N1bn Abuja House, N50m S-Class Maybach, $102k In US Bank, Assets Declaration Form Of Senator Andy Uba Revealed

By SaharaReporters

wning gaps have been discovered in the assets declaration form submitted by Senator Andy Uba to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB). According to the form presented on  June 3, 2015, and exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters, Uba is the owner of N1billion home located at 49 TY Danjuma Street, Asokoro, Abuja. In the form, Uba claimed that the house was bought on November  15,  2006, through personal savings and a loan from the United Bank of Africa (UBA).

In the forms listing his assets as of May 30,  2015, he declared ownership of a six-bedroom duplex at 26, Mamman Nasir Street, Asokoro, Abuja, which he bought for N650million on  May Senator Andy Uba 2006. Money for the purchase of the property, according to Uba, came from the sale of a property and personal income.  The property, he also claimed at the time, yielded N25million in rent yearly. He owns another three-bedroom house at Edo Court, Gaduwa in Abuja. This, he informed the CCB, was purchased for N30million, which came through personal savings and a loan from UBA.

He claimed not own any undeveloped plot in Nigeria. Uba declared that, as at 30 May, 2015,  he had the sum of N18million in his salary account ( UBA 1015477102) domiciled at the National Assembly branch of the bank.

For cash in foreign banks, Senator Uba declared the sum of $102,000 as his bank balance in Wells Fargo Bank, San Francisco, USA. The account number is 5561399873.

Curiously, Uba claimed not to have any government securities, including premium bonds. He similarly claimed to own no shares, debentures and other securities in or outside Nigeria. In the column asking whether he owned a farm, orchard or ranch, Uba wrote : “I do not have any.”

Yet, a man without any declared investments at home or abroad, claimed to own a Maybach AZ, which he said he acquired in 2006 at the cost of N50million raised through personal savings/loan and the helping hands of friends and associates, including Alhaji Aliko Dangote.

Uba also declared a BMW75, bought through personal savings and loans. The car was purchased for N25million. Similarly declared was a Mercedes Benz GL 500, bought for N17million raised in the same fashion of personal savings/loans.

Also listed in the form is a 250 KVA power generating set bought at N12.5million, Italian leather furniture bought at N10million ( raised through personal income), beds and beddings costing N6.5million( bought with personal income).

Uba, who, for long, falsely claimed to hold a PhD, until he was exposed as a fraud by a news magazine, clearly lied in his assets declaration form. This was recently shown when his name came up in the Panama Papers Leaks as the owner of an offshore company; Wentworth Properties Limited registered in the Republic of Seychelles, an infamous tax haven. The company, which was conspicuous by its absence from his assets declaration form, was said to have been founded in 2004.

According to the Panama Papers Leaks, one Marta Edghill, “the president” and Viana Scott, “the secretary”, helped Uba set up the company, whose legal address was listed as Suite 13, First Floor, Oliaji Trade Centre, Francis Rachel Street, Victoria, Mahe, Republic of Seychelles. The address given, however, was that of Mossack Fonseca, the legal firm at the heart of the Panama Papers Leaks. This implies that Uba’s Wentworth Properties was an invention, as it has neither the characteristics of an office nor a structure.

The inaugural meeting of the board of the simulated company held on  November 3, 2004. According to leaked minutes of the meeting, the purported president and secretary resolved that Uba is issued 4,950 shares valued at $1 each. One Mrs. Sederica Vedelago has issued 50 shares with a value of $1 each. There is no evidence of any business done by the company, which remains in existence.

Uba, who a Special Assistant on Domestic Matters to former President Olusegun Obasanjo lived in the United States before 1999. He was said to have been indigent when he returned to serve Obasanjo, in whose kitchen cabinet he became a stupendously rich and influential figure. Abetted by Obasanjo, he ran for the Anambra State governorship in 2007 and was declared a winner. His days in the Anambra Government House, however, lasted 16 days. He was removed by a court, which ruled that an election should not have held in the state because the then incumbent governor, Mr. Peter Obi, had not completed his term.

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$200bn Loot: EFCC Raids Abuja Office Of Dubai Property Firm, Arrest Top Officials

As part of the ongoing probe of the laundering of over $200billion loot in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by former political office holders, operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) yesterday stormed the office of a Dubai property firm, The First Group Company,  in Abuja.

The company is also being investigated for allegedly defrauding unsuspecting Nigerians by luring them to invest in real estate in Dubai.

A prominent Nigerian lost about $402, 000 (N136.6m) in a phony real estate transaction with the company, it was learnt.

Two officials of the company were arrested. They were undergoing interrogation at the anti-graft agency’s office last night.

Some documents and a Central Processing Unit (CPU) containing a list of high profile patrons were retrieved by the EFCC.

The EFCC team raided the company’s seventh floor office at the Bank of Industry building in the Central Business District of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) after obtaining a search warrant.

An EFCC source said: “Our operatives searched the office as a result of a plethora of complaints received through petitions from concerned Nigerians about the activities of The First Group Company, a real estate outfit incorporated in Dubai (UAE).

“We executed a duly endorsed search warrant and vital documents as well as CPU relevant to the facts in issue were recovered.

“They specialise in aiding and abetting money laundering and foreign exchange malpractices by top civil servants and Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs).”

The EFCC is working on clues that some former governors, ministers and top civil servants laundered money through the company to buy choice properties in Dubai, using such proxies, including their children and relations.

“Two employees of the company (an accountant and the senior client service/ legal executive) were arrested and are being interrogated,” the source said.

The investigation of the company is said to be in line with the agreement between the Federal Government and the UAE to trace about $200billion loot stashed away in the Emirate by ex-governors and ministers.

The source said the First Group Company was also being probed for allegedly swindling some Nigerians.

“So many unsuspecting Nigerians have fallen victims of their antics by parting with their hard-earned money running into millions of dollars. Iinvestigations into the allegations are ongoing,” the source added.

Under searchlight for stashing funds or acquiring properties in Dubai are seven ex-governors, six former ministers, a former presidential aide implicated in the $2.1billion arms deals, ex-military chiefs under probe, agents / fronts of some of these public officers and about five chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who are undergoing interrogation.

A Federal Government team, comprising the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, EFCC Chairman Ibrahim Magu and detectives from the anti-graft agency some months ago met with their UAE counterparts to collate  intelligence notes on the PEPs.

President Muhammadu Buhari in January signed a “Judicial Agreement on Extradition, Transfer of Sentenced Persons, Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal Matters, and Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal and Commercial Matters, which includes the recovery and repatriation of stolen wealth with UAE.”

Calls were made to both the Abuja office and Dubai Headquarters of the affected office last night but these did not how through.

While Dubai line  +97144550100 was on automatic answering machine, the Abuja lines of +2349903600 and +23494611454  did not connect.

Although some of the cases involving The First Group were handled by Barrister Ismail Muftau from Jackdon, Etti and Edu, it was difficult to get the counsel when this newspaper went to bed.

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EFCC Storms Ex-Jigawa Gov’s Abuja Home

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Wednesday, stormed the Abuja residence of a former governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Saminu Turaki

It was gathered from some neighbours that Turaki was not around when the operatives visited – only a few of his family members were around.

Neighbours of the former senator said they spotted the team of EFCC operatives at the 16 Dennis Osadebe Street, Aso Villa home of the former governor at about 7pm Wednesday but it was not clear what their mission was or whether the former governor was arrested by the operatives.

A source at the EFCC, who spoke in confidence with this paper, said the operatives’ presence at Turaki’s house, was to “execute a warrant for the arrest of the former governor who has (allegedly) refused to present himself for trial since 2011 when he was rearranged on a 36 count charge at the Federal High Court in Dutse, the state capital.”

The source noted that the anti-graft agency has since been on the trail of the former senator and even had him watch-listed, but “he has continued to evade arrest”.

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Dogara Presents Clothes, Malaria Prevention Items to Abuja IDPs

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara,  visited the Dagba Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camp in Area 1, Abuja, where he presented malaria prevention items and clothing items for women.?

Speaking to the IDPs, Dogara assured them of government’s commitment to returning them to their communities as soon as possible.

He also commended the military for decimating Boko Haram insurgents and reclaiming territories in the last months.?

The speaker maintained that whereas he presented food items and clothing to most of the camps he visited across the country, however, it has become imperative to provide the IDPs with malaria prevention items.?

He expressed gratitude to Malaria Care Foundation which donated the items  to IDPs in the Federal Capital Territory and called on other spirited individuals and corporate bodies to emulate their gesture.
“We want to thank them specifically for changing the narrative, it has always been that we depend on government to provide things like this, it’s either we are depending on government, and if government doesn’t do anything; nobody does nothing, or sometimes we call on foreign nations to help.”

” So I call on other companies to come out and assist and render assistance. For us, as I said in Yola, the priority is not for us to keep you here and be donating items like these, these will never satisfy you, we know, even if we were to bring trailers and trailers of rice, your desire is to go back to your communities, and that is what government is committed to doing. We want to thank the present administration for the war against terrorism which is the chief reason why the IDPs are here in the first place.”
He once again urged the IDPs to be patient and hopeful as government is working to return them to their communities.
“The ongoing war and the successes recorded which has resulted to some of the IDPs returning back to their communities, and in Yola we are told that about 80,000 of our refugees in Cameroun are scheduled to be back somewhere in a camp in Yola that is being prepared and hopefully they will be taken back and resettled, not resettled, but back to the communities where they were expelled on account of this insurgency.”?

“This government is committed to doing this and  we thank God that our security forces and gallant troops are fighting and they’ve been able to recover and reclaim all the territories that were under the control of boko haram, and it is hoped that in no distant time we will be able to go back to our communities, and that, I believe, is a message of hope which we should be delivering, not even these items.”

“It is the failure of governance that drove you out of your communities to this place and everybody knows that even by our charter which is the Constitution, the primary responsibility of government is to secure the lives and properties of its citizens.”

“If the government had done that; we won’t be here today but we cannot continue to lament that failure, we will have to address this challenge because this is the challenge at hand this is the problem that we are faced with, we’ll confront it and there after ensure that through credible and responsible leadership those mistakes that resulted into this crisis are not made again.”?

“In the House of Representatives, finally, we will be doing a Public Hearing on the establishment of the North-East Development Commission on Monday. I want to encourage the leaders of this IDP camp to be there on Monday, even if it is 2 or 3 of them, to be at that Public Hearing by 10:am at Hearing Room 028.”

” What we are trying to do is to ensure that we create a commission that will be responsible for the plight of the IDPs and the development of the communities they left behind so that when they go back, they go back to communities that have the needed infrastructure to support the IDPs that will return home. We believe that the best way we can do that is not through policies as currently being done, but through Laws and it is the responsibility of Parliament to make Laws and not that of the Executive.”

“So we are set to establish this North-East Development Commission so that it can immediately set out to begin to address the challenges that are confronting the IDPs.”
The speaker also disclosed that he would soon visit IDPs in Maiduguri, Borno State, in continuation of his tour of IDP camps in the country.

Speaking earlier, Country Director of Malaria Care Fundation, Hajiya Yasemin Dalhatu, said her organisation has been reaching out to IDPs in the country and that this time they donated 528,481 insecticide, 65,820 Mosquito Rambo Coil  and 2000 cartons of Germicide among others.

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Inclusive Governance: Why Dogara Will Interact with 161 Nigerian University Students in Abuja By Turaki Adamu Hassan

“Students should not only be trained to live in a democracy when they grow up; they should have the chance to live in one today.” – Alfie Kohn

In this knowledge-based 21st century that we are in, the continued survival of a nation and its ability to rise and consolidate on the gains that globalization holds, lies in the interplay between policy formulators, implementers and the impact it makes on the target or its future leaders.

That’s why it’s often said, ‘show me the mindset, orientation and intellectual capacity of any student, and I will tell you what future that country has.’

Regrettably, however, successive governments in Nigeria have been unable to formulate and implement deliberate policies and programmes that would carter for the interests of the youths.

Ours is a system which consistently failed the youths and not the other way round, and that is why this intervention by the Speaker is novel and must not only be commended, but emulated by leaders at all levels.

In all serious societies and especially democracies, young people are the most important segment of the population sought after by politicians and leaders alike, who ensure that their interests are taken care of in the process of policy formulations.

Today, there are over 50 million young Nigerians in schooling age from primary to secondary schools, polytechnics, colleges of education and universities who look up to this present government of change for a better future after making their voices heard during the 2015 elections.

Conscious of this and keeping in mind that the Nigerian youth are the cornerstone to the country’s societal and developmental rejuvenation, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Yakubu Dogara, has decided to start meeting with the Nigerian youths, especially tertiary students. In such first interaction, the Speaker will meet with 161 students from all 141 public and private universities across the country from Monday 8th May, 2016.

The immediate impact to such interaction which holds over a two-day period will be the broadening of the understanding of the Nigeria student to the workings of the legislature, and ensure the fulfillment of the Speaker’s promise to promote youth inclusion in governance and encourage their active participation in democracy.

The dialogue is also aimed at exposing stereotypes that have constantly pitched the people against the National Assembly due to general misconception and misunderstanding of the legislature, as a result of prolonged military rule in Nigeria and the interplay of politics that has ensured that the Nigerian youth plays a less satisfactory participatory role in the national scheme of things.

The Citizen Engagement and Youth Development programme, a sole initiative of the Rt Hon Speaker, aims to be a regular interactive forum with the Nigerian University students, and is part of the fulfillment of the 8th House of Representatives’ Legislative Agenda to bring Nigerian youths closer for their voices to be heard.

As a proactive and revolutionary leader, this strategic move by the Speaker will, in no small way, promote active youth inclusiveness in democracy and redress the old thinking of exclusionary politics which has been identified as the bane of sustainable democratic consolidation.

Because of this exclusionary politics, Nigeria is yet to fully tap into the benefits of having a country with a well-prepared and equipped youth that is ready to take on and surmount the challenges of leadership. In fact, if Nigeria prepares its youth well – like the Speaker is preparing to do – its future lies not in oil but in the articulated, confident and highly motivated youths it is able to produce.

Apart from the goal of enhancing  democratic engagement, deepening students’ knowledge and understanding of Parliamentary activities, legislative processes, Parliamentary history and oversight of government by the National Assembly, this innovative interface will also encourage sustainable discussion on national developmental issues between students and elected representatives; thereby, creating better understanding of the legislature, creating an opportunity to demand for accountability from their representatives, build trust and redefine public perception of the legislature.

Furthermore, it will create a rare opportunity for the participants to make contributions and recommendations to the Speaker on areas they would want addressed. Significantly, the president of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) will address the Speaker on the role of students in nation building, as a way of fully gauging the mindset of the Nigerian student. The association will also facilitate a debate on youth unemployment.

Overall, the parley is expected to a) Expose students to the legislature: what it is and what it does

b) Learn about perceptions and values of democracy and knowing what factors influence the functioning of democracies.

c) Enhance dissemination of legislative information materials to students and school libraries.

d) Support students to directly observe legislative processes

e) Improve public trust in the Legislature as an arm of government

f) Enable students and young people meet elected representatives in the National Assembly

g) Engage students in a learning process outside the classroom by actively participating and improving their knowledge and understanding the perspectives of the Legislature.

h) Development of leadership skills in students and young people.

Facilitated by the National Institute for Legislative Studies, the interaction is expected to have far-reaching impact on promoting citizen engagement with the legislature.

Thus, if this is fully achieved, it will lead to a gradual erosion of the frustration, hopelessness and lack of confidence the average Nigeria youth has for it leaders and the way the country works. It will pave a way for an all round development of the Nigerian youth which should instill in him, the confidence needed for him to achieve both his desire and the development of the country.

