By DanTijjo Tijani Jalloh
Mr. Peter Gregory Onwubuasi Obi, former Governor of Anambra State, and now presidential candidate of the Labour Party LP in the 2023 elections, serially violated the law by failing to declare to the Code of Conduct, Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and other relevant agencies.
These actions were secret until the Pandora Papers revelations and investigations report that exposed how Mr. Obi incorporated offshore holdings, which he did not declare to the Code of Conduct Bureau or other agencies when he served as governor and how he continued to manage Next International Nigeria Limited, Guardian Express Mortgage Bank Limited, Guardian Express Bank Plc, Future View Securities Limited, Paymaster Nigeria Limited, Chams Nigeria Limited, Data Corp Limited and Card Centre, 14 months after becoming a governor and in addition continued to operate a foreign account as a governor and other assets tucked away in secret havens, to evade tax compliance.
Mr. Obi has continued to deceive gullible Nigerians since becoming the governor as an advocate of good governance, openness and transparency. It will be recalled that when he was governor of Anambra State he swore never to give any land (C of O) to any Pentecostal Church, because he deemed them to be “one-man business ventures,” and, as such, gave land to the Catholic church to which he belongs, which led to the growth of the Church members today in the hierarchy of leadership in Anambra as against other churches.
Investigation also shows that Peter Obi does not have a house or residence in Anambra State, but has a house in Lagos, but resides in hotels in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja and other states.
In addition to deceiving the public and Nigeria, his rhetoric governance records and statistics-laden prescriptions for Nigeria’s development and economy which fact-checks have revealed are all false. He talks about how hugely successful he became in business before diving into the murky waters of politics. He is never shy to brag about his numerous business affiliations and accomplishments all gotten when he became governor of Anambra State.
Reports and due diligence on Mr. Obi have it that, beyond his façade of priggish speeches and appearances, he is not entirely transparent in his affairs as he likes Nigerians to believe. He has, for long, been living a fake, false private life, as a business executive that has earned his efforts from legitimate income, whereas he has actually dipped his hands in the public till to enrich himself and family.
The Pandora Papers investigation is part of the global International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, ICIJ-led Pandora Papers Project. The project saw 600 journalists from 150 news organizations around the world poring through trove of 11.9 million confidential files, documents, and contextualizing information, tracking down sources and analyzing public records.
The leaked files were retrieved from some offshore services firms around the globe that set up Shell Companies and offshore entities for clients many of them influential politicians, businessmen and criminals, seeking to conceal their financial dealings.
Mr. Peter Obi was one of the individuals whose hidden business activities was thrown open by the project as he has a number of secret business dealings and relationships that he has, for decades, kept to his chest as the funds used in these businesses were ill-gotten, ostensibly, from Anambra State, when he was governor. These are businesses he clandestinely set up and operated overseas, including the notorious tax secrecy havens in ways that breached Nigerians laws.
The former governor admitted that he did not declare these companies and the funds and properties they hold in his asset declaration filings with the Code of Conduct Bureau (the Nigerian government agency that deals with issues of corruption, conflicts of interest and abuse of office by public servants).
This, to our knowledge, is fraudulent and a corrupt practice of the first order for Mr. Obi to have failed to declare all his property and funds, running into billions of dollars and tax payers’ funds from Anambra State. He said he was unaware that the law required and expected him to declare assets or companies he jointly owns with his family members or anyone else, which we believe, is a big lie, as ignorance is not an excuse in law. He deliberately took advantage of the system to corner funds meant for development in Anambra State to his private pocket.
The leaked records came from 14 offshore services firms from around the world that set up Shell Companies and other offshore nooks for clients like Mr. Obi, who seek to shroud their financial activities, often suspicious, in secrecy as the funds are not legitimate.
