18 ways Julian Assange changed the world (long piece)


3 Jun, 2019 by Lee Camp

18 ways Julian Assange changed the world (by Lee Camp)

© Global Look Press / ZUMAPRESS.com / Paco Freire

WikiLeaks revealed US war crimes, government corruption, and corporate media’s servile flattery to the power elite. If you’re a member of our ruling class, you would view those as textbook examples of treachery…

In an evolved and fully realized society, the oligarchy would see Assange as a dangerous criminal (which they do), and the average working men and women would view him as justice personified (which they don’t). We would celebrate him even as the mass media told us to hope for his downfall—like a Batman or a Robin Hood or an Ozzy Osbourne (the early years, not the cleaning-dog-turds-off-his-carpet years).

But we are not evolved and this is not Gotham City and average Americans don’t root for the truth. Many Americans cheer for Assange’s imprisonment. They believe the corporate plutocratic talking points and yearn for the days when we no longer have to hear about our country’s crimes against humanity or our bankers’ crimes against the economy. Subconsciously they must believe that a life in which we’re tirelessly exploited by rich villains and know all about it thanks to the exhaustive efforts of an eccentric Australian is worse than one in which we’re tirelessly exploited by rich villains yet know nothing about it.

“Ignorance is bliss” is the meditative mantra of the United States of America.

Julian Assange has been arrested and is now locked away in British custody. The U.S. government wants to extradite him, regardless of the official version, for the crime of revealing our government’s crimes. Nearly every government on our third rock from the sun despises the man for bringing transparency to the process of ruling the unwashed masses. (The level of wash has, however, increased thanks to aggressive marketing campaigns from a variety of shampoo brands.)

It is politically inconvenient at this time for the screaming corporate news to remind our entire citizenry what exactly WikiLeaks has done for us. So you won’t see the following list of WikiLeaks’ accomplishments anywhere on your corporate airwaves—in the same way the mainstream media did not begin every report about Chelsea Manning’s trial with a rundown of the war crimes she helped reveal.

And Chelsea Manning’s most famous leak is arguably also WikiLeaks’ most famous leak, so it’ll top this list:Read moreExposing ‘collateral murder’ and mass surveillance: Why the world should be grateful to Assange

1) That would be the notorious Collateral Murder video, showing U.S. air crew gunning down unarmed Iraqi civilians with an enthusiasm that couldn’t be matched by an eight-year-old winning a five-foot-tall stuffed animal at the county fair. They murdered between 12 and 18 innocent people, two of them Reuters journalists.

Zero people have been arrested for the collateral murders. Yet Julian Assange has been arrested for revealing them.

2) WikiLeaks brought us the Guantanamo Bay “Camp Delta Standard Operating Procedures”—showing that many of the prisoners held on the U.S. military detention facility were completely innocent, and that some were hidden from Red Cross officials. (Because when you’re torturing innocent people, you kinda want to do that in peace and quiet, away from prying eyes. It’s very easy to get distracted, and then you lose your place and have to start all over again.) 

None of the soldiers torturing innocent people at Gitmo have been arrested for it. Yet Julian Assange has been arrested for revealing it.

3) Not content with revealing only war crimes, WikiLeaks in 2008 came out with the secret bibles of Scientology, which showed that aliens, um, run the world or… aliens are inside all of us or… aliens give us indigestion. I can’t really remember.

But no one has ever been arrested for perpetrating that nutbag cult. Yet Julian Assange has for revealing it.

Many people believe WikiLeaks has unveiled only crimes of the American government, but that’s completely false. The U.S. corporate media doesn’t want average Americans to understand that WikiLeaks has upped the level of transparency around the world.ALSO ON RT.COM6 of WikiLeaks’ biggest ever document dumps

4–9) WikiLeaks posted videos of Tibetan dissidents in China fighting back, videos which were not allowed to be viewed in China. They revealed the Peru oil scandal, and that Russia was spying on its citizens’ cell phones, and the Minton Report on toxic dumping in Africa, and the Syria Files—showing the inner workings of the Syrian government. And WikiLeaks displayed to the global audience a secret Australian supreme court gag order that stopped the Australian press from reporting on a huge bribery scandal that involved the central bank and international leaders.

Assange is hated by governments around the world. As much as they may like transparency, when it comes to other countries (specifically the United States), they don’t want their own particular pile of s**t on full display. It’s kinda like when most people laugh heartily after an up-skirt photo of a celebrity is published in the tabloids, but at the same time, none of us want up-skirt photos of us all over the web. (I know I don’t because I haven’t shaved up there since Carter was in office.)

As far as I know, none of the political figures involved in these scandals have gone to prison for participating in them. Yet Julian Assange has for revealing them.

10) Let’s not forget the Iraq War logs—hundreds of thousands of documents relating to America’s illegal invasion of Iraq, which we called a “war,” but I think a war needs to have two sides. Iraq’s elite Republican Guard turned out to be three guys and a donkey… and the donkey didn’t even have good aim.

So far as I can tell, no one committing the war crimes evidenced in the Iraq War logs has been locked up for them. Yet Julian Assange has for revealing them.Read moreBilderberg 2019: Who’s going and what will they be discussing?

11) WikiLeaks showed us the highly secretive Bilderberg Group meeting reports. The Bilderberg Group is made up of incredibly powerful men and women who get together and decide how to rule over all of us street people, all the while sitting on thrones made from the bones of the babies of nonbelievers. They’re often accused of being lizard people, but really they’re just regular ol’ sociopaths with lizard skin they purchased from a plastic surgeon in Malibu for half a million dollars. I don’t think anyone from the Bilderberg Group is being tortured in solitary confinement right now. Yet Julian Assange is for revealing who they are.

12) The Barclays Bank tax avoidance scheme netted Barclays one billion pounds a year.

While it was ordered to pay 500 million pounds in lost taxes, no one was arrested for that theft from citizens. Yet Julian Assange was for revealing it.

13) The Afghan War Diaries consisted of 92,000 documents related to our destruction of Afghanistan. They detailed friendly fire incidents and civilian casualties. According to WikiLeaks, the diaries showed that “When reporting their own activities U.S. Units are inclined to classify civilian kills as insurgent kills, downplay the number of people killed or otherwise make excuses for themselves.”

It’s tough to read this without being floored at the comedy routine that our military actions have become. I picture this scenario happening every day in Afghanistan:

U.S. Soldier #1: This guy we just killed was an insurgent.

U.S. Soldier #2: How do you know?

U.S. Soldier #1: Because we killed him.

U.S. Soldier #2: Why’d we kill him?

U.S. Soldier #1: Because he’s an insurgent.

U.S. Soldier #2: How do you know?

U.S. Soldier #1: Because we killed him.

(Repeat until lightheaded.)

I am unaware of anyone locked away for these war crimes. Yet Julian Assange is locked away—for revealing them.ALSO ON RT.COMCrushing a Whistleblower on a Wheel: The unrelenting witch-hunt of Julian Assange

14) WikiLeaks also unveiled hundreds of thousands of U.S. State Department cables that showed more clearly than ever how our secretive government rules its empire with little to no input from the American people. Among many other things, the cables revealed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordered diplomats to spy on French, British, Russian and Chinese delegations at the U.N. Security Council. It also showed that Arab nations urged the U.S. to strike Iran, and much more.

Our ruling elite of course view this as a massive breach of national security. That’s understandable. But that world view comes into play only if you think the elites are the only ones who should know how our nation is run. To answer this question for yourself, do the following experiment. Pull up a photo of Donald Trump—a really close-up image of his blister-colored, bulbous face. Now, look at it intensely for five minutes… After you’ve done that, tell me you want the ruling elite to be the only ones who know what the f**k is going on. Go ahead and try it—I’ll wait.

Ostensibly, the concept of our government was that the ruling class would be accountable to us, the average Americans. To you and me. To the workers and the number crunchers. To the single moms and the cashiers and the street sweepers and the fluffers on the porn sets. We’re supposed to vote based on our knowledge of how our government is functioning. But if the entirety of our representatives’ criminal behavior is labeled top secret for national security purposes, then we aren’t really an informed populace, are we?

So for all that was unveiled in the State Department cables, no one has been locked up. But Julian Assange has been for revealing them.

15) The Stratfor emails—this was millions of emails that showed how a private intelligence agency was used by its U.S. corporate and government clients to target activists and protesters.

No one at Stratfor is currently locked away. But Julian Assange is for revealing the truth.

16) Then there’s the trade deals. TPP, TISA and TTIP—all three amount to one of the largest attempts at corporate takeover ever conceived. All three were more secretive than Donald Trump’s taxes. Government officials and corporate lawyers and lobbyists wrote every word in private. Not even Congress saw the Trans-Pacific Partnership until very late in the process. The only organization to show the American citizens (and European citizens) some of those documents before they were made into law? WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks made us aware of the corporate restraints that were about to be placed on us, and that’s what allowed activists to pressure Trump to pull out of the TPP.

None of those secretive corporate titans are imprisoned for their attempted power grab, but Julian Assange is for revealing it.Read moreDNC argues it had the right to rig 2016 democratic primary

17) The DNC emails. I’ll explain for those of you who have been living in a cave that is itself inside a yellow-and-blue-makes-green sealed Tupperware container. The Democratic National Committee’s emails gave us proof concerning just how rigged the Democratic primaries really are. They proved the media was in bed with Hillary Clinton’s campaign. They even showed that Obama’s entire first-term cabinet was selected by Citibank. Yes, Citibank. (I would find it less offensive if his cabinet had been decided by a rabid raccoon, or the pus oozing out of Darth Vader’s face or Vince McMahon’s concussed frontal lobe.)

Whatever election integrity movement exists right now, it owes a lot to these revelations by WikiLeaks. After being sued over this matter, the DNC’s lawyers admitted in court that the DNC has no obligation to have a fair primary election. It’s their right to rig it.

But don’t try to get angry about this, because if you do, the CIA has a myriad ways to f**k up your life.

18) In 2017 WikiLeaks posted a trove of CIA documents called “Vault 7.” It detailed their capabilities, including remotely taking over cars, smart TVs, web browsers and smartphones.

After I found out about that, for a solid two weeks I thought, “Screw it. I’m going full Amish. One hundred percent. Let’s see the CIA hack my butter churn. Are they going to use backdoor software to get inside my rustic wooden bow-saw? Even if they could, what are they going to listen to—my conversation about how mee bobblin fraa redd up for rutschin’ ’round. Say no more! Schmunzla wunderbar!”

So is anybody at the CIA chained up for violating our privacy in every way possible? No, but Julian Assange is for revealing it.

By thrusting the truth upon the people of earth, WikiLeaks helped create movements worldwide like the Arab Spring and Occupy. And don’t forget, at first WikiLeaks and Assange were celebrated for their amazing work. In 2011 even Amnesty International hailed WikiLeaks as one of the Arab Spring catalysts. The Guardian said“The year 2010 may well be remembered as a watershed year when activists and journalists used new technology to speak truth to power and, in so doing, pushed for greater respect for human rights… It is also the year when repressive governments faced the real possibility that their days were numbered.”

So why have so many outlets and people turned against Assange and WikiLeaks? Because it turned out he wasn’t revealing only repressive Arab regimes. He also revealed U.S.-backed coups and war crimes around the world. He exposed the criminality and villainy of the American ruling elite.

Nothing published on WikiLeaks has ever been proven untrue. Compare that record to CNN, MSNBC, Fox News or any mainstream outlet. Assange has been nominated for multiple Nobel Peace Prizes, and nearly every respected media outlet has used source material from WikiLeaks in their reporting. Yet after all this and after seven years in captivity, the man who laid bare our criminal leaders and showed each one of us our chains is not receiving parades and accolades. He and those who helped him reveal the truth are the only ones endlessly punished.

UK seizes N82 billion from late Nigerian dictator Abacha’s account


Late Sani Abacha
Sani Abacha

The United Kingdom Government has seized £211,000,000, about N81.9billion, from a Jersey bank account that belonged to the late Nigerian dictator, Sani Abacha.

Mr Abacha died on June 8, 1998, after more than five years in office as Nigerian military head of state.

According to a report by UK Metro news medium, the money was put in accounts held in Jersey by Doraville Properties Corporation, a British Virgin Islands company.

The report further stated that the money is now being held by the government until authorities in Jersey, the US and Nigeria agree on how it should be distributed.

“Any money that Jersey does keep will be put into the Criminal Confiscation Fund, which is used to pay for a variety of projects. In the past, the fund has been used for the new police station and developments at La Moye Prison.

“It is expected that even more money held by Doraville is likely to be seized and paid into the Civil Asset Recovery Fund in the future,” the report said.

In 2014, at the request of the US authorities, the Island’s Attorney-General applied for, and the Royal Court granted, a restraining order over the Jersey bank account balance of Doraville.

“The purpose of the restraining order was to preserve the money until a final civil asset recovery order could be registered in the Royal Court. ”

Doraville applied to the Royal Court for the restraint order to be discharged, but the Royal Court dismissed the application in 2016.

Then in 2017, Doraville challenged the Royal Court’s decision, taking the case to Jersey’s Court of Appeal.

“That challenge was again rejected. Finally, following the decision of Jersey’s Court of Appeal, Doraville made an application to appeal against the restraint order before the Privy Council – Jersey’s ultimate appellate court.”

“In February 2018 the Privy Council announced its rejection of this final legal challenge. Last week, Solicitor General Mark Temple gave a presentation in Vienna, Austria, about Doraville at a UN conference on corruption.”

Mr Buhari on several occasions questioned the veracity of reports that Mr Abacha looted billions of dollars from the Nigerian treasury.

How decision to prosecute Tinubu at Code of Conduct was taken — Ex-Minister Adoke


June 5, 2019Musikilu Mojeed and Abdulaziz Abdulaziz

Mohammed Adoke

Mohammed Adoke

Mohammed Adoke was Nigeria’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice between 2010 and 2015. At the end of his tenure, he went into exile and is yet to return to the country ever since. For almost two hours on May 5, Mr Adoke sat down with PREMIUM TIMES’ duo of Musikilu Mojeed and Abdulaziz Abdulaziz in Accra, Ghana, to discuss his life in exile, the roles he played in some controversial matters during his time in office, his involvement in the controversial Malabu Oil OPL 245 saga, his forthcoming book and his plan to return home after four years in exile.

In this first part of the interview, Mr Adoke speaks about how his government took the decision to prosecute APC leader, Bola Tinubu, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, how he and his colleagues persuaded former President Goodluck Jonathan to concede defeat in 2015, how he was abused and called a useless attorney general by Mrs Jonathan, among other issues.

PREMIUM TIMES: After handing over in 2015 you suddenly left the country on self-exile. What really happened?

Adoke: Thank you very much for finding time to interview me, and for trying to find out what really happened. The claim that I disappeared immediately after the transition in 2015 is not exactly true. Before the elections in 2015, I had a plan that at the expiration of my tenure as the attorney general of the federation, I was going back to school.

My initial plan was to go back to Georgetown University to read Public Policy. I was working towards that when we were working towards the election to ensure the victory of the party and the president. Unfortunately, we lost the election. Unfortunately, the president did not win. I had to now accelerate my decision on what to do. I was making the preparations to go to Georgetown University but my colleagues; my senior advisers I was working with had a different opinion that why should I go and study public policy when we had done quite a lot in the areas of international criminal law, as a member of the assembly of state party at the International Criminal Court. Africa was at the time a focal point considering the trial of Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, and the issue of Omar el-Bashir. These were burning issues and Africa was seen as being persecuted by the International Criminal Court at that time.

So it was at that point that I changed my mind about going to Washington. I had to hurriedly look for admission and when I searched for the best university that had the best programme on international criminal law, I was referred to the University of Leiden. Particularly, there was a professor of international criminal law who I have heard so much about — Professor Carsten Stahn who I have had the opportunity of meeting. After a discussion with him, I was offered admission for advanced study of Public International Law with specialisation in international criminal law. So immediately after we handed over I left the country for my studies.

PT: If your party had won the election you probably wouldn’t have gone to the school…

Adoke: Not necessarily so, except if the president had insisted that he want me to stay. My intention was that having served the country for over five years as Attorney General, I thought that I had done the best I could for my country and I thought it was time for someone else to come and take over. So, I was not particularly looking forward to reappointment. Don’t forget that I was appointed twice as Attorney General. I was there between 2010 and 2011. I was reappointed in 2011, till 2015. I also had the singular opportunity of being the longest-serving Attorney General in a civilian administration. To me, it was really a time for someone else to come in. I really wanted to leave in pursuit of knowledge and at the same time I have lined up other things that I wanted to do. My ultimate ambition was that if I came back from school I would try and find a university to lecture and share my experience with the upcoming generation.

PT: But you graduated long ago, why are you still not back home?

Adoke: Yes, I graduated in August 2016. At that point, my initial intention was to go back to Nigeria. But like you know, I have some problems with the Nigerian government. There have been a lot of accusations rightly or wrongly against my person. I worked on some very credible intelligence at that time from people from within and outside the government. I was advised not to come back at that time.

So, I had the option to go on for my PhD; I had even submitted my proposal for the PhD. At the same time, allegations were being made against me, which I needed to clear. In the end, I opted for writing about my experience. I thank people like my very senior colleague, Mr Momoh Lawal, SAN who right from the time I was in office had always told me that I needed to document my experience in office; I needed to put down my story before other people would write my story. I am pleased to inform you that I have just finished my work and I have signed off the manuscript for my publishers. I look forward to releasing the book, latest in July.

PT: What is the title of the book?

Adoke: Burden of Service. Because it is really a burden to serve Nigeria as a country that is ungrateful to those who have served it.

PT: Was it the allegations against you that dissuaded you from returning home?

Adoke: It was not the allegations that dissuaded me. It is the fact that I needed to look at the security situation, the fact that I have some intelligence. It is also the fact that I would not put myself before a moving train. Because of the fact that I needed to be heard because the modus operandi of those investigating was working to an answer, not investigative. I am ready to submit myself to prosecution. I am not ready to submit myself to persecution.

