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Updated: 1 hour 14 min ago

Zimbabwe Thanks Nigeria For Flood Aid

15 May 2019 - 4:03am


Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of Zimbabwe has thanked Nigeria for providing relief materials to the country when it suffered tropical cyclone Idai.

Mr. Mnangagwa expressed his appreciation when he received the federal government delegation led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, on Wednesday at the State House in Harare.

He said: “We are happy that the leadership of Nigeria has realised that their brothers and sisters here in Zimbabwe visited by cyclone Idai need assistance.

“They brought lots of medicines and other materials to be given to people who have suffered the devastation.

“And in my own view, this is a demonstration to the people of Zimbabwe a friendship and support from Nigeria which was a front line state during the struggle for apartheid.

“The bond between us is demonstrated by this support and assistance.

“So, to the people of Nigeria, I say the people of Zimbabwe are extremely happy and grateful for the support they have given to us.

“Most of us in my generation were trained in Nigeria, and that is why we are now independent and Nigeria and Zimbabwe have come a long way.’’

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Court Bars EFCC From Investigating Saraki

15 May 2019 - 3:54am


A Federal High Court in Abuja has stopped the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from investigating Bukola Saraki, Senate President of Nigeria.

The EFCC had said it would investigate Saraki’s earning while he was the Governor of Kwara State from 2003 to 2011.

Saraki, who described the investigation as a witch-hunt, approached the court, filing two charges in order to restrain the anti-graft agency from probing his earnings and emoluments.

Sunday Onubi, Saraki’s lawyer, charged Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation; Department of State Services; Muhammed Adamu, Inspector General of Police; Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC); and Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT); alongside the EFCC.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo who presided over the case ordered the EFCC to suspend the probe.

Delivering the ruling, Justice Taiwo stated that the interim order is in the exercise of “its discretion judicially and judiciously applied by the law and statues.”

He added, “By the provision of Order 4(3) of the Fundamental Rights Civil Procedure Rules, 2009, the court may, if satisfied that the applicant may be caused hardship before the service of an application where liberty or life of the applicant is involved hear the application ex parte upon such interim reliefs as the justice of the application may demand.

“I am of the view, after due consideration of the aforesaid, that this court ought to make the order being sought by the applicant pending the hearing and determination of the originating motion on notice.”

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House Of Reps To Investigate CBN Within Five Days

15 May 2019 - 3:19am


The House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on Public Procurement to investigate allegations of gross statutory breaches in the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The probe is coming even as Godwin Emefiele, governor of the bank was caught on tape trying to cover up N500bn which he alongside top CBN managers invested in a private business that failed.

The House on Tuesday asked the committee to investigate allegations of violation of the Public Procurement Act by the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Ministry of Finance and First Bank Nigeria limited, over a grant to Oyo State to procure agricultural equipment.

Lawmakers described the act as undermining and sabotaging the intention of the Federal Government in making Nigeria fully self-sufficient in food production.

The committee will submit it's result in five days.

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469 Members Of The National Assembly To Receive N4.68bn As Welcome Package

15 May 2019 - 2:39am


Four hundred and sixty-nine lawmakers who were elected on the platform of various political parties in the February 23 National Assembly elections and the subsequent supplementary election will get N4.68bn as welcome package immediately after their inauguration in June.

According to investigation made by The Punch, the package is to help lawmakers to fund accommodation and furniture issues. While accommodation is paid once every year, furniture allowance is paid once in four years

The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission adds that accommodation and furniture allowances were two of the irregular entitlements of lawmakers and other political office holders.

Each member of the House of Representatives on resumption, therefore, is entitled to N9.926, 062.5, according to the prescription of the RMAFC in its Remuneration Package for Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders 2007 to Date.

This is the summation of furniture allowance of N5,955,637.5 and accommodation allowance of N3, 970,425 which a House of Representatives member is entitled to.

Therefore, the 360 lawmakers that will make up the House of Representatives to be inaugurated in June will be entitled to accommodation and furniture allowances of N3.57bn.

On the other hand, each senator is entitled to a combined furniture and accommodation allowance of N10,132,000 on assumption of office. While the accommodation allowance of a senator is N4,052,800, the furniture allowance is N6,079,200.

The 109 senators that will make up the 9th National Assembly will receive a total of N1.1bn when the red chamber opens in June altogether.

For motor vehicles, each of the senators is entitled to N8, 105,600 while each member of the House of Representatives is entitled to N7, 940,850.50.

The allowance for motor vehicles had been controversial in the past. According to RMAFC, this allowance payable once in four years is a loan and is optional. This means that it is repayable.

However, lawmakers that received the payment in the past had been known to ask the government to convert the loan to a grant.

Apart from these irregular allowances, there are other regular perks of office that are paid to lawmakers on a monthly basis. These include motor vehicle maintenance and fuelling. This is pegged at 75 percent of their monthly salary.

