Mark Zuckerberg Excited Over Game Built By 11 Year Old Nigeria Boy

The lad pictured above is Olatayo Sobomehin, an 11 years old who built Spike Rush, an infinite, side-scrolling game.

Named after needle spikerush (a plant), the game is set in a magical forest where spikes are everywhere.

Players have super powers to help them learn to survive in the forest. At random times, the gravity reverses and players must live upside down.

The players must ensure the spikes don’t defeat them. To do this, they must swipe up to jump over the spikes, swipe left and right to move back and forth, and double tap to activate special powers.

Mark Zuckerberg, who only just got back from visiting Lagos, Nairobi and Abuja, caught up with Tayo recently and was impressed with his game.

Mark expressed his excitement about Spike Rush on his Facebook page (as he always does).

“I got my first computer when I was Tayo’s age, and just like him I started out coding games. I’ve always thought building simple games was the gateway to building more complex apps. My first games were simpler than Tayo’s, but no matter your level, there’s nothing like playing something you built yourself,” Mark said.

He added, “I’m looking forward to seeing what Tayo builds next!”

The app is doing fairly well on the Apple App Store. Now that Mark has endorsed it (sort of), I expect “fairly well” to become “paranormally well” in no time.

Tayo, who might be associated with East Palo Alto-based StreetCode, is just a reminder that coding and programming should be introduced to young lads. This, amongst other things, will prepare them for a future that’ll most definitely be about technology!

Lagos-based CcHUB is already preparing kids for the future through its Summer Coding Camp (Mark Zuckerberg met some of the kids) and Maker Club. Same thing can be said of Jos-based nHub, which runs the SevoCoder program.

Credit: Techloy

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Senate Passes 11 Out Of 300 Bills In One Year As Reps Passes 85

Senators took turns to review their activities in a special session to mark the one year anniversary of the inauguration of the eighth Senate.

The 8th Senate was inaugurated on June 9, last year after the Proclamation by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The House of Representatives also took a similar step.

Although Senators who spoke were upbeat in their comments, it was curious that leaders of the Senate Unity Forum, a group of Senators who opposed the emergence of Senator Bukola Saraki as Senate President, kept mum.

In all, the Senate passed only 11 bills in one year.

Committee on Rules and Business Chairman Senator Babajide Omoworare, said the 11 bills were among the 300 bills brought before in the Senate.

Omoworare said 189 bills were at the first reading stage; 54 have been read second time and referred to committees.

He noted that several others were awaiting publication in the journal; three withdrawn to be represented by sponsors while one was negatived.

The Osun East senator listed the passed bills as .Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act CAP B2 LFN 2011 (Repeal and Re-enactment Bill, 2015

.National Centre for Cancer and Treatment Bill 2015, Electronic Transaction Bill, 2015, 2015 Appropriation Act (Amendment) Bill 2015, Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2015, High Court of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja (Amendment) Bill 2015, Federal Capital Territory Appropriation Act (Amendment) Bill 2016, 2016 Appropriation Bill 2015, Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme Bill 2016, Environmental Health Officers (Registration etc) Act 2002 (Amendment) Bill and Nigeria Institute of Soil Science Bill, 2016.

Omoworare also said the Senate passed 96 landmark resolutions, confirmations and received 159 petitions.

In the House of Representatives, Speaker Yakubu Dogara said the House passed 85 bills out of the 685 bills received.

“About 98 per cent (675) of them were members’ bills, 10 executive bills and out of the bills, 416 are awaiting second reading.

“One hundred and thirty bills have been referred to committees; three are awaiting consideration and it is instructive to observe that 85 of these bills have been passed by the House so far,’’ he said.

Dogara said the number of bills introduced in the last one year represented the highest annual consideration of bills by the House since the return to democratic governance in 1999.

Saraki, in his seven-page speech, traced the twists and turns of the eighth Senate and concluded that the upper chamber achieved a lot to cheer.

He said the Senate had continued to emphasised matters that directly touch on Nigerians.

Saraki added: “We must find a way to bring the best brains in our country on board wherever they may be found. If we are able to mobilise the best human resources that God has bountifully blessed our country with, I have no doubt that with God on our side; we shall overcome.”

The Senate President congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari, on the one-year anniversary of his administration and also for the great achievements he has recorded on several fronts. He said the President should continue to run an inclusive government.

Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu said: “We were divided along the lines of Unity Forum, Like Minds and Non-aligned, but today we are united as one indivisible Senate, working for the progress of our nation.

Senate Leader Mohammed Ali Ndume said: ”We had one year we can proudly say we have achieved a lot.”

But Chief Whip Senator Olusola Adeyeye sounded a note of caution: “Before we know it, we will be buried in the activities of 2019 and if we have to be honest to ourselves, next year must not be like the past one year.

”How do we ensure that before the end of this tenure that we no longer import fuel? How can we ensure that unemployment is dealt with. Every part of the country is doing badly, the earlier we do something about it the better.”

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N23bn Diezani Bribe: 11 INEC Officials Admit Receiving N120m

Eleven officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission who supervised the 2015 general elections in Gombe State have admitted to receiving N120m out of the N23bn ($115m) allegedly disbursed by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, according to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The affected staff, who were electoral officers in charge of the 11 local government areas of Gombe State, were grilled at the Gombe State Zonal office of the EFCC.

Most of them admitted to have benefitted from the bribe sum which was routed through a retired Electoral Officer, Yunusa Ali Biri.

Those quizzed were: Godwin Maiyaki Gambo Balanga, Bukar Alone Benisheik, Dukku, Jibril. B. Muhammed,Billiri, Dunguma Musa Dogona, Funakaye, Mohammed. A. Wanka, Kaltungo, Ishaku Yusuf, Kwami, Suleiman Isawa, Nafada, Babagana Malami, Shongom, and Nuhu Samuel, Y/Deba.

With the latest bend of the investigation, the number of INEC staff so far interrogated is 33.

The EFCC kad more than a month ago arrested a former Resident Electoral Commissioner in Rivers State, Mrs. Gesila Khan, and other top INEC officials in the South-South for allegedly receiving N675.1m from Diezani.

A top source, who spoke with our correspondent, said: “We have interrogated 11 electoral officers over N120million bribes they allegedly received from some politicians to undermine electoral process in the 2015 election conducted by the commission.

“The staff, who were all electoral officers in charge of the eleven local government areas of Gombe State, reported at Gombe State Zonal Office of the commission yesterday.

“They had made useful statements, and most had confessed to receiving millions of naira for their local government areas from two of them who negotiated and collected the bribe on their behalf.

“The electoral officers for the Akko Local Government Area and Gombe Local Government Area, Ahmed Ali Biu and Mohammed.B.Zannah, admitted to have collected the bribe from one Yunusa Ali Biri, also a retired electoral officer who acted as Gombe State coordinator of bribes for electoral officers in the state.

“Biri was known and addressed as coordinator of NGO, a euphemism or code, used to cover the activities of the two parties.

“At the meeting of the state coordinator, Biu, and Zannah at the Electoral Officers’ Lodge at Corner Alheri, opposite the NNPC mega station in Gombe.

“The parties agreed to share the bribe per polling unit in each local government area and part of the bribe should go to the ad hoc staff employed and deployed to each polling station across the state.

“However, the commission would have to unravel the discrepancy in the amount collected and the actual money disbursed to the electoral officers.

“ Some claimed that the coordinator short-changed them because he gave only N88million (N8million each) to the eleven local government areas in the state.”

The number of the INEC staff grilled by the EFCC has now risen to 33, including 16 directors, at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja and a Resident Electoral Commissioner(REC), Gesil Khan, and five others.

The EFCC has been probing the embattled former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, on her alleged involvement in a $115million (N23, 299,705,000billion) 2015 poll bribery scandal.

About four oil firms, 14 directors of oil companies, two banks and INEC officers have been grilled.

Some INEC officers already grilled are REC Gesil Khan for collecting  N185, 842,000 out of a N681million bribe deal; Fidelia Omoile ( Electoral Officer in Isoko-South Local Government Area of Delta State)—N112,480,000 ; Uluochi Obi Brown( INEC’s Administrative Secretary in Delta State)—N111,500,000; a former Deputy Director  of the INEC in Cross River State, Edem Okon Effanga—N241,127,000 and the Head of Voter Education in the INEC in Akwa Ibom, Immaculata Asuquo—N214,127,000.

Also, a retired INEC employee, Sani Isa,  was grilled over alleged N 406,206,000 bribe sum allegedly collected on behalf of the deceased Resident Electoral Commissioner  (REC) in Kano State, Alhaji Mukaila Abdullahi.

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Policemen Storms Ekiti To Arrest 11 Lawmakers, Others, Fayose Alleges

Armed policemen from Abuja have allegedly invaded Ekiti State to begin indiscriminate arrest of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders, top government officials and 11 members of the State House of Assembly over allegation of stockpiling arms during the June 21, 2014 governorship election.

The policemen were led by one CSP Mohammed Abubakar of the Force Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Abuja, according to a statement by the Special Assistant to Governor Ayodele Fayose on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, who said the new plot was an aftermath of the failure of the Department of State Services (DSS) to achieve the plot of coercing the House of Assembly members to impeach the Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose.

The government said the indiscriminate arrest was to begin this night and that the policemen arrived Ado Ekiti, the State capital with Mr TKO Aluko and APC Chairman, Jide Awe today. “We are aware of the arrival of policemen from Abuja to Ekiti State with the intention of arresting 11 members of the House of Assembly, two PDP leaders per local government and some other top officials of the government.

“Ridiculously, the offense for which the policemen are to embark on this indiscriminate arrest is owing toTKO Aluko malicious outburst that those listed for arrest stockpiled arms during the governorship election conducted in Ekiti close to two years ago. This plot is in furtherance of the APC plot to destabilize the government of Ekiti State just because of Governor Fayose’s hard stance on President Mohammadu Buhari’s APC government policies.

“The question is, what was the arms they claimed were stockpiled used for? Was anyone killed or attacked during the election? And why is the Police not arresting the APC Chairman, Jide Awe who is wanted for alleged murder and TKO Aluko, who was declared wanted by the court for perjury, and instead providing security cover for them?

“We therefore which to alert Nigerians on this new plot and state that Ekiti people will resist any attempt to use the Police to harass innocent citizens of the State. Democratically, we are entitled to our views on any issue in Nigeria and we won’t succumb to intimidation and harassment from any agency of the Federal government.”

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$2.1b Arms Deals: EFCC Traces Transfers To 11 Foreign Accounts In UK, US, Niger

Much of the $2.1billion arms funds put in care of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) by the Jonathan Administration was paid into 11 different accounts in the United Kingdom (UK), United States of America (USA) and Niger Republic, further probe of the money has revealed.

Dozens of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders, top government functionaries and retired/ serving military officers had earlier been linked with the sharing of the slush funds.

Some of them are already facing charges in connection with the funds disbursement.

The  Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) which is investigating what became of the money which was originally earmarked for the procurement of arms to prosecute the  anti-Boko Haram war has traced payment transfers to more the foreign accounts.

Sources said yesterday that more accounts into which the funds were paid by the ONSA might be uncovered in the next few weeks.

The agency may seek collaboration with its counterparts in other nations to determine the legality or otherwise of such transfers.

Although the payment mandates indicated that the wired funds were for technical equipment or supply of vehicles, the EFCC is interested in establishing  whether or not the items were delivered and if the costs of the items were inflated or not.

Some of the transfers, according to sources, were effected through ONSA Foreign Operations Account No. 100367-USD-CABANK- with FBN Bank UK and a few others through the Central Bank of Nigeria and some commercial banks in the country.

Transfers being investigated are as follows:

  • $10million (July 11, 2014) BSIC-NIGER, Code Bank NE 110, Swift Code BSAHNENI, Account 020383700112 );
  • $38million paid to Societe Nigerienne de Banque (H0064B0100125111123981/22 CODEBIC( May 20, 2014)
  • $16million to a different account in Societe Nigerienne de Banque (H0064B0100125111123981/41 CODEBIC (May 20, 2014)
  • €1,401,869 transferred to SONIBANK (Republique du Niger (October 2, 2013)
  • €1, 395,346.84 to another account in SONIBANK( Republique du Niger on December 11, 2013

*€2,252,252.25 wired to SONIBANK (Republique du Niger) on April 1, 2014.

  • $36million remitted into CitiBank N.A.Canada Square, Canary Wharf London E14 5LB on May 20,2014;
  • $5million to CitiBank N.A. Canada Square, Canary Wharf London E14 5LB on June 4, 2014
  • $30million to CitiBank N.A.Canada Square, Canary Wharf London E14 5LB on March 9, 2015
  • $50million to Deutsche Bank Trust Company in New York on March 9, 2015
  • $6, 954,000 to Deutsche Bank Trust Company in New York on April 21, 2015

A reliable source in EFCC said: “We have succeeded in retrieving documents relating to some funds that were wired abroad by ONSA. We were able to identify more than 11 foreign accounts and the actual remittances.

“Already, we are tracking what the funds were used for including payment for technical equipment and supply of vehicles. Our investigation includes determining whether or not the equipment were bought and delivered; and whether the cost prices were inflated or not.

“This crucial aspect of investigation accounted for why some military officers were handed over to the EFCC for investigation.

“We are also collaborating with anti-corruption agencies in other jurisdictions to determine the validity of such transfers and confirm if the funds were not laundered.

“The EFCC is being painstaking in its investigation to ensure fairness to all suspects under probe.

Responding to a question, the source said:”the EFCC has recovered $2.3million from a suspect involved in the arms procurement contract scandal in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

“The affected person is a contractor and not one of the military officers referred to this agency. He has more money to refund and we have decided to keep his identity under wraps until full recovery of the slush funds is made.

“We also do not want to reveal his identity in order not to jeopardize ongoing investigation.”

The presidency had handed over a former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh and 17 others, including 11 serving senior military officers and 22 companies, to EFCC for investigation on the alleged $2.1billion arms deals.

Apart from Badeh, others under investigation  are ex-Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal M.D. Umar; a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki ; Col. N. Ashinze , who was the Special Military Assistant to the ex-NSA; and a former Chief of Air Staff, A.N. Amosu; the most senior Air Force officer, AVM A. M. Mamu (the Chief of Administration); AVM O.T.Oguntoyinbo (former Director of Production, Defence Headquarters);  AVM R.A. Ojuawo (Air Officer Tactical Air Command, Makurdi;  AVM J.B. Adigun (former Chief of Accounts and Budgeting in NAF); and AVM JA Kayode-Beckley(Director, Armament Research in Air Force Research and Development Centre); AVM T Omenyi (MD, NAF Holdings) four top officers at the Defence Headquarters(DHQ), Air Cdre AO Ogunjobi; Air Cdre GMD Gwani; Air Cdre SO Makinde; and Air Cdre AY Lassa.

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Obaigbena Sacks Over 50% Of THISDAY Staff Despite Owing Them 11 Months Salary [See List]

In what a lot of staff have termed a ploy not to pay the outstanding salary of not less than 11 months, the Chairman and Editor-in-Chief THISDAY Media Group/ARISE TV Networks, Nduka Obaigbena, has sacked more than half of the THISDAY workforce.

Obaigbena, in a memo dated February 23, 2016 to the senior management staff of the newspaper, said all staff whose names were not listed therein should have their salaries stopped and no longer considered as working in the company.

