DESERT HERALD newspaper Publisher, Mallam Tukur Mamu (Dan-Iyan Fika), has been in a running battle with the former FCT Minister, Sen. Bala Muhammad and some key officials of the former regime since 2013 over a book his company is set to release soon. The book entitled “FCT Under Bala: The Rot Within” is now in the eye of the storm. Mamu was arrested and detained for 16 days by the General Investigation Unit of the Force CID in Garki in September 2013 over allegations of extortion and blackmail instituted against him by the former FCT minister, Bala Muhammad. But the case couldn’t continue and the police failed to prosecute him due to lack of evidence. Another case meant to halt the release of the book was instituted by Bala Muhammad and Ibrahim Bomoi before Justice Danladi Sanche of Abuja High Court. The matter is now in Appeal Court. In this exclusive interview conducted online at Hotel Gawe in Niamey, Niger Republic where he has spent nearly two weeks on a visit to his former school, Institut Superieur de Technologie et de Management (ISTM), to unearth what he called “a grand conspiracy orchestrated by Bala and Bomoi to implicate him for certificate forgery”, Mamu’s responses was not only revealing but put to question the earlier publications against him. He supported his claims with official documents and how the Institute and the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Niger Republic eventually countered the earlier letters published in some national dailies and cleared him through duly processed and signed letters.
A group that called itself ‘Advocates Against Corruption’ has recently sponsored advertorials in some national dailies displaying official documents that you forged a degree certificate to secure admission in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and it sounds convincing. What will you say?
That is to tell you how dubious and desperate the sponsors of the plot to discredit and implicate me by all means are. Have you ever heard of any group by the name ‘Advocates Against Corruption’ before now? That was the dubious and criminal initiation of Barr. Joe Kyari Gadzama, lawyer to those that are after me. They started with a phantom Coalition in 2013 but eventually the young men realised they are being used and getting very little in return so it didn’t work. So this so called ‘Advocates’ was the creation of the former FCT minister, Bala Muhammad and Ibrahim Bomoi for the purpose of what they initially thought was the final onslaught that will cripple me forever. They have failed to realised that Allah is the best of planners. You will plan but Allah’s plan is the most superior and the one that will always prevail. Whoever He intends to protect no evil plan can succeed against him. Even though after their publications they have succeeded in creating doubts and suspicion in the minds of the people, I know and I am comforted with the fact that it is a temporary ‘victory’ over me and one that will soon be exposed because I am privy to everything they have done in Niger Republic and I have everything at my disposal to defend myself. The first letter I wrote to IGP Solomon Arase in that regard has sufficiently exposed the official conspiracy against me. But that was not enough as far as I am concerned. I need to prove to the world that the people that are after me are not only dubious and experts in stealing public funds but are bunch of criminally minded people that live and survived through all forms of fraud to achieve what they want. The fear of Allah is not in their dictionary as long as they will get what they want. But I told them even when they are in government that they will never succeed against me no matter the evil because my mind is pure and I don’t believe in pursing what I desire through dubious means as they always do. I always believe there is nothing hard work cannot achieve. So the official documents you saw in those publications were the offshoot of their conspiracy to implicate me. That was exactly what they plotted to achieve in ABU, Zaria in 2014 where I did my Masters Degree in International Affairs and Diplomacy. As stated in my letter to the IGP they compromised the Registry at the Postgraduate School and thereafter used the police at the General Investigation Unit to write the same letter they wrote to the Embassy of Niger Republic in Abuja but ABU, Zaria were thorough in their investigation and eventually I was cleared.
Are you then rejecting the evidences your they published?
