The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, is expected to appear before the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property tomorrow.
He is wanted to answer questions bordering on economic sabotage arising from alleged failure by his company to execute a contract of 12 million dollars for the dredging of the Calabar channel.
Senator Uzodinma, who represents Imo West senatorial district, was arrested on Sunday night at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, on arrival from Lagos.
He was, however, released shortly after, on health grounds.
The contract was said to have been awarded by the Nigerian Ports Authority, which reported the alleged fraud to the presidency.
According to the chairman of the panel, Okoi Obono-Obla, Senator Uzodinma had been evading arrest for about a year until yesterday.
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President Muhammadu Buhari delivers an address on “Illicit Financial Flows & Corruption: The Challenge of Global Governance”, at the opening ceremony of the Paris Peace Forum held at the Grande Halle de la Villette, Paris on Sunday, November 11, 2018. PHOTO: TWITTER/NIGERIAN PRESIDENCY
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari said his frustration is that looters still have money stashed up abroad.
“My frustration is that some people still have plenty stolen money stashed in Europe, U S and other countries,” Buhari said in Paris, France, where he is attending a peace forum, according to his spokesman Femi Adesina.
“President Buhari said return of stolen assets in some safe heavens will bolster the administration’s current effort of investing more in critical infrastructure that directly impact on the livelihood of Nigerians,” Adesina added.
In October, Buhari, in his acceptance speech after he clinched the ruling All Progressives Congress presidential ticket, said his administration has been spending stolen funds recovered from past government officials on infrastructural development.
While the Economic Financial Crime Commission had also announced recoveries of cash hauls, sometimes in millions of dollars, from homes of former administration officials and even security agencies.
In February, the EFCC chairman Ibrahim Magu said the commission has recovered as much as N500 billion in 2017 alone.
Two months before in November 2017, he disclosed that the EFCC recovered about N739 billion within two years.
However, the figures were disputed by the ministry and department saddled with administering the recoveries.
While the greatest expectation on Buhari remains in the ability of his government to stem the tide of corruption, questions have been raised on the discrepancies in the figures released to the media by Magu, and former Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun.
The president still insisted that the country would be in a better place if the plenty of stolen money stashed in Europe, U S and other countries are recovered and invested in the country’s infrastructural development.
“I am doing my best now to utilize our resources to develop the country,” he said.
“We are already getting results on road, rail and power.
Frank also called on the National Assembly to commence impeachment proceedings against Osinbajo. The former spokesman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timi Frank has called on Vice-President Osinbajo to resign.His call is coming on the heels of a House of Reps report that faulted the Vice-President’s disbursement of N5.8b as emergency food intervention for the North-East in June 2017, when he was acting President.According to Vanguard, Frank also called on the National Assembly to commence impeachment proceedings against Osinbajo.The former APC spokesman, in a statement which he issued to newsmen in Abuja, said that the House of Reps report shows that President Buhari’s administration is deep in corruption.He said “As a learned gentleman, Osinbajo cannot say he did not know that it is illegal for any government official to spend funds not appropriated by the National Assembly. He should have known that it is intrinsically illegal for anybody to divert funds raised through the issuance of Euro Bond – approved by the National Assembly for specific capital projects – to fund his ‘emergency intervention.’“What is most telling is that it now appears that the VP used his brief stay as Acting President to open up the nation’s coffers for fleecing in this manner with the approval of the N5.8billion to be disbursed from the Euro Bond account and another N17billion he caused to be released from the Ecological Fund.“These acts of financial recklessness are most unbecoming of a person of the Vice President’s standing. He has a lot of explanations to render to his Principal – who was on medical vacation at the time – and to Nigerians – whose trust has been rudely shaken by this stinking corruption affair.“Being a man who enjoys immunity by reason of his office, I call on him to immediately resign his position to enable him appear before the anti-corruption agencies to state his involvement or otherwise in the scam. “To hide under the toga of Vice President and not face prosecution alongside other NEMA officials indicted by the House of Representatives report on the investigation would amount to a travesty of justice and the selectiveness that has unduly characterised the war against corruption since the inception of the present administration.ALSO READ: Ben Bruce, Timi Frank react to Atiku’s alleged intimidation by security agencies“I give the VP seven (7) days to resign his position to enable him face the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission – like ex-Governor Ayodele Fayose did recently – to clear his name. “Should he fail to heed my humble appeal, I shall have no choice but to commence the process of making available to the public other corruption related information concerning the Vice President that will most certainly shock Nigerians.”The presidency has however dismissed the claims made by the House of Representatives, describing them as false and baseless.
