Friday, 24 September 2021
Business and Economy

Business and Economy (1175)

The nominations for the BET Best Hip Hop awards are out, but it was only Ladipoe, the Mavin Record artiste that made it.

He has been nominated for the Best International Flow award, along with six other international singers.

They are Nasty C (South Africa), Xamã (Brazil), Laylow (France), Gazo (France), Little Simz (UK) and Dave (UK).

There was no nomination for Burnaboy or Wizkid or Davido.

Ladipoe, full name Ladipo Eso, was educated at University of North Carolina and majored in both Biology & Chemistry.

It was there he got into music and co-founded the group Lyrically Equipped with his friends Jeffrey and Kurt.

He was then signed to Mavin Records by Don Jazzy in 2017.

The 16th BET award show will air on Oct. 5 at 9 PM on BET.

The show itself will be filmed on Oct. 1 at the Cobb Energy Center in Atlanta, GA.

Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion led the nominations for this year’s awards, with nine apiece.

Drake earned eight nods across seven categories.

He is up for awards including Hip Hop Artist of the Year and Song of the Year.

Read the full list:

Hip hop album of the year

“A Gangsta’s Pain,” Moneybagg Yo
“Call Me If You Get Lost,” Tyler, The Creator
“Culture III,” Migos
“Good News,” Megan Thee Stallion
“Khaled Khaled,” DJ Khaled
“Savage Mode II,” 21 Savage & Metro Boomin
“The Off-Season,” J. Cole

Song of the year
“Back in Blood,” Produced by YC (Pooh Shiesty feat. Lil Durk)
“Late At Night,” Produced by Mustard (Roddy Ricch)
“Laugh Now Cry Later,” Produced by G. Ry, Cardogotwings, Roget Chahayed & Yung Exclusive (Drake feat. Lil Durk)
“Up,” Produced by Yung DZA, Sean Island, DJ Swanqo (Cardi B)
“WAP,” Produced by Ayo & Keyz (Cardi B Feat. Megan Thee Stallion)
“Whole Lotta Money (Remix),” Produced By London Jae, Beatgodz, Tee Romano (Bia feat. Nicki Minaj)

Hip hop artist of the year
Cardi B
Drake
J. Cole
Lil Baby
Megan Thee Stallion
Tyler, the Creator

Best Hip Hop Video

Cardi B, “Up”
Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion, “WAP”
Chris Brown & Young Thug, “Go Crazy”
Drake feat. Lil Durk, “Laugh Now Cry Later”
Lil Nas X, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”
Saweetie feat. Doja Cat, “Best Friend


Best new hip hop artist

Blxst
Coi Leray
Don Toliver
Morray
Pooh Shiesty
Yung Bleu

Best collaboration
21 Savage & Metro Boomin Feat. Drake, “Mr. Right Now”
Bia feat. Nicki Minaj, “Whole Lotta Money (Remix)”
Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion, “WAP”
DJ Khaled feat. Lil Baby & Lil Durk, “Every Chance I Get”
Drake feat. Lil Durk, “Laugh Now Cry Later”
Pooh Shiesty feat. Lil Durk, “Back in Blood”

Best duo or group
21 Savage & Metro Boomin
Chris Brown & Young Thug
City Girls
Future & Lil Uzi Vert
Lil Baby & Lil Durk
Migos

Best live performer
Busta Rhymes
Cardi B
DaBaby
Doja Cat
Megan Thee Stallion
Tyler, the Creator

Lyricist of the year
Benny the Butcher
Drake
J. Cole
Lil Baby
Megan Thee Stallion
Nas

Best international flow
Ladipoe (Nigeria)
Nasty C (South Africa)
Xamã (Brazil)
Laylow (France)
Gazo (France)
Little Simz (UK)
Dave (UK)

Video director of the year

Cole Bennett
Colin Tilley
Dave Meyers
Director X
Hype Williams
Missy Elliott

DJ of the year
Chase B
D Nice
DJ Cassidy
DJ Drama
DJ Envy
DJ Jazzy Jeff
DJ Scheme
Kaytranada

Producer of the year
DJ Khaled
Hit-Boy
Metro Boomin
Mustard
The Alchemist
Tyler, the Creator

Hustler of the year
Cardi B
Drake
Lil Baby
Megan Thee Stallion
Saweetie
Yung Bleu

Best hip hop platform
Complex
Genius
Hip Hop DX
Hot New Hiphop
The Breakfast Club
The Shade Room
Worldstar Hiphop
XXL

Sweet 16: best featured verse

Cardi B, “Type Shit” (Migos feat. Cardi B)
Drake, “Havin’ Our Way” (Migos feat. Drake)
Jay-Z, “What It Feels Like” (Nipsey Hussle feat. Jay-Z)
Lil Durk, “Back in Blood” (Pooh Shiesty feat. Lil Durk)
Megan The Stallion, “On Me (Remix)” (Lil Baby feat. Megan Thee Stallion)
Roddy Ricch, “Lemonade (Remix)” (Internet Money feat. Don Toliver & Roddy Ricch)

Impact track
Black Thought, “Thought Vs Everybody”
Lil Nas X, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”
Lil Baby & Kirk Franklin, “We Win”
Meek Mill Feat. Lil Durk, “Pain Away”
Nipsey Hussle feat. Jay-Z, “What It Feels Like”
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Posted On Friday, 10 September 2021 01:12 Written by

She was a married woman without morals. And she paid for it at Sunday's eviction exercise. Gutter-filthy Tega Offiong Dominic-Ajeboh, popularly known as Tega, and the only married female in the Big Brother Naija Show, threw all caution to the winds, and engaged in wild sexual dalliance with fellow housemate Boma. Her wild, sexual escapades with fellow housemate Boma seemed to have caught up with her Sunday when she was booted out of the Big Brother Nigeria house. Boma himself was also ejected from the house. It was indeed good riddance to bad rubbish for both lovers.

