Adenuga, Fasawe, Atiku, OBJ and EFCC

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Adenuga, Fasawe, Atiku, Obasanjo and EFCC - A Chronology of Events (1999 - 2007)

 

By

 

Mobolaji Aluko

alukome@gmail.com

 

September 11, 2006

 

 

Compatriots:

 

The unfolding events in our country vis-a-vis President Obasanjo and Vice-President Abubakar are dizzying.  They require careful handling for the sake of the unity and stability of our country.

 

Before any and all come to reach their own conclusions, it is important to sort out certain dates and events, so that some sense can be made of certain sequences.
 

 

The following is a best-effort attempt at placing dates, names and events into some perspective, based on newspaper and recent administrative reports, with as little editorialization as possible.

 

Readers are enjoined to point out any errors or other important dates that have been omitted, or explanation of facts.  Those patriotic acts will be very much appreciated.

 

Best wishes all.

 

 

 

Bolaji Aluko

 

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1973

1973: With the promulgation of Decree No. 25 of 1973, the Petroleum Trust Development Fund (PTDF)  comes into existence

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1999

May 29, 1999:  Obasanjo, Atiku get sworn on for First-Term, four-year Presidency/Vice-Presidency

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2001

January 17-19 2001:  Abuja - Auction Bidding for GSM licences by five companies MTN Communications, ECONET Wireless, Communications Investment Limited (CIL), United Nigeria Network and MSI-Celtel with licence for NITEL (reserved); auction conducted by NCC. First three companies win, each having paid $20 million and all (including NITEL) given 14 days to pay up the balance of $265 million.

January 29, 2001:   Otunba Fasawe  pays the V.P. Abubakar Atiku the sum of N61million from his Mofas Shipping account with TIB

February 1, 2001:  Provisional licences  issued to MTN, Econet, CIL and NITEL by NCC

February 9, 2001: Deadline to make payments for provisional licences.  Only MTN, Econet and NITEL meet deadline. CIL misses deadline.

April 2001: Otunba Michael Adenuga's company Communications Investments Limited (CIL) finally ruled as losing  $20 million deposit for failure to pay up on GSM licence on time 

August 8, 2001:  First day that GSM services start in Nigeria. 

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2002

June 25, 2002:   First placement of funds by PTDF with Equitorial Trust Bank (ETB),  in the sum of $50million Dollars from the account of PTDF with UBA New York, allegedly with knowledge of Vice-President Atiku.  " I cannot recollect the circumstances surrounding the movement of
US$50 million from the UBA New York Account to ETB. More specifically, I cannot recollect giving approval for such movement"
, says Atiku, in a letter to EFCC.
 

August 6, 2002:  Otunba Mike Adenuga as Globacom pays $20million Dollars non-refundable deposit to NCC for the bidding of the Second National Operator (SNO)

August 12, 2002:  Nigerian Communications Commission announces that messrs Globacom Limited has been provisionally awarded the Nigerian Second National Operator (SNO) Licence and that will be issued with the SNO license upon payment of the balance of $180 million USD by the 30th of August 2002 (within 14 working days).

August 30, 2002:  NCC announces that it has awarded the Second National Operator (SNO) Licence to Globacom Limited, on confirmation from the Central Bank of Nigeria of the receipt of the company's final payment obligation.   Globacom Press Release: " The balance payment of USD180 million was effected today August 30, 2002 (Friday) at 5.25 PM Paris time through a Swift transfer from BNP Paribas to CBN/FGN INDEPENDENT REVENUE ACCOUNT A/C 400-939134 with JP Morgan Chase Bank, New York as directed by the NCC. With this payment Globacom has completed the SNO Licence fee of US$200 million as declared by the NCC having made an initial deposit of USD20 million during the auction process."

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2003

January 7, 2003:  VP Atiku  pays an initial sum of N30million deposit from his Marine Float account in Bank PHB for the purchase of the property situated at No. 555, Ademola Adetokunbo Street, Wuse II, Abuja.  NDTV later uses it as its Headquarters.

February 18, 2003: A sum of N250million from Mofas Shipping Company account of Otunba Fasawe in TIB was transferred to V.P.'s Marine Float account in Bank PHB.