[FILE PHOTO] IPOB leader, Nnamdi KanuRep Anayo Nnebe (PDP-Anambra), has dismissed the call by leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, on the people of the South East to boycott the 2019 general elections.
Nnebe, who represents Awka North/South Constituency in the House of Representatives, spoke on Monday with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
NAN reports that Kanu had called on Ndigbo to boycott the 2019 general elections.
In a live Facebook broadcast aired by Radio Biafra, Kanu said, “You own the power, you take it back.
‘’You can boycott the election and decide what you want. Stand your ground, cripple the 2019 elections and see the effects in your life.”
The lawmaker, who is also the Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Sports, said the leaders and elders in the South-East region would not relent in persuading the youth on the need to actively participate in the elections.
‘’2019 election is far ahead and the truth of the matter is that the elders would be talking to our young men to see the need for us to actually get involved in the election,” he said.
He said members of the National Assembly from the region too, would do their best to ensure that the aggrieved youth had a change of mind.
According to him, it will impact negatively on the South-East if for any reason, people got involved in boycotting the election.
‘’Boycott for who? I don’t think such advice will ever have effect. I believe the elders will discuss with them; let them see reasons because there are so many ways of agitating.
‘’You don’t shoot yourself in the foot to make a point,” he said.
Nnebe expressed optimism that the issue would be resolved before the elections.
‘’It will be resolved. You know these IPOB people are our people.
‘’They are youth and you know about youthful exuberance, but the elders will be there to checkmate them by advising them and preaching caution.
‘’There won’t be any problem; those people will see reason,” he said.
Also speaking, Rep Emmanuel Orker-Jev (PDP-Benue) said since the issue of security is everybody’s business, all Nigerians must work with the Federal Government toward ensuring peaceful polls in the country.
Orker-Jev, who represents Buruku Federal Constituency of Benue, said: “I have read that some leaders in the South-East are rebuffing what Kanu was purported to have said.
‘’So let’s see how the leaders from the South-East themselves respond to that because security is not just about what the government or those in government can do.
‘’It is a responsibility of all of us, including the community leaders, religious leaders, social leaders, etc. It is the entire responsibility of everybody.
‘’And as far as we are concerned, Nigeria has a lot of issues, a lot of problems, but we are one country, one indivisible country and that is the way I look at it now,” he said.
A Makurdi High Court on Monday vacated an interim order restraining the Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Titus Uba, and 21 other members from holding sittings at the assembly complex.
The Chief Judge of Benue State, Justice Aondover Kaka’an, vacated the order while ruling on a motion brought before the court by counsels to the Speaker, led by Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Sebastine Hon and Edward Ashiekaa who had prayed the court to set aside its interim order of August 13, 2018.
The order had restrained Speaker Uba and the 21 others from conducting legislative business at the complex.
In his ruling, however, Justice Kaka’an stated that by law the judicial arm of government could not restrain the State House of Assembly from performing its legislative functions.
He further stated that the role of the judiciary is not to overheat the polity with orders capable of destabilizing same, and maintained that the court should not encourage impunity in any way.
The Chief Judge described the argument against granting the motion by counsel to the former Speaker, Terkimbi Ikyange and seven others, Mr Sunday Okpale as an academic exercise.
He ruled that the interim order of August 13, 2018, which restrained the use of the Assembly complex played on the intelligence of an earlier order and the entire legal system and was a dent on the image of the judiciary.
