Friday , March 24 2023
Lai Mohammed

Ozekhome, MRA say Lai Mohammed’s loan request from NBC is illegal, unlawful

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Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ozekhome and the Executive Director of Media Right Agenda, Edetaen Ojo have described the memo emanating from the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for a loan request to embark on a foreign trip as illegal and unlawful.

Citing the minister’s action as a violation of the provisions of the law of budgetary appropriation and that of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), they maintained that since NBC ought not to have any fund to lend to anybody, it is not a financial institution.

The Federal Ministry of Information and Culture has however defended the request for N13m loan, saying the loan was to enable a five-member delegation led by the Minister to embark on a trip to Beijing, China on national assignment.

However, as the minister and his ministry continue attempts to unravel the officer within the ministry or National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) who leaked the memo, MRA has threatened to lodge complaint against the minister with relevant international agencies.

MRA said its resolve is backed by the realisation that the whistle-blower is protected under section 27 of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, especially if the minister tries to punish the public officer who leaked the information, whether now or in the near future.

It would be recalled that an online medium had during the week published a memo sent on behalf of the minister to the NBC requesting for N13m loan to finance a foreign trip that is not directly linked to the parastatal.

Although the online platform quoted the minister as saying that he owes nobody any explanation about the loan request, Nigerians are demanding explanation as the NBC is not a money lending organisation or a bank and, especially in the light of the anti-corruption crusade.

Apparently embarrassed by the development, it was gathered that attempts are being made to make scapegoats of those who leaked the letter, with some personnel of the ministry and that of the National Broadcasting Commission already quizzed.

Ojo noted that the minister appears overly concerned that the information was made public and takes the view that the public has no right to know about the expenditure and transaction, regardless of the existence of the Freedom of Information Act, particularly Section 2(3)(V) that requires every public institution to proactively publish ‘information relating to the receipt or expenditure of public or other funds of the institution’.

Ojo said the development raises serious concerns about governance under an Administration that has come to power on the mantra of change, as the practice does not suggest that there has been any departure from the profligacy of the past or the lack of transparency and accountability in governance.

“The other apparent fact is that no budgetary allocation has been made for the trip, either for the Ministry itself or the NBC. The expenditure, therefore, constitutes a violation of the Law as it is expenditure not budgeted for

…MEANWHILE, the minister has offered the following explanation through the ministry’s Director of Public Relations and Protocol.

My attention has been drawn to a letter I endorsed to the Ag. Director-General, National Broadcasting Commission requesting for a loan of N13,120,470.00 to cover tickets and travel expenses of a five-member delegation being led by the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture to Beijing, China, which was mischievously leaked to the social media by staff of National Broadcasting Commission.

•The loan being requested for is for the Ministry to meet up its obligations to enable the Minister and members of his delegation attend an all important Conference on Tourism for Development in China, that is meant to benefit this country.

•The loan is not meant for the Honourable Minister alone as personal expenses, but for the expenses of all members of the delegation.

•The Conference, which is being organised by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation in conjunction with the Government of the People’s Republic of China, under the overall theme “Tourism for Peace and Development,” will feature amongst others discussions on major issues for sustainable development including the contribution of Tourism to poverty reduction and peace.

•The Conference will also feature discussion on major issues that have direct bearing on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), poverty alleviation through Tourism and the linkage between Tourism peace at the National and International levels.

•China on this occasion as chair of G20 will also host the 7th T20 Ministers meeting under the theme “Sustainable Tourism, An Effective Tool for Inclusive Development.’’

•The Conference is a veritable platform to develop synergy and partnership with players in the global Tourism Industry, which will go a long way in boosting our drive to diversify the Nigerian economy.



About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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  1. nah thief buhari see that one he won’t ask efcc to investigate that

  2. Laid Mohammed can also do something like that. Kettle calling pot black before. It is easier said than done.

  3. Loan?????. From his Ministry?????. Previledged information is an asset. Leakproof???. We are all Nigerians and are in it together. Na their turn for now. I still de for queue de wait for my turn. Loi!!!!

