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Senators, reps buy SUVs, property at give-away prices

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Senators, reps buy SUVs, property at give-away prices
  • Toyota Land Cruiser purchased at N26m sold for N1m
  • Office equipment worth over N10m sold for N360,000

 

 

Stunning revelations have been made on how sharp practices allegedly characterised sales of National Assembly property during the transition from the Eighth Assembly to the recently inaugurated Ninth Assembly.

It was also alleged that scandals greeted the handling of the contract for the repainting of offices of members of the Ninth National Assembly, as the process reportedly lacked transparency and accountability.

New Telegraph’s investigations on sales of most of the property of the National Assembly used by members of the Eighth Assembly revealed that the authorities of the apex legislative institution connived with members of the expired Assembly to sell the items at scandalously give-away prices.

Some of the items sold to members of the Eighth Senate and the House of Representatives at very ridiculous amounts included Toyota Land Cruiser, office computers, photocopiers and refrigerators, among others.

It was learnt that the National Assembly management gave out the Toyota Land Cruiser, a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), which was purchased between N24 million and N26 million each, to the senators and reps of the last Assembly for a paltry sum of N1 million.

It was also learnt that the NASS management collected the sum of N360,000 only from the lawmakers for two television sets, photocopier, desktop computers and a big refrigerator put together.

This happened at the tail end of the last Assembly when the management was taking stock of what they supplied to the lawmakers for their use in the dispensation spanning June 9, 2015 to June 11, 2019, in order to supply members of the current Assembly with basic working facilities.

It was, however, learnt that all the items, which were given out almost free to the legislators of the last Assembly, would be purchased afresh and supplied to members of the Ninth Assembly, which was inaugurated on June 11, 2019.

A National Assembly source, told our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, that the Toyota SUV, which was given out for N1 million only, was purchased at the contract sum of between N24 million and N26 million when it was supplied to the lawmakers in 2015.

The source also hinted that the contract price of each television set at the National Assembly was N2 million when the item was supplied to senators and members of the House of Representatives in the last Assembly.

This means that the cost of the two television sets mounted in each office of the lawmakers (one set in the politician’s office and one in the visitors’ waiting room) cost N4 million.

Surprisingly, the National Assembly Management asked the lawmakers to pay just N360,000 for both the television sets, musical system and other electronic gadgets installed in their offices.

It was learnt that the management wanted to sell the whole items for N540,000, but the lawmakers negotiated the price down and insisted that they would only pay N360,000. 

When New Telegraph tried to find out the reason for the decision of the apex legislative Assembly bureaucracy to sell off the official cars of the last assemblymen and other facilities at the said amounts, those who volunteered to speak off record said that it had been the practice over the years.

It was further learnt that the monies for the items would be deducted directly from the severance package of the lawmakers whenever the Assembly management would pay them.

“This practice of selling properties used by previous Assembly at give-away prices did not start today; that is how they used to do it, but the only difference is that the amounts collected from members of the Eighth Assembly on those items appear to be the lowest and it is not helping our economy at all.

“Come to think of it, a Prado Jeep (SUV), which was supplied by contractors at the rate of between N24 million and N26 million was given out at N1 million only. It’s almost like dashing them the car.

“The most painful thing when you look at the matter very critically, is that the management is going to supply brand new vehicles to the lawmakers in the present Assembly and it’s going to be very expensive. Where will they get the money to do that, is it not from public fund?

“They should have collected more money from those outgone legislators and then make up the money to buy for those in the present Assembly. This is why the National Assembly budget will continue to go up because there is no prudent management.

“Again, look at the issue of the office equipment such as television sets, sound system, photocopier, computer sets and other facilities in their office, the management of the National Assembly gave it out at a paltry sum of N360,000.

It was actually like giving those items out for free,” a source said.

Another area where sharp practices and non-transparent process were reported to have occurred in the National Assembly was in the contract awarded for the repainting of the offices of members of the Ninth Assembly.

New Telegraph learnt that the contract was taken over by some management staff of the National Assembly, who would never make their involvement in the contract known, to avoid attracting public criticism and, perhaps, facing the wrath of the law.

