Mohammed Gobir
Mohammed Gobir

The government and its officials and agents, as well as individuals and private entities are accountable under the law. The principle of the rule of law also says that justice is to be delivered timely by competent, ethical, independent and neutral representatives.

Mohammed Gobir
Mohammed Gobir

The Allegations

It is sad and shockingly embarrassing when we see our anti-graft agents parading themselves in uncivilized and unprofessional manner, in the name of fighting graft.

To be specific, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is expected to have respect for the rule of law and also to uphold fundamental rights of the citizenry.

Involving Alhaji Mohammed Gobir in what EFCC called ‘major corporate fraud’ and taking him into their custody in Ikoyi, Lagos sometimes in September 2015, alleging that the gentleman defrauded a foremost outdoor advertising company, Afromedia in various currencies, is most unfortunate. Judging and convicting a man on the pages of newspaper without trial or due process, is a clear case of injustice to say the least.

The commission also erroneously alleged that Alhaji Mohammed illegally collected $3,500,000, N514,457,151.87, $2,102,740 and 51,000 Pounds Sterling at various times. The 55-year-old father of two was subsequently picked by the operatives of EFCC in his Ikoyi residence and taken to the Lagos office of the anti-graft agency for interrogation, stripping him of his dignity and fundamental rights.

The Facts

Alhaji Mohammed Gobir was a board director at Afromedia Plc, in charge of business development from 2002 to 2013 until his resignation. His role in the company was to secure high level business opportunities for the company for which, by board?s resolution entitled Gobir to 10% of the proceeds of any transaction closed.

In one of the several private meetings held, the Group Managing Director, Mr. Ire Akin Olopade and Alhaji Mohammed Gobir agreed on the possibility of the company exploring and receiving capital investments following to the melt down in the Nigerian stock market. In accessing the capital investment, money was required to process and accessing the fund to which part of the sum was expended by Mr. Olopade who artfully made a turnaround and requested for refunds of which several payments were made in repayment to Mr Olopade.

However, the two parties disagreed on the arrears to be paid having deducted earlier payments from total sum, with the two parties resolving to seek legal adjudication on the matter to determine what was due.
It was therefore surprising when in a rather commando style, on the 12th of September, 2015, operatives of the EFCC stormed Gobir’s residence in Ikoyi, Lagos State, in company of Mr Olopade. The said EFCC personnel forced their way into Alhaji Mohammed Gobir?s apartment with neither a search warrant nor a court order to validate the entry.

The EFCC personnel?s activities put Alhaji?s apartment in disarray all in the name of searching for documents. Alhaji was dazed by this act of the EFCC enforcement team which was led by one Danladi Daniels who immediately whisked Alhaji Mohammed to their office even though to Alhaji?s consternation, nothing was presented to him either in form of a written complaint, or evidence of being investigated.

He also reported that the EFCC team compelled him to submit for a series of photographs and mug shots, stating also that he was amazed to see pictures taken given premium mention and published by virtually all Nigerian media within 12 hours of taking the said pictures.

It is worthy of note that till date, Alhaji Mohammed Gobir has not been shown any written petition against him. Instead, the EFCC officials informed him verbally that Afromedia plc wrote a petition against him.

Of course it is the duty of the prosecution to prove his guilt if any. While Alhaji?s corresponding duty is to state his defense to establish his innocence. Without contradiction, it is right for Alhaji to protest the unjust execution of an illegal harassment being carried out without the opportunity of being given fair hearing as constituted by our grand norm. There are also undisputable facts that there are several other factors at play, stating also that some persons are using the instrumentality of EFCC to manipulate and witch-hunt him towards the achievements of a specific agenda to defame his person and to portray him in bad light to the general public.

It is curious and worthy of note that the instrumentality of EFCC was used over a purely civil transaction to arm twist Alhaji Mohammed Gobir and further compel him to produce the said amount of money that Olopade had earlier alleged Alhaji owed him, even though the two parties involved, Mr Olopade and Alhaji had reached a mutual agreement on the 19th June, 2015.

Alhaji Mohammed Gobir in Brief

Mohammed Gobir is a businessman with over 30 decades experience in the public and private sectors. Over these year, he has been a credible Contractor to Nigeria Federal Agencies, Ministries, Parastatals, State Governments, Nigeria Police and Army.

He is the Chief Executive officer of Lake Resources, Liquid Gold Limited, and Stanmore Oil & Gas Limited, which are involved in real estate, oil and gas, and trading enterprises.

His strength lies in developing people, businesses, and corporate relationships; this he does by networking and using his personal brand which were developed over the years and in various parts of the world.

This attribute is not unconnected with his background having grown up in other countries while his father, Ambassador Abubakar Garba Gobir served in Togo, India Sweden, and in the Public Service as Permanent Secretary of Defense, Federal Capital Territory, Mines & Power and Agriculture.

Mr. Gobir was born in 1960; he is married with children. He attended Government Secondary School Ilorin, Kaduna Polytechnic, Kaduna State where he studied Textile Technology.

He has had working experience in several companies in Nigeria, giving him a solid footing and edge in understanding the Nigeria business terrain. He has also patriotically served as Chairman on the board of his home state Kwara Hotels.

Mr. Gobir is an astute businessman who believes in efficiency and transparency in his businesses and in all transactions.
His success in reviving and developing businesses is a testimony of his strength, values and character.

His goals are to offer cutting edge services that are time-conscious, reliable and efficient which any entrepreneur, corporation, organization or firm that desires to meet up with the new global challenges must embrace. He is an astute business leader, his skills in general management and organizational development were brought to bear over the years in various capacities where he had served and still serving with many indelible and meritorious milestones to his credit.

Mohammed is a sports man with particular interest in squash. He has a passion for benevolence, especially towards the aged, motherless, rehabilitation centers, and an even stronger passion for educating the less privileged children and building business start-ups for the youth.

By Kassim Isiaka (Esq)
Kassim is a legal practitioner, he wrote from Gwarimpa, FCT, Abuja.

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