TOP 50 lies of Lai Mohammed

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He is now known as Lie Mohammed. Lai Mohammed’s name has become a popular synonym for LIES and it’s gorgeously apt.

On December 23 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari lied to the BBC that Nigeria has “technically won the war” against Boko Haram; barely 48 hours to last US Presidential election, Prophet TB Joshua lied that he “saw” a woman being elected; and just recently, film actress Oge Okoye lied that her “new babies just arrived” by presenting photos of another lady’s “babies” as those of her just-arrived ones.

These are all public figures lying, but none of their lies come so brazenly, so tactlessly, and so consistently as those from Lai Mohammed.

Lai’s claim that Buhari’s infamous globetrotting was in response to invitations from world leaders to discuss the return of looted funds is a lie, his repeated claim that 55 persons stole N1.34 trillion is sheer fabrication, and his 2016 announcement that a retiring permanent secretary at the Ministry of Power bolted with 40 brand new SUVs is fake news.

Lai has never apologized, even when trapped by the web of his lies. He would rather tell another lie, most times striking both opponents and admirers numb with shock. This is how the inglorious personality of Nigeria’s information minister was cultivated; a personality popularly compared to that of the devil, but whose destructive attributes are conspicuously overlooked.

1

As APC Spokesman, February 2015

Few weeks to the 2015 general election, Lai sent to media houses a picture which he claimed was that of the “Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari (right) with the Chief Executive Officer, All Eyes TV Show, Kemi Fadojutimi (left), during Buhari’s working visit to the United Kingdom.”

This is a lie.

The picture was taken in suite 881 at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja and never during any “Working Visit to the United Kingdom” by Buhari.

2

APC mega rally for Ekiti governorship election, June 19 2014

While commenting on the  absence of Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano state at the rally, Lai stated that “the plane that was flying Gov. Kwankwaso to Akure was denied permission to land”.

This is another lie.

“The governor is in Kano here; he did not have plans of going to Akure”.

Baba Dantiye,  the Director of Press Affairs to Governor Kwankwaso told Premium Times.

3

As APC Spokesman, Thursday May 7 2015

Lai in a statement said that the outgoing administration of President Goodluck Jonathan had “bluntly refused to cooperate” with APC Transition Team to ensure a successful transition of power.

This is a lie.

The head of APC Transition Committee, Ahmed Joda faulted report of any such disagreement, noting that his  “committee has never said to anybody that there is no cooperation”.

4

Thursday, January 26 2017

Lai told a delegation of the Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative “that the president is hale and hearty in London where he is observing his 10 day vacation.”

This is a lie.

Mr President, upon his return on March 3 averred that he “couldn’t recall being so sick since” he “was a young man”, adding that he had received “the best of treatment” that involved “blood transfusions, going to the laboratories, and so on and so forth.”

5

Meeting with newspaper editors, Lagos, 21st December 2015

Lai said that “the war against Boko Haram is largely won”.

“They have so degraded the capacity of Boko Haram that the terrorists can no longer hold on to any territory,”

He said.

This is a lie.

On February 7 2016, the Senator representing Borno Central, Baba Kaka Garbai warned that “we should not live under the illusion that Boko Haram are decimated or weakened” as “most of the local governments in Borno are partially occupied by Boko Haram”.

6

Press conference, Abuja, February 16 2016

Lai insisted that Boko Haram “remain massively degraded and largely defeated”, this time noting that “their capacity to operate as a troop moving in convoy of vehicles and motorcycles to launch attacks on communities and military formations has been neutralized”.

This is a lie.

On April 16 2016 for example, the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Sani Usman said that “in the early hours of Friday, some elements of Boko Haram terrorists in 5 gun trucks, motorcycles and 2 Golf cars laden with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) from Sambisa forest axis attempted an attack on 121 Task Force Battalion at Pulka”.