PT: We will come back to that matter of the allegation against you …

Adoke: (Cuts in) You asked me. That is why I am telling you to clarify that I was not running away. I am not refusing to come. It is very important because I like to be very clear about that.

I also had some health challenges, very critical health challenges, and I needed to address them as well. I have to be healthy and alive to be able to face a trial.

PT: So how have you been surviving in exile?

Adoke: It has been very hard. But I have a lot of goodwill. I thank God for that. But survival has been very difficult. There are three people that have been helping me. Unfortunately, I would not be able to mention their names because some of them are still very much involved with governance in Nigeria. They have done tremendously well. Like another man I call Global Chairman, he was very tremendous until some people threatened him that they knew he was the one supporting me which enabled me to put in a bit of fight.

I can tell you something that happened recently. I was flying into one of the African countries and I met the chairman of one of the frontline banks in Nigeria. The way he received me at the airport, the people travelling with him were surprised that who is this man that he was giving such reverence. He looked at them and said, ‘This man is a great guy. He was the minister of justice in Nigeria. He assisted me a lot, and many other people and he never for once asked for anything. When he was leaving he embraced me again and said ‘please if there is anything you ever want me to do for you, don’t hesitate to call me’. I was very proud of myself that day. Tears of joy came down my eyes.

There is a particular ambassador, who had served in Nigeria, who I just met by chance. He is someone God has used to really…I don’t know how to put it. He is being of tremendous assistance.

PT: Are you saying you didn’t leave Nigeria with a lot of money? You serve in government and people think those who served in government accumulate so much wealth. What happened in your case?

Adoke: Where will I get the money from? That is number one. Number two, what was the nature of my job? So what I have are the little things I had before coming to office.

Yes, I was given a plot of land which I sold to meet my lifestyle at the time. There was never land that Bala (former FCT minister Bala Mohammed) gave me, that I applied for, that was not in my name. None is in the name of a proxy, associate or anyone. Whenever I had a problem, I would sell the land. Don’t forget that I was in practice. Don’t forget also that I had one or two savings before I came into office. I was not a poor man, a wretched man like the picture they try to paint. I was successful in my own right, based on my own contentment and satisfaction.

When I was in office I didn’t use government cars. I used my own cars. First, I believed that was the regulation at the time, there was monetization policy. The cars have been monetised into our monthly emoluments. So, to me, as the chief law officer of the country, I needed to abide by the law. I never had an official car. I was using my personal cars. And let me tell you, I had several cars before I came to office. When I got to office, I looked at my salary, I looked at the fact that I could no longer engage in any business that could get me money other than my salary, and my salary was about N990,000. I gave out most of my cars to my friends and my relations because I needed to cut my coat according to my size.

PT: But your ministry was awarding contracts, were you not taking kickbacks…

Adoke: (Cuts in) My ministry awarded contracts? I am not aware of those contracts.

PT: But you were hiring lawyers to handle cases for governments.

Adoke: I challenged any Nigerian lawyer that has ever given me money or any kickback to come out and say it. I challenged any Nigerian lawyer. It is unholy. It is irresponsible to even look at your colleagues and collect money from your colleagues. I give you an example; there is a senior lawyer, a diminutive frontline human rights lawyer who once sent a lawyer to me that the lawyer had a judgment debt claim in my office. Luckily, we had just gotten some money. I called the judgment debt committee and asked them to look into the case of this lawyer, and the lawyer was paid. So, this senior lawyer came to me to say the lawyer went to him to tell him that this was the first time that he was paid and nobody was asking him for money. I said yes, we have a new attitude now. He was shocked. He spoke in Yoruba to say are you doing that of lagbaja or do you want your money to be paid now. I told him we don’t do that. It’s not in our style.

I also remember an incidence. Unfortunately the incidence I want to tell you now the lawyer involved is dead. He came to look for a favour for a case through the late Oronto Douglas. We gave him the case, and he was paid. The next thing he was sending an emissary to me that he had something to give me out of his emolument. I said I consider it very irresponsible and dirty for you to say that. In the first place, you were sent to me by Oronto Douglas and in the second place you are a professional colleague, and then I will give you a brief and take money from you? So, I can say, with all sense of responsibility and great honour that no Nigerian lawyer ever gave me money as attorney general.

PT: What of contractors?

Adoke: I don’t have contractors. I have never met with any contractor. The Ministry of Justice does not award contracts as such. Don’t forget that we have separation of power. The courts are built and maintained by the Judicial arm of government, not us. The heads of the various courts have the monies and they take care of their own courts. So, we have nothing to do with big contractors at the ministry of justice.

PT: Your name is mentioned repeatedly among those who prevailed on President Goodluck Jonathan to concede electoral defeat in 2015. Can you recollect what really happened that day in March 2015?

Adoke: These issues have been addressed so much including by your media organisation, PREMIUM TIMES, which I think was very eloquent and factually captured the role everybody played at that time.

The fact is that some tried to claim more credit than the others. I would say it was a collective effort. And, at the end of the day, we have to give credit to President Jonathan who decided not to go with the hawks and decided to go with those of us that were the doves. Anybody can claim credit but what was most important was, as at that time those of us who took the decision that the president should call Buhari to concede defeat to him so as to douse tensions took into consideration the overall interest of the country. I would tell you this, people who talk just talk because they want to claim the credit. Claiming credit is cheap but they don’t know what goes into the working of any situation that arises.

NIGERIA-CHINA-DIPLOMACY

The president conceded defeat, I think on the 31st of March if I am not mistaken. On that day in the morning, the PDP national chairman, Ahmed Mu’azu, had come to see me in the office. He treats me like his younger brother and he is someone that has been very nice to me, and I have a very excellent relationship with him, and he has been very helpful to me in exile. When he came to see me he said ‘my brother, look, this is the situation on the ground. I am looking at the likely consequences of the president not conceding defeat or not doing this. In the interest of the nation, if by 5 pm this evening the president does not concede defeat, I as the national chairman of the PDP will concede defeat on behalf of the party’. As the attorney general, a member of the national security council and as a frontline member, or if you permit me to say, part of the kitchen cabinet of Mr President, I knew the implications for the country and implications for the party. It will also further divide the gulf that existed in the country at that time. Don’t forget that Ahmed Muazu was already being viewed with a lot of suspicions, that he was not committed to Jonathan’s second term election. His coming out, irrespective of the motive; which could have been a very good motive from what he explained to me, would further confirm what those campaigning against him were saying.

