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Jonathan 'Sacks' Controversial Campaign Aide, Mike Omeri

March 23, 2011

Mike Omeri, the controversial Director of Research and Strategy at the Goodluck/Sambo campaign, has been "suspended."

Mike Omeri, the controversial Director of Research and Strategy at the Goodluck/Sambo campaign, has been "suspended."

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Mr. Omeri had been seconded to the post from the office of Nigeria's Senate president, David Mark, to "assist" the executive branch, an action that revealed a dangerous level of collusion between both arms of the government.

Mr. Omeri was an instant success in terms of his ability to think outside the law.  Last December 25, SaharaReporters exposed the existence of a "rigging manual" he had authored to guarantee victory at the presidential primaries for Jonathan. The document defined how the Jonathan campaign could deploy a scorched earth political policy that would take advantage of the police and other security agencies, as well as undermine members of the opposition, pro-democracy NGOs, religious leaders and electoral officials.

Omeri's fall from his privileged position seems related to one of Jonathan's weakest spots: his wife's money-laundering issues that he has found difficult to resolve.  A few days ago, Omeri issued a public statement on the matter accusing the CPC candidate, Muhammamad Buhari and ACN candidate, Nuhu Ribadu, of hypocrisy over their anti-corruption stance.  That has caused Jonathan untold hardship as the candidates came out swinging against him.  Yesterday, presidential spokesman Ima Niboro said Omeri's statement had been unauthorized, calling it "an unfortunate statement from the PDP presidential campaign office which was certainly not authorized by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan."

Omeri is the second casualty at the faltering Jonathan campaign.  Last month, Sully Abu, a veteran journalist, was relieved of his position as Director of Media and Publicity.  Mr.Abu has now been replaced by another former journalist, Ide Eguabor, formerly of the National Interest newspaper.

Mrs. Jonathan has two cases of money-laundering at the EFCC arising in August and September 2006.  Although the former EFCC chairman and now ACN presidential candidate, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, has reversed previous statements he made about Mrs. Jonathan's involvement, the EFCC never issued a statement about its investigation of either case.  There are N104 million and $13.5 million involved, and the EFCC had obtained court authorization to freeze them.

Mr. Omeri is required to answer to a formal query issued by the campaign. The query promises stiffer penalty should his response fail to convince his superiors.
Contacted by SaharaReporters, Omeri said he was not yet aware of the disciplinary actions against him, claiming he was out of the office.

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