7

As ACN Spokesman, May 12 2013

Lai advised President Goodluck Jonathan to “emulate the late United States President Harry Truman by putting a sign on his desk at Aso Rock that reads ‘The buck stops here’ to remind him that he bears the ultimate responsibility for the security situation in the country today”.

This is inaccurate.

The former American president did not have The Buck Stops Here inscribed on his desk to remind him that he bears ultimate responsibility for the security situation in his country, rather to remind him that for every issue tabled before him, he had to make a decision.

“…when the decision is up before you — and on my desk I have a motto which says The Buck Stops Here’ — the decision has to be made.”

He said in an address at the US National War College on December 19, 1952.

8

Addis Ababa, 21st April 2017

Shortly after Nigeria was awarded the right to host the 61st meeting of African ministers of tourism in 2018, Lai said that “Nigeria got the endorsement of the whole world to host the 61st session of the CAF mission of the UNTWO”.

This is a lie.

Nigeria did not get “the endorsement of the whole world” to host a meeting of Africa’s tourism ministers rather it got the endorsement of Africa’s ministers of tourism who were present at the 59th edition of the meeting in Addis Ababa.

9

Addis Ababa,  21st April 2017

Lai described the award of hosting right of 2018 meeting of Africa’s ministers of tourism as “a global endorsement of programmes and efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration”.

“What that means really is that the entire world has endorsed the programmes and efforts of President Buhari’s administration.”

He said.

This is a lie.

The meeting of African ministers of tourism – which as earlier noted, does not carry the mandate of “the entire world” did not endorse “the programmes and efforts of President Buhari’s administration,” rather it endorsed Nigeria’s bid to host its 61st conference in 2018.

10

Town Hall meeting, Ilorin, February 6 2017

Lai told a town hall meeting in Ilorin that “the killing of Christians by Muslims” in Nigeria is a fallacy.

Lai’s claim is what is actually fallacious.

For example, on June 2 2016, 74 year old Christian woman, Bridget Agbahime was murdered by marauding Muslim youth for so-called blasphemy at Kofar Wambai Market Kano , and on 9th July 2016, an Imam in Kubwa in the federal capital territory ordered the killing of Eunice Elisha Olawale, a Christian evangelist.

So, Christians are indeed getting killed by Muslims in Nigeria.

11

Town Hall meeting, Kano, May 27 2016

Lai said that “if any other other political party had won the election” that brought the APC into power, “Nigeria would have seized from existing”.

This is unsubstantiated.

There was no sign that Nigeria faced either nuclear or natural existential threat that would have materialized had a political party other than the APC won the 2015 presidential election.

12

February 8 2017

Lai told state house correspondents “without any equivocation” that President Buhari is “well” in London where he had gone on a “working leave”.

“Mr President is well, he is hale and he is hearty; no question about that.”

He said.

This is a lie.

It turned out the president has never been so sick like he was then, and was busy “going to laboratories” and getting “blood transfusions”.

13

May 27 2016

Lai told members of the Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria that the administration of President Buhari is “ready to feed 5.5 million school children once daily”.

This is a lie.

The administration of President Buhari was not ready to feed any 5.5 million school children once daily, which explains why its school-feeding programme crashed few weeks after it took off.

14

Press release, 15th July 2016

When the report of the Committee on the Audit of Defense Equipment Procurement in the Armed Forces between 2007-2015 was apparently doctored to save from indictment Buhari’s minister of interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, who was one of the persons who held sway in the army within the period, Lai in a statement  said that the report of the audit covered only the period between 2011 to 2015, excluding the years when Dambazau was in charge.

This is a lie.

The first paragraph of the report which the probe committee submitted stated clearly that it “analysed procurement contracts awarded by or for the Nigerian Army between 2007 and 2015”.

15

As APC spokesman, Monday June 30 2014

While reacting to allegation that he had opposed the proscription of Boko Haram by the Federal Government in 2013, Lai said that “at no time” did he ” condemn the government for proscribing” Boko Haram.

