Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Junaid to Presidency: Stop lying to Nigerians about Buhari’s health

Second Republic lawmaker, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, yesterday lashed out at the Presidency saying they should stop lying to Nigerians over the health status of President Muhammadu Buhari. He also said Nigerians cannot afford to have another constitutional crises due to Mr. President’s health.

Your attack on Buhari counter-productive, Lai Mohammed warns BBOG

The Federal Government has warned the Bring Back Our Girls Group to stop needless attacks on the President, saying that such attacks were counter-productive. Rather than seeing the Federal Government as a partner he said that the group sees the government as an adversary in the group’s quest to secure the release of the Chibok girls.

Only 10.8% of Nigerian workers on pension scheme – NBS

Only 10.8 percent of Nigeria’s total working population is registered under the nation’s contributory pension scheme, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS.

TURKISH COLLEGE KIDNAP: Victims starve as kidnappers run out of foodstuffs

Gunmen in Army camouflage stormed Atanda farm in Igbodu community, Epe area of Lagos, abducting a female graduate of Nutrients and Biotechnology from the Ladoke Akintola University, LAUTECH, Ogbomosho, Oyo State, Ifeoluwa Olabiyi and three other farmers, all men. Among the three farmers was a Togolese identified as Busiyi Kposu.

Buhari asks Senate to make U-turn on Magu, SGF

BARELY one month after the Senate rejected the confirmation of Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu as the substantive Chairman, strong indications emerged yesterday that President Muhammadu Buhari has written to the upper chambers through the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki for U- turn on the earlier decision. Vanguard gathered yesterday that President Buhari has also written to the Senate to reconsider the case of the embattled Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Babachir Lawal Magu and Babachir In the letter concerning Magu, President Buhari has written that the Senate should confirm him. Buhari’s letter which a source said would be read today at the chambers, was in response to the communication from the Senate on the rejection of Magu as EFCC chairman.

The source said, “yes, Iam aware that the President has written to the Senate asking that Ibrahim Magu’s case should be reconsidered and he also wrote on the SGF, Babachir Lawal. The letter may be read tomorrow.” It would be recalled that the Senate had on December 15, 2016, rejected the confirmation of acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu as a substantive chairman of the commission following what the upper chambers described as very damming report from the Department of State Security Service, DSS. According to the Senate, there was no way Magu could be confirmed because of the security report by the DSS as the report was not palatable fir such an exalted position especially during an administration with fight against corruption as its major agenda, just as it asked President Muhammadu Buhari who nominated him to immediately replace him with another name. The Senate however gave approval for the nomination of four members of the board of the commission, whose names were sent along side that of Magu and they were referred to the Senator Chukwuka Utazi led Senate Committee on Anti- corruption and Financial Crimes. Addressing Journalists after after a closed-door session by the Senate which lasted about three hours, Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Abdullahi said that the rejection was based on security reason. 

Senator Abdullahi’s statement had read thus, This is an officially statement from the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It’s the statement on confirmation of the nomination of Chairman and members of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria wishes to inform the general public that based on security reports available to the Senate, the Senate cannot proceed and confirm the nomination of Ibrahim Magu Mustapha as the Executive Chairman of EFCC. Accordingly, the Senate hereby rejects the said nomination and has returned the said nomination to Mr President for further action. “There’s no confusion here, we have said it’s based on security reports. Please, all of us public officers go for security screening. Everybody. And we are saying based on security reports, we cannot proceed and confirm and we are rejecting it and returning it back to Mr President for further actions, that’s just the statement. It’s as simple as that. That’s exactly what the Senate has said and I don’t have any other explanation more than this.

The report which was read on the floor of the Senate by Senate President Bukola Saraki, the Acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu was accused of renting a house for N43 million with N20 million paid annually, just as the report said that the money for the rent was not settled by the commission, but by a retired Air Commodore in the Airforce, Umar Mohammed, now a businessman who has been arrested by the commission for some questionable transactions. According to the report dated 3rd October, addressed to the Acting Clerk of the Senate and titled, ” Re: Request for Security Vetting your letter NASS/CS/SA/01/16/08/1 dated 21st September, 2016 requesting for the vetting of the Chairman and members of the EFCC refers” , the report indicted Magu saying he furnished a house at the cost of N43 million. He was also accused of violating the orders of President Muhammadu Buhari who asked that no public officer should travel in first class, but Magu was said to be maintaining a flamboyant life style where on 24 th June, 2016, he flew Emirate Airlines first class to Saudi Arabia on Lesser Hajj at the cost of N2,990,196.00. In the report, it was indicated that following the discovery of some sensitive documents with Magu during Farida Waxiti, he was suspended from the Police force, just as the police Service Commission in December 2010 found him guilty.

