Connect with us

News and Report

EXCLUSIVE: Tinubu, Amaechi in a N750m deal………..+ Many Dirty Details Revealed!



Details are beginning to emerge on some of the sweetheart deals that cemented the relationships of the old guard of the All Peoples Congress (APC) and Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State.

As the dust from the tremors of the political landscape settled back in 2013 with the defection of the five Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors to the APC, what followed were weeks of getting-to-know-deals in the APC.

“Finding their feet in the new environment had huge financial implications for the newcomers. Behind the photo opportunities that the country was treated to, the sharks among them moved in quickly,” a source involved in the exchanges told the Nigerian Times.

To the delight of the APC top brass, Amaechi who appeared in a hurry to acclimatize started picking the tabs of many party programmes. We learnt that even the publicity arm of the party had a new lease of life on account of Amaechi’s generosity. Lai Mohammed, the APC’s publicity czar, became a frequent flyer on the Lagos/Port Harcourt, Abuja/Port Harcourt routes.

That was when Bola Tinubu, the ultimate power broker in APC, moved in. No governor in the Class of ’99 comes close to Bola Tinubu in privatising public resources. Lagos has been such a boon that almost a decade since he left office, he has been a central figure in all the political intrigues.

Those abreast of the early days of the relationship characterize it thus: “Amaechi was the political orphan on the prowl with plenty of cash buying up affection and influence in the new political family. Too many doors opened up to him because the party, in many respects, was poorly funded and too often, depended on Tinubu’s mood swings. Tinubu on his part was seeing beyond Amaechi’s new convert’s zeal; he had his eyes fixed on the honey pot that was Rivers State. They hit it off”.

Tinubu owns both TV Continental (TVC) and Radio Continental (RC); companies that have always been run by a few journalist friends of his. But a few years ago, he brought in a former top shot of Qatar based Aljazeera to rejig the place. Part of the reforms was the launch of a pay TV arm called Consat TV (Continental Satellite Television). Since he had his fingers burnt in the defunct HiTV, Tinubu had always dreamt of a business to rival South African owned DSTV. Consat was his answer and the service launched in June.

His next move was to tie up Consat and the Rivers State Government. Consat TV and the Rivers State Government entered a deal for the purchase of fifty thousand decoders at the premium rate of fifteen thousand Naira per decoder. The deal set the Rivers State treasury back by seven hundred and fifty million Naira. Nigerian Times can report that since the signing of the deal and full payment was effected, less than ten percent of the decoders have been supplied.

Why a government would want to buy decoders for its citizens remains unclear, but watchers of the Rivers State treasury say it is one of the “transfer of wealth” cases they have been witnessing since the governor decamped to APC.”

The relationship had recorded its first victim almost immediately. In a classic case of journalism misreading the dark art of a proprietor’s interest , Bola Tinubu’s TVC, or more precisely, Oluchi, who was TVC’s correspondent in Port Harcourt ,when the Rivers State House of Assembly crisis began, was to pay a steep price. Her crime was that bit of the trade every journalist lives for, a scoop.

On the day Chidi Llyod, the governor’s supporter went wild, bludgeoning another member on the head with the mace, it was Oluchi and her crew that brought the scenes across homes in the country. But because of the limited coverage of TVC not many people saw the video that night. Indeed the government and many media houses had eggshells on their faces in the intervening twenty four hours.

The governor’s propaganda machine got all the newspapers to report the event as one more instance of Wike’s supporters’ belligerence. Unknown to them, Oluchi had reported the event as it unfolded, correctly identifying Chidi Llyod as the villain and properly situating him between the warring camps. It took twenty four hours for other media houses, especially the newspapers to realise that they have been badly used.

TVC, itself, was forced to stop running the story the following day. By then the video had gone viral. Miss Oluchi was declared persona non grata in Port Harcourt. Her company could not protect her and fearing for her safety she escaped to Owerri. Her cameraman returned home late one night to find his house ransacked. He fled Port Harcourt too. After many months of idling away in Owerri, and the company ignoring her, she resigned.


In her reaction, the Information Commissioner in Rivers State, Ibim Semenitari, admitted that though such a deal exists between Consat TV and the state government, the agreement was never about Governor Rotimi Amaechi, but about the good of the people of the state.

She told the us that it was wrong to say that just 10 percent of the decoders had been supplied, adding that 50 percent of the product (the quantity which the state government paid for) had been delivered.

While defending the agreement for the supply of the product, the Commissioner noted that the deal was important given that the Federal Government’s digitization policy would soon take off and the state government needed to comply.

“First, your figures are wrong, but to your question, 50 percent has been supplied and that is all we have paid for. What we are doing is not about the purchase of the decoders, but about the digitization policy which will commence soon’’, she explained.

Semenitari added, “We are getting the decoders because we need to migrate to the new platform and we are also grooming installers for the project which will in turn empower our youths by way of providing job opportunities’’.

According to her, since the state owned television station and radio station were in the process of joining the rest of the world in migrating to the new platform, it was important that the purchase was made to enhance the penetration of information to the remotest parts of the state.

“The penetration into the villages will not exist since we want to reach the largest mass of the people if we do not do this migration,’’ she explained.

The Devil in the Detail of the Government’s Defence.

Consat TV which launched in June this year is one of three pay TV firms apart from the popular but expensive DSTV.

GOtv is a cheaper offering from Multichoice and StarTimes which is a joint venture between the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and Chinese investors.