Others are personal assistant – 25 per cent; domestic staff – 75 per cent; entertainment – 30 per cent; utilities – 30 per cent; newspapers/periodicals – 15 per cent; wardrobe – 25 per cent; house maintenance – five per cent; and constituency – 250 per cent.

There are other entitlements that they are not paid to them directly but provided and paid for by the government. These are for their special assistants, security and legislative aides.

What this means is that those in this capacity are paid directly by the government as the allowances cannot be claimed by political office holders. These allowances apply to senators and Reps.

 Medical expenses are also borne by the government when they have a need for health services.

The lawmakers are also entitled to tour duty allowance, estacode (when they travel) and recess allowances. For a senator, the tour duty allowance is N37, 000 per night; the estacode is $950 per night and the recess allowance is 10 per cent of their annual salary.

 For a member of the House of Representatives, the tour duty allowance is N35, 000 per night; the estacode is $900 per night and the recess allowance is 10 per cent of their annual salary.

But a former governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, has called on Nigerians to wage war against members of the 9th National Assembly and demand that they cut their salaries and allowances.

He said there was no way the country could sustain the type of money being received by the lawmakers.

Musa said that the situation had gone beyond appeal, saying begging the lawmakers to reason that the economic reality could not sustain such huge pay would not yield any positive result.

He recalled that an attempt by the late former President Shehu Shagari to then-members of the National Assembly on the same issue nearly cost him his office as he was threatened with impeachment.

Musa said, “Now, the situation is even worse. Therefore, I will not ask Nigerians to beg or appeal to the lawmakers. They should organise themselves and confront the lawmakers.

“They should fight them. If they do not, just a few of these men will cart away what belongs to the majority of the people. Many states are finding it difficult to pay salaries. They are almost becoming insolvent. Yet, a few lawmakers are feeding fat on the people and the country. This must stop if we must progress.”

Musa also called on the RMAFC to “get into work and do the needful” by drastically reducing the lawmakers’ pay.

Also, a non-governmental organisation, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, decried lawmakers’ huge pay, saying it was one of the reasons the nation’s growth had remain stunted.

According to Kolawole Oludare, SERAP’s Deputy Director, said, “The proposed payment to the incoming legislators is another example of financial profligacy that has stunted our growth as a nation. These funds are better committed to crucial sectors such as education, health care, and security.”

Speaking in the same vein, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Ahmed Raji, said the incoming lawmakers should be guided by the state of the nation’s economy and Nigerians’ standards of living.

He said, “They should look at the state of the economy and the general living standards of people and the expectations of Nigerians from them and ask their conscience if the allowances are conscionable.”

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Ahead Of His Exit, Gov. Ajimobi Names Road After Himself

15 May 2019 - 2:21am




The Oyo State Government has renamed roads and institutions after what it described as 'prominent' individuals who it said has contributed to the success of the state. 

Toye Arulogu, the state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Toye Arulogun made the announcement on Tuesday. 

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that among the beneficiaries are former governors Lam Adesina (now late), Rashidi Ladoja, Adebayo Alao-Akala and the incumbent, Abiola Ajimobi.

Also on the list were the Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Adeyemi; Olubadan of Ibadan, Saliu Adetunji; and Soun of Ogbomoso, Jimoh Oyewunmi, among others.

Mr Arulogun said that the Challenge–Efunsetan road would now be known as Lam Adesina road, Elebu road now officially Alao-Akala Way, Monatan–Olodo road now Rashidi Ladoja road, while Idi-Ap –Bashorun Akobo road is now Abiola Ajimobi way.

He said that Ibadan/Oyo Express/Iseyin-Owode with spur to Akesan-Palace and Old Ibadan-Oyo road would now be known as Alaafin Lamidi Adeyemi III road and Eleyele-Dugbe ANCE road is now Oba Saliu Adetunji road.

The commissioner said that Ilorin Express Junction-Ikoyi–Takie–Palace–Ogbomoso Grammar School road would now be known as Soun Oyewumi Ajagungbade road.

Mr Arulogun listed others as Ijokodo–Apete road now Ambassador Olu Sanu road; Onireke-Agbarigo road now Onikepo Akande road and Festac road at Mokola now Adebayo Faleti road.

He said that Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora would now be known as Lam Adesina College of Agriculture and Technology, while Ibarapa Polytechnic, Eruwa, is now Adeseun Ogundoyin Polytechnic, Eruwa.

He said Maternal & Paediatric Centre, Olodo, Ibadan would now be known as Abiola Ajimobi Maternal & Paediatric Centre, while the newly constructed Zonal Mediation Centre in Ogbomoso is now Justice Atilade Ojo Mediation Centre.

He added that the flyover constructed at Mokola in Ibadan by the present administration would now be known as Transformation Flyover.

Arulogun stressed that the process for the amendment of the enabling laws for the institutions would commence immediately.

He said that the governor would from Wednesday inaugurate some completed projects, among which were Oba Akinbiyi Model School and Dualization of Challenge Roundabout-Efunsetan Roundabout (Phase II).