Justice Kaka’an also maintained that injunctive orders were not at the beck and call of the court to be shared and that claimants must earn them.
He then transferred the substantive case to High Court 9 presided over by Justice Augustine Ityonyiman for hearing and determination on November 26, 2018.
Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Micheal Gusa, in a reaction, stated that by virtue of the ruling, the Benue State House of Assembly under the leadership of Hon. Uba could resume the conduct of legislative business at the Assembly Complex.
He said the ruling upheld the principle of Separation of Powers in a democracy.
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[FILE PHOTO] Ondo AssemblyHon. Olamide George, who insists he remains the new Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, says the impeachment exercise carried out by 18 members of the assembly on Friday is irreversible.
George, in company with 15 other members, spoke to newsmen on Monday at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre in Iyaganku, Ibadan.
The lawmaker claimed that the impeachment of Hon. Bamidele Oloyelogun and Hon. Ogundeji Iroju, the Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively, was in order.
Read More: Ondo state speaker, deputy impeached
George also said that the impeachment was an in-house exercise which has a constitutional backing and was not targeted at anyone.
He denied reports that the impeachment was sponsored by Gov. Rauf Aregbesola of Osun, Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State and APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
George insisted that Oloyelogun and Iroju were not only impeached by 18 out of the 26 members of the assembly but also suspended.
He called on President Muhammadu Buhari to wade into the matter by restoring law and order.
At a press conference in Abuja, a journalist asked Magu if the EFCC was investigating Ganduje’s alleged bribery videos. Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, was taken aback when a question on Governor Abdullahi Ganduje’s alleged bribery videos was thrown at him by a journalist.In a series of video clips released by an online news platform, DailyNigerian, Governor Ganduje was seen collecting bundles of dollars believed to be kickback from contractors for projects in Kano state.While the Kano State House of Assembly was investigating the matter, some civil society organisations had expressed concerns over the “silence” of the EFCC, an anti-graft agency, on the allegation.During a press conference at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja on Monday, November 12, 2018, Magu decline comments on the Ganduje bribery allegation.“Next question please”, Magu told a journalist who asked the anti-graft czar to speak on the issue.Despite the anti-corruption posture of the federal government, President Muhammadu Buhari has also not spoken publicly on the matter.ALSO READ: Nigerians react as Buhari receives Ganduje days after ‘$5m bribery videos’Governor Ganduje has appeared in a trove of video clips allegedly receiving bribe, amounting to about $5million from contractors in the state.I hate bribe – GandujeMeanwhile, Ganduje has denied accepting kickbacks from contractors in the state.The governor who failed to appear before the Kano State House of Assembly Committee investigating the matter said he hates bribe.
APC leader, Adams Oshiomole
The national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomole has said the Department of State Services is not obligated to demand for his resignation.
“I wasn’t hired by DSS and I cannot be requested by DSS to resign or to retain the job. APC is a structured party we have organs. I know the processes and procedures,” Oshiomhole said on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
“I believed the DSS also understand their own role in the system. It is not up to them to demand the resignation of a party chairman whether that party chairman is that of a ruling party or the opposition.”
There has been ongoing issues rocking the ruling party as some state governors Rochas Okorocha of Imo and Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun are aggrieved over the APC primaries.
In the last few weeks, there have been protests against Oshiomhole and the party hierarchy on allegations that Oshiomhole was biased in the outcome of the party’s primary elections.
At least three state governors Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun, Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo and River’s Rochas Okorocha are miffed by the conduct of the primaries in their states.
The rancour-filled primaries in Zamfara saw the Independent National Electoral Commission banning the APC from presenting any candidate in the next state for the 2019 general elections.
States like Rivers. Kaduna, Adamawa and Ondo have ongoing crises that some stakeholders involved said have not been properly handled by the party leadership.
Earlier in October, Nigerian First Lady Aisha Buhari criticised the party for removing some aspirants’ names from the lists of persons to contest election primaries.
Mrs Buhari said the party primaries were against the tenets of the party such that it would not be difficult to dissociate her from the process.