This is a lie.

As spokesperson of the ACN, Lai condemned on June 10 2013 the then executive order which prescribed a 20 year jail term for ” “incitement to commit a terrorist act through the Internet, or any electronic means or through the use of printed materials or through the dissemination of terrorist information” as an attempt at “stifling the press”, clearly emphasizing that ” whatever action government takes— even in an emergency— must pass the constitutional test”.

16

Ramadan lecture, Kwara state, July 2nd 2015

Lai told his audience that “in a couple of days the ministerial cabinet list” of President Muhammadu Buhari “would be made available”.

This turned out to be a lie.

The ministerial list wasn’t made available “in a couple of days”, rather it was close to three months thereafter when the first list of ministerial nominees was received by the Senate.

17

August 11 2016

When the United States of America warned its citizens against travelling to 20 out of the 36 states of Nigeria which they considered unsafe, Lai in his reaction said that ” there is no part of Nigeria that is not safe”.

This is a lie.

The town of Kuburvwa in Borno state proved to be anything but safe when Boko Haram fighters opened fire on residents 9 days after, burning down the whole village after looting food supplies and livestock and taking away women and children.

18

Channels TV Interview, Wednesday June 1st 2016

Lai blamed Boko Haram for rising cost of tomato in the country, noting that the increase in market price of tomato “is a direct result of the fact” that the country “lost two years harvest to Boko Haram insurgency”.

This is a lie.

Lai’s colleague and federal minister of agriculture, Audu Ogbeh had earlier explained that the invasion and consequent destruction of tomato fruits in tomato farms in some six tomato-producing states by a pest, Tuta absoluta was responsible for the fall in supply of tomato which in turn drove up its market price.

19

Thursday December 29 2016

In a statement in Lagos, Lai said that a former federal permanent secretary at the Ministry of Power who retired from office recently bolted away with 40 brand new SUVs and other vehicles.

This is fake news.

Investigation by Leadership Newspaper revealed that no retiring permanent secretary bolted away with 40 brand new SUVs and other vehicles from the Ministry of Power.

20

Interview with The Nation, April 15 2017

Lai said that “it is quite unfortunate that when people talk about the Boko Haram insurgency, the focus is always on the missing Chibok girls, and every effort of government in combating this deadly insurgency is often measured against the return or otherwise of the Chibok girls”.

Lai is being clever by half here.

President Muhammadu Buhari had himself repeatedly asked for his administration’s effort in “combating the deadly insurgency” to be “measured against the return or otherwise of the Chibok girls”.

21

Channels TV, December 29 2015

Lai said that when they came into office in May 2015, “Boko Haram had complete control of 20 out of 37 local governments in Borno state”.

This is a lie.

Boko Haram only controlled up to 20 local governments in Borno before the onslaught that followed the rescheduling of the February 14 presidential elections to March 28.

22

Liberty Radio and Television, May 6 2016

While trying to justify Buhari’s globetrotting, Lai claimed that Buhari is getting invite from world leaders because “they have the confidence to discuss with” him “the issue of the looted funds”, citing his invitation to the 2016 so-called anti-corruption summit in London.

This is a lie.

British leaders famously described Buhari as a “leader of a fantastically corrupt country” who is coming to the 2016 summit at his “own expense”, so obviously they neither thought Buhari had any integrity nor did they have any confidence to discuss with him the issue of any looted funds.

23

Visit to Lagos state governor, February 25 2016

Lai said that “the ADC to former President Goodluck Jonathan said when they brought N10 billion for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) campaign, he did not open it. He said he only gave it to the Special Adviser on Domestic Affairs.”

This is fake news.

ADC to former President never said anything like that.

24

Press conference, Abuja, January 18 2016

Lai said that between 2006 and 2013,  just 55 people “stole a total of 1.34 trillion Naira in Nigeria”.

This is unsubstantiated.

There is no evidence that some 55 people “stole a total of 1.34 trillion Naira in Nigeria” between 2006 and 2013.

25

Press conference, Abuja, January 18 2016

Lai also said that “15 former governors were alleged to have stolen N146.84 billion; while 4 former ministers stole N7 billion; 12 former public servants, both at federal and state levels, stole over N14 billion; 8 people in the banking Industry allegedly N524 billion; while 11 businessmen allegedly stole N653 billion.”

This is also unsubstantiated.

Lai never mentioned who these guys were and how he was able to arrive at the figure they stole, and neither an independent nor a biased investigation ever established that such persons stole such amounts at such time.

26

Press conference, Abuja, January 18 2016

Lai said that “the impression being created by a cross section of Nigerians that his government’s war against corruption was one-sided “is not true and indeed very nauseating”.

The only thing nauseating here is Lai’s dishonest claim.

For example, when a Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement in the Nigerian Armed Forces set up to probe military procurement from 2007 to 2015 indicted the three persons who headed the army within that period, the name of current minister of interior, Abdulrahman Dambazzau who is the only one among them who is a Buhari ally was removed from the final report.

27

Press conference, Abuja, January 18 2016

Lai said that one of the persons who participated in sharing the $2.1 billion arms deal purportedly missing from the arms fund said that “he collected N4.5 billion for spiritual purposes”.

This is fake news.

The news that former Sokoto state governor, Attahiru Bafarawa told the EFCC that he received N4.6 billion from Mr. Dasuki for “spiritual purposes” is fake news credited to Sahara Reporters, and a statement by one of the former governor’s aides, Alhaji Akibu Dalhatu said Bafarawa had no deal with the former NSA nor collected any money from him for any purpose talk more of telling the EFCC that.

28

Press conference, January 18 2016

Lai claimed that one of the persons who took part in sharing the $2.1 billion arms fund said that ” he got N13 billion to pay someone else for the Maritime University land”.

This is a lie.

Ex-head of NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi who was on July 2015 arrested and questioned over the N13 billion spent by his office on the acquisition of land for the permanent site of the Nigerian Maritime University in Delta state was never mentioned alongside the $2.1 billion arms fund.

29

Press release, Sunday, March 19 2017

Lai said that  “whistle-blowers have nothing to fear,” as the Presidential Asset Recovery Committee “has put in place the necessary measures to safeguard those who give useful information.”

“As a matter of fact, whistle-blowers have everything to gain and nothing to lose,”

He said.

This is a lie.

Mr. Ntia Thompson, an assistant director with the Directorate of Technical Cooperation in Africa lost everything on February 2017 for exposing an alleged $229,000 fraud in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

30

As ACN Spokesman, May 12 2013

While opposing the declaration of a state of emergency in three north-eastern states , Lai stated that “going by precedence, President Jonathan is sure to appoint card-carrying PDP members to preside over the affairs” of the north-eastern states should their governors who are not of the PDP be removed in the case of the declaration of a state of emergency.

There is no precedence here.

When Lai made his statement, President Jonathan had never removed any elected official in a state of emergency and replaced them with “card-carrying PDP members”, so the precedence Lai was speaking of simply never existed.

31

Channels TV Programme, December 30 2015

Lai, while hammering home his lie that Boko Haram has been “degraded and defeated” said that “less than a year ago, the entire Northeast was almost in their control”.

This is a lie.

At the peak of their insurgency which was towards the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015, Boko Haram controlled 20 out of the 27 local governments in Borno state, 5 out of 21 local governments in Adamawa and 2 out of 17 local governments in Yobe.

This means that Boko Haram controlled 27 local governments in the north-east which is not even a quarter of the 111 local governments in the north-east talk more of being “almost” the entirety of it.

32

Press release, Monday, December 21 2015

When ISIS on behalf of Boko Haram released information on their recent attacks in Nigeria, Lai quickly labeled their information a propaganda, stating that he wonders “where the terrorists have been carrying out their so-called spectacular attacks”.