Also on the list are Rehabilitated/Constructed 3.6km Ijokodo-Apete road with Associated Bridge Works, Zonal Mediation Centre in Ogbomoso and Abiola Ajimobi Maternal & Paediatric Centre, Olodo, Ibadan.

Others are the Archive Management and Record Centre, Secretariat, Ibadan, Raw Materials Display Centre, Secretariat, Ibadan, Islamic Model School, Mini Water Scheme, Iganna and Ogunpa Market.

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DEVELOPING: Security Beefed Up At Presidential Election Tribunal Ahead Of Sitting Today

15 May 2019 - 2:03am






Security has been beefed up on Wednesday around the Appeal Court Abuja, venue of Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.

The tribunal which will commence the pre-hearing session on the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is set to start today.



Vehicular and human movement have been restricted in the area and motorists are asked to use alternative routes. The situation has caused serious traffic gridlock in the area.

Armed soldiers and policemen are currently stationed at the presidential villa gate junction and police headquarters as well as perimeters of the court.

Commuters were seen trekking  long distances to get to their destinations. Many people have described the show of force by the security agents as uncalled for and unnecessary.

As at time of this report the tribunal have not commenced sitting.

There are a total of four petitions filed to challenge the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress in the February 23 poll.

The tribunal led by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, after conducting its inaugural sitting last week Wednesday, went on to call each case one after the other.

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We Have Not Won The War Against Corruption VP. Osinbajo Confesses

14 May 2019 - 11:27pm


Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says that the Nigerian Government is not deluded to think the fight against corruption has been won.

The VP while speaking during a summit on corruption organised by the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), on Tuesday, said although the government has made progress in its effort to free the country of corruption, the menace is far from being wiped out of the system.

Anti-corruption war is the focal point of the Buhari-Osinbajo led government. The administration has spent 4 years in office and has been reelected for a second term.

He said: “And since 2015 much has been done in this battle against corruption. But we are not even slightly deluded into thinking that we have won the battle, certainly not.

“We are still very far away but we must admit that we are much closer to finding solutions than when we began.”

He added that their policy was to tackle grand corruption first.

‘By this I mean the stealing of huge public resources directly from the treasury, usually at the behest of the highest levels of executive authority. And the stealing of budgeted funds through various schemes.

“How did we go about this – the enforcement of TSA, the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit, and even ensuring that most civil servants are on the IPPIS electronic platform (which simply is our way of ensuring that there are no ghost workers by putting all public officials including those in the Armed Forces and the police on the electronic payment platform) and this has greatly reduced ghost workers and ensured that all of our human resources are accounted for electronically.

“The judiciary also moved a little in recent times. The Supreme Court in a lead judgment recently held that forfeiture under Section 17 of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act is a civil matter.

“So, it neither requires the criminal conviction of the property owner nor his innocence. This opens the door for forfeiture of assets that the purported owner cannot explain, whether or not there is an allegation of corruption,” he said.

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Ghanaian, Two Nigerians Arrested for ATM fraud In Abuja

14 May 2019 - 11:18pm


ATM withdrawal

ATM withdrawal

Four filling station attendants and their manager have been arrested for allegedly conniving with suspected fraudsters who stole an Automated Teller Machine card belonging to one Alhaji Usman Ahmadu and withdrew N950,000 from his account.

The suspected fraudsters are Ernest Mensah, 23, a Ghanaian, who claimed to have been born in Anambra State; Obiuwevbi Ogheneovo, 23; and Urunmatsoma Hendrix, 21.

They explained that they swapped Ahmadu’s card with a fake card when he approached Mensah for assistance at an ATM point in Gwarimpa, Abuja, on March 29.

Parading the suspects and others for various crimes at the The Federal Capital Territory Police Command Police Command on Tuesday, the Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma, explained that Ahmadu complained to the police that his card got stuck in the ATM, adding that around  1.30am on March 30, he received a debit alert of N950,000.

Ciroma stated that upon receiving the complaint, police detectives with the cooperation of the bank officials identified and arrested the suspects.

He said, “The suspects, who admitted to the crime, stated that on that fateful day, the victim, who went to withdraw money at the ATM was finding it difficult to do so.

“He then asked them for assistance and in the process, they swapped his card with their own fake card. On how they got his PIN, they said the gang leader stood directly behind the victim and since the card was fake, he had to enter the pin several times.

“They then moved to the filling station on the Kubwa Expressway, where they have an accomplice by name Henry, who used POS to transfer the money into their account and remitted cash equivalent to the company.”

The CP stated that the filling station attendants, Henry Elvis, 34; Taiwo Aderinto, 36; Solomon Ojuola, 35; Mary Igoh,26; and the station manager, Elizabeth Okeagu, 43, were also arrested for allegedly assisting the suspected fraudsters to withdraw the N950,000.

Mensah told journalists that he swapped Ahmadu’s ATM card with the fake one, adding that he enlisted the support of one of the filling station attendants to withdraw money through the station’s POS.