Yes. They were all fraudulently acquired with the sole aim of implicating me in the so called forgery they fabricated. They used the head of the AGIS, Jamila Tangaza, who as a former BBC staff knows Niger Republic very well and has established contacts in the country over the years. They budgeted N50m to get what they want by all means. And they got. I am telling you this with authority because I spent nearly two weeks in Niamey using my own little contacts to establish what actually happened. The truth is they penetrated the Registry of the institution in Niamey, stole my entire academic record and deleted my name from the system but forgot to remove the name from the lists of graduating students of 2009 for their distance learning programme. Despite the anomaly, the fraud was done by them in such a way it will be difficult to trace my record. That was the time they used same police at the General Investigation Unit in Nigeria to write a letter to the school through the Embassy seeking dubiously to confirm my claim of attending the institution. Eventually my record couldn’t be traced in the institution as planned by the plotters hence they got the ‘indicting’ letter they worked very hard to get. But because it was all pre-planned, ill-conceived, and by divine intervention they mismanaged and misapplied their temporary ‘success’. The police officers Bala and Bomoi conspired to execute the Niamey mission are Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP Umar Muri and SP Mantu (the then IPO of the case) who were then at the GI Unit. ACP Muri is known for his dubious and fraudulent acts since his days at the EFCC. He was removed from the EFCC by the then chairman, AIG Farida Waziri because of the same fraud he was doing when he was at the GI Unit. The letters the so called Advocates published was illegally given to Bala and Bomoi by ACP Muri. But instead of managing their temporary success well they rush to go to the press thereby implicating the police the more, exposing the glaring conspiracy of the police in the matter and rubbishing what initially supposed to be a ‘milestone’ for them. You may wonder how a so called group of ‘lawyers’ that are “fighting corruption” got official letters of the Police in a matter they are interested in to publish. It is a major scandal and an indictment that must be investigated in the interest of the nation. We will pursue it. And we will probe it in court that Ibrahim Bomoi is the one that directly sponsored the so called Advocates group and by implication behind the illegal release of the confidential letters of the Police to the group. I have two recorded audio telephone conversations Bomoi heard through his duly registered MTN No. 08036947461 on 11th November, 2015 with one of his friend whom I happen to know very well and one other saying that “we have finished him (Tukur)”, and confirming his conspiracy in the advertorial placed by the Advocates on that day.
Do you think the police is right to have gone straight to the Embassy of Niger Republic in Abuja through Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs to investigate the matter without first going through Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Education?
The logic and motive is very simple even for a layman to comprehend. We have contacted experts on the matter and a breach was established. What the Police have been doing at the GI Unit in my matter since the lawless regime of former President Goodluck Jonathan is clearly an indictment and gross abuse of law and their sacred profession. They want to continue under this regime in order to rubbish the government but it will not work. First the Police broke the international law of UNESCO by proceeding straight to another country’s Embassy through the ministry of Foreign Affairs on matters of education instead of following first through the Federal Ministry of Education for the confirmation process. It is the constitutional responsibility of the ministry of education through the Department of Education Support Service to write and make enquiries on students or claims of possessing ‘questionable certificates’ to any foreign university or institution through the ministry of Foreign Affairs but because the police did not even know their job or because of the blind interest they have on the matter to satisfy a powerful minister in that government they followed directly through the Foreign Affairs Ministry, ignoring the ministry of education to manipulate and get what they want. The implication is that due process of professionalism will not be followed in the certificate verification exercise and that even the language and approach to be used in ensuring justice and getting the right reply will not be adopted because it is not their work. It is the Department of Education Support Service that is recognised by law to confirm through their counterpart ministry abroad whether I actually attended the school or not. So in my view and the opinion of experts even the federal ministry of Foreign Affairs are wrong for entertaining matters on education directly from the police without any formal correspondence with the federal ministry of education on the matter. And even if we don’t have a valid court order that halts further investigation on the matter, it is unlawful for the police to go ahead with even the initial investigation on the matter based on the first petition written to them in 2013 during Bala’s tenure as minister by a phantom group that calls itself ‘Coalition of Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria’ without first confirming through the Corporate Affairs Commission and other relevant bodies their existence and if they are registered and allowed by law to bear such name and write such petition challenging the credentials of a private or even government employee. If that is the case any aggrieved corrupt person that stole so much can seat from the comfort of his mansion, create association, mobilise jobless youths to submit such petitions to his contacts in the police as we have seen in my case for prompt vendetta, blackmail and persecution.
Having exposed the said conspiracy, how do you intend to clear your name at least for record purposes?
We have done so much in the last twelve days. I never take it for granted and Allah as usual has come to my aide. As you know the law did not stipulate that I must have even a primary school certificate before becoming a publisher of a paper but I have built a name and reputation over the years that must be preserved. The family I come from is such a large family with highly respected and accomplished professionals. I owe it a duty to protect and preserve the name we all use. And don’t forget the same set of criminals that fabricated the forgery against me are the same corrupt minded people that bankrolled the forgery conspiracy against the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari during the presidential campaigns. The people that are accusing me of certificate forgery, those that plotted the mischief are the same set of criminals that don’t have shame and conscience that vigorously campaign through the media for the PDP that a retired General of the Nigerian Army, our first Petroleum Minister, former Head of State did not attend secondary school and like in my own case they almost succeeded against him if not for the timely intervention of Allah because of the aggressive campaign and use of money (through Bomoi’s office). The source of the finance came from the same place. They never deny it because they know I have my evidences. So they are already ‘experts’ and notorious in these acts of treachery and deceit. The fund that was used and which nearly consumed the presidential aspiration of our boss, President Buhari, was 100% provided through the office of Ibrahim Bomoi. So after their mischievous publication I immediately wrote and contacted the Protection Rights of Journalists of Africa, PRJA, in Cape Town, South Africa. As you know I am a Senior Consultant on Media for West Africa for PRJA. I got the admission to study in Niamey under their scholarship. I didn’t spend a kobo of my own. After receiving my letter, PRJA immediately wrote a protest letter to the institution and immediately facilitated my journey to Niamey, secretly. When I got there I was not surprise at all what I discovered but it seems I underestimated the extent of what Bala and Bomoi can do to destroy me even though Bala has said to my face that he will use the last money he has to destroy me and take what he considered a revenge of what i did to them. I never lose sleep for a day because I know that Bala is ignorant of the God he is worshiping. Nobody can destroy except Allah and nobody can kill except if Allah permit. So when i got there and expectedly too, my records at ISTM were nowhere to be found. The PRJA letter greatly assisted as the management of the school promptly launched an investigation. To also hasten and facilitate the process I did to them what I did in ABU Zaria when similar fraud was done. As you can see clearly in the copy of the letter I attached to this publication, while in Niamey I wrote a letter to the Director General of the institution complaining of the disappearance of my record and the letter he signed to that effect which the Advocates published. In the letter I attached to the institution as I did to ABU Zaria a copy of my Degree Admission Letter, copies of my Registration Form and the school fees I paid, a copy of my approved project, copies of my academic transcript and a copy of my Degree Statement of Result and requested for investigation and written clearance to counter the one they were misled to issue to the agents of Bala and Bomoi. From my International Passport you can see the evidence of going in and out of Niger Republic during the said period. The man was so surprised with the attachments I forwarded and immediately summoned a meeting. It was during the meeting as I was told that they traced my name from the lists of their graduating students of 2009 and found all the documents I attached to my letter to them as not only genuine but belonging to their institution. They were so embarrassed and profusely apologetic to me after the meeting. They are convinced that one of them has been compromised. They told me to come after two days for their official response.
So what is the outcome of their investigation and what did they do eventually?
