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November 01, 2005

The Ibori Clan: Their Game Plan

by Jonathan Elendu and Sowore Omoyele --- Late Wednesday afternoon on October 19th, we were working the phones as we put the finishing touches to our story, "Ibori in Oil Deals?" It came out the following day. During one of our numerous conversations with sources at the Delta State Governor's

office, we were told that the Nigerian media would not pick up any stories on Ibori that are perceived to be negative. A few days after our story on Gov. Ibori was published, one of the sources from his office called to ask us how we were able to convince the Nigerian Tribune to carry the story. We did not know that the Tribune had carried the story and we were even more surprised at the Ibori camp's confidence that the Nigerian press would not pick up our story. "Well, let's put it this way, even journalists know on what side their bread is buttered and lbori is the gift that always gives," stated our source.

After talking to a few people working with major Nigerian newspapers, we went back to confront the source with our findings that there is no evidence available to us that shows Ibori paying editors to 'kill' our story on him. "Do you think journalists are better than other Nigerians? You must be naïve to think they were not paid by Ibori to kill the story. I know for a fact that at least ten million naira exchanged hands on Thursday night, after your story came out. You guys talk about corruption, but when it concerns journalists you look the other way. Is it by accident that Ibori and Atiku are friends? Don't you see how the Nigerian media treat these two?" he asked in anger. The truth is that we have yet to find any evidence of journalists and editors being bribed to 'kill' our stories and when find such information, we will publish them. Yes, the Iboris keep giving gifts.

Since we published the last story on Ibori, more information has come to light concerning the Ibori family, Whitehill Corp., and Okey Ilo. Within hours of publishing the Ibori story, we got documents that suggested that Haleway Properties, a company registered in Gibralter, is owned by Gov. James and Tessi Ibori. The documents we have indicate that on 4th December 2001, Tessi Ibori registered Haleway Trading Company. The registration number of the company is 04334204. The registered office of the company is 1st floor, Alpine House, Unit 2, Honeypot Lane, London NW9 9RX. On the 31st August of last year, the company was dissolved. Our investigation into the Ibori affair has shed more light on Tessi Ibori's partner in Whitehill Corp., Okey Ilo. Sources close to Tessi Ibori told that Okey and Tessi's friendship has been going on for a while. Okey grew up in Enugu and graduated from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Upon graduation he left the shores of Nigeria for Europe. He and Tessi may have met in London, but from all indications their relationship has been on-going as the Delta State First Lady is said to have paid for the renovation of Okey Ilo's family home in Enugu.

Hence, it came as no surprise to some people in the Delta Government House that Tessi's name showed up in Okey Ilo's company. Our sources said that Tessi's Personal Assistant, who is very much in the know of the Tessi-Okey relationship, has sometimes tried to distract some 'nosey' staffers at the Government House. Shortly before we went to press, Ebo, Tessi Ibori's personal assistant called us. She denied knowing Okey Ilo. However, their business deals in Warri, Asaba, London, and other places have not escaped the attention of some Government House insiders in Asaba. Gov. James Ibori may not be unaware of the Okey Ilo-Tessi relationship. A source, who should know, said this to us: "James Ibori has a lot of irons in the fire hence he may not have time to look into Tessi's issues, if you know what I mean. The house and Bentley you guys published is Tessi Ibori's London home. There is another home in West London, which was bought in 2002 for nine hundred thousand pounds (£900,000.00). That is where Ibori's other wife lives and if you guys gain access to the garage you will find a black 2002 Mercedes S 500." We are still working to confirm this information.

Tessi Ibori

Tessi Nkoyo Ibori is a woman who loves the limelight. Her web site is a testimony to her love of attention and public acclaim. On her web site are pictures of her philanthropy and love for sports. Her sports involvement includes the Nkoyo Ibori Table Tennis championship, Nkoyo Ibori under 20 National Sports championship, and Nkoyo Ibori Power Lifting championship. She also has the Delta Manna Foundation, which claims to work with kids and the less privileged members of Delta State. made several attempts to get Tessi Ibori's reaction to this story. We left several telephone messages at her office. An unsigned email from her office directed to write an application to interview Tessi Ibori. We were also directed to state in our application the purpose of the interview and then wait for processing.

Another Ibori woman that has come to our attention is Christie Omatie Ibori-Ibie, elder sister of Gov. James Ibori. Christie lives in London. There are suggestions that she is separated from her husband. But Christie, in a chat with said she is not separated from her husband. Christie said her husband; a retired federal permanent secretary has always lived in Nigeria for over twenty years while she has lived in London. There were reports that she lived in a government allotted flat in Kilburn until her brother became the Governor of Delta State. She denies it. "What are you talking about? I lived in a big 7-bedroom house in Kilburn. The house is owned by my husband and it is now on rent. What qualifies me for a council flat in London?" she fumed. Although she refused to confirm it, Christie now lives in a house that cost about four hundred and eighty thousand pounds (£480,000.00). She has never held a job in London and describes herself as a "housewife, not a contractor." She tried to prevail on not to include her name in this report. "I am hiding myself in this country. I don't want my name in the press. I'm not in government; please don't put my name in your report. I like my privacy and quiet life." Christie Omatie Ibori-Ibie's house is said to be a Mecca of sorts for Delta State government officials visiting London. They are expected to pay homage to her. And Christie's relationship with the Delta State Commissioner of Sports has caused some concern in government circles. Christie says there is nothing special about her relationship with the Commissioner, "He works in my brother's government and my relationship with Solomon is the same with other Delta Government officials."