Where the terrorists were carrying out their spectacular attacks was common knowledge.

For example, the August 2015 attack in which Boko Haram fighters opened fire on residents of Kukuwa-Gari in Yobe State, forcing them to either drown in the local river or face a rain of bullets is very spectacular  in the terrorist sense of the word.

33

As APC Spokesman, Thursday, October 9 2014

While commenting on the confusion that followed the seizure of $9m arms procurement fund belonging to Nigeria by South African authorities, Lai stated “that the arms purported to be purchased from South Africa were ordered from the office of the NSA is nothing but a mere fabrication”.

This is a lie.

According to City Press, a South African newspaper, Sambo Dasuki, Nigeria’s National Security Adviser, NSA, personally authorized the $9.3 million arms contract by issuing an end-user certificate, alongside a “shopping list” for helicopters, unmanned aircraft, rockets and ammunition.

34

As APC Spokesman, Thursday, October 9 2014

Lai stated that it was Asari Dokubo that was purchasing arms with the $9m flown to South Africa, claiming that “Nigerians will therefore like to know on whose behalf Asari Dokubo was purchasing arms”.

This is a lie.

Asari Dokubo was not the one purchasing arms with the $9m, rather, it was Sambo Dasuki, the then National Security Adviser who was purchasing arms on behalf of the Nigerian state.

35

As APC Spokesman, Thursday, October 9 2014

Lai took his allegation against Asari a step further, insinuating that he was on the jet to South Africa to purchase arms because he was “stockpiling arms” to fight the Nigerian state.

This is also a lie.

The arms transaction was between the Nigerian state and a South African company, and there was no armory of the Nigerian government that was under the command of Asari Dokubo, so he could not be “stockpiling arms” purchased by the Nigerian government.

36

National Assembly, Tuesday, May 3 2016

Lai told members of the House of Representatives that “there’s a particular masquerade in the south east” that takes “100 people to dress, and 100 people to undress”.

This is a lie.

Investigation by Ezeja News found that no masquerade of Lai’s description exists anywhere in the South-east.

37

National Assembly, Tuesday, May 3 2016

Lai also told members of the House of Representatives that the country “must make a difference between tourist sites and tourist attractions”.

“What we have in Nigeria are tourist sites. They are not tourist attractions.”

He said.

This is a lie.

Nigeria obviously has tons of tourist attractions, and there is nothing like a “tourist site”.

38

Press release, September 28 2016

While reacting to a criticism of his ‘Change Begins with Me’ campaign by The Economist, Lai described President Buhari as “a globally-acknowledged leader who believes strongly in the rule of law”.

Buhari has rather been acknowledged as a non-believer in the rule of law.

For example, in December 2016, European Union Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS,  Mr. Michel Arion lamented the worsening condition of the rule of law under Buhari, pointing out that “a lot of people are kept in detention without trial” in “total violation of their fundamental right of freedom”.

39

Presidential Villa, Wednesday, November 16 2016

Lai told governors that the ‘Change Begins with Me’ is a national rather than political campaign, noting that it has “no political, religious or ethnic coloration”.

This is a lie.

President Buhari himself had in his speech while inaugurating the campaign, stated that it is an agenda of his “party”.

40

World Press Freedom Day 2017

Lai described the 2017 World Press Freedom ranking by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) that shows that Nigeria’s press freedom rating has been on sustained decline since 2015 as “inaccurate”.

This is untrue.

For example, according to Amnesty International, the Nigerian government “arrested and detained, some without trial, at least 10 journalists and bloggers” in 2016 alone as against 3 in 2014.

41

October 2016

Lai denied that 21 of the missing Chibok girls released by Boko Haram were swapped for members of the insurgent group held by security operatives.

“Please note that this is not a swap. It is a release, the product of painstaking negotiations and trust on both sides.”

He said.

This is a lie.