It would have escalated the Christian/Muslim dichotomy, the North/South dichotomy, the majority/minority dichotomy, and so many other dichotomies that were underpinnings at that time. So, what do I do? I knew the president was in an anguished position. Needed not to compound his problem. I needed to look at how to solve his problems. So, I went straight to the National Security Adviser and informed him that we had a situation at hand. This is what we are faced with, how do we approach the president? How do we get the president to do the right thing because the figures we were waiting for, even if it goes in favour of the president is not enough to alter the result in favour of the president? So, this is what we did.

Adamu Muazu

It was while I was with the National Security Adviser strategizing on how we should approach the president that Osita Chidoka, the then minister of aviation called me. He asked about my location. I told him I was with the National Security Adviser. He said ‘You need to come down to the Villa immediately’. While I was trying to round off with the NSA, his call came in again. He said you need to come. So I went to the Villa. He met me by the Red Carpet and said there are too many hawks here. We need to move fast, to save the country. That is one man that is not given due credit, nobody recognises the role he has played. I could have cheaply told you that I was responsible but it is not true. A lot of people played a lot of roles that led to the concession by Mr President.

Let me take you back a little. Mr President himself had said that we wanted to be a guinea pig of having a free and fair election. He wanted to be remembered for reforming the electoral process. He wanted to be seen as a champion of free and fair elections, and I think to a large extent he achieved that. And then the Hawks were not looking at the larger interest. They were not even looking at the interest of the man. So, at the end of the day, when myself and Osita had compared notes, we went in. We met the president sitting down between Ngozi (Okonjo-Iweala) on his right-hand side and the vice president on his left-hand side. We had my good friend, Godswill Akpabio, the then chairman of the PDP Governors Forum and governor of Akwa Ibom state. There was Kennedy Okpara who was Executive Secretary of the Christian Pilgrims Board and about two other people.

Yes, the president was visibly agitated like any other person would be; no president wants to be defeated because that is a referendum on his tenure. Of course, Ngozi was there trying to talk to him; there was a collation of voices, everyone proffering advice. Yes, the president was right to say that he held on to his thoughts because there were so many people offering one advice or the other. Some were saying, ‘No, don’t call him’ and so on.

It was at that point that I approached the governor of Akwa Ibom and said ‘Sir, you are the chairman of PDP governors forum, I think we should tell the president at this point he should call President Buhari to concede defeat’. Probably for reasons best known to him at the time he said ‘I think we should wait for a while’. In fairness to him, he didn’t say ‘no’, he didn’t say don’t do it; he said we wait for a while. I think he was looking at the tensed situation.

Then I approached the Vice President and spoke to him in Hausa and said, ranka dade I think we should tell the president to concede. He said “No, no, no. Let them announce the result!”

I knew what they didn’t know. I knew the conspiracy and cocktail of events that could destroy the country. So, I was racing against time. I knew the ultimatum. I knew the game plan. I knew some people were talking to several people within the system, some people were talking to security agents. I knew that that morning, Ita Ekpenyong had come to see the president to tell him that the result was not looking good. I knew that Ita Ekpenyong, another fine gentleman, had advised the president to put a call to President Buhari. Nobody says all these. So, you can see in that government, like we say in the law of the house of jurisprudence, there are many mansions.

FILE PHOTO: President Muhammadu Buhari making a call

So, it was at that point, when the president was still agitated that a fine young man, the special assistant to the president on domestic matters, Dudafa shouted from the back and said ‘Daddy, we are leaving here on the 29th of May’. That gave us the impetus to now approach the president; myself, Osita and Dudafa. We stooped before him and started counselling him; we said Mr President what do you want to be remembered for? So, he stood up crisply, went to his study and placed the call to President Buhari to make the concession.

PT: How about all these talks about conspiracies, like the Orubebe drama. Was it not something that you guys planned?

Adoke: No, no, no. if there was any plan, I was not part of that plan. From what I have told you would know that I was not part of any such plan, and I do not want to harness a guess. But I believe as time goes more and more would be known about what really happened in the 2015 election, the fallout and those who did what or did not do what. What I know is that this was exactly how the president conceded. I was there at the final moment when Mr President made the concession call to Muhammadu Buhari. I was also there when he came out and said ‘Okay, I have made the call’ though people were sad because we just lost power. Then Osita asked him for permission to tweet about it and he said ‘Go ahead and tweet and notify the world that I have conceded to President Muhammadu Buhari.

PT: We were told that some people, like the president’s wife, were angry with you for pressuring Mr Jonathan to concede…

Adoke: Well, everybody has the right to be angry…

PT: That you were thoroughly abused by the president’s wife…

Adoke: Yes. It is true that I was abused by the president’s wife. This happened on the 30th, a day before the concession. I don’t blame the president’s wife. I respect her as a person and I appreciate the fact that she voiced out her frustration and anger at me. That was better than those who pretend to be friends but would go to the president to say “Your attorney general is not with you; your attorney general is an APC member; he has sympathy for President Buhari. He is a Buhari boy”. In any case, most of those who were talking were the same people who contributed money to Buhari’s campaign. I, Mohammed Bello Adoke, never contributed money to Buhari’s campaign. A serving member of the National Assembly, a presiding officer, had called me at the time to say people were contributing money to Buhari’s campaign. I told him that at the first instance I don’t have and if I had I would not give because that would amount to treachery and disloyalty. And if I do that kind of thing even Buhari himself would not respect me. So, I didn’t do it. Of course, I always draw a distinction. I was loyal to President Jonathan throughout. I was loyal to him to the extent that I would tell him the truth and I would guide him by the provisions of the constitution. I would tell him his limits. I would tell him his powers, what he could do and what he could not do. To that extent, I think I demonstrated unquestionable loyalty to the president. Within the limits of my knowledge, I gave him the best legal advice I could give him, and I have saved a lot of situations. I tried as a constitutional purist to remain within the confines of the constitution.

