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Gbajabiamila: In The Face Of The Campaign Of Calumny And Lies | By Seun Oloketuyi

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Sixty-one-year-old Olufemi Hakeem Gbajabiamila CFR is one man whose political and life story makes a long-lasting – if not a lifelong – impression. SRK

Truth be told, Gbajabiamila’s trajectory in life and politics can be intimidating but should not be enough for many of his peers in politics, and even technocrats, to covertly abhor his person, office, success and consistently seek his downfall.

Though his antecedents and emergence in the world of politics, and governance may seem like only a lofty idea to many of his peers, who are yet to phantom the secret to his continued rise, a good number of Nigerian youths look up to him as a role model, one in whom a new Nigeria can lay her foundation.

Sadly, in the realm of public discourse, politics, and sometimes governance, the lines between truth and deception can be blurry, hence, giving rise to ‘false positives,’ ‘false negatives,’ and ‘false analyses.’

Since he was appointed the Chief of Staff to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in June 2023, tons of baseless allegations and claims have been made against the person and office of the former Speaker of the House of Representatives.

For a man of stature, who has traversed the corridors of power as Minority Leader of the House of Representatives of Nigeria in the 7th Assembly, House Leader of the House of Representatives of Nigeria in the 8th Assembly, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Nigeria in the 9th Assembly, and yet remains unblemished, one begins to wonder why the campaign of calumny and lies?

From the accusations of transgressions with an air of certitude to claims of monetary inducements to shielding select individuals and altering the fate of others, the campaign of calumny and lies keeps rearing an ugly head like that of Medusa, the most famous of the monster figures in Greek mythology.

At some point in 2023, it was alleged that Gbajabiamila formed and headed a cabal in Aso Rock, at other times, individuals seeking board appointments allegedly bribed him to have their way, and recently, he’s alleged to be interfering in the job of the Special Investigator appointed by his principal, so much so that he allegedly diverted a whopping sum of $30billion refund of loot and largesse to his private coffers.

Yet, these allegations stand unsupported by the pillars of evidence since his appointment over seven months ago.

The claims and allegations have been, categorically, found to be nothing more than malevolent fabrications orchestrated with the intent of tarnishing the reputation of a steadfast public servant.

A quick look into Gbajabiamila’s emergence and 16-year service in the House of Representatives shows no record of blemished or corrupt practices. In the house, he held the position of Minority Leader in the 7th assembly between June 2007 and June 2015, and House Leader in the 8th assembly, Gbajabiamila was not for once found wanting neither was he accused nor indicted for fraud or corruption practices.

Even as a Speaker of the House of Representatives, where he reigned for four years and controlled over 800 agencies, not for once was he found culpable of any corrupt or fraudulent practices.

Then, one begins to wonder why the campaign of calumny and lies against Gbajabiamila for accepting to continue to serve Nigeria alongside his godfather and principal, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Despite being instrumental to the emergence of the current speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, he has neither instigated the administrative arm of the government against the judiciary nor vice versa. Aside from meditating on issues of national interest as directed by his principal, Gbajabiamila has stayed clear of turfs that are not within his jurisdiction. Hence, many begin to wonder, who is after Gbajabiamila so desperately that flawed claims and allegations keep rearing their heads and consistently meeting a brick wall of fact and proof.

The road to Gbajabiamila’s emergence, as Chief of Staff to the 16th President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has been filled with dignity, integrity, steadfastness, and unblemished records yet some corrupt individuals with ulterior motives to cause unrest and discomfort in the relationship that exists between Tinubu and Gbajabiamila to evade justice or their fate keeps throwing a spanner in the cogwheels of progress and patriotism.

On the recent claim and allegation of diversion of a whopping $30 billion, again, it is a figment of the imagination of individuals filled with bile against Gbajabiamila just as the Chief of Staff to the President has proven over time that he will neither interfere nor get involved in the process of any investigation, either instituted by his principal or security agencies.

With nothing in his cupboard to hide other than his good-looking attires, it is so obvious that many people are trying to come in between Gbajabiamila and Tinubu because he enjoys the audience of his boss and is publicly known to have the eyes and ears of the president.