“She transferred the N950,000 from the account to NNPC’s account and gave me cash. I tipped her N5,000 for assisting me,” he said, adding that he had similarly stolen three ATM cards belonging to unsuspecting bank customers.

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Nigerian Prisons, Fire Service, Immigration And Civil Defence Yanks Out Degree/HND Disparity

14 May 2019 - 11:11pm


Lieutenant-General Abdulrahman Dambazau

Lieutenant-General Abdulrahman Dambazau

The Ministry of Interior has announced the removal of enrolment disparity between holders of Bachelor’s degree and those with Higher National Diploma (HND) in all the services under the ministry.

Al-Hassan Yakmut, the secretary to the Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Services Board (CDFIPB) made the announcement in a stament issued on Tuesday.

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Prisons Service and Federal Fire Service are to compile with this new directive forthwith,

Before now, personnel with HND certificates are employed into the Inspectorate cadre while their colleagues with Bachelor’s degree certificate are in the superintendent cadre.

However, with this new policy, the HND holders will now be moved from the Inspectorate cadre to superintendent cadre without obtaining any degree certificates as the case was before now.

“The board has constituted a technical committee to work out modalities for the implementation, including the harmonisation of ranks in accordance with the abolition,” Yakmut said.

This is coming just over a year after the board upgraded the entry point for HND holders into the Services from Grade Level 7 to Grade Level 8 just like the Bachelor’s Degree holders.

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Ghanaian, 8 Beninoise Caught Stealing Oil In Lagos

14 May 2019 - 10:52pm


A Ghanaian and 8 Beninoise has been arrested for alleged theft of Petrol Motor Spirit (PMS) along Atlas Cove in Lagos State.

Commodore Ibrahim Shettima, Commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) BEECROFT, made this known during a press briefing held in Lagos on Tuesday.

The commander said the arrest was carried out by a patrol team dispatched to the area between May 10 and 12.

He said: “On May 10 at about 2am, a patrol team posted to the Atlas Cove Island discovered two trucks containing about 200 x 25 litre plastic cans around Akaraba area on the Atlas Cove Island.

“Although, no suspects were found on the scene, it is believed that the cans were prepared for usage in storing illegally siphoned PMS from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipelines.

“In another incident on the same day, at about 5am, the patrol team discovered five trucks conveying about 70 x 25 litre plastic cans around Abule Glass area on the Atlas Cove Island.

“It is believed that the vehicles were kept in preparation for the movement of stolen product from the NNPC pipelines.”

The commander added that two boats and foreign nationals were also arrested by naval men on routine patrol along the Nigeria-Benin border.

“On May 12 around 6pm, a naval boat on routine patrol along Nigeria-Benin Republic border intercepted two boats conveying a total of 85 x 250 litre drums and another 150 X 25 litre plastic cans suspected to be containing Premium Motor Spirit (PMS). This is believed to have been stolen from NNPC pipeline laid on the Atlas Cove Island.

“As at the time of the interception, the two boats had on board nine crew members comprising one Ghanaian and eight Beninoise.

“Investigation into the matter is ongoing with a view to unravelling their local collaborators and accordingly, the vehicles and exhibits are in our custody and will be handed over to prosecuting agencies,” he said.

Shettima said the Atlas Cove Island accommodated  an NNPC storage facility, which was operated and managed by the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the NNPC.

“The facility is designed as a transit depot to supply refined product to other NNPC depots at Mosimi, Ore, Ibadan and Shagamu. Over time, the facility is being threatened by the activities of pipeline vandals and in an effort to curb this ugly trend, the base heightened patrols on the island and its waterfront,” he said.

He said the act of illegal trading in petroleum product around the Atlas Cove Island was unfortunate, adding that most of the illegalities were perpetrated with the assistance of some unpatriotic Nigerians.

“It is worthy of note that the Navy under the leadership of the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ette Ibas, is determined to rid our waterways and its connected creeks of all forms of criminality. NNS BEECROFT is, therefore, committed to assisting the NNPC to deal with petroleum product theft.

“The Navy, therefore, uses this medium to warn oil thieves and other criminals, particularly in our maritime environment, to desist from these nefarious activities and pursue lawful means of livelihood,” he said.

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Weapons From Libya Responsible For Conflict In Nigeria Says Dambazau

14 May 2019 - 10:40pm


Lieutenant-General Abdulrahman Dambazau

Lieutenant-General Abdulrahman Dambazau

Abdulrahman Dambazau, the Minister of Interior, has blamed the easy movement of firearms and other criminal activities in West African on the instability in Libya, a country in North Africa.

The minister said this at the 16th annual General Assembly of West African Police Chiefs Committee (WAPCCO), held in Abuja, on Tuesday.

He urged police chiefs in West Africa to collaborate more in order to tackle transnational crimes within the sub-region, noting that a single country cannot successfully combat trans-border crimes.