A woman of easy virtue, Tega by her filthy sexual activities right in front of national television, epitomized all that is wrong with our society - low morals, low integrity and impunity for decent character. And happily she got the punishment that she deserved from the viewing public - ejection. The Big Brother Nigeria Show is indeed prime entertainment, and contestants show up to impress the viewers and gun for the top prize of N90m. But Tega offended public morality. She turned the show into a podium for scandalous and decadent behavior.

Tega was nominated for possible eviction with fourteen other housemates. She is a 29-year-old business owner and hails from Cross River.

Organisers of BBNaija had announced that Sunday’s eviction will be a ‘Kingsize’ eviction. Earlier in the week, Tega set tongues wagging with a video that went viral which featured her kissing fellow housemate Boma and romping in his bed.

Posted On Sunday, 05 September 2021 21:17 Written by
Offer Has Put Buhari’s Sincerity In Fight Against Terrorism To Test, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Afenifere, YCE Declare
• Arewa Leaders Endorse International Collaborative Efforts
• It Will Be Illogical For FG To Reject Offer, Akinterinwa Argues
• ‘Government Should Swallow Its Pride And Cooperate With America’
• Nigeria Needs Any Help Available – Security Experts

By Lawrence Njoku (Enugu), Seye Olumide (Ibadan), Odita Sunday (Abuja), Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna) and Debo Oladimeji (Lagos) / GUARDIAN.NG

Nigerians have expressed doubts about the willingness of the Federal Government to embrace the offer by the U. S. government to help and identify the sponsors of Boko Haram, which has waged an insurgency war on Nigeria in the last 12 years.

Some security experts, former diplomats, and leaders of some socio-cultural/civil society organisations in the country who spoke to The Guardian said embracing the proposal was the best option for the country at this point, but were skeptical about President Muhammadu Buhari’s disposition to the offer.

Recall that the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, had during a round-table on U.S.-Nigeria military cooperation with journalists in Abuja, last Monday night, declared that her country was very eager to partner with Nigeria on identifying Boko Haram sponsors.

A former Assistant Director of the Department of State Services, Dennis Amachree, asserted that the U.S. had been positively disposed to supporting Nigeria, especially in the fight against terrorism, noting that the question was whether the Federal Government would embrace the current gesture.

He said: “Are we ready to arrest and prosecute these sponsors when exposed? Are we simply going to lock them away as has been done in the past? These are the concerns and the Americans may lose interest if we don’t take it seriously.

“Nigeria will do well to accept the offer as the country is really at a crossroads and will accept any help she can get. United States agreeing to support Nigeria means that they will come with some of their cutting-edge technology, which will boost the capability of Nigerian security agencies.”

A former Naval Chief, Rear Admiral Godwill Siempre Ombo, simply said: “These are touchy questions. Who truly wants to end issues in his or her life that will not embrace any support to end such issues?”

To a former Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) Prof. Bola Akinterinwa, “if the government of Nigeria is serious about the need to bring Boko Haramism to an end, the government should consider it as an opportunity to be taken advantage of.”

He added: “I remember that in 2020, either in July or August, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, accused the international community, particularly the big powers, that they were blocking all Nigerian efforts to deal with the Boko Haram group.

“Lai Mohammed by that time was accusing the United States, the big powers, their allies, holding them responsible for the government of Nigeria’s inability to contain Book Haram insurgency.

“Now, a year after, the U.S. is offering to assist in knowing who is doing what, who is funding Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria. It will be very illogical for the government of Nigeria to have accused the big powers in the year 2020 that they were blocking their efforts, now when they are de-blocking your alleged efforts, it will not make any sense for the government of Nigeria to refuse.

“What I am saying, in essence, is that the first point is that the government of Nigeria wanted assistance, but it was allegedly blocked. Now that the U.S. is giving the opportunity of de-blocking, it is only logical to accept.

“The second point is that the Nigerian people have been asking President Buhari to seek international collaboration to end Boko Haram. If the government accepts, he will be doing so in the spirit of public request that Boko Haram cannot be suppressed without international support. So, if they accept the support, it is consistent with the spirit of the public in Nigeria.

“Thirdly, the reason we should support U.S. to reveal is that Nigerians themselves have been accusing the Nigerian government that the government knows all those who are responsible for Boko Haram.

“Theophilus Danjuma had already accused the military of aiding and abetting Boko Haram. Dr. Malaifa Obadiah told us the report of the meeting with Boko Haram commanders.

“Just last week, Commodore Omowunmi on Channel TV said that from 2007 to 2009, nothing has happened to the people they arrested for Boko Haram, that government knows. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo said there is a Fulanisation agenda. So, if Nigerians know those who are in charge but they did not say it, we need the intervention of a country like the U.S. to reveal the secret.”

In an interview with The Guardian, the spokesman of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Emmanuel Yawe, noted that the time has come for the government to swallow its pride and cooperate with the American government to expose those behind the terrorism and banditry that have nearly torn the nation apart.

According to him, the offer by the U.S. government to assist Nigeria in finding solutions to the current insecurity by exposing those behind it would go a long way in bringing an end to the challenges.

Yawe said: “For many years now, we have been battling with these security challenges. Our students have been captured; the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) was invaded and many people are still with kidnappers. And our government has not done anything. If the U.S. is offering to render assistance, we should quickly accept it since our government appears to be incapable of identifying those behind insecurity and cannot combat it.

“We are in a desperate situation in Nigeria today. We should accept the American offer and allow them to help us out of this critical situation.”

A former Secretary-General of ACF, Elder Anthony Sani, also said that the ability of the American government to confront and defeat terrorism was not in doubt, adding that, “the U.S. has done this in the past by not only exposing those behind terrorism but also fighting them.”

His words: “Terrorism transcends national boundaries. That was why Osama Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda could base in Afghanistan and attack New York Twin Towers and Pentagon on 9/11. That was also why America put up a coalition of 66 and now 102 countries of all faiths to fight ISIS.

“It is all because terrorism is not a local phenomenon, but a global threat. That accounts for why America put a price tag of $7 million on late Sheik Shekau. And when you consider identification of sponsors of terrorism as part of the mechanism to fight it, then there is nothing wrong in America helping Nigeria to know the sponsors with a view to curbing it.”

The ACF chieftain noted that sharing of intelligence between and among nations could go a long way “in improving the efforts to end the menace of terrorism that is now a global phenomenon.”

He added: “This underscores the need for collective approach as against leaving the fight for individual countries, many of which lack the wherewithal to confront the menace of terrorism alone.

“The time it took America to fight terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the time Somalia has been fighting Al-Shabaab without successes should underscore the need for collective approach against the war against terrorism.”

On his part, National Publicity Secretary of apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Alex Chiedozie Ogbonnia, told The Guardian in Enugu that with rising insecurity, the country needs as much collaboration as possible to curb it. He stated that current developments were indications that Nigeria’s security forces could no longer handle the security of the nation.

Ogbonnia said: “The level of insecurity in Nigeria requires international collaboration to overcome. Over the years, it has been proven that there is no way we can overcome the security challenges we have by ourselves without international support.

“We have always asked for international intervention; even in the time of Goodluck Jonathan, we had sought the support of the international community. The problem is that the government has not wholeheartedly defined support so that other people can appreciate the enormity of the problems they have.

“For instance, if you surf the Internet, the global community sees herdsmen as a terrorist group. But in Nigeria, they are treated with kid gloves. What you call unknown gunmen, how can something remain unknown for a long time and you have security professionals? The advanced society hates this kind of double-dealing.

“If Nigeria begins to define things the way they are and with sincerity of purpose, you will see a way out of the security challenges we have. When the citizens are in danger, they run to them for the protection of their lives and property. When on the other hand the government appears to be overwhelmed because unscrupulous elements are in control of instruments of violence, there will be a problem.

“So, surely, it has come to the point where Nigeria has to define her problems very well so that the international community will see the sincerity in the approach to solving their problems.

“The offer by the U.S. can help our society survive because we have come to a stage where we can no longer handle it alone. There should be no limitation in the struggle to free the country from the level of insecurity we are into. What is clear is that Nigeria can no longer manage its internal security alone.”

Also, a former President General of Aka Ikenga, Chief Goddy Uwazuruike, said he was worried that the Federal Government might ignore the offer.

He stated that the efforts to curb insecurity in the nation had not materialised because of insincerity, stressing that the government had continued to neglect offers for assistance and information on crimes, especially those involving certain elements in the country.

“I know that in today’s world, there is one cliché ‘follow the money trail’. If you follow the money trail, you can see the movement of money and how it ends. This is one thing the Americans have built for a long time now, to trail those who are financing instability, financing terrorism, and other criminal acts. Look at Hushpuppi, what happened? The Nigerian government never did anything. The Americans are ready to trace what is happening and by the time they trace it to top officials, the Federal Government will start blowing grammar.

“In the same way, if the Federal Government is serious to fight corruption and those who are financing terrorism – Boko Haram and bandits, why is it reluctant to name those behind them? Those who shot down the military aircraft recently are not amateurs; they are professionals and to finance such an exercise, you need a lot of money. So, how did the money move? Nobody carries the money as cash; they send the money through the Internet system and that is why the Americans are saying, ‘let us help you.’ Believe you me, the Americans know. To move one million dollars in any account, there is an alarm that goes on. Now, the AK47, which the herdsmen carry, is about N450,000 or more. If you want to finance such a thing, you don’t carry cash; you move such money through the Internet. All wealthy people are operating with American knowledge. But whether the Nigerian government is willing, I don’t know.

“My worry is that the Nigerian government is not interested. If the Americans can say some persons are financing IPOB, the Nigerian government will jump up. Meanwhile, nobody has been able to trace one AK47 to the IPOB, not even one. So, the Federal government of Nigeria is not interested in the American offer, unless it concerns the IPOB. I believe they will not even say they are rejecting the offer, but they will ignore it. So, if the government wants to tackle insecurity in this country, it knows what to do and that is by accepting the offer and working with it. But I encourage the American government to continue to work. One day, a government that will be interested in those things will come in place.”

A former National Chairman of the defunct United Progressives Party (UPP), Chief Chekwas Okorie, also said the offer was a welcomed one that should be embraced with both hands by the Federal Government.

Insisting that the government should formally accept it, Okorie explained that the government and individuals had before now beckoned on the international community to assist in solving of the country’s security challenges.

He said: “It is a welcome call because for many years, right from the time of President Jonathan, I have been a strong advocate of seeking international assistance to fight against insurgency in Nigeria and I have always advised that we cannot hide under the toga of national pride and be losing opportunities to seek help to solve a problem that has become so overwhelming and threatening the stability of the country. If the offer has almost unsolicited, we should accept it with both hands. Helping to disclose sponsors of Boko Haram is like helping to solve the insurgency because everybody knows how sophisticated they are equipped and this thing costs a lot of money. You should know how much it is costing Nigeria even to defend Nigeria. So, I am in support of it, the government should defend it and if credible information is given to them, we would like to see the government act on it and let the public see that action is being taken.

“The problem we are having is this lack of enthusiasm to act on information available even to the government. I remember, not long ago, it was announced that not less than 400 Nigerians have been identified to be sponsoring Boko Haram or providing facilities for money laundering. We had hoped that those people would have at least been charged to court and when you charge them to court, it becomes public information and the list will be added there. But up till now, nothing has happened and it was the government that gave out that information and raised the expectations of Nigerians and that expectation is hanging.”

On the security implication of the offer, Okorie said that it will help boost the morale of the officers fighting the various crimes, stressing that, “we will now know the people we are dealing with and how well connected they have been”.

“The offer cannot undermine our security in any way. It will rather help it. The U.S. has the technology to know. Did they get our permission to nail the DSP Kyari who was being hailed here? They still went ahead and exposed him. They have the information. All we need is to formally accept it and it will be there. They don’t need our approval to get into it; all they are saying is that we can give it to you if you so desire. But I think we should desire it. I think we should embrace the offer with open hands because that is information that is already available to them,” he added.

Leaders of two prominent Yoruba socio-political organisations, the Afenifere and Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) also doubted the readiness of the Federal Government to embrace the proposal by the U.S. government.

While the chairman of Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, said it was not necessary for the American government to waste its time and resources to help Nigeria identify sponsors of Boko Haram, Secretary-General of YCE, Dr. Kunle Olajide, said since the government has obviously failed and lacks the political will to apprehend the faces behind Boko Haram, there was nothing bad if any country within the international community offers to help us address the situation.

The YCE scribe said there was a need for foreign intervention in Nigeria’s security situation now because the incumbent government had severally told Nigerians that it has the dossier of all the sponsors of Boko Haram and that it would soon prosecute them but nothing is happening.

“Boko Haram has transformed to banditry and they are now using it to make money at the detriment of lives and properties of Nigerians. The idea is a welcome development if it will bring a solution.”

He stated that the U.S. and some other world powers could not afford to take their attention away from what is happening in Nigeria because they have their citizens here and other vested interests they would not overlook.

“If this government has failed to expose sponsors of Boko Haram, let help then come from outside,” he added.

However, Adebanjo questioned President Buhari’s disposition to accept any offer that would bail the country out of the present security challenges.

“He has the agenda to Fulanise and Islamise Nigeria. The fact is that this government is establishing a Fulani domination with the aim to Islamise this nation. Of what need is America’s offer if the person at the helm of our affairs is a culprit.

“This president is establishing a totalitarian government of which the media is not hammering. The only power he is using is this present 1999 Constitution.

“America doesn’t need to come because we have what it takes to deal with the situation but the only obstacle is Buhari.”

The National Coordinator of the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) and the former national commissioner of the National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria, Emmanuel Onwubiko, also accused the Buhari administration of lacking the will “to take the right kinds of battles to Boko Haram terrorists for whatever pedestrian, clandestine and spurious reasons.”

He added: “So, it is not likely that the government will accept this opportunity and window offered by the United States government to identify and sanction the sponsors of Boko Haram terrorists in the country, which has waged continuous war against the Nigerian state and the citizens for over a decade.

“The implication of accepting the offer is that it will help to put an end to the troubles and terrorism of Boko Haram terrorists. If the government accepts the offer, which I think is really not even an issue, then it will be the first and most important step to demonstrate that the current administration actually wants to bring these saboteurs to the court of law to face punishment for funding the group that has killed over 30, 000 citizens.

“The implication of not accepting is that Nigerians will then confirm their worst fear that the president and his officials are responsible for the spate of terror attacks by Boko Haram terrorists; because if the government fails to act to bring the perpetrators to trial it then automatically means that the government supports Boko Haram terrorists.

“The strategic security importance of knowing the funders of terrorists is that it will offer the nation the much sought after opportunity to put to an end the most dominant acts of terrorism that the nation has encountered for over 100 years and then it will be an opportunity for both the government and the citizens to make sure that the perpetrators of terrorism face justice either locally or before the international criminal court in The Hague Netherlands for the crimes against humanity.

“Nigerians should mount pressure on the government of the USA to proceed without delay to list out the sponsors of Boko haram terrorists.”

The Executive Director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Mr. Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, also said the question was whether Nigeria wants those sponsors identified.

“Nigeria’s security agencies are agreeably overwhelmed by the assortment of security issues demanding attention. Military units have been deployed to quell internal disturbances in 30 out of the 36 states of the country. Therefore, additional non-kinetic support against unrelenting insurgents in the northeast is ideal. This collaboration window currently offered requires that political commitment be harvested from those within the corridors of power.

“Recall that with an individual like Pantami and his recent Pandora box, it will be a big surprise if the government goes ahead to strike this accord. In fact, it will be the biggest upset in the administration. We knew how many times this regime has lied to Nigerians with the threat to publish names of those who stole the country blind. Alas, nothing was ever published,” he said.