Mr. Peter Obi has two children, Gabriella Nwamaka Francis Obi, and a son, Gregory Peter Oseloka Obi. Sometime in 2010, more than four years after he became governor, the politician developed an appetite to set up his first discreet company in the British Virgin Island. He named the company Gabriella Investments Limited (after his daughter).
To set up a fraudulent and tax evasive convoluted business structure, Mr. Obi approached Access International, a secrecy enabler in Monaco, France, to help him incorporate an offshore entity in one of the world’s most notorious tax havens noted for providing safe haven for criminals, tax evaders, and conduit pipes for wealthy and privileged corrupt political elites to hide stolen cash to avoid the attention of tax authorities.
These tax haven countries are politically and economically stable offshore jurisdictions with extensive laws and systems that provide little or no tax obligations, but enable high secrecy and privacy protection for stolen foreign individuals and businesses.
Against all known facts, Mr. Obi also paid Access International to provide nominee directors for the company. These nominee directors are residents of tax havens paid to sit on boards of companies to hide the identities of real owners of offshore firms. After accepting the brief from Mr. Peter Obi/his representatives, Access International officials headed to the British Virgin Island, a notorious tax haven, where they constructed a registered agent – Aleman Cordero Galindo & Lee Trust (BVI) Limited (A Lcoga1) to set up the Gabriella Investments Limited for Mr. Obi.
After the leak of the offshore accounts, President Muhammadu Buhari directed that all individuals involved in the Pandora’s Papers should be investigated by the anti-corruption agencies and accordingly, the EFCC communicated the invitation to Mr. Obi on the 27th October, 2021, to face investigators which case is on-going as we write.
Mr. Peter Obi is a hypocrite, pure and simple, all his sermons of fiscal federation all these years are already what is in the public domain, and there is nothing new to what he says now. Political hypocrisy in Nigeria is so pervasive that it calls to mind so many shenanigans perpetrated by our political class due to their stomachs. They are stealing our fortunes while camouflaging as the voice of the poor masses.
This piece is on Peter Obi, an archetypical case of hypocrisy and his recent political pandering. Accordingly, Peter Obi’s hypocrisy summarized therefore involves the outward expression of a virtue concurrently with the practice of a correlative vice. He hobnobs with the people in and around Anambra that have fleeced the state and the country he eulogizes people who have wastefully spent on armoured cars through funds gotten from public till and wines and dines with people with shady characters and still considers himself “above board.”
According to Churchill Okonkwo, “Peter Obi is a hypocrite! A man that campaigned for the re-election of the most careless and the most dangerous corrupt government in the history of Nigeria is deceiving the gullible. We had a National Security Adviser that turned himself into a Father Christmas, but instead of giving the kids, he gave the fire-breathing monsters that plundered the national wealth. The same monsters Peter Obi vigorously campaigned to re-elect in 2015. Peter’s hypocrisy thus reminds me of politicians who, according to Adlai Stevenson, would cut down a red wood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conversation,” he stated. Obi is a political panderer and a wonderful epistle on fiscal conservatism.
The people of Anambra will not forget in a hurry, talking about spending for growth, how the saintly and Emperor Peter Obi made caricature of governance during his second tenure by dashing millions of Naira to amorphous groups, while displaying larger than life cheques. All you ever hear from him is, “I,” “I,” never “we,” never “my administration,” “my commissioner.” He never uses words like “we” or “our administration.”
As governor, he was then the alpha and omega with all the state and local government resources at his beck and call and pleasure. Is that the standard of democracy we should be promoting and go as far as opening bogus secret accounts offshore?
Peter Obi ruled Anambra State with iron fist like a dictator for eight years without reforming or transforming a single ministry, agency or local government area within those years. Most still, there has been no single interest or investment to develop human capital, but an embodiment of personal aggrandizement and selfishness.
One wonders, why do voters give hypocrites a pass? Why are Nigerians eulogizing the fraudulent pretence in Peter Obi’s saying: “mannerisms” elements at the same time ignoring the “doing” element of hypocrisy in his behaviour?