April 10, 2003:  Presidential Adviser on Petroleum and Energy, Alhaji Rilwan Lukman,  who was the Chairman of the Technical Implementation Committee of the Fund,  presents a memo to the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

April 25,  2003: The sum of $125 Million is approved by His Excellency, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo  for PTDF

April 29, 2003: The Vice President (VP), Abubakar Atiku, through a letter Ref:SH/VP/254 dated, grants  approval to PTDF to invest the proceeds of US$125million in the following banks and amounts:- i) Trans International Bank (TIB) US$10million  ii) Equitorial Trust Bank Ltd (ETB)- US$115million.

May 29, 2003:  Obasanjo, Atiku get sworn in for Second-Term, four-year Presidency/Vice-Presidency

July 17, 2003:  US$62.1 million transferred to PTDF Dollar Domiciliary Account with ETB

August 20, 2003: PTDF transfers additional US$52.9 million to ETB, bringing total to $115 million as approved - or total of $165 million if we include the $50 million June 25, 2002 transfer.

October 4, 2003: Otunba Fasawe remits the sum of N400million ($3.125 million, if at N128:$1).to the V.P.'s Personal Assistant Alhaji Umaru Pariyah.

October 18, 2003: , The VP gives the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) approval to release $20m to PTDF, without referring this to Mr. President or to the Federal Executive Council, following a request from the Executive Secretary, Yusuf  H. Abubakar for an urgent release of the fund to enable him complete some un-named projects of PTDF. However, contrary to the purpose of the request to execute the projects, the ES placed the funds in a term deposit in TIB for 365 days at 1.75% interest rate.

October 20, 2003: NDTV granted loan by TIB in the sums of N400million ($3.125 million, if at N128:$1).  Chairman of NDTV is Otunba Fasawe, a long standing friend of the V.P.

October 22, 2003:  Mofas granted loan by TIB in the sums of N420million ($3.281 million, if at N128:$1). Chairman of NDTV is Otunba Fasawe.

October 23, 2003:  Ahmed Vanderpuije (the MD of NDTV) granted N300m loan  by TIB  through his other company Trans-Vari Services Limited.

December 10, 2003:  SSS quizzes Fasawe over SAGEM ID card deal (involving late Chief SM Afolabi & Co.) but is released.

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2004

January 1, 2004:  N730million loan (or $5.703 million) was granted to NDTV by TIB

January 2004: DTV remits the sum of $6.5million Dollars to iGate in  as its contribution to their joint venture to set up digital satellite TV and broadband Internet network

February 27, 2004:  Mrs. Maureen Scurry, now Maureen Edu, a former employee of U.S Exim Bank as a Business Development  Specialist on Africa who, that time represented US Exim Bank during the NDTV/iGate deal is wired sum of $100,000  to her personal account with FSB Washington DC by NDTV through TIB.

May 28, 2004: Congressman Jefferson addresses letter to President Obasanjo,  reacting to allegations raised against him in a petition by Otunba Oyewole Fasawe.  Jefferson explained that he learnt through Mr. Vernon Jackson, the Chief Exe-cutive Officer of iGate Inc that PTDF funds were to be used to pay for private business transactions  between iGate (owner: Vernon L. Jackson) and Fasawe's Netlink Digital Television (NDTV).

June 9, 2004: Obasanjo replies to Jefferson, promising to investigate the story of the use of PTDF funds for private transactions.

July 2004:  $165million invested in ETB by PTDF returned to CBN, including the accrued interest, when directives were issued that all accounts of Government Ministries and Parastatals were to return to Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

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2005

May 14, 2005: Obasanjo Presidential Library fund launched in Abeokuta, reportedly nets N6 billion.  Dr. Mike Adenuga, chairman of Globacom Communications donates N250 million, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, president Dangote Group, N211.6 million and Mr. Femi Otedola, chairman of Zenon Oil Limited. N200 million, among several others.

June 21, 2005: An unsigned letter is sent to VP Atiku from Congressman Jefferson through the Nigerian Embassy in Washington, DC, alerting him to "a U.S. company" [iGate] that wanted to invest $50 million to provide high speed Internet access in Nigeria using Nigerian telecom company Nitel's lines.

July 18, 2005;  Jefferson meets Atiku  in Atiku's Potomac, Maryland, USA home

July 30, 2005:  US government alleges Jefferson got $100,000 in a leather briefcase on this day at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Arlington.  Giver is Ms. Lori Modi, an American investor (with $3.5 investment in the Nigerian telecommunication deal), who  had been secretly wired by FBI to videotape the bribery.