This is keeping in mind that the vision of the country to be among the 20 top developed economies in the world by the year 2020 is only four years away from reality, and unless the youths are brought up in an environment that encourages and inspires confidence in them, we will get to that target year and realize that it’s still a dream.

Indeed, it was Rachel Jackson who said that there is great danger in a system that deliberately fails to carter for today’s needs of the youth “the very youth who are being treated the worst are the young people who are going to lead us out of this nightmare.”

Hassan is the Special Adviser on Media & Public Affairs to Speaker Yakubu Dogara

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Badeh Bought N320m Abuja House For 28-year Old Son – Witness Tells Court

A Federal High Court in Abuja heard Wednesday how former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh allegedly deployed public funds to acquire N320million house in Abuja for his 28-year old last son, Kam.

A retired Air Commodore,  Aliyu Yishau, who said he served as former Director of Finance and Account of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) while Badeh was the Chief of Air Staff (between September 2012 and December 2013),  made this disclosure at the resumption of proceedings in the trial of Badeh and a firm,  Iyalikam Nigeria Limited.

Badeh and the firm were arraigned on March 7 this year on a 10-count charge of breach of trust and corruption for allegedly diverting about N3.97bn from NAF’s account.

Yishau, the first prosecution witness, who was cross-examined by Badeh’s lawyer, Akin Olujinmi (SAN), said the N320m house was the second of such property acquired in Wuse 2, Abuja by the former Chief of Defence Staff for his children.

He said the first located at No: 19 Kumasi Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja was bought for Badeh’s first son, Alex Badeh (Jnr) at N260m, with N60m spent to renovate it, while N90m was expended in furnishing the property.

Yishau said the second house, which was bought at N320m for Badeh’s last son is located adjacent to the one bought for Badeh’s first son.

When asked how he came about the information, the witness said he paid for the houses from the N558.2m taken monthly by Badeh from NAF’s funds.

He said once he converted the N558.2m to United States dollars and takes it to Badeh in his house, the ex-Chief of Defence Staff will direct him to make payment from it.

The witness said whenever Badeh directed him to make payments, he always takes the cash from Badeh’s house to his (witness’) house, from where he hands the cash to one Engineer Husseini Salau.

“I collected the money from the 1st defendant’s (Badeh’s) resident. I take it to my house and ask them to come and collect it. I took the money to his house and he asked me to remove the equivalent of N260m to pay for the house. I deducted the N260m equivalent from the normal monthly N558.2m I take to him.

“He (the 1st defendant always authorises the deduction for payment whenever I take the monthly money to him. I did not give the house renovation job to Engr Salau. I paid N60m for the renovation of the house based on the instruction of my boss, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh,” the witness said.

He said he could not recall how many times he paid the money for the renovation. But admitted that the money was not paid at once.

The witness said he was not aware that Alex Badeh jr was just a tenant in the property at No: 19 Kumasi Crescent and that he did not see the tenancy agreement between Engr. Salau and Alex Badeh jr.

He admitted earlier telling the court, in his evidence-in-chief, that Engr. Salau and Alex Badeh jr located the house at No 19 Kumasie Crescent, Wuse 2.

He said it will not be correct to say Engr. Salau marketed the house to him.

He confirmed that he paid N90m for furniture for the house.

On how he  made payment for the furniture at No:19 Kumasi Crescent, the witness said “When I received instruction from my boss, I directed my office at the Nigerian Air Force headquarters to liaise with Alex Badeh jr and effect the payment of the N90m.”

On whether it was right for him to have made the payments, Yishau said he was acting on instructions from his boss.

“In my statement to the EFCC, I said the 1st defendant has two properties in Wuse 2 that cost N260m and N320m. The house that cost N320m is the house adjacent to No 19 Kumasi Crescent, which was purchased from Honourable Bature.

“That was the one purchased for the last son of the 1st defendant, by name Kam. I cannot remember the address, but can identify it,” the witness said.

On whether he is a certified accountant, the witness said he worked as an Accountant for the Air Force for 25 years, but that he is not a certified Accountant.

Further hearing in the case has been adjourned to May 9 at 11 am.

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DSS Releases Details Of Shekau’s Deputy Al-Barnawi, Says He Bombed UN Building In Abuja

The Department of State Services (DSS) has released more details about Khalid Al-Barnawi, a top Boko Haram leader who was arrested last week.

According to Tony Opuiyo, an agent of the DSS who released a statement on Saturday, Al-Barnawi is responsible for the 2011 bombing of the United Nations (UN) building in Abuja.

“This service wishes to inform the general public that further to its efforts to stem the tide of terrorism in the country, it has recorded another major breakthrough in the arrest of one Mohammed Usman, widely known as Khalid Al-Barnawi, Alias Kafuri/ Naziru/ Alhaji Yahaya/Mallam Dauda/Alhaji Tanimu,” he said.

“Khalid Al-Barnawi was apprehended by this Service on 1st April, 2016, in Lokoja, Kogi State, while hiding under a false cover. Al-Barnawi was a founding member of the Jama’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid Da’wah Wa’l-Jihad (Boko Haram) and later the Amir of the breakaway faction, Jama’at Ansarul Muslimim Fi Biladi Sudan (JAMBS).”

