- Wole Soyinka, Enahoro, Olu Falae, Akinrinade charged with treason
- Jonathan pardoned ex-Bayelsa gov, Alamieyeseigha who was convicted of stealing millions of dollars
- Ex-President Jonathan ordered a forensic audit over claims of missing $20 billion from petroleum sales
According to David McCullough, history is a guide to navigation in perilious times. It is who we are and why we are the way we are.
History is a potent tool that improves education and sharpens understanding. Only those who really lived through it can tell the history of a civilization with any degree of accuracy.
Nigerians are the best at rewriting their own history. For the sake of education, we must consciously recall the past.
Nonetheless, three significant events impacted the history of March 12 in Nigeria. Not only are these events noteworthy, but they also significantly affect Nigeria’s development, encompassing both its happy and unhappy times.
Wole Soyinka, Enahoro, Olu Falae, Akinrinade charged with treason
On this date, 12th of March in 1997, Nigerian government charged Chief Anthony Enahoro, Chief Olu Falae, Prof. Wole Soyinka, General Ipoola Alani Akinrinade and others with treason in connection with a series of bombings of army installations.
Eight dissidents who were arrested inside the country, most of them members of the National Democratic Coalition, or Nadeco, had the treason charges read to them in court. The case was adjourned until May 9.
Since the beginning of a mysterious bombing campaign that has been aimed at military buses, airports and army installations, the Nigerian Government has caustically denounced Mr. Soyinka, along with what remains of Nigeria’s once-vigorous opposition.
Although he has never condemned the bombings, Mr. Soyinka has denied any connection with them.
Jonathan pardoned ex-Bayelsa gov, Alamieyeseigha who was convicted of stealing millions of dollars
On this date, 12th of March in 2013, Jonathan led administration pardoned ex-Bayelsa Governor, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.
Recall that Alamieyeseigha, who was Goodluck Jonathan’s political benefactor was convicted of stealing millions of dollars while serving as Bayelsa state governor (1999-2005).
Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, ex-governor of oil producing Bayelsa state and ally of Jonathan, was sentenced to two years jail in 2007 on charges of corruption and money laundering.
It was the first case of a top politician being convicted for graft in the nation’s history. He served just days of his sentence after spending nearly two years in detention awaiting trial. The pardon will enable him to re-enter politics if he chooses.
Anti-corruption campaigners say sentences handed down to powerful politicians for graft are too soft, and are often less than those handed to petty thieves and robbers.
Nuhu Ribadu, former head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that prosecuted Alamieyeseigha, said the pardon was “shocking and unbelievable”.
Ex-President Jonathan ordered a forensic audit over claims of missing $20 billion from petroleum sales
On this date, 12th of March in 2014, Goodluck Jonathan ordered a forensic audit by international firms into some $20 billion allegedly missing from petroleum sales, following weeks of public outrage and demands by a Senate committee and the finance minister.
Jonathan’s announcement came buried in a statement attacking ousted Central Bank Gov. Lamido Sanusi, insisting that his suspension last month was unrelated to his whistle-blowing about what it calls “the phantom missing funds.”
In a statement dated Wednesday, Jonathan also denied Sanusi’s charges that the money has been diverted to fund campaigning for February 2015 elections where the governing People’s Democratic Party will face its biggest challenge since taking power in 1994 elections that ended decades of military dictatorship.
Sanusi said the money came from sales made between January 2012 and July 2013 by the state-owned Nigeria National Petroleum Corp. that was not remitted to the treasury. It is unclear whether the money, at a rate of more than $1 billion a month, is still being diverted.
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