A flury of attacks came the way of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, by some state governors, who dismissed the antigraft czar’s allegations that governors were fuelling insecurity across the country to justify their security votes. The governors, according to Saturday Telegraph’s investigations, insisted that Magu was “only playing to the gallery” as well as being “economical with the truth”. While Magu alleged that some of the governors, “now covertly promote insecurity as justification to inflate their security vote”, the governors on the part maintained that the EFCC boss should be more specific in his appraisal of the ‘corruption stigma’. Saturday Telegraph got Adamawa, Anambra, Enugu, Ekiti, Rivers states responses concerning Magu’s security vote allegation. To underscore the gravity of the situation, a former Sokoto State governor, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, also corroborated Magu’s claim, stressing that state governors were getting ‘richer’ as a result of the increase in the allocations set aside for their security votes.
Magu had claimed that some chief executive of states ‘now covertly promote insecurity as justification to inflate their security vote.’ Speaking during the presentation of a paper tagged: “Imperative of Fighting Corruption/ Terrorism Financing in Nigeria”, at the induction of new and returning governors at the State House, Abuja, Magu said he was not going into debate on the constitutionality of security vote, but that the governors must be conscious of transparency in the expenditure of public funds. He said: “We have also seen evidence of theft of public resources by some state governors – cashing on the insecurity in their states. “Insecurity has also offered the required oxygen for corruption to thrive as evident in the $2.1 billion arm procurement scandal involving top military commanders both serving and retired. “Mass poverty in the region due in part to corruption by the ruling elite, is largely to blame for the ease with which the Islamists are able to recruit fighters to sustain their aggression against the Nigerian state.” “As an investigator, I am shocked by the quantum of resources stolen from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by those who run the intervention agency. It is so bad that even a mere personal assistant to a former Managing Director was charged for stealing over N3 billion.”According to him, “whether we like it or not, corruption and terrorism have become the twin evils, undermining our collective efforts to make Nigeria a truly great country.” Magu said Nigeria’s loss to corruption in the last decade runs into trillions of naira and that a review of the recoveries between 2017 and now, shows that in 2017, the EFCC recovered N473.065 billion, $98 million, €7 million and £294,000, while N236.16 billion was recovered in 2018. He said the recovered sum just gives an insight into what had been stolen so far by those in leadership positions. But reacting, the governors in separate interviews by our correspondents dismissed the anti-corruption czar’s allegations as unfounded.
Allegation is baseless- Adamawa govt
Adamawa State Government described Magu’s allegation as baseless and unsubstantial. Responding, the state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Ahmad Sajor, said Governor Muhammad Umar Jibrilla had done everything within his administrative resources to end the spate of insecurity in the state. Sajor said the state government had been in synergy with military and other security agencies in checking the rising incidence of insecurity in the state. While accepting that there were pockets of attacks at Madagali Local Government Area of the state, the commissioner explained that the military and local hunters were on top of the situation, describing them as the remnants that went to the villages to still foods. The commissioner challenged Magu not to make a blanket accusation but to come out and name or invite the governors that involved in such tendencies. However, a former Chairman of Madagali Local Government Area, Abawu Maina Ularamu, said Magu’s allegations should not be swept under the carpet as there may be elements of truth and called for investigation. He said: “It is inhumane for any governor to fuel insecurity in his domain when people who voted him are being killed on daily basis and challenged Magu as a security officer to visit the affected areas to see things by himself.” The former chairman said the best option was to end the insecurity as recently promised by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Yusuf Buratai, who equally expressed optimism that security challenges bedevilling the country would soon come to a quick halt.
Obiano: Govs don’t fuel insecurity due to security
votes On his part, Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, described Magu’s allegations as untrue in their respective states to justify the disbursement of their security votes. Speaking through his Commissioner for Information, Chief C Don Adinuba, Obiano said his state (Anambra) remains the safest state in Nigeria, adding that it was unfair for governors to create insecurity in their states to the detriment of the masses. He said: “I do not believe that such allegations are real and I want to believe that it is not Anambra State that they are referring to. “This is because the issue of insecurity has become a thing of the past in our state and you are all aware that the issue of herdsmen menace in the state have been put to check and we have a committee on herdsmen and farmers made up of security heads in the state. Adinuba further noted that cases of armed robbery kidnapping have reduced drastically in the state. “The state police command and other security operatives have been supportive in the fight against crimes in Anambra State hence cases of kidnapping and armed robbery has been under check. He further announced that two persons out of the four suspects who were involved in the killing of the ex-lawmaker and President General of Nimo community in Njikoka Local Government area have been arrested which according to him is an indication that the state government is alive to its responsibility. Ugwuanyi: I invest in security Enugu State Government also said the state government was different as it remains the most secured state in the country. Reacting to the development in a chart with Saturday Telegraph, the state’s Commissioner for Information, Chief Ogbuagu Anikwe, said the state’s Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, invests the security vote of the state in ensuring a peaceful and secured state. He, however, noted that although a policeman but who is currently saddled with a different responsibility outside security, the EFCC boss might be over stretching his brief by dabbling into security matters. He said: “The security situation in Enugu is not being fueled by the governor of Enugu state. The governor of Enugu state has been widely acknowledged by even Magu’s kinsmen as somebody who goes out of his way to look for peace, to make sure that Enugu is safe and secure. “And that is why Enugu is rated today as the safest state in Nigeria…In the first place Magu is a police man, but unfortunately today he is doing a different kind of job, which has nothing to do with policing. “I don’t know where he is coming from; whether he is speaking for the Inspector General of Police or the Director General of DSS or GOC of the military. “So, but he is a Nigerian citizen and he is free to express an opinion as everybody else is doing about the security situation but I don’t think that the security of the states or local governments or even of the nation is within his brief.”
Fayemi knows importance of security-Aide
Special Adviser to Ekiti State Governor on Public Communication, Mr. Segun Dipe, has said such situation doesn’t exist in the state. He described Governor Kayode Fayemi as a security expert, who knows the importance of security and as such, would not condone any incidence of insecurity. Dipe added that since Fayemi assumed office on October 16, 2018, the governor has given an enabling environment for security to thrive in the state, stressing that the state was now in peaceful atmosphere. He said: “The situation is not applicable to Ekiti State, Governor Kayode Fayemi is a security expert. He knows the implications of having insecurity in the state, you can see the difference between the time he took over in October 16 and now “Security situation has improved tremendously in the state. Fayemi would not condone any insecurity, the situation is not like that in Ekiti. The governor is concerned about security.”
Wike slams Magu
The governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has faulted the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, on his accusation that governors in Nigeria’s troubled states foment troubles to inflate security votes. Wike, who spoke recently through his Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr. Emma Okah, insisted that Magu was being “economical with the truth”. Okah said: “Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, disagrees with the EFCC Chairman in his comment, because Rivers State is hungry for funds to execute projects.”
Obaseki: Don’t generalise allegation with some govs For Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, the allegations made by Magu are simply untrue and unverifiable. Obaseki said his state was a peaceful state and, therefore, was not threatened by insecurity as obtained in some states in the northern parts of the country. The governor, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, told Saturday Telegraph, that: “The issue he (Magu) was addressing or referring to has to do with banditry, terrorism and kidnapping in certain sections of the country. I don’t think by any stretch of imagination, it has anything to do with a governor like (God-win) Obaseki in Edo State. By any standard, there is no terrorism or Boko Haram activity in Edo State. “I am not saying that there is not crime in the state but no such crimes as terror groups as being witnessed in some states in the north. I can say unequivocally that the comment has nothing to do with governors of some states like Edo where there is no terrorism; if this question comes from journalists from the North- East or North-West then I will understand, I don’t think that Magu’s comment was directed at states lie Edo. “Edo State is not one of those states where security votes have been increased because there is no terrorism or emergencies going on here. “In the North-East, there is such a things like emergencies due to insecurity; in the North Central in Zamfara State lately and other parts of the area but not in Edo State. “Those comments were not directed at states like Edo State because there has not been any significant increase in security situation and therefore it does not affect our security vote.”
Oyetola: My state is very peaceful
On his part, Osun State Governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, said Magu’s claim was untrue. The state governor who kicked against the claim, maintained that such does not exist in his state. Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Mr. Adeniyi Adesina, Oyetola said: “Our state is one of the most peaceful in the country as acknowledged by all indices from the police and other security agencies. “This is being sustained by Governor Adegboyega Oyetola and the situation being painted here is not applicable here.”
Bafarawa backs Magu’s corruption claims
Meanwhile, Bafarawa while speaking in Abuja, at a press conference on the forthcoming “National Security and Peace Development Summit”, to be organised by his pet NGO, the ‘Attahiru Bafarawa Foundation’, said the wave of banditry, cattle rustling, kidnapping, communal clashes and general insurgency, was on the rise for the wrong reasons. He noted that the spiral effects of poverty, ignorance, unemployment and several other developmental challenges bedevilling the North. Bafarawa added: “This meeting arose from concerns among government institutions, social, political activists and security agencies about the escalation of crime and youth involvement in these crimes in Nigeria, which were all too often linked to insatiable quest for wealth production, terrorism and extremism.”
Buhari pledges more investment in education
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday promised Nigerians that the current administration would use education to fast track transition of the nation to a modern society capable of favourably competing with other nations. The President, who was represented by the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, said this during the 2019 convocation, and 71st Foundation Day ceremony, award of doctorate degrees and conferment of honorary degrees and Fellowship on some prominent Nigerians at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State. At the event which took place at the International Conference Centre of the university, Buhari said that his administration would continue to substantially invest in education to make the country a knowledgebased economy. He nevertheless urged the graduating students to contribute to nation building and be good ambassadors of the university.
Buhari said: “I charge you to make meaningful contribution for the development of the nation in particular and humanity in general. It is my belief and prayer that the recognizance of these prominent Nigerians especially Aare Afe Babalola (one of the awardees) will spur the graduating students to cultivate selfless service to humanity. “One of the main purposes of the university education is nation building. “To achieve this noble objective, you have to be good ambassadors of this school by deploying your skills for national growth and development.
“The university and government at all levels have invested for you graduates to be useful for yourself, your parents, community and to the larger society. Here today we are celebrating an important milestone in your life. “I therefore urge you all to justify the investment in you. We will continue to invest substantially in education and government has not relented in its efforts to ensure that education is used to fast track Nigeria’s transition to a modern society.” A total of 343 candidates from various disciplines were awarded the Doctor of Philosophy degrees.
The Faculty of Education led the pack with a total of 70, followed by the Faculty of Science with 60 PhDs and the Faculty of Agriculture with 44. Five distinguished Nigerians were given honorary doctoral degrees and Fellowship awards. Among them was the Chancellor of Afe Babalola University, (ABUAD), Ado-Ekiti who received an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.
Three of former teachers of the university made the prestigious list. They included the ninth Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ayodele Falase, who received an honorary Fellowship; the foundation Dean of Technology, Prof. Fola Aboaba and the former Dean of the Social Sciences, Professor Emmanuel Edozien. Similarly, Prof. Alex Chika Eze, an alumnus received an honorary Doctor of Science (D.Sc.). Speaking on behalf of other awardees, Aare Babalola (SAN) called for autonomy of public universities in Nigeria to attain a world-class standard. Babalola said: “I wish to utilize this auspicious occasion to address an issue that worries me day and night which is the autonomy of public universities in Nigeria
EU-UN blames child marriage for obstetric fistula
The European Union United Nations (EU-UN) Spotlight Initiative has blamed child marriage in the country for an increased in obstetric fistula as 43% of girls marry before the age of 18 and 17 % of them were married off before age 15.
This, it said had given rise to 20,000 new cases of obstetric fistula which occurred every year as a result of child marriages in the country.
This was disclosed by EU-UN Spotlight Initiative during a two-day media engagement on violence against women and girls for southern journalists in the country.
According to the Initiative, violence and other forms of harmful practices against women and girls were on the rise in the country despite the war against the menace.
UNICEF child protection specialist, Mrs. Olasunbo Odebode described violence against women and girls as a silent killer that had taken the lives of scores of victims which the health outcome had gone beyond direct result of physical, psychological or mental health issues.
She said: “The social context of violence against women and girls is based on the traditional patriarchal structure that defines gender. It is the belief in Nigeria being a patriarchal society that women are subordinate to men and when married, they surrender to their husbands
“Women do not have a say in decision making, issues concerning their lives are decided upon and determined by others usually men and older women in the family, and violence is prevalent in the society.”
Okigwe Constituency deserves better representation, says APC candidate
Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming rerun election in Isiala Mbano/Onuimo/Okigwe Federal Constituency of Imo State, Princess Miriam Onuoha, has urged the people of the constituency to come out en masse and vote for the APC on an election day.
Speaking in a reaction to the Appeal Court’s nullification of the election of Kingsley Onwubuariri, in Owerri, the APC candidate said she dedicated the victory to God, her supporters and the judiciary, which she said remained the last hope of the common man.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Owerri had at the weekend upheld the judgment of the electoral tribunal that sacked Onwubuariri and also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a fresh election in the entire federal constituency within 90 days.
While dedicating her victory to God and the people of the constituents, the APC candidate enjoined all to capitalize on the golden opportunity to vote her again in the rerun election, so as to enjoy the remarkable dividends of democracy like never before in the history of Okigwe North Federal constituency.
Frowning at the state of total neglect and current poor representation of Okigwe North at the Green Chambers, Onuoha pledged to effect sound and productive representation to the people of Okigwe North when elected.
The APC candidate also added that her performance as SURE-P representative which earned her the title “Mama SURE-P” in the last administration is proof of serving the people judiciously.
She urged all registered voters in the zone to come out en masse in the soon to be scheduled rerun election and vote her again.
Court restrains NAFDAC from deploying banned chemical for public use
Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo of a Federal High Court in Lagos has restrained the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) from deploying a banned chemical, methyl bromide, allegedly imported into the country by a firm, Toon Consolidated Company Limited, for public use.
Other defendants affected by the order are: the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services (NAQS), National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Justice.
NAFDAC and the other defendants were dragged to court by a retired judge of the Osun State High Court, Justice Olamide Oloyede and an NGO, Virtues Unlimited Restorative Justice Initiative (VURJI), over alleged illegal importation of the banned chemical.
The restraining order, which was made Monday by the judge, was sequel to a request by the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Olukayode Enitan (SAN).
In his submissions, the silk drew the court’s attention to a motion for interlocutary injunction seeking to stop the defendants from deploying the chemical for public use pending the determination of the suit.
However, his motion could not be moved because all the defendants’ lawyers present in court asked for time to respond to it.
Following the development, Enitan urged Justice Oguntoyinbo to issue an interim order to preserve the ‘res’ of the suit.
Court hears army’s objection to Falana’s suit on OPI
Justice Mohammed Aikawa of a Federal High Court in Lagos will next week Thursday hear the preliminary objection filed by the Nigerian Army against the suit filed by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana, to challenge the controversial Operation Positive Identification (OPI).
The judge had at the last hearing of the matter on November 5, ordered the army to suspend the operation pending the final determination of the suit.
At Monday’s proceedings, the lawyer representing the Army and the Chief of Army Staff (1st and 2nd respondents), Mrs. Olayemi Badewole, drew the court’s attention to a motion dated November 14, 2019, seeking to regularize her clients’ notice of preliminary objection.
In the absence of any opposition from other parties in the matter, she moved the motion and her request was granted by the court.
The Solicitor General of the Federation, Mr. Dayo Apata (SAN), who represented the Attorney General of the Federation (3rd respondent) had earlier informed the court that necessary processes in respect of the suit has been filed and served on the plaintiff.
Responding, a lawyer from Falana’s chambers, E. E. Olawale, while acknowledging the receipt of the processes, sought for an adjournment to enable him respond appropriately.
Justice Aikawa subsequently adjourned the matter to November 28 for the hearing of all preliminary objections to the suit.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen.Tukur Buratai, the Army and the Attorney-General of the Federation were joined as co-respondents in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/1939/2019.
In the suit, Falana argued that the planned nationwide operation which was scheduled to run from November 1 to December 23, 2019, by which Nigerian citizens would be required to move about with means of identification is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.
NDDC’s debt: National Assembly to probe NLNG, Shell, 15 other IOCs
…Finance minister, CBN Gov to testify
A joint committee of the Senate and House of Representatives committee on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has concluded arrangements to investigate 17 international oil companies (IOCs) including the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG), Shell Petroleum and Conoil for alleged indebtedness to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NNDC).
Other oil firms, which are to be quizzed by the joint committee, are Shebah Express Petroleum, Atlas Petroleum, Allied Energy, Frontier Oil, Seven Energy Limited, Belma Oil Producing Limited, AITECO Exploration and Production, Dubrin Oil and Continental Oil and Gas.
Also to be investigated is Enageed Resources Limited, New Cross exploration and Production, Pan Ocean Oil Corporation Nigeria Limited, Nigeria Petroleum Development Company and Prime Exploration and Production Company.
Co-chairman of the joint committee and House of Representatives committee chairman on NDDC, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo (APC, Ondo), who disclosed this Monday in a chat with the media in Abuja, explained that as part of the investigation, the Minister of Finance, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the Accountant General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris and Auditor General of the Federation, Mr. Anthony Ayine will also testify before the joint committee.
According to Tunji-Ojo, records have shown that the affected oil companies jointly owning the NDDC N72 billion and $73 million respectively adding that the federal government is also owning the agency a whopping N1.2 trillion.
Senate disowns Hate Speech Bill, says it’s Abdullahi’s idea
Worried by the spate of criticisms that have greeted the Hate Speech Bill which passed first reading last week, the Senate has distanced itself from the proposed legislation
The acting spokesperson for the red chamber, Senator Godiya Akwashiki, told journalists in Abuja on Monday that contrary to widespread impression, the bill was not the idea of the ninth Senate
He said it was solely being sponsored by the Deputy Chief Whip, Sabi Abdullahi, based on his conviction.
Akwashiki described as unfortunate, the statement credited to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which insinuated that the bill was a Senate bill, skewed to make the alleged third term ambition of President Muhammadu Buhari possible.
He maintained that the fate of the bill would be determined on the floor of the Senate after a robust debate by senators.
Meanwhile, the ex-spokesperson for the Senate, who sponsored the bill, insisted at a news briefing on Monday that his proposed legislation is aimed at achieving peace in the country.
Buhari congratulates Lyon, condemns violence in Bayelsa
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Bayelsa State, David Lyon, on his “impressive victory”.
He felicitated with the governor-elect in a statement on Monday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.
The President also commended APC supporters in particular and Nigerians in general in Bayelsa who exercised their civic rights in a peaceful manner, despite the pockets of unrest recorded in some parts of the state.
He, however, condemned the loss of lives in the state, particularly prior to the election and, commiserated with the families of the victims.
“Violence during elections vitiates our commitment to demonstrate to the world and upcoming generation that we are a people capable of electing leaders in a peaceful and orderly manner,” President Buhari was quoted as saying in the statement.
He noted that officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies did their best within the ambit of the law to ensure free, fair and credible elections.
According to the President, it is unfortunate that pockets of unrest, mostly sponsored by desperate politicians were recorded during the poll.
He promised to work with the incoming government to improve the lives of the people in Bayelsa while ensuring the security of lives and property of all citizens.
Buhari also urged the governor-elect to carry other divergent interests along in the next phase of governance.
He appealed to those aggrieved by the outcome of the election to seek redress through the constitutionally established channels.
INEC declares Kogi West Senatorial election inconclusive
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday declared as inconclusive the election of the November 16 Kogi West Senatorial District because the margin of win was less than the total cancelled votes.
It said that it will announce later a date for the supplementary election.
It stated that the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Smart Adeyemi scored a total of 80,118 votes while the Kogi West Senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Dino Melaye, scored 59,548 votes.
Smart Adeyemi had slightly more than 20,000 votes than Dino Melaye.
APC’s Lyon wins Bayelsa guber election
Mr David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been declared the winner of the Bayelsa State governorship election which took place on Saturday.
Announcing Lyon as the winner, the Returning Officer, Prof Faraday Orumwense, stated that the total votes cast stood at 505, 884 while the total valid votes were 499, 551.
He added that 6333 votes were rejected in the election in which the PDP scored 143,173 leaving the APC’s to take the bigger chunk of the votes, totalling 352,552.
Lyon defeated Douye Diri, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in six out of eight locals government areas in the state.
“I , prof Faraday Orumwense hereby certifies that I am the Returning Officer for the Bayelsa State governorship election held on 16th day of November 2019.
“That the candidates recorded the following votes… Lyon David of the APC got 352,552 votes…while the PDP candidate, Diri Douye got 143,172 votes.
“That Lyon David having satisfied the requirements of the law is hereby returned elected,” he said at the State Collation Centre in the capital, Yenagoa.
Lyon’s victory makes it the first time an opposition party is winning the state since the return of democracy in 1999.
The state, which was created in 1996, has always been governed by the PDP.
Below are the scores from each local government area as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
APC – 7, 831
PDP- 60, 339
APC – 23, 831
PDP- 10, 410
APC – 83, 041
APC – 21, 489
PDP- 18, 344
APC – 8, 934
PDP- 15, 360
APC – 58, 016
PDP- 13, 763
APC – 124, 803
PDP- 4, 898
APC – 24, 607
PDP- 19, 184
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