Kogi Jailbreak: Suspects Have Right To Life, Says Dino

Following the escape of six suspects involved in the arms case against Senator Dino Melaye from police custody in Kogi, the Senator has said suspects are “presumed innocent until proven guilty and they also have right to life”.

Melaye made this statement in a point of order he raised at the Senate on Wednesday.

Recall that six suspects, including two principal suspects, Kabiru Seidu (a.k.a Osama) and Nuhu Salisu (Small), who indicted Senator Dino Melaye and Mohammed Audu in a case of conspiracy and unlawful possession of prohibited firearm escaped at 3.21a.m. from the ‘A’ Police Division in Lokoja, where they were kept.

However, Melaye, while moving a motion on the incident, gave the Inspector-General a 48-hour ultimatum to produce the two suspects involved in his case.

He threatened to sue Idris for “mental assault” should he fail to produce the two suspects.

In related development, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris has ordered the removal of Kogi State Police Commissioner Ali Janga, following yesterday’s escape of six suspects from custody.

Idris asked the Commissioner of Police, Federal Operations, Force Headquarters, Abuja, Esa Sunday Ogbu, to proceed and take over as the state’s new police chief.

He also redeployed the Commander, Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, the Divisional Police Officer ‘A’ Division, Lokoja and other police officers implicated in the escape for negligence, dereliction of duty and gross misconduct.

The police, in a statement signed yesterday by Force spokesman ACP Jimoh Moshood, said the policemen on duty when the suspects escaped were facing serious disciplinary action.

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APC Leadership Tenure Elongation Illegal, Says President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has frowned at the tenure extension of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman and other elected state officials of the party.

The President expressed his disapproval while addressing members of the National Executive Committee of the party in Abuja, on Tuesday.

While describing the tenure elongation as illegal, the President explained that after due consultation, it had become imperative to overturn the resolution of the February 27 NEC which allowed the tenure extension of Mr Odigie-Oyegun by one year.

His words: “In particular, I think it is important for me to speak quickly on the contentious issue of the tenure of our National and State Executive Officers. As we all know, a motion was moved at the last National Executive Committee meeting of February 27, 2018, to the effect that when the tenure of the current executives expire in June this year, they should be allowed to continue for one year.

“This motion was duly carried by a majority of members present at the last NEC Meeting, even though some of our party members have since spoken up very vehemently against it. Others have even taken the matter to court.

“?On my own part, I have taken some time to review and seek advise on the resolution. And what I found is that it contravenes both our party Constitution and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

The President stressed that while the APC Constitution, in Article 17(1) and 13.2(B), limits the tenure of elected officers to four years, renewable once by another election, the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended), in section 223, also prescribes periodic elections for party executives at regular intervals, which must not exceed four years.

More so, Article 31 of the Party’s Constitution provides that any principal officer wishing to re-contest or contest for another post, must resign from his current post at least one month before the election.

“In this circumstance, what is expected of us is to conduct fresh elections, once the tenure of the current executives approaches its end. A Caretaker Committee cannot remedy this situation, and cannot validly act in place of elected officers,” the President added

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Buhari Rejects Tenure Elongation For Oyegun, Others

President Muhammadu Buhari has rejected the proposed tenure elongation of all leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The president made his position known while speaking during the National Executive Committee meeting at the party secretariat in Abuja on Tuesday.

The National Executive Committee had on February 27 moved a motion at the last meeting to allow the current leadership at the national and state level continue in office upon the expiration of their tenure in June.

The motion which was duly accepted by majority of the members present had sharply divided members of the party resulting in some members going to court.

But Buhari on Tuesday said the elongation of the tenure of the national and state officers contravenes both the constitution of the APC and that of the federal Republic of Nigeria.

“While the APC constitution in article 17(1) and 13.2(b), limits the tenure of elected officers to four years, renewal once by another election, the 1999 constitution (as amended), in section 223, also prescribes periodic elections for party executives at regular intervals which must not exceed four years,” the president said.

Continuing, the president said “furthermore, Article 31 of our party constitution provides that any principal officer wishing to re-contest or contest for another post, must resign from his current post at least one month before the election.”

The president said what is expected in this circumstance is for fresh election to be conducted and that this cannot be remedied with a caretaker committee.

The president said deviating from the provisions of the party constitution will not only endanger the fortunes of the party but will provide avenues for the nominations and primary elections of the party to be faulted if the party leadership is faulted.

The president thereafter said he is of the firm view that the dictates of the party and its constitution be strictly followed.

“I am therefore of the firm view that it is better to follow strictly the dictates of our party and national constitutions, rather than put APC and its activities at great risk,” Buhari said.

“Fortunately, we have already a timetable for the holding of congresses and elections. I think these should be allowed to go forward, and all efforts should now be geared towards making them a great success,” he added.