Those who know Peter Obi very well will attest to the fact that he has been a drug dealer beginning from his days as an undergraduate at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, UNN. He was hardly attending lectures and only managed to graduate with a pass in Philosophy after spending years in the university. His brother-in-law who incidentally is one of the hirelings used by him for his nefarious drug trafficking business and courier is currently languishing in jail in far away London. This is known to be the major cause of strain between Obi and his in-laws. It is widely known and on record, that his closeness to Dubem Obazie was because he (Dubem) served jail term for drug trafficking, because of Peter Obi.
Peter Obi should explain his relationship with former Military Administrator, Governor Ibim Princewill and Col. Earnest Kizito Attah of Cross River State, whom he helped as a conduit pipe to fleece Cross River State government, thus contributing to the under-development of the state.
Mr. Obi should also explain to Nigerians the circumstances surrounding his father’s death which remains his best kept secret. We can reveal authoritatively that Obi’s father was drowned to death by Obi’s associates in the drug trade whom he short-changed in a business drug deal, prompting the mafia to kill the old man whom they drowned with bound hands and feet tied to bricks round his neck. Let “Saint” Obi explain
how he expended his security vote (N320 million from local government; and N380 million from the state FAC accounts) when he was governor.
Mr. Peter Obi confesses and professes to be an ardent Catholic for political expediency, let him explain to Nigerians and his Catholic faithful his relationship with the Olumba, Olumba Obu, OOO, cult sect where his wife is a known member. It is also on record that he met the wife at a night club in Auchi. The lady is confirmed to have had two children from two different men, an Albino and a Ghanaian. The affirmed Catholic is yet to wed his wife in the church. Up till date, Obi has not given satisfactory explanation as to how he looted the state then using his brother, Ndibe Obi, Ejike Onwusogbulu and a certain Chidi Agbapu, a Lagos State stock broker as a conduits for money laundering, while so many youths then were unemployed. Though Mr. Obi was elected Governor on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, it is on record that he never convened an APGA meeting for once, thereby destroying the entire party structure. Let him also explain to Nigerians why under him, Ndi Anambra State allocation grew wings, including the only state that doesn’t have elected officials of local governments, thereby allocating all the funds to himself.
His treachery has led to astronomical numbers of Igbo deaths. Peter Obi formally joined the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on the 8th day of October, 2014, after years of riding on the ship called APGA, powered by the unconditional support of the Igbos as a consequence of their undiluted belief in the Late Odumegwu Ojukwu. Peter Obi was adopted as a son of Odumegwu Ojukwu, and before you say Jack Robinson, he had brought the party to its knees amongst numerous promises and assurances when Dim Ojukwu was no longer alive.
Peter Obi jumped ship and he is a man of vain ambition of ‘self’ rather than ‘us’ or ‘we.’ He is not a man of integrity, not to talk of honour: the exploitation and abuse of Igbo people’s trust complete and total when Peter Obi collectively intoxicated the Igbo population with “HERO” brand of beer, with Biafran logo of “the rising sun” as label. The consumption of the beer became a religion for the Igbos. This goes to show that Obi is truly an Igbo man who believes in Biafra rather than Nigeria. So, Peter Obi deceived Nigerians when he wanted to port to PDP, he used the reason that he needed to move so as to support Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GEJ, to win the presidential election, which is also a big lie.
Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo has the inalienable right to speak his mind on Peter Obi’s record and candidacy. He said “Peter Obi knows he can’t and won’t win. The game he is playing is the main reason he didn’t return to APGA. The brutal truth is that there are two persons/parties seriously contesting for President; the rest is exciting drama …. The current fleeting frenzy, if not checked, will cost Ndigbo dearly for years.”