BIG STORY

MOHBAD: Late Singer’s Family Conducts Fresh Autopsy

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The family of late singer Mohbad (born Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba) has ordered a second toxicology test to uncover the truth behind his mysterious death on September 12.

Following his burial the next day, Mohbad’s body was exhumed on September 21 for an autopsy, which was conducted on the same day.

However, in May, it was revealed that the pathologist conducting the autopsy informed the coroner that Mohbad’s body had decomposed by the time the test was performed, potentially compromising the results.

The new toxicology test aims to provide clarity on the circumstances surrounding his death.

The pathologist also said the cause of the singer’s death could not be ascertained.

Mohbad’s autopsy result from the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) showed that “no significant gross finding” could be attributed to the singer’s death.

The toxicology “revealed the positive finding of Diphenhydramine, an anti-histamine; however, this concentration was not in a fatal or lethal range”.

Last month, the Aloba family rejected the autopsy result while also demanding an independent post-mortem and toxicology test.

In a statement on Tuesday, Monisola Odumosu, a member of Aloba’s legal team, said a two-part autopsy is being conducted on Mohbad.

She disclosed that the first phase had been carried out last week while the second part involved “a toxicology and histology test”.

The lawyer added that the procedure was witnessed by Joseph Aloba, Mohbad’s father, and a pathologist representing Wunmi, the late singer’s wife.

“The second autopsy as requested by the Aloba family and ordered by the Magistrate of the Coroner Court, Ms. T.A. Shotobi, was conducted on Friday, July 19, and Saturday, July 20, 2024. This autopsy is a two-part exercise, with the first part now completed,” the statement reads in part.

“If the cause of death cannot be determined from this initial examination, the second part will proceed, involving a toxicology and histology test on the necessary samples already obtained.

“This comprehensive procedure, conducted last Friday, was witnessed only by Mr. Joseph Aloba, the forensic pathologist appointed by Mr. Joseph Aloba and his team, legal representatives of both Mr. Joseph Aloba and  a pathologist appointed by Wunmi Aloba to observe the procedure.”

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Nigeria’s Foreign Reserves Now $37bn, Up By $2bn In 18 Days — CBN Governor Cardoso

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The country’s foreign exchange reserves have surged to $37.05 billion as of July 18 according to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

CBN Governor Yemi Cardoso announced this development during a press briefing on Tuesday, following the 296th Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja.

The reserves experienced a significant boost, rising by $2.35 billion from $34.70 billion at the end of June to $37.05 billion in just 18 days.

“As of July 18, 2024, external reserves stood at US$37.05 billion, compared with US$34.70 billion as of June 2024. This represents 11 months of import cover for goods and services,” Cardoso said.

However, according to data published by CBN and seen by TheCable, Nigeria’s foreign reserves stood between $35.93 billion as of July 18, and $36.23 billion as of July 22, less than what Cardoso presented.

On July 18, CBN approved the sale of foreign exchange (FX) to eligible bureau de change (BDC) operators at N1,450 per dollar to meet the demand for invisible transactions.

Days after, CBN said foreign currencies worth $106.5 million were sold to authorised dealers.

CBN said the aim is to improve supply in the FX market in tandem with its price stability mandate.

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President Tinubu Signs South-East, North-West Development Commission Bills Into Law

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President Bola Tinubu has officially signed into law the South-East and North-West Development Commission bills.

The South-East Development Commission bill was sponsored by Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu, who represents the Bende Federal Constituency of Abia State.

After passing through the Senate and House of Representatives, the bill was transmitted to the President in June for his assent.

With the signing of the bill into law, the Commission will now receive funding to execute various projects in the South-East geopolitical zone.

The allocated funds will be used to address environmental challenges such as erosion, as well as reconstruct and rehabilitate roads in Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo, and Anambra states.

This move is expected to bring significant development and infrastructure improvements to the region.

In a statement issued by Levinus Nwabughiogu, his chief press secretary, Kalu expressed appreciation to the president for signing the bill into law.

The deputy speaker said the commission will “rehabilitate Igbo land” and foster unity among the people.

Tinubu also signed the north-west development commission bill into law.

Jibrin Barau, deputy senate president and sponsor of the bill, said the signing of the proposed legislation is a “testament” to Tinubu’s “commitment to addressing the challenges facing the north-west geopolitical zone and indeed all parts of the country”.

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