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FG Gives Detailed Account Of Dapchi Girls Release

TEXT OF A PRESS CONFERENCE BY THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND CULTURE,
ALHAJI LAI MOHAMMED, IN LAGOS ON SUNDAY, MARCH 25TH 2018

PROTOCOL

Thank you, gentlemen, for once again heeding our call. May I also use this opportunity to thank you, most immensely, for the professional manner in which you have always treated our press conferences. We do not expect anything less from today’s event.

As you are aware, the abducted Dapchi girls were released last Wednesday as a result of intense back-channel engagement aimed at securing their quick and safe release. This was done in concert with a friendly country, international organization and trusted facilitators.

Since then, there have been a lot of developments. We feel we should meet with you to furnish you with first-hand information on this, and also give you the opportunity to clarify any issue surrounding the release.

Gentlemen, a total of 111 girls were abducted from the Government Girls Secondary and Technical College (GGSTC) in Dapchi on 19 Feb. 2018. That means one student was not captured on the list of 110 abducted students that was compiled by the school, on the basis of which the Federal Government gave the number of abducted schoolgirls
as 110.

Also kidnapped were two other persons, who are not students of the college. They include a primary school boy who came to the school to sell pure water and another primary school girl. That brings the total number of abducted persons on that day to 113.

So far, a total of 107 persons, comprising 105 Dapchi schoolgirls and the two non-students, have been released by the insurgents.

Six Dapchi schoolgirls are yet unaccounted for. All efforts will be made to secure their release

HOW THE DAPCHI GIRLS WERE FREED
As I have said at many fora, we neither paid ransom nor swapped any Boko

Haram member to secure the release of the girls. This is a fact, irrespective of how a section of the press has tried to spin the story.

The insurgents brought the girls back to the location of the kidnapping themselves as an apparent gesture of goodwill, following relentless efforts by the Government to find long-lasting solutions to the conflict.

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed all security agencies to do everything possible to bring the girls back unharmed. That dictated the method we adopted. Back-channel talks with our international friends as mediators, and the result was the release of the girls

HOW WERE THE INSURGENTS ABLE TO RETURN THE GIRLS TO DAPCHI UNATTACKED,
DESPITE TROOPS PRESENCE?
Unknown to many, we have been in wider cessation-of-hostility talks with the insurgents for some time now. The talks helped to secure the release of the police officers’ wives and the University of Maiduguri lecturers recently. And the talks did not stop thereafter.

Therefore, we were able to leverage on the wider talks when the Dapchi girls were abducted. As I said earlier, the insurgents decided to return the girls to where they picked them from as a goodwill gesture. All they demanded was a ceasefire that will grant them a safe corridor to drop the girls. This is not new. Even in larger war situations, safe corridors are usually created for humanitarian and other purposes. Consequently, a week-long ceasefire was declared, starting from Monday, 19 March. That is why the insurgents were able to drop the girls. This counters the conspiracy theories being propounded in some quarters concerning why it was so easy for the insurgents to drop off the girls without being attacked by the military.

WHY THE GIRLS WERE FREED EARLY
As I have said time and again, there is no government that will not face tragedies. What makes the difference is how such tragedies are managed.

President Buhari put this in perspective when he said the response of his Administration is a marked departure from the attitude of the preceding administration in the aftermath of the kidnap of the 276 Chibok girls in 2014

Whereas it took that administration 18 days to even acknowledge the kidnap of the girls, the current administration was responsive and was not in denial. No stone was left unturned to secure the release of the girls. For the record, the following actions were taken:

1. The President sent FG’s delegation twice to Dapchi and Damaturu, within four days, to engage in fact-finding and to condole with the government and people of Yobe State and the families of the abducted girls. I was on both delegations.

2.   The President ordered the Service Chiefs and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to take direct charge and brief him on a daily basis on the efforts to bring back the girls.

3.   The President ordered the re-strengthening of a Joint Operational Base involving relevant agencies and Services to coordinate the rescue mission. Consequently, the Service Commanders established a unified Command Centre in Maiduguri, and the Military also raised several rescue teams to comb the forests in the North East Theatre of
Operation.

4.   The Nigerian Air Force maintained aerial surveillance of the area all through.

It was not a surprise, therefore, that this abduction ended about a month after it occurred, and that most of the girls are free.

THE REACTION OF NAYSAYERS
You are not unaware of the reaction of the naysayers – the main opposition PDP in particular – to the release of the Dapchi girls. What called for non-partisan celebrations was rather thoughtlessly turned into politics, bad, despicable politics that has no place in any democracy. At times of national tragedies, countries unite. This is the norm everywhere.

Let me encapsulate my reaction to the disgraceful and insensitive politics, that the PDP has been playing with the Dapchi girls, by quoting the statement of the President when he received the Dapchi girls last Friday: ”May I also warn against those elements who have chosen to make political fortune of our citizens’ misfortune. Government would not tolerate any attempt by any person or group to trivialize or politicize security issues for politically motivated ends. Accordingly, security agencies would not hesitate to decisively deal with such unscrupulous characters.” Those are very clear words that need no elaboration.

