continued from http://www.dawodu.com/oduyela11.htm
October 16, 2004
We experienced an unprecedented treasury looting under Abacha, like in the time of his predecessor. While that of Babangida was a type of dishonestly honest style, Abacha went all out looting and maiming. Babangida stage-managed his own murders, Abacha did not wear mask. He was very crude in his approach.
At least we know that Abubakar Atiku Bagudu was one of Abacha's family front, Gilbert Chagouri and his brothers and Alabo Graham Douglas. As for Graham Douglas, he was handling an oil exporting company for Abacha, but changed the ownership to his own immediately Abacha died. I wondered why he was not called for quizzing when the OMPADEC probe was on, or how he escaped. He has some money paid for a job he never executed, running into about 30Million naira. Professor Opia had trusted them as respected indigenes of Niger-Delta, awarded contract to them. Graham Douglas like his other fake contactors got the contracts with upfront payment and did not execute the project. He became a Minister under Obasanjo through Theophilus Danjuma. Obasanjo disregarded the list sent by the party in the State to accommodate him. Douglas relationship with Danjuma and Obasanjo dated to the duo's early time in the military when they served in Port Harcourt. Alabo Graham Douglas was the boy who gets them girls then. He has been their boy since then, and that his older brother is Danjuma's friend.
Gilbert Chagouri and his family are Lebanese, but powerful than some Nigerians. They make and mar under Abacha. They are so powerful that Abacha kept some money meant for security vote in their care. These dubious Lebanese were the most prominent contractors. They own the Chagouri & Chagouri, which is the same thing with C &C the contractor that built the Nigerian Defence Academy. They got the contract in 1992 and as at 2001 they have not completed the first phase of the project and they got their payment upfront 2Billion Naira. Adolphus Wabara, now Senate President was the Chairman of Senate Committee on Defence, he reported back to the Senate and promised to get the root of the matter, though he was removed by the late Okadigbo but as a Senator, he can still pursue it, unfortunately no news was heard about it. His successor, Eriobuna messed it up. I called the company in 2001; I was referred to the agent, who now asked to get permission from the Defence Minister, Lt-Gen TY Danjuma. After further investigation, I discovered that Danjuma was a Chairman of Chagouri and Chagouri investment.
These Lebanese own the big property on Sanusi Fafunwa Street, Victoria Island Lagos. (See my earlier article on the Vaswani Brothers and Power Play). They are so powerful that Abacha gave them Soldiers as guards. The Soldiers are drafted from the 65 MECH, Bonny camp. They guard the Sanusi Fafunwa building, warehouse at Apapa and also as body guards to the Chagouris. This service lasted till I left Nigeria. The late Air Vice Marshal Ibrahim Alfa, another former chairman of the Chagouri & Chagouri was once embarrassed by the soldiers guarding the building. He was subjected to thorough search one day that he was annoyed and reported to Abacha. Abacha explained to him and apologized. They still remain untouchable in Nigeria. Obasanjo begged them through Danjuma before they could release part of our money kept with them by Abacha. They are into a lot of things, they own hyperia the internet company, got the Teslim Balogun contract from Marwa. They got the contract of the Eagle square Abuja, could not finish and Abdusalami had to give it to another contractor for it to meet the May 29 1999 hand over date.
Abubakar Atiku Bagudu was late Ibrahim Abacha's friend. He owned up at a court in Geneva, Switzerland that funds earmarked as security votes were diverted by late Sani Abacha to his sons, Ibrahim and Mohammed who late gave it to him for safe-keeping. " Mohammed Abacha had from time to time , been given security funds by their father, and had given me monies(sic), from time to time, which had been transferred with the knowledge of the Central Bank of Nigeria, through the Inland Bank of Nigeria and Union Bank of Nigeria," Bagudu said in his statement.
Bagudu claimed that he is from a wealthy family owning millions, but investigation showed that his father was former director of Primary Education in Kebbi.
Bagudu and the Abacha family set up five corporate outfits, viz, Morgan Procurement Corporation, B.V.F, Mecosta Securities Inc, B.V.I Nigeria Construction Company Limited, Eagle Alliance International Inc, Dublin and Habour Engineering & Construction Limited. From the testimony Bagudu gave before the investigative magistrate George Zecchin at the Geneva Court, 5 companies were set up to act as conduit pipes for the looting of Nigeria's treasury. He started this with the late Ibrahim Abacha and after his demise in January 1996, Mohammed, the real son of Abacha, took over.
Morgan Securities secured only 2 contracts from government. But the money made from these contracts was mouth watering. It bought vaccines with $22.2 Million in 1995 and the same amount in 1997, but each of the two consignments was resold to the Federal Ministry of Health. In this way, the company made $66.6 million profit from the two deals and the proceeds were kept in foreign accounts, precisely those of Mecosta Securities B.V.I, Eagle Alliance, International Inc, Dublin with ANZ bank London, England.
Eagle Alliance International Inc, Dublin was used for buying back Nigeria's public debt. The face value of the bond was $100 million and the company bought par bonds worth a total of $472 million, this brought the total bond bought to $572million. The bonds then were lodged with Deutsche Morgan Greenfell, Jersey, Credit Agricole Indosuez, London and SBA Bank, Paris.
In January 1998, Bagudu using a phony name - Madina, open an account and the sum of $5,790, 885 was paid into the Account with the number 615223, the name of the bank is Banque du Gottardo, Geneva. The fund came from Account Number 95769 Kouros with Banca Del Gottardo, Geneva; all other assets were transferred there between February 6 and March 2 1998.
Between November 1993 and June 1998, Abacha directed his National Security Adviser, Alhaji Ismail Gwarzo to withdraw from the Central Bank of Nigeria a total of $1.6 Billion and £417 million for security purposes. Interestingly, only £250,000 and $195 million went for that purpose. Sani Abacha with the help of Bagudu diverted the rest to foreign accounts.
On Wednesday September 20 2000, Ismail Gwarzo, appearing before a Swiss investigative panel, at one of the offices of the National Security Adviser, on 24 Mambilla Street, Aso Drive, Abuja offered to release to the government the sum of $500 million. Before the September 20, 2000 promise, Gwarzo had refunded $250 million and $135 million to the Abdusalami Abubakar government. Abacha's former Minister, Anthony Ani also claimed that Abacha gave him a gift of DM 30 million for being a loyal Minister, "I accepted the gift in accordance with my wife's advice," Chief Ani said.
While the looting was going on, killing was too. 14 young souls were cut down in their prime on 15 January 1996. Ibrahim Abacha invited his friends to travel with him to Kano for a family engagement. Abacha had told Ibrahim who was in Lagos to join other members of the family in Kano. Ibrahim known as a people's man invited his friends to travel with him. He had on board, Funmi his Yoruba girlfriend, one Dan Princewill, Aliko Dangote's younger brother, all of them made up 15. they almost got to Kano when something happened and they crashed. How did it happen? It was reported that Ibrahim, and Dan Princewill had minor burns, they actually died outside the plane. But what is still shocking is the fact that only 14 bodies were found and no one raised question over the whereabout of the 15th passenger.
How would a man plan to kill his own first child? Well it has been proved that Ibrahim was not Sani Abacha's biological son. Maryam Abacha married Sani Abacha with Ibrahim's pregnancy. She was formerly married to Shehu Yar'Adua's father-in -law, Binta's father. Ibrahim's real father was Binta Yar'Adua's father not Sani Abacha. Attempts by the families of Ibrahim's friends to bury their deads were turned down by Abacha. No reason was given. The Dan Princewill brothers almost lost their lives over this. One of them escaped on the Oworonsoki expressway when he was pursued by unknown assailants.
In succession, people were killed; Pa Alfred Rewane was murdered in cold blood in his Lagos house. The killers were able to gain access because they disguise as workers of PA Rewane from Delta State. It has been reported that someone close to the Rewane family facilitated the killing; the person in question is a close friend of Al Mustapha and also a State Governor in Nigeria now. Alhaja Suliat Adedeji was also killed in her house in Ibadan. Before she was killed, she was stripped naked and the killers asked her driver to make to her, the driver refused and Suliat was shot from her private part. Why would they kill her? Sources disclose that one Ibadan political jobber who felt threatened with Suliat's political stature, sold her out to Abacha. Suliat was in CNC and this old for nothing man was in DPN then; I mean the five fingers of a lepers hand; this is talking about the five political parties formed during Abacha's transition to self succession. Suliat was Abacha's family friend since the time Abacha was in Ibadan as GOC 2nd MECH Division and it was also said that as a nurse she had treated the Abacha family. According to sources, there was something she knew about Abacha's health condition and Abacha did not want it disclosed, so she was silenced. This political jobber, in his 70s, was a political thug for the NPN in the Shagari era. Before that he was a leader of the motor park guys called Area boys. He has no job, no business except politics. his own politics is chop-I-chop. It was the same person who facilitated Abacha's death, and sold Abiola to Babangida. He made it possible for Yar'Adua to win the SDP primaries in 1992 in the South west, beating Olu Falae and Olabiyi Durojaiye.
Mama Tejuoso, mother of Oba Dapo Karunwi, of Oke Ona Egba was killed in her 80s shortly after her birthday. Why? Her son was to take Abiola out of Abuja after the arrangee court bail organized by Oladipo Diya. Oba Karunwi was a member of the Constitutional conference. The plan was to arrange a bail in whatever way for Abiola after his arrest, at least to get him out of detention. Oba Karunwi was to pick Abiola from Diya's quarters for Abeokuta and from there out of the country, but Abiola was advised by some people not to accept the bail, because it was conditional. Information leaked to Abacha and Oba Karunwi paid with his mother's life, just as Dr. Olu Onagoruwa lost his first son Toyin because he facilitated Turner Ogboru's bail. And that was why they attempted to kill Alex Ibru. Alex Ibru was the Internal Affairs Minister who ordered the immediate release of Turner Ogboru's after a court ordered his release. With the help of Lateef Sofolahan Alhaja Kudirat Abiola was killed. In fact Mustapha was mad with Rogers and others because they didn't rape her before killing her. They shared N50, 000 after completion. N50, 000 for a person's life!!!!
The media suffered a great deal under Abacha. Many journalists were arrested and detained. Kunle Ajibade did not believe he was under trial and thought Aziza was joking when he sentenced him to life for his alleged involvement in the 1995 coup. Chris Anyanwu was also arrested in connection with the coup, but it is not certain whether it was because of her publication on the coup or her alleged relationship with the main man arrested for the coup, Col. Lawan Gwadabe. Bayo Onanuga, Editor-in-Chief of News was arrested twice, taken to Aso Rock, but escaped with the help of Gen. Oladipo Diya, he later left the country. Babafemi Ojudu was not as lucky as Dapo Olorunyomi. Ojudu had traveled out and was coming back through Ghana when he was arrested at the Seme border. He was a guest of Col. Frank Omenka for 9 months. He met Tokunbo Fakeye, Group Defence correspondent of the News Magazine at the Directorate of Military Intelligence, Apapa. Tokunbo was picked at the Bonny camp. He was there for 9 months. Dele Omotunde was arrested and spent 6 months in detention, Nosa Igiebor of Tell was not spared. Fatai the publisher of Razor Magazine was abducted from neighboring Republic of Benin, locked in the trunk of a car and kept in the dungeon at the DMI, in solitary confinement.
I do not have to mention the case of Chief Gani Fawehinmi and other Human Rights Activists. Yar'Adua was arrested for the 1995 coup. Before his arrest Yar'Adua sponsored the motion that Abacha must leave by January 1996, he did this using Banarbas Gemade and Tony Anenih, but soon after his incarceration, the duo became Abacha's campaigners. Yar'Adua did not wait to see the end of Abacha, Obasanjo was lucky.
Were there coups in 1995 and 1997? Who masterminded them? The caliber of people arrested for the 1995 and the circumstances surrounding their arrests and the way the trial went showed the kind of mess and shame they put the Nigerian military intelligence to.
Under Abacha, the Army Intelligence was divided into three factions. The Abacha faction coordinated by Ibrahim Sabo, Mustapha and Frank Omenka; the Ishaya Bamaiyi's camp headed by Col. Ideheren and the traditional and professional group that remained neutral throughout the mess, headed by Col. Dare (rtd). Col Dare succeeded Sabo as the Director of Army Intelligence (DMI), he left when Gusau started his overbearing attitude. The other two groups engage in spurious intelligence gathering against one another. Funny enough, those arrested for the 1995 coup plotting were not commanders of any Brigade. At least about two of them were lawyers. Col. Ajayi who was implicated in the coup was Ishaya Bamaiyi's deputy at the Lagos Garrison Command, now 81 Division. Bamaiyi had asked Ajayi to change a one retired colonel's rank to Lt-Col as at his retirement to reflect that the man got involved in the coup because of frustration that he was retired as a Lt. Col. Ajayi refused and he got listed in the coup. It is on record that many military personnel lost their commission under the leadership of Ishaya Bamaiyi as the Chief of Army Staff. Many officers and other ranks were sent to Kirikiri prison for minor offences after a kangaroo Court Martial with a predetermined decision. These fine officers were retired before their time. They were trained but never allowed to give back to the nation what they learnt. They lost in a war they knew nothing about.
Was General Diya actually planning to topple Abacha in 1997? Was it a set-up as he claimed? And the Sierra Leone project. Stay tuned for Abacha final part.