A source, very close to Gov. James Ibori, told, "Among the governors from Niger Delta, Ibori did more in terms of development than any other, but he has enriched himself and some of his friends, like Ighoyota Amori." According to the source, "Amori became so powerful to the point of influencing domestic decisions in Ibori's life." However, in 2003, Ibori tried to break with Amori. To achieve this he used people like Faith Igue, one of his Special Advisers to create some divisions in Asaba. Ighoyota Amori is the past Commissioner for Education in Delta State. Currently, he is the Political Adviser to Gov. Ibori. Amori is listed as a director of TONAM Ltd. He gave his address in the company documents as 17, Sanderling Court, Abinger Grove, SE 8 5TE. That address is believed to be a Council flat. He recently acquired a flat in the highbrow St. John's Wood. His current address in London is 64 Queens Grove, London, NW 8 6 ER. Amori was recently convicted by the Code of Conduct Bureau and banned from holding public office for ten years. He was also directed to reimburse the Delta State Government his salary from the time he started serving in the Delta Government. Amori had refused to declare his assets when he became a public official. Using convoluted reasoning, Amori claimed that he was not a public official when he served in the Ibori government. What was he afraid of? The code of conduct verdict may have dampened his governorship ambition.

Another influential member of the Ibori clan is Jame's half-brother, Emma Uduarhan. Although Ibori is Urhobo, Emma is Itsekiri. He is the current Secretary to Delta State Government. Ibori's game plan is to install his half-brother as the next Governor of Delta State. This will satisfy the clamor for power shift, as well as ensure that Ibori's interests are protected. On the other hand, Faith Igue wants to be the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Delta State. There has been some resistance to the Ibori game plan, although we were told that the Ibori political machinery would prevail.

Additional reports by Eddy W.

Posted by Administrator at 10:56 AM | Comments (1)

October 16, 2005

Potomac Mansions: Finance Minister Explodes

by Jonathan Elendu --- On the afternoon of October 14, 2005, I got a call from one Chi-Chi Okonjo. I didn’t know anybody by that name but I took the call anyway. Chi-Chi told me he called to express his displeasure with our story entitled, “Bayelsa Governor’s Modest Mansion in Potomac.” He is upset particularly because we published the Potomac home address of his sister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s Finance Minister.

He stated in very clear terms that we had no business publishing the home address of the Minister as that would put her family in danger. Chi-Chi Okonjo also questioned my humanity and sense of decency.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

After shouting at me for a while, I asked Chi-Chi Okonjo what he wanted from me. “I demand that you take my sister’s home address off your story. I am going to put her on the phone and I want you to apologize to her.” “Is that all?” I asked. “No,” he responded. “I sent you an email; read it,” he said. “Ok…I will read your email. If you are so aggrieved with our story why don’t you write a rejoinder and we’ll publish it,” I enjoined.

Chi-Chi whose anger had been simmering now exploded: “I am a writer like you. I have written articles. This is irresponsible of you. Why are you doing this? This woman has been threatened by a lot of people because of the work she is doing for Nigeria,” he yelled. The man was obviously angry and Sowore and I had been discussing a few details of an investigation we were doing. I wanted to get him off the phone as quickly as possible.

“Mr. Okonjo, I don’t know if screaming at me makes you feel good. If it does, I’m glad to be of service. As to your demands, taking down our story or deleting any part of it is not going to happen. Apologizing to your sister is also not going to happen. But we’ll publish any rejoinder you send,” I said to him. “I challenge you to publish my email. Let me see if you can take criticism,” he fumed. At this point I laughed. “Chi-Chi, I am criticized everyday. It goes with the territory. But let me say this, I did not mean to put your sister’s family in danger. Sowore and I would not do that. We did not know there are kids in that house…” He cut in, “You guys don’t know the seriousness of what you have done. Here, Dora Akunyuli is here. I can put her on the phone and you talk with her!” This was getting out of hand. “Chi-Chi, I don’t have need to talk with Ms. Akunyuli. If you feel good screaming at me, that’s fine but I still don’t know what you want. I can understand you being upset because you think your sister have been endangered. I probably would feel the same way but there’s nothing I can do,” I said. “I challenge you to publish my email and give it the same level of publicity like your article.”

Twenty minutes after my conversation with Chi-Chi Okonjo, we published his email to us. Not long after that somebody called and asked me to hold for the Minister of Finance. A female voice came on: “This is the Minister of Finance. Are you Mr. Elendu?” she asked. “Yes, Madam Minister, this is Elendu Reports,” I replied. That was the last thing I said for about fifteen minutes. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance, Federal Republic of Nigeria started a tirade. She accused our magazine of endangering the lives of her family, especially her children. “What kind of a human being are you?…How could you put my children’s lives in danger like this?…Are you not a father, and even if you are not, will you not have children someday?” she screamed at me. I tried to put in a word, but she would have none of it. “I am all alone here in Abuja. My husband and children are there. If anything happens to them you will see…I will hold you responsible,” she threatened.

“Madam Minister, are you threatening me?” I inquired. “Threatening with what?…Threatening you for what?…Who are you?” she screamed. The tirade continued: “I have been in Washington for twenty-one years. If I didn’t have a house people will wonder. Why didn’t you tell them that I didn’t steal money to buy the house? Don’t you have the records? My house was built eleven years ago?” she thundered.

“Madam, Minister, may I speak?” I asked. “Speak for what? I’m not here to talk with you. Is this a negotiation? You have done the damage, the least you can do is tell people when the house was acquired. I would understand if I acquired the house inappropriately. I can’t believe a Nigerian can be so cruel. Are you not a Nigerian? Are you not a human being? How can you have the heart to do this?” she screamed.

“Madam Minister, it appears you called me for a one-sided conversation…” She cut me off. The tongue lashing continued, “What am I going to hear from you? No Nigerian supports what you did. Look at the names of the other people you mentioned there. How can you lump me with those people?” she queried.

