This Day (Lagos)

24 October 2010

Nigeria: 2011 - EFCC Asks Parties to Stop Turaki, Kalu, Fayose

Photo: Vanguard
A cartoon in Lagos's Vanguard newspaper.

Lagos — At least 40 prominent politicians are on the advisory list containing over 100 persons with high profile cases whom the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said should be barred from contesting for elective offices in 2011.

The list, which contains names of former governors, former and serving ministers, ex-bank chiefs, top government officials and some foreign and Nigerian businessmen, was gleaned from EFCC website last night.

Prominent among those on the list are former Jigawa State Governor, Senator Saminu Turaki; former Abia State Governor Orji Kalu who is contesting for president in 2011; ex-Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose, and daughter of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, Senator Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello.

Others are former Oyo State Governor Rashidi Ladoja, who is toying with contesting for the same office next year, and former Aviation Minister Femi Fani-Kayode, who is running for governorship in Osun State.

THISDAY learnt the EFCC has already forwarded the list to the various political parties particularly the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which parades most of the politicians, with an appeal to the parties not to give them their platforms for the 2011 polls.

THISDAY gathered the list comprises mostly those facing charges of corruption in various courts, particularly those in the 55 cases called politically exposed person cases the commission is prosecuting.

Also on the list are ex-Delta State Governor James Ibori; jailed PDP chieftain Bode George; former Plateau State Governor Joshua Dariye; former Edo State Governor Lucky Igbinedion; his former Adamawa State counterpart Boni Haruna; Senator Chimaroke Nnamani; former Plateau State Governor Michael Botmang; former Aviation Minister Babalola Borisade; and Nyeson Wike, serving Chief of Staff to Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi.

There are also former Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister Nazir el-Rufai; former Health Minister Adenike Grange; former Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Adamu who wants to contest for the Senate; former Taraba State Governor Jolly Nyame; former Chairman of the Police Equipment Fund Chief Kenny Martins; and Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) leader and ex-Governor of Sokoto, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa.

The newspaper learnt that the EFCC, which tabulated the cases, the offences against the persons, how much they were alleged to have stolen and the status of the cases, said in its letters to the parties that the ball was in their court.

EFCC alleged that some of the politicians were deliberately stalling their cases in court so that the cases would still be running during the 2011 polls.

Also on the list are Senator Nicholas Ugbane and Hon. Ndudi Elemelu, Mohammed Jibo and Paulinus Igwe being prosecuted over the N5.2 billion Rural Electrification Agency scam.

EFCC Chair Farida Waziri had forwarded the names of the affected politicians to the PDP Chairman, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, last week.

The submission of the names is sequel to the meeting Waziri had with the PDP chairman and members of the party's National Working Committee (NWC) at the Legacy House, the PDP Campaign Office in Maitama, Abuja last month.

At the meeting, THISDAY gathered that the EFCC boss complained about the overbearing influence of PDP members who were facing corruption charges and who were allegedly using the judiciary to stall their prosecution.

Sources said the EFCC chair had complained that there were many politicians who are members of the PDP standing corruption charges, but were hiding under the influence of the ruling party to stall diligent prosecution of their cases.

"They are so influential that they hire big time lawyers who are Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), using them to intimidate the courts and prosecutors of the EFCC," the source quoted Waziri as telling the PDP officials at the meeting.

The EFCC chair, at the meeting with Nwodo and NWC members, asked for the intervention of the executive committee of the PDP to ensure that they use the party's internal machinery to stop the alleged corrupt politicians from contesting elections.

A source at the EFCC said the commission was confident that the parties would not give the listed politicians their platforms for the 2011 poll.

The source said EFCC's consultations with relevant stakeholders on how to ensure that only credible persons contest in 2011 was ongoing.

Some ex-bank chiefs namely former CEO of Oceanic International Bank, Mrs. Cecilia Ibru, who was recently jailed for 18 months; former Executive Vice-Chairman of Intercontinental Bank Plc, Chief Erastus Akingbola; former Managing Director of Union Bank, Bartholomew Ebong; ex-MD of FinBank Okey Nwosu; and Afribank ex-MD Sebastine Adigwe are also on the list.

EFCC sources said their inclusion was to move against any of them with political ambition.Also on the list are some foreigners being prosecuted over alleged illegal oil bunkering like the 13 Phillipinos and six Ghanaians.

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InFocus

Nigerian Agency Wants 40 Top Politicians Barred

A cartoon in Lagos's Vanguard newspaper.

At least 40 prominent politicians are on a list containing over 100 persons whom the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has said should be barred from contesting for elective ... Read more »