The memo was addressed to Eniola Bello, Kayode Komolafe, Emmanuel Efeni, Ijeoma Nwogwugwu, Tokunbo Adedoja and Shaka Momodu.

Some of those to whom the memo was addressed were also not listed as bonafide staff.

Obaigbena’s action was said to have followed the attendance he took when he did what he termed spot check at the Lagos office of the newspaper.

He was said to have arrived at the office at about 2pm and left at 7pm.

He wrote in the memo to the management staff, with the Subject: VERY IMPORTANT STAFF NOTICE: “Dear All: Following a continuous and continuing spot check which climaxed today on LAGOS staff on duty and working, please find below a list of bonafide NON – EDITORIAL LAGOS STAFF of THISDAY NEWSPAPERS. The spot check will continue in ALL THISDAY locations.

“Those not on the list below cease to be staff of the company except they show with documentary evidence why they were not, and have not been at work. Editorial Staff have to show work with proof of stories filed and published tonight. Therefore only those listed below will be on the next payroll. If not listed, please conclude your disengagement process with the Admin department.

“A. Account Department:

1. Akiemughu Ezekiel
2. Olurebi Abiola Yusuf
3. Kasali Ganiyu
4. Arole Olawale
5.Alex Egberughe
6. Sambo Mohammed
7. Ngboken Odonzi
8. Sunday Adofu
9. Charles Afambu
10. Dibiagwu Uchenna
11. Amao K. Abisola
12. Raufiu Shina
13. Ariori Kamilu
14. Peter Iwegbu
15. Olufemi Aborowa.

“B. Computer Department:
1. Oku Ejiro
2. Balogun Olaitan

“C. Editorial (Photo Desk)
1. Yomi Akinyele
2. Kolawole Alli
3. Mubo Peters
4. Sunday Adigun

“D. Admin Department:
1. Adedapo Olojo
2. Megbolu Innocent
3. Emmanuel Efeni

“E. Advert Department:
1. Umoren Paulinus
2. Ogochukwu Eseka
3. Odeh Williams
4. Okwuise Ngozi
5. Ogedengbe Anthony

“F. Engineering Department:
1. Abdulmumuni Momoh
2. Peter Amoh
3. Emmanuel Hope
4. Adah Francis
5. Balogun Idris
6. Adewoyin Folakemi.

“G. ICT/SERVER/DIGITAL
1. Ogunleye George
2. T.J Dennis Madu
3. Judith Ehireme
4. Michael Okeke
5. Ojogun Danboyi
6. Mbayilan Aindo – Akaa

“H. Pre-press Department:
1. Funke Amobi
2. Scoot Orwell

“I. Printers:
1. Adedayo Adebiyi
2. Aina Adekunle
3. Badmus Semiu
4. Chuks Okonkwo
5. Akintunde Isaac
6. Sunday Etuonu

“J. Editorial Department:
1. Davidson Iriekpen
2. Martins Ifijeh
3. Funke Olaode
4. Crusoe Osagie
5. Roland Ogbonnnaya
6. Abiodun Ajala
7. Sunday Okonbi

“K. Office of Chairman:
1. Ayo Arowolo

“L. Legal Department:
1. Okwuchi Nwaamaka Chukwuma

“M. Executive Floor:
1. Alailedoye Bunmi

“N. Security Department:
1. Omotosho Abiola
2. Lovey Asuquo Essang
3. Nwachukwu Eugene
4. Samuel Alaku
5. Ebhoma Lucky
6. Abu Stephen

“O. Procurement Department:
1. Joseph Ebere

“P. Transport Department:
1. Benjamin Faloye
2. Hassan Afeez
3. Adebayo Kayode
4. Abdullah Alaran
5. Oluwashola Ayeni
6. Akintayo Ademigoke
7. Oladele Sunday
8. Lanre Akande

“Q. Press Attendant/Inserter
1. Erinle David
2. Olaojo Tunde
3. Abazu Ugochukwu
4. Dada Ezekiel
5. Chigozie Abalum
6. Lawal Kehinde
7. Mbah Kalu
8. Kolawole Ebietomiye
9. Kunle Seun
9. Wahab Tope.

“R. MANAGEMENT.
1. Eniola Bello
2. Kayode Komolafe
3. Ijeoma Nwogwugwu.”

Obaigbena further directed some staff of the Accounts Department to “prepare a new payroll another month based on the list below.

“We will try and pay up current month plus one month arrears every month at least.”

It was learnt that apart from the fact that some of the staff were not on duty on the day Obaigbena visited, two major reasons accounted for the failure of staff to show up regularly in the Lagos office.

One was the issue of outstanding salaries.
Obaigbena is said to be owing between 11 months and 13 months salary.

A senior staff told The Eagle Online that they had even lost count of the exact number of months being owed.

The second was that due to an ongoing renovation work in the office complex, there are no chairs for staff to use.

This is particularly so on the first and second floors of the complex.

It was learnt that the morale of the staff is “so low that they just manage to do their jobs and leave.

“And for those who can do their work without coming to the office, especially reporters, they do so and go back home.

“This is more so for the Editorial staff.”

It was learnt that the low morale even extends to the management staff.

It was gathered that the management staff in the office on the day Obaigbena visited were indeed summoned by him.

One of them was said to have even left before his arrival as he did not come in until about 2pm.

A source added: “The morale sunk lower after it became public knowledge that the Chairman made so much money during the regime of former President Goodluck Jonathan and refused to pay us our salaries.

“Yet, the huge sums we make here he packs away to fund Arise TV.

“This is not good enough and he still expects to find everyone in the office even when we can barely feed ourselves and families.”

The Eagle Online was told that some staff have started writing Obaigbena to explain their whereabouts on the day he was in the office.

One of them wrote: “Chairman, Good afternoon sir. I wish to inform you that I was on the field working yesterday at the time that names were being written in the office.

“I was at the Lagos state government secretariat for a follow up meeting of the one that held last week of one of the subcommittees on Lagos State at 50 anniversary to discuss advert placements in Thisday.

“Mr Anthony Ogedengbe the divisional director,Adverts can attest to this sir.

“Looking forward to a favourable consideration.”

Another wrote: “Good afternoon sir my chairman my name is Sunday Oamen one of your staff from Advert Department. I hereby state as follows after the management meeting on Monday this week. Hassan Saheed and l met with Mr Tony ogedengbe, where he divided us to subgroup to follow up advert publication that is not in thisday and in other papers as the head of the group Rapid Response Team (RRT) hr just form as away of increasing Revenue sales, that every Tuesdays and Thursday’s 12noon and 5.30pm we should go out that is Saheed Hassan and I at list visited three places and get back to him on their response base on this we left office at 12pm to visit the following places….”

It was equally gathered that the head of units in the Editorial Department have been directed by their Editors to compile the list of stories sent by reporters under them on the day in question.

Those listed as bonafide staff are said to be less than 50 per cent of the staff of the newspaper outfit, with most describing the move by Obaigbena as surprising.

The Eagle Online

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Troops kill Boko Haram Ameer, 11 others

As part of their determined efforts to rid the society of all known Boko Haram terrorists enclaves and hideouts, troops of 25 Task Force Brigade based on tip off conducted a fighting patrol along Damboa-Njaba-Bale road in Borno State.

The troops encountered and killed 3 suspected Boko Haram terrorists that had been terrorizing the communities around Sabon Gari and Damboa. Among those killed was the Boko Haram terrorists Ameer (Leader) in Bulayaga.

The Ameer was notorious in terrorizing Bale, Wass and Mufurundi villages.

According Army spokesperson, Col Sani Usman, the troops recovered an AK-47 rifle with its magazine, 43 rounds of 7.62mm Special Ammunition, 1 Grinding Machine and 5 Dane Guns.

Other items recovered include 7 Motorcycles, 21 bags of grains and 2 Boko Haram terrorists flags hoisted.

In a related development, troops of 7 Division Garrison on patrol at Mainari village in Mafa Local Government Area had an encounter with Boko Haram terrorists. The encounter led to the killing of 9 terrorists and recovery of weapons which includes 4 AK-47 and 1 Pump Action Gun

The patrol teams have continued to dominate the respective areas.

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Italian Cabal Nicknamed Former President Jonathan “Fortunato” In $1.1 million Malabu Racket

A cable available to Southwark Crown Court, UK has revealed how a former Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan, was code-named “Fortunato” by Italian accomplices in the $1.1 million Malabu deal.

Italian authorities investigating the mega deal had provided evidence to the court indicating the involvement of the former president.

The court, presided by Justice Edis, said based on the evidence presented before it, “Fortunato”, meaning “the lucky one” in Italian, was implicated in the deal.

“The suggestion from the wiretaps is that “Fortunato” was implicated and I am told that this was a reference in code (not subtle) to the former President of Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan,” the judge said.

By this revelation, “Fortunato”, is added to the long list of names Nigerians call the former president.

The court however refused to release the remaining balance of $85 million (N17 billion) to Malabu for the sell of Africa’s richest oil bloc, OPL 245 to oil giants Shell and ENi.

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Ex-director Indicts Dasuki, Says He Delivered $47m In 11 Suitcases To Him

The ongoing investigation into the disbursement of funds from the Office of the National Security alleged diversion of $2billion meant for arms purchase was allegedly diverted by key government officials and politicians during the Dr. Goodluck Jonathan Presidency has continued to throw up shocking revelations.

A former Director of Finance in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Mr. Shuaibu Salisu, has revealed how $47million was withdrawn from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

According to him, he delivered the $47milllion to the Ex-NSA Sambo Dasuki in 11 suit cases.

He said he suspected that the cash might have been given to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He, however, said as a civil servant, he was innocent because he only carried out instructions from the ex-National Security Adviser, Mr. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki.

The Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Justice Ishaq Bello, yesterday ordered that Salisu  be either arraigned in a competent court of law if there is any basis for so doing or be released on administrative bail on terms to be settled by the applicant.

It was also discovered that N10billion was withdrawn from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)  for gubernatorial and State Houses of Assembly elections.

The payment of the N10billion was authenticated by former Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who has said she transferred $322 million from the Abacha loot to Dasuki, following instruction from Dr. Jonathan.

Salisu opened up in a Statement of Witness/Accused  he wrote under oath in the presence of investigators of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The statement was attached to the charges preferred against Salisu and filed  in the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in preparation for his arraignment by the EFCC today before Justice H.Y. Baba and Justice P.O. Affen.

Salisu, who said he did not benefit from all the slush funds from the CBN, said: “I could remember on the 20/11/2014 , I was directed by the NSA, M.S. Dasuki to go to the CBN and collect the sum of $47m in cash and the balance in Euro and the directive was obeyed and the monies were delivered to the NSA in about 11 suit cases.

“I acknowledged the receipt of the money from the CBN which was handed over to M.S. Dasuki.

“I think the monies were meant for PDP. After delivery, I left, I did not see or know when the money was distributed.

“I did not benefit even one cent. The request for the funds was tag(sic) Special Services signed by the NSA, M.S. Dasuki, addressed to the Governor of CBN.

“I did not know the source of the money into our CBN Account. The foreign currencies  that I collected from the CBN were delivered to the NSA in his house, No. 13, John Kadiya Street, Asokoro.”

The Nation last night  obtained memos of some  of the curious withdrawals.

In a  November 26, 2014 memo to the Central Bank Governor(NSA /366/S), the former NSA instructed as follows: “Further to our discussion, you are pleased requested to provide the sum of $47m cash out of the N10 billion and the balance in Euro to this office for special services.

“Mr. S.A Salisu, Director of Finance and Administration, is hereby authorised to sign and collect the amount. Please accept, Your Excellency , the assurances of my highest esteem.

In another April 10, 2015 letter, BPSD/CRC/ GEN/FMF/01/36 by the Banking and Payment System Department, the CBN authenticated payment mandate of N10billion to the ONSA for preparation for gubernatorial and State Assembly elections.

The letter, signed by CBN Director, Banking and Payments System Department, reads: “In accordance with your letters, Ref. No. HMF/FMF/082.F15276.7 and F.15276 respectively on the above subject, we forward herewith the following mandate for authentication. Mandate Ref. FD/LP(9/4/2015)-N5,000,000,000 to National Security Adviser Account No. 0029172241019, CBN; another N5,000,000,000 to National Security Adviser Account No. 1014199287, Zenith Bank, K-City Plaza, WUSE II Abuja.

“Purpose of payment: “Being amount released to the Office of National Security Adviser(ONSA) from the Signatory Bonus Account in preparation for the forthcoming Gubernatorial / State Assembly elections as approved by AGF.

“The Honourable Minister may wish to authenticate this mandate to enable the CBN remit the fund.”

In a short note to approve the request Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala simply said: “Authenticated” and signed.

There were indications last night that the EFCC may invite Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala “for clarifications”. She has openly admitted that she released $322million to ex-NSA Dasuki from the Abacha loot recovered.

“ We have to find out from her whether or not due process was followed. She also needs to tell the anti-graft agency whether such a release was appropriated or not,” a source told The Nation, pleading not to be named because he is not authorised to speak on the matter.

Justice Ishaq Bello yesterday ordered that Salisu  be either arraigned in a competent court of law if there is any basis for so doing or be released on administrative bail on terms to be settled by the applicant.

This followed an application for the enforcement of Salisu’s fundamental human rights by his counsel, A.U Mustapha.

Mustapha had sought for a declaration that the “ arrest and continuous detention of Salaisu by the EFCC from November 20, 2015 constitutes a gross volation of the applicant’s rights to personal liberty and freedom of movement respectively guaranteed under sections 35 and 41 of the 1999 Constitution.

“A declaration that the arrest and continuous detention of the applicant in custody without any charge since November 20 with a view to denying him freedom of movement as guaranteed by 1999 Constitution and .article 10(1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights( Ratification and Enfircement) Act Cap A9 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria is accordingly unlawful, unconstitutional and illegal.

“An order directing the the EFCC to release the applicant forthwith without any condition.

“An order as the Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of the application.”

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11 Things In November; An Overview Of The Senate’s Legislative Activities By Abang Dove

The month of November has been a busy but eventful one in the Nigerian Senate. Lots of Bills were presented and a few other motions passed. Out of all the Bills presented, a number of them also passed for second reading.

Some of these Bills presented to the house include:

  1. FCT University of Science and Technology, Abaji, (Est. etc) Bill, 2015 (SB. 59) by Senator Philip Aduda (FCT)

This Bill seeks to establish the Federal Capital Territory University of Science and Technology to develop and offer academic and professional training particularly in the field of sciences and to act as a catalyst for the technological advancement of the country.

  1. A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria Act, 1973 and Re-enact the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria for other Matters connected therewith, 2015; (Sb. 14) by Senator Uche Ekwunife (Anambra Central)

This Bill seeks to make the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria more focused and target oriented. Similar institutions like the Raw Material Research and Development Council, Agric Research Council, and Nigeria Institute of Social and Economic Research, have all repealed and re-enacted the laws establishing them. Hence, the effort to re-enact the FRIN bill for more productivity.

When re-enacted, the bill will also avail the Institute the following: training, research and capacity building, collaborations with local and international organizations as well as business communities. It will also enable the Institute maximize her potentials in areas like; tree planting, research into biodiversity of indigenous and exotic tree species, biological control of gully erosion sites and lots more.

  1. North East Development Commission (Est, etc) Bill, 2015 (SB. 163) by Senator Ali Ndume (Senate Leader) and all other 17 North East Senators.

