BMO Hails Buhari For Tackling ‘Corrupt’ Appointees

The Buhari Media Organization (BMO) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for tackling corrupt government appointees,  saying he has heralded a new era of morality in Nigeria’s social and political space, Daily Trust reports.

The organization in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, said that with the ongoing investigations of prominent public officers, including members of the ruling APC, the president had made the political space and public office “too hot for any allegations or scandals, whether from the past or present, on issues of corruption or any other malfeasance.”

According to the statement, “Nigeria is getting its moral compass right, slowly but surely. There is the new template that the President Buhari administration has set for its public officials; that they must be above board, and that in the execution of their duties they must not be found wanting as mismanagement, malfeasance or misappropriation of state resources will attract severe repercussions.

“He has also put the world on notice that the fight against corruption is not a selective fight. Its lenses and lights would flash at everyone whether friend or foe, whether party member or opposition, whether government official or businessman.”

NCDMB To Prosecute Those Who Flout Nigerian Content Law

Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board, Simbi Wabote

The Nigerian oil and gas industry content regulator, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), says it is set to commence the prosecution of those who flout the provisions of the Nigerian Oil & Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act, Premium Times report.

The Executive Secretary of the agency, Simbi Wabote, told journalists in Abuja on Monday the NCDMB has already secured a fiat from the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation to commence the prosecution process.

Mr Wabote the agency has also held special Nigerian content workshops for senior officials of the federal ministry of justice, Office of the Auditor General of the Federation, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Central Bank of Nigeria, Fiscal Responsibility Commission, and members of the local content committees of the 8th National Assembly.

The NOGICD Act became operational on April 22, 2010. It is to provide the legal framework to regulate the integration of the oil and gas producing communities into the mainstream of the oil and gas value chain by fostering institutional collaborations.

Also, the law was established to help maximise the participation of Nigerians in the oil and gas activities and also to link oil and gas sectors to other sectors of the economy.

It is equally to attract investments to the Nigeria oil and gas sector (service providers, equipment suppliers. etc).

In line with Sections 67 & 70 of the Act, which mandates the NCDMB to enlighten the public on Nigerian content activities, Mr Wambote said since his assumption of office on November 1, 2016, ”the board developed and implemented policies towards meeting the targets set in the Act.”

BREAKING: Police Re-arrest Taraba Suspected Kidnap Kingpin

Hamisu Wadume

The Nigerian police have announced the arrest of Hamisu Wadume, suspected kidnap kingpin whose initial arrest led to the killing of three policemen and a civilian in Taraba state, Vanguard News reports.

A statement, Frank Mba, the force spokesperson confirmed that  Wadume was re-arrested in the late hours of Monday at his hideout at Layin Mai Allo Hotoro area of Kano State.

“He was re-arrested in the late hours of August 19  in his hideout at Layin Mai Allo Hotoro area of Kano State.

“It would be recalled that the Police had been on the massive manhunt for the suspect, Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume since  August 6,  following the unfortunate incident in Ibi, Taraba State which resulted in the brutal murder of three Police Officers and two civilians, and injury to five others.

“The suspect, who was appropriately restrained at the time of the incident, was subsequently released by his “rescuers” after they had destroyed the restraining handcuffs,” Mba said.

Military To Take Delivery Of Super Tucano Fighter Jets In 2020, Says Presidency

The Federal Government has reiterated its determination to continue to procure sophisticated weapons to keep the nation’s military in good fighting shape, saying the country will take delivery of Super Tucano fighter jets in 2020.

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Tuesday night, said the fighter jets, expected from the United States, would be deployed in checking terrorist activities in the country.

He said: “While the military arsenal is not something you pay for and get, requiring mostly long-time orders, weapons will come in accordance with the terms of contracts.

“This country is expecting the commencement of the delivery of Super Tucano fighter jets, very effective in this kind of warfare, beginning next year from the United States.’’

Shehu, who lauded the efforts of the armed forces in suppressing the activities of Boko Haram and other terrorist groups in the country, described as `fantastic’ the recently launched “Super Camps’’ by the military.

According to him, the essence of this is to act proactively and respond quickly to the changing nature of terrorism.

The presidential aide noted with delight that the Buhari administration had made the country safer than it met it in 2015.

“The position of the Nigerian government is that the Boko Haram terrorism has been degraded and defeated. The real Boko Haram we know is defeated.

“At the moment, the Nigerian government under President Muhammadu Buhari has made the country safer than it met it.

“In 2015 when he took power, Boko Haram terrorism was active in nearly half the number of states in the country.

“They controlled a territory the size of Belgium, with a flag and systems of administration and taxation of their own.

“Emirs and Chiefs had fled their domains along with hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens. Such is no more; they have been taken from them,’’ he further observed.

Shehu added that, at present, terrorist activities had been confined to the remote, rural agrarian areas of Borno  and pockets of outrages in Adamawa and Yobe states.

He disclosed that the administration had embarked on an ambitious electronic/digital border monitoring scheme to curtail the porosity of the borders.

He revealed that the government was also working with the UN agencies, the World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, donor agencies and friendly countries towards addressing the problems created as a result of the activities of the terrorist groups in the affected areas.

“A few weeks ago, the administration inaugurated the Northeast Development Commission, to fast track development and poverty eradication in the affected areas.

“The Buhari administration is strongly encouraged by successes recorded so far by our armed forces and the MNJTF, and is optimistic that in the same way as our military defeated the Boko Haram, so would the ISWA terrorism be defeated,’’ he added.

NAN reports the Super Tucano is a durable and flexible aircraft designed for counter-insurgency and close air support roles.

It can also be used for reconnaissance missions in low-threat environments and for pilot training, and is capable of operating from unimproved runways.

The aircraft can be equipped with advanced avionics, an electro-optical, infrared and laser targeting system, as well as communications and datalinks to enhance its combat capability. 

Supreme Court Strikes Out Atiku, PDP’s Appeal Seeking Permission To INEC Server

Atiku Abubakar and Uche Secondus, National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The Supreme Court has suspended proceedings to rule on an appeal by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the last presidential election, for permission to be allowed access to a supposed server owned by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), The Nation reports.

The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) had on June 24, 2019 dismissed an application by Atiku and the PDP requesting permission to have access to the central server, which they claimed INEC used for the February 23 poll.

It is the decision of June 24 that Atiku and the PDP now appealed at the Supreme Court.

A panel of the Supreme Court (led by Justice Datijo Mohammed after taking arguments from Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, (for the appellants); Yunus Usman, SAN, (for INEC); Wole Olanipekun, SAN, (for President Muhammadu Buhari) and Charles Edosomwan, SAN, (for the All Progressives Congress), rose briefly to consider the arguments and return for its decision.

The Election Petition Court, at the Court of Appeal, Abuja, had, while dismissing the application by Atiku and the PDP, held that INEC, having denied the existence of the said server and insisted that results of the election were not electronically transmitted into any server as claimed by the petitioners (Atiku and PDP), granting the application would amount to deciding the central issue in the petition at the interlocutory stage.

The court’s Presiding Justice, Justice Mohammed Garba, who read the ruling, added that granting the application would imply that the court had “indeed recognised and found out that there is a central server into which results of the held on February 23, 2019 were electronically transmitted by the 1st respondent (INEC).”

Okorocha Fumes Over Seizure Of Property

The immediate past Governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha, on Sunday, expressed outrage over the confiscation of one of his personal houses by the Imo State Government. Sen. Okorocha said he would no longer hold on and see his successor, Emeka Ihedioha, continue to ridicule him.

The immediate past Governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha, on Sunday, expressed outrage over the confiscation of one of his personal houses by the Imo State Government. Sen. Okorocha said he would no longer hold on and see his successor, Emeka Ihedioha, continue to ridicule him.

Okorocha, speaking on telephone with Daily Trust correspondent, alleged that the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Uche Onyeagucha, on Saturday, led some thugs to his private guest house in Owerri, drove away the security men on duty, invaded and carted away some documents without warrant or any form of authorisation.

The guest house is among the five houses Okorocha built for former governors of the state: Sam Mbakwe, Evan Enwerem, Achike Udenwa, Ikedi Ohakim and himself at the famous Ikemba Odimegwu Ojukwu Square. 

He alleged that thereafter, the SSG locked the house up and went away with the keys. Okorocha further alleged that the recent invasion of his private guest house followed series of other calculated attacks on his property and that of his family members since he left office. He, therefore, warned against taking his silence over the victimisation of his family members for granted, adding that Nigeria was a country governed by rules and regulations and not emotions. He said, “In the last couple of months, the government of Emeka Ihedioha has launched and sustained attacks on my property and that of my family members. They had raided my wife and daughter’s business places and I have reported to the authorities.”