One of the aggrieved governors Rochas Okorocha of Imo State accused the APC chair of deliberately scheming out his preferred governorship aspirant Uche Nwosu from emerging APC’s governorship candidate in the state.
Oshiomhole was also accused of collecting bribe from a chieftain of the party during the party’s primaries.
Following this Oshiomole was allegedly arrested, detained and granted administrative bail by DSS, after a nine-hour marathon interrogation over allegations of collecting bribe during his party’s primary elections.
He left the country for the United Kingdom on Tuesday after he his purported interrogation and visited the DSS office again on Sunday after he returned.
Oshiomole, however, claimed his two times encounter with the DSS is only based on a regular routine of visiting the security agency to discuss security issues in the country.
“I believed it is their right to have a conversation with anyone who in their opinion can assist them in their mandate in ensuring Nigeria is save and secured as we moved towards 2019 election,” Oshiomole affirmed.
The items were smuggled into the country into through Katsina State borders in the last one month. The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone B, has seized 51 vehicles loaded with foreign rice and other prohibited items.The items were smuggled into the country into through Katsina State borders in the last one month.The FOU Comptroller, Mr Sarkin-Kebbi Mustapha, who disclosed this at a news conference in Katsina on Monday, said that the seized items have Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N120.6 million.He listed the items to include 1,534 bags of foreign rice, 3,013 cartons of spaghetti, 86 bags of foreign sugar, 145 jerry cans of vegetable oil and 50 bales of second hand clothes.He said that the officers were able to arrest three persons in connection with the smuggling activities during the period under review.The comptroller, who expressed dismay over smuggling activities in the state, said that those arrested would be prosecuted to serve as deterrent to others.“There is the need for serious sensitisation on the dangers of smuggling activities, because some of these people think what they are doing is legitimate.“They think they are using their money to bring in these goods to sell and make profits, forgetting that there are rules governing international trade.‘’We are making seizures every day, but these people are still adamant.‘’So, agencies like NOA should continue to sensitise border communities on the dangers associated with smuggling on the economy and on the health of the people,’’ he said.He said that sometimes,smugglers mobilise mob action against customs officers, which made the officers to shoot into the air with aim of dispersing them to protect themselves.
Fashola said this on Monday in Abuja at a media briefing to give the third year progress report of the ministry under his watch. Mr Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, says his ministry has delivered visible and qualitative achievements to Nigerians since his appointment in November, 2015.Fashola said this on Monday in Abuja at a media briefing to give the third year progress report of the ministry under his watch.He said the ministry had in a statement titled “Setting the Agenda for Delivering Change” in December 2015 set out what it inherited, plan to do and what Nigerians should expect from it.According to him, as at May 2015, many contractors have stopped work because of payment and many fathers and wives employed by them have been laid off.He said the possibility to return those who had lost their jobs back to work was the kind of change the ministry promised Nigerians.Fashola said that the progress report on public sector works relating to roads and bridges had confirmed that the ministry had fulfilled its promise.He said that the ministry had recovered the thousands of jobs that were lost as a result of an expansive infrastructure spending on works from N18.132 billion in 2015 to N394 billion in 2018.“The outcome is that there is not one state in Nigeria today where the Federal Government is not executing at least one road project with construction workers engaged on the sites.“Difficult or abandoned projects like the Second Niger Bridge, Lagos Ibadan Expressway and the Bodo-Bonny Bridge have been brought back to life.“Sections of Ilorin-Jebba, Sokoto to Jeba, Sokoto-Ilela have been completed, while progress of work continues nationwide.“Apart from recovered construction jobs and growth in construction sector of the economy, the feedback from road users is that the journey times are reducing on the completed roads,” he said.According to him, we acknowledge that the work is not finished, but as long as we remain able to finance the projects, I have no doubt that it will get better.He said that the ministry had extended its intervention on roads to universities to ensure that unattended internal roads were given attention.The minister said that 14 Federal Universities would benefit from the first phase of the intervention under the 2017 budget adding that more would be accommodated in the 2018 budget.