That’s it. I had enough! “Madam Minister, I resent you calling my office to scream at me! The truth is that we would not intentionally endanger your family. We did not know there were young children in that house…after all the same address is listed as the office of one of your organizations!” I said. “Eh…it is public information. Everybody knows that. Anybody with access to a computer can find that out. I am a public official. You can criticize me. My skin is thick enough,” she fumed.

“Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, the story in question is not about you. We were not trying to impugn your integrity. It wasn’t a criticism of you. We reported facts as we saw them. I can boldly say that I am neither pro, nor anti-government. I am just a reporter. I take no sides. If we wanted to impugn your integrity we could have done so. This magazine has a reputation of not knowing any sacred cows,” I said.

“I don’t care!” the Minister returned. “Criticize me if you want. What are you telling me here…who are you? Anyone can drive up to my house and get into my house…instead of you to say, “honorable Minister, I am sorry…I did not know you have children in the house”…you are here arguing with me!” She hung up the phone.

This was the second time the line had cut or she hung up on me. Twice in one day, I thought, the Okonjos have screamed at me. What a day! I turned to my computer and typed: “Ngozi Okonjo Iweala” into one of the browsers we use for investigations.


Posted by Administrator at 04:56 AM | Comments (2)

October 04, 2005

Independence Day Protest in New York by Nigeria Liberty Forum (NLF)

by Jonathan Elendu --- Nigeria celebrated her 45th Independence anniversary on October 1, 2005. Nigerians resident in the United States were not left out of the celebrations. There were activities in major cities across the United States, including Detroit, New York City, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Houston, and Dallas. The New York City Independence Day activities did not go as planned as Nigerians under the aegis of the Nigeria Liberty Forum (NLF) disrupted a parade organized by the Organization of the Advancement of Nigeria.

Scuffle: NLF and OAN

Three State governors, Bukola Saraki (Kwara State), Ibrahim Shekaru (Kano State) and Ahmed Makarfi (Kaduna State) were in attendance. Carrying a huge Nigerian flag with inscription, “Obasanjo Must Go" “Atiku Must Go" “No Babangida, No Corruption" “Justice for the Niger Delta" “Corrupt Governors Go Home," members of the NLF converged in Manhattan on the corner of 54th Street and 2nd Avenue to convey a strong message to the current rulers of Nigeria; they have mismanaged the country and her resources.

NYPD and protester

Another source of trouble at the New York City Independence parade arose when the protesters sang the old Nigerian National Anthem which led the organizers to abandon singing the new national anthem midway. This caused embarrassment among the Nigerian Consulate officials and visiting government officials. Rep. Charles Rangel of New York, who was present at the celebrations, looked confused as the Nigerian officials squirmed with embarrassment. Shortly thereafter, the high ranking and influential Democratic Congressman left. The organizers of the parade, Organization of the Advancement of Nigeria (OAN), a pro-government group, tried in vain to deny the protesters a chance to be part of the line up. This led to a scuffle between the organizers and members of the NLF. Eventually, members of the pro-democracy group were allowed to participate in the parade. Officers of the New York City Police Department watched from the sidelines as arguments raged between the OAN and NLF.

Several groups, including the protesters, marched from 54th street to 44th street where the Nigerian embassy is located. Top government officials including governors were at the Nigerian embassy to receive Nigerians marching in the parade. The protesters led by the NLF did not acknowledge salute from the governors and representatives of the Nigerian government. Rather, the protesters started chanting anti-government slogans and singing anti-government songs. They denounced the state governors for wasting public funds to travel to New York City to celebrate Independence while abandoning Nigerians and their respective states.

The protesters demanded to send a direct message to the President. Their demands were denied as they were refused entrance into the VIP area. The commotion that ensued caused some distress to the assembled dignitaries including Gov. Bukola Saraki. The Kaduna State Governor, Ahmed Makarfi moved away from the front row. Two leaders of the Nigeria Liberty Forum, Omoyele Sowore and Bukola Oreofe, were allowed to deliver a letter of protest to Obasanjo. The letter detailing the atrocities of the government was handed to Governor Ibrahim Shekarau of Kano State.

The commotion created by the protests, gathered momentum and led to an abrupt end of the parade. The governors were taken to a previously prepared podium where they gave speeches. The protesters later stormed the podium. This led to a stampede. Officers of the New York Police Department (NYPD) were called in and they led the protesters away. The governors left the venue and did not return for a reception in their honor. The reception, which was to be held on the 21st floor of the Nigeria House, was scheduled to start at 7:00 PM. Consulate officials asked people to leave two hours after the reception was supposed to have begun.

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September 25, 2005

Obasanjo and Atiku War: Fasawe Arrest - Too Close to Call!

by Jonathan Elendu and Sowore Omoyele --- The feud between Pres. Olusegun Obasanjo and Vice President Abubakar Atiku is in its final stages. The Titans have marshaled their arsenals in waiting. The first casualty of this phase is Otunba Johnson Oyewole Fasawe, a personal friend of Pres. Obasanjo, up until about four months ago. spoke to very reliable sources at the Presidency. Our sources confirmed that the recent arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, of Otunba Fasawe is a preemptive strike by the President. Vice President Atiku’s camp had counted on using Otunba Fasawe as an ace in their fight against the President. Sources revealed to that the Vice President and his people were planning to use Otunba’s business dealings, especially during the privatization process, to embarrass the President. To achieve this, documents have been compiled. These documents would reveal that Otunba Fasawe, who is generally regarded as the President’s front man, was heavily involved in corrupt practices which characterized the privatization process, allocation of oil blocks, and other deals.

Security reports and other sources provided the President with Atiku’s game plan. Knowing that Otunba Fasawe was Atiku’s ace, the President, in a manner reminiscent of a military operation, went on a counter offensive. According to our sources, by this preemptive move, the President is turning a deficit into gains. Otunba Johnson Fasawe and Pres. Obasanjo were so close that sometimes he played the role of the President’s personal treasurer. was informed that the Otunba sat closest to the President in the Presidential limousine every time they went out. It was he, who took care of expenses arising from some of the President’s personal past time. People who work at Aso Rock or who are very close to the Presidency were aware of the Otunba’s closeness to the President. Otunba Fasawe operated from the fifty-room Aguda house for months. This high-brow government guest house was the Otunba’s residence, as well as his office in Abuja.

In a previous story, had exclusively reported a meeting between Pres. Obasanjo and Vice President Atiku. It was at this meeting which took place about four months ago that the President confronted Vice President Atiku with what the President thought was overwhelming evidence of corruption on the part of the Vice President. The President was hoping that Atiku would offer to exit honorably. Instead the Vice President made it clear to the President that he would not resign but would rather fight. It was at this juncture that the Vice President clued the President into his strategy. He told the President he was also complicit in the corrupt practices of the Presidency. Flabbergasted, the President asked for explanations. That was when Otunba Fasawe came into the picture. The Otunba, instead of falling on his sword, gave the President up and admitted that he had been collecting bribes on behalf of Obasanjo. The President was so infuriated that he ordered his pal, the Otunba, out of his sight and subsequently banished him from the Presidency.

Our sources confirm that the President was not only angry at Otunba Fasawe for engaging in corrupt practices, but was also upset that the Otunba did not make complete ‘returns’ on all the largesse that he collected on behalf of the President. Apparently, the Otunba had kept a large part of the ‘returns’ for himself. This betrayal was too much for the President to handle.

President Olusegun Obasanjo, according to our sources, is still hoping that Vice President Atiku will tow the path of honor and resign. However, the President is not holding his breath while waiting. The call on Atiku to resign by presidential candidate and retired army general, Buba Marwa, is part of the President’s game plan of forcing Atiku’s hand. confirmed that Marwa was recruited by the Obasanjo camp to pressure the Vice president who is from his home state of Adamawa.

Vice President Atiku, on the other hand, is fully prepared for war. In the past few days he has made utterances that have been interpreted by analysts as a signal to Obasanjo to ‘bring it on.’ In a speech last week, the Vice President said Nigeria lacked good leadership. This was a direct attack on the President. Later in the week, the Vice President told a radio station that he had personal problems with the President.

How are Nigerians reacting to this fight of the Titans? Danjuma Onuaguluchi, a businessman who operates from Lagos, told, “The country is in a big mess. An American report told us Nigeria may break up in fifteen years. From what I see now, Nigeria may not last fifteen years. How can the President and the Vice President be having an ongoing confrontation on the pages of newspapers? If they can do this in public, only God knows what goes on behind closed doors. We may not have fifteen years as a country!”

We asked some of our sources at the Presidency where they believe this feud might be headed. One replied, “The President will move heavily against Atiku. It is only a matter of time. The Vice President knows it.” Another source informed that the Vice President has vowed to expose all of Obasanjo’s corrupt practices if the President moves against him. Is Nigeria at the edge of a very precarious bank, yet? You bet!


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September 22, 2005

Bayelsa Governor's son cries out, "It is my father now; it will be Ibori next"

by Jonathan Elendu and Sowore Omoyele --- “It is my father now. Next it will be Gov. Ibori,” Tonbra Alamieyeseigha told in a telephone interview last week. Tonbra, who graduated from Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Washington, told that he was getting ready for graduate school.

We reminded him that he just received a two-year associate degree in Arts and Sciences on July 17, 2005. The young man waved it off. Tonbra's desire for a graduate degree as soon as possible may not be unconnected with his ambition to contest the election for the House of Representatives in 2007.

It is worthy of note that this college is in the same state where his father, the governor, earned a doctorate degree within two years. The said two year doctorate degree was awarded by the University for Northern Washington. The college touts itself as a business college. The University for Northern Washington is only accredited in Hawaii, but operates in Washington. The college was recently sued by the Hawaii Consumer Protection Agency for engaging in certain acts or practices that violated Hawaii’s consumer protection laws in a civil suit number 00-1-003366 GWBC in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit in the state of Hawaii. The University was ordered to stop making false representations. The court also awarded damages to members of the public who may have been misled by the University's fraudulent claims.

Dr. Kombo Mason Braide, in an article entitled, “Customized Degrees For Advanced Dropouts,” had this to say about Alamieyeseigha's doctorate degree: "His student identification number was UNN-UK 2108PD130. His Excellency obtained the bogus doctorate degree in Strategic Management on Friday, 15 February 2002, barely six (6) months after his admission! According to the bogus certificate, which was signed by the bogus "Registrar" and bogus "President" of the bogus university, the Governor made bogus excellent grades in virtually all the bogus courses he took, also while governing one of the most volatile states in the Niger Delta." The report was published on

Tonbra, until recently, lived in a four million dollar ($4,000,000.00) house in Bellingham City, Washington. A Colorado state-based firm, Carver, Inc., currently manages the property. Tonbra lives in Pinebrook, New Jersey.

Another offspring of Diepreye Solomon Peter (DSP), Oyindounbra, is reputed to live in stupendous wealth. While our investigations show she is a resident of California, Tonbra informed that Oyindounbra has since relocated to Nigeria. There are allegations that Gov. Alamieyeseigha spent about four hundred million (N400,000,000.00) naira to organize a party for her in celebration of her graduation from college.

We also made several calls to Gov. Alamieyeseigha's London home. At one point another of the Governor’s sons, Feliaka, told us he was resting. The house, which is located on Edgeware Road in Southwest London, is valued at about two million pounds. According to Tonbra, Gov. Alamieyesigha bought the house in 2003. A former minister and friend of late Head of State, Gen. Abacha, also has a house on the same road.

Gov. DSP Alamieyeseigha's family, friends and cronies are in battle mode. They believe Pres. Olusegun Obasanjo is unjustly targeting them because Gov. Alamieyeseigha is in Vice President Atiku’s camp, and they point to not only the massive corruption in adjoining Rivers State, but the recent rumored arrest of Governor Donald Duke for a similar offense in one of the Western countries. However, our investigations show that allegations of corruption and profligacy made against Gov. Alamieyeseigha are legendary. He had been linked to corruption long before he was elected to the office of Governor of Bayelsa State. His ascension to the high office of Governor simply exacerbated this alleged trait. Some people have described the man as thinking of himself as a modern day Robin Hood of the Ijaw people.

On June 5, 2001, about two years after DSP was sworn in as governor, a motion was brought before the Bayelsa State House of Assembly to impeach him. This motion of impeachment, which was brought by twelve members of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, charged the governor with twenty-eight counts of corruption and money laundering. The allegations included inflation of contracts, illegal transfer of state funds to his private accounts in London, United States, and other countries. He was also accused of acquiring choice properties in Yenagoa, Lagos, Abuja, London, France, and the United States of America. Between 1999 and 2000, the governor was also alleged to have sent his former “Balogun trader” wife to school in London at the expense of the Bayelsa taxpayers.

Although a little over a million pounds were said to have been found in the Governor’s London home, there are indications that the total sum involved in the money laundering allegations may be as much as forty million pounds. While there have been claims that Gov. Alamieyeseigha was a rich man before he was elected to the office of Governor, there are no records to show that he was in the class of Nigerians who could have millions of pounds lying around in a bank account. The source of his wealth has been controversial. Although his wife was a trader at the Balogun Market, he did not have a history of owning or operating a private business.

Barring serious diplomatic intervention by the Obasanjo Administration, the Governor, who cannot leave the United Kingdom until November 15 2005, when he will appear in a UK high court, may be headed to jail. There are also indications that the threat by some Ijaw groups to harm British and European interests in the Niger Delta may impact the attitude of British authorities in this matter. This is blackmail being perpetrated by some of the governor's cronies. As a preemptive move, Nigeria's Security Services recently arrested Niger Delta warlord, Asari Dokubo.

However, protests by armed supporters of Asari Dokubo in Port Harcourt may add to the pressure on the Nigerian and British governments, which are very dependent on oil from the Niger Delta area. Reports from our sources in Port Harcourt indicate that offices and businesses were forced to close early today as armed men took over the streets of Port Harcourt. Shell, a major oil conglomerate in Port Harcourt, is reported to have closed all their facilities in Rivers State. Unconfirmed reports show that the company may be making arrangements to fly out their expatriate staff. Police and members of the Nigerian Armed Forces were not seen on the streets as Asari Dokubo’s supporters, armed with sophisticated weapons and machetes, roamed the streets.

“DSP” was born some 53 years ago in Amassoma, Ogboin North Local government of Bayelsa State. He attended primary and secondary school in the area. ‘Luck’ began to smile on him when he was admitted to the Nigerian Defense Academy as a cadet officer in 1974 from where he joined the Nigerian Air Force.

Sources close to the Governor informed that it was at the lucrative Supply and Logistics Department of the Nigeria Air Force where “DSP” started his meteoric rise in the world of questionable wealth. Ironically, DSP was awarded his first military medal in the late 1970s by then military Head of State, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo.

Amongst his supporters and loyalists in Ijaw land, DSP is seen as a hero. He is fondly referred to as the “Governor General,” an appellation that stems from his support for the broad agitation for resources control. With allegations of money laundering and corruption involving tens of millions of dollars coming to light, one wonders if "Governor General" will remain the toast of Bayelsans. Those who know DSP will caution, "Don't count him out, yet."


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September 11, 2005

The War against Corruption: Obasanjo Oily hands!

by Jonathan Elendu and Sowore Omoyele --- A report in Thisday, a Nigerian daily, described the feud between Nigeria's President Obasanjo and his deputy, Vice President Atiku, as mere rumours. The report, which was published on September 9, quoted Olabode George, a former military officer and deputy chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as saying that the feud is, "A creation of the media." Should Nigerians be surprised by this attempt at whitewashing a serious problem concerning the affairs of the Nigerian State by the top echelon of the PDP?

The PDP, under the leadership of President Obasanjo, appropriated Nigeria's resources and has continued to manage these as they would a personal estate. Any attempt by the Nigerian people to call this cabal to order is met with the generic refrain: "It’s a family affair." It is as if Nigeria ceased to exist the moment Obasanjo and his people came to power. And when their idiosyncrasies cause problems for them and the nation? They call it "a creation of the media." During the ignoble days of the military, all Nigeria's problems were caused by "disgruntled elements." It appears the General continues to borrow from both Gen. Babangida and Abacha’s playbook! can authoritatively report that the feud between Pres. Obasanjo and Vice Pres. Atiku Abubakar is real and growing. The President's loyalists are burning midnight candles plotting Atiku's downfall. Many options have been discussed, agreed upon, and discarded. But the plotting continues in this high stakes game. Some of the results of the plotting can be seen in the various stories that have been leaked by the President's people to media houses. The most damaging one so far has been the Newswatch story which chronicled the Vice President's corrupt practices with the active collusion of his fourth wife, Jennifer. Ironically, when first reported the Atiku and Jennifer story, a top Newswatch editor, Soji Akinrinade, derided the story and described the writers as "half-baked journalists." The Newswatch report, from all indications, is a series of half-truths blown out of proportion. has information to show that while the Vice President may be complicit in some of the allegations reported by Newswatch, the reporting is a celebration of exaggerated inertia.

