Barely 24 hours before former President Olusegun Obasanjo paid President Muhammadu Buhari a secret visit in his residence at Aso Villa, the immediate past president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, was also at the presidential villa on a similar visit where he met with the president behind closed doors, LEADERSHIP learnt yesterday.
Just like the meeting Obasanjo had with the president on Friday night, Jonathan was said to have also met with Buhari in his official residence on Thursday night.
Special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, confirmed the meeting between Buhari and Jonathan. He, however, did not provide details of what the president and his predecessor discussed.
Adesina had confirmed Obasanjo’s secret visit less than 24 hours after Buhari met with Jonathan: “Obasanjo came like a thief in the night, but there are no details,” he joked.
LEADERSHIP gathered, however, that at the meeting with Buhari on Thursday night, Jonathan commended the president for his effort so far in the ongoing war against Boko Haram.
A source at the president’s residence told our correspondent that the former president also took time to clarify “certain controversies surrounding issues bordering on funds allegedly missing from the federation account, how the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was administered under his tenure and state of the country’s armed forces before he handed over to him (Buhari) as commander-in-chief.”
The source who does not want to be named in print further hinted that, on his part, Buhari assured the former president that he would do the needful in ensuring that anybody who is found culpable of corrupt practices during Jonathan’s administration will face the law.
In the past weeks, there had been series revelations about how top officials, including ministers, siphoned the country’s crude oil, as much as one million barrels per day according to Buhari, which they sold and stashed the money in their personal accounts abroad.
Confirming this, President Buhari had said the federal government had started compiling some documents which indicted former ministers and other top government officials of massive fraud.
In spite of the huge amounts earmarked by the past administration and approved by the Senate to equip the military in fighting insurgency, the immediate past chief of defence staff (CDS), Air Marshal Alex Badeh under Jonathan’s government, had, at his exit ceremony, lamented that the military under his watch was ill-equipped and lacked motivation to fight Boko Haram.
Nation’s Treasury: PMB Orders MDAs To Open Single Account
President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered every federal ministry, department and agency (MDA) to henceforth pay all government revenues, incomes and other receipts into a Treasury Single Account (TSA).
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who revealed this directive yesterday said it was a measure taken to specifically promote transparency and facilitate compliance with sections 80 and 162 of the 1999 Constitution.
In a statement by his senior special assistant on media, Mr. Laolu Akande, Osinbajo noted that, from now on, all receipts due to the federal government or any of its agencies must be paid into the TSA or designated accounts maintained and operated in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) except otherwise expressly approved.
He explained that the TSA, which is a unified structure of government bank accounts enabling consolidation and optimal utilization of government cash resources, is a bank account or a set of linked bank accounts through which the government transacts all its receipts and payments and gets a consolidated view of its cash position at any given time.
“This presidential directive would end the previous public accounting situation of several fragmented accounts for government revenues, incomes and receipts which, in the recent past, had meant the loss or leakages of legitimate income meant for the federation account,” Laolu stated.
He recalled that President Buhari had earlier promised state governors, at the inaugural meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) in June, that all revenues prescribed for lodgement into the federation account would be treated as such under his watch and that he would ensure strict compliance with all relevant laws on accounting, allocation and disbursement.
The statement made available to LEADERSHIP noted: “Since then the presidency has worked with relevant agencies of the federal government to evolve this policy directive. This directive applies to fully funded organs of government like the ministries, departments, agencies and foreign missions, as well as the partially funded ones like teaching hospitals, medical centres, federal tertiary institutions, etc.
“Agencies like the CBN, NNPC, Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Nigeria Port Authority (NPA), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigeria Deposit Insurance Commission (NDIC), NSC, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria Custom Service (NCS), MMSD, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) are also affected.
“For any agency that is fully or partially self-funding, sub-accounts linked to the TSA are to be maintained at CBN and the accounting system will be configured to allow them access to funds based on their approved budgetary provisions.”
Anti-Corruption War: PMB Hits Back At Akpabio, Other PDP Senators
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday dismissed the claim by Senators of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that His administration’s anti-corruption war was selective, describing it as baseless and totally unjustifiable.
The 49-member Senate caucus of the PDP, led by Senate Minority Leader Godswill Akpabio, who is also under probe of for corruption, had last Thursday alleged that the anti-graft war initiated by the current administration was partisan, “lacks transparency and fairness” and was being targeted at opposition politicians.
But speaking through his senior special assistant, Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, the president said: “The wild allegation of bias and partisanship in the fight against corruption shouldn’t have come from respected and distinguished members of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
“That claim belongs to the past and not the present. Public officials and other leaders accused of corruption by relevant agencies should plead their innocence, not malice.”
In a statement he issued last night, Shehu maintained that on President Buhari’s watch, “the rule of law, not impunity, shall govern every aspect of life in Nigeria and there will be no room for sentiment, bias and corruption in the application of the laws of the land.”
Shehu also dismissed Akpabio’s claim that President Buhari and his administration were meddling in election petition cases through the Department of State Services (DSS).
He said, “The duties of the DSS and other security agencies are clearly spelt out in the laws establishing them. The federal government led by President Buhari does not give them instructions regarding their daily operations.
“Election tribunals and the Independent National Electoral Commission in Rivers, Abia and Akwa Ibom states do not operate under the guidance of the president.
“Any individual or groups of individuals who think that their legitimate political and civil rights are infringed upon by the DSS or any institution are advised to seek protection and redress under our constitution and laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria instead of resorting to baseless allegations against the Buhari administration.”
The statement made available to LEADERSHIP reads in part: “We have noted with regret the allegation by members of the PDP Senate Caucus that the present administration is being selective and partisan in its prosecution of the war against corruption. We state without equivocation that the allegation is false, baseless and totally unjustifiable.
“For the avoidance of any doubt whatsoever, we affirm that having made his zero tolerance for corruption clear to all and sundry, President Muhammadu Buhari does not micro-manage or interfere in the daily work of Nigeria’s anti-corruption agencies.
“President Buhari’s unwavering stance is that whosoever is charged with corruption should face the law irrespective of whether they are members of the of All Progressives Congress (APC) , PDP or any other political party”.
The presidential spokesman added that as far as the president was concerned, corruption had no political party, no religion and no ethnic group.
Shehu reminded the PDP Senate Caucus and all Nigerians that right from 2003 when he started campaigning for the presidency of Nigeria, President Buhari “consistently promised to do his best to curb corruption in the country.
“The president remains wholly committed to fulfilling that promise and will not be deterred from the relentless prosecution of the war against corruption because he remains convinced that, as he has said, “unless Nigeria kills corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria.
“President Buhari also wishes to re-assure all Nigerians that his administration will not discriminate against individuals or groups in the performance of its duties, and that favours or patronage will not be dispensed on the basis of votes.
The statement noted that the president was committed to his oath of office and the letters and spirit of the constitution, and called on all Nigerians to join hands with him in the fight against insecurity, corruption and impunity in Nigeria “so that we can have a country that will prosper for the benefit of all of its citizens and future generations of Nigerians.”
Culled from http://leadership.ng/news/452886/jonathan-in-secret-meeting-with-pmb