A source close to the National Assembly management told our correspondent that the contract for repainting the offices of the House of Representatives was being handled by one of the top management staff of the Assembly while that of the Senate was being handled by another top management official of the bureaucracy.

The source also revealed that despite the contract being awarded to different contractors for the repainting work, some of the lawmakers who were desperate to pack into their offices as soon as possible, brought painters from outside and paid them from their individual pockets to do the work.

According to the source, the senators who could not wait for the officially engaged contractors to do the work, paid as much as N250,000 to their privately engaged painters.

However, it was learnt that the price varied among individual contractors, as some lawmakers were said to have paid higher while others paid lower than N250,000.

Meanwhile, one of the National Assembly staff, who was in the know of the contract shenanigans, told our correspondent that the contractors who were awarded the repainting contract before the lawmakers impatiently brought outsiders to do the work, still came and received payment from the National Assembly management, notwithstanding that legislators paid from their pockets.

Efforts to get official reaction either from the Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA), Mohammed Sani-Omolori, or any of the top management staff, failed because none of them could be reached before filing this report.

Members of the National Assembly are currently on their annual recess, which will terminate on September 24, 2019, while the management and staff of the National Assembly are currently enjoying Sallah break, making it difficult to access relevant authorities for their comments on the alleged sales and contract scam.

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Buhari mourns Alex Akinyele, condoles with govt, people of Ondo

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Buhari mourns Alex Akinyele, condoles with govt, people of Ondo

President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with family of former Minister of Information, Chief Alex Akinyele, who passed away on Thursday night.

The President’s condolence message is conveyed through a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Friday.

President Buhari also commiserated with the government and people of Ondo State, friends and professional colleagues of the departed, urging them to take solace in the lasting legacies of the former colourful minister.

President Buhari affirmed that Akinyele’s scrupulousness, discipline and diligence were always obvious to those who worked closely with him, and his love for the nation, which was zealously demonstrated through providing exemplary leadership.

The President prayed that the Almighty God will grant the soul of the former minister eternal rest, and comfort all members of his family.

Akinyele, who died at the age of 81, was a trained teacher and Public Relations Specialist, and had also served as Chairman of National Sports Commission and Chairman of National Reconciliation Committee.

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Kogi poll: Court begins hearing on suit challenging Yahaya Bello’s eligibility

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Kogi poll: Court begins hearing on suit challenging Yahaya Bello’s eligibility

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday, commenced hearing on the suit challenging whether Governor Yahaya Bello, is fit to contest in Saturday’s Kogi Governorship election.

The presiding judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, however, stood down the case for 30 minutes in order to study a motion filed by Bello, who is seeking to be joined in the suit.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that while the Social Democratic Party (SDP)’s Candidate in the Saturday’s poll, Natasha Akpoti, is the plaintiff; the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are 1st and 2nd defendants respectively.

At the hearing on Friday, Bello’s lawyer, Mike Enahoro, who filed a motion of a party seeking to be joined in the matter, said he filed the application this morning because they got wind of the case yesterday.

Counsel to the plaintiff, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), who acknowledged receipt of the motion this morning, hinted that the motion sought to stop court’s proceeding on the matter.

He, however, argued that the motion be thrown out considering that the election is Saturday.

On his part, Counsel to the APC, Abdulwahab Mohammed, said he would need more time to study the motion.

However, Counsel to INEC, Alhassan Umar (SAN), said he had no objection to the motion.

The suit, dated October 10 and marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1221/2019, filed by Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), on Akpoti’s behalf, sought the court’s determination on the eligibility of Governor Bello in the Saturday election, having allegedly involved in double registration as a voter.

Akpoti said “that by his wilful act of making double registration as a voter, Yahaya Bello, candidate of the 1st defendant is not a fit and proper person to be allowed by the 2nd defendant to vote or be voted for in the forthcoming Kogi state governorship election, having committed act of electoral fraud.

“That Mr. Yahaya Bella. the candidate of the 1st Defendant. was initially registered as a voter sometime in 2011 in Abuja, by the 2nd defendant.

“That Bello. the candidate of the 1st defendant again fraudulently procured from the 2nd defendant. A second registration as a voter on 23rd May,. 2017, at Government House, Lokoja, while his 2011 first registration as a voter in Abuja was still live, extant and subsisting.