Rafsanjani added: “I will conclude by saying that Nigeria will not take this issue forward. That is because of the numerous complicities in the entire chain of the Boko Haram operations. The military has severally come under fire for offering internal information to compromise troop operations.

“If this goes ahead, it then means that those who will fall into the sticky mud will be so numerous. Not just that, the categories of those who will be targeted will also be in high places.”

A professor of International Law and Global Politics, Jehu Onyekwere Nnaji, while calling on the Federal Government to embrace the offer, stated that it would help uncover the people behind the mask of terrorism in Nigeria.

“This is especially important as it will assist Nigeria greatly in eliminating terrorism from its roots. Whether these sponsors are within or outside Nigeria is immaterial but the fact remains that the sinister development going on that has been sabotaging the efforts of well-meaning Nigerians needs to be made bare and until that is done we will continue to run around the circus and the effort of ending terrorism will be a moonshine,” he said.

Posted On Saturday, 04 September 2021 15:36 Written by
  • 19 properties in Nigeria, London, 22 Nigerian firms affected

  • EFCC fingers 15 family members, associates as convict’s fronts

BY Robert Egbe / THE NATION

A Lagos State High Court in Ikeja has frozen assets and funds put at N19,178,253,050 allegedly kept in 24 banks by a convicted former bank Managing Director Francis Atuche.

Justice Lateefat Okunnu made the order, following an August 17 application by counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), in a suit between the Federal Government on the one hand, and Atuche and Ugo Anyanwu as first and second defendants.

Anyanwu, a former Chief Financial Officer of the bank, is serving time in jail, following his conviction and sentencing to six years imprisonment last June 16 for N25.7 billion fraud alongside Atuche.

Justice Okunnu, while sentencing the duo last June, ordered that they should make restitution of the N25.7 billion to the Federal Government to replace the funds they stole from the public to bail out the bank.

The judge, ruling on Pinheiro’s August 17 motion which The Nation sighted yesterday, granted the commission’s 12 prayers pursuant to sections 6(d), 20, 24, 26(1), 30 and 34(1) of the EFCC Act and sections 290, 294 and 297 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2015, filed by Pinheiro.

Justice Okunnu held: “An order is made restraining the first defendant (Atuche) whether by himself or acting through the persons or entities listed or such other persons, including but not limited to his family members or agents, from removing, alienating, disposing of, dealing with or diminishing the value of assets, proceeds of economic and financial crimes or otherwise in the name of the first defendant…”

The judge averred that the assets or funds included those held indirectly by or for Atuche’s benefit, whether solely or jointly held, that is located in Nigeria or worldwide.

She also froze any bank account being run and operated by Atuche “personally or jointly, whether in his personal name or otherwise or with the Bank Verification Number (BVN) 22295357230 in any of the respondent banks to the tune of N19,178,253,050.00 only, pursuant to the restitution order made by this honourable court on June 16, 2021”.

Justice Okunnu also barred Atuche and his privies – including his lawyers – from presenting to the respondent banks any mandate or instruction for the withdrawal of any money and/or funds standing to the credit of any of their accounts to the tune of N19,178,253.050.

In another order, the judge restrained the banks from honouring any such instruction from Atuche and his proxies.

Posted On Saturday, 04 September 2021 01:38 Written by

Customs makes N1tr, CBN denies alleged financial breach

By Adamu Abuh/ GUARDIAN.NG

Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, has said the Federal Government will sustain subsidisation of Premium Motor Spirit (popularly known as petrol) till 2022.

Speaking at a stakeholders’ hearing organised by the Senate Joint Committees on Finance, National Planning, Foreign and Local Debts, Banking, Insurance and other financial institutions and Petroleum Resources on the 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF-FSP) in Abuja, said the decision to exit the subsidy regime would be determined by the outcome of the ongoing negotiations between the authorities and organised labour

Kyari, who acknowledged that an increase in the price of fuel would have a direct bearing on the wellbeing of the citizenry and national security, assured Nigerians that government would exit subsidising of product consumption once the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) becomes fully operational.

The NNPC boss spoke against the backdrop of his admission during a ministerial briefing at the Presidential Villa recently that his outfit pays between N100 and 120 billion monthly to keep the pump price of petrol at N162 per litre.

Acknowledging that the 60 million imported quantity was far above local consumption, the GMD added that the national oil firm was constrained by illicit product smuggling to neighbouring countries.

According to him, the corporation is sustaining the imports to avert scarcity.

Kyari promised to abide by the 2.3 million barrels per day in deference to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) 2022 quota for the security of oil installations in Nigeria.

THE Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col Hameed Ali (rtd), who also spoke at the event, disclosed that his outfit has so far generated over N1.022 trillion from excise duty on tobacco and alcoholic beverages.

He expressed optimism that he would meet the N2 trillion target by the end of the year.

The NCS chief executive said the country stands to earn huge revenue from exportation of goods and imposition of levies on locally produced carbonated drinks, adding that the service was deploying three mobile scanners, in addition to 135 E-Custom scanners for surveillance in all of the nation’s major ports to check sharp practices and boost income.

Besides, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) faulted the claim by the lawmakers that it had breached extant rules over remittance of operational surpluses into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) in the last five years.

Its Deputy Governor (Economic Policy), Dr. Kingsley Obiora, insisted that 80 per cent of the apex bank’s operational surpluses have always been remitted to the CRF on a yearly basis in line with provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

Also, Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, who pledged to plug leakages in 2022, disclosed that over N558 billion of N800 billion had been realised by independent revenue-generating agencies as of June this year.

Posted On Thursday, 02 September 2021 16:27 Written by

Some weeks back, I was invited as a guest speaker at the 24th Wole Soyinka Lecture Series. It was a golden opportunity to x-ray some of the core issues plaguing our nation.

Given the personality of the person for whom the lecture was packaged, nothing less than a stormy session was expected from the lectures delivered, especially from the main speaker, Professor Patrick Lumumba. Permit me to share my thoughts on that occasion.

Introduction
At a time when the Nigerian polity is ravaged with unending insecurity, endemic poverty, and heightened tyrannical disregard for the rule of law, one cannot but salute any opportunity geared towards fostering true Democracy, Good Governance, and enthronement of Justice and the Rule of Law in Nigeria.

The choice of this theme: ‘National Conference Against Impunity in Nigeria’ is therefore not accidental but borne out of the deep yearnings and conviction to reverse the state of debauchery and rot found in almost every annal of the contemporary system of the sovereign entity known as the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Regardless of the explosive population growth, rising unemployment rate, and unprecedented inflation in the country, it is still without a doubt that our country’s human capital remains its strongest asset when put to productive use. I, therefore, make bold to say that the stand against lawlessness, corruption, and impunity in Nigeria lies in the strength of our numbers.

The minority in positions of authority who repeatedly abuse their rank to destroy the fabrics of our democratic experience should not be left to continue to ride roughshod over the rest of us.

The other point is that the topic reflects the character of the person for whom we are all gathered, a thorn in the flesh of bad governance and all shades of impunity. In this regard, one can safely say that no other person fits this discourse than Professor Wole Soyinka himself, given his endless and selfless struggles against dictatorship and all forms of totalitarian regimes, not only in Nigeria but also in the world at large. As the Professor opined through one of his many books, the man dies in him who keeps silent in the face of tyranny.

In doing justice to this discourse, one must highlight some key terms in the context of the theme which are as follows:

The nature of impunity
It has been said that impunity is as old as the society itself. It is thus expected that a larger number of us, if not all members of this audience today, are familiar with the word ‘impunity. As defined by the learned authors of Black’s Law Dictionary 8th Edition, ‘impunity is an exemption or protection from penalty or punishment’.

The Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines the aforesaid term (impunity) as ‘freedom from punishment or from the unpleasant results of something that has been done. The Oxford Online Dictionary explains it (impunity) as ‘an exemption from punishment or freedom from the injurious consequences of an action’. The United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNHCR) best puts the term ‘impunity’ as follows:

“The impossibility, de jure or de facto, of bringing the perpetrators of violations to account – whether in criminal, civil, administrative or disciplinary proceedings – since they are not subject to any inquiry that might lead to their being accused, arrested, tried and, if found guilty, sentenced to appropriate penalties, and to making reparations to their victims.”

One common phenomenon found in the seemingly diverse definitions of impunity is the outright disregard and abuse of law without any reprimand. As such, impunity can be considered as a global phenomenon, minute in the government structures of some developed countries and permeating all structures of society in another country.

As rightly observed by Louis Joinet, impunity is a consequence of the ‘failure of states to meet their constitutional obligations to their subjects, investigate violations and take appropriate measures against perpetrators, particularly in the area of justice, to ensure that they are prosecuted, tried and duly punished; to provide the victims with the effective remedies and reparation for injuries suffered, and to take steps to prevent any recurrence of such violation’.

Impunity in Nigeria
From the Nigerian parlance, impunity is commonly referred to in the layman sayings as ‘nothing go happen’ or ‘nothing go sele’. It is seen to manifest in blatant acts of corruption, bad governance, executive malfeasance, corruption of judicial powers, compromise of official responsibilities by those in positions of power especially the law enforcement agencies, the civil service, amongst a host of others. It is gradually extending to the people themselves, unfortunately. Whilst it has become a norm for occupants of public offices to see their tenure as an avenue for personal aggrandizement and as a means of sharing the national cake; from the advent of the extant Government in power, the Executive through the machinery of the security agencies has fallen to the lowly times of outright disregard and disobedience of subsisting court orders and decisions.

The significant culture of impunity in Nigeria is inequality before the law and the lack of accountability. It is the culture of being above the law and even the State itself, wherein an individual lives larger than the rest of society. It is a situation in which institutions of State are unable to perform their statutory responsibilities.

In practical terms therefore, impunity takes place when a felon is not apprehended and prosecuted for the brazen violation of ethics, laws, or responsibilities imposed upon him; when might is right in the face of express legal restraints and when the law itself becomes helpless to arrest the deliberate drift to constant deviations.

Speaking at the 2018/2019 legal year of the Supreme Court and the swearing-in of new Senior Advocates of Nigeria, former Chief Justice of Nigeria, The Honourable Justice Walter Onnoghen, gave a vivid illustration of the consequences of impunity as follows:

“Corruption or any other form of injustice, for that matter, thrives in a culture of impunity. To carry out a successful campaign against corruption, we have to fight the culture of impunity, which is an attitudinal phenomenon.

“If we allow and respect the rule of law, then there will be a dramatic reduction in corruption and injustice. Corruption starts with a decision by an individual or a group of individuals to do the wrong thing. It is as simple as that. Corruption is never an accidental act. The person who commits a corrupt act has an option to do the right thing.”

