BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
By Taiwo Okanlawon/ PM NEWS
Former Minister of Science and Technology, Major General Sam Momah (Rtd.) is dead.
He died on Wednesday afternoon after complicated diabetic issues.
Momah’s death came after celebrating his 77th birthday on July 6 during which he launched his 13th book titled: “Restructuring to save Nigeria from post-oil disintegration.”
His death was confirmed in a tweet by Lifeline Care Association, a not-for-profit organisation offering free emergency rescue services to victims of road traffic accidents, where Momah was serving as a Grand Patron.
“We regret to announce the passing of our Grand Patron, Maj. Gen. (Dr.) Sam Momah (rtd.) – the father to our Founder, Dr. Nkem Momah. His passing occurred yesterday,” the tweet reads.
“His many contributions and unflinching commitment to the growth of our Charity and service to the nation at large will forever be cherished.
“We kindly request your prayers for his peaceful repose and consolation to the family at this time. May God grant his gentle soul eternal rest by His side. Amen!”
He is survived by a wife, children, and grandchildren.
Senator Ayo Fasanmi, the national leader of Afenifere has died at 94.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain died yesterday night, July 29 after a brief illness in Osogbo.
His death was confirmed by his Personal Assistant, Tope Adebayo on Thursday morning.
Top government officials are Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) contract beneficiaries, a document by Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Godswill Akpabio has shown.
This is besides the senators and House of Representatives members on the list communicated to House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila by Akpabio.
The document also contains project descriptions, local government areas, proposed contractors, contact details (including phone numbers), project sources and dates of award’.
The beneficiaries, according to the document, include two former Delta State governors, top Federal Government officials, the police, other security agencies, the judiciary, traditional rulers who got contracts worth billions of dollars over the years.
The list did not state the amount of the contracts given to the beneficiaries.
In the accompanying letter dated July 23, 2020 Akpabio said: ” It has always been known that the two chairmen of the committees on NDDC in both chambers yearly exhibit unusual influence to the exclusion of committee members and even the management of the NDDC in appropriating funds to details embellished in the budget after passage of line items at the plenaries.”
In the House, about 30 members would be appearing before the Committee on Ethics and Privileges over the allegations bothering on execution of over N100 billion in the controversial 2018 emergency projects awarded by the NDDC.
Gbajabiamila had during Thursday plenary referred the minister’s letter to the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges for further investigation.s
By Abankula/ PM News
Dr Stella Immanuel has been exposed as a fraud after claiming that the discredited hydroxychloroquine drug is a tested cure for COVID-19.
Immanuel and a group of Trump frontline doctors went to Washington D.C. where Immanuel gave an impassioned speech testifying that the drug is efficacious.
She claimed she had treated 350 patients in her clinic also called all doubters scientific fraud.
But that is what she is being called, as a torrent of reactions followed her testimony.
One commenter wondered how she became a COVID-19 doctor when she is licensed to be a pediatrician.
In one of the reactions to her video statement, she was linked to a fraudulent multi-level marketing VoIP phone scam 5 linx. She claimed then to be a millionaire in her promotion of the scam. The owners of 5 linx were indicted and sent to prison.
Meanwhile, Facebook has blocked her account and Youtube has also blocked the video as it violates its rules.
Facebook blocked her for conveying misleading information about COVID-19 cure. In response, Immanuel said:
By Abujah Racheal/Abuja/ PM NEWS
COVID-Organics, Madagascar’s herbal drink, touted by President Rajoelina as a cure and prevention for COVID-19 has been found ineffective.
The sobering verdict was given by Nigeria’s government on Thursday.
According to health minister, Osagie Ehanire, the herbal drink did not show any evidence that it had real curative properties against COVID-19.
Ehanire spoke at the 52nd Joint National Briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF), on COVID-19.
According to him, the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), has shared its final report on the evaluation of the COVID Organics.
He said that the initial report showed that its main ingredient is the same as Artemisia annua.
“While the preparation at high dose showed activity in reducing the frequency of cough, it did not show any evidence that it has real curative properties against COVID-19.
“However, we shall continue to support all genuine efforts toward finding local COVID-19 cures,” Ehanire said.
A Nigerian citizen in U.S. Damilola Bamidele Isaac Samuel, has been sentenced to federal prison for ATM fraud.
Samuel, 22, was convicted in Shreveport, Louisiana for using fraudulent ATM bank cards to steal more than $260,000 from dozens of bank customers.
According to federal prosecutors, Chief U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr. ordered Samuel to serve 33 months and pay $276,790 in restitution.
U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph disclosed the judgement in a statement on Thursday.
He said Samuel will face deportation proceedings after serving his term.
According to court documents, Samuel conspired with others to steal money from Regions Bank customers.
Authorities said he set up accounts in legitimate bank customers’ names then transferred money from those accounts into fraudulently created accounts.
Multiple times, Samuel was seen on surveillance cameras using ATM cards associated with the fraudulent accounts, the news release said.
Samuel pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud on Dec. 10, 2019.
The judgement was delivered on Monday.
Ibrahim Magu, the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday opened his defence before the Presidential Panel probing allegations of corruption against him with 34-page documents submitted to the panel.
Magu was with his lawyer, Wahab Shittu when the 34-page document with 100 annexure were presented for his defence.
The Justice Ayo Salami-led panel is probing Magu for various corruption allegations, one of which was his inability to explain the whereabouts of interest accrued to N550bn recovered funds.
Magu reportedly appeared before the Justice Ayo Salami-led panel around 1pm and was still there as of 6pm, as he is explaining to the panel how recovered assets were disposed of and how monies seized from looters were kept.
The Punch quoted a top source at the EFCC as saying that “Magu arrived at the Presidential Villa along with his lawyer and some aides. However, only Magu and his lawyer were allowed inside the main hall. They have been there for the last five hours.
“Magu presented a 34-page letter which was spiral bound with 100 annexure including pictures. We are hopeful that he will be able to convince the panel that all the allegations levelled against him are trumped up.”
It earlier gathered that Magu’s attempt to to submit the same documents earlier on Monday was rejected by the panel.
Magu had said some of the recovered vehicles were auctioned to the Presidential Villa, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, the Federal Inland Revenue Service and others.
The suspended EFCC boss stated in the letter that the agencies had not paid the funds but the Federal Government had agreed to deduct the money from their financial allocations.
Twenty states and the Federal Capital of Abuja accounted for the new figure.
The national total is now 38, 948 cases.
The death toll also jumped by 20 overnight to 833. It was 813 on Wednesday.
Lagos also still led the entire country in confirmed cases, having a third of the total for the day.
It recorded 203 new cases for a new total of 14,009.
Oyo state recorded 87 new cases and the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja got 79.
Here is the breakdown for all the states:
And the infographics for the cumulative cases, till date:
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, on Tuesday, alleged that the suspended management of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), misappropriated N48 billion.
Ngige made the allegation at an investigative hearing at the House of Representatives on the alleged illegal suspension of the management of the agency.
The minister claimed that the management withdrew the amount through fake contracts, proceeds of which were recycled into private pockets.
According to him, there were also irregular payments of salaries and allowances of N10 million not in line with the condition of service of the organisation or any reference to the Office of the Minister.
He also claimed that the suspended management went on leave abroad in first class with their spouses and paid themselves N9.8 million each without the approval of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
Ngige further accused them of engaging the services of legal practitioners at the sum of N180 million without the approval of the Attorney-General of the Federation.
He added that they also spent N146 million on vehicles, and on May 31, 2020, awarded 30 contracts worth N332 billion, splinted into smaller components of N49 million.
According to the minister, the splitting of the contracts was to enable the transactions fall within the threshold allowed by law for the management to award.
Ngige stated that the suspended NSITF management spent N570 million on health insurance outside the National Health Insurance Scheme.
He added that since 2012, the NSITF had not submitted records of its audited accounts to the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, in line with the extant laws.
The minister noted that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had since dragged the NSITF management to court on corruption charges.
On the alleged illegal suspension of the NSITF management, Ngige said that their suspension was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, following his recommendation.
However, when asked to tender documentary evidence of the presidential approval, the minister only showed a letter to the lawmakers, but refused to tender it as evidence.
Ngige told the lawmakers that he would consult with the President before tendering the letter approving the suspension.
Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Kemebradikumo Pondei will no longer appear before the House of Representatives panel probing him the agency’s Interim Management Committee (IMC), Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, said on Monday.
Speaking after Prof Pondei was taken to a hospital after he fainted at the probe venue, Gbajabiamila directed the panel to use documents he already tendered to the panel to reach its conclusion.
Prof Pondei, who is the managing director of the agency’s Interim Management Committee (IMC), collapsed while he was being grilled by the panel over allegations bordering on the mismanagement of funds.
Wishing Pondei a quick recovery, the Speaker apologised over the poor condition of the hearing room which was stuffy.
He said: “We wish him well. I have been here barely five minutes and I am already sweating profusely. So, I do understand and apologise to everybody here for the poorly conducive atmosphere. I want to say at this point and make it clear, that it is not an adversarial hearing. It is not even inquisitorial.
“It is a fact-finding mission for the people of Nigeria. Just to make things better and we should handle this as such. No one is under inquisition. The fact must come out and that is why the committee is doing what it is doing.
“Because of these conditions in this hall, we don’t need to hear further from the acting MD because he has already submitted his written report. I think you can use the documents to do the work that needs to be done.