The job of the attorney general is a very difficult one. From my experience, if people can’t eat, it is the attorney general; if people don’t get appointments, it is the attorney general; if people didn’t get this, it is the attorney general. So, it is a very difficult job and people who have passed through that office would tell you that it is very difficult. But I was very lucky. I had a very understanding president. I had a president who allowed me to do my work. I had a president who has a listening ear. I had a president who understood the fact that he was a constitutional president and must work within the confines of the law. On issues of the law he deferred to me. If you tell the president something is illegal he would not go ahead and do it, no matter his prejudices or preferences, and I respect him for that.

Yes, Mrs Jonathan abused me. The abuse was because there were so many misrepresentations because they believed the attorney general has the power of life and death. They don’t understand that even the attorney general’s power itself is limited. For her to have abused me she acted on what people went and told her.

Patience Jonathan (Photo Credit: ChannelsTv)

PT: We learnt that she said you were a useless attorney general?

Adoke: Yes, she said that.

PT: That you betrayed her husband.

Adoke: Yes, she said that but the most important thing is that it was not the president speaking because I have had opportunity afterwards to put that before the president. Immediately after she said that to me and left, when the president came down from his private quarters, I told the president what has happened and said ‘Mr President do you think I have betrayed you?’ He said no. He does not hold that view. I thanked him, and that very satisfying to me. I don’t want to make a mountain out of it. It’s nothing. Our wives at home abuse us when they are angry and frustrated. Don’t forget also this was the first lady of a country. They had just lost power for God’s sake. She should be allowed to cry. So, I think she was just voicing out her anger and I was just a mere victim.

PT: So, what is your relationship with her now?

Adoke: Well, I have not been in touch with her, but I can say I am reasonably in touch with my boss. I have a good relationship with him and by extension, I have a good relationship with her.

PT: But there are allegations of double-dealing by some of you which led to Jonathan losing the election.

Adoke: I would not have done a double game. It is not in my character.

PT: Some of your colleagues, in some of the books written about the elections, alleged that some of your colleagues actually betrayed Jonathan.

Adoke: Well, if there are those who betrayed him I wouldn’t know. But that issue has been adequately addressed in my book and I would like that you will be patient to read my book. But the truth of the matter is that I do know that I was one of the persons who stood by President Jonathan from the beginning to the end because that was what was expected of me. And in standing with him I was not subservient, I was not sycophantic. I was a man that could say my mind. People knew I said my mind. People know I objected to issues and where I stand was never in doubt. I also tried to build bridges for President Jonathan. Whatever I did was in the national interest, and the interest of the nation supersedes the interest of any person. As a Muslim, I know that God asks us to stand by the truth, so whatever I do I stand by the truth. So, whatever price I am paying today, some of my colleagues think I am the one responsible. I was called a Buhari boy.

In fact, after the president’s concession, the National Planning minister came to tell me that one of the big men (whose name I have mentioned in my forthcoming book) was going about saying ‘Do you know that Adoke is a Buhari boy, they are the ones that came and forced the president to go and make concession’. He was not even saying we convinced the president. And now when our people are being persecuted or they are facing one hurdle or the other they say ‘it is what dem Adeoke have caused’. So, it is a catch 22 situation for me. My colleagues, my natural forte, are against me today because they say I am a Buhari boy. The Buhari group see us as Jonathan boys and have marked us for destruction. This takes us back to what I say about the burden of service. This is part of the burden of service.

PT: But are you truly a Buhari boy?

Adoke: How can I be a Buhari’s boy? I told you that Buhari as an ex-President of Nigeria is somebody I respect, he is somebody I will not disrespect. He is somebody I will extend the same courtesy I extended to every other heads of state. So, if extending respect and courtesy to him makes me a Buhari boy, so be it.

PT: In the build-up to that election and when oppositions were coming together, there were stories of attempts by your government to nail some of the bigwigs in the opposition camp, notably Bola Tinubu who was prosecuted by the CCB and there were suggestions that Buhari at some point was also about to be prosecuted.

Adoke: Let me clarify this issue very well. Bola Tinubu’s trial took place, it was his case with Code of Conduct Tribunal. It was a very unfortunate thing. But what most people don’t know is that a lot of people who claimed to be close to Bola Tinubu, a particular human rights lawyer, was the one that engineered that trial.

PT: Who is the lawyer?

Adoke: You will read it in my book (Laughter). It is there in my book, a particular human rights lawyer was the one going around the political authorities at that time saying “is this how you people are going to allow Tinubu? He has stolen Lagos blind, is this how you are going allow him to take over Nigeria, you people should move against him”. At the end of the day, the Code of Conduct Bureau people, on the instigation of this lawyer, and I am happy that Mike Oghiadomhe is alive. I am happy persons like Ita Ekpenyong is alive and I wish that the late Azazi is alive because they would have been able to corroborate this story. How Bola Tinubu’s trial came about was unnecessary. Again, the same lawyer was one of those who went to tell Tinubu that “ohh… It is Adoke that is against you”. That was why at that time Bola Tinubu, I think in 2012 or thereabout, came out to say that “the Attorney General is against me” until he spoke to me through Lai Mohammed who, incidentally, was a great friend of mine before he became a minister and who has 24/7 access to me when I was minister.

PT: So you are saying, this lawyer that you have refused to name came to you and…

Adoke: Not me, not me. He went to the political authorities.

PT: He went to the president?

Adoke: No, political authorities. I didn’t mention the president. There were so many authorities within the political structure.

PT: The institution of that case perhaps wouldn’t have happened without you…

Adoke: No, no, no… You are right. Let me tell you something, what was happening was that, I told you in government there are many mansions, there are many interest groups, and there is so much sense of blackmail. I was fighting on so many fronts. Some of these anti-corruption agencies will go and say “we are trying to fight corruption, it is the Attorney General that is not allowing us” and you know how they use the issue of corruption as a base. It is so easy. So when they continue that, I had advised that to me it was unnecessary, but since they didn’t listen, the CCB people came, we said “well, we don’t believe in this prosecution” but they said they have a private lawyer who will prosecute for them under the fiat; we gave them the fiat.

