Gov Ganduje Signs Kano Contributory Health Care Agency Bill 2016 Into law

Kano state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has signed into law the state Contributory Health Care Agency Bill 2016.
During a short ceremony at the state Executive Council chambers, the governor said history has been made as the development is a fulfillment of one of his inaugural promises, to better the living conditions of civil servants.
The Contributory Health Care is a scheme that among other things facilitates payment for medical and surgical expenses incurred by civil servants in the state, included in their benefit packages as a means of motivating them.
He stated that as the scheme is being implemented, private sector workers would also be incorporated, highlighting that it would be expanded subsequently to accommodate community involvement, so that access to health care delivery services in the grassroots would be enhanced.
Describing the scheme as sustainable because its source of funding is assured, Governor Ganduje congratulated the entire civil servants in the state, whose welfare would be enhanced, promising that a management would be constituted for the agency very soon.
Meanwhile, the governor inaugurated a nine – member Task Force on Graveyards, headed by the state Commissioner for Environment, Alh. Ali Haruna Makoda.
Governor Ganduje explained the state Task Force would collaborate with the state Standing Committee on Graveyards to improve their standard and to ensure renovation where necessary, as some of the final resting places were recently ravaged by flood and other environmental problems.
He appealed to community development associations to assist the government by embarking on dredging of culverts and drainages, especially those that traverse graveyards to check flood.
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FG Probes Death Of Suspect In EFCC Custody As Wife Accuses Agency Of Killing Her Husband

The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has ordered an independent inquiry into how a suspect, Desmond Nunugwo, died in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The order follows the controversy surrounding the death of Nunugwo and the request of the family for an independent inquiry into the matter.

The widow of the deceased accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, of killing her husband and labelling him a criminal.

Receiving the family of the deceased in his office in Abuja, Malami reiterated the sanctity of life and declared that no government
agency had the right to take life.

“I will give directives for investigations to commence immediately. I will also demand explanations from the EFCC to furnish me with details of the case. It is the responsibility of every government agency to protect the sanctity of life. As the chief law officer of the country, I will not compromise investigations,” the minister said.

He condoled with members of the family over the death of their breadwinner and requested them to call him in three days to get a feedback over the matter.

Clad in black attire for mourning, the wife of the late Nunugwo yesterday led other members of her husband’s family on a march to the office of the minister to demand an independent inquiry.

Their demands were straight to the issue. They wanted the minister to constitute an independent inquiry into how Nunugwo died in the custody of the EFCC. They also wanted the minister to urgently take over the investigation and serve the cause of justice.

The family believes that EFCC was responsible for the death of Nunugwo, a former chief protocol officer to the minister of state for defence, whom they claimed was not sick or diagnosed of any known sickness until his death in the EFCC custody.

The widow at the weekend recalled that she called her husband’s phone repeatedly but it was switched off as she did not know he was in EFCC’s custody in Wuse 2, Abuja.

“Around 3pm on June 9, my husband had gone to pick up our son from school and they both returned home. He later went out. Around 6pm, I called his line and it rang once. I tried his number several times later, but it was off,” Susanne told Punch.

“The next morning, I got apprehensive when he didn’t come home. However, around 3.48pm, someone called me with his phone and said my husband was in the EFCC’s custody and I should come to bail him.”

Susanne said on getting to the EFCC, she was told to go and get a man because being a woman, her husband could not be released on bail to her.

She said, “The EFCC later called me to their office to come and bail my husband while he was already at the mortuary.

“I later received a phone call from a former colleague of mine that he had read the news online that my husband was arrested for fraud and he had died.”

The widow said she was informed that her husband’s arrest was sequel to a petition written by one Uloma, his business associate.

Susanne said, “She (Uloma) told the EFCC that she met my husband on a flight in 2012 when he was on his way to the US where I went to give birth. She said my husband introduced her to a third party with whom she did a N91m transaction.”

Susanne berated the EFCC for labelling her husband a fraudster even after causing his death, adding that the anti-graft agency must clear his name.

The deceased’s family declared the Nigeria Police as no longer fit to continue with the investigation into the matter “having compromised in the cause of their investigation by acting out a script written and directed by the EFCC.”

There is also a contentious issue of autopsy on the body of the deceased. Two months after, no autopsy has been done. There is an allegation that the authorities are delaying the inquest.

The family, therefore, asked that an autopsy be carried out by an expert to be recommended by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria.

But the police and the EFCC insist that Nunugwo died a natural death. They claimed that he was rushed to a hospital where he gave up the ghost six hours after he was detained at the commission.

Accompanied by their lawyer, Paul Edeh of the Raw Gold Partners, the family arrived at the Shehu Shagari Way headquarters of the Ministry of Justice and insisted on seeing the minister.

The widow of the deceased, Susan, had told The Guardian that the family would not leave the building until the minister granted them audience.

The lawyer to the family, Edeh shed more light on efforts by the family to secure autopsy for the body of the deceased.

He said: “My clients have it on good authority that the EFCC, through its chairman and his foot soldiers are working assiduously behind the scenes to frustrate police investigation into the cause of Nunugwo’s death because the truth, when revealed, will count against his confirmation as a substantive chairman of the EFCC.

“According to our clients, EFCC has blatantly refused that a post-mortem examination be carried out on the body to reveal the cause of death which will indict the commission.

“This may have been the reason more than two months after Nunugwo’s death in EFCC custody, no move has been made to carry out an autopsy even when the hospital has forwarded the requirements for carrying out an autopsy estimated to cost N4, 000,000.

“After more than a dozen visits by our clients to EFCC and the police to ascertain the position of the investigation, both the police and EFCC have maintained a common stance that the deceased died a natural death.