This Bill seeks the establishment of North East Development Commission (NEDC) with the mission to restore the areas devastated by insurgency. This can be achieved by facilitating the rapid and sustainable development of the Northeast into a region that is economically prosperous, socially stable, ecologically regenerative and politically peaceful.

Also, plans such as:

–          Surveying the North East in order to ascertain measures necessary to promote its physical and socio-economic development.

–          Formulation of policies and guidelines for the development of the area.

–          Conception, planning and implementation, in accordance with set rules and regulations, of projects and programs for sustainable development of the North East in the areas of transportation, health, employment, industrialization, agriculture and fisheries, housing and urban development, water supply, electricity and telecommunications, etc. will be implemented.

  1. Frivolous Petitions (Prohibition, etc) Bill, 2015 (SB. 143) by Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah (Kebbi South)

This Bill seeks to prohibit unserious formal written requests, appealing to the Senate in respect of a particular cause in forms of petitions.

A typical example of this is a petition that was brought to the Senate and forwarded to the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions. This petition was from one Engr. Adamu Suleiman Yakubu against the National University Commission (NUC) for alleged unlawful dismissal from service. After the case was read out to the Committee by the Deputy Executive Secretary of NUC, Ibrahim Yahaya who stood in for Executive Secretary of NUC, Julius Okojie, it was then discovered that Engr. Adamu Suleiman Yakubu was found culpable for forged documents, lies and of questionable character.

This led to Senator Dino Melaye dissociating himself from the petition.

  1. National Youth Service Corps (Amendment) Bill, 2015 (SB. 147) by Senator Stella Oduah (Anambra North)

This Bill seeks for the amendment of the NYSC Act, to provide that members of the service corps shall not be posted to states where conflict exists. It also further provides that members of the service who are posted to states where conflict exists or suddenly erupts may reject the posting.

To provide adequate security for all members of the Corps assigned to states for the duration of the service: the evacuation to safety and rehabilitation of members of the corps in states where conflict arises.

The Bill also seeks to provide that no corps member who has been duly posted to any Ministry, Department or Agency of Government shall be rejected by such public establishment.

  1. Confirmation of Ministerial Nominees with assigned Portfolios Bill 2015 (SB. 139) by Senator Suleiman Nazif (Bauchi North)

This Bill seeks for the President to attach Portfolios of ministerial nominees to their names before forwarding them to the National Assembly for screening and confirmation. The intent of the Bill is to ensure that national interest is protected in every transition to power and to strengthen government and ensure that round pegs are placed in round holes.

  1. Constituencies Development Catalyst Fund Bill, 2015 (SB. 103) by Senator Buhari Abdulfatai (Oyo North)

This Bill seeks to foster the creation of Constituency projects to ensure a minimum presence of government in every constituency by having some grassroots project sited in each, during the budgeting process. Legislators will merely require identifying projects that they wish to be sited in their constituencies for inclusion in the budget, with a financial ceiling for the budgetary provisions for such projects in each constituency.

  1. Renewable Energy Bill 2015 SB. 131 by Senator Stella Oduah (Anambra North)

Renewable energy has an important role to play in meeting the future energy needs in both rural and urban areas. The development and utilization of renewable energy should be given a high priority, especially in the light of increased awareness of the adverse environmental impacts of fossil-based generation. The need for sustainable energy is rapidly increasing in the world. A widespread use of renewable energy is important for achieving sustainability in the energy sectors in both developing and industrialized countries.

This Bill seeks to develop, promote and harness the Renewable Energy (RE) resources of the country and incorporate all viable ones into the national energy mix.

Also, the Bill further seeks to promote decentralized energy supply, especially in rural areas, based on RE resources; de-emphasize and discourage the use of wood as fuel; promote efficient methods in the use biomass energy resources and keep abreast of international developments in RE technologies and applications.

  1. Minerals and Mining Act, 2007 (Amendment) Bill, 2015 (SB. 138) by Senator Nneji Athan Achonu (Imo North)

This Act seeks to amend Minerals and Mining Act, 2007 Bill to vet in the state government ownership right of solid minerals found in their States.

  1. Companies Income Tax Act (Amendment) Bill 2015 (SB. 140) by Senator Andy Emmanuel Uba (Anambra South)

This Bill seeks to amend the Companies Income Tax Act Cap C21 LFN 2004 to, among other things, make for tax incentives for economic growth and creation of employment opportunities and makes it more responsive to the tax reform policies of the Federal Government and enhances its implementation and effectiveness.

  1. Communication Service Tax Bill, 2015 (SB. 164) by Senator Ali Ndume (Senate Leader)

Service tax, by the government, is a tax levied on service providers for certain service transactions, but is actually borne by the customers.

This bill seeks to levy service providers on certain service transactions.

In the past week, the inaugurations of the various standing committees of the Senate were concluded, among other bold steps taken by the 8th senate, in the period under review.

The Saraki-led senate is truly to be commended for the way and manner the committees were selected. Since the commencement of the fourth Republic and indeed the first time in the history of the composition of the various Senate Committees that the upper chamber has witnessed such show of maturity, unlike the confusion that was experienced at the lower chamber.