He said: “The proliferation of firearms is a big challenge in this sub-region, particularly because of the flow of firearms from unstable countries, like Libya. After Muamar Gaddafi, Libya went into conflict and it is still in conflict. Some of the weapons used in the country were trickling down through Mali, Niger and others.

“We are here because it is a regional issue. It is an issue that has to do either trans-border criminal activities, smuggling and terrorism. A country or a security agency cannot deal with these crimes on its own. This is the reason we have come together as a sub-region to assess the situation and deal with it accordingly.”

The minister also said there is need for collaboration and information sharing among security agencies in the sub-region.

Police chiefs in the sub-region have also asked the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) to upgrade it to a directorate.

The security chiefs, under the aegis of WAPCCO, regretted that its current structure makes it difficult for it to perform its roles optimally.

WAPCCO Chairman and acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu said constant meetings would avail the security chiefs the opportunity to tackle proliferation of firearms, terrorism, kidnapping and other crime within the sub-region.

Adamu noted that the inability of the committee to meet in the last five years restrained it from tackling some security challenges witnessed in the sub-region.

On some of the challenges confronting ECOWAS, he said: “We are having security challenges in the whole of West African sub-region and there is need for police chiefs and other heads of other security agencies to come together to see how we can bring down the level of crime within the sub-region.

“If you look at the 15 countries in the West African sub-region, you will see that they have one challenge or the other. We know that in Nigeria, we have challenges that involve kidnapping and we know that arms and ammunition are coming from outside the country but within the region. There is need to stop the influx of arms and ammunition within the country.”

Adamu said security agencies at the meeting would see how to fortify the borders to prevent infiltration by criminals.

On the need to upgrade WAPCCO to directorate position, the IGP said: “I respectfully submit without pre-empting your minds that it will not be difficult to come to the inevitable conclusion that the WAPCCO as currently situated within the border structure of ECOWAS is inhibiting the ability of the body to optimally attain its mandate.

“It is my humble suggestion that a review of the status of WAPCCO within the ECOWAS secretariat has become evidently necessary.  Consequently, it is suggested that WAPCCO be upgraded to a directorate in ECOWAS.

“This will guarantee the regularity of WAPCCO’s thereby enhancing the dynamism and effectiveness of the Committee.”

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UPDATE: Zlatan Ibile, Two Others Walk Free As EFCC Hangs On To Naira Marley

14 May 2019 - 4:34pm


After five intense days of griling in detention, Nigerian musician Zlatan Ibile has been temporarily released from Economic and Financial Crimes Comission custody SaharaReporters can confirm.

Reports say he and the two others who were set free are to report to EFCC office everyday for further questioning.

He was released alongside two others who were all arrested on Friday in connection to advance fee fraud popularly called 'Yahoo Yahoo'.

A source who spoke to SaharaReporters said, the EFCC is holding on to Naira Marley because of some hard evidence found in his laptop.

Another source within the EFCC said Naira Marley might be charged to court in the light of evidence recovered.

More to come...


 

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Senate Threatens To Shutdown Bet9ja 'For Non-Remittance Of Dues' To Nigerian Government

14 May 2019 - 1:23pm


The Senate Committee on Youth and Sports on Tuesday threatened to order the shutdown of Bet9ja office if the company failed to honour its invitation for a second time.

Speaking on the floor of the house during the verification of loto companies with license to operate in Nigeria, Sen. Obinna Ogba (PDP, Ebonyi), Chairman of the Committee, said it was unfortunate that Bet9ja refused to honour the committee’s invitation.

He instructed the clerk of the house to  write the popular betting site again, threatening that failure to honour the House's invitation for the third time will earn the betting site permanent closure.

“Clerk, write to Bet9ja again. If they did not honour our invitation, we will ask the National Lottery Commission to seal their offices,” he said.

According to him, the Senate is making efforts aimed at assisting the Lottery Commission to generate money for the Federal Government.

”We want to see bet9ja. They can’t run away,” he said.

The chairman explained that the verification followed series of complaints against the betting companies, adding that ”some don’t even have offices while others have not been making remittances to the government.”

”Some got the licences but they are not operating. The new regulation only give them one year to start operations,” he noted.

Meanwhile, about 20 other betting companies appeared before the committee for the verification exercise.

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CAUGHT ON TAPE: Full Transcript Detailing Frantic Attempts By CBN Gov. Emefiele, Top CBN Officials To Cover-Up Stolen N500bn Pt2

14 May 2019 - 1:23pm


Following an authentic phone conversation as confirmed by the Central Bank of Nigeria between the governor of the bank, Godwin Emefiele, deputy governor, Edward Lamtek Adamu and Dayo Arowosegbe, special adviser to Emefiele, SaharaReporters presents the full transcript of the second part conversation which details a frantic effort by all involved to cover up missing N500bn which was invested in a private business that flopped.

-Phone Rings-

CBN DEPUTY GOV. EDWARD ADAMU: Hello sir.

CBN GOV. EMEFIELE: Edward can you please step aside? 

CBN DEPUTY GOV. EDWARD ADAMU: Okay sir...  - Not clear –

CBN GOV. EMEFIELE: I am not too happy that Arowosegbe led us like this.

CBN DEPUTY GOV. EDWARD: In fact, that was what I was asking, I said we have an  impression that we had 500 billion, he said no. I said but that was the  impression until the end of the year.

CBN GOV. EMEFIELE: Ahhh! What are we going to do?

CBN DEPUTY GOV. EDWARD: You know... that’s what I told him.

CBN GOV. EMEFIELE: along we all thought he had that but it was very  shocking to hear that apparently, it was not 500 ...you know.

CBN DEPUTY GOV. EDWARD: That’s the major issue.

CBN GOV. EMEFIELE: Ahh! ...Ye! I don die now where I go see money.

CBN DEPUTY GOV. EDWARD: What I told them is, let’s look at our income if there is anything  we can do around that area, you know, that might be an option.  

CBN DEPUTY GOV. EDWARD: Because, now, we are in a very  bad situation. He really didn’t give us full information.

CBN GOV. EMEFIELE: I was like, God, he did a good job,  he didn’t pass time he left. How do I handle this?

CBN GOV. EMEFIELE: We have to rack our brain and get something  out because we can’t afford it at all, not at this time.

CBN GOV. EMEFIELE: Opposition will say it should have depreciated  in the project.

CBN GOV. EMEFIELE: Opposition will say it should have depreciated  in the project.

CBN GOV. EMEFIELE: ...and then foreign investor would not begin to  panic and take their money out because they would say it would depreciate. 

CBN GOV. EMEFIELE: Ahhh! ooo!

EDWARD: Exactly, yes. There would be panic in the market and  we can’t take this at this stage, at all. We have to get a way out.  We are just discussing now in what are the possibilities,  what you can do. We will get back to you. 

CBN GOV. EMEFIELE: Hmmn!

CBN GOV. EMEFIELE: I’m just getting hopeless about it because I‘m  still thinking which way I should go.

CBN DEPUTY GOV. EDWARD: Yes, that is really the task now. 

CBN GOV. EMEFIELE: If there is a place you can find money. Ahhh! 

CBN DEPUTY GOV. EDWARD: We’ll have to think of a way out because we cannot afford it  at all. The implications are just too many to even think about  and damaging. We cannot allow this like this, we cannot. 

CBN GOV. EMEFIELE: To avoid any serious problem is just, the government to have to  agree to give us at least 100 billion cash but government  will not agree. They will kick against it. 

CBN DEPUTY GOV. EDWARD: Yes, they will kick against it. Really. That would have been a good one but the challenge is how to  get back to them but it will be very difficult, almost impossible. 

- Breathes heavily –

CBN GOVERNOR: The implication for the economy is... no no,no.  I’m just thinking if there is surplus of one naira, just give us  then we’ll begin to refund you in 2019. I can’t even find the  partners now because I cannot talk to the real partners like Ayo.
Ayo is not picking my call and I’m not used to the CI partener.  I don’t’ know him, it’s only Dayo that I know and Dayo has retired.  Hmnn... Oh God!

EDWARD: You’ll have to think of something. We really miss. It is a sad one. We’ll have to come out of it somehow.  If only we can say there is money here but I can’t find. I kept on  disturbing this guy in December and January but  he kept telling me no problem. God, this guy just...

 CBN GOVERNOR: It’s a mess; it’s really a mess.
 

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Court Orders Forfeiture Of Gold Bars, N39m, 'From Gold Dealer, Civil Servant' To Nigerian Government

14 May 2019 - 1:02pm


 

 

 

 

 

The sum of N36 million and 35.58 kilogrammes of gold bars confiscated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) have been forfeited to the Nigerian Government.

The order of forfeiture was given by a Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday.

Justice Muslim S. Hassan, who made the order, also ordered the federal civil servant to pay N10million to the government for his part in the deal.

The first to third defendants are: Bukar Mandara Zarami; his company, Bukar Mandara Zarami Ltd and a Director in the Ministry of Mines and Steel, Kar Nap Fenan Wuyep.

The trio was re-arraigned on an amended two-count charge of possession of 35.58 kilogrammes of gold bars wrapped in six bags without appropriate permit.

The counts read in part: “That you, Bukar Mandara Zarami, on or about the 9th day of November, 2018 in Nigeria…dealt in 35.58 kilogrammes of gold bars wrapped in six bags without appropriate permit; and you, therefore, committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 134(c) of the Nigerian Mineral and Mining Act, 2007.”

“That you, Kar Nap Fenan Wuyep, on or about the 22nd day of May, 2018 in Nigeria, without going through any financial institution, accepted cash payment of the sum of $19,440 from one Bakkkuk Steven Goyol, which sum exceeded the amount authorised by the Law; and, you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1)(a), Section 16(1) (d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 as Amended and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.”

The defendants pleaded “guilty”.

In view of their plea, prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo obtained leave of court to review the facts of the case.