The PDP and its co-travelers do not understand that terrorism is a global problem. A terror attack on any country is an attack on all countries. The UN was among the first international organizations to condemn the abduction of the Dapchi girls and also among the first to welcome their release.

Perhaps we should ask the PDP what indeed the party knows about the abduction of the Dapchi girls, going by its statement that their abduction and release were stage-managed. The party made itself a laughing stock within and outside Nigeria with that statement. Don’t  they know that our international friends are involved in the process
that led to the release of the girls? Indeed, there should be a new criterion for withdrawing the registration of a party like the PDP which has failed both as a ruling and an opposition party! If a party cannot rule and cannot be in opposition, what else can it do?

CONCLUSION

1. We thank all Nigerians for their support and prayers. We are grateful for their belief in the ability of this government to secure an early release of the girls. We will continue with the ongoing efforts to account for the remaining six Dapchi girls, and indeed to bring back our remaining Chibok girls.

2.   In the words of Mr. President, this Administration remains committed to the fight against terrorism and insurgency. The security services have since been directed to put in place further measures around all schools vulnerable to attacks to ensure the safety of pupils/students and teachers and school workers. The President has also tasked all the security agencies to work to ensure that we do not witness any recurrence of these incidents.

3.  Let me emphasize the government’s position that while the military efforts are necessarily ongoing, we are willing to continue engaging in a meaningful dialogue which is not only about the release of hostages, but intended at a broader engagement on conflict mitigation (reduction of the violence, possibility of ceasefire, protection of civilians, increased humanitarian access). Government is therefore willing to engage on measures which can lead to stopping the bloodshed and finding long-lasting solutions to the conflict.

4   We appeal for non-partisanship on the issue of security. We all have to be safe and alive before we can even belong to any political party. And whether you are in government or in opposition, Nigeria belongs to all of us.

5.   We appeal to the media to be more discerning in disseminating materials that serve no other purpose than to sabotage the ongoing efforts to end the insurgency and secure the release of the remaining Chibok and Dapchi girls. Obviously, the naysayers are growing more desperate and will stop at nothing, including disinformation and fake
news, to muddle the waters.

Finally, let me use this opportunity to react to the fake news making the rounds concerning a supposed Sergeant in the Nigerian Army, named David Bako, who said he was part of an alleged conspiracy by the Government to abduct the Dapchi girls.

This is a classic example of what I have just said: Disinformation and fake news! I can tell you categorically that this David Bako is fake. There is no such soldier in the Nigerian Army. There was no conspiracy anywhere. The intention of those behind the disinformation and fake news is to cause disaffection between Christians and Muslims, and between
Southerners and Northerners.

This Administration’s success in seeking an early release of the Dapchi girls has ruffled many feathers. It has upturned a lot of plans by naysayers. They have not been able to sleep since the girls came back. Their campaign to unseat
President Buhari is fuelling their desperation. Nigerians should prepare to see more avalanche of disinformation and fake news. But they should not lend any credibility to such reports. They belong to the trash can!

I thank you for your kind attention.
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REVEALED: How N100bn Was Allegedly Embezzled By The Jonathan Administration Ahead Of The 2015 Elections

CBN got specific instruction to ensure billions were moved from the bank directly to the residence of the former president

Few days after Vice President Yemi Osinbajo described grand corruption as the elephant in the room when discussing the Nigerian economy, more compelling details are emerging showing how several tranches of funds were illegally removed from the public till by the Jonathan administration specifically ahead of the 2015 presidential elections.

Besides, some new but dramatic details of how some of the funds were illegally transported from the Central Bank to the private residence of the former President Goodluck Jonathan have now emerged.

In that particular case the former NSA personally supervised the physical transfer of the money from the CBN vaults to the private residence of the former President.

In one particular instance over N70 billion was released in parts from the national treasury between January 8 and February 25, 2015. The over $289M which was also referenced last week by the Vice President is said to be included in this particular series of illegal transactions.

Besides that is another illegal disbursement, the minutes of the Central Bank board meeting of 25th August 2014 indicated the board’s approval of another N60B requested by the former President and released later by the Central Bank.

A Presidency source said that sum which was okayed by the CBN board was not tied to any project or procurement, and was meant and disbursed purely for campaign purposes, through the office of the then NSA and the SSS leadership at the time.

Specifically that N60 billion that was okayed by the CBN on August 25, 2014 was said to have been shared between the two security agencies thus: N40B went to the NSA while N20 billion was released to the State Security Services (SSS).

While some of these newly emerging fund disbursements have been traced to the former NSA, there are indications that some of the funds are unconnected to the ongoing Defence contract trials of the former NSA.

Osinbajo, in a recent speech, had alleged that weeks to the 2015 election under the administration of former president Goodluck Jonathan about N100B was released and embezzled. He also disclosed that about $289m was disbursed illegally about the same time.