Atiku, as has been reported by the Nigerian media, is set to give the President a serious fight. In this regard, investigations show that the Vice President has employed the services of several investigators around the world in an attempt to unravel every investment the President and his family have made since 1999. The Vice President and some of his surrogates have met with several important Nigerians within and outside the country to state his case. The Vice President is also employing the services of Nigerian web bloggers in this fight. The Vice President may have recently met with Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka. A request for an interview with Prof. Wole Soyinka was recently turned down as the professor is said to be in Nigeria currently.

Apart from the need for Obasanjo to establish his political clout within and outside his party, crude oil is one of the reasons the relationship between the President and his Vice is soiled. According to a report by Africa Confidential, the latest auctioning of Nigeria's oil blocks did not benefit the Vice President and his cronies. However the President's men/women were adequately taken care of. Although the report in the Africa Confidential commends the Obasanjo Administration for providing more information than its predecessors, there were some indications that the bid for oil blocks was another "settlement" policy. The paper states, "…documents obtained by Africa Confidential raise concerns about the technical expertise and political connections of many of the Nigerian companies eligible to bid."

Shell and some of the other major oil companies refused to participate in the bidding. While more than one hundred companies were approved to compete for the ten per cent blocks reserved for smaller indigenous companies, there was a lot of criticism about the process that led to the qualification of oil companies, and the exclusion of twenty-two others. Some of these companies that bid had no experience in the oil industry. There are reports that some of the companies were registered for the sole purpose of the bid as they were not in existence until a few days before the bid. According to Africa Confidential, "Many of those qualifying to participate owe more to political connections than technical know-how."

Former Aviation Minister and Obasanjo's pal, Kema Chikwe, is the major share holder of Prime Time, one of the companies that qualified for onshore oil blocks. A former teacher, Chikwe did not have a previous interest in or link to the oil industry. Ogun State Governor Gbenga Daniel and Otunba Onabanjo are said to be the promoters of Dogon Oil and Gas, one of the companies that rushed into the bid process. Some members of the National Assembly were not left out of the "settlement" process. Senator Lee Maeba of Rivers State, whose committee oversees the Upstream Petroleum activities, is said to be the promoter of New Tigerhead, one of the companies involved in the bidding.

Other Obasanjo cronies involved in these oil deals are Gov. Peter Odili of Rivers State, Minister of State for Petroleum and shareholder of Platform Oil; Edmond Daukoru; Andy Uba, Presidential Adviser; and, Abdullahi Mohammed, Chief of Staff to the President. The list of companies also involved in these deals includes Godsonic Oil and Gas, Tap Oil, and Owel E&P; all companies linked to Anthony Annenih, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PDP. Another company is Overt Oil. The disgraced former Senate President Adolphus Wabara has interests in this company.

The practice of bribing people with oil allocations is not new. The Ibrahim Babangida Junta (1985-1993) made it a State policy. The President/Head of State, his deputy, Service Chiefs, and some top ministers were given oil allocations. Subsequent regimes have continued this trend. In the fourth Republic, the Obasanjo government, according to sources, has allocated oil blocks to the President, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Defence Minister, and Service Chiefs.

The disappointment for many watchers of the Obasanjo Presidency is that he consistently touts his Anti-Corruption Crusade, yet he continues to perpetrate corruption at alarming levels. In an exclusive interview with, former Head of State and Presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari said, "Chief Obasanjo cannot be serious about fighting corruption…how did Tarfa Balogun, the former Inspector-General of Police, acquire over seventeen billion naira in so short a time…where was the President?" The General's contention is that if one man in the Administration can acquire so much within a few years then his boss, the President, cannot be trusted to wage war on corruption.

Gen. Buhari wondered what led to the contradictory situation where Nigeria is supposedly making more money than it has ever made and yet the common people have become the poorest they have ever been. A recent UN report ranks Nigeria as the twentieth poorest country in the world with a life expectancy of 43 years, down from 54 years. The current budget, passed by the Nigerian National Assembly and signed into law by the President, had projected the price of crude oil at $28 a barrel. As at press time, crude is selling for nearly $70 per barrel. This is a time of unprecedented earnings for Nigeria. Yet, the level of unemployment and poverty is the highest it has ever been in the history of Nigeria, except for the period of the Nigerian Civil War. What has happened to all the money? The President and his friends ought to be held accountable.


Posted by Administrator at 06:58 AM | Comments (1)

September 08, 2005

President of Vice: The War on Corruption and Obasanjo's Complicity

by Jonathan Elendu and Sowore Omoyele --- Why is Nigeria’s President Obasanjo talking about corruption, and yet people don’t believe him? After all, he is the first President in the history of Nigeria to accuse his inspector-General of Police of corruption. Why is Segun Aina, the former managing director of Fountain Merchant Bank, living in opulence in Atlanta, Georgia and Toronto, Canada, while his friend, Tafa Balogun, is facing tons of charges of corruption? Our investigations reveal that the President’s war on corruption may be just for show.

Pres. Obasanjo

One beautiful afternoon the President asked a former Justice Minister to ride with him in his presidential helicopter. “I would like to show you something,” the President said. Soon the chopper was hovering over a huge expanse of land in Eruwa, a town in Oyo State. Below there were about a million teak trees that had just been planted by construction giant Julius Berger. Shortly after this trip, the former Minister was granted a license to operate a private university and Julius Berger got a multi-million dollar contract to construct the Lagos/Abeokuta highway. Three years later and with millions of dollars paid, there is nothing to justify such a huge expense.

At Aso Rock, the seat of the Nigerian government, Vice President Abubakar Atiku is not the only one who uses cronies for illegal schemes. This is an entrenched practice at “The Villa.” Pres. Olusegun Obasanjo is part of this game. Very reliable sources in Aso Rock told about one Otunba Fasawe who is reputed to be Pres. Obasanjo’s friend. Though not a government official, Fasawe is said to reside in a government building. No one facilitates access to the President faster than this guy. Fasawe was the President’s link man to the privatization deals orchestrated by Abubakar Atiku, the Administration’s point man during the privatization process. was reliably informed by sources that the President was given information about some dealings of the Vice President by a foreign government. Pres. Obasanjo confronted Atiku and told him he was disappointed with his corrupt practices and requested that Atiku resign. Atiku looked the president straight in the eye and said, “Mr. President, you have benefited from every deal I have done.” The President was aghast and demanded an explanation. Atiku told the president that he always passed on the President’s share of the deals through Otunba Fasawe. The President summoned Fasawe, who confirmed Atiku’s claims. What did the President do? Our source said the Obasanjo in exasperation told Fasawe to leave his presence. Apparently, the President was outsmarted by his trusted crony.

President Obasanjo is reputed to have established his Otta farm with his pension and gratuity payments. The Obasanjo Farm is one of the biggest farms in Nigeria. For a man whose entire life was spent in the military, his establishment of such a huge project raised a few eyebrows. By the time Obasanjo was jailed by the Abacha junta on trumped-up treason charges, the farm had started experiencing a down-turn in fortunes. Some assets of the farms were being sold off by his children during his period of incarceration. It is public knowledge that the farm was also involved in lawsuits arising from the sale of assets. There were claims that the resources of Obasanjo’s pet project as a military Head of State in the seventies were diverted. The Operation Feed the Nation’s, OFN equipment and money may have funded Otta Farms Nigeria, OFN. In 1999, following his release from prison, Obasanjo discovered that he was broke as there were no funds coming from the farm. All that has changed as the farm has experienced another reversal of fortunes. Today, Obasanjo Farms, according to Presidential mouth-piece, Femi Fani-Kayode, earns about two hundred and fifty thousand dollars per month.

Andy Uba, the president’s adviser on domestic affairs, is another Obasanjo crony that deserves closer scrutiny. A source at Aso Rock, told that Andy’s job as domestic adviser involves other personal interests of the President. The President’s reputation in this regard is well-known and needs not be repeated here. However, Andy, whose brother, Chris, has been the brain and money behind all the political problems in Anambra State since 2003, in addition to sharing some other interests with the President, is reputed to love exotic and expensive cars. It is believed that he owns about fifteen of such cars from all over the world.

We have yet to determine the number of children Pres. Obasanjo has sired, but we know that about six of them live in the United States. While the President’s children have managed to stay out of the pubic spotlight for years, their activities are beginning to attract public attention. last week exclusively reported the purchase of a property in New York early this year by Olu Obasanjo G. One of the Obasanjo children manages the Obasanjo mansion in Buckhead, Georgia. This young man is said to live in Decatur, Georgia.

Bush, Obasanjo, Young

Gbenga Obasanjo has been seen as his father’s front man. Gbenga, who operates from Houston, Texas, is behind the Virgin Atlantic project with Richard Branson, the British business icon who owns Virgin Airlines, which is presently Nigeria’s official carrier. Gbenga is also involved in Ajaokuta and Delta Steel companies. The Abacha sons were also involved in deals with the two steel companies during the time of their father’s stint as Nigeria’s military Head of State. It has been reported that Gbenga accompanies his father on official tours. The President introduces him to potential investors as one of Nigeria’s reputable business leaders. Gbenga also runs oil deals for his father, the President.

President Olusegun Obasanjo is also said to be one of the owners of Suntrust Petroleum. The other partners in the company are former Ambassador Andrew Young and Carlton Masters, the president of Goodworks Intl, LLC. The story of Malabu Oil and Dan Etete is another indication of Obasanjo half-hearted attempts at fighting corruption. Malabu Oil and Nigeria are locked in a case in the Federal District Court, New York. Sources say Dan Etete, a former petroleum minister during the Abacha regime, had awarded his company, Malabu Oil, a very lucrative oil block. In 2000, there was a meeting between Atiku Abubakar and Etete. Atiku demanded shares in Malabu Oil on behalf of Pres. Obasanjo. Etete refused and the Obasanjo government seized the oil allocation from Malabu. Dan Etete has threatened to expose Pres. Obasanjo’s investments in a French bank. There are rumors in certain quarters that the Obasanjo government and Dan Etete may have reached made some deals which placated Etete.

During the President’s first term, his cousin, Julius Makanjuola, was arrested for embezzling four hundred and twenty-one million naira (N421, 000, 000.00 ) from the Ministry of Defense. He was released on bail and to this day, Makanjuola has yet to be prosecuted for those crimes.

This and other information in the custody of adds credence to the assertion that Obasanjo’s anti-corruption crusade is selective and targeted at the President’s enemies--perceived and real. It would be recalled that during the Abacha regime, he established the failed banks tribunal which was used as a tool to hound the regime’s opponents. Incidentally, one of the people caught in the web of the failed banks tribunal, Jimmy Lawal, is now a very close adviser to President Obasanjo and his government. Jimi Lawal former founder and managing director of moribund Alpha Merchant Bank now works very closely with FCT Minister, El-Ruffai, Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and other top ministers in Obasanjo’s government. Lawal is said to be heavily invested in Canada, China, and even the city of Atlanta, Georgia. Jimi Lawal, in a chat with confirmed that all his assets that were confiscated by the Failed Bank Tribunal, including stocks, cash, and other properties were given back to him by the Obasanjo government.

There are also indications that former Senate President Adolphus Wabara, who was implicated in the fifty-five million naira bribery deal may eventually walk free. Several sources told that Wabara was set up by the Presidency because of suspicions that he was nursing a presidential ambition. One very reliable source told, “Everybody knows Wabara is a very corrupt and greedy man. When he started talking about running for president in 2007, they set a little trap for him and he fell for it. He didn’t need the money but just like our president can’t resist beautiful women, Wabara can’t resist money.” Another source told us Wabara had no difficulty returning the money because it had not been spent as at the time the deal came to light. Other people involved in the deal, like Prof. Fabian Osuji were part of the collateral damage of a sting operation that targeted Wabara. Hence, the belief that Wabara, Osuji and the rest will not go to jail is widely held in Abuja as their disgrace has achieved its purpose.

A source close to Vice President Atiku told that one of the President’s houses in the United States may have been searched by officers of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. has not been able to independently verify this story. We shall report our findings as soon as we get more information.

Obasanjo and his entire Administration typify the saying that things are not always what they seem. Unfortunately, Nigerians remain hostages to a cabal whose penchant for stealing from the people knows no bounds.


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August 31, 2005

Potomac Mansions: Kalu and Atiku are Neighbours

by Jonathan Elendu and Sowore Omoyele --- Nigerians love real estate. The acquisition penchant of Nigerians is unmatched. Even in this era of so-called 'economic hardships,' Nigerians continue to buy prime real estate. In the 1980's-1990's, South of France and other parts of Western Europe were veritable play grounds for unscrupulous Nigerian businessmen and politicians.

Kalu and Atiku
Today, it is the United States of America. And the areas of choice are the Maryland cities that are shouting distances from Washington D.C. The other prime area is New York City and the surrounding suburbs of New Jersey.

1999 Picture of Atiku's Potomac Mansion

Two weeks ago, broke the story of Vice President Atiku's multimillion dollar mansion in Potomac, Maryland. The Vice President made a feeble attempt at whitewashing the story by describing it as 'no big deal' since he has maintained a residence in the United States for over a decade. While there have been claims that Atiku was a very rich man before becoming the Vice President of Nigeria in 1999, he did not acquire the multimillion dollar Maryland mansion until one and a half years after he became Nigeria's number two citizen. But for the immunity he enjoys as the Vice President of Nigeria, he could have been prosecuted for committing a crime.

Although he enjoys the same immunity as Abubakar Atiku, Orji Uzor Kalu, the governor of Abia State was dragged before the code of conduct bureau for maintaining foreign bank accounts. The governor is fighting the charges in a different court. However, investigations show that Orji Kalu also acquired a multimillion dollar property on June 26, 2003, barely one month after being sworn-in for his second term as governor of Abia State. Kalu is known as a rich young man who became a millionaire in his twenties. The two storey house was built in 1996 on 5.00 acres. Kalu paid one million and seven hundred thousand dollars for this property.

It is speculated that Kalu was a front for some powerful individuals who were in positions of influence and authority in the 80's and 90's. Sen. Jubril Aminu, who was Kalu's vice chancellor at the University Maidugiri where Kalu had his undergraduate studies in the 80's is part of this group. The list also includes Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Nigeria's military president for eight years. Kalu, who is running for president told in an exclusive interview a few months ago, that Pres. Obasanjo would not hesitate to disgrace him if there were any evidence of corruption against him.

Potomac, Maryland is a small city. It has a population of about forty-five thousand. Seventy-five per cent of Potomac residents are white while blacks make up only four per cent of the population. The city's unemployment rate is about two per cent, three points lower than the US average. The median yearly income in Potomac is about one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars. The city is the twelfth most expensive zip code in the United States.

Disgraced former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara is not left out in the US property mania. Through wife, Felicia, Wabara acquired a piece of Queens, New York for the handsome price of nine hundred and ninety-five thousand dollars. The house was purchased on March 11, 2005, while the documents were filed with the city on April 1, 2005. Felicia Wabara was sighted at the hotel around this time. is yet to confirm if the white man she was seen with one evening in March is the real estate agent. Ms. Wabara spent hours with this gentleman and at some point she kicked off her shoes and stretched out her legs. Her husband, Adolpus and some other Nigerian senators were busy somewhere else at Four Seasons hotel in Manhattan on the night Felicia was sighted. Alliance for Democracy senator, Tokunbo Afikuyomi was part of the group of senators that were guests at the Four Seasons hotel on that day.

Olu Obasanjo G. is another famous Nigerian name that acquired a piece of New York real estate. On March 1, 2005, Olu Obasanjo bought a Brooklyn, New York property for five hundred and thirty-seven thousand, one hundred and twenty-six dollars. At about 1:00 PM on April 1, 2005, his agents filed papers with the city. has been trying for two weeks to confirm the identity of Olu Obasanjo G. A source told that Olu Obasanjo G is one of Pres. Obasanjo's sons. The source further stated that the President's son is a former law student who lived with Andrew Young, the former United States Ambassador to the United Nations and the Chairman of Goodworks Int. LLC., a firm which lobbies the United States government on behalf of Nigeria. made several attempts to get in touch with Gov. Orji Uzor Kalu for this story. Gloria, a staffer at the Government House, Umuahia, told that Kalu had travelled to Abuja. Calls to the governor's cell phone were not answered. Attempts by this magazine to get to Wabara were not successful before press time.


Posted by Administrator at 03:52 PM | Comments (0)

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