The former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, publicly declared unequivocally that Obi would not win the 2023 elections. In a long piece, he personally wrote in response to strident attacks by loyalists of Peter Obi, who he describes as social media mobs. In the piece entitled, ‘History beckons and I will not be silent (Part1)’ that it amounts to political suicide for Obi to think that he could win with having no political structure, adding, “creating a credible third force for presidential election in Nigeria requires a totally different strategy and extreme hard work,” and not so many media brouhaha or social media attacks of opponents.
On 12th November, 2013, Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, leader Chief Ralph Uwazuruike said Peter Obi and Achike Udenwa are responsible for numerous deaths of Biafran agitators. This reminds us about the 2006 shoot-on-sight order by Governor Peter Obi that massacred about 2,000 MASSOB members innocently as reported by Igbo Mandate Group also on 16th November, 2015 in their document.
During these periods in question, spanning till 2009, Nigerian soldiers were on rampage at Onitsha, Nnewi, Oba Ihiala and environs shooting, killing and maiming anything that had a suspicion of being MASSOB. As the shootings were going on, real MASSOB members escaped into various dens, while stranded travellers, unsuspecting traders and residents were branded MASSOB and killed.
By the time the exercise was over, an estimated 5,000 people were killed and the affected families took the remains of their relatives and buried quietly to avoid being killed too by the rampaging soldiers ordered by Peter Obi.
All the wickedness was at the behest of an APGA governor claiming to be a follower of ex-Biafran leader Odumegwu Ojukwu. Today, these same people are secretly funding aspects of the pro-Biafra agitations and aspects of hate speeches against other tribes due to political downturn. The Igbo race must remind themselves that the greatest enemies of the Igbo’s common good are not Buhari, Tinubu and their APC as being bandied now. It is the Igbo politicians who corner the lot of their people for personal aggrandizement. The same Igbo leaders that invited troops to kill unarmed civilians without exhausting avenues of negotiations and diplomacy.
Up till date, thousands of members were killed, including a pregnant woman and 65 others still missing. On 6th February, 2013 some corpses were found floating on Egu River in Amansea Community. These corpses were those of MASSOB members, who were arrested in the state and secretly executed on the orders of Peter Obi without proper trial to cover their tracks.
Some of the executed members were identified as Basil Ogbu, Michael Ogwu, Sunday Omogo, Philip Nwankpa, Eze Ndubisi, Ebuka Eze, Obinna Ofor, Joseph Udoh and Uchechukwu Ejiofor. They were said to have been arrested at MASSOB security office, Onitsha, Anambra State on 9th November, 2012. They were said to have later been detained until their suspicious disappearance till date.
Peter Obi is very culpable as he was in charge and was the one that invited Federal troops to do the extra-judicial killings, not minding they were his kit and kin, but just because of power. So, going by these, what do Nigerians think Peter Obi will do if given power as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria? It is obvious that as an avowed Biafran, he would order for the unlawful arrest of select politicians and some Nigerians and do the same thing he did to his fellow Igbos who professed to be members of MASSOB!
Peter Obi is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He is a pretender of the first order, who will do anything and whatever it takes to deceive the gullible Nigerian youths including attending churches and mosques in order to become President. He will sell his heart to the devil just to lead. But unfortunately for him, no Igbo governor from the South-East
states is behind him. This is obvious, because they know his antecedents and trademarks very well as someone who is only interested in self-adulation and personal aggrandizement, including self-serving ordinate ambition of an egotist.
A vote for Peter Obi is a vote for IPOB, a vote for Biafra. Nigerians should be careful not to vote for a sectional leadership that believes so much in the Biafran agitation through his naming of his beer conglomerate with the brand logo and flag design.
When he was governor of Anambra State he sent the northern/Hausa community back home through lorry loads of them and asked that they must have identity cards for them to be in the state. He marginalized the north and drove them back home in droves and on cattle vans.
He stopped non-Igbos from having stores and shops when he was governor till date in Anambra and including marginalizing all other tribes from contracts, financial assistance and any other business that will empower humanity. He is so sectional, mean and wicked, always seeking revenge from anything done to him.