It is also pertinent to know that most Committees of the Red Chamber, immediately after their inauguration, commenced their full legislative oversight functions.

 

Abang Dove writes from Abuja and she tweets @abangdove

 

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Delta Guber Election: Emerhor/APC Head to Appeal Court, Cite 11 Grounds for Appeal

Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, the  APC Delta State governorship candidate in the April 11 general elections and the APC  party on Friday November 13,  2015 filed a joint petition at the appeal court in the Benin judicial division  holden at Benin City appealing the judgment of the governorship election tribunal that sat in Asaba, which on October 26th 2015 ruled against their petition challenging the declaration of Governor Dr Ifeanyi Okowa as governor of Delta State.

In the appeal no. CA/B/EPT / 2015 filed at 3:15pm on 13/11/15, by their legal counsel Chief TJ Okpoko SAN, the appellants stated thus:

“Take notice that the appellants, being dissatisfied with the decision of the Governorship Election Tribunal sitting at Asaba, Delta State contained in judgment delivered on 26th day of October,  2015 do hereby appeal to the Court of Appeal,  Benin City upon the grounds set out in paragraph 3 and will at the hearing of the appeal seek the reliefs set out in paragraph 4.”

The appeal went further to establish 11 grounds of dissatisfaction with the judgment of the tribunal among which were;

That the Learned Justices erred in law in resolving against the appellants that the Petition was incompetent on the ground of non-compliance with the procedural rule in paragraph 4 (3)(b) of the 1st schedule to the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended ).

That the Learned Justices misdirected themselves in law in holding that the petitioners have not been able to displace the presumption that the figure of the voters accredited for the Governorship election conducted in Delta State on April 11 2015 are stated in the election results declared by INEC are less than the total number of votes returned in the election.

That the Learned Justices erred in law when having held that every voter that voted during the Governorship election must have been processed through the card reader went on to hold that the Petitioners have not been able to prove that the Governorship election held in Delta State on April 11 2015 was not held in substantial compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act.

That the Learned Justices misdirected themselves in law when they said that, there was no conclusive evidence that all those that were accredited through the use of card readers had their data uploaded to the server where the data used by the Petitioners were downloaded.

The appellants therefore sought that Court allow the appeal and set aside the judgment of the Governorship Election Tribunal and enter judgment for the petitioners as claimed in the petition by nullifying the said election and directing the 3rd respondent to order fresh election to the office of Governor of Delta State within the time prescribed by law.

 

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APC’s Prince Audu Answers The 11 Billion Naira Question

In a tweetChat with his followers today, APC Candidate for the November 21 Kogi state governorship election, Prince Abubakar Audu cleared the air on the N11 billion allegedly looted by him, amongst other questions tweeted at him by Nigerians using the hashtag #AskAudu. His answer:

“When I was in office between 1999 – 2003, we received average monthly allocation of N350 million – about N16.8 billion for the entire 4 years of my tenure. With these, we paid all salaries, we built Kogi State University, Obajana Cement Factory (now owned and run by Dangote Cement), Confluence Beach Hotel, Stella Obasanjo Library, Paparanda Square, Govt. house (Lugard) House, Government Office, secretariat, the banquet hall, started the confluence stadium and built the Lokoja township stadium, others are the Fed. Medical Centre + equipped same with 25 state-of-art ambulances, NTA Kogi, Radio Kogi, Kogi Graphics Newspaper, 75 rural electrification projects, the presidential lodge, Governor’s lodge, Abuja, inter-state roads; We also built the specialist eye centre, commissioner’s quarters, 200 housing units, just to mention a few. In 2002, the Fed. Govt. instituted a panel to evaluate and reward performance. Out of 12 awards for the 36 state governors, I won 7 awards. Now, how could all these have been achieved?

When the then ruling People’s Democratic Party saw me as a threat, they started instigating Kogites against me, and when the people couldn’t buy into that, having known the truth, they orchestrated my arrest, which led to my being dragged before the ICPC, CCB, CCT and EFCC.

When all that failed, the then PDP led Kogi state government took over and issued a white paper, banning me from politics for 10years. I proceeded to court, and the court ruled that the Kogi government has no such right to ban me from politics.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has also taken me to 7 courts in total (4 in Kogi and 3 in Abuja). In each of these cases, they’ll always pull out before judgment is passed and go back to frame up new figures; I was 1st accused of stealing N1.5b, then N4b, then N8b and finally N11 billion. It’s also on record that I was the most pursued politician by the EFCC, as the PDP wanted my head at all cost – always during elections.

And so I ask all Kogites and Nigerians, how could my administration have achieved all we did with less than N6 billion, if N11 billion was missing? Again only the work I did in Kogi State stands there today. The PDP govt. since I left office, has received about N550 billion, without accounting for it.

So the questions should be where have these funds gone? Why are Kogites still languishing in abject poverty? Why is Lokoja the dirtiest state capital in Nigeria? Why has EFCC been mute? Clearly the PDP led EFCC had a different agenda. I leave these thoughts to my fellow Kogites to mull over and ponder. The truth is out there for those who care to know but my happiness is that all well-meaning Kogites know the truth and have pledged to support me and the APC to victory ahead of the November 21 Governorship election, as I promise to do even more, when we eventually take up power.

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