It has now been revealed that the $289m mentioned by the Vice President was released on February 25, 2015

Documents including cash vouchers indicates that $289,202,382 was released in cash to the NIA by the Central Bank of Nigeria from the Joint Venture (JV) Cash Call Account No. 000-0000-11658-366 of the NNPC/NAPIMS with JP Morgan Chase Bank, New York, USA.

At the exchange rate then of $199 to a naira, $289m is equivalent to about N60 billion. But had the money not been stolen, it would be at today’ s rate over N104B.

Further findings showed that in yet another set of illegal fund withdrawals under one week between January 8 and 16, 2015, the sum of N1.5 billion was released in three tranches of N300m, N400m and N800m respectively.

“This money was released from the MEA Research Library Account to the Jointrust Dimension reportedly owned by Danjuma Yusuf and Nenadi Esther Usman,” an official source with knowledge of the transaction disclosed.

The source further said the sum was transferred to their various political associates, which included a former minister of aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode.

Further findings showed that N350 million was allegedly transferred to Femi Fani-Kayode through his Zenith Bank Account No. 1004735721, on February 2, 2015.

Also, another N250 million was allegedly transferred to Fani-Kayode through the same Zenith Bank Account on February 19, 2015.

A document further showed that yet another N10 billion was released to the Office of the National Security Adviser by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on September 15, 2014.

The money was said to have been released in tranches of foreign exchange of $47 million, $5 million, 4 million Euros and 1.6 million Euros.
A letter from the Office of the NSA in November, 2014 further showed that the monies were released by the CBN as ‘funds for special services’.

“Further to our discussion, you are pleased requested to provide the sum of Forty Seven Million United States Dollars (USD47,000,000,00)cash out of the Ten Billion Naira (N10,000,000,000,00) and the balance in Euro to this office for special services,” a letter signed by the former NSA read.

Findings have shown that this particular CBN release of N10B was sourced in November 2014 from a N40 Billion CBN released funds meant for Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR. It was this N10B that former President Jonathan instructed the CBN Governor and the then NSA to deliver to him personally in a private residence in Abuja. Sources said the money was illegally transferred using CBN van for the use of “PDP Presidential Primaries.”

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Buhari Goes Tougher On Fight Against Corruption, Engages Senior Lawyers To Lead Prosecution

The presidency has revealed plans to beef up the prosecution of corruption cases in several courts of law across the country by engaging a number of senior lawyers with high integrity ratings to play active roles and lead the prosecution of some of the cases.

Mr. Laolu Akande, a Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), disclosed this to pressmen in Lagos on Saturday.

Akande, who interacted with the press over the weekend, noted that those who are asking “our people to simply forget the blatant violation of public trust and the pillaging of the nation’s commonwealth witnessed in the past, are saying wittingly or otherwise that we should forget where the shoe actually pinched and pretend as if the social raping of the nation never occurred.”

Continuing, Akande asked, “How can we do that?

“We have a situation where a former first lady came out openly to claim over $171M found in her accounts and you think Nigerians will simply overlook that. You have a situation where hundreds of billions have been recovered including the discovery of $43M cash in an apartment in Ikoyi, and you think Nigerians will simply forget that?”

He stated that it is mere wishful thinking to imagine that Nigerians would just forget all of these colossal atrocities in the management and disbursement of public funds.

On the progress of prosecution, Akande said there are tonnes of corruption cases arising from the conduct of the past administration, adding that such pending cases in the courts would hopefully benefit with establishment of special courts for the speedy trial of corruption and other criminal cases.

“We have a number of lawyers, senior lawyers, people with solid reputations, who have volunteered to assist in prosecuting the cases, and soon the prosecuting agencies will be assigning specific cases to them,” Akande noted.

Nigerians should be rest assured, he stated that the Buhari Administration will not relent in the pursuit of those corruption cases because “we know that the mass of our people are closely following these cases and expect that consequences would be meted out to those who have violated public trust.”

He added that while there have been concerns about the delay in the pursuit of some of the cases, no one should underestimate the resolve of the Buhari Administration to push all the cases to its logical conclusion.

According to him, “To those who have asked what has happened to the several instances of corruption that we have spoken about, we say, wait and see.

“Sometimes the wheels of Justice may be slow, as it is often said, but they grind exceedingly fine. Let Nigerians know that justice would be served in the end, and the world will see it. We have a President and Vice President who will not take no for an answer on this matter,” Akande concluded.

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N’Assembly Members ‘Harassing’ Us For Bribes To Pass Budgets — Heads, Federal Agencies – Premium Times

Some Nigerian federal lawmakers are demanding bribes as conditions for passing the 2018 budgets of federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), some heads of these agencies have told PREMIUM TIMES.

The officials say the unceasing demand for gratification is responsible for the reluctance of a number of heads of MDAs to honour invitations by Senate and House of Representatives committees to defend their budgets.