August 1, 2005: Congressman Jefferson meets with Vice President Atiku Abubakar at Atiku's Potomac, Maryland residence

August 3, 2005:  Jefferson's Washington home is searched, and all but $10,000 was recovered.  The rest of the money was stuffed in his freezer, wrapped in $10,000 packs and concealed in food containers and aluminum foil.  The Kentucky and New Jersey offices of iGate are also searched.

August 3, 2005: VP Atiku's home in Potomac, Maryland, USA is also raided by the FBI over  a $100,000 bribe allegation levelled against US Congressman William Jefferson, a Democrat from the state of Louisiana. 

September 22, 2005: EFCC arrests Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) top notcher, Otunba Johnson Oyewole Fasawe

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2006

May 3, 2006: Vernon Jackson, chief executive of iGate, pleads guilty to conspiring to bribe Jefferson. According to the prosecution, "Jackson paid $367,500 in checks and wire transfers over a four-year period to a company controlled by the congressman's wife in exchange for help promoting iGate technology in Africa. Jackson also gave the company a 24 percent stake in iGate and paid for $80,000 in travel expenses on the congressman's trips to Africa to promote iGate, which uses technology to transmit data over traditional telephone lines." The estimated total value of the bribes is between $400,000 and $1 million.

May 16 and 17, 2006:  Third-Term (tenure elongation) Agenda of President Obasanjo and the PDP collapses in  Federal Senate and  House of Representatives respectively.  Atiku was vey publicly opposed to the agenda.

May 20, 2006:  FBI affidavit [filed on May 18, 2006 to support their application for a search warrant] enables  the search of US Congressman Jefferson's congressional office.  FBI officials stayed for 17 hours collecting documents.

June 16, 2006: Jefferson is thrown off the Way and Means Committee by voice vote without debate by the Full House after House Democrats voted (June 15) to strip him.

June 22, 2006: Under the terms of a mutual legal assistance treaty subsisting between the governments of the United States of America (USA) and Nigeria, the USA authorities through United States Attorney's Office, Department of Justice via a letter Ref: MEW:DPW:KDL:AV 1 File 182.23818 requests the Economic Crimes Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to assist the US Attorney's Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) ongoing investigation of Congressman William Jefferson of violations of federal law, including offences involving bribery of public officials, wire fraud (deprivation of honest services and scheme to defraud), bribery of foreign public officials and conspiracy.

July 9, 2006:  Otunba Michael Adenuga Arrested and Detained for Questioning by EFCC.  He is released on bail two days later.

July 10, 2006:   Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan rules that the unprecedented FBI raid of Jefferson's office was legal.

July 19, 2006: Nigerian Vice-President Atiku Abubakar denies that he accepted bribes or had a business relationship with Jefferson.

August 7, 2006:  EFCC writes to Atiku, asking him to provide documents in relation to US investigation of Jefferson

August 11, 2006: Muhammad Babangida,  first son of former military president Ibrahim Babangida  arrested EFCC from his Abuja hotel suite.  He is released the next day.

August 15, 2006:  Operatives of EFCC  invade the head office of Globacom and went away with documents and computers

August 17, 2006:  Otunba Michael Adenuga reportedly flees Nigeria, reportedly to Ghana (or to London).

August 24, 2006: Date of  156-page EFCC Investigation Report Ref. EFCC/EC/01/104.  President Constitutes an administrative panel headed by Attorney-General Bayo Ojo, and including FCT Minister, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, Education Minister, Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili, Minister of State for Water Resources, Mr. Dada and the National Security Adviser, Major General Sarki Muktar (rtd).

September 5, 2006:  VP Atiku meets with adminstrative panel head by AG Bayo Ojo to present his side of the matter.

September 6, 2006:  President Obasanjo discusses EFCC report with his Federal Executive Council, after asking Abubakar Atiku to leave the meeting. Obasanjo forwards report to the Senate for its information and possible action.

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In anticipation of 2007

April 14, 2007 - State elections (Governors, State Assemblies)

April 21, 2007 - Federal Elections (Presidential, National Assembly)

May 29, 2007 - Handover by Obasanjo/Atiku to new administration

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