As Real Madrid’s injury crisis deepens, defender Nacho Fernandez will miss two months and midfielder Casemiro around three weeks, reports in Spain indicated on Monday.
Both players were substituted after sustaining injuries during Real Madrid’s 4-2 La Liga win at Celta Vigo on Sunday.
Real Madrid said in a statement on Monday that Nacho had suffered a dislocation in his right knee and Casemiro had sprained his ankle.
The European champions are already missing defenders Marcelo, Raphael Varane and Dani Carvajal through injury, as well as striker Mariano Diaz.
Mr Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, says his ministry has delivered visible and qualitative achievements to Nigerians since his appointment in November, 2015.
Fashola said this on Monday in Abuja at a media briefing to give the third year progress report of the ministry under his watch.
He said the ministry had in a statement titled “Setting the Agenda for Delivering Change” in December 2015 set out what it inherited, plan to do and what Nigerians should expect from it.
According to him, as at May 2015, many contractors have stopped work because of payment and many fathers and wives employed by them have been laid off.
He said the possibility to return those who had lost their jobs back to work was the kind of change the ministry promised Nigerians.
Fashola said that the progress report on public sector works relating to roads and bridges had confirmed that the ministry had fulfilled its promise.
He said that the ministry had recovered the thousands of jobs that were lost as a result of an expansive infrastructure spending on works from N18.132 billion in 2015 to N394 billion in 2018.
“The outcome is that there is not one state in Nigeria today where the Federal Government is not executing at least one road project with construction workers engaged on the sites.
“Difficult or abandoned projects like the Second Niger Bridge, Lagos Ibadan Expressway and the Bodo-Bonny Bridge have been brought back to life.
Read Also: Governors pledge support for ZAFAA 2018
“Sections of Ilorin-Jebba, Sokoto to Jeba, Sokoto-Ilela have been completed, while progress of work continues nationwide.
“Apart from recovered construction jobs and growth in construction sector of the economy, the feedback from road users is that the journey times are reducing on the completed roads,” he said.
According to him, we acknowledge that the work is not finished, but as long as we remain able to finance the projects, I have no doubt that it will get better.
He said that the ministry had extended its intervention on roads to universities to ensure that unattended internal roads were given attention.
The minister said that 14 Federal Universities would benefit from the first phase of the intervention under the 2017 budget adding that more would be accommodated in the 2018 budget.
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on Monday said no fewer than 36 persons had died in motor accidents in Ondo state from January till date.
Sector Commander of the corps in the state, Mr Rotimi Adeleye, made this known at the 2018 African Road Safety Day and World Day of Remembrance of Road Traffic Victims, in Akure.
The United Nations (UN) and African Union (AU) adopted third Sunday in November every year as World Day for the remembrance for road traffic victims. Theme for this year’s edition is “Roads Have Stories.”
Adeleye said that FRSC was organizing a week-long activities to commemorate the event and to sensitize the living to the need to stem the tide of road traffic crashes.
He said that there were some black spots on some roads, including Oka-Akoko axis in North Senatorial District, Akure-Owo axis, Ore-Lagos Expressway and Onyeragbulem Junction in Akure, where accidents often occurred in the state.
“On May 29, 16 lives were lost to road crashes in Oka-Akoko, with 13 of the victims burnt to ashes without identification.
“On Jan. 21, along Akure-Owo road, near Celestial Church by Agbogbo Junction, eight people died on-the-spot in an accident.
“In the same vein, on July 15, at Ogbese in Akure North Local Government Area, eight people also died.
“Also, the most recent that claimed lives of a family at Onyeragbulem junction in Akure occurred on Oct. 3 when a mother with her two children and elderly woman died,” he said.
Adeleye said that the crashes were caused by commercial drivers, but stated that the command had introduced enforcement to the section on any erring driver of speeding.
Read Also: Man dies inside swimming pool in Akure
“We have put enforcement in place, if you traverse the state and you are speeding and you are apprehended, we are ready to delay you for two hours.