  4. Ozekhome does not know what he is saying, he shouldn’t come on here and quoting law for us, lai mohammed have defend himself on the loan saga that has been going on

  5. The truth must be told, HMIC – Alh Lai Mohammed followed due process for the loan, as long as NBC is under his ministry, and also his not going to china to party rather to do something important that will benefit Nigerians

  6. The best is to stop hidden around the bush, the truth must be told, Alhaji lai Muhammad you are always for the people, always enlighten the masses. We believe in you because you will never betray us. All I have to say is thank you sir…

  7. He is a cleptomania he steal openly he must be sacked

  8. It begins from loan before you know it, it becomes loot.

  9. All these lawyers are yeye people,you can go to court and challenge him afterall Lai is also a lawyer.

  10. Leodeleo,you talk my mind,but its just a news to me

  11. SAN is a tittle or what!! Not a reservoir of knowledge or wisdom.. Every Nigerian especially Nigerian Lawyers are so myopic, they always like to market themselves by being in opposition!!!

  12. Fantastically klepto in style. Na wao and some blind followers are busy advancing useless reasons.

  13. Nonsense!! Where were they when the Senators were given Jeeps costing N38m each! Honestly these so called SANS are part and parcel of Nigeria’s problems! They always abandon substance and chase shadows!

  14. He is practicing studying or leaning corruption pls don’t blame him there party is armature in government

  15. Ozekhome is Supreme Court now ehn?

  16. With due respect to the learned SAN; Sometimes issues are better CLARIFIED commonsensically rather than legalistically… The Honourable Minister NEEDED to accomplish urgent national assignments, abroad. Unfortunately, his Ministry’s budget was muddled in unnecessary delays; what better option had he than make a DOCUMENTED request, via due process, for a repayable loan from one of the Agencies under his supervision…Remember that PREVIOUSLY the Agency under reference, NBC wouldn’t have had any fund whatever available in its treasury, anyway; if not for this present regime of CHANGE, that has boldly implemented the TSA policy… Haba ! Oga SAN, let’s all COMMEND and not CONDEMN, the administrative ingenuity adopted by the Hon. Minister in order that our national interests may not be jeopardized, and thus fulfilling his patriotic mandates…

  17. I told you that these people ate very funny and unpredictable in everything they do. Now Ozekhome has suddenly become bad and unlettered while the legendary lair and propagandist of second of second yo none of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Lai Muhammed has also become good and reliable. When the SAN was bending legal and judicial rules and processes to support Buhari, you people say, he is the best, now that he coming out of the spell that had bound him for a long time, you people say, he is not knowledgeable as a SAN. We are watching the drama as it unfolds,only I don’t know what season film this belongs since it is different from the ones acted by effcc and others. Can someone out there help me out with this.

  18. What actually did he need that much money for in China? Did he go to buy communication equipment? Or does he want to establish an independent radio station for Government propaganda?
    Let’s start from there before we tackle the issue as to when the information ministry became a money lender.

  19. Niger, What is illegal doing inter departmental emergency arrangemt ?

  20. Dont mind am! NBC do not give liar muhammed loan. he is a criminal, his mission to chinese country is futile. his foolish boss came back from china few days ago with empty promised. i think some idiotic people should look beyond sentiments.

  21. “I am so disappointed that an internal memo like that would be with saharaReporters , it shows a lack of integrity in the Ministry” says, Lia Mohammed . Now my question is : if such loan is not illegal , why should Lia Mohammed made this statement and why must he blamed the Ministry for leaking the internal memo ?

  22. Dont mind am! NBC do not give liar muhammed loan. he is a criminal, his mission to chinese country is futile. his foolish boss came back from china few days ago with empty promised. i think some idiotic people should look beyond sentiments.