“One, therefore, wonders how both the police and the EFCC could come up with such a common position in the absence of a medical examination to determine the cause of death.”

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“We Can Make NPA A Model Agency”, Remarks By  #HadizaBalaUsman, NPA MD/CEO

Remarks By Hadiza Bala Usman At The Handover Ceremony f the Nigerian Ports Authority, at the handover ceremony to the new management team; Lagos, 18th July 2016.

Good morning, dear colleagues.

Please accept my warm salutations to everyone in the NPA family. As I formally join the NPA team today, let me begin by expressing appreciation to the leader who has steered the ship until today. Sir, we wish you the very best as you go on to other things.

Today, I assume with humility the responsibility of leading the NPA team. As you all know, the country expects much from us all. Our ports are a critical artery of the economy, and it is our duty to ensure that the operators deliver port services at the standards that our businesses deserve in the 21st century in supporting President Buhari’s administration agenda of economic diversity. We will strive for enhanced operating efficiencies to facilitate improved revenue generation and inflows into the national treasury.

We will listen to our customers, importers, exporters and other agencies working in the Ports to improve on our service delivery to the nation, anything less than world-class services is simply not acceptable; attaining such heights is a mission to which I am certain we can all subscribe

As team leader, I have come to add my best efforts to yours so that we can collectively achieve results for our industry. We must work as a team, pursuing common goals with professionalism and diligence. We shall prioritize investment in primary equipment and infrastructure and services committed to by NPA in the concession agreements to hasten clearance of imports and exports from the ports. As we collaborate in the best traditions of public service, I believe that with commitment and diligence our hard work can position NPA as a model agency.

To function as effective regulators, all of us at NPA must commit to the highest standards of performance and cohesion. Let us all uphold the most diligent work ethic, in our individual beats as well as in the collective undertakings required to achieve results.

Everyone at the NPA has a role in promoting best practice, in upholding governance standards and in delivering quality services. We will work hard, with integrity and with zero-tolerance for corruption.

As the new management settles down, we will be listening to your concerns and suggestions as we navigate the best options for effectively discharging the NPA’s mandate. But we will not shirk our responsibility to provide the leadership to improve the NPA. I hope that we will do it together.

Thank you and God bless.

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2500 Jobs Created As Elrufai Commissions State Traffic Agency [Photos]

No less than 2,500 jobs was created by the Kaduna State government on Tuesday with the commissioning of the Kaduna State Traffic and Environmental Law Enforcement Agency, KASTELEA.

The commissioning of the agency follows the disbandment of the Directorate of Road Traffic Services in the state.

Governor Nasir El Rufai commissioned the agency with himself adorned in the uniform designed for the outfit.

Check out more photos…

 

 

 

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Former BPE Director Writes Osinbajo, Alleges Massive Fraud By Agency DG

A former director of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has written to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo alleging that the Director General of the agency is engaged in massive fraud and fraudulent practices.

In a letter to the Vice President dated November 2, 2015, Ibrahim Muhammad Kashim, who retired as a Director in June 2015 complained about the non payment o his terminal benefits which he said has been converted by the Director General of the Agency, Benjamin Dikki.

He said the DG diverted his terminal benefits to pay management staff entertainment allowances.

He also alleged that the BPE DG paid a N27bn premium for a non-existent insurance cover for the staff of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

He added that a phantom N1.5bn contract was awarded to a “prominent PDP lawyer” to wind up PHCN even when there was no work for the lawyer to do.

“As lawyers we reckoned that it was unthinkable, more so as ALL the assets of PHCN had been transferred through a presidential order to the Discos and Gencos, while ALL the liabilities were to be handled by Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company (NEMLCO). PHCN is therefore a shell company,” he said.

THE FULL TEXT OF KASHIM’S LETTER COMPLAINT AGAINST MR. BENJAMIN E. DIKKI, DIRECTOR GENERAL.BUREAU OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES (BPE) OVER NON PAYMENT OF MY TERMINAL BENEFITS, CRIMINAL CONVERSATION OF SAME, AN CONTINIOUS FRAUD AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT

Preamble This petition seeks to apprise His Excellency on the injustice the Director General (DG) of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has been perpetrating against me. It will also bring to light the criminal action of the DG and his henchmen in converting my terminal benefits, approved by the National Council on Privatization (NCP) into Management Staff recurrent overhead Entertainment Allowance in collusion with some staff of the Ministry of Finance. Finally it is hoped that His Excellency will, having established the veracity of this petition ensure that justice is done.

Introduction

Your Excellency, I joined the then Technical Committee on Privatization and Commercialization (TCPC) which later became the Bureau of Public Enterprises as a Senior Executive Officer (Legal) in 1992. Letter of appointment is hereby attached as appendix I. I rose to become a Director in 2007 and retired on 1st 2015 after having served as a Director for eight (8) years. Letter of retirement from service is hereby attached as appendix II

NCP at its meeting of Thursday June 9th2014 approved a series of amendments to the BPE Staff Conditions of Service upon the recommendation of its Finance Committee headed by the then Minister of Finance. This was as a result of years of agitation by staff seeking better terms of engagement. I had the privilege of Chairing the in-house committee that made all the presentations and met severally with the then Minister of Finance and officials from the Finance Minister. Copy of the minutes of NCP meeting of June 9th 2014 is hereby attached as appendix III.

One of the items approved by the NCP was Terminal Benefits for exiting staff. It was to take effect from 2015. For that purpose NCP approved for inclusion into 2015 national budget the sum of N455,266,618:23. The staff due to retire in 2015 are;

1.Ibrahim Muhammad Kashim (Director)

  1. Hajiya Fati Abubakar (Director)

3.Afolabi Mathew            (Deputy Director)

I led the team that met severally with Budget officers in Ministry of Finance and Salaries and Wages Commission. We got all necessary approvals.