File photo of Bola Tinubu docked at the Code of Conduct Tribunal [Picture: Information Nigeria]

After given them the fiat, when the case collapsed in court and they wanted to go and appeal, I stood my ground and overruled them. I didn’t do that because it was Bola Tinubu, I did it because that was the right thing to do. That was why I refused to go on that appeal. But it would interest you to note that a year or thereabout after the CCT case, one of the members of the tribunal came to us that we should reopen that case that they made a mistake, they can still convict Bola Tinubu. We told him that we don’t use our office for settling scores. I never said this to anybody. I mentioned it to the president that ‘look at what this idiot has come to tell me. I and the president laughed it off.

PT: Our readers are definitely interested in knowing the name of this senior lawyer who persuaded the authorities to institute the case.

Adoke: You will read it in my book.

Proverbs 31:21-25


June 4, 2019 by Arlin Sorensen

In Proverbs 31:21-25 King Lemuel’s mother continues to define the excellent wife. She has the wisdom, diligence, and preparation to ready her household for all kinds of challenges and adversity. Her fear of the Lord and the wisdom that flows from it invites God’s blessing, even being able to clothe all her household in prestigious scarlet. “She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet.” Some wonder why scarlet clothing would be connected to the fact that she is not afraid of snow for her household. It has been suggested that the scarlet color of the clothing makes her children easy to find but that is not likely since it doesn’t snow much in this area.

She is a talented seamstress and can make what is needed for her family. With God’s blessing on her wisdom and diligence, the excellent wife makes good things for herself, and enjoys personal marks of God’s material blessing on her family since her coverings are of fine linen and the royal color purple. “She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple.” Purple dye was costly because it comes from a seashell off the Phoenician coast and is connected with those who have wealth and luxury.

She is a loving and supportive wife who lives with respect and honor for her husband, who is known by those around them. She sees such a blessing on her family and household as her husband is esteemed and honored among the elders of the land. All this is the blessing of God that often comes to the wife who walks in virtue, wisdom, and the fear of the Lord. “Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.” He is married to a woman who is held in high esteem. And her complete management of household affairs gives him time to devote himself to the interests of the community.

Besides caring for her family, she also is able to make more than they need and sell the excess. She cares deeply for her family, but her mind and vision goes beyond them to the outside world where she does good for herself and her family. “She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant.” Her willingness to sell some for the sake of her family shows that her first priority isn’t in what is in her closet or what she wears. “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.” When it comes to character, she is one of the best dressed, clothed with strength and honor, so that she shall rejoice not only in the present day, but also in time to come.

When to provide a heads up


BY PSYCHOLOGISTMIMI ON JUNE 5, 2019

Loyalty is expected but hard to give sometimes. Or so it seems these days. People want to believe others will have their back, but daily life is layered in nuance and competing interests. It also seems that some have taken to heart Game of Thrones believing life is one big quest for the Iron Throne. In this odd way of being there’s a continuous maneuvering.

Interestingly, in the last year, I have had several people implore me to give them “a heads up”. Specifically, I was asked to let them know if and when I knew a certain fate was to befall them. For instance, sometimes people will ask you to give them a heads up if you hear they will be let go. Or they may want to have a warning if somehow you know their significant other is contemplating ending the relationship. But can you let someone know that if you get the heads up. Can you pay that heads up forward? It is an odd conundrum depending on how you found out in the first place. How people connect and help each other out can take various forms. But a heads up can be chancy and iffy.

On Game of Thrones, giving a heads up to one another didn’t really work out as it created innumerable new problems. The same is true in the real world. Sometimes, it is just better to play along. But at other points, the smart move is to provide fair warning. You feel better about yourself and you help someone in the process. But make sure it’s all reasonable and won’t cause you headaches.

‘Drunk’ Nigerian policeman shot dead unarmed young man


Nigeria Police

21-year-old Chukwubuike Onuoha, has been shot dead by a police sergeant identified as Collins Akpugo.

The incident happened in Okwulagha Afara Ukwu community, Umuahia, Abia State.

Mr. Akpugo is said to be attached to the Special Protection Unit (SPU) of the Nigeria Police Force, Abia State Command.

This newspaper gathered that the incident occurred on Monday night while the deceased was standing in front of his father’s compound with other persons, including his brother.

Speaking on how the killing happened, witnesses said Mr Onuoha was shot after he complained about how the police officer flashed his Toyota Hilux van’s light on them.

Rather than dim the light, the officer who was believed to be drunk alighted from his vehicle and shot Mr Onuoha on the shoulder.

PREMIUM TIMES gathered efforts by other persons around including the deceased’s brother to challenge the police officer failed as he threatened them with his gun. He later shot the deceased, lying on the floor, on his chest, left his vehicle and ran away.

One of the witnesses, Okiroro Stephen, who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES late Tuesday night, said: “He was drunk when he (the police) carried out the act. He was merely told by the youth to dim his full light. Instead, he wasted the life of Chukwubuike and ran away.”

Angered by the police officer’s action, residents immediately set his vehicle ablaze.

PREMIUM TIMES also learnt that residents of the area, on Tuesday, stormed major roads in the Abia capital to protest the killing of their colleague.

Speaking to journalists during the protest, Ngozi Ogbonna, a woman leader from the community, who led the protesters, said: “We know Collins very well, he is a tenant in our community. He (the police officer) killed our son for no just cause. He was confirmed dead at the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, this morning (Tuesday)”.

“We have gone to the government to complain; we are also going to the police command to express our grievances to them. All we want is justice in this matter”, she was quoted.

Confirming the incident, the state police spokesperson, Geoffrey Ogbonna, said the commissioner of police, Okon Enen, has ordered the investigation of matter and also sent some delegates to the deceased family to commiserate with them.

Before now, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, while condemning the incessant killing of innocent citizens, said extrajudicial killing is unacceptable.

“…Aside negating our professional calling, extrajudicial acts of any description or level by any police personnel is an unacceptable anomaly that creates disdain between the citizens and their police and widen the trust gap between them,’’ he said.

He warned that any police personnel that engages in abuse of his or her powers or misuses weapons in utter disregard to statutory provisions would be arrested.

