Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Against the backdrop of speculations about the true state of health of President Muhammadu Buhari in a London hospital, Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Kputom Idris, on Tuesday led a high powered police delegation to visit the President in London. Mr. Ibrahim Idris beaming with smiles following his confirmation as the substantive IGP by the Council of State on Wednesday, September 7, 2016. Reliable sources told us that the IGP was accompanied by the DIG in charge Finance and Administration, Mr. Shuiabu Gambo, Commissioner of Police in Charge Monitoring Unit, CP Umar Garba and other top ranking officers who left the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport early Tuesday morning. Asked reasons for the impromptu visit, the source declined comments but confirmed the trip was a top secret and planned at short notice. Recall that President Buhari left Nigeria last Thursday for 2-week holiday in London, though his Special Adviser on Media, Femi Adesina said that he will use the opportunity to undergo a medical check-up. Speculations have been rife about the true health status of the president with the presidency insisting weekend that the President is hale and hearty, that he only went on vacation to rest.
The House of Representatives on Tuesday gave its committees on Anti-Corruption, Environment and Habitat six weeks to investigate former President Gooodluck Jonathan’s “Clean Stove For Rural Women scheme” contract of about N9.287 bn.
The resolution followed a motion by Rep. Abiodun Faleke (APC-Lagos), which was unanimously adopted by members through a voice vote.
Faleke noted that the Federal Executive Council had approved a contract for the supply of 20 million units of clean stove and wonder bags under the clean stove scheme for rural women.
He added that the contract was at a unit cost of N464.00, amounting to about N9.287bn.
The lawmaker said that following the approval of FEC, the Federal Ministry of Finance released the sum of N5bn to the Federal Ministry of Environment for the execution of the project.
He further disclosed that Integra Energy Renewable Services Limited was awarded the contract for the supply of the 20 million units.
Faleke also said that the company was paid the sum of N1.3bn out of the N5bn released by the Ministry of Environment as mobilisation fee without due process.
The lawmaker expressed concern that less than 750,000 units were said to have been assembled and delivered at the velodrome of the National Stadium, Abuja, which was commissioned by former Vice President, Namadi Sambo.
He noted that there was no beneficiary present at the commissioning nor was anyone later given the stove to achieve its intended purpose.
The mandate of the committee saddled with the investigation will be to find out details of the contract, number of units supplied, their mode of distribution and names of beneficiaries on a State by State basis.
The committees would also determine the status of the balance of N952m with the contractor, since 750,000 units of the clean stoves were supplied at a unit cost of N464 at the value of N348m out of the N1.3bn paid out.
The status of the balance of N3.7bn which was outstanding from the initial payment to the Federal Ministry of Environment will also be confirmed by the committee.
The committees would also determine whether or not the clean stoves and wonder bags project had assisted in eradicating desertification in Nigeria for future consideration.
Eight persons have been confirmed injured following an auto accident that occurred at the Gbagada end of the usually busy Anthony – Gbagada expressway yesterday, January 23, 2017. Luckily, no lives were lost during the accident.
InsideMainland gathered that the fatal accident involved a fuel tanker, a danfo (commercial bus) and a SUV.
During the auto crash which occurred a rush hour, the tanker fell by its side but emergency services arrived early enough to salvage the situation before it degenerates into the loss of lives and properties.
According to the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), its Emergency Response Unit, embarked on “a rescue mission to tend to the accident victims and also tow affected vehicles off the road.”
See more photos of the scene below.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday re-arraigned, retired Col. Sambo Dasuki, a former National Security Adviser (NSA) and five others, for alleged diversion, and criminal breach of trust.
The others were Bashir Yuguda, Shuaibu Salisu, a former Director of Finance, Office of the NSA, Dalhatu Investment Ltd., Sagir Attahiru and Attahiru Bafarawa, a former governor of Sokoto State.
They were re-arraigned on a 22-count charge before Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf, and they pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Baba-Yusuf ordered that the existing bail condition be maintained after listening to submissions of all counsel to the defendants and the prosecuting counsel.