He described Al-Barnawi as a trained terrorist commander, who has been coordinating terrorist activities in Nigeria, while talent-spotting and recruiting vulnerable young and able Nigerians for terrorist training by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in North African states and the Middle-East.

“Subject was involved in many terrorist attacks in states of the federation, including Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Sokoto and FCT-Abuja. This resulted in the killing and maiming of innocent citizens of this country,” he said.

“Al-Barnawi is also responsible for the bombing of the United Nations building in Abuja, on 26 August, 2011; the kidnapping of two European civil engineers in Kebbi state in May 2011, and their subsequent murder in Sokoto state; the kidnap of a German engineer, Edgar Raupach, in January 2012, the kidnap and murder of seven expatriate staff of Setraco Construction Company at Jama’are, in Bauchi State in February 2013, the attack of Nigerian troops at Okene in Kogi state, while on transit to Abuja for an official assignment.”

He confirmed that the insurgent would soon be charged to court to face his charges, once investigations have been concluded.

“This arrest is a major milestone in the counter-terrorism fight of this service,” he added.

“This arrest has strengthened the Service’s resolve that no matter how long and far perpetrators of crime and their sponsors may run, this Service in collaboration with other sister security agencies, will bring them to justice.”

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Abuja, Nigeria Becomes Uber’s 400th City To Launch

Abuja joins the growing list of smart African cities to offer Uber

ABUJA, Nigeria, March 23, 2016/ — Today, Abuja becomes the 400th city to in Uber’s growing global network.With the launch of Uber, an innovative technology platform, Abuja joins the list of smart transportation hubs in Africa. Following the success of Uber in many other cities, Uber is excited to launch its ride-sharing platform to the people of Abuja.

Uber Abuja

Uber’s innovative platform connects drivers with riders in real time, at the touch of a button. Whether you’re going to work or going out with friends, Uber provides an affordable, safe and reliable way to get across the city.  Abuja is a place where entrepreneurs are born, it is a growing city in the heart of Nigeria. This is a reason why Uber loves Abuja – its people, energy, innovation and beauty really speak for itself.

Ebi Atawodi, General Manager for Uber Lagos said:

“We’re really excited to be launch Uber in Abuja. Uber gives the people of Abuja an affordable, easy and flexible choice to move around the city safely and reliably.

“For those who don’t know, Uber moves around millions of global citizens every day offering affordable and reliable rides at the touch of a button. By offering a friendly and reliable complement to existing transport options, we can help improve urban mobility in Abuja, reduce traffic congestion and the environmental impact of vehicles at the same time.”

So what is Uber?

Uber helps people get a ride at the push of a button – there’s no waiting on the street or walking through unfamiliar neighborhoods to find a bus. It’s the most convenient way to get a safe, reliable and affordable ride.

Before Getting into the Car

  • No more street hails or waiting outside to find a ride.  You can start the Uber app from anywhere and wait safely for your car to arrive.   That means no standing on the street to hail a cab or struggling to find the nearest bus stop late at night.
  • Trips are no longer anonymous.  When a driver accepts your request, you see his or her first name, photo, and license plate number.  You can also check whether others have had a good experience with him or her.  In addition, the driver can see your first name and rating.  You can contact the driver—and vice versa— through the app if there is any confusion around pick-up details.

During the Ride

  • Share your ETA and location.  You can easily share your ride details, including the specific route and estimated time of arrival, with friends or family for extra peace of mind.  They’ll receive a link where they can see in real time the name and photo of the driver, their vehicle, and where you are on the map until you arrive at your destination—and they can do all of this without having to download the Uber app themselves.

After the Ride

  • Feedback and ratings after every trip.  After every ride, you and your drivers need to rate each other and provide feedback.  Our safety team reviews this information and investigates any issues.
  • 24/7 Support.  If something happens in a car, whether it’s a traffic accident or altercation between you and your driver, our customer support staff are ready to respond to any issues 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Rapid Response.  We have a dedicated Incident Response Team to answer any more urgent issues.  If we receive a report that a driver or rider has acted dangerously or inappropriately, we suspend their account, preventing him or her from accessing the platform while we investigate.

Behind the Scenes

  • Always on the map.  Accountability is one of the things that makes riders feel safe in an Uber.  We use GPS to keep a record of where a driver goes during the ride, allowing us to verify that the most efficient routes are being used, which creates accountability and a strong incentive for good behavior.
  • Working with law enforcement.  In cases where law enforcement provides us with valid legal process, we work to get them the facts, for example by providing trip logs.  Again, transparency and accountability are at the heart of the Uber experience.
  • Pre-screening drivers.  All drivers must undergo a screening process before they can use the Uber app.

Ebi Atawodi added:

“Uber is part of a broader evolution in transportation, it is a new and exciting platform that is changing the way we travel and shaping the future of cities across the world. Abuja is a progressive, forward-thinking city that has a need for safe, reliable and efficient transportation and we are so excited to be launching here.”


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Dogara Commissions Mobile Clinic For Abuja IDPs, Encourages Nigerians To Support Those In Need

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, on Monday commissioned a mobile clinic at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Wassa, Abuja.

It would be recalled that the Speaker first visited the Wassa IDP to camp to donate relief materials on January 7, and it was during this visit that the IDPs requested for a facility which would be equipped to cater to their most pressing health needs.