The NTA StarTimes, the biggest player in the direct to home television service sector is offering free decoders ahead of the 2015 digital migration.

Until the Christmas promotion started, the decoders went for N3, 900 with one month free subscription and offering 35 to 70 channels at 1,000 Naira monthly or up to 3,000 Naira monthly.

NTA Startimes is currently available in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Aba, Benin, Enugu, Ilorin, Jos, Kaduna, Kano, Markurdi, Onitsha, Port Harcourt, Sokoto, Uyo, Yola, and Ibadan.

GOtv owned by Multichoice Africa with some channels from the DSTV bouquet offers a similar service to StarTimes and is a direct competitor. For N2, 900 subscribers get a GOtv decoder including one month subscription to GOtv Plus – which gives them access to over 41 local and international channels.

But until the recent promotion, Gotv access cost was 6,900 Naira for decoder, outdoor antenna, remote, and 1 month free Gotv plus package.

However, consat TV is one of the new Nigeria pay TV which offers subscribers only 24 channels at a cost of N15, 000 for dish and accessories and subscription price of N4000 per month.

And very crucially, both Startimes and Gotv are plug and play. No installation fees.

So, far from Mrs Semenitari’s pro-poor fibbing, this is a deal done at the behest of the mafia don.


Additional Info from Nig Times

Continue Reading

News and Report

House Of Representatives Issues Warrant Of Arrest On Central Bank Governor, Cardoso, Accountant-General, 17 Others




The House of Representatives’ Committee on Public Petitions has asked for a warrant of arrest to be issued on the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Olayemi Cardoso, the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Oluwatoyin Madein, and 17 others over refusal to appear before it to answer questions on their operations.

It was gathered that the issuance of the arrest warrant was sequel to the adoption of a motion moved by Fred Agbedi, representing Ekeremo/Sagbama Federal Constituency of Bayelsa State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the committee’s hearing on Tuesday.

Agbedi, while moving the motion, said that the arrest warrant had become imperative following the attitude of the invitees, adding that the parliament worked with time and the CEOs had been invited four times but failed to respond to the invitations.

Agbedi said that the CBN Governor, the AGF and the rest of the invitees should be brought to appear before the committee by the Inspector General of Police through a warrant of arrest after due diligence by the House Speaker, Rep Tajudeen Abbas.

The Chairman of the Committee, Micheal Irom (APC-Cross River), in his ruling said that the Inspector-General of Police should ensure the invitees were brought before the committee on December 14.
It was gathered that the petitioner, Fidelis Uzowanem, had earlier said that the petition was anchored on the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) 2021 report.

Irom said, “We took up the challenge to examine the report and discovered that what NEITI put together as a report is only consolidation of fraud that has been going on in the oil and gas industry.

“It dates back to 2016 because we have been following and we put up a petition to this committee to examine what has happened.

“The 2024 budget of 27.5 trillion that has been proposed can be confidently funded from the recoverable amount that we identified in the NEITI report.

“It is basically a concealment of illegal transactions that took place in NNPCL; they have been in a sink with some oil companies where some companies that did not produce crude were paid cash core, an amount paid for crude oil production.”


Continue Reading

News and Report

FCTA uncovers illegal oil refining warehouse in Abuja




In continuation of the city cleaning exercise, Authorities of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) with operatives of security personnel have uncovered an illegal oil refining warehouse in Mabushi, opposite Mobile filling station on Ahmadu Bello way in Abuja.


The Director, Department of Development Control, FCTA, Mukhtar Galadima after the operation on Thursday, said the illegal refining site was discovered during the continuation of the city cleaning exercise.


According to him, about three to four plot of lands designated for commercial purposes have been converted to an area where oil and diesel are being adulterated and circulated to other parts of the city.


Galadima explained that the city sanitation task force will look into the provision of the law and make necessary recommendations to the FCT Administration for further actions on the plots used for the activity.


He said there was no arrest but the items used in carrying out the illegal refining have been impounded.


Galadima said, “During the continuation of our city sanitation exercise in Mabushi opposite Mobile filling station on Ahmadu way, we discovered an illegal refining site where oil and diesel are being adulterated, we have done the needful by moving the items to Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.


“From what we have seen so far, about three or four pilot of lands designated for commercial purposes have been converted to unapproved activities, which we believe the owners are fully aware, there will be consequences.


“We are going to look at the provision of the law and make necessary recommendations to the FCT Administration”


He said the administration will continue to go tough on activities being carried out without government approval,  especially revocation of the titles.


Collaborating, Head, operations FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Service (DRTS), Deborah Osho said the city management team during the exercise also discovered that most of the areas in the Nation’s capital have been converted to illegal car mart and motor parks.


She disclosed that fifteen vehicles have so far been impounded since the operation commenced about two days.

Continue Reading

News and Report

Central Bank To Freeze Accounts Without BVN, NIN From April 2024




The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said on Friday that it will freeze accounts without a Bank Verification Number (BVN) or National Identification Number (NIN) from April 2024.

This is according to a Friday circular by the apex bank which said a BVN or NIN verification will be “conducted shortly”.

It also said all BVN or NIN attached to accounts/wallets must be electronically revalidated by January 31, 2024, according to the circular by the CBN Director of Payments System Management Department Chibuzo Efobi, and the Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department Haruna Mustapha.

More details later….


Continue Reading