Four officials of notable MDAs, who spoke to this newspaper in separate interviews alleged that the senators and members of the House are desperate and bent on shaking them down because ”the 2018 budget is the last they would consider before the next general elections”.

“Many of them need money for re-election and they see this budget approval process as a way of finding the resources to prosecute their forthcoming elections,” the director-general of one agency said.

The Senate had in February issued a one-week ultimatum to MDAs, who were yet to submit details of their proposed spending to appear before the various committees to defend their budgets.

The lawmakers accused ministers and heads of MDAs of ill-preparedness to attend scheduled meetings, ignoring invitations and sometimes not providing relevant information needed by the lawmakers to carry out their jobs of scrutinising the proposals.

However, three weeks after the ultimatum was issued, majority of the MDAs are yet to comply, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

In fact, the situation got so bad that President Muhammadu Buhari had to issue a directive to the heads of agencies ordering them to avail the National Assembly of their budget details as well as attend budget defence sessions.

The head of a key agency, who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES but does not want his name mentioned for fear of victimisation, said: “I can confirm to you that National Assembly members are brazenly harassing MDAs for bribes, using budget process and oversight.

“They have become very desperate this time. They ask pointedly and try to make life difficult for those who don’t play ball by summoning them endless times, asking irrelevant questions, asking for unrelated documents.

“I think they are desperately looking for money for election. I think they have also seen that they could do all these and get away with it, as the executive is not really pushing on anti-corruption against them.

“Until this year, we have managed to manage ourselves. They did not ask for money directly and we did not give. Occasionally, they asked that we employ someone or some people or give contract to some companies. For those pointed demands, we would explain why we could not meet their demands and they understood.

“I had no doubt that some MDAs were even giving them money without their asking. I wanted us to be seen as one of the agencies that don’t give and hoped that they would let us be.

“But this year is different. They have become more direct and more brazen. Their new practice is to ask the chief executive to wait behind and go see their chair or their deputy chair. And they pointedly ask, what are you giving us?

“If they sense you are not playing ball, they do everything to frustrate you, ask you questions and not allow you to answer, ask you to come back over and over.”

He said fear of victimisation was not allowing most of the agencies affected to cry out for help.

“I am sure other heads of agencies are going through the same but I don’t know who will talk on or off the record. As I said earlier, they are desperately looking for money for primaries and elections, and they have seen that the executive is not really bothered about bringing them to order.”

Another chief executive of an agency spoke along the same line, saying his experience with the lawmakers has been ‘frustrating’.

“These guys (the lawmakers) are not even afraid anymore,” he said. “They keep demanding cash and asking us to insert projects in our budgets for them. I can’t definitely satisfy their needs because I don’t want to go to jail because of some frustrated greedy lot.

“With all the millions they collect every month, they are still not contented.”

The MDAs had earlier been defended by Ben Akabueze, director-general of the Budget Office of the Federation, who said in a statement that the budget was submitted with every details the lawmakers need to do their work.

He said the budget proposal included details of all federal MDAs based on the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) templates suggesting that the scrutiny by lawmakers ”should be an easy task”.

Despite Mr. Akabueze’s intervention, the MDAs are still going through a tough time with the committees.

Another head of MDA, who spoke about his experience wants the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to intervene.

“Your paper will help us a great deal if it can help us alert the EFCC of what we are going through,” he said.

Yet another MDA official said, “Demanding bribes is something that has been endemic over a long period of time. This thing started since (year) 2000, the first budget.

“All these other things they used to get in the past, under this government they can’t get those things. The MDAs are also afraid because the president is very serious. Any MDA that does nonsense and is discovered you know…

“Even in a public hearing at the House of Reps. They intimidated a man. A lot of these members of the various committee, both senate and Reps, wanted bribe but the man refused to oblige them. It’s just intimidation. MDAs are afraid and these people (Senate and Reps committees) are not relenting.

“All these things that they said they didn’t do, MDAs have done these things. A lot of them have gone there to defend. They are just dragging this thing because they want to get extra. Election is coming that is why.

“The MDAs are in a dire state. They will not flout the directive of the president and these people are just insisting. A lot of them are not coming back to the National Assembly. They want to make as much money as they can make and those that feel they can come back, they need money in buying people, either delegates or voters.”

With the cat and mouse relationship between the heads of the agencies and the lawmakers, the fate of the N8.6 trillion budget presented by President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2017 hangs in the balance, it appears.

Also, the wish of the executive to resort to the January-December calendar year budget seems unachievable.

In a belated move to salvage the situation, President Buhari last week ordered ministers and heads of MDAs to appear before the National Assembly to defend their proposed 2018 budget estimates.

The order was given at the end of a meeting the president had with the leadership of the National Assembly led by Senate President Bukola Saraki.

Denial

Meanwhile, the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Sonny Ogbuoji (Ebonyi-PDP), denied the allegations levelled against his colleagues.

“It’s a big lie,” he said. “The president has directed them to submit to the committees. If they submit and the committee does not receive it, they should blow it open. This should not be a secret. It’s a big lie. Such things (bribery) should not be entertained.”

Mr. Ogbuoji had on February 28 called the attention of the senate to the refusal of MDAs to either submit details of their 2018 budget proposal or their amendments as requested by Senate committees.

He said the allegation was an ‘escape route’ concocted by the MDAs to cover up.

“People are looking for escape route for their ineptitude. If they say they are demanding bribe, its human beings that are demanding the bribes. They should say the person’s name. There should be no cover up. Nobody should entertain such story.

“If it is me, they should call my name. Hiding it is like virus. If you cover virus, it will never die but the moment you expose it to the atmosphere, it will die. They should say which committee is demanding it. Let them not just say and give a wrong impression.”

Premium Times

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Breaking: FCT Records Fresh Case Of Lassa Fever

The Federal Capital Territory Administration says it has recorded a fresh case of Lassa fever in the territory, bringing the number of confirmed cases to three within three months.

The Director of Public Health in the Health and Human Services Secretariat in FCT, Dr. Humphrey Okoroukwu,  disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Abuja.

NAN recalls that one of the two victims of the confirmed cases earlier recorded at Bwari Area Council of the FCT died sometime in January.

Okoroukwu explained that the newly confirmed case was recorded in Abuja Municipal Area Council and the patient was already recovering.

“The new case was confirmed just last Wednesday and we thank God the patient is doing well in the hospital.

“The patient reported early and the doctor’s alertness to detect the suspected case before confirmation in the laboratory has helped to manage the situation,” he said.

The director urged residents of FCT not to panic over the development but to rather take their personal and environmental hygiene seriously.

Okoroukwu urged the residents to imbibe the habit of regular washing of hands, keep their environment clean and dispose of their domestic waste to avoid rats.

He called on Nigerians to promptly report any suspected case of fever to the nearest hospital because fever was one of the symptoms of Lassa-fever.

NAN

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$9m Discover In Home Of Sacked Amnesty Boss, Boroh

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), have allegedly discovered $9 million cash at the residence of the sacked Special Adviser on Niger Delta to President Muhammadu Buhari and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brig.-Gen. Paul Tarelah Boroh (rtd).

President Muhammadu Buhari last week replaced Boroh with Professor Charles Quaker Dokubo.

The presidency had also disclosed that Buhari directed “a full investigation into the activities of the Amnesty Programme from 2015 to date, especially allegations of financial impropriety and other acts”.

The discovery of the cash was made a few hours after his arrest by a combined team of EFCC and ONSA operatives.

EFCC Head, Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujiaren confirmed the raid to Thisday.

A senior security agent also said that Boroh was picked up from his home in Gwarinpa, Abuja, on Monday, but was taken back to his residence at about 3 a.m. Tuesday by the security operatives who raided his house for hours and made the cash discovery of $9 million at his home.

“The former adviser was driven to his home in an unmarked car after his arrest. His home was searched for several hours and about $9 million cash was discovered in several safe boxes in several parts of the house,” the source said.

“The combined team of EFCC and the National Security Adviser operatives were very thorough with the search. Indeed, at a point, the operatives broke all the locks in the home including his wife’s closet. The recovered cash has been deposited at the Office of the NSA,” he added.

Boroh’s sack, investigation and arrest by the EFCC may not be unconnected to a petition, among others, that was sent to the president last August.

In the petition to Buhari dated August 21, 2017 and signed by one Timi Angalabiri, on behalf of the Niger Deltans for Accountability and Good Governance (NDAGG), the group had requested the president to suspend the ex-Amnesty Programme boss “for a credible investigative inquiry to commence into the non-payment of tuition fees and living expenses of recently graduated Niger Delta students in universities across the United States, the United Kingdom and Nigeria, with many institutions withholding the students’ certificates due to the non-payment of tuition fees ranging from nine months to two years, despite receiving over N70 billion within this time frame”.

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Just In: Abducted Dapchi School Girls Return Home

Reports reaching Abusidiqu Media says that there is wild jubilation in Dapchi town of Yobe State, over the purported return of the abducted school girls.

Channels Television is reporting that there is heavy security presence in Dapchi town, making it difficult for pressmen to get access into the town.

However one of the Dapchi parents who spoke with its correspondent stated that his abducted daughter had been returned.

Eyewitness reported that the Islamist militant group came with the girls in nine trucks  and dropped them at the centre of the town.

While five of the abducted girls may be reported dead, it is not however clear if the federal government paid any ransom to secure the girls release.

 

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We Will Sack More ‘Incompetent Teachers’ – Kaduna Govt

The Chairman of the Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board, (SUBEB), Nasiru Umar, has revealed the govt will sack the incompetent among the newly recruited teachers in the state.

Umar, who disclosed this on Monday, said the decision became necessary following the discovery that some of them might have bribed their way through the recruitment process.

