No sooner had Vice-President; Yemi Osinbajo alleged that the former administration led by President Goodluck Jonathan, spent N150 Billion two weeks to the 2015 General Elections, he was replied by the President’s former aide Reno Omokri and ChannelsTV’s Seun Okinbaloye got in the mix, sadly.
Speaking at the 7th Presidential Quarterly Business Forum for Private Sector Stakeholders at the State House, Abuja, Osinbajo said the level of corruption that was in the Country is enough to plunge it into a major setback.
“Oil Prices were at an average of 110 dollars a barrel and only 99 billion Naira was spent on power, works and housing and in one day, 100 billion Naira was issued, and people essentially shared it and when we talk about our economy we talk about it as if it’s a normal thing, its abnormal.
“I do not think that any consideration about our economic development can be properly and honestly done without fully analysing corruption, especially grand corruption in the public finance space.
“In one single transaction a few weeks to the elections 2015, N100billion and $295million were just fretted away by a few.”
In defence, Reno Omokri, on behalf of Jonathan, accused the Vice-President of spreading falsehood as part of the “figure propaganda and blame game” the ruling party has adopted to cover its ineptness since it assumed power in 2015.
Omokri noted that Osinbajo should support his allegation with factual evidences as he is a Professor of Law and ought to know that he who alleges must prove.
“Again, it is a lie from the pit of hell that the Jonathan administration spent only N14 billion on agriculture and N153 billion on infrastructure in three years as alleged by the fallacious Osinbajo.”
Reno on Channels Television
Shortly after his Statement, he was interviewed on Channels Television, where he reiterated that Osinbajo’s claims and the present administration’s fight against corruption is nothing but an illusion.
Omokri also mentioned his biggest and most valuable point of reference which is the ranking by Transparency International where Nigeria moved from 142 to 136 under former President Jonathan but made its worst reverse under President Buhari where it moved 136 to148.
He was then asked to defend whether the previous administration shared money or not to which he responded by saying both APC and PDP shared funds to its agents legally prior to the Elections as these funds were audited by INEC.
“The PDP and the APC, they both shared monies to their agents, its allowed under the Electoral Act. You got to give money to your agents that have to move from point A to point B.”
Omokri was also asked if the persons that had entered into plea bargain over the role they played with the PDP in the previous Elections are saying what is false or otherwise and he responded that there has been nobody who has entered a plea bargain with regards to the 2015 Elections on behalf of the PDP.
He said there have been people involved in plea bargain who have no affiliation with the party, and he challenged the interviewer to name one person involved in such. Mr. Okinbaloye’s response to this challenge was to abruptly close the programme on account of time.
Is Reno Saying the truth?
The simple answer is No. And this can be seen through the following two cases which Mr. Okinbaloye could not remember or did not know of.
Oloye Jumoke Akinjide
The former Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory is being tried along with two others; Senator Ayo Adeseun and Chief Olanrewaju Otiti over an alleged fraud of N650m, received from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, in the build-up to the 2015 General Elections.
The money was alleged to be part of a larger sum of $115 million allegedly doled out by Mrs Alison-Madueke to influence the outcome of the 2015 Presidential Election.
Akinjide, Adeseun and Otiti are reported to be Chieftains of the PDP in Oyo State docked on a 24-count charge by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).
In February, the defendants opted to enter plea bargain with the EFCC.
An official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was convicted alongside two of his colleagues by the EFCC for taking N30 Million from Madueke to compromise the 2015 Election.
Nwosu then entered a plea bargain after EFCC recovered from him, N5m cash and a parcel of land worth N25m, which he purchased with the proceeds of bribery and was also fined the sum of N500,000 as the punishment for his offence.
However, the plea bargains, entered by the former Minister and the INEC official were rejected by the Court.