The Speaker, in his address, lauded the efforts of Capt. Hosa Okunbo and encouraged other citizens to reach out and support IDP’s and the less privileged with whatever they can.

He also urged people in positions of authority to leverage on their personal relationships to provide urgently required facilities for the people, which may take too long to be provided by government.

“I was here in January to donate relief materials, and during my interaction with the IDPs, they expressed the need for a clinic”, he said. “I immediately got to work on it, but was told by the relevant agencies that it would be subjected to a long process as it would have to be deliberated upon, captured in the budget, and there would be another long process before it is finally implemented. I thought of the difficult terrain and how remote the area is, and realized the urgency; if a woman here falls into labour, before reaching Apo or even Garki, she most probably would have delivered in the car.”

“So I reached out to my personal contacts and brought up the discussion, and what we have here today is the result of that decision”, he concluded.

The Speaker has been very dedicated to the cause of Internally Displaced Persons in the country, and even travelled to Edo state by road in February to worship at the IDP camp in the state. He is also sponsoring a bill to establish the North-East Development Commission, which he says is necessary to ensure that the people of the North-East are protected and empowered by law.

The event had in attendance members of the House Committee on Disaster Management led by the chairman, Hon. Jibrin Satumari and representatives of respective service chiefs, among others.

The clinic was donated by Capt. Hosa Okunbo, a private citizen and businessman, as a result of the Speaker’s sustained advocacy for supporting IDPs and improving the conditions in which they live.

In his address, the Chairman of the House Committee on Disaster Management, Hon. Satumari described the Speaker as the rare sort of politician who keeps his promises, saying that: “if all of us [politicians] could keep our promises to the people like the Speaker has done, it would be very good.”

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Remarks By @SpeakerDogara At The 2nd Christian Pilgrimage Stakeholders’ Summit In Abuja

Protocols :

I am delighted to start my day’s work today with our spiritual leaders and other stakeholders of NCPC. It is equally commendable that we have gathered to deliberate and secure a plan for the sustenance of Christian Pilgrimage in Nigeria. Let me also commend the leadership of the NCPC under the able John Kennedy Opara and his entire team who have been doing a wonderful job over the years.

I witnessed firsthand the Commission’s impactful programmes when I flagged off the 2015 Youth Pilgrimage and when I led other leaders in government for “A Day with Jesus for Nigeria in Israel”. It was a day of prayer in the presence of God like no other. I drew strength from the prayers and I have no doubt that it is so for other leaders and pilgrims.

During the special pilgrimage, I interacted with pilgrims and the medical team, I visited the clinic established by the Commission at the Nigerian House to solve the problem of escalating hospital bills in Israel.  The clinic came as collaboration with NCPC stakeholders, at no cost to Nigerian government. I also visited the agricultural sites where the youths are exposed to the Leadership and Skill Acquisition Programme. I was so inspired, I sponsored some youths immediately, who became as inspired as myself and have began to use the new knowledge and exposure in the farms as they returned to Nigeria.

To this end, I have also discussed with the Executive Secretary that I am sending another batch and I urge other leaders to key into this because the future of our country and our youths lies with wealth creation through skill acquisition. The achievements of NCPC and spiritual impact of the pilgrimage make me proud to be a Christian and a Nigerian.

The benefits of prayers and spiritual exercises such as pilgrimage cannot be overemphasized but sometimes the resources for such exercises are simply not there for a lot of our people. In this regard, when we pool resources and apportion the limited resources to sponsor certain number of pilgrims at each of the four pilgrimages in a year through the “WIN A TRIP TO ISREAL” promo, we encourage more Christians to participate. When a portion of the pooled resources go to the government trust fund to pay for special /intervention projects, we perform a civic duty that gives us an advantage; to suggest special/intervention projects that would benefit our people. Needful to mention too that a portion of such resources also goes to provide the Church an additional stream of income.

When the Executive Secretary and his team spoke with me about the “Win a Trip to Israel” promo, I was indeed thankful to God for such an inspiring innovation but I quickly realized that the success of the plan will require our active support and prayers.

I pray that God will inspire more creative ideas on how to sustain Christian Pilgrimage and that as we shall leave here today, more determined to support and pray for Christian Pilgrimage, especially the “Win A Trip to Israel” programme.

While wishing you successful and creative deliberations, it is now my honour and pleasure to declare the summit open in the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Amen.

God bless you all and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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Jonathan, Alison-Madueke, Ex-ministers, Others Named In Abuja Land Grab

The Senate is exploring ways and means of invoking sanctions against former President Goodluck Jonathan and some former ministers for allegedly appropriating reserved plots of land in Abuja.

According to the Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the plots acquired by Jonathan and his ministers were designated as green areas, flood drains, city buffers, recreation centres, sewage lines, urban farming and city monuments.

At a briefing yesterday, the chairman of the Committee, Senator Dino Melaye, said the illegally acquired areas fall within the highbrow Maitama District.

Describing the action of Jonathan and his ministers as “satanic”, Melaye blamed the immediate past former Minister of the FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed, for the “indiscretion”.

Besides Jonathan, the committee listed other beneficiaries of the “land grab” to include former Petroleum Minister Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke and former Justice Minister Mohammed Adoke.