Oyedepo recounted how first defendant, Zarami was apprehended at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos on November 11, 2018 with 35.58 kilogrammes of gold bars wrapped in six bags. 

Oyedepo said: “He (Zarami) was brought to the Lagos Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, where the gold bars were measured and counted in the presence of the first defendant, his counsel, a representative of the Ministry of Mines and Steel. All parties present signed the measurements document.”

He told the court that investigations revealed that the first and second defendants did not have the appropriate permit to possess or deal in 35.58kg of gold.

Oyedepo said although the first defendant, in his statement to the EFCC, stated that he gave an official of the Ministry, Steven Bakkuk, about N3, 000,000 (Three Million Naira) as royalty, investigation showed that the actual amount he was supposed to pay as royalty was N6,772,64,16.

According to Oyedepo: “This shows clearly that there was no appropriate permit for that quantity of gold bars.

“Investigation further revealed that instead of the official from the Ministry, who received the money from the first defendant, to put the funds in the treasury, he transferred the sum of N700,000 to the third defendant, who is a Director in the Ministry of Mines and Steel.

“This led to further investigation into the account of Bakkuk, whose account was used for transfers of unlawful enrichment.

“It was discovered that about N28m in tranches was sent to the third defendant.

“On May 22, 2018, the sum of $19,440 in cash was given to the third defendant, which is in excess of the amount authorized by Law to be received in cash and it constitutes an offence against the Money Laundering Act 2011.”

The prosecution informed the court further that the defendants had entered a plea bargain with the government.

He said: “The first defendant has issued a cheque of N3,000,000 in favour of the Federal Government as one of the terms agreed upon in the plea bargain.

“The first defendant, as part of the plea bargain, also agreed to forfeit the undeclared 5.5 kilogrammes of Gold Bars to the Federal Government.

“It was also agreed that the EFCC, in conjunction with the Deputy Chief Registrar of this Honourable Court, would facilitate the sale of the forfeited Gold Bars and the proceeds will be remitted into the Consolidated Revenue Funds Account of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“Third defendant, in the plea bargain, agreed to pay a fine of N10million and forfeit the recovered Access Bank drafts to the tune of N36million.”

In view of their guilty plea, Oyedepo prayed the court to convict the defendants on the amended charge and prayed the court to sentence them to the terms agreed in the plea  bargain.

Justice Hassan, upheld the terms of the plea bargain and convicted the defendants.

The judge held: “The plea bargain is made the judgment of the court.”

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400-Level University Of Nigeria Nsukka Student Commits Suicide

14 May 2019 - 12:18pm


Chukwuemeka Akachi, a 400-level student of the Department of English and Literary Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, (UNN) has committed suicide.

It was gathered that the deceased carried out the suicide in the solitude of an uncompleted building  located at  Sullivan  Road, Nsukka where he allegedly slipped into coma after taking two bottles of 'Sniper' an insecticide.

His unconscious body was however discovered by passersby.

However, according to a source all efforts by the  passersby, who rushed him  to UNN Federal Medical Centre to revive him, turned futile as he was declared dead at the hospital.

A close friend of Akachi who preffered anonymity said Akachi posted a suicide note on his Facebook wall shortly before he committed suicide.

The suicide note reads: “Forgive me. In case you are the one who found the body, I am really sorry. It had to be someone you know.

“I have chosen Jo Nketaih’s poem as my suicide note: “They said you came looking for me. I don’t drown, I was the water,

“Where do atheists go when they die! Lol. Amen.”

Also, Akachi was said to have posted on his Facebook on May 12 that “My mental health has been on life support for a while now. Thanks to those who call. Text. Visit.

“Speak to me. May we always remember. May we never forget. You May have added a few hours, months or days to my time here. But you know life support is expensive right?

“Thank you for trying. Amen.”

A senior security personnel in UNN Security Department, who pleaded anonymity, also confirmed the incident, adding that the report was brought to them on Monday morning.

He said this was not the first time Akachi wanted to commit suicide, adding that on two occasions, he had drunk kerosene and petrol to kill himself but was rescued.

“But on Monday he drank Sniper and was rushed to UNN Medical Centre first, but was later moved to UNTH Enugu, where he was confirmed dead.

Akachi was said to be budding poet.

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APGA Kicks Out Bianca Ojukwu, Obiano From Board Of Trustees

14 May 2019 - 12:06pm


Bianca Ojukwu, former Nigerian ambassador to Spain and governor of Anambra state, Willie Obiano have been removed from board of trustees of the All Progressives Grand Alliance. 

The National Executive Council made the decision on Tuesday in Awka upon expiration of their tenure with the board.

The party thereafter decided on May 31 to hold its national National convention.

APGA also announced the Ward and Local Government Congresses of the party would hold on the 19th and 21st of May.

