Thursday, 21 November 2019
Items filtered by date: January 2019

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo loves attention and believe people should worship him like a god. His people in Owu town Abeokuta, call him Ebora (spirit). And like a spirit he demands total obedience, irrespective of whether he is wrong or right.

Abubakar Atiku, gunning for the presidency as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the February 16 election, learnt this lesson late.

For him to get Obasanjo’s full support for his ambition to rule the country, he had to stoop for his former boss, Olusegun Obasanjo at the Lagos Island Club Business Luncheon on Wednesday.

And Bukola Saraki too

Published in Headliners

The Lagos State House Assembly yesterday insisted that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and some of his commissioners it invited to explain infractions on this year’s budget must appear before it.

The Assembly said should the infractions continue, it would apply constitutional provisions for punitive measure: impeachment.

Majority Leader Sanai Agunbiade addressed reporters last night after an emergency parliamentary meeting by the lawmakers.

The lawmaker said nobody was witch-hunting the governor, as being insinuated in some quarters, but that the infractions were serious issues the Assembly could not overlook.

He said the Assembly decided to debunk the wrong information and misconception being bandied around over the Assembly’s resolutions on Ambode last Monday.

There was a massive protest yesterday at the Assembly by concerned Lagosians against the planned impeachment of the governor.

The situation compelled the lawmakers to go into an emergency parliamentary meeting after the protest.

Referring to the protest, Agunbiade said the Assembly was not saying Ambode should end his tenure but that because of issues surrounding the budget, he was summoned by the Assembly.

According to him, the major contention is that he had started spending from this year’s budget, which has not been laid before the Assembly.

Agunbiade insisted that such action was against constitutional provisions.

He added: “The budget is supposed to have been laid before the commencement of another fiscal year. This has always been the practice in the state. Unless it is laid, you cannot spend from it. But the governor has made expenditure from the budget.

“There are also some infractions the Assembly observed about the 2018 budget, the expenditure made outside the budget, which necessitated the invitation the Assembly extended to him and some commissioners to explain things.

“It is not witch-hunting, as some people believe. To make expenditure from the budget, you must have laid it before the Assembly. For now, we don’t have the budget. So, you can’t spend. As legislators, we must do things properly.”

Agunbiade also corrected some misconceptions, which he said were being tied to the Ambode issue.

The lawmaker said it was not true that the Assembly was after Ambode because he refused to fund their campaign.

“We want Lagos to flourish, but we cannot compromise the regulations or constitutional provisions concerning appropriation.

Published in Politics

THE Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has described as false, report of a bomb scare on an Air Peace aircraft that took off from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja en route Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.

Its spokesperson, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, said the passenger that raised the alarm is said to have a history of mental illness and is presently with security agencies and medical experts for assessment of the state of his helath.

She said following the false information, FAAN aviation security personnel swiftly evacuated passengers, crew and cargo on board the aircraft and the bomb squad immediately conducted a thorough check on the aircraft and baggage.

The check, she said, confirmed that there was no bomb on the aircraft.

Mrs. Yakubu said the aftermath of the due diligence test carried out on the aircraft led to a fresh boarding call.

Passengers thereafter boarded the flight for take-off to the Lagos Airport.

She said: “The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria will like to re-assure passengers and all airport users that our airports are safe and secure. They should carry on their lawful activities without any fear.”

Air Peace said passengers yesterday hailed the crew of Air Peace Flight P4 7121 for prioritising their safety and returning to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja after receiving information that there was an explosive on board the aircraft.

A statement issued by the airline’s Corporate Communications Manager, Mr. Chris Iwarah, confirmed the incident, saying the operating crew acted professionally and took the decision to return as a precaution.

Iwarah attributed the false information to an intending passenger, who was denied boarding after the crew suspected that he might be mentally challenged.

Published in News & Stories
Thursday, 31 January 2019 03:30

EFCC arraigns Babachir, others for fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC ) has filed a 10-count charge at a Federal high court Abuja against former secretary to the government of the federation Babachir Lawal.

Lawal was charged alongside Hamidu David Lawal; Sulaiman Abubakar; Apeh Monday; Rholavision Engineering Limited, a company owned by him, and Josmon Technologies Limited.

It also filed four charges of alleged fraud against a former Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayodele Oke, and his wife, Folashade Oke.

Oke and his wife will be arraigned in court on Friday, while Lawal will be in court next week.