Your Excellency, shortly before my retirement date, as is the practice, the Human Resources unit initiated an internal memo seeking the DGs approval to direct accounts unit to pay me my entitlements. Sadly the DG minuted that it was not accommodated in the 2015 budget. He maintained his position ever since. The internal Memo from the Human Resources Unit is hereby attached as appendix IV.

I wrote severally and later through my counsel to no avail. Then we went to court to protect my interest. Sadly the DG rather than pay me in line with VARIOUS management committee directives, engaged the services of SAN, who was the last Chairman of the NCP Legal Committee, using public funds to file a ridiculous defense that I was NOT a BPE staff that I was employed by TCPC, a position unfortunately laughable in logic and law. The court papers are hereby attached as appendix V. But it suits the DGs game plan very well. He tried through his henchmen to invite me to negotiate with him and I refused. Your Excellency the DG BPE fears that if he pays me I will be free to expose lots of the shady criminal payments he undertook and his connection to a political party for which he used government resource’s to facilitate. I will explain later.

The facts

Your Excellency the NCP approved the payment of my terminal benefits and got funding for the 3 retiring staff included in 2015 budget.The DG BPE and his henchmen in the organization got some officials of the Federal Minister of Finance to change it as recurrent overhead allowance to be used to pay Management Staff  as entertainment allowance. Your Excellency the implication of this are two-fold.

The amount approved by the NCP as terminal a benefit was meant ONLY for 3 of us retiring in 2015. If meant that BPE should in 2015 seek NCP approval for staff retiring in 2016. (As a matter of fact there will be only one retiring staff in 2016). The DG by these acts has wrongly converted our terminal benefits to pay management staff entertainment allowances. This he did to calm the restiveness of the mgt staff as he had completely spent the internally generated revenue on his weekly trips to Zuru in Kebbi state to campaign for the political party (in deed he  even bought a pilot vehicle fitted with a siren to facilitate the trips)

The second implication Your Excellency, is that by changing what should be only a component of 2015  budget making it  perpetual annual budgetary allocation to the BPE, the DG willingly intends to defraud government by getting year in year out what was meant to be for only 2015. This is because instead of seeking NCP’s approval on annual basis for the required amount to be budgeted, bearing in mind some years nobody would be eligible for retirement; the DG has ensured that the sum of N455,266,618;23 would each year be paid to BPE illegally from budget as staff overhead.

This came to light before my retirement and I vehemently opposed it and stated the facts as approved by NCP. The minutes of management committee meetings for the whole month of April 2015 captured my position. (I chaired more than 70% of all our meetings as the DG was always away on campaign and hardly on seat for Monday meetings.

 

Your Excellency, the pertinent question that comes to mind is in the light of all these facts- why would the DG of BPE or indeed anyone fail and or refuse to pay my terminal benefit after serving the organization for over 22years? To answer we must first re-state that the DG ordered the illegal conversation of the terminal benefits of 3 staff retiring in 2015 to Management Staff Entertainment Allowance. And he also ordered the illegal annual budgetary allocation of the amount as recurrent overhead. We should also mention that the same DG for over two years has utilized government resources for a political party. The only conclusion therefore is of a person who is power drunk and believes to be untouchable. In relation to my case however it goes more than the above mentioned. I will treat them ad seriatim.

Engagement of a Lawyer to wind-up PHCN.

Your excellency, the former DG Miss Bolanle Onagoruwa was removed partly because she refused to accept the appointment of a prominent PDP lawyer to wind up PHCN for an amount exceeding N1.5bn. ( When the proposal was sent to her, I was one of the Directors she confided in. As lawyers we reckoned that it was unthinkable, more so as ALL the assets of PHCN had been transferred through a presidential order to the Discos and Gencos, while ALL the liabilities were to be handled by Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company ( NEMLCO). PHCN is therefore a shell company. Immediately after her removal the current DG established a Committee that awarded the assignment to the preferred law firm. I publicly expressed my disagreement. The DG sent for me and solicited for my support as it was from our Bosses. I maintained my position, as a result of which the matter was NEVER tabled at, or brought to the management committee for deliberation and approval before going to NCP.

Payment of Insurances premium of PHCN disengaged staff.

The DG one day invited me to his office. He informed me of a memo that would be sent to Management Committee for its consideration and approval. He suggested that we should pass it, since I was the one that usually chaired such meetings. It was to approve for transmission to the chairman of NCP the payment of N27,188,232,208:20billion as premium to Great Nigeria Insurance Plc for group life and group personal accident insurance for PHCN staff. I told him it cannot pass for even a law 101student knows the cliche “No premium No cover”. And in any case at that time PHCN had no staff. However I learnt later that the same paper came to BPE with all the necessary approvals and I believe the money was paid.

The DG also sought my cooperation to approve some payments to be made ostensibly as refunds to Ministry of Power for expenses incurred in the course of PHCN privatization. I advised against it because we all knew it was the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that funded the exercise. In any case Ministry of Power is overseeing PHCN. Later the paper came into BPE approved for payment by our Bosses.

Your excellency I went to the length to establish categorically that the DG BPEs refusal to pay me and his engaging the then chairman of the NCP legal committee using public funds, to claim that I was NOT a BPE staff, were all geared towards ensuring that I remain at his mercy and therefore dare not expose that all the payments that were made were actually at the behest of the DG BPE and that none ever was presented to the management committee for consideration. They were all unilateral actions of the DG using his office to obtain approval from above.

Your Excellency to debunk any claim that he acted based on orders from above, he actually solicited my cooperation in all cases, so they all originated from BPE. It was when I refused that it was converted to orders from above (let me restate that I was the person chairing the management committee meetings.) the minutes are there to prove my assertion.