“That the said Yahaya Bello, the candidate of the 1st defendant carried out the double registration with the 2nd defendant so as to scuttle due electoral process.

“That such a person is not a fit and proper person to vote for in any election, let alone for the high office of the governor of a state.”

NAN reports that Justice Ekwo had, on Tuesday, delivered judgment, disqualifying the APC Deputy Governorship Candidate in Bayelsa, Sen. Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, over false information given in his CF0001 Form submitted to INEC for the Saturday’s poll.

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Lightning strikes kill 27 in Pakistan

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Lightning strikes kill 27 in Pakistan

Officials said separate incidents of lightening killed at least 27 people and injured over two dozens of others in different areas of Pakistan’s southern Sindh province during the last 24 hours, local media reported Friday morning.

Saeed Ghani, the provincial government spoke man said that local authorities declared an emergency and rushed rescuers to the Thar Desert in the province of Sindh after the overnight tragedy.

He added that several dozen people including women and children were being treated at the hospitals, reports dp.

They sustained injuries caused by lightning and falling structures due to the rain.

Aslam Chandio, the local rescue official said that three districts including Tharparkar, Mirpurkhas and Sukkur were hit by heavy rains from Thursday evening that continued into Friday.

Anwar Kazimi the spokesperson for Edhi Charity that works in the region equally added that the death toll might increase as information were pouring in from remote villages still inaccessible for rescuers.

Flash floods, land erosion, cloudbursts, droughts and smog resulting in low air quality have been on the rise in Pakistan in recent years.

Climate expert Chaudhry Qamar Zaman also said that sandwiched between highly industrialized China and India, Pakistan would have to bear the brunt of the global warming.

Zaman added that both the state and people will have to realise the gravity of the problem and act swiftly.

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IGP appoints new CPs for Lagos, Ogun,5 other states

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IGP appoints new CPs for Lagos, Ogun,5 other states

Emmanuel Onani, Abuja

The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the postings of new Commissioners of Police (CPs) to Lagos, Ogun, Akwa Ibom and Cross River states.

Also affected in the posting/redeployment are Bauchi, Kano and Edo states.

A statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, late Thursday night, listed the new CPs and their commands as follows: Nkereuwem A. Akpan (Cross River); Kenneth Ebrimson (Akwa Ibom); Imohimi D. Edgal (Ogun); Sani Ahmadu (Kano); Lawal Jimeta (Edo); Philip Sule Maku (Bauchi); and Odumosu H. Olusegun, who is acting CP, Lagos.

Adamu charged the new command CPs to build upon the operational gains of their predecessors, while striving hard to implement the community-based policing initiative.

“The Inspector General of Police charges the newly posted officers to ensure the consolidation and improvement on the gains of their predecessors in the areas of public safety and crime fighting.

“He also directs the new Commissioners of Police to work with relevant stakeholders in adopting aggressive, proactive and community based crime prevention strategies to combat crime in their Areas of Responsibility.

“In addition, the Inspector General of Police enjoins the citizens of the affected states to accord the Commissioners of Police maximum cooperation to ensure they succeed in the realization of their mandate,” Mba said.

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Man dies in Hong Kong protests as Chinese President calls for end to unrest

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Man dies in Hong Kong protests as Chinese President calls for end to unrest

Another person in Hong Kong has died in protests that have convulsed the financial hub since June, a tragedy that comes just after China’s leader issued his most direct rebuke of the unrest yet.

A 70-year-old cleaner who was believed to have been hit in the head during a skirmish between protesters and residents died Thursday evening, the Hospital Authority confirmed.

According to a government statement, the man was on his lunch break Wednesday when he was struck by “hard objects hurled by masked rioters.”

His death follows less than a week after a student protester sustained a fatal injury after falling from a parking garage during demonstrations, reports time.com.

While the circumstances leading to the student’s fall remain unclear, many supporters of the protest movement see him as a martyr, and his death galvanized a fresh round of strikes and protests that have roiled the city for five consecutive days.

Traffic continued to be snarled and train services disrupted Friday as protesters occupy major thoroughfares and parts of the railway tracks. Schools and universities remain shuttered, