President Jonathan’s Kinsmen Feud In Court Over N155 Election Largesse

No Comments » May 10th, 2015 posted by // Categories: Elections 2015



 

SAHARA REPORTERS

President Jonathan’s Kinsmen Feud In Court Over N155 Election Largesse
A N155 million-election largess is at the center of a fierce legal battle between two members of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Ijaw ethnic group, SaharaReporters has learned.

BY SAHARAREPORTERS, NEW YORKMAY 09, 2015

A N155 million-election largess is at the center of a fierce legal battle between two members of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Ijaw ethnic group, SaharaReporters has learned.

Wisdom Oniekpar Ikuli, the national director of mobilization and chairman of the Action Committee of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), has sued Azibaola Robert, a lawyer and managing director/chief executive of Kakaatar Engineering Limited, formerly known as Mangrovetech Engineering Limited. The defendant is also the founder of the Good House as well as initiator of the #TheGoodluckThumb, a pro-Jonathan campaign group.

Mr. Ikuli’s lawsuit, which is filed at an Abuja High Court, alleges breach of contract by Mr. Robert. The lawsuit has been scheduled for hearing on Thursday May 28, 2015.

The lawsuit seeks arose out of a dispute between the two men over payment for political services that Mr. Ikuli asserts he fulfilled, accusing the defendant of failing to pay him. The plaintiff is asking the high court to order Mr. Robert to pay him N155 million, being the reported value of their contract.

A source close to Mr. Ikuli told SaharaReporters that the plaintiff was deeply involved in Mr. Jonathan’s reelection campaign through the Ijaw Youth Council For Goodluck 2015, a group he reportedly founded and funded. The source said Mr. Robert had hired the plaintiff to help run the #TheGoodluckThumb, an initiative that had existed for more than one year without much traction until Mr. Ikuli began to spearhead it, reportedly transforming it into a nationally visible group.

Mr. Ikuli’s associate told our correspondent that Mr. Robert, one of the closest allies of President Jonathan, received more than N20 billion to run the president’s reelection campaign.

Mr. Ikuli accuses the defendant of using him and other groups as stooges, without releasing what was due to them. “This is one of the major reasons behind the failure of Mr. President in the just-concluded presidential election,” said our source. He added: “Most of his trusted friends and allies betrayed him by refusing to release monies that were entrusted to them. The same thing happened in 2011. After the victory of Mr. President, the over 3000 pro-Jonathan supporters were abandoned, only to be called upon again in 2015.”

Several political operatives also accused Mr. Robert of abandoning numerous contracts that Mr. Jonathan had awarded to him. “He totally abandoned some contracts without doing anything or abandoned them after doing only 35% of the projects,” one critic said. According to the accusers, the list of contracts reportedly abandoned by Mr. Robert’s firms include the sand-filling of the Bayelsa State Cargo Airport worth N10 billion; the Maitama extension (infrastructure) worth N150 billion; the supply of engineering materials at N67 billion; the waterfront shore protection at Otuoke and Ayakoromo at the total cost of N5 billion; the reclamation project at Akipilai community at the cost of N5 billion; the internal road networks at Otuoke at the cost of N4 billion; construction of 2000 hostel rooms at the Federal University, Otuoke at the cost of N4 billion; and the construction of the Opume/Okoroba seven mile road at the cost of N10 billion.

Mr. Robert’s accusers also allege that he changed the name of his company from Mangrovetech Engineering Limited to Kakaatar Engineering after piling up a series of abandoned projects awarded to Mangrovetech.

An ally of Mr. Ikuli’s told SaharaReporters that his associate had to file a lawsuit against Mr. Robert because the various political groups the plaintiff had mobilized to work for Mr. Jonathan’s reelection were pressuring him to pay them. “Barrister Robert refused to pay him what they agreed, yet everyday the pressure groups he engaged to fight for Mr. President are mounting pressure on him to settle them. He made several calls on Barrister Robert to pay up, but the calls were not heeded. So he decided to go to court to iron out the matter,” said the source.

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