Your Excellency even if any orders came from above, BPE as the secretariat of NCP had always, advised government on what the BPE believed to be just, proper and legal. I had the privilege of serving as the secretary of the committee set up by government to look into the contract of power purchase entered between ENRON and NEPA. It was BPEs objection that led to the establishment of the committee. There are many of such instances. Even under the current DG, BPE objected to the approval granted to the Department of State Security (DSS) to take over the Lagos and Abuja NITEL exchanges. Later the matter was resolved as suggested by BPE.

It would be interesting to ask the DG to show evidence that BPE under him had objected to any of the so called approvals from above for payment and had advised government accordingly.

Conclusion

Your Excellency, I have no doubt in my mind that the steps taken by the DG BPE in not paying me my terminal benefits and trying to pursue an unnecessary protracted legal battle is meant to ensure my silence whenever government decides to investigate him.

I humbly call on your Excellency to cause this matter to be thoroughly and speedily investigated and resolved so that I can be paid my terminal benefits which I have been denied for six (6) months since my retirement with untold hardship to my family.

Thank you, Your Excellency and God bless.

Yours Faithfully,

 

Ibrahim Muhammad Kashim

(EX- DIRECTOR BPE)

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Sokoto To Establish Three Banks, Agency For Small And Medium Enterprises

In its avowed commitment to enhance funding and stimulate the latent entrepreneurial capacity of the people at the grassroot level, Sokoto state said it will establish three microfinance banks as well as small and medium enterprises development agency, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has said.

Speaking when he received members of the Small and Medium Scale Rice Millers Association in Sokoto Tuesday, Tambuwal already, the SOSMEDA bill has been presented to the state House of Assembly for passage into law.

He also gave the names of the three microfinance banks as Giginya, Fodiyo and Gudale.?

According to him, the role of small scale enterprises in changing the fortune of a given society cannot be over-emphasized. He said of recent, there has been decisive shift of emphasis from the ‘lavish capital intensive, large scale industrial projects to small and medium scale industries’ because of their enormous potentials for rapid and sustainable development.

“Apart from their potential for ensuring a self-reliant industrialization, in terms of ability to rely largely on local raw materials, small scale enterprises are also in a better placed to boost employment, guarantee a more even distribution of development in the state, especially the rural areas,” he added.?

The Governor said it became imperative for the government to set up the banks and SOSMEDA because of the shortage of competent managerial skills due inability of owners to employ the services of experts among small and medium scale enterprises in the state.

Similarly, he said they are hampered by their inability to access funds and new technology leading to reliance on obsolete method of production.

Tambuwal also lamented the inability of those agencies in Sokoto to cope with increased competition in the industry due to lack of capacity and high cost of raw materials which affect their productivity and profitability.

While expressing confidence that the measures put in place will stimulate economic activities in the state, Tambuwal said the new measures will reduce hardship and help government to achieve macro-economic objectives which include employment creation, mobilization of local resources, easing rural urban drift and poverty reduction.

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UK Crime Agency Seizes Allison-Madueke’s £27,000, Yet To Charge Her To Court

The Westminster Magistrates Court in the United Kingdom Monday ordered that the sum of £27,000 said to belong to Nigeria\’s former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Allison-Madueke.

The seizure order follows an application made Monday at Court by the National Crime Agency, NCA.

The cash which was seized under Section 295 of proceeds of crime act will be held by the agency until 5th April 2016.

The seized fund is part of proceeds the former minister who served under the tenure of former president Goodluck Jonathan is said to have laundered from her home country.

She was arrested for alleged bribery and money laundering offences last Friday in London.

But contrary to report that the ex-minister was in the court today to answer to charges of bribery and money laundry, it has been confirmed that she is yet to be charged for any offence.

‘There was no charge of money laundering, there was an application to detain cash under the Proceeds of Crime Act, by the National Crime Agency which was granted an official of the Westminster Magistrates court is quoted to have said.

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We Started Investigating Alison-Madueke Since 2013 – UK National Crime Agency

The United Kingdom UK National Crime Agency, has revealed that contrary to speculations that the corruption investigation leading to the arrest of Nigeria’s former Petroleum Minister started in 2013.

The Nigerian media, both the traditional and social media platforms, were awash with reports that it was President Buhari’s recent meeting with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, and other world leaders that led to the investigation and arrest of Alison-Madueke.

The ex-minister and current President of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries was arrested on Friday by the NCA’s recently formed International Corruption Unit, along with four other persons.

She was arrested in London as part of an investigation into suspected bribery and money laundering offences.

Alison-Madueke was, however, granted bail but her passport was withheld by the British authorities, pending further investigations, both in the UK and other countries.

In an update on its website, the NCA noted that the investigation started about two years ago.

“The investigation commenced in 2013 under the Proceeds of Corruption Unit, and transferred to the NCA earlier this year (2015). The International Corruption Unit investigates bribery of foreign public officials by individuals or companies from the UK and money laundering by corrupt foreign officials and their associates,” it stated.

The UK crime agency added that the ICU would also trace and recover the proceeds of Alison-Madueke’s alleged corruption and support Nigeria’s law enforcement agencies with international anti-corruption investigations.

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Jonathan’s Govt Was Not Committed to Anti-terror War – Ex-Chief Of Defence Intelligence Agency

Major-General Abdulmalik Halidu-Giwa is the former Chief of Defence Intelligence oftheDefence Intelligence Agency (DIA), during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. In this interview with MUSA SIMON REEF, AUSTIN JOHNSON and NSA COBHAM, the retired military intelligent officer, who also has the traditional title holder of TaimakonNupe, goes down memory lane to recall that the Jonathan’s administration was not committed to resolving the Boko Haram quagmire; the erroneous assumption that insurgency was basically a Northern problem and why the present government of President Muhammadu Buhari must act fast to ensure the de-radicalisation of insurgents, among others. Excerpts;

How would you assess the handling of Boko Haram by the past administration of President Goodluck Jonathan?