Locals told Daily Trust that the 21 girls were swapped for four high-ranking Boko Haram commanders.

42

Addis Ababa, April 2017

Reacting to the reopening of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Lai said that “passengers travelling along the ever-busy Abuja-Kaduna highway were largely kept safe while the closure of the Abuja airport lasted”.

“There was no known security scare.”

He said.

This is a lie.

There were widely-circulated reports of road-users being attacked along the Abuja – Kaduna highway during the Abuja airport closure, with a luckless bus driver loosing his life in one incident.

43

National Security Summit, Tuesday, February 21 2017

Lai said that the report of the killing of members of the Indigenous People of Biafra at a rally in Port Harcourt on January 20th 2017 is fake news.

This is a lie.

An elaborate and verifiable report on the incident by the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law showed that in deed many people were either killed or injured at the rally.

44

Friday, November 11 2016

A statement issued by Lai’s office revealed that he had told a panel of Africa’s ministers of tourism, which met on the sidelines of UN Conference on Climate Change in Marrakech, Morocco, that the federal government has shown the political will to drive the development of tourism in the country.

This is a lie.

On Tuesday, February 14 2017 while been queried by the senate, Lai would himself blame the poor performance of his ministry on ” lack of political will to develop the (tourism) sector”.

45

Lagos, Friday, November 4 2017

Lai told the Coalition of Nigerian Apostolic Leaders  that the biggest challenge the administration faces in its efforts to communicate with Nigerians had been “the propensity of a group of naysayers”.

This is a lie.

It’s lies and self-contradictions by Lai and other of the administration’s multitudinous mouthpieces that pose a threat to the value of any information coming from the administration.

46

Press release, Monday, March 6 2017

Lai claimed that when the Chibok girls were abducted in 2014, the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan “did nothing for all of 15 days or make any determined efforts to rescue them”.

This is a lie.

On April 17, 2014, exactly three days after the kidnap, President Jonathan called an emergency security meeting at the Presidential villa.

47

Federal executive council, April 12 2017

Lai told state house correspondents that the president “is not sick” and was absent from the weekly FEC meeting because he was carrying out other state functions.

This is the umpteenth time Lai would be telling this lie.

President Buhari himself said that he was sick when he returned on March 10; and Lai would himself later admit that President Buhari is sick, and explain that he was repeatedly absent from state functions because he was sticking “to his doctors’ advice so that he can recover much more quickly”.

48

Federal executive council, February 8 2017

While reacting to the uncertain air that greeted the continuing absence of President Buhari who had gone on a 10-day working leave to London, Lai noted that the president was not deserving of any blame as he “did what the constitution said he should do” before proceeding on the so-called leave.

This is inaccurate.

Mr President also did what the constitution says he shouldn’t do like lying that he was going on a 10-day working leave when he was rather going to spend months getting blood transfusions.

49

Visit to Daar Communications Plc, February 3 2017

Lai said that “people just have a mindset that whatever Lai Mohammed says cannot be true, but nobody has ever come out to say that” he “said Y’ and it wasZ’ that happened”.

This is a lie.

Many people have come out to say that Lai “said ‘Y’ and it was ‘Z’ that happened”.

For example, a Guardian newspaper editor, Abraham Ogbodo had written that weeks before the 2015 general election, Lai sent his newspaper a photo taken in Transcorp Hilton in Abuja as a photo of Muhammadu Buhari in London.

50

Visit to Daar Communications Plc, February 3 2017

Lai said that the popular “mindset that whatever” he “says cannot be true … is a price” he is paying “for serving” his “country”.

Lai is pretending to be one of the good guys here, and that’s a very dishonest presentation of his infernal character.

People don’t believe he is capable of telling any truth simply because of his knack for telling brazen lies not because he is “serving” his country.

Ọlaọha Ezeja

Ọlaọha Ezeja is the founder of ezeja and is based in Enugu.
Contact Ọlaọha at olaoha@ezeja.com.