Aspects of impunity
Research has found that impunity in Nigeria can be grouped into three main classes. They are:

Impunity within the Nigerian security forces
The culture of impunity within the Nigerian security forces has continued in setting the pace at which extra-judicial killings and other human rights abuses are committed by the security forces in Nigeria. Hundreds of people are unlawfully arrested, tortured, and killed.

A good example is a clash between security agencies and youths/protesters clamouring for better government and respect for their dignity of persons, which many claims to be a reflection of the continuous deteriorating state of the rule of law in the Nigerian polity. It is therefore not the first time that the security agencies have been accused of using such brutal force against ordinary citizens with deadly consequences, as the former have displayed wide-ranging impunity.

From the 12th to 14th December 2015, Nigeria witnessed the unjustified slaughter/ killings of members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) by the Nigerian Army wherein it was reported that over 300 persons were killed and buried in mass graves. To this day, no Army official has been held accountable for such extra-judicial carnage that terminated the lives of hundreds of citizens.

Despite the guaranty of the Fundamental Right of her citizens as founded under Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights Act, the present government, through the security agencies, seems to have carved a niche for brazen infringement upon the rights of citizens to freedom of expression and the press.

In the course of proceedings at the ENDSARS Judicial Panel, I have listened to the gory tales of the abuses that citizens endure in the hands of security agencies and it breaks the heart that in some of the concluded cases, those involved have been ‘rewarded’ with promotions, which when properly dissected, translates to a subtle official endorsement of such cases of brazen impunity. Part of the reason for the enthronement of the administration of justice is to send a strong signal to deviants that impunity is not profitable. Thus, when those in positions of authority are found culpable but left off the hook, the wrong impression is thus created, albeit unwittingly, that society does not abhor deviations. This cannot promote law and order.

Adegboruwa is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

Posted On Tuesday, 31 August 2021 03:15 Written by

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the recommendation of a committee on the review of 368 grazing sites across 25 States.

He directed the committee, which task, among others, was “to determine the levels of encroachment”, to carry out its assignment “with dispatch”.

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, the President’s directive followed his approval of the recommendations of the committee chaired by his Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.

Among others, the committee had recommended the collection of field data collection on 368 Grazing Reserves across 25 states to assess encroachment and encroachers, stakeholder engagements and sensitisation.

The Committee also recommended production of maps and geo-mapping/tagging of sites, analysis of findings and report preparations as well as design appropriate communication on Grazing Reserves and operations.

The number of the Grazing Reserves and States were deduced from considerations of existing security concerns and other pre-existing socio-economic conditions.

The President directed that the assignment be undertaken with dispatch to bring more understanding on the Grazing Reserves, and implementation.

Members of the committee include Kebbi Governor and Vice Chairman, National Food Security Council, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu; Ebonyi Governor and Chairman of NEC Sub-Committee for National Livestock Transformation Plan, David Umahi; Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu; Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Sabo Nanon; Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar and Deputy Chief of Staff, Ade Ipaye.

The Technical Sub-Committee consists of representatives from the seven members of the main committee in addition to representatives from Ministry of Justice, Surveyor General of the Federation, National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) and National Space Research Development Agency (NASRDA).

Among its Terms of Reference, the Committee was to collate from states and confirm the status of all Grazing Reserves, assess the percentage of available land and those with existing encroachment complications for case-by-case resolution in partnership with state governments and the FCT.

The Committee will also make recommendations for gazetting of ungazetted Grazing Reserves and create a data base of National Cattle Herders and ensure that Grazing Reserves are well communicated to all stakeholders.

The inaugural meeting of the Committee held on May 10, 2021.

Posted On Thursday, 19 August 2021 18:15 Written by

BY Alao Abiodun August/ THE NATION

Olusegun Falola, one of the lawyers of embattled Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, has said his client might not return back to Nigeria in a long time when he regains freedom from Benin Republic.

Falola explained it would be a dangerous decision for Igboho to return when he is free from Benin Republic because his life is under threat in Nigeria.

He stated this in an interview with feelrightnewsTV obtained by The Nation.

“When I arrived from Paris at the custody where Igboho was detained, he was first chained. They were scared that he could just disappear into the thin air because of his mystical powers.

“The police told me that if Igboho’s chains were untied and he escapes mysteriously, he (police officer) will be stripped of his rank and also dismissed.

“The police officer said he was told that Igboho could disappear or turn into a cat, and many other things were said to the police officers which made them tie him.”

He noted it took his timely intervention for the officers to unchain him and allow him (Igboho) walk freely, explaining Igboho did not commit any offence but he is just a human rights activist.

Giving an update on Igboho’s case, Falola assured he is safe in the Benin Republic.

He said: “The case will make revelations as to which government is powerful in Africa, our government may not be wealthy, and not much in population as compared to Nigeria but there is a signed treaty that must be respected.

“Igboho cannot be left to return back to Nigeria for now because of the destruction of his properties that was witnessed, they are not looking for Sunday Igboho alone but planning to kill him.

“They are looking for how to kill him and that’s very dangerous to allow him return back to Nigeria. So he is being kept safe in custody.”

Although the investigation is still ongoing, Falola explained he is monitoring the developments going on in Nigeria before any application for Igboho’s freedom in court can be made.

He added that if Igboho is released, He may proceed to Germany to see his children and family.

“This case has become a global one with many watching the developments, all Yorubas especially in Diaspora, monarchs, traditionalists, others are keenly following the case,” Falola stated.

