…says authority now domiciles in church
The Presiding Bishop, Living Faith Church Worldwide, aka Winners’ Chapel, Dr. David Oyedepo has said that he has never received or shared any booty from any government in Nigeria.
He boasted of God’s blessings on his life and that he has a clear conscience. “I don’t share any booty from any government. I have a clear conscience; I am dangerously wealthy. I am rich, whatever I want, comes. That’s what they call wealth,” the Bishop said.
Oyedepo stated this at the opening session of Shiloh 2018, the annual gathering of the members of the Living Faith Church tagged “Dominion” at its International Headquarters, Canaan Land, Ota in Ogun State.
The Bishop warned those he called ‘political gladiators’ to understand that authority is now domiciled in the church, saying, “If the church says you are going nowhere, there is nothing you can do.”
Speaking on “Heralding the Dominion Era of the Church,” he declared that the authority that enthroned the church was from heaven and not man-made. “It is not something that we organise; it is by the hand of God. You can be upset, it won’t change anything,” he added.
He told the congregation, which included 4,512 delegates from 43 nations of the world that God would be confirming in these last days that heavens rules in the affairs of men. “If the church comes against any arrogant, puffing fellows, they shall be messed up,” he affirmed.
Oyedepo noted that for anyone to dominate his world, he has to first dominate the issues of his life. “Until one is rescued, he cannot rescue others. We must remove the beam in our eyes before we can remove the mote in other people’s eyes,” he urged.
The event, which will end with a thanksgiving service on Sunday, December 9, 2018, is the 20th edition of the annual programme that features prayers, special ministrations, instant testimonies and encounter nights.
Invictus Obi permanently forfeits N280.5m to FG
Justice Rilwan Aikawa of a Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the permanent forfeiture of N280.5 million warehoused in the bank accounts of two firms linked to Obinwanne Okeke, popularly known as Invictus Obi, to the Federal Government.
The 31-year-old Okeke is currently standing trial in the United States of America for an alleged $11 million cyber fraud. The two firms involved are; Invictus Oil and Gas Limited and Invictus Investment Limited.
Justice Aikawa’s permanent forfeiture order was sequel to the granting of a motion filed in that regard by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The judge had earlier on October 7 upon the granting of an ex-parte motion by the anti-graft agency ordered the interim forfeiture of the funds to the Federal Government.
Arguing the motion for final forfeiture Thursday, EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, informed the court that all requirements to finally forfeit the funds to the Federal Government have been met, including the publication of the interim forfeiture order in a national daily on October 25.
The lawyer added that Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related Fraud Offence Act No. 14, 2006, had empowered the judge to make a final pronouncement for the final forfeiture of the fund.
Oyedepo told the court that the funds domiciled in First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and Zenith Bank, were “reasonably suspected” to be proceeds of cyber crime.
He consequently prayed the court to grant the motion for final forfieture because “there is no opposition to the request from anybody”.
Granting his prayer in a Bench ruling, Justice Aikawa ordered that the sum of N280.5 million in First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and Zenith Bank account nos: 3341692012 and 1013714256, be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
PACAC: Don’t accuse DSS of disobeying court order until…
The Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), has stressed the importance of getting facts of a case, before jumping to conclusion.
Chairman of PACAC, Prof. Itse Sagay, gave the charge on Thursday in Abuja, while responding to criticisms over the continued detention of convener of #Revolution Now campaign, Mr. Omoyele Sowore by the state, desire an order of court for his release.
Specifically, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria decried what he described as “negativity” to issues that concern government.
Sagay spoke in Abuja at a ‘Roundtable On The Re-Introduction of The Jury System and Review of Draft Jury Service Bill’.
He said: “What I see having been part of the government at my small level is that Nigerians do not seek facts before they jump to conclusion.
“In the case of Sowore, I think somebody should go and interview the DSS and find out why instead of jumping to conclusions which are usually negative conclusions.
“There is negativity in Nigerian orientation to situation particularly when it affects government. I don’t accept that there is disobedience of court order until I know the facts.”
Buhari: I try to obey the Constitution
President Muhammadu Buhari says he tries as much as he can to obey the constitution of the country.
The president said this on Thursday when he received speakers of state assemblies at the presidential villa in Abuja.
In a statement issued by Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, Buhari said the constitution must be adhered to, or altered to reflect dynamics and realities of the country.
He said the autonomy of state legislature has been constrained by the constitution.
The president asked the lawmakers to always put the interest of the people first in all deliberations and negotiations.
“I try as much as I can to always be loyal and obedient to the constitution so long as it is humanly possible,” Buhari said.
“The 8th National Assembly sometimes kept the budget for seven months. And I had to call the Senate President and the Speaker then. I told them by delaying passage of the budget you are not hurting Buhari, but the people.
“We have in the last four years dedicated significant resources to key social services sectors especially in health, education as well as our massive social investment programs. We have also started restoring our infrastructure to levels that this country expects.
“I also want to assure you that we remain committed to ensuring that equity and fairness prevail in governance. I will ensure that we consult your conference to further enhance the positive impact of our interventions across the country.”
Enugu airport shutdown: Reps want FG to fix Owerri-Orlu-Ideato-Uga road
Following the renovation work going on at the Akanu Ibiam International airport, Enugu, the House of Representatives has urged the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to urgently undertake remedial work on the Owerri-Orlu-Idoato-Uga road.
The House gave the advice Thursday following the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Chigozie Pascal Obi (AA, Imo).
Presenting the motion, Hon. Obi noted that with the closure of the Enugu airport, there is a heavy traffic on the road, which links several local governments headquarters in Imo State expressing concern that this could constitute further hazards to communities and villages in Ideato federal constituency.
He said the Owerri-Orlu-Ideato-Uga federal road links the capital of IMO state through Uga to Awka, the capital of Anambra state.
Obi expressed worry that the stretches of the road from Orlu-Mgbee-Umuchima-Obioha-Urualla have collapsed, with devastating gullies, on both sides of the road.
He informed that: “The government of Imo State under the leadership of Senator Rocha’s Okorocha had executed projects and made appreciable efforts in this regard but the unintended over-flooding arising from the destructive climate change, destroyed some of the works to unimaginable proportions. “
Insecurity: We must develop capacity of our Force – CAS
…as Air Force decorates 47 senior officers
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has identified human capacity development as a potent tool needed to combat threats to internal security.
According to the CAS, personnel’s skill and commitment to duty, contribute in no small measure to the overall success of a fighting Force against adversaries
The Air Chief made the position Thursday at the NAF headquarters in Abuja during the decoration of 12 newly-promoted Air Vice Marshals (AVMs), and 35 Air Commodores.
In his remarks, Abubakar maintained that, for operational mistakes to be reduced, the heads of the services must be imbued with good leadership qualities.
He said it was on the basis of that, that the senior officers were found worthy of their respective promotions to the next ranks.
“These senior officers have worked hard to qualify for elevation to the enviable air rank hence we are gathered here to celebrate this diligence and to congratulate them on their promotion to higher ranks,” the CAS said.
Ogun APC to APM: Supreme Court judgement not for sale
The Ogun State branch of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has taken a swipe at the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) and its candidate at the March 9 governorship election in the state, Hon. Adekunle Akinlade, on its plan to approach the Supreme Court, saying, “the judgement of the Supreme Court is not for sale”
It would be recalled that the Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State, had on Monday, November 11 dismissed the petition filed by the APC governorship candidate in Ogun State, against the victory of the incumbent Governor Dapo Abiodun, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC). In a unanimous decision, the Appeal court justices said the appeal “lacks merit and it is therefore struck out.”
However, in reaction to the appellate court ruling, the APM and its candidate told the media last weekend that they would be approaching the Supreme Court as the last port of call in gubernatorial election petition.
But in a swift reaction to the APM decision, the Publicity Secretary of APC in Ogun State, Tunde Oladunjoye in a statement issued on Thursday said the “APM and its candidates are serial losers who are merely”.
Report: US considers pulling up to 4,000 troops from S’Korea
The United States is considering a significant cut to its troop numbers in South Korea if Seoul does not contribute more to the cost of the deployment, South Korean newspaper ‘Chosun Ilbo’ reported on Thursday.
The US broke off talks on defence costs with South Korea this week after demanding Seoul raise its annual contribution to $5bn, more than five times what it pays now, in a rare public display of discord in the alliance.
Neither side has publicly confirmed the numbers, but US President Donald Trump has said the US military presence in and around South Korea was “$5 billion worth of protection”.
“I understand that the US is preparing to withdraw one brigade in case negotiations with South Korea do not go as well as President Trump wants,” a diplomatic source in Washington with knowledge of the negotiations was cited as saying by ‘Chosun Ilbo’.
A typical US military brigade numbers about 3,000 to 4,000 troops. There are about 28,500 American troops currently stationed in South Korea, which remains technically in a state of war with nuclear-armed neighbour North Korea following a 1950-1953 conflict, reports al-Jazeera.
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he was not aware of any plans to withdraw 4,000 troops from South Korea if cost-sharing talks failed.
“We’re not threatening allies over this. This is a negotiation,” he told reporters during a trip to Vietnam.
South Korea’s defence ministry said the Chosun report was “not the official position of the US government”.
Strains among allies
Under US law, the United States’s troop presence in South Korea must not fall below 22,000 unless the secretary of defence justifies a further reduction to Congress.
‘Chosun Ilbo’ said the potential reduction of a brigade had already been discussed with the top brass of US forces in South Korea.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun said on Wednesday he believed the US should continue to station troops in South Korea when asked if he would continue to advocate for the presence of US military personnel in the country if he was confirmed as Deputy Secretary of State.
“South Korea is among our most important alliance partners. That doesn’t mean anybody gets a free ride. We have a tough burden-sharing negotiation that we’re in the middle of with the South Koreans,” Biegun said.
South Korean political party leaders visited Washington, DC on Wednesday to press for a fair and reasonable outcome of the cost-sharing talks.
“I stressed that a withdrawal of US troops from South Korea should not be brought up, as the South Korea-US alliance also helps the US national interest,” said Na Kyung-won of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party.
Meanwhile, South Korea’s intelligence-sharing pact with Japan, which Seoul decided to terminate after relations soured over historical issues and has become the subject of increasing US pressure to renew, is set to expire on November 23.
South Korea’s presidential office is holding a National Security Council meeting on Thursday, where the agreement is expected to be discussed, South Korean media said.
Trump impeachment: Ukraine officials knew about hold on aid earlier than reported
A senior U.S. Department of Defense official testified on Wednesday that Ukrainian officials knew President Donald Trump’s administration was withholding military assistance in July, undercutting a key Republican defense of the president’s actions in the impeachment inquiry.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence Laura Cooper testified at a hearing in the impeachment inquiry into Trump that has largely focused on the decision to withhold nearly $400 million in security aid, reports Reuters.
She said Ukrainian officials had known in July about the holdup in the security aid, which was new information she had not had when she was interviewed behind closed doors on October 23.
Cooper said her staff received an email on July 25 from the State Department saying that Ukraine’s embassy and the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee were asking about security assistance.
“On July 25 a member of my staff got a question from a Ukrainian Embassy contact asking what was going on with U.S. security assistance,” Cooper told the House Intelligence Committee at the impeachment hearing.
July 25 was the day of a telephone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in which the Republican U.S. president raised the issues of an investigation of Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden, alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 presidential election and the aid.
Cooper also said some of her staff had met with officials from the Ukrainian embassy during the week of August 6 and that they had raised the issue of the aid.
Defending Trump in the inquiry, some Republicans have sought to minimize the impact of the White House decision to withhold the military aid by saying Ukraine was only aware of the hold for two weeks before the hold was lifted on September 11.
In the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry, investigators are looking into whether Trump withheld the aid in order to pressure Ukraine to launch the investigations.
Trump – backed up by most congressional Republicans – denies wrongdoing.
Cooper also said she had never discussed a hold on security assistance for Ukraine with Trump and never heard from him directly on the matter.
Trump hosted Zuckerberg for undisclosed dinner at White House
President Donald Trump hosted a previously undisclosed dinner with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook board member Peter Thiel at the White House in October, the company told NBC News on Wednesday.
The meeting took place during Zuckerberg’s most recent visit to Washington, where he testified before Congress about Facebook’s new cryptocurrency Libra. Zuckerberg also gave a speech at Georgetown University detailing his company’s commitment to free speech, and its resistance to calls for the company to crack down on misinformation in political ads.
Facebook confirmed the meeting to NBC News on Wednesday.
“As is normal for a CEO of a major U.S. company, Mark accepted an invitation to have dinner with the President and First Lady at the White House,” a Facebook spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
It is unclear why the meeting was not made public or what Trump, Zuckerberg and Thiel discussed.
The White House declined to comment.
Reps: ICPC misled Buhari on N1trn constituency projects
- Senators to President: Ask ministers what happened to money
- Lawmakers: Poor releases liable for abandoned projects
- Gbajabiamila: Anti-graft agencies must do diligent probe
The House of Representatives has accused the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) of providing misleading statistics, upon which President Muhammadu Buhari relied on to say about N1 trillion was expended on National Assembly members’ constituency projects in 10 years.
President Buhari had, on Tuesday, at an event organised by office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) in conjunction with the ICPC, declared that about N1 trillion was wasted in 10 years in constituency projects by the National Assembly members.
The President said that data collected from Nigerians in rural communities pointed to the fact that they had not felt the impact of the said projects, as there was no commensurate result with the funds spent.
But at yesterday’s plenary of the House, the minority leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu (PDP, Delta) raised a point of order, in which he argued that the said figures were incorrect, and breached his privileges as a member of the National Assembly.
According to Elumelu, “I saw in the newspapers, dated 20th November 2019, and one thing is very consistent and that is the comment credited to our amiable President saying that N1 trillion was made available in the last 10 years to the National Assembly for constituency projects and that there was no value for the money spent. Yes, in the last 10 years, N1 trillion was actually made available by way N100 billion annually for constituency projects.
“Truly, our constituents do not have value for such provisions. But one thing I am worried about is that words have meanings. My constituents called me to ask me to give account of the money that came to my constituency. I had so many calls and it was difficult for me to explain.
“My worry and why I am bringing this up is that, yes I got N100 million budgeted, but actual releases was not up to 50 per cent. In actual sense, even this year, we never got release more than 40 per cent. I can conveniently tell you that only about 30 per cent has been released.”
He submitted that: “Section four of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, says we should make budgets and if we pass budget in this House, the onus is now on the executive to implement and award contract. We don’t award contracts.
“I don’t know of any member who is a member of the tender’s board. In effect, the National Assembly has nothing to do with the execution of any contract. It is painful that the agency that generated that information failed to state that while it is true that N1 trillion was budgeted in the last 10 years, this money has not been released.
“I am not happy because the information is capable of giving me a bad name before my community. The ICPC that wrote this report failed to tell the truth of how much was actually released. When you say N1 trillion is budgeted like the President said, if that money was released completely, there will be value commensurate to the money.
“I wonder why the ICPC man failed to look at what was released. Why should ours be a subject of debate that they will tell Nigerians we received N1 trillion when it was budgeted, but not released. My message is that we should let them know that while N1 trillion was budgeted for constituency projects, by way of releases, we did not receive that because what was released was less that 40 per cent.”
Supporting the motion, the deputy minority leader, Hon. Toby Okechukwu (PDP, Enugu) argued that the biggest problem with such projects was poor release of funds for their execution, adding that those who informed the President failed to take such into consideration.
He said: “The issue is very important because words have meanings. In all the papers, they said N1 trillion wasted on constituency projects in 10 years. Of course, Mr. President would have been responding to information given to him. I am a student of public policy analysis. I understand that projects and policies of government go through interrogation.
“When you say N1 trillion is released, it presupposes that the equivalent value of that money should be on ground. There is also a presupposition that this money is given to members. Our responsibility is to make laws and pass budget and once that is done, it goes to the Executive and the execution is the responsibility of the executive.”
Okechukwu argued that “on the average, we have about 50 per cent of that money that has been released in the last 10 years. The reason why we have so many abandoned projects in our communities is because of lack of releases.
“You award contract and you pay 50 per cent. What happens to the remaining 50 per cent? How can you complete them? I know that in the last 10 years, this House has appropriated an average of N7 trillion and that presupposes that you spent N70 trillion.
“In the 2019 budget, about N220 billion was budgeted for roads and what was released was N45 billion. If you are expecting the value of N220 billion when you give N45 billion, I don’t know what you will see.”
In his response, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila said the matter affected the collective privileges of members of the whole House, and may yield a bad consequence.
According to the speaker, “I think it is a breach of our collective privilege as a House and not one person. My concern is the unintended consequences of words spoken. These are words emanating from a report by ICPC. There could be unintended consequences that could come out of it.
“You put people’s wellbeing at risk. I feel it is okay to use the National Assembly as the weeping boys. The fact is that there is the FOI bill. The ICPC could easily invoke their power of investigation and look at releases as compared to what was budgeted.
“The ICPC that made the report, I don’t think they will appreciate if the House, in discharge of its constitutional responsibilities, did an oversight on ICPC based on what was budgeted as opposed to what was released to them. When you break an egg, it is going to be difficult to put it together.
“I will use this medium to send this message across to ICPC and other agencies to do their work of investigation well. There is a difference between money budgeted and money released. It is as simple as ABC.”
The motion was consequently sustained and adopted.
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