The report said, ” however, investigating the Chairman nominee, Ibrahim Magu revealed that in August 2008 following a search at his residence during the tenure of Farida Waxiti, AIG rtd as a Commissioner, some sensitive EFCC documents which were not supposed to be at his disposal were with him. He was subsequently redeployed to the police after days of detention and later suspended from the force. In December 2010, the Police Service Commission found Magu guilty of action prejudicial to State Security withholding of EFCC files, sabotage unauthorized removal of EFCC files and acts unbecoming of a police officer and awarded him severe reprimand as punishment. ” Not with standing, sequel to the appointment of Lamorde as Chairman of EFCC in 2011, he made the return of Magu to the EFCC a top priority. Both men had worked together at the Commission when Lamorde served as head of operations of the agency, Magu remained a top official of the Commission until he was appointed to succeed Lamorde. ” Magu is currently occupying a residence rented for N40 million at N20 million per annum. This accommodation was not paid for from the Commission finances, but by one Umar Mohammed, Air Commodore rtd, a questionable businessman and ally of subject who has subsequently been arrested by his service for furnishing of the residence, Mohammed enlisted the Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA to award a contract to Africa Energy, a company owned by the same Mohammed to lavishly furnish the residence at the cost of N43 million.

In the report signed by Folashade Bello for the Director- General of SS, ” investigations show that Magu regularly embarks on official and private trips through a private carrier Easy Jet, owned by Mohammed. In one of such trips, Magu flew o Maiduguri alongside Mohammed and the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo who was being investigated by the Commission over complicity in funds allegedly stolen by the immediate past Minister of Petroleum, Deziani Alison- Madueke. ” The EFCC boss so far maintained a hog pigs profile life style. This is exemplified by his preference fir first class Airs travels. On 24th June, 2916, he flew Emirate Airlines first class to Saudi Arabia to perform the less Hajj at the cost of N2,990,196.00. This is inspite of Mr. President’s directives to all public Servants to fly economic class. “Investigation also revealed that Magu parades a twin personality, At one level, he is the CZAR who has no friends, no favorites and he is ready to fight corruption to a standstill. Hie ever, with a key friend in the person of Umar Mohammed, Air Commodore rtd, a controversial business man, he has betrayed the confidence reposed in him by the President.” According to the report, in the classified and official documents made by Magu, he was said to have falsified the documents where he was accused of forging a letter for the Vice President, adding, ” he made available to his associates especially Mohammed.

After a search of Mohammed’s premises, a forged letter of the office of the Vice President dated 20th May, 2016 was recovered, the letter was a fictitious report from Vice President requesting for approval to commence further probe into a matter allegedly involving Hon. Minister of State, Petroleum. Attached to the letter were two EFCC letters dated 13th April, 2016 and another letter dated 24th March, 2016 addressed to the Vice President being investigation reports on the activities of Emmanuel Kachikwu and his brother, Dumebi Kachikwu. Similarly recovered during the search were information on assets and personal details of Kachikwu. ” To cover his tracts, Magu use solely his police cronies to execute operations. Thus, coupled with discoveries that such police cronies have acquired a lot of landed property lends credence to the questions about his integrity.” In its summission, the SSS said, ” in the light of the foregoing, Magu has failed the integrity test and will eventually constitute a liability to the anti- corruption drive of the present administration.

 It would also be recalled that Senate had last year, called for the resignation and prosecution of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir Lawal, following alleged complicity in the diversion of North east humanitarian funds. The decision of the Senate was sequel to the presentation of interim report of the Adhoc Committee on Mounting Humanitarian Crisis in the North East, by the Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Shehu Sani, APC, Kaduna Central. Presenting the report, Sani said that some of the contracts were awarded to companies belonging to top government officials’ cronies and family members, adding that the committee found out that Rholavision Engineering Limited, a company, with Lawal as Director, for instance, was awarded consultancy contract. 

According to Sani, the company’s major role was the removal of invasive plant species in Yobe on March 8, adding, “Although, Lawal resigned the directorship of the said company in September 2016, it is on record that he is a signatory to the accounts of the company.” Sani further said aside Lawal’s complicity, the Presidential Initiative on North East (PINE), which carried out the entire procurement activities, contravened laid down rules. Presidency distances self from claims on Magu’s confirmation letter But the Presidency through the Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Mr Ita Enang, in an interview distanced Presidency from reports that President Muhammadu Buhari has written a fresh letter to the Senate insisting on confirming the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu. Enang said he was not aware of such letter. Enang was reacting to media reports that the President, who is currently on a 10-day annual vacation, had sent a letter to the Senate insisting on the confirmation of Magu. “You are about the third person calling me on this matter. “I am not aware of that discussion and I don’t want to speak on the matter because I don’t have details,’’ he said.

Why completion of East-West Road was stalled, by N-Delta Ministry

PERMANENT Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Williams Alo, yesterday, said the 11 years old East-West Road could not be completed because his ministry was unable to pay contractors an outstanding N14 billion. Mr Alo, who appeared alongside ministry officials before the Kingsley Chinda- led House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee, PAC, said:

Rivers police arraign 45 Pro-Biafran agitators for treason

The Rivers State Police Command yesterday arraigned 45 members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, before two Chief Magistrate Courts sitting in Port Harcourt for treason over their alleged involvement in the  Friday  agitation in Rivers State.
The members of the IPOB and the MASSOB had on Friday,   organised a solidarity rally to commemorate the swearing in of Mr Donald Trump as the new American president. But the security operatives in the state arrested over 65 of them and disrupted the rally, claiming that the Pro-Biafran agitators did not obtain permit before commencing the peaceful protest. The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Francis Odesanya charged the arrested persons to court on two counts of conspiracy to felony and treasonable felony. The arraigned pro-Biafra protesters. Seven of them were arraigned before Chief Magistrate Obi Amadi-Nna and the remaining 38 brought before the Chief Magistrate, Sokari Andrew-Jaja. The Charge sheet No: PMC/112C/2017 read: “That you Baco Johnson, Cosmos Monday, Chinonso Kalu and 42 others on January 20, 2017 at Garrison Bus stop, Port Harcourt in the Port Harcourt Magisterial District did conspire amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit: treasonable felony and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 516A (1) of the Criminal Code Cap 37 Vol II Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999. 

That you, Baco Johnson, Cosmos Monday, Chinonso Kalu and 42 others on the same date and time and place in the aforesaid Magisterial District did conduct yourselves in a manner likely to force or compel the president to change his measures, by displaying flags and other items of the Biafran Republic with such intention by an act to take over the government of Nigeria by force and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 41(C) of the Criminal Code Cap 37 Vol II Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999.” When the court sat around 6:22 pm, the Chief Magistrate, Mr.  Sokari Andrew-Jaja, adjourned the matter till January 30 and asked the parties involved in the matter to appear on the adjourned date with their written addresses. Andrew-Jaja stated that the adjourned date would be for the adoption of written addresses, in order to determine whether the court has the jurisdiction to hear the matter and remanded the suspects in prison. However, the Chief Magistrate, Mr. Obi Amadi-Nna, who received seven of the suspects also remanded them in prison and adjourned till January 30 for adoption of written addresses on the same offences.

Outrage trails pension for ex-govs, deputies

Former governors, who are now senators and ministers, have been taken to task over their continued enjoyment of governors’ pensions while drawing normal salaries and allowances in their new political offices.

Abuja airport repairs for the good of Nigerians, foreigners — Amaechi

Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, has said he doesn’t want to resign his appointment on  account of any eventuality that may occur if the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport was not closed down for repairs.

Monday, 23 January 2017

NNPC calls for tenders for petroleum product imports under DSDP

A spokesman said Friday that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has called for tenders under its direct sale, direct purchase import model, Platts reports.

Goodluck Jonathan’s former Minister, Ikenya decamps to APC

Minister of Labour and Productivity, under the immediate past administration of Goodluck Jonathan, Sen. Joel Ikenya, has defected from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.Ikenya, was a former PDP chieftain in Taraba State.

Man, 38, Docked For Allegedly Defiling, Impregnating Minor

A 38-year-old man, George Chidiebere, who allegedly defiled a 14-year-old girl and impregnated her was on Friday charged before a Surulere Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos. Chidiebere, residing at No. 10, Abioye Close, Iyana Cele at Ajangbadi near Lagos, however, pleaded not guilty to the count charge of defilement.The Prosecutor, Sgt. Anthonia Osayande, told court that the accused committed the offence at No. 10, Abioye Close, Iyana Cele in Ajangbadi at about 6.00 p.m. on Jan. 11.Osayande said the accused, residing in the same area with the girl, started by sending the minor on errands and giving her money.

How we transferred money from victims’ mobile phones – Fake sim registration agents

The Edo State Police Command, weekend, paraded a 19-year-old suspected thief alongside others who are members of a notorious gang that specialized in transferring money from their victims’ accounts to their own accounts via mobile phones.The suspect, David Lucky, said one of their victims alerted the police when she discovered a deduction in her account and raised the alarm.He was arrested alongside two others at Upper Mission Road in Oredo Local Government Area of the state.

Popular Nigerian preacher tells church members to kill Fulani herdsmen

The founder of Omega Fire ministries, Johnson Suleman, in a sermon given at his church’s parked auditorium called for the killing of Fulani herdsmen.The controversial Evangelical preacher, who caused a stir last year when he declared that the governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, will die for his plan to pass a law restricting public preaching, in a video footage told his congregants that he was told of a plan by Fulani herdsmen to attack his convoy and shoot him.It is unclear when the video was recorded but the preacher’s reference to the recent crisis in Southern Kaduna suggests the sermon might have been given any time within October 2016 and January 2017.

Dollar slips, shares unstable after Trump’s protectionist address

The dollar slid broadly on Monday after U.S. President Donald Trump struck a protectionist tone in his inauguration speech, prompting developed and emerging market currencies to gain.The drops and gains were due to the Trump administration’s intention, on its first day in office, to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, TPP. In his inaugural address, Mr. Trump pledged to end what he called an “American carnage” of rusted factories, and vowed to put “America first”.He laid out two simple rules – buy American and hire American.Mr. Trump also said on Sunday that he planned talks with leaders of Canada and Mexico to begin renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).Members of the TPP are U.S., Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru.