegedly impersonating operatives of both the Economic and financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC. The arrested suspects are Norbert Rampa, 51; Patrick Essien, 50; and Gabriel Daniel, 32.

Rampa, Essien and Daniel, along with other members of their team had paid a courtesy visit to the Commissions office in Uyo, on September 19, 2018, under the Grassroot Development Advocacy Initiative (GDAI) which they claim was a registered organisation, under the auspices of National Anti-corruption Coalition (NACC).

During that visit, their National Director, Essien, spoke extensively on the several trainings that their members had gone through to ensure grassroot engagements in budget processes, aimed at sustaining the fight against corruption. Rampa who introduced himself as the Director of programmes emphasised on their 'robust' collaboration with the ICPC, with an unsettling request that they be granted operational powers, to which the zonal head refused and advised them to report all perceived corrupt practices to the Commission.

But the team paid no heed to that advice as some of its top ranking members embarked on various levels of forgery and impersonation to facilitate their criminal activities which must have been going on for years under the guise of 'Grassroot Initiative'.

The modus operandi of this criminal extortion is purely hinged on intimidation of innocent persons and extortion of same under the pretext that they were in an operational joint tax force of both the EFCC and the ICPC.

But they ran out of luck when they picked on one Aloysius Udobong, an elderly retiree for their game of intimidation and extortion.

When they initiated their move to intimidate and extort Udobong but could not, they decided to send in a fictitious petition against him to the EFCC, with well concocted claims that he was a corrupt retired public servant.

When Udobong was invited for questioning, he volunteered his statement against the 'Grassroot' trio, with documented evidence of their forgeries and false claims which instantly turned the table against them as they automatically became the suspects.

According to Udobong, sometime in 2018, the syndicate issued him a letter of investigation purportedly emanating from the EFCC and attempted to extort him, but when they discovered that he wasn't willing to comply with their financial demands, they left. But returned again to his residence in 2019 with more letters this time, showing details of all his assets and properties, threatening to prosecute him unless he "settled" them.

After his statement had been taken, Mr. Udobong also presented some of the various invitation/investigation letters which he claimed were personally delivered to him by Rampa. On seeing the forged letters, operatives of the Commission decided to carry out a search of their various apartments. The outcome of that search completely established the fact that Rampa, Essien and Daniel, had been impersonating the EFCC and ICPC in the state and beyond.

Some of the forged documents recovered from their apartments include: forged EFCC letter-headed papers; ICPC operational jackets; forged Identity cards of National Anti-corruption Coalition of ICPC/EFCC Partnership; various forged letters to individuals and organisations purportedly coming from EFCC and ICPC; forged investigation letters to First Bank of Nigeria; handwritten drafts of fake petitions against individuals; forged investigation letters from the suspects to the complainant Mr. Udobong and a Desktop computer.

Other forged items recovered include a fake letter headed paper clearly written: 'a national anti-corruption coalition (NACC) of ICPC/EFCC partnership, that captured Rampa as 'Head, Intelligence Investigator/Operations', a forged EFCC letter headed paper with the Commission's logo on the left hand side and the coat of arms on the right hand side and forged identity cards.

The trio were arrested on Friday, September 13, 2019, by operatives of the Commission in Uyo and are currently providing useful information. They will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.













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