Posted On Tuesday, 17 August 2021 01:59 Written by

* $1.2 billion for Lagos-Calabar coastal rail
• NNPC gets $2.76b for stake in Dangote Refinery

The rehabilitation of the Warri and Kaduna refineries, acquisition of 20 per cent stake in Dangote Refinery and the construction of the Lagos-Calabar coastal standard gauge rail line, are among the contracts approved yesterday by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

Contracts worth $15.44 billion in the Transportation and Petroleum Resources ministries got the nod at the meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Other contracts were approved for Education and Power ministries.

Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed, said $11.2 billion was approved for the Lagos-Calabar standard gauge rail line.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Timipre Sylva, said his ministry got approval on two memoranda, which included the award of $1.484 billion for the rehabilitation of both Warri and Kaduna refineries. A 20 per cent minority stake in Dangote Petroleum and Petrochemical Refinery will be acquired for $2.76 billion.

Besides the Lagos-Calabar coastal line, Mohammed said the FEC also approved funding for the Kano-Jibia and Lagos-Maiduguri rail lines.

Mohammed added: “Under the former administration, an approval was given, but was nothing was done, but today, the council has given approval to commence the Lagos-Calabar coastal route.

“This particular route is very important because after the Lagos-Kano route, this Lagos-Calabar coastal route, actually will link all the coastal cities in the country. The proposed route alignment is to go from Lagos to Shagamu, Shagamu to Ijebu-Ode, Ijebu-Ode to Ore, Ore to Benin City, Benin to Sapele, Sapele to Warri, Warri to Yenagoa, Yenagoa to Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt to Aba, Aba to Uyo, Uyo to Calabar, Calabar to Akamkpa to Ikom, to Obudu Ranch, with a branch line from Benin City to Asaba, Onitsha Bridge and then Port Harcourt to Onne Deep Seaport.

“This particular project is very important, especially for our coastal economy. The cost of the project is $11,174,769,721.74 and we have six years for complete this project.”

Sylva said the rehabilitation of the refineries in Warri, Delta State and Kaduna, in Kaduna State, have been approved at a combined cost of $1.484 billion.

He explained that 15 per cent of the budget for the rehabilitation of the two refineries in Port Harcourt, which was awarded earlier this year, had been paid to the construction firm working at site.

The minister said FEC approved the award of contracts for the rehabilitation of Warri and Kaduna refineries to Messers Saipem SPA and Saipem Contracting Limited at $1.484 billion.

“The completion of the rehabilitation of Warri and Kaduna refineries is going to be in three phases. First phase will be completed within 21 months, in 23 months phase two will be completed and in 33 months, the full rehabilitation will be completed.”

Minister of State for Education Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba said: “Today (Yesterday), the Federal Ministry of Education presented two memos. The first one dealt with ratification of convention Nigeria had already assented to. The convention seeks to regularise the recognition of certificates and diplomats all across Africa.

“The second memo dealt with the award of contract for the building of two blocks of social science complexes at Adamawa State University in Mubi for a total sum of N1, 103,000,000 which was a TETFUND allocation that emerged from the year 2017 through 2021.

Power Minister Mamman Saleh said: ”The FEC has graciously approved two projects. One is the construction of 2×60 MVA 132 33 sub-station at Gagarawa, Jigawa State in favour of Messrs Power Control and Appliances Limited, in the sum of N154,212,396.05.

“The second one is the award of the contract for the engineering, procurement and construction of 2 by 30 MVA 132 33 sub-station at Ibiono-Ibom, Akwa Ibom State in favour of Messrs YEMEC West Africa Limited in the sum of $6.2 offshore plus N1.8 billion onshore.”

Posted On Friday, 06 August 2021 01:16 Written by

By GBENGA OMOKHUNU, Abuja/ THE NATION

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Usman Baba has appointed Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Tunji Disu as the new head of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT).

The posting of Disu, the IGP said, is on the heels of Management’s decision to fill the leadership gap within the IRT and refocus the Unit for better service delivery.

DCP Abba Kyari, who occupied the post, was suspended at the weekend following his alleged involvement in the sharing of $1.1m loot by internet fraudstar Hushpuppi, according to an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

A statement on Monday by the Force Police Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba said: “The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, psc (+), NPM, fdc has today, 2nd August, 2021 approved the posting of DCP Tunji Disu as the new Head of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT).

“The IGP has charged the new Head of the IRT to demonstrate his professional competence in his leadership of the Unit.

“He also assured citizens that the IRT will remain focused in the discharge of its duties in line with national statutes and international best practices.

“Prior to his appointment as the new Head of the IRT, DCP Tunji Disu, a former Commander of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) Lagos State, was the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Department of Operations, Force Headquarters, Abuja.

“He had also previously served at the State CID, Rivers State as the Deputy Head of the Unit. He was also a former Commander of the Nigeria Police Contingent to the African Union (AU) Peace Keeping Mission in Dafur, Sudan.

“DCP Disu holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the Lagos State University (LASU) and a Master Degree in Public Administration from the Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo State.

“He has also attended several professional courses both at home and abroad: Small Arms Smuggling Training in Botswana, Internet Fraud Training at the Cambridge University, UK, Strategic Leadership Command Course at the Police Staff College, Jos, Forensic Investigations and Criminal Intelligence Course at the University of Lagos, amongst others.

“He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Nigeria Institute of Public Relations and Chattered Institute of Personnel management, amongst other professional bodies”.

The posting, Baba said, is with immediate effect.

Posted On Monday, 02 August 2021 20:25 Written by
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