As you can see from the scanned copies I sent to you, the outcome is not something one can manipulate in his favour. I cannot forge the document of a whole country, publicise it and remain free. The official letters you saw with their contacts for anybody that wants to confirm is a clear vindication of my innocence in this whole and well orchestrated imbroglio and it puts to shame the claims and counter claims of Bala, Bomoi etc in that regard. They know that what they are doing is criminal and far worse than the offense they are mischievously accusing me of. They know that it was a fabrication but they are determined to force white to be black by all means. They can do it to people that don’t know their rights, people that don’t know what they are doing. They thought money is everything and can do anything. Eventually and after thorough verification of the documents I attached to the letter I submitted to them as ABU Zaria did to me, and as per the request in my letter to them (ISTM), Institut Superieur de Technologie et de Management (ISTM), wrote to me directly to retract their earlier letter and confirmed my status and the programme I did in their institution. As you can see in the letter they tendered unreserved apology to me and regretted all the embarrassments. In fact, ISTM went further to write and submit similar letter to the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Niger Republic confirming my status for translation into English which the ministry did without delay. And as requested by me, ISTM obliged and wrote to the Registrar of ABU Zaria communicating same information. I am sure the Registrar of ABU Zaria has by now received their copy. You can clearly see from the scanned copy that the same signatory (M Ahmadou Djibo Dandakoye) of the letter their Advocates manipulated and got from the police is the one that countered his initial letter and endorsed my own. I accepted their apology because by then I know the extent of criminality Bala and Bomoi can do to get what they want. Certainly money has exchanged hands but there are many things money cannot do. That they know by now. And I am challenging the likes of Bala, Bomoi, their corrupt lawyer Gadzama, their Advocates or any of their paid agents to prove me otherwise as per the official letters attached to this interview. In fact, what they did has turned out to be a blessing for me because a whole nation outside the shores of Nigeria has vindicated and shamed my detractors. Alhamdulillah!
Congrats sir but what next now?
I will not allow the matter to die like that. I have already instructed my lawyers to study all the fabrications and sue the phantom Advocates and their sponsors. I also wrote President Buhari and pleaded with him to instruct the IGP to thoroughly investigate the conspiracy and complicity of the police in this fraud because such acts of gross misconduct and abuse of office in this government is capable of destroying the image of Nigeria and frustrating the resolve of Mr. President to ensure complete departure of what we witness in previous governments particularly the immediate past regime. We all know how the Jonathan administration bastardized important and sensitive government institutions like the DSS, the Army and the Police. What corrupt police officers at the GI Unit did in this case is a clear case of treason and breach of investigation that must not be allowed to continue. If what was done to me was done to somebody that doesn’t have the contact and resources to follow up and ensure justice by travelling to as far as Niamey in Niger Republic, spending nearly two weeks, that would have been the end of the matter and the whole world will accept and believe the painful fabrication that one was engaged in forgery. It may end up in the withdrawal of both my Degree and Masters certificates as plotted and planned by Bala and Bomoi. I have never seen official documents confidentially written to the IGP and exclusively for his office on a matter currently under investigation that involves two nations on the pages of newspaper and sponsored not by the police but by so called Advocates that are ‘fighting corruption’. What an indictment! Even though personally i have confidence in IGP Arase we were being told that the police want to bury it and cover up the acts of treason committed by their men. If it is true which i want to believe it will be difficult we will not allow it. I really don’t want to believe with the insinuations that Bala Muhammad as an influential minister in a regime that elevated Solomon Arase to the IGP has used his contact with Mr. Arase to frustrate the investigation of this clear case of treason against his men. The signatories of the Advocates must reveal where they got official letters of the Police to publish. I have also written to the Nigerian Bar Association in that regard since the signatories have claimed that they are lawyers to determine their membership of the NBA and whether conspiring to illegally steal official letters of the Police, publish them in the name of fighting corruption is accepted by the law. The days of impunity or using government institutions under a government we fought very hard to bring, under a government whose integrity and commitment to the rule of law is unquestionable and sacrosanct is over. And whether the likes of Bala Muhammad and his cronies in and outside government want it or not I am a proud holder of a degree certificate in Mass Communication and Masters in International Affairs and Diplomacy from the two prestigious institutions and there is nothing they can do about it. I cannot conclude without thanking a lot of personalities and several well wishers that stood 100 percent by me through out the trying period. I am grateful to Allah that at the end I did not disappoint them, I did not betray their confidence and trust in me.