Other beneficiaries include former Trade and Investment Minister Olusegun Aganga; Acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus and FCT Executive Director Ismaila Adamu.

Some of the beneficiaries have started erecting structures on the plots, which were “hurriedly allocated” in the twilight of the last administration. Certificates of Occupancy were hurriedly issued for the plots, the committee alleged.

Melaye said: “Senator Bala Mohammed, in his bid to satisfy some powerful Nigerians before the end of his tenure, disregarded the wisdom of his predecessors and the vision of the founding fathers of Abuja.

“He went ahead to implement Messrs Fola Consult Limited’s recommendation by allocating these important features/endowments, including the Maitama Hills, to these powerful Nigerians.

“It is pathetic to state that one of the allottees has erroneously burst a sewage conduit pipe and the entire area messed up with offensive odour which could trigger off serious epidemic within that location.”

Faulting Mohammed’s defence of the allocations, Melaye said the former minister’s action amounted to maladministration, adding that “it is satanic “.

He added that the committee plans to put a Stop Work Order on the various construction sites on the plots. Besides, the beneficiaries are to replace all the trees they felled during construction.

But Mohammed said the committee was misinformed on the allocations.

In an advertorial published in some national dailies, the former Minister said he never acted outside the limits of his powers.

In the advertorial, signed on his behalf by his Media Consultant, Mr. Emma Agu, Mohammed insisted that the Abuja Master Plan had never been inviolable.

According to him, the Abuja Master Plan is a dynamic road map for the city’s land use and infrastructure development, guided by the demands of change and time.

He added that his actions were informed by the need to ensure full utilisation of available resources and that the allocations were made in compliance with the Land Use Act.

According to him, construction was approved after the allottees had obtained building plan approvals from the Department of Development Control of the FCT.

He urged the Senate committee to seek adequate information from the FCT administration, stressing that the allocations could only be reversed by an incumbent Minister of the FCT.

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Bala Mohammed Responds to Senate Committee’s Directive On Abuja Plots

Our attention has been drawn to various media reports in which
the Senate Committee on FCT accused the previous
administration of illegally converting the green areas of Maitama
District into developable lands and allocating same to named

While we had not wanted to join issues with the Senate
Committee, however, the exuberance of the Committee’s
Chairman that borders on ignorance of the limitations of the
doctrine of separation of powers under the constitution has
necessitated us to set the records straight:

1Throughout the tenure of the previous administration, all
allocations of land in the FCT were based on professional advice,
availability of layouts and the provisions of the Land Use Act. In
reference to the Ministerial Hill, which the Senate Committee

gave the Department of Development Control directive to stop
work, we state as follows:

2. That sometimes in 2010, the FCTA under Senator Adamu
Aliero commissioned Messrs. Fola Consult Limited to advise the FCT
 Administration on the extent of the area in Maitama
Ministerial Hill that could be converted for residential use;



3. That Messrs. Fola Consult Limited submitted its report
highlighting the history of the area and rationale for its
development as follows:

a)    The redesign of Plot 2278 was carried out during the regime
of Air Vice Marshall Hamza Abdullahi in 1998 to
accommodate the Federal Ministers who moved from
Lagos into the FCT;

b)    That the change in land use was captured by the Land use
plan produced in June 1989 by Messrs. Dynasys Resource
Company in association with Alpha Consult Rome;

c)    That the redesign of Messrs. Dynasys Company was not
comprehensive since the sole aim of the design was just to
create plots to accommodate some few Ministers’ houses;

d)    That the area was not designated as recreational area or
park but was designated as undevelopable area based on
its difficult terrain and that the level of technology at the
time was the major consideration for its classification as

4. That Fola Consult Limited advised the Aliero Administration
that additional plots should be created to justify existing
underutilized infrastructure In line with its land use

categorization as a low-density residential area;

5. That sometimes in 2014, the Department of Urban Regional
Panning also made recommendations that additional plots



should be created on plot 2180 to justify existing underutilized
infrastructure around the Mississippi street of Maitama;

6. That the immediate past FCT administration was fully
convinced that the master plan is a dynamic road map for the
city’s land use and infrastructure development, guided by the
demands of change and time. Hence, on the basis of the above
recommendations, and in recognition of its responsibility to
ensure full utilization of resources, the administration approved
the redesigns and subsequently, allocations were made in line
with the Land Use Act;

7. That the FCT Administration allowed for commencement of
work on the plots after the allottees got due building plan
approvals from the Department of Development Control which
approval, needless to add, can only be reversed by the authority
of the Hon. Minister;

8. Apart from insisting that such new developments were based
on the green city concept, the approval process was predicated
on a robust environmental impact assessment conducted by a
team of professionals within the FCT Administration.

9. That the Senate Committee is advised to seek adequate
information from the FCT Administration before issuing
wrongful directives.



With the above said, we consider it imperative, at this juncture,
to make some clarifications on the concept of the master plan,
green areas and the dynamism of city development.

The Master Plan Concept

am not a Town Planner, but a Master plan has been defined by
professionals as that broad policy document meant to guide the
growth and development of a town or city.

May I add that the life span of a master plan which is not less
than Ten years minimum, is so wide that there is no way changes
will not occur for a document based on assumptions,
predications and projections. As soon as gaps are observed
between these proposals and realities, as is the case of the Abuja
master plan over time, a review or redesign becomes imperative.

Above all, nowhere in the world and on any town or city is a
master plan implementation achieved at 100 percent level even
in developed countries.

Concept of Green Areas and the Dynamism – of City

Green area is a land use provision within the master plan for
recreation, flood drains, city buffers, urban farming, reserved
lands and contextually undevelopable area. However, for
reasons of population growth, expansion in infrastructural



facilities, security concerns and logistical demands, city
development all over the world has never remained static.
Rather, it has been a dynamic process. Abuja has not been an

Thus, long before the advent of the last FCT Administration,
Ministers had reviewed and re-conceptualized green area
provisions in the Abuja Master plan. For instance, part of the
Presidential Villa was a green area in the master plan. So also
were the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), the High
Court, the residence of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and
recently, the residences of the presiding officers of the National
Assembly. Military formations such as Camp Wu Bassey and
Niger barracks, and urban fringes including Usuma, Maitama
Extension and Mpape Districts etc. were part of the changes
made to the master plan. Many other examples abound of green
areas being converted to other uses by previous ministers based
on need of the time to make the city more functional and more
socio-economically viable.

In fact, all of what is termed the “Urban Fringe” including Usuma
and Mpape Districts, was a green area and was supposed to
constitute a buffer zone between the city on the one hand and
the regional space, on the other. However, it was utilized by
previous administrations for the building of the various barracks,
Asokoro District, Guzape District, Sunrise Hills Estate and parts



of Apo. These urban fringes were redesigned by previous
ministers in accordance with the powers conferred on them by
the Land Use Act.

For emphasis, it is important to note that even part of the
present Presidential Villa and the Eagle Square were changed
from Transportation Center to what they are today, while under
the Master Plan, what is now known as Maitama Extension was
supposed to be a Sports Center but was redesigned by previous
administrations. Even in the city center occasions arose where
the Boulevard Project in the Central Business District area led to
redesign of many plots in the original master plan.

For the enlightenment of all stakeholders and members of the
public who are ignorant of the historical background to this
matter, it was Mallam Nasir EI-Rufai as FCT minister who, seeing
the lack of capacity on the part of the FCT Administration, to
maintain the green areas, started allocating them to individuals
in the hope that the allottees would live up to expectation.
Unfortunately, they did not. Instead, most of the park allottees
converted the green areas to commercial uses thereby placing
them on a collision course with the Development Control
Department. Overnight, restaurants, hotels, showrooms, beer
parlours, pubs etc. sprang up in these areas, in complete negation
of the master plan. In some cases these unapproved conversions



constituted not only a nuisance to the public but a grave security
threat. To tackle the deplorable situation, the immediate past
leadership of the FCT set up a committee headed by former
Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development
Commission, Otunba Segun Runsewe which, in the course of its
activities, established that most of the beneficiaries had made
heavy investments in the green areas. It was therefore decided,
that in deserving cases, the allottees should retain only 10 of
the green areas while the remaining should be developed for
public use with the firm belief that if the administration needed
to recover the whole land, it could do so since it was not covered
by deeds and titles.

We have gone to this extent to explain dynamics of the
transformation of the green areas to prove the point that the
immediate past FCT administration was simply following
precedents in adopting out-of-the-box strategies that would
guarantee more effective land use management. The truth is
that the previous administration drew immensely from both the
Accelerated Development Program of EI-Rufai and the Sunshine
Hills Estate of Abba Gana, in prosecuting its highly ambitious
mass housing programs. It is on record that the administration,
under Senator Bala Mohammed, collaborated with estate
developers and institutions like the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC
and the Trade Union Congress, TUC to develop districts for



workers while the administration itself conceived three social
and affordable housing schemes in Wasa and Mamusa Districts
which were allocated to co-operatives to provide housing to the
lower cadre.


From the above, we want to conclude as:

1.   The Minister never acted outside the limits of his powers in
the matter of land management in the FCT.

2.     The Abuja Master Plan has never been inviolable. At various
times in the past, Senator Bala Mohammed’s predecessors
had managed the plan to achieve a functional and
harmonious development in the city. For all his actions in
the area of land management, there were precedents by his
predecessors some of whom are still serving the nation in
various capacities.

3.     What we do not understand is the Senate Committee
Chairman’s unusual interest in the Minister’s Hill
committee needs no reminding that all the beneficiaries of
plots at the redesigned Minister’s Hill are Nigerians who are
legitimately and eminently qualified 
to receive the
allocations that were made within the constitutional
powers of the minister following laid down procedures and
precedence set by his predecessors. Some of these



Predecessors are not just around they are still very much in
the service of the nation

4.     We recognize the prerogative of the Chairman of the Senate
Committee on FCT
 to carry out his oversight functions in
any manner he chooses but that should never include
making unguarded statements that tend to ridicule those
who served to the best of their ability or derogate the
powers of the executive to carry out their normal
constitutional duties.

5.     The committee will need to be reminded that a similar
effort to revoke the last minute allocations by EI-Rufai on
the eve of his departure could not stand. Ironically, it fell on
Senator Bala Mohammed to resolve the matter and restore
the status quo, which led to massive development in the
FCT and alleviate unnecessary litigation.

6.     The former minister is available at all times to clarify his
actions in the area of land management thereby avoiding
unnecessary dramatization of ignorance or grandstanding
for media attention.

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