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If Leah Sharibu Was Zahra Buhari, Would She Still Be In Captivity? By Fredrick Nwabufo

14 May 2019 - 11:48am


Fredrick Nwabufo

Fredrick Nwabufo

A man, with bloodied “babariga” and with head cocked down, perched emotionlessly in the driver’s seat of a Land Cruiser jeep at Kurmin Kare village along Kaduna-Abuja express way in the searing afternoon of April 29. He was the driver of Mohammed Abubakar, chairman of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC). He was nameless, and he suffered the most terrible fate. He was the first casualty of the kidnappers, who abducted his employer and daughter.

But Abubakar and his daughter regained freedom less than 24 hours after their abduction. Though they had paid a heavy ransom to secure their lives. The police had also launched a manhunt for the kidnappers immediately, arresting one suspect a day after. With that incident, I think, the daily tragedy on Kaduna-Abuja express way hit home; it became uncomfortably obvious for the elite going by the frantic efforts that followed after.

Really, with the elite, there is always a sense of urgency when their security, money or power is threatened. It is the reason the areas where they cluster are far more secure than where the proletariat inhabit. A security incident in Asokoro or Ikoyi will ordinarily receive more attention than any incident of the same magnitude in Mararaba or Iyana Ipaja.  I believe, this is “apartheid”; a deep social inequity that accents the reluctance and lethargy of the authorities on matters affecting the common folk. 

And I think the plausible reason there is no sense of urgency in the rescue of Leah Sharibu is she comes from the wrong social divide. In April 2018, Leah sent out a message of despair; a desperate call for help. She said: “I am Leah Sharibu, the girl that was abducted in GGSS Dapchi. I am calling on the government and people of goodwill to intervene to get me out of my current situation.”

“I also plead to the members of the public to help my mother, father, my younger brother and relatives. Kindly help me out of my predicament. I am begging you to treat me with compassion. I am calling on the government, particularly the president to pity me and get me out of this serious situation.”

This message still crucifies the man in me. And 12 months have passed, but Leah is still in the pit of vipers. How does the president sleep at night knowing that this young girl huddles in the encampment of the second most dangerous terror group in the world? How do the service chiefs even carry on in silence, without a word on the rescue effort for this Daniel?

And she specifically mentioned the president, asking him to “pity” her. I want to imagine Leah as the president’s daughter sending out this pathos-inducing message, what would the president have done? Would he not have applied his power as the commander-in-chief and deploy every contact and resources until she is rescued? I am positive she would not have spent two years in captivity.

Leah is in captivity because of her faith. This makes it more tragic. And the lack of a sense of urgency in her rescue also raises suggestions that border on her faith.

And would she still be in captivity if she was Zahra Buhari? I do not think so.

Fredrick is a media personality.

Twitter: @FredrickNwabufo

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Grace Mugabe To Face Court For Attacking Former Staff Who Accepted Wedding Gift From Robert Mugabe

14 May 2019 - 11:45am




Wife of disposed Zimbabwean leader, Robert Mugabe has been sued for attacking a domestic staff in 2017.

Grace Mugabe, who faces arrest is also accused of attacking a model who was dating her son in South Africa last year.

The victim, Shupikai Chiroodza allege that Mugabe used her fists and then her shoe in a prolonged attack that left Chiroodza’s face bleeding profusely. 

According to the AFP, Mugabe allegedly attacked Chiroodza after accusing her of “milking” her husband because she had accepted a cash wedding gift from him, the papers say.

Grace Mugabe later ordered her to return the money.

Chiroodza said “She started beating me with clenched fists shouting, ‘Who do you think you are? You are milking my husband behind my back’,” Chiroodza said in her court application.

“I was terrified. She removed her shoe and continued assaulting me with it and blood started gushing out of my forehead, mouth and nose. The assault continued for about 20 minutes.”

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Absence Of EFCC Lawyer Stall Fayose's Trial

14 May 2019 - 11:30am


A Lagos Division of the Federal High Court on Tuesday adjourned the case instituted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against a former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, and his company, Spotless Ltd.

Mojisola Olatoregun, the judge, was forced to call for adjournment due to the absence of the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs.

Rotimi Jacobs had asked for adjournment at the last court proceedings in a bid to bide his time so as to determine whether one of its witnesses in the matter, Adewale Aladegbola, a driver with Zenith Bank branch in Ado-Ekiti, would be declared hostile to enable the prosecution to make necessary applications before the court.

He, however, hinged his absence from the court on a presentation at a conference on the Administration of Criminal Justice Law organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Justice which coincided with the time of the court proceeding but the court told him that since the adjournment was granted at his instance, he would have to make some sacrifices by being in court.

When the matter was called for the commencement of proceedings on Tuesday at 1 p.m, the prosecuting counsel was still absent from court.

The counsels to the defendants, Ola Olaonipekun and Olawale Ojo, asked the judge to stand down the matter for an hour to enable the prosecution get to court from his earlier engagement.

However, after an hour and half of standing down the matter, the judge eventually adjourned the case to May 21 at 11 a.m.

The fraud case against Mr Fayose and his company entered trial since November last year. 

The accused are facing an 11-count charge of conspiracy and laundering of N6.9billion.
 

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