I dare say that, personally I felt frustrated with the manner the last administration handled the issue of murderous Boko Haram. During the last administration, we were consulted and we saw the need to form a security cell to advise the then president on what to do in order to tackle the insurgency. Most of the things that we recommended, regrettably, were not given any attention. The first thing we suggested was the sealing off of the borders as it affect the Maghreb states and the destabilisation that followed the Arab Spring which affected countries like Tunisia, Algeria and Libya, among others. Libya was the main thing, because there were arms in the hands of numerous groups, following the sacking of the Ghaddafi’s government. We felt that we needed to seal off the borders so as to control the influx of arms into the country. The armaments that were made available to Boko Haram members were from Libya, so much that they destabilised the Nigerian Army that is known and reputed all over the world. We tried our best to advise the government, but when there was no commitment from the past government, we disbanded the cell. Since the body language of the last administration was that the problem was northern, the last administration felt the Northern region should be allowed to solve the problem.

So, when you are not in government and you give an advice and it is not considered, you then feel a sense of frustration. I have also used other forums to give advice on how best to tackle the prevailing insurgencies ripping this country apart. The situation got so bad that Abuja was not left out, as Nyanya and other close targets in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) became persistent targets by the insurgents.

It is said that corruption frustrated the fight against Boko Haram as funds meant for the purchase of arms and other logistics were misappropriated by the top echelon of the military command. What is your view on this?

Regrettably, corruption is so pervasive and the military is not an exception. You could see that when the last administration postponed the general elections by six weeks, they did all in their power to get equipment and the fight against terror gained tremendous leverage during the period just before the elections. Compare that period to any time before that time and also compared that to the budget on anti-terror war. You could see the period. You do not need any rocket science to read the signs of the time and what was needed to accomplish the war against terror. The military is part of the society and corruption has pervaded all sectors of life. Fortunately, we have a government that everyone believes that the country is on the right path in tackling the monster of corruption. Corruption is the basic problem confronting this country. Once you can tackle corruption, then you can be assured that everything will fall in the right place. Kill corruption in Nigeria and you will solve the problem of this country. It was a fact that there were no equipment and soldiers resorted to the media to cry out their frustration. Some of them spoke to the media on their problems. These were some of the problems the military members encountered. What we saw during the last administration, you could not have seen such under the Obasanjo government. Now we have another general that is popularly elected and you can see that there are changes in the way and manner the campaigns against terror is being waged. Even in the United States, you have to have someone with a regimented background of the military before you are elected into power.

Are you saying that for someone to be an effective president in Nigeria, he needs to have a military background?

I am saying that it is the norm across the world and Nigeria should not be an exception. I am not saying that it should be the total preserve of the military, but I am saying that someone with a regimented background is needed to deliver effective governance. Look at former Governor Fashola of Lagos. See how he has performed in terms of developing the state. He is a model. He was in the Man ‘O War and also a member of the Boys Scout. That is a regimented background. This helped him to discharge the functions of his office.

Many Nigerians were made to believe that the abduction of the Chibok girls was just an allegation that was promoted by anti-Jonathan campaigners to sink him politically. As someone with deep insight on security matters, did the abduction take place?

Of course, the abduction took place. We saw the parents of the abducted girls and they came to Abuja and cried out. We saw them expressing their anguish and the media was awash with their anguish. But the handling of Chibok girls was enmeshed with total lack of commitment and we saw what happened at the end of the day. The government never had the commitment to resolving the Chibok girls’ saga and you can always see that when there is no commitment, nothing is achieved.

Nigerians witnessed the saga of ferrying millions of dollars to South Africa and the accompanying seizure of same by the South African authorities. Do you think it was needful for the last government to have embarked on such an action? Was there any other way the country could have followed to get the arms it needed for the war against terror?

Unfortunately, it was something that brought embarrassing moments for Nigeria and South Africa. There are always the right way in doing things. All what was needed was for the right approach to be adopted. I do not know the workings and how we got entangled in that unfortunate situation.

Some military sources reveal that the need to get the arms on time made it impossible to follow the due process which would have taken a longer time and time was of the essence for the last administration to beat back the insurgents.

Invariably, at the end of the day, it was the same money that was used to get us the arms when the due process was followed. It is the same arms we got from Western countries and it was same arms that we used to deal with Boko Haram. It is neither here or there.

Despite the hues and cries against some perceived failings of the military command, the Jonathan administration refused to effect changes in the military top command, was that a wise decision?

Again, like I said before, it is all about political will and determination that is of the essence here. As I have said, the last regime did not display the political commitment and wisdom in dealing with the problem. That was the main issue. Once the commitment was not there, then any other failing takes place.

What about this theory that the last administration was being sabotaged for political end?

Again, it is the bane of the Nigeria’s political system. We still have not gotten it right after a leadership has emerged after an election. It is normal to hear all such of arguments. The opposition was so engaged that we forgot that Nigeria is our country. We have no other country than Nigeria, so we need to come together and fight for its unity and stability. No matter the billions that you have, you can only be a foreigner when you live in another country. No amount of money at your disposal will change the fact that you are a Nigerian living in a foreign land. Here in Nigeria, with my pension, I am a Nigerian and can go anywhere. If you place premium in the unity of this country, no force can defeat us.

How would you react to the occasional violence by insurgents in some parts of the North despite the intense efforts being play by the Buhari administration in defeating Boko Haram?