El-rufai had recently at a roundtable in Abuja, disclosed that some of the applicants could not write their acceptance letter, when ordered to do so.Umar explained that the essence of writing the letter in the presence of the panel was to remove those who might have passed through the back door.

“The letters offered to them were probationary and could be terminated at any time, as it was clearly stated in the offer.“Even if they scale through, we are going to fish them out from the classrooms,” he said.Although he didn’t give details about the number of teachers involved, he said he would get the details from the Education Management Information System (EMIS).

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Enough Is Enough, Emefiele Must Go: 8 Reasons Staff Want CBN Governor Sacked – Part 2

In the first part of this report, this medium gave a background into why the staff of the Central Bank Nigeria, CBN are calling for the sack of the bank’s chief, Godwin Emefiele.

The report, which emanated from an open petition by some concerned staff of the bank espoused 8 reasons including promotion laced with nepotism and favoritism, massive fraud and contract scam and massive forex scam and malpractices among others.

This second part of the report highlights the individual reasons which the staff based their petition on. Read the first part of the report here. Enough Is Enough, Emefiele Must Go: 8 Reasons Staff Want CBN Governor Sacked – Part 1

Recruitment Spree For The Connected Alone

One of the key issues the staff are aggrieved for is concerning the recruitment exercise going on in the bank. While these recruitment are being done without due process, only the children, relatives and friends of influential Nigerians and top government officials are considered.

“The governor had embarked on recruitment spree since his assumption of office and even alarmingly after President Buhari was sworn to office on May 29, 2015. The incompetent corrupt governor has used this channel to effectively enjoy patronage and secure his job by employing children and nominees of powerful men in government both of the executive arm, National Assembly and the Federal Character Commission,” the petition reads.

“Continuing, the petition said “he has so far employed over 2,500 employees without conducting any pre-employment tests or interviews, some of whom failed drug tests, and had either third class degrees or deficiencies in O’levels.

Abusidiqu confirms that reports of the recruitment scam in the CBN has been public knowledge since 2015 and that despite the outcry that trailed several reports exposing the recruitment, the bank management has continued to recruit candidates tied to influential or highly placed Nigerians without following due process.

Few weeks ago, Abusidiqu reported the continuous recruitment going on in the bank where the bank management as a way of concealing the identities of beneficiaries introduced the use of code numbers as against the names of the employees.

The bank had previously used the beneficiaries’ first names and their father’s middle names to hide the real identities of politically motivated recruitment. For instance, the bank listed Maryam Atiku as “Maryam Abubakar.” In another case, the bank entered the name of the son of Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, as “Nagode Abdulrahman.” In other instances, the bank used the maiden names of hired persons instead of their married names.

Billions Spent On Purchasing Properties For Senior Bank Officials

The concerned staff also cited the fraudulent acquisition of 4 houses for Deputy Governors in Maitama at the cost of over N12 billion in contravention of the monetization policy as well as the N10billion spent in renovating the house of the governor which was purchased and fully furnished by the former governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who is now the Emir of Kano.

Abusidiqu had exclusively reported the purchase of the houses in 2015, barely six months after the incumbent governor took over the management of the Central Bank from Mrs Sarah Alade, who acted as the CBN Governor upon the suspension of Sanusi Lamido.

Four houses with three of it located in the rich hub of Maitama and 10 units of houses located in Wuse II were purchased for the Directors and Deputy Directors of the bank respectively by the governor, Godwin Emefiele. This is in spite of the fact that the Deputy Governors and Directors were already living in eye popping mansions at the expense of the poor masses.

A total of N17billion was said to have been spent in the purchase of the 10 houses in wuse II at a unit price of N1.7billion whereas, the properties were said to have been advertised at N520 million per unit before the CBN indicated interest in purchasing the properties.

EXCLUSIVE: Billion Naira Fraud: CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele Spends Nigeria Money On Needless Mansions [Photos]

The bank staff said in spite of the spending of this huge fund, the Committee of Governors had paid themselves the sum of N500million housing grant on assumption of office and as well as the fleet of over 8 luxury cars for each of them.

“The Governor also spend close to N10 billion renovating an already existing house on Colorado Street, Maitama which was built just 4 years before he took office by Julius Berger. The Governor and his 4 deputies live celebrity lifestyles while the hardworking staff of the bank live on loans and more loans,” the staff said.

The staff further added that there “was the acquisition of houses at No 1, Monrovia Street, Wuse 2, for Directors of the CBN at the cost of N17 billion not minding that the house were advertised by the developer for N5 billion before CBN came into the picture. This is also against the monetization policy of the Federal Government as the Directors are paid housing allowances.”

Deliberate Refusal To Wade Into Crisis Rocking Some Financial Institutions

CBN staff are outraged over the refusal of the Central Bank governor to wade into the massive undercapitalization issues, liquidity and collapse facing some financial institutions. The staff view the action as resulting to the banking sector becoming a shadow of itself.

