Monday, 29 June 2015

Policeman kills 2 women at Edo funeral

By Nnagozie Ogudo   Posted at  23:12   Crime No comments
THERE was pandemonium at Fugar, Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State last Saturday as a police officer attached to a traditional ruler shot two women dead during a burial ceremony.

The deceased were identified as Sandra Imakhu, said to have a two-month-old baby on her back, and Aishitu Aliyu, who came from a neighbouring village to assist her friend who was burying her father.

The tragic incident occurred at the burial of one Chief Etu, said to be a retired headmaster in the community.

It was reported that the incident occurred when the traditional ruler ( names withheld) was leaving the burial premises, the officers said to be from the Auchi Area Command shot in the air.

Unfortunately, one of the officers, identified as Corporal Christopher Aliu, shot in the direction of the women and they both died immediately.

However, the two-month-old baby survived.

The incident caused pandemonium in the area as angry youths attempted to lynch the policemen but for the quick intervention of chairman of the LGA, Mr Emmanuel Momoh, which saved the situation.

Reports also stated that the matter has been reported to the state governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, and Commissioner of Police, Samuel Adegbuyi.

When contacted, the Police Commissioner described the incident as shocking, attributing it to accidental discharge.

He disclosed that the officer has been arrested, while investigation was ongoing.

Adegbuyi, who had earlier warned police officers in the state against unprofessional conduct, assured that the matter would be dealt with accordingly.


Discard PIB, cancel offshore crude processing contract, APC tells Buhari

By Nnagozie Ogudo   Posted at  23:02   Politics No comments
The All Progressives Congress, APC, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to discard the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, cancel ongoing offshore processing agreements and discontinue the fuel subsidy regime.

The APC in its recommendation to the President, also stated that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, is indebted to its eight joint venture (JV) partners to the tune of $3.5 billion, about N7 billion, stating that the debts have ballooned over the years.

Details of the report obtained from Bloomberg, quoted the APC as saying that the NNPC paid $6.9 billion out of the $10.4 billion it owed, adding that the difference of $3.5 billion was covered by loans from international oil companies.

The APC report said, “These debts are costly and opaque, and they erode the NNPC’s bargaining power with the oil companies. Nigeria’s inability to fund its joint-venture budgets is delaying projects, reducing production, and lowering revenue collection for the nation.”

The APC further stated that the president should sell off some subsidiaries of NNPC, discard the PIB and replace it with a new Bill that’s based on discussions with international oil companies to ensure all perspectives are adequately considered.

Kayode Fayemi, APC’s policy director, confirmed the authenticity of the document, noting, however, that the report is not the final position of the government.

The report advised the Presidency to cancel, within its first 100 days in office two ill-suited and costly offshore processing agreements that were signed in the fourth quarter with Aiteo Eastern E&P Company Limited and Sahara Group of 90,000 barrels per day each.

It called on the government to sign simpler swap agreements with highly competent trading companies through a tender process.

The APC report recomm- ended a review of audits and corruption allegations against the NNPC, within the first 100 days of the administration, adding that after 18 months, the government should seek to commercialize the NNPC, possibly partially listing the entity and selling off its fuel-retailing and refining business.


APGA chieftain kidnapped

By Nnagozie Ogudo   Posted at  22:59   Crime No comments
A chieftain of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Mr. Ben Anyanwu, has been kidnapped in his country home at Umuchoko, Egbelu Obube in Owerri North local government area of Imo State.

It was gathered that Anyanwu, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Chrisben Nigeria Limited, a Lagos-based clearing and forwarding company, was picked up at about 1.30am last Sunday by some armed hoodlums.

It was also gathered from some villagers, who were at the scene of the incident that the gangsters scaled through the kidnap victim’s perimeter fence with the aid of a ladder.

“The criminals used a ladder to scale through the fence after destroying the spiral security wire their victim mounted on top of the fence,” some villagers were heard as they discussed the incident in groups.

One of the villager recalled that since the hoodlums could not gain entry into the building from the main door, after firing at it severally, they again used the ladder to gain access to the balcony.

“From this point, they shot at the door key, ripped it open, entered the house and took away their hapless victim to an unknown destination,’’ said a source.

What irked the villagers most was that the man’s four children, who visited from their base in the United States of America, were traumatized as the hoodlums brazenly carried out their nefarious act before them.

It was not clear at press time if the hoodlums had made any contact with the family or friends of the abducted man or what their real intentions are.


EFCC arraigns ex-FCT minister’s aide for N192m fraud

By Nnagozie Ogudo   Posted at  22:45   Crime No comments
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday arraigned Yau Gital, who was a former Chief of Staff to the then Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed, before an FCT High Court in Gudu on 10 counts of N192m fraud.

Other accused persons arraigned alongside Gital were his former Special Assistant as Chief of Staff to the minister, Shuaibu Yakubu; the Managing Director of Jibmir Ventures Nigeria Limited, and the company itself.

Gital, who was also a member of the Land Allocation Committee, Federal Capital Territory Administration, allegedly conspired with Yakubu, and Tahir to obtain money from various unsuspecting persons under the pretext of using the money for processing and facilitation of land allocation by the FCDA.

All the accused persons pleaded not guilty to all the counts when they were taken before Justice Abubakar Talba on Monday.

One of the counts read, “That you, Yau Mohammed Gital, being the Chief of Staff to the Honourable Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and member of the Land Allocation Committee, Federal Capital Territory Administration, Shuaibu Yakubu, being a former Special Assistant to the former Chief of Staff, Jibril M. Tahir, being the Managing Director of Jibmir Ventures Nigeria Limited and Jibmir Ventures Nigeria Limited sometimes between September 2012 to March 2014 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, with intent to defraud, conspired to do an illegal act, to wit: obtain monies by false pretences from various unsuspecting persons under the false pretence that the said monies was for the processing/facilitation of land allocation by the Federal Capital Development Authority which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.”

The accused persons’ counsel, Nura Imam, applied for his client’s bail after they pleaded not guilty to the charges.

But Justice Bello ordered the accused to be remanded in prison custody pending ruling on the bail application.

The ruling was fixed for July 2.


NEC sets up committee to probe NNPC missing funds

By Nnagozie Ogudo   Posted at  22:40   Politics No comments

The National Economic Council chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday set up a four-member committee to scrutinise the accounts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Excess Crude Account managed by the last administration.

The probe was meant to unravel N3.8trillion not remitted to the Federation Account by the NNPC between 2012 and May 2015 as well as $2.1bn said to have been deducted from the ECA without approval.

Zamfara State Governor, Abdulazeez Yari; Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State; Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State; and Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State briefed State House correspondents at the end of the 58th meeting of the council held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Yari said through a briefing by the Director of Funds, Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr. M.K. Dikwa, council members got the report of the ECA and unremitted funds by NNPC.

He said, “On that line, a four-man committee consisting of the governors of Edo, Gombe, Kaduna and Akwa Ibom State was constituted to go through the books of ‎NNPC and Excess Crude as well as the Federation Account.

‎”The four-man committee will check the books of NNPC, most especially the issue of excess crude and what is not remitted into the Federation Account.

“The FG, in conjunction with the CBN, will look inwards to see how to support, how much they will give to states especially on the issue of outstanding salaries owed by the states and even the Federal Government.”

Explaining further, Oshiomhole said the meeting was the first time that the NNPC and the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation were compelled to provide information on issues concerning the total sales of Niger‎ia’s crude from 2012 to May 2015, saying that has never happened before.

He said presentations revealed that although NNPC claimed it earned N8.1trillion between 2012 and May 2015, the corporation only paid N4.3trillion into the Federation Account.

The governor said, “We are talking about transparency; we are talking about change. And what we saw from those numbers which ‎I believe that Nigerians are entitled to know, is that whereas the NNPC claimed to have earned N8.1 trillion, what NNPC paid into the Federation Account from 2012 to May 2015 was N4.3 trillion.

“What it means is that NNPC withheld and spent N3.8 trillion.

“The major revelation here is that the entire federation, that is the Federal Government, the states and all the 774 local governments, the amount the NNPC paid into the Federation Account for distribution to these three tiers of government came to N4.3 trillion and NNPC alone took and spent N3.8 trillion.

“This means that the cost of running NNPC is much more than the cost of running the Federal Government. That tells you how much is missing, what is mismanaged and what is stolen. There are huge figures.”

The governor said the basic law was that one does not sell and spend.

He said there was no enterprise manager who goes to the market, sells and just begin to spend, otherwise nobody needs to budget. ‎

Oshiomhole said the only lawful way decreed by the Constitution was that if NNPC needed to spend money, it is obliged to prepare its budget like every other business enterprise, get it scrutinised by the executive and then forwarded to the National Assembly which will appropriate on it accordingly.

 He wondered that if the Federal Government could not spend without appropriation, why should any agency of government do that.


NFF fires Falcons coach Edwin Okon, appoints Danjuma

By Nnagozie Ogudo   Posted at  22:30   Sports No comments
The Nigeria Football Federation has announced the sack of Edwin Okon as coach of the Super Falcons.

He has been replaced with his assistant; Christopher Danjuma who will handle the team’s Olympics qualifier against Equatorial Giunea until a substantive trainer is employed.

Okon’s job had come under intense scrutiny with the Falcons shaky start of the 2015 Fifa Women’s World Cup as his team were down before clawing back to a 3-3 draw in Canada.

A further defeat in Australia and the USA made his tenure look like coming to an inglorious end after a fairy tale year where he led the Super Falcons to victory at the 2014 African Women’s Championship in Namibia.

The NFF board was not convinced about his abilities and has now relieved him of the job, thanking him for the time spent with the country’s women national team.

“We commend Okon and his crew for the services rendered to the country, and they did well to reclaim the African Women Championship title for the country in Namibia in October 2014, thus qualifying the team for the Women’s World Cup in Canada,” said Felix Anyansi, chairman of the NFF Technical and Development Committee.

“The contract given to the crew has elapsed with the Women’s World Cup in Canada. Mr. Christopher Danjuma will now take over the team in acting capacity, pending the appointment of a substantive coaching crew, which process is ongoing.

 “The team will soon move to Port Harcourt to get used to the pitch on which it will play Equatorial Guinea in the third round of the Olympics qualifiers. The NFF will provide everything that the needs to succeed.”

Danjuma’s first assignment will be to see the Falcons past Equatorial Guinea, with the first leg in Port Harcourt on Saturday, 18th July and the return leg in Bata on 2nd August.


Buhari restores expelled journalist’s accreditation

By Nnagozie Ogudo   Posted at  22:28   Politics No comments
The accreditation tag of the State House correspondent of German Radio, Deutsche Welle, Mr. Ubale Musa, which was withdrawn by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan was restored on Monday.

According to a statement from the office of the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the development was on the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Musa had his accreditation withdrawn in the last days of the Jonathan administration for asking visiting Chadian President, Idriss Derby, a question the former President and his handlers considered to be embarrassing.

While presenting the re-issued Press Pass to Ubale at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Adesina said the re-accreditation of the correspondent was in keeping with Buhari’s commitment to correcting the wrongs of the past.

“Part of the change promised by President Buhari is correcting things that were wrongly done before.

“Mr. Ubale Musa’s accreditation was wrongly withdrawn. To redress the wrong done to him by the withdrawal, we have returned his Villa Press Pass to him so that he can continue his work without hindrance,” Adesina said.

In his brief remarks after receiving his Villa Press Pass, Musa thanked Buhari and his media team for restoring his accreditation.

He promised that he will continue to do his work as a State House Correspondent objectively, professionally and with due regard for the ethics of journalism.


FG appoints Ladan to oversee DPR

By Nnagozie Ogudo   Posted at  22:26   Politics No comments
The Federal Government has appointed Mr Mordecai Danteni Ladan, to oversee the activities of the Department of Petroleum Resources, a statement posted on the website of the DPR on Monday stated.

According to the statement, Ladan is to take over from the former DPR Director, Mr George Osahon, whose tenure elapsed on June 19.

It said that a memorandum dated June 19, stated that the appointment was with immediate effect.

Ladan, according to the statement, is a Petrochemist by profession, who joined DPR in Nov. 23, 1987 as a Senior Analytical Chemist.

The statement said that Ladan was deployed to the Safety and Environment Branch under the then Technical Services Division.

It said that Ladan rose through the ranks to occupy various key positions within the organisation, including Zonal Operations Controller, DPR Kaduna.

According to the statement, Ladan, having attained the rank of Deputy Director, was appointed Head, Downstream Monitoring and Regulation Division in Oct. 2005 to June 2013.

He was appointed Head, Gas Monitoring and Regulation Division in June 2013 to May 2014.

He later became the Head, Safety, Health and Environment Division in May 2014 until his recent appointment.

“Mr Ladan is highly accomplished both professionally and academically; he is Fulbright Scholar (Hubert H. Humphrey, North-South Fellow) where he bagged a Certificate in Environmental and Regulatory Policy / Public Affairs June 1991.

“He bagged M.Sc. Petrochemicals & Hydrocarbon Chemistry from the University of Manchester Institute of Science & Technology, UK March 1986.

“He also has a B.Sc. (Hons) in Chemistry from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria July 1982; West African School Certificate from the Federal Government College, Kano June 1978.

“He was born on the June 24, 1957 and is married with children,” it stated.

However, Ms Dorothy Bassey, the Head Public Affairs Unit, DPR, in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday said Ladan was appointed on acting capacity.


Develop ways of paying workers salaries – Buhari advices governors

By Nnagozie Ogudo   Posted at  15:02   No comments

President Muhammadu Buhari has called on state governors to consider, as a matter of urgency, exploring efficient means of gradually liquidating all unpaid salaries of staff, which have brought untold hardship to thousands of families.

Inaugurating the national economic council  at the presidential villa Monday morning, ‎President Buhari also called on the states to also devise ways of increasing their revenue base in order to cushion the effect s of dwindling revenue from the federation account.

The national economic Council  is made up of the 36 state governors, minister‎s of Finance and National as well as the Attorney General of the Federation.


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