Let me start by saying that what you are seeing of Boko Haram now is efforts by drowning man to try to survive by all means. Members of Boko Haram are simply trying to show that they are surviving even when they are being defeated. What is happening largely is that they have been contained by the military. Right now, they do not hold many grounds again. Have you heard that they are holding unto a caliphate? No. Number two, what is remaining now is the pocket of them who are simply engaged in guerilla warfare. My take on the solution is for the government to galvanise the entire military command, with the assistance of the people, to tackle the problem once and for all. This group has a negative indoctrination and the government should look into it. That is why a woman with a little girl will strap a bomb and detonate it to kill several people. We must engage the media and religious leaders to give members of Boko Haram a new orientation and de-radicalise them towards attaining peace in Nigeria.

The activities of Boko Haram have portrayed Islam in bad light and we must note here that Islam does not allow you to kill yourself. It is abhorrent for Muslims to kill themselves and others. How they get this idea is the process of wrong indoctrination. If we must change them, then we need to give them a new orientation. We must work against dangerous indoctrination and get people who know the problem to be involved in taking initiatives against insurgency. If you look at the appointments of Service Chiefs, you will agree with me that the present administration is walking its promises to deliver this country from the claws of insurgents and other violent activities of dangerous elements. In Islam, if you kill someone, the verdict is straight: hell. So, the government should assist in de-radicalisaation of the insurgents. When growing up, we were taught as Muslims not to tell a lie. If you tell a lie, we were taught you will go to hell. As little as that, massive efforts must be deployed to de-radicalise and give new orientation to members of Boko Haram. Recently, I learned that some members of Boko Haram submitted themselves to the Borno State Government. If this campaign is sustained and carried to the grassroots, I can assure you that the war will change.

Recently there was a protest in the East over the transfer of Boko Haram suspects. Some people have alleged that these suspected insurgents could indoctrinate inmates. Do you see this transfer as a needful option in tackling the problem of insurgency in this country?

First of all, I was shocked as to how the information on the transfer was leaked. I am not in the complete know on how the entire process was handled. But let me state this: I suggested that a facility be built for members of Boko Haram in the North-east so that we take suspected members to that facility. The facility was also to assist in getting them to be de-radicalised and also get Muslim preachers to assist in giving the insurgents new orientations to their indoctrinations. All these funds that you have mobilize for the anti-terror war, if you take a little fraction of it and build a facility and get all the suspects into such facility, you will not have what we recently saw in the South-east where people poured into the streets to protest against the transfer of Boko Haram suspects in that part of the country. After getting a facility for the suspected insurgents, you can get Muslim preachers to de-radicalise the members for peace to return to the country.

This is not the first time that the Nigeria Prisons Service is moving prisoners from one part of the country to the other. How comes this prison transferof Boko Haram suspects to the South-east caused such an uproar?

Boko Haram is a serious problem. When you transfer suspected Boko Haram members from one area to the other, then that informs why we have these hues and cries. The solution to this problem can only to be realised when we get a virgin land and build a facility that will accommodate the suspected insurgents. Anything short of this will not solve the problem. For the sake of Nigeria, we should seek after efforts that are aimed at bringing peace to this country. I believe we have men and women of good will who are determined to ensure peace and prosperity of this country. If we all see our country as one and united one, we all can be happy and assist in the emergence of a new country of hope and abundant prosperity for all.

You earlier said that the Jonathan administration saw the Boko Haram as a Northern problem. Are you saying that the Boko Haram is not a Northern problem that requires the efforts of Northerners to tackle it?

Let me state here that Boko Haram is not a Northern problem. Anyone who says that Boko Haram is a Northern problem is missing out on the fact. Boko Haram is a national issue. To restrict the issue of Boko Haram to a regional problem will escalate the problem. I have earlier suggested that every part of this country has sincere intentions, and if we have such sincere intentions towards the development of this country, then, we can muster our way forward. The time has come for all of us to think as Nigerians and also unite for the common good.

Efforts are on currently to rebuild the North-east. What is your advice for the present administration?

Already I have been informed that the United States has promised over $2 billion to reconstruct the North-east. What we have now that is manifesting as Boko Haram is the head of the snake. The body has already been cut off and the government is sparing no efforts to ensure that the monster of insurgency is totally dealt a deadly blow so that we can have permanent peace. I also know that there were programmes earlier prepared by the last administration, I think the present government should build on it and ensure full implementation so that permanent peace can be realised for this country. On the part of the international community, I expect massive support in terms of funding and supporting the present government to reconstruct the zone devastated by activities of insurgencies.

The present administration of President Buhari has been inaugurated for about two months, and Nigerians have been told that appointment of ministers should wait until September. What do you make out of the decision to postpone the appointment of ministers to next month?

You should understand the present administration inherited a lot of things that were wrong. President Buhari has discovered that he needs time to clear some of the mess so that he can start on a clean slate. For the appointment of ministers, he has realised that he cannot just appoint ministers without conducting exhaustive security backgrounds on prospective ministerial nominees. That is why he has come out to inform the nation to tarry a while for the right people to be sought. In his own right, as a former Head of State, he knows the corridors of power properly and he does not want to be hurried into appointing ministers. I think we have spent so much on recurrent and we cannot continue like that. A minister has 20 aides and so much billions of Naira spent on maintaining them. It was a rudderless government that Buhari inherited and everybody was a government. He is taking his time to select and get a good team to deliver the goods. Nigerians should understand the task ahead and allow Buhari to properly form his cabinet. This government is less than two months, but it has saved over $5 billion. For your information, our Foreign Reserve rose by $2.8 billion, while the NLNG dividends was about $2 billion. If he had rushed into appointing new ministers, Nigerians may not have been availed of this. The truth of the matter is that even though Buhari left 30 years ago, he still has an in-depth knowledge of what is on the ground.