“The person will be investigated through our internal disciplinary machinery and if found culpable, shall be dismissed from service. In addition, such personnel will be charged to court for murder or sundry offences depending on his or her level of criminal liability in the instance.”

“Furthermore, the line supervisors of such officer, including the Area Commander, Divisional Police Officer or Sectional Head, shall be held vicariously liable for lacking supervision and shall be similarly sanctioned,” the police chief said.

Good News for WikiLeak’s Assange: Swedish Court Blocks Extradition


June 4, 2019 • By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

A Swedish court has blocked prosecutors’ request for a European Arrest Warrant forcing an interview with Assange in London, and Politico reports there will be no indictment of Assange on Vault 7.

Imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange scored two legal victories on Monday when a Swedish court refused prosecutors’ request to have Assange arrested and extradited from Britain to Sweden, while the U.S. Justice Dept. said it would not prosecute Assange for the publication of the CIA Vault 7 files, according to a report in Politico. 

The Uppsala District Court rejected a request for a European Arrest Warrant for Assange based on a reopened 2010 investigation into sexual assault allegations that has been twice dropped before. Without the warrant Assange cannot be extradited to Sweden to be questioned. 

Eva-Marie Persson, Sweden’s deputy director of public prosecutions, who last month announced the reopening of the probe and Sweden’s extradition request to Britain, said she is deciding whether to appeal the ruling. In the meantime, Persson said she’d seek a European Investigation Order, which would allow her to travel to Belmarsh prison in London and interview Assange there.

“I think it is a big victory for Julian Assange, the first one in a long time, and a well-deserved one,” said Assange’s Swedish lawyer, Per Samuelson. “It is also a victory for Sweden, who upheld the rule of law and it’s a defeat for the prosecutors, who were once again punished for not having conducted the case in a correct way. It’s a step in the right direction.”

Samuelsson: Big victory for Assange. (Wikipedia)

Pressure on Britain

The pressure is now fully back on Britain alone to decide whether to extradite Assange to the United States to face espionage charges for the conduct of investigative journalism, as the U.S. indictment itself describes

The sexual assault allegations against Assange, which followed months after the Iraq War Logs and Afghan War diaries were released,  were first dismissed in 2010 by then Swedish chief prosecutor Eva Finne, just a day after the allegations were made on Aug. 20, 2010.

An arrest warrant was canceled on Aug. 21.   Finne said that day: “I don’t think there is reason to suspect that he has committed rape.”

Assange then left Sweden for Britain with Sweden’s permission in September.  When he arrived in Britain an international arrest warrant was issued for him on Nov. 18, 2010.

Assange turned himself in on Dec. 7 and was released on bail. He fought Sweden’s extradition requests after Sweden refused to give his lawyers an assurance he would not be then extradited to the U.S., where he now faces extradition and  prosecution under the Espionage Act.

When his final appeal was lost, Assange asked for and received political asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy where Assange had lived from June 2012 to April 11 this year. That day Ecuador lifted his asylum and allowed British police to enter the embassy to arrest him.  

Under intense British pressure, Sweden’s prosecutor Marianne Ny declined to drop the case for a second time and refused for years to travel to London to interview Assange, at Assange’s request. However, six days after the Nov. 8, 2016 U.S. presidential election, an election Assange was accused of interfering with through his journalistic work, Ny relented and questioned Assange in the embassy. Six months later, for the second time, the investigation was indeed dropped.

Assange is serving a 50-week sentence at Belmarsh prison in London for skipping bail when he entered the embassy.  

Pompeo leaving Warsaw, Feb. 13, 2019. (State Department photo by Ron Przysucha)

Pompeo: WikiLeaks a hostile intel service. (State Department photo by Ron Przysucha)

Meanwhile in the United States, the online news site Politico reported that the Justice Department has decided not to charge Assange in the release of Vault 7, which exposed some of the CIA’s most closely held secret spying methods. Politico cited “a U.S. official and two other people familiar with the case.”

Politico said the decision surprised former U.S. officials and national security “experts” given the anger it aroused in the CIA, whose director at the time of the release, Mike Pompeo, then labelled WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service.”  

The DOJ may have decided it had just run out of time to bring the new indictment since it has a June 12 deadline to present to Britain all the charges it wants to bring against Assange before the UK can decide on the U.S. extradition request.

“There is a comfort level within the national security establishment of where the charges ended up,” the U.S. national security official told Politico.

Corrections Worker Fired After Expose of South Carolina Prison’s ‘Abusive’ Conditions


By TCR Staff
Lee Correctional

South Carolina prisons are among the nation’s most troubled. A riot last year at Lee Correctional Institution (above) left 7 dead and 17 injured. Photo by Naveed Rauf via Flickr

A rare insider look behind the walls of one of South Carolina’s troubled state prisons paints a horrific portrait of an “abusive, corrupt prison system,” columnist Steve Bailey writes in the Charleston Post and Courier. The 128-page book, entitled “The Forgotten,” by Daryle Starks, who spent two years working inside Tyger River, a medium security prison near Spartanburg, S.C., and a co-author identified as “Inmate David,” claims state inmates regularly endure dangerous and unhealthy conditions.

“Prison is like a war,” Inmate David, a lifer, writes. “I would classify myself as having PTSD just like a soldier coming from a war. Because behind these walls….in our daily lives as inmates, it’s a constant war of survival.”

According to Bailey, although the book sold just 20 copies, when corrections authorities heard about it, Starks was fired.

Starks, 47, who retired as a senior chief petty officer after 24 years in the Navy, says some names and details were changed to protect individuals and businesses, but he insists nothing was fabricated.

Chrysti Shain, a spokeswoman for the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC), told Bailey that Tyger River is monitored by the department, and other state and federal agencies.  She provided inspection reports from the state Department of Health and Environmental Control giving the prison food service high scores for cleanliness. And she offered a list of educational and faith-based rehabilitation services.

But, Bailey noted, given the troubled record of many of the state’s prisons—a riot at Lee Correctional last year that left seven dead and 17 seriously injured—Bryan Stirling, SCDC’s director, “should want to hear out his critics, not shut them up. If he doesn’t, the Legislature should.”