But the SSG, Onyeagucha, denied that he invaded Okorocha’s house, saying he only recovered the property following the directive of the governor that all government property in the possession of former government officials must be recovered for public use.

NPDC Adopts Modern Technology To Monitor Oil Pipeline

The Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC)/ND Western OML 34 Asset Management Team (AMT) says it has commenced the use of modern technology for effective monitoring of its facilities, NTA News reports.

Mr Sheidu Aiguedo, the company’s Manager in charge of Government, Community Relations and Security, made the assertion at a media briefing in Warri.

Aiguedo decried the persistent attacks on the company’s facilities by miscreants, saying, the company had lost several billions of naira to their illegal activities.

“We are employing the use of technology to enhance our monitoring capacity,” he said.

Aiguedo said activities of the oil thieves had caused serious disaster, adding that the company would continue to intensify awareness to its host communities on the dangers inherent in pipelines vandalism.

“The oil bunkerers are destroying our facilities, and their activities are also destroying the environment,” he said.

Aiguedo urged the Federal Government to apply “prevention, protection and prosecution” approaches as ways of curtailing oil theft in Delta.

He also advised the government to establish and increase its presence in the oil communities with a view to reducing theft in the area.

$40m Jewelleries: Diezani Accuses EFCC Of Illegal Entry Into Apartment

Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has challenged the seizure of $40m worth of jewelries from her premises by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Channels Television reports.

In an affidavit filed on her behalf by her counsel, Prof Awa Kalu (SAN), Diezani, who is currently in the United Kingdom, alleged that the EFCC violated her fundamental “right to own property and to appropriate them at her discretion,” under sections 43 and 44 of the constitution.

She also accused the the anti-graft agency of entering her apartment illegally and taking the items without any court order.

On July 5, 2019, The Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC had secured an order of the court temporarily forfeiting the expensive jewelleries to the Federal Government.

The EFCC Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, in an exparte application, made before Justice Nicholas Oweibo told the court that the expensive jewelries comprising wristwatches, necklaces, bracelets, bangles, earrings, a customized gold phone and more were reasonably suspected to have being acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities of the former Minister.

According to the schedule attached to the application, the jewellery, categorised into 33 sets, include “419 expensive bangles; 315 expensive rings; 304 expensive earrings; 267 expensive necklaces; 189 expensive wristwatches; 174 expensive necklaces and earrings; 78 expensive bracelets; 77 expensive brooches; and 74 expensive pendants.”

Oyedepo said “the respondent’s known and provable lawful income is far less than the properties sought to be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

After granting the interim forfeiture order on July 5, the court adjourned proceedings for Diezani or anyone interested in the jewellery and gold iPhone to appear before it to give reasons why the items should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

But in an application filed on her behalf by Kalu (SAN), Diezani, contended that “the court lacked jurisdiction to have granted the interim forfeiture order in the first place as she had not been charged with any crime or served with any summons by the EFCC”.

She stressed that the entry into her apartment by EFCC operatives was illegal as it was without a court order.

The lawyer added that the temporary forfeiture order was prejudicial to Diezani because she was denied fair hearing.

The application, could however not be argued today as Prof. Kalu was unable to come to court.

A lawyer from his chambers, Chukwuka Obidike, told the court that the SAN was engaged in election petitions, and asked the court to grant an adjournment.

The court has adjourned the case till August 29.

FLOOD: Delta Govt To Dredge Three Rivers In Asaba

James Augoye

Determined to address the problem of flooding in the state, the Delta State Government Monday said it would dredge the Anwai, Iyiabi and Amilimocha River to accommodate flood water from the storm drainage that is being constructed, Vanguard News reports.

Addressing newsmen in Asaba, the State Commissioner for Works, Chief James Augoye, said Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration is determined to build roads that would stand the test of time.

Appealing to the people of Asaba-Ase who protested on Saturday, he said State government has not demobilized from its various construction sites despite the rains and high level of water in riverine areas.

The people had protest against the alleged abandonment of the 7 kilometers Abari-Asaba-Ase road project.

He said construction of concrete drains was steadily going on at the various road projects across the state, adding that most of the projects that were slowed down due to rains would come alive as dry season sets in.

Augoye who was flanked by his Information counterpart, Mr Charles Aniagwu and the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, said: “We are not just relaxing, we are not slowing down civil works on the projects, as soon as the rains are over, there will  be massive construction of road projects across the state.”

Speaking further, he said the state government had intervened in the rehabilitation of some federal roads in the state including Benin-Sapele-Warri, Agbor-Eku-Amukpe, adding that the federal government was yet to refund the money spent to the state government three years after.

He, however, said that the state government received part of the money spent on the Asaba-Ughelli federal road after it took the matter to the National Assembly.

Augoye said the State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa was talking with the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC to build a flyover and pedestrian bridge across Koka junction so as to reduce the gridlock.

He said contract for the construction of pedestrian crossing across the Asaba-Benin expressway at Summit junction and Abraka area of the state capital has been awarded.

President Buhari’s Address at Opening of Presidential Retreat For Ministers Designate (Full Speech)

ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT THE PRESIDENTIAL RETREAT FOR MINISTERS-DESIGNATE, PRESIDENTIAL AIDES AND OTHER TOP GOVERNMENT FUNCTIONARIES, HELD AT THE STATE HOUSE, ABUJA MONDAY, 19 AUGUST 2019 PROTOCOLS:

I welcome you all to this meeting whose purpose is firstly, to familiarize ourselves with our colleagues with whom we shall be working closely for the next four years GOD willing; secondly, to reflect and assess the country’s position in 2015 and today; and thirdly, to chart a course for the country for the foreseeable future.

I congratulate all the new comers who your country has chosen above others to join the first term Ministers whose performance has been outstanding. All of you are appointed to assist and advise the President in running the affairs of our country. At the end of the Retreat, it is hoped that all of you will be in tune with the roles and responsibilities of positions you will occupy in Government. Many national issues require unified decisions.

It is a great privilege for you to be called upon to serve in these Great Offices of State and you must grasp the chance with two hands and put in your best efforts as Nigeria today needs top managers to handle our numerous challenges. There will be long hours and you must be prepared to live laborious days if we are to serve our people optimally.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are all aware of the looming demographic potential of our country. By average estimates, our population is close to 200 million today. By 2050, UN estimates put Nigeria third globally behind only India and China with our projected population at 411 million.

This is a frightening prospect but only if we sit idly by and expect handouts from so-called development partners. The solution to our problems lies within us.

Honourable Ministers-Designate, in our first term we identified three salient areas for close attention and action, namely to secure the country, to improve the economy and to fight corruption.

None but the most partisan will dispute that we have made headway in all three areas:

First – we have rolled back the frontiers of terrorism; we are actively addressing other challenges such as kidnappings, farmer-herder violence, improving the safety of our roads, railways, air traffic and fire control capacities.

Second – we are steadily turning the economy round through investment in agriculture and manufacturing, shoring up our foreign reserves, curbing inflation and improving the country’s infrastructure.

Third – on corruption, we have recovered hundreds of billions of stolen assets and are actively pursuing control measures to tackle leakages in public resources. We will not let up in fighting corruption.

As Ministers, I am counting on you together with Advisers and Nigerians willing and able to contribute to build upon our road map of policies, programmes and projects that will lift the bulk of our people out of poverty and set them on the road to prosperity.

Our Administration’s eight years will have laid the grounds for lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years. This outcome will fundamentally shift Nigeria’s trajectory and place us among the World’s Great Nations.

Honourable Ministers-Designate, you will be responsible for the development and implementation of policies, programmes and projects in your various Ministries, Departments and Agencies in line with Government priorities. You must also ensure that Agencies under your Ministries are effective, efficient and accountable in the discharge of their responsibilities.

Honourable Ministers-Designate, we must work as a team. Although you have been chosen to represent your states as a constitutional imperative, it is vital for all of you to work as Nigerians.

Furthermore, working as a team demands that we know what the next person is doing. You must open communications with your colleagues. Lack of communication leads to lack of cooperation and sub-optimal performance.

Finally, although this is called a Retreat, I would like to think this is a preparation for an advance to the Next Level. Thank you ladies and gentlemen. I wish you fruitful deliberations.

Source : NTA NEWS