“With this enforcement, it will put some senses into theirs head so that when you get to Ondo state you will reduce your speed and put some senses in your driving culture,” he said.
The commander said that the effects of the crashes were felt not only within the immediate families but in the extended and nation “because it depletes it virile workforce’’.
He, therefore, called on major stakeholders and road users to join hand with the command to make the roads safer, especially during the yuletide.
“Road safety is everybody’s business; therefore, everybody should be involved in one way or the other in making our highways safe.
“We are all aware that government alone cannot effectively fund road safety programs, neither can a government agency like FRSC single-handedly deal effectively with road safety issues,” Adeleye said.
While speaking at the event, the Ondo state governor,Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, commended the efforts of the FRSC in reduction of road crashes in the state.
President Muhammadu Buhari delivers an address on “Illicit Financial Flows & Corruption: The Challenge of Global Governance”, at the opening ceremony of the Paris Peace Forum held at the Grande Halle de la Villette, Paris on Sunday, November 11, 2018. PHOTO: TWITTER/NIGERIAN PRESIDENCY
A former Nigerian aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, Monday called the country’s president Muhammadu Buhari ‘unpatriotic’ over his comments at the Paris Peace Forum in France.
Buhari, who departed the country on Friday to join other world leaders to commemorate the centenary anniversary of the Armistice signed on November 11, 1918, delivered an address, “Illicit Financial Flows & Corruption: The Challenge of Global Governance”, at the Opening Ceremony on Sunday.
During his address, the president said, “Our experience in Nigeria is that financial crimes, such as corruption and fraudulent activities, generate enormous unlawful profits which often prove so lucrative that the threat of a jail term is not sufficient to deter perpetrators.”
While reacting to this on Monday, Fani-Kayode in a series of tweets that said such comments invariably characterised Nigerians as ‘rogues’.
The former minister, who dumped the ruling All progressives Congress for the People’s Democratic Party in 2014, opined that no Nigerian past leader has “ever denigrated or insulted the Nigerian people the way he [Buhari] keeps doing.”
This is not the first time the Nigerian president’s comments outside Nigeria will be deemed an affront on the people he leads.
In 2016, Buhari told UK’s Daily Telegraph that Nigerians’ penchant for criminality has made them unworthy of acceptance in Europe and the United States.
“Some Nigerians claim is that life is too difficult back home, but they have also made it difficult for Europeans and Americans to accept them because of the number of Nigerians in prisons all over the world accused of drug trafficking or human trafficking,” he said.
Also in April 2018, the 75-year-old president came under fire for criticising Nigerian youths who he said “do nothing” and want everything for “free” at a business conference in London.
“A lot of them haven’t been to school and they are claiming, you know, that Nigeria has been an oil producing country therefore they should sit and do nothing and get housing, health care, education, free,” said Buhari.
Fani-Kayode said it is ‘self-deprecating’ and ‘unpatriotic’ for Buhari to ‘run down the Nigerian people’ that voted for him as the president.
“God will judge him for demeaning us before the world and calling us what we are not,” Fani-Kayode said.
Access Bank Plc PHOTO: thescoopng.com
Access Bank on Monday denied having an agreement to take over assets of Diamond Bank Nigeria.
A national daily reported that Access Bank was set to add “Diamond Bank’s portfolio to its assets in the next few months”.
But Access Bank said it was not in any discussion with Diamond Bank or any other institution.
“Our attention has been drawn to a newspaper report, relating to Access Bank Plc being engaged in merger and acquisition talks with Diamond Bank Plc,” Access Bank’s company secretary Sunday Ekwochi said in a statement.
“We wish to notify the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the general public that the bank has not entered into such talk with Diamond Bank or any other institution.”
The earlier report said both financial institutions have reached an agreement in broad terms on the acquisition. What is left is the valuation of assets, with a view to determining the level of compensation and systems’ integration.
“As a public quoted company built on best practice, the bank is fully cognizant of its disclosure obligation in respect of any such corporate action and will always discharge its obligation in the most professional manner,” Ekwochi said.