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Jonathan Goodluck’s Family, Sahara Reporters, Ribadu or Adewuyi: Who Lied Against Who

Source: Mr. Adebiyi Jelili Abudugana
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While appraising comments on one of my articles on the ignominious act of public treasury pilfering, and money laundering by the consort of the Nigeria president, Mrs. Dame Patience Goodluck, I stumbled across an impious rejoinder.

In this Machiavellian rejoinder filled with statements that run riot to truth, Mr. Ayo wrote:

Our attention has been drawn to a malicious on-line news report on Sahara Reporters about the recent trip of Her Excellency…The report also made reference to the EFCC case of which Mrs. Jonathan has since been absolved. This is a case on which investigation had been concluded and Mrs. Jonathan was not found culpable, but the distracters continue to make a mountain out of a mole hill.

Although Ayo was making a specific reply to a Sahara Reporters' article on Mrs. Jonathan's gold buying trip to Dubai, the major focus was on Mr. President's wife infamous act of public robbery and money stashing in foreign banks. Since I have been persistently making an issue out of this high profile case of administrative misdemeanor, I felt the necessity of exposing the rejoinder as a tissue of lies.

Ayo, the salaried image rescuer of the Nigeria's first family submitted:

If she had been found culpable, we are certain that Nuhu Ribadu would have charged her to court because she has no immunity. We want to state categorically that Mrs. Jonathan has no link with the seized N104 million and has no knowledge of any $13.5 million Dollars. In fact, there was never an incident of $13.5 million Dollars…we challenge Sahara Reporters to contact Mr. Nuhu Ribadu or Mrs Farida Waziri to get the facts of the matter.

May I call reader's attention to the fact that, on September 11, 2006, Mr. Osita Nwajah, the EFCC spokesman made a public declaration that a whopping sum of $13.5 million Dollars (US) was seized from Mrs. Patience Jonathan, the wife of then Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Goodluck Jonathan. Until now, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu has neither made any known public verbal or oral denial of this declaration nor is the EFCC known to have issued any statement of rebuttal.

For the Nigeria's first family to have claimed that there was never an incident of $13.5 million Dollars shows a crooked attempt on their part. Such statement was neither made before Jonathan became President nor before Mallam Nuhu Ribadu negotiated his freedom with the latter. In other words, it was after Jonathan became the President of Nigeria and Ribadu struck a deal with Jonathan on his freedom that the Nigeria's first family could be courageous to make any bold public declarative statement that they never stole $13.5 million Dollars from the public treasury. Why this period and never before? Is this not suggestive of a possible bargain between Ribadu and Jonathan's family, such which shortchanged facts of history and which required rob my back, I rob your back reciprocating compromise?

Before proceeding further, a trenchant look may be necessary at the earlier quoted part of the scandalous rejoinder as its syntax, organization and sequencing shows that Nuhu Ribadu's name was used to authenticate the bogus claim which the rejoinder advanced. To this extent, note be taken of the statement's take off point which reads, “If she had been found culpable, we are certain that Nuhu Ribadu would have charged her to court because she has no immunity.”

Also, we may further need to break this statement into two parts vis: “If she had been found culpable,” “we are certain that Nuhu Ribadu would have charged her to court because she has no immunity.” In the second part, Nuhu Ribadu's name featured as that down-to-earth anti-corruption crusader who would never hesitate to prosecute any known case of corruption, let alone when it involves somebody without immunity.

Was it not on the strength of this Ribadu's hard earned dreaded image that sometimes in 2006, he, Nuhu Ribadu challenged in the hollow chambers, members of the senate that, “…tell me now, the name of anybody who has collected the 50 million naira from anybody and you will see what I will do about it.” What followed was total silence as the Senators knew that daring Nuhu Ribadu was an invitation to jail.

Therefore, as claimed in the rejoinder, that Nuhu Ribadu did not charge Mr. President's wife for steeling, and money laundering and her husband as an accomplice, meant Jonathan and Patience had not be found culpable of committing any act of public treasury robbery. In other words, if there had been an established case of fraud committed by Patience Goodluck, Ribadu would have not only exposed and prosecuted the case, but also, make sure that as it was with Tafa Balogun, Patience is sent to jail. As claimed since Madam Patience was not prosecuted by Nuhu Ribadu, then, it means the first family had no link with the seized N104 million; also, that the stolen $13.5 million Dollars was just a creation of imagination. Little wonder, Ayo wrote:

“We want to state categorically that Mrs. Jonathan has no link with the seized N104 million and has no knowledge of any $13.5 million Dollars. In fact, there was never an incident of $13.5 million Dollars…we challenge Sahara Reporters to contact Mr. Nuhu Ribadu or Mrs Farida Waziri to get the facts of the matter.

That a challenge was thrown to any doubting Thomases to contact Mr. Nuhu Ribadu or his successor, further shows this claim does carry with it, a measure of authority that the persons whose names were mentioned could refute nor could it be found, any official document that incriminates the person of Mr. President's wife. Since the claim was also made, Nuhu Ribadu had not issued a rebuttal but only known to have been making statements that if offered to serve by Jonathan, he would graciously embrace the opportunity. His silence confirms the complicity of his name as a partner in crime who might have negotiated his freedom and acquittance from corrupt charges based on robs my back, I rob your back compromise approach.

Not daunted by the new look of things; one may need to remind Ribadu, Ayo and the Nigeria's first family of a plenary section of the Senate which held on September 27, 2006. On this historic day, Nuhu Ribadu who was then in charge of EFCC took to the stage in the hollow chamber to brief the Senate on the report of its Commission on anti-corruption activities.

It was on this day that Ribadu dared the Senators to name anybody who collected 50 million naira from anybody during the Third Term saga, claimed that the biggest fraudster ever in the world was a Nigerian and dropped the following shattering bombshell which shall be quoted verbatim. He, Nuhu Ribadu declared:

Abia is number one (of corrupt state) not because it is number one alphabetically, but because we have one of the biggest established cases of stealing, money laundering, diversion of fund against Governor Kalu. The governor used his mother, daughter, wife and brother to divert N35billion to build his business empire including Slok Airlines, Slok Pharmaceuticals and newspaper house…Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu corruption is of international dimension.There is s also a petition against the Governor of Bayelsa's wife. She was involved in laundering the sum of one hundred and four million into foreign account. She is also being investigated.

Rattled by this revelation all the indicted governors issued strong statements which tagged Ridadu's outburst as a witch-hunting agenda scripted by Obasanjo and others, to bushwhack their political adversaries. Among those who dispatched rejoinders was Keneth Ekpelu, the then spokesperson to Madam Jonathan Goodluck. He wrote;

The first lady wishes to restate her unreserved respect for the institution of the EFCC and wishes Bayelsans and Nigerians at large to continue to support the organization in its effort to attain a corruption-free Nigeria, “She, however wishes to point out the need to separate the EFCC's honest quest for justice from the posturing of her husband's opponents who strangely perceive her as the soft spot in his political armour and won't stop hammering away at her until their decisions to oust him from office are met

Dennis Sami, the then spokesperson for Governor Jonathan Goodluck also registered his reaction by saying the allegations were a “charade,” the target of which was the Governor.

From the foregoing analysis, it is obvious that Mrs. Jonathan's claim, “We want to state categorically that Mrs. Jonathan has no link with the seized N104 million and has no knowledge of any $13.5 million Dollars,” is a scandalous attempt to distort history and burry a well documented case of treasury robbery. That Ribadu is yet to refute this spurious claim or sue the first family for using his name for authenticating false as truth, means, it was done with his express permission.

Was it not the Ribadu-led EFCC which stated that, “We had reason to believe the seized funds (N104 million) belonged to the public. In a sworn statement, Mrs. Nwosu implicated Patience Jonathan.”

Was it not the same Ribadu-led EFCC that went to court to prosecute this case in a suit number FHC/ABJ/M/340/06 filed on August 21, 2007 at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

It is on record that while filing this case, EFCC named Mrs. Patience Jonathan, wife of Goodluck Jonathan, as an accomplice in the N104million-money laundering case involving Mrs. Nancy Ebere Nwosu. The said money as reveled Ribadu-led EFCC was on the order of Mrs Patience Goodluck, laundered into a First Bank of Nigeria account number 3292010060711 held in the name of Nansolyvan Public Relations Limited by one Hanner Offor. Accordingly, in the Commission's affidavit used in supporting the suit's originating summons, Ofem Uket, the EFCC prosecuting officer declared:

Our investigations revealed that Mrs. Patience Jonathan, wife of the Governor of Bayelsa State, was the person who instructed one Hanner Offor to launder the said sum of N104, 000, 000 into the account of Nansolyvan Public Relations Limited with First Bank of Nigeria Plc (FBN), Niger House, Marina, Lagos.

In the face of this documented evidence, which I challenge Ayo Adewuyi, the Nigeria's first family and Ribadu to disprove, it has been exposed the true face who the liars are. The liar is neither me nor Sahara Reporters as claimed Ayo and cohorts, rather, those who conspired to issue Jonathan's family, a clean bill of health.

Concrete effort must now be made to challenge this case before a competent court in the land, therefore, my suggestion that signatures be mobilized to force the EFCC to commence the trial of these cases. However, since the EFCC is compromised, I am afraid, justice that is already denied will be legitimized. Therefore, I challenge human right groups, labour unions, Save Nigeria Group and other Non-Governmental bodies to take up this case by not only staging a national demonstration but also, fashioning out the modalities through which justice will be seen done to the case.

On the final note, let Ribadu be aware that just like excellence expires with time, so is one's hard built reputation gets soiled when one takes to dishonourable Associates. The desperation of Ribadu to serve his fatherland under questionable personalities whom he made us known are treasury looters speaks volume about his least known side. It may be true that all the allegations leveled against Ribadu by the leadership of late Presider, Umar Yar'Adua are founded, after all, he chose, in preference to the legal means, the Aso Rock facilitated freedom and acquittance. With your claim that you cannot wait to be appointed to serve under Jonathan Goodluck, you have demonstrated your real identity, however, it may not be too late for you to retrace your steps, retract your commitment to a government whose hands are soiled in a criminal case that is well known by you and the whole world.

The writer, Mr. Adebiyi Jelili Abudugana, a former UNILAG student union leader can be reached through [email protected]