The Prosecuting counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), opposed the upholding of Dasuki’s bail, saying that he was still being held by the Department of State Services (DSS) since he was granted bail earlier.
Jacobs also applied for date to open his case against the defendants since they pleaded not guilty to the charges.
This, he said, was in accordance with Section 396 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, which provides for day-to-day trial.
Dasuki’s counsel, Mr Ahmed Raji (SAN), objected, saying that the EFCC brought his client to court and not DSS.
He also said that ECOWAS court had earlier given a valid judgment on the issue and objected to the suggestion of Rotimi.
He argued that the day-to-day trial was when the case fully commences.
The counsel to other defendants aligned with Dr Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), Counsel to Bafaarawa, saying that Section 396 of ACJA should not be put above the provisions of in Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
Fagbemi said that the section provides for fair hearing and so it would not be right for the defendants to be arraign today and trial to commence tomorrow.
Baba-Yusuf adjourned till Feb. 24 for commencement of trial.
Dasuki and others were earlier arraigned on a 22-count charge bordering on diversion, conspiracy, bribery, abuse of office and criminal breach of trust of about N19.4 billion before Justice Peter Affen in December 2015.
The defendants were also granted bail by Affen in the sum of N250 million each with two sureties each in the like sum.
Affen said that one of sureties must be a retired or serving civil servant in Federal Government’s employment, reside within the court’s jurisdiction and own landed property in Abuja.
The case was consolidated and transferred to Baba-Yusuf’s court following an application by Chief Joseph Daudu, counsel to Dasuki. (NAN)
Monday, January 23, 2017
Minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai mohammed (M); a leader of the Bring Back Our Girls Organisation (BBOG), Dr Oby Ezekwesili (R); and a member of BBOG, Aisha Yusuf, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport in Abuja on a trip to Sambisa forest and some parts of the North-East on Monday (16/1/17). By Emmanuel Elebeke The Federal Government has warned the Bring Back Our Girls Group to stop needless attacks on the President, saying that such attacks were counter-productive. Rather than seeing the Federal Government as a partner he said that the group sees the government as an adversary in the group’s quest to secure the release of the Chibok girls. The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who made the call said the BBOG’s continued portrayal of the government as an adversary and the needless firing of darts at the President, who is doing his utmost best to bring the girls back home safely, are ultimately counter-productive. ”The Federal Government has bent over backwards to carry the BBOG along and to show transparency in the conduct of the search for the girls. The recent invitation extended to the group to witness first-hand the search for the girls by the Nigerian Air Force is a clear indication of this. ”However, it came to us as a surprise that in spite of its initial positive report on the tour, the BBOG has too quickly reverted to its adversarial role. BBOG should stick to its role as an advocacy group rather than pretending to be an opposition party. The synonyms of the word ‘advocacy’ do not include ‘antagonism’, ‘opposition’ or ‘attack’. In fact, those words are the antonyms of ‘advocacy’,” he said. According to him it amounts to needless grandstanding for the BBOG to say it will no longer tolerate ”delays” and ”excuses” from the President on the release of the girls, as reported by the media, noting that such impudent language should have been reserved for those who did nothing in the first 500 days of the girls’ abduction, not for a President who has presided over the liberation of all captured territory, the opening of shuts schools and roads, the safe release of some of the abducted girls and the decimation of Boko Haram. The minister assured Nigerians that the efforts to bring the girls back safely are continuing, but sought their understanding for not divulging any further details so as not to jeopardize the intricate process. ”Let me say unequivocally that the people involved in the negotiations are working 24/7. The negotiations are complicated, tortuous and delicate. Any wrong signal is capable of derailing things. That’s why the less we say about the talks the better it is for all. ”We need a huge amount of confidence-building, the kind of which led to the release of the 21 of the girls. This has been lacking for years, but right now we are confident that we are on the right track. We won’t do anything to jeopardize these talks, irrespective of the pressure or provocation from any quarter,” he added.