We have seen the National Assembly crisis and the leadership imbroglio that has thrown the APC into bitter war of attrition. What should be done to resolve the impasse?

As Buhari said, “I belong to all and I belong to no one.” What is needed is for members of the National Assembly and the APC to come together and resolve the problem. For now, the APC is not an amalgam of unified political force. Members of the National Assembly should be selfless and take into consideration the interest of Nigerians. Our politicians should avoid jumping from one party to the other. You cannot take everything and dictate everything. I think that is the problem.

The Amnesty International recently accused Nigeria military of human rights violations. Do you think that the military that you were part of could be guilty as alleged by Amnesty?

The military I am a part of is not a part of this military that flees from the presence of Boko Haram. The military that we had then was a strong, united and committed to its core mandate of defending the territorial integrity of our country. A colonel, a young officer that was my boy, was almost nearing Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, to capture Paul Biya before General Sani Abacha ordered him to return to base over the killing of a Nigerian soldier. You may also recall that when Chadian took over some villages in the North-east in the early 1980s, Buhari chased the invading armies into their country until former President Shehu Shagari ordered the Nigerian troops to return. In the military I serve, integrity was not compromised. Equipment and all that was needed for the Army to function was not lacking. But I do not know if the then military is still the present military. We have heard of stories of military men fleeing from insurgents. Corruption has pervaded every sector of our national life. So, let’s hope that the current Army headed by good leadership and the political will of the government will live up to its professional calling. Indeed, they need our support and we as Nigerians owe it to them to be supportive of all efforts to assist them secure our land. I have the hope that with our collective support and cooperation, we all can bring peace and development to our country and heal the wounds of violence brought by Boko Haram and other violent groups in our nation.

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Fresh Trouble Brews In EFCC As Extortion Racket Tears Anti-Graft Agency Apart

Fresh trouble is brewing in Nigeria’s anti-graft police where some senior police officers on secondment to the agency are poised for a showdown with the agency’s boss, Ibrahim Lamorde.

While some senior police officers are threatening to expose Lamorde’s many shady deals over his move to send them back to the police, some other operatives are accusing the agency’s deputy head of operations, one Aminu Ado Aliyu of leading a powerful cartel that extorts money from suspects.

It was gathered from one of the top officials of the agency that “we are ready to spill the beans and expose Lamorde’s many corrupt acts because he has finished using us to extort money from suspects and now wants to dump us by going to the IGP secretly to request that all police officers who have spent five years in the agency be transferred back to the police. We wont allow him to use us to get rich and now dump us.”

The senior police officer regretted that “many of the officers who had stayed above five years were returned to the police especially the corrupt ones when the former chairman, madam Waziri came newly. The same Lamorde brought all of them back in 2012 when he was appointed Chairman. But now he just woke up to say we have to go back after he has broken the rule himself and used us for various deals. We will expose him for the world to know who he is.”

In another encounter with an operative of the agency, the officer described Aminu Aliyu in unprintable words. According to him, Aliyu “heads a cartel. He’s a Mafia. He’s evil. I worked with him briefly from 2012 to 2014. He’s cunny and very sadistic.

“He’s popularly called ‘Boko Haram’ by operatives for his sadistic manner of approach to everything. He’s the deputy head of operations. He heads a cartel in EFCC that specializes in extortion from Yahoo boys. The crop of fraudsters that swindle people online. He works very closely with his friend and business partner, ‘’Alhaji Gay’’. The Alhaji operates from Abeokuta to Ibadan and Lagos looking for Yahoo boys. Once he identifies them, he alerts Aminu. Aminu has his own henchmen within the Commission that will carry out the arrest and subsequent extortion. Aminu takes cars and cash and other assets in exchange for the freedom of these Yahoo boys.

“He has more than 1000 cars that have been sold through car dealers or still in his possession. He believes that if you can’t part with these items, you must go to jail. This applies to all other manner of detainees. There are numerous examples of suspects he’s had dealings with that will come up against him if there is an investigation.

“He’s violent too. He once slammed the heel of his shoe on the eye of a detainee. I doubt if the detainee will ever see properly with that eye again. Some suspects have not been charged to court since 2011, because they refused to ‘’play ball’’ with him.

“Once he hears dollars and Pounds sterling is involved in a transaction, he must have a bite or the suspect won’t go home for a long time. He never investigates. Under him, the deplorable conditions of the cells have worsened. In 2013, it was manageable but he believes a suspect has no right to any kind of comfort.”

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Request For The Investigation Of The Dg Of National Information Development Agency – Obono, Obono & Associates

22nd July 2015

Alhaji Lawal Musa Daura, mni

The Director General

Directorate of State Security Service

Headquarters

Aso Drive, Federal Capital Abuja

Nigeria

Dear Sir,

 

PETITION FOR THE INVESTIGATION OF FRAUD PERPERTATED AGAINST THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA BY THE DIRECOR GENERAL OF NATIONAL INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT AGENCY

We are a firm of Legal Practitioners & Consultants whose practice is devoted to the promotion of good governance and transparency in the public and private sectors of the country.

We humbly invite your Service to investigate the following thus:

The current Director General of NITDA, Mr. Peter Jack, used his position to manipulate and fraudulently award 20 projects known as Community Access Centers valued at N15m each to companies

known to belong to the former first lady, Mrs. Patience Goodluck Jonathan. In addition, more contracts including another 20 other projects designated as Knowledge Access Venues which contracts sums were at N24m each were similarly awarded to the former First Lady’s companies.

The total of these illegally awarded projects came to N780m. Even more galling is the fact that 40 out of 60 projects planned for nation-wide deployment, the afore-mentioned projects were all sited in Rivers state, which not coincidentally is the home state of the former First Lady and her protégé, Mr Peter Jack, the Director General of NITDA.

It is common knowledge that Mr. Peter Jack’s appointment to Director General of NITDA was wholly promoted and facilitated by the former First Lady, Mrs. Patience Goodluck Jonathan.

The recently acquired NITDA annex office was equipped, resourced and provided to Mr. Obi Asika, the Senior Special Advisor on Social Media to the former President GoodluckEbele Jonathan, in order to set up and run the control center for the online smear campaigns against the then opposition APC and particularly President Buhari.

The DG of NITDA, Mr. Peter Jack, used his position to award a contract on ERP to one of his cronies company (Compumetrics Solutions Limited) at a whopping sum of over N149m in spite of the fact that no other bidders quoted higher than N50m for the same job.

This is rather typical of the type of impunity to be expected from the current DG of NITDA.

In his wisdom in negating advice, the DG awarded a contract for the construction of a 600 meters road at a cost of over N196m. This is a short access way to NITDA proposed new NITDA Headquarters. Thus instead of following procedure by instructing the NITDA procurement Unit to liaise with the Bureau of Public Procurement and Federal Ministry of Works, he choose to ignore the procedures.

Furthermore, he used his position to actively finance the election campaign of the current Governor of Rivers State.

 

Yours Sincerely

Chief Okoi Ofem Obono-Obla

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Aso Rock Inter Agency Clashes: Why Buhari Must Not Politicise Security By Ademola Ajayi

The crisis brewing between the Nigeria Military and the Department of State Services, DSS is not healthy at a time the nation is facing serious security changes occasioned by the Boko Haram insurgents violent campaigns.

The inter agency rivalry erupted a few days ago over who to provide Body Guide to President Muhammadu Buhari between the DSS who is constitutionally and traditionally trained and empowered to so do and the military whose constitutional role solely empowered it to stamp
out external aggressors.

The brewing crisis came into the open when the letters they had earlier exchanged found their ways into the public domain. But a great deal of Nigerians believed there are more to the inter agency feud, suspicious and even open hostility between them.

There is the need therefore to reassess the nation’s security concern, particularly because of the evasive gloating of the presidential media aid, Mr Femi Adesina that security reassignment in Aso Rock bothers on security architecture for efficient delivery.

Every agency of Govt either Military or Para-military was established to perform specific or General function with the aid of the act that set up such as an agency. In other words, the duties, functions and responsibilities of every agency has been spelt out in the act that established such agency and the Department of State Services (DSS) is one of such agencies.

A brief background of today DSS came from the “E” Department or special Branch of the Police Force in 1948 and later metamorphosed into Nigeria Security Organization through the NSO Decree of 1976. The scenario that brought State Security Service (SSS) was as a result of what General Babangida believed to be absolute loyalty of the NSO to the then Administration of General Buhari after he had toppled Buhari’s Government in a Military Coup in 1983.

It would be recalled that immediately after the coup, Babangida said “NSO bugged my lines with a view to preserving Buhari’s Administration”. Babangida then split the NSO into Three Agencies;
namely the SSS, NIA and DIS. The SSS takes charge of the internal security and intelligence gathering of the nation, the NIA was confined to foreign intelligence while the DIS formed the defence
intelligence service.

The SSS instrument of 1999 among other functions, empowered it to provide security to designated principal government functionaries, sensitive installations and visitation of foreign dignitaries. It is
therefore, suffice to say that provision of close body security to the President, Governors and other principal Government functionaries is one of the specific function of the agency, which they have been performing since the establishment of the agency. It is an indisputable fact that the SSS is not doing the protective work in isolation.

During the Military era till date, the SSS formed the inner ring while the Military and Police formed the outer ring during protective operation.

Regarding the conduct of the SSS during Electioneering Campaign of President Buhari, if the Head of any agency for any reason misused the power given to him, such person should have been removed and not to throw away the baby with bath water.

In any developed nation outside Nigeria where system of doing things had been established, though Inter Agency cooperation exists among security agencies but no agency of Government usurp the duty of others. Therefore, interagency conflict and rivalry are reduced to the bearest minimum.

If there is a show of excessive power the head of CIA, Mossad, KGB, MI5, MI6 and a boss from where those nations drawn their close body escorts, the head and other high ranking subordinates will be removed while the president will deploy his trusted and competent person within the agency to head it.

The SSS are specialist in VIP protection and they have professional Personnel and materials for that purpose. According John Dahle, the Job of VIP protection goes beyond wearing suit and standing behind VIP, and that is why other agencies of Government have been sending their operatives they intend to use as body guards to the SSS Training School in Lagos for that purpose. These facts are there for for anybody to confirm.

If other security agencies cannot take over the duty of the military for hiding Buhari’s Certificate during electioneering, if another security agency cannot take over military duty because of the role
played by Brig. Gen Momoh in Ekiti Election which has since becomes Ekiti Gate, why should the designated constitutional role of the DSS be usurp by the military because the agency invaded APC database in Lagos and for wearing balaclavas during Osun State 2014 election?

The solution to the security abnormalities, their blind loyalty to any government in power, lack of national identity and patriotism to nationhood is not selective amnesia. To start with, Nigerian government of any hue should remove itself, as a matter of as urgency, as the owner of the nation’s security apparatus.

That way, we will be close to solving the problems of security partisanship, instead of scapegoat approach. Until then, Nigerians reserve the right to be doubtful of the change they voted for.

Ademola Ajayi, human rights activist writes in from Lagos, Nigeria.

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