The staff cited examples in Aso Savings and Loans Limited, Skye Bank, and Fortis Micro-finance bank, all of which they said have been facing serious banking issues in recent times.

In the case of Aso Saving and Loans Limited, the staff said the CBN under Emefiele fraudulently granted the financial institution bailout in the sum of N10billion even when same was not required by the bank. The fund is alleged to have been diverted into the personal accounts of some politicians including that of Shamsudeen Bala, son of former Federal Capital Territory Minister, Bala Mohammed.

The diversion of the fund which was allegedly done on the instruction of the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele is said to have gone down the drain as no single kobo of the money originally meant to be a loan to Aso Savings and Loans Limited has been paid back to the Central Bank of Nigeria, the staff alleged.

Additionally, Aso Savings and Loans is reportedly in financial crisis with over N20billion of depositors fund misappropriated in the last two years without necessary actions from the CBN management until recent times when it is becoming obvious the scam can no longer be hidden.

As we write this, Aso Savings and Loans has gone under the past two years with over N20 billion of depositors funds without any action by the CBN or against the CBN for its complicity in the matter. Poor depositors don’t have access to their deposits yet Emefiele continues to enjoy praises from the villa.”

The staff also justified the deliberate refusal to take actions on the crisis rocking some financial institutions with the crisis in Fortis Microfinance Bank which they said has gone bankrupt.

“Of recent, is the crisis brewing in Fortis Microfinance Bank, one of Nigeria’s foremost and largest Microfinance Banks. Fortis has technically gone bankrupt with huge deposits belonging to individuals and other financial institutions. The bank is dead and it seems Emefiele is ready to pretend all is well as in the case of Aso Savings.”

The staff also made mention of Skye Bank Plc, where the former Managing Director, Tunde Ayeni allegedly defrauded the bank to the tune of N150 billion, but has been left to roam the street a free man when the CBN management ought to have forwarded his case to the appropriate security agencies.

They claim that the various examinations and forensic investigative reports on the alleged fraud are available in supervisory department of the bank. 

Massive Forex Scams and Malpractices

Allegations of massive forex scams and malpractices also tops some of the reasons the CBN staff want Emefiele sacked.

The staff accused the CBN Governor of creating artificial scarcity of forex and single-handedly decides how the forex is allocated at the CBN rate of N307 per dollar, an avenue they said he uses in settling people in Government who later round trip and sell at market rate of N365 per dollar. This position according to the staff was corroborated by a former Governor of the bank in addition to details already in the knowledge of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), nothing has been done to date.

The staff specifically mentioned various forex malpractices involving Directors, a retired Deputy Governor in charge of Economic and Policy and Godwin Emefiele himself. Details of some of these malpractices which we have obtained independent of the staff petition will be available in our subsequent report.

Little wonder, the call for the sack of the CBN governor especially as regards the sale of forex to cronies at CBN rate has been on since 2015.

In one of his call for Emefiele’s sack, Peregrino Brimah describes him thus “He is a cabal fraternal banker who has maintained and added several layers of taxation on Nigerians even through the banking system in a ponzi-type scheme: tax to deposit, tax to withdraw, stamp tax, tax per mile and other illegal bank taxes on the masses’ own money, unheard of across the world.”

“The only people the governor has favored are politicians and the cabal whose investments he secures and who he promises unfettered access to CBN rate dollars for their refinery and other private projects while he denies the masses and small businesses any access to same. His policies have been directly implicated in the loss of 1.5 million jobs the past year and the current Nigerian recession.”

Also in 2017, civil society groups protested against the CBN governor with a demand for his resignation after accusing him of manipulating Forex tradings and illegally funding Federal Government budget and short-changing the Money Deposit Bank’s reserve ratio at the expense of the Masses.

“Forex Trading has been illegally turned to an exclusive business of the friends and family of those in power as against the principle of banking which allows for professionalism in trading and ensuring circulation to the business community for import and export of goods and services that will have direct positive impact on the economy and the people, spokesperson of the group, Fasipe Oluyemi said”

“We have again taught that the CBN will allow a level playing ground for all real stakeholders especially business community to access FOREX for trading, but they have aided the government cronies to horde it, and make it very expensive for them to in turn make huge profits upon trading. These are the factors that have made the prices of goods and services in the country to be very high and expensive, most times unaffordable.” “We shudder at the high impunity and knavery at which the CBN has carried on this illegality in this dispensation, playing lip service to the change mantra of Buhari’s government. This is another clear demonstration that the government and the CBN is double mouthed, playing double standards about corruption-free Nigeria.”

Although, the CBN in a statement by the Director, Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okorafor, said the allegations were “false and fabricated” and accused the groups of being paid agents of some ”selfish interest groups and enemies of the Nigerian economy,” staff of the bank said manipulations of forex trading and its attendant illegalities are still very much rufe under the management of Godwin Emefiele.

In the third part of this report, other reasons the CBN staff gave in the call for the sack of Godwin Emefiele will be further highlighted. Watch out.

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