Nigeria’s President Muhammmadu Buhari sacked the former SGF in October 2017 for allegedly mismanaging the funds belonging to the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE) through disguised companies.

Lawal and Oke were suspended in April 2017 for their alleged complicit in separate corrupt practices.

A three-man committee comprising Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, National Security Adviser Mohammed Babagana Monguno and Attorney-General and Justice Minister Abubakar Malami was set up by President Buhari to investigate the allegations against the two men.

Lawal was grilled by the Osinbajo-led three-man Presidential panel over the N220 million meant for welfare of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in North-East, while Oke was suspended over the discovery of large amounts of foreign and local currencies by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in a residential apartment at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, over which NIA made a claim.

Buhari, who was elected in 2015 on a promise to tackle corruption, has come under fire since taking office for targeting political opponents.

The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party has accused him of a witch-hunt, as the overwhelming majority of those arrested and charged are PDP supporters or former ministers loyal to the opposition.

But the president maintained that his government has been fair in its anti-graft campaign.

The Lawal and Oke cases have been seen as a litmus test of his commitment to prosecuting graft, regardless of political allegiances.

Published in News & Stories

THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will tomorrow arraign former National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Director-General Ambassador Ayodele Oke and his wife Folasade, before a Federal High Court in Lagos.

Their arraignment is in connection with the $43, 449, 947, 000 intercepted in a flat.

The cash was founded in Flat 7B, No. 16 Osborne Road, Osborne Towers in Ikoyi Lagos.

A judge of the Federal High Court in Lagos, Justice Muslim Hassan, had on June 6, 2017 granted a final forfeiture order of the funds since no one appeared before the court to claim them.

Although Oke had denied the allegation of concealment, the EFCC is proceeding ahead with his trial alongside his wife.

The four-count charge against the couple was signed by prosecuting lawyers including Rotimi Oyedepo Iseoluwa; Nnaemeka Omewa and Idris Abubakar Mohammed.

For the first time, the EFCC in the Proof of Evidence revealed how Flat 7B was bought for $1, 658,000 (N596, 880,000)

It said one Alhaji Shehu Usman Anka will give evidence of the receipt of the sum of $1, 658,000 from the wife of the ex-NIA boss.

The anti-graft agency also said that the agency got about $289, 202, 382.00 from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

It added that one Benjamin Kiksenenso will give evidence of how he was instructed to go to the CBN to collect the $289, 202, 382.00.

The charges against the ex-NIA boss are:

That you, Amb.  Ayodele Oke, Mrs. Folasade Ayodele Oke on or about the 12th day of April 2017 in Lagos concealed the sum of $43, 449, 947, 000 property of the Federal Government of Nigeria in Flat 7B, No. 16 Osborne Road, Osborne Towers, Ikoyi Lagos which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

That you Amb. Ayodele Oke and Mrs. Folasade Ayodele Oke between 25th day of August 2015 and 2nd day of September 2015 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this court indirectly used the sum of $1, 658, 000 property of the Federal Government of Nigeria to acquire Flat 7B, No. 16 Osborne Road, Osborne Towers, Ikoyi Lagos which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

That you Amb. Ayodele Oke and Mrs. Folasade Ayodele Oke between 25th day of August 2015 and 2nd day of September 2015 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this court directly retained $160, 777, 136. 85 property of the Federal Government of Nigeria which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

That you Amb. Ayodele Oke and Mrs. Folasade Ayodele Oke between 25th day of August 2015 and 2nd day of September 2015 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this court directly converted $160, 777, 136. 85 property of the Federal Government of Nigeria to your own use which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

Published in Business and Economy
Thursday, 31 January 2019 03:09

I will grant amnesty to looters – Atiku

The Peoples Democratic Party’s, PDP, presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has said he would grant amnesty to corrupt people who looted the nation’s treasury.

Abubakar spoke at an event titled, ‘The Candidate’, in Abuja on Wednesday.

The moderator, Kadariah Ahmed, had asked Atiku if corrupt persons would be granted amnesty if he becomes President.

“Why not? I give you an example of Turkey. Turkey gave amnesty and all the monies taken abroad were brought back and the government said when you bring the money back, you don’t need to pay taxes. Invest in manufacturing, technology and real estate.

“And look at Turkey today. It is like any other European country today,” he answered.

Abubakar also refused to bear the blame for the poverty level in his home state of Adamawa, saying, as one of the two main employers of labour in Adamawa State, he was not responsible for the perceived high poverty rate in the state.

According to him, anyone might argue that an individual was incapable of ending poverty.

His vice presidential running mate, Peter Obi, said that instead of being condemned, Atiku should be commended for being the only presidential candidate in Nigeria who has not only made a success of his own life, but he is also an employer of labour, apart from the Adamawa State Government.

The duo spoke at The Candidate, a political forum hosted by the NTA, Punch reports.

Published in Headliners

The Court of Appeal, Abuja on Thursday ruled that the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Walter Onnoghen must face the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, to defend allegations of false asset declaration levelled against him.

The court, in its sitting refused an application for stay of proceedings filed by Onnoghen, against the CCT.

According to the Appeal Court, the charges filed against Onnoghen were criminal in nature and that the proceedings before the CCT could not be stopped.

Published in Headliners

National Judicial Council (NJC) building in Abuja where crucial decision will be taken tomorrow on the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria Justice Walter Onnoghen

To be or not to be is the crucial decision confronting members of the National Judicial Council (NJC) tomorrow as the body holds an emergency meeting to decide the fate of the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Walter Onnoghen.

The emergency meeting holds at 10am in Abuja and neither Onnoghen, whose suspension has become a subject of controversy, nor Ibrahim Muhammad, the acting CJN, will be allowed to preside over the meeting.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday suspended Onnoghen citing an order of Code of Conduct Tribunal of January 23rd.

According to the Federal Government, the suspension stands till the conclusion of his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

To replace him, President Buhari on Friday swore in acting CJN in the person of Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed from Bauchi State.

Published in Headliners
Monday, 28 January 2019 03:29

Ex-VP to Buhari: the world is watching you

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the February 16 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, yesterday reiterated his warning that there will be no room for rigging in the coming poll.

He spoke in a statement issued in Abuja by his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Phrank Shaibu, in response to the Federal Government’s warning to United States (U.S.), United Kingdom (UK) and European Union (EU) on the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).

The former vice president warned that anyone planning to rig the election may as well be toying with the very foundation of the nation’s democracy.

The statement reads: “Buhari’s cabal is unhappy  with the statements from the U.S., the British and the E.U. because they know that these world powers have agreed  to re-route their latest and most technologically sophisticated spy satellite, including the NAOL-47 satellite, to provide comprehensive coverage over Nigeria on February 16.  The photographs these satellites will deliver can not only show someone reading a newspaper but also which newspaper they are reading.”

Recall that the Federal Government, had in statement through Garba Shehu, stated: “The nation’s security forces will confront any attempt to interfere with the process by elements from outside the country”.

The PDP candidate expressed concerns over the desperation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to rig the forthcoming elections. He advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the military and the police not to allow themselves to be used by those interested in turning Nigeria’s democracy on its head.

“The truth is that there is no country in the world where a president with this appalling record could ever be re-elected. Over 100 million Nigerians cannot afford even one decent meal a day, yet their president is seeking re-election.

“The world powers as well as Nigerians also have intelligence that Buhari will decisively lose the elections since the people are angry because they are hungry and have no jobs.

“There is no level of rigging that this vile government could ever do to overturn the millions of Nigerians who will turn up at the polls to vote him out. We ask our dearest young population who got a job under Buhari in the last four years to vote for Buhari.

“But all those who lost their jobs and whose relations lost their jobs and businesses to his maladministration to please come out in large numbers to elect Atiku Abubabar who is a harbinger of job creation!”

 

 

 

Published in Business and Economy

Holders Chelsea comfortably beat Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup with Callum Hudson-Odoi scoring 24 hours after handing in a transfer request.

Winger Hudson-Odoi, 18, showed the type of poise which has led to a £35m bid from Bayern Munich by collecting Andreas Christensen’s diagonal pass and cutting inside before firing past Keiren Westwood for his second goal of the season.

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri was rewarded for handing Hudson-Odoi a sixth start of the season as his goal put the result of a feisty game beyond doubt.

Earlier, Willian scored the first of his two goals from the penalty spot, before making it 3-0 after a smart one-two with Olivier Giroud, who replaced debutant Gonzalo Higuain.

The opener, Willian’s 50th goal for Chelsea, came in controversial circumstances after the visitors had earned their own spot-kick 162 seconds earlier, only for it to be overturned by VAR, BBC reports.

Published in News & Stories
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