  23. Lai is a trained thief under Thief Tinubu….. !!!

  24. Simply calling corruption by it’s name, it is outright corruption

  25. Obviously, they are strangers to how govt operates

  26. How is APC now different from d PDP if they are not worse? For a party dat got to power on d mantra of change, I think these crop of politicians are all snakes and hypocrites. From d so called saint GMB to liar mohammed

  27. The problem with Nigerians is our inability to read the body language of leaders. Lai, when he was confronted with this, lashed back at people telling us it is not our business to know how Government spends our money yet he calls himself an Apostle of change, change my foot. We are told the country is going through economic crisis yet millions could be wasted traveling all over the world. Our leaders are always quick to call on us to make sacrifice for a better tomorrow yet they are not willing to make a single sacrifice. This means that they don’t really believe the better tomorrow would actually come. Simple. We are being openly deceived. They are all liars.

  28. All i have to ask is why does Lai need to borrow from NBC,do they have the locus standi to that and where is the budgetary provision for that.I need answers.

  29. Must Liar borrow money for NBC. This is fraud. Very soon NTA will borrow, NEPA will follow anti bebe anti be be lo

  30. All iam saying is that this loan represents what have been going on ‘change ‘ in corrup

  31. He can’t claim ignorance, let him resign.

  32. He wrote a letter of permission for d approval of d loan, what can you say about those who used ordinary toilet roll or order to get money.

  33. Lai Mohammed followed due process for the loan. Moreover, it wasn’t a personal loan. The money was meant to cover a five man delegation to China. Lai Mohammed was officially directed to source out money from the NBC since the ministry’s purse was empty. The memo was leaked by people who are angry because Lai has brought some reforms into the ministry, and they can’t take money the way they want. It’s simply a way of corruption fighting back. Ezekhome has clearly become political in all his comments on government issues.

  34. He needs be sanctioned period

  35. What had he said under Gej using billions instead of millions. Paid agent wise up Nigeria and tell him to shut up.

  36. They thought a trip to China is like a trip from Abuja to Maiduguri.

  37. Hahahahahahahaha, loan kwa, hahahahaha. Its NBC a bank that the gives loan.

  38. Rubbish, lai Mohammed does not need a loan from any of his Agency to embark on an official Trip all he needs to do us direct the Agency to sponsor his trip. People should stop writing rubbish.

  39. It is evident that many people don’t understand how government operates and many more are always partisan in their views. A minister is leading a 5-man delegation to far away China and most things including estacode have to be paid for. When the required sum is changed to dollars it is not outrageous at all. Sourcing a loan from an organization under him is not illegal or inappropriate.Considering our parlous economy perhaps the minister and just 2 others could have gone on the trip thereby reducing the cost.

    • Sir the question is ‘since this government promised to cut costs at all cost, what did Buhari forgot to do in China that he’s going to finish up’?

    • A good number of foreign visits by heads of States require follow up visits by officials to tidy up agreements or open up some new areas of Understanding between the concerned countries.

    • spectators in the stadium watching football match are the most experienced, saint and perfect human beings! I always advise and appeal to people that only criticises to also try and Venture into politics so that they can make the radical change they preach. ppl dont understand that there are lot of things to consider and balance in governance. you can’t live in isolation. ‘the eyes of the ppl are menacing me otherwise I would have loved to do whatever that comes to my mind’ says an axiom.

      as we criticises ppl in government, let’s also appreciate them once in a while, I believe this will make them to do more.

  40. lol nah chain una go c yoruba and hausa una neva c any thing

  41. As per the Financial Instructions, it is totally wrong.

  42. why worried about the leak?

  43. Lai should be careful,there is booby trap set for him.He should screen most of the advices from his directors in the ministry


  45. That is one of d loud speaker of fight against curruption fantastically currupt himself. Make una see wat we are saying. By d end of this tenure, go and check their papers, u will find out that this govement pointing fingers at jonathans govement is rootedly currupt..yeye pple.


  47. The Guy dey Hungry ooh
    Baba Presido no go approve such trips.
    He wa find his way ooh
    Man must survive.

  48. Is loan a gift? No then he has to pay back according to the terms and conditions by which the loan was granted.

  49. Fantastically corrupt lai

  50. fantastically corrupt informer

  51. We know that is very illegal, we don’t need any prophet to tell us that… Lai is a dubious minded individual…. Ole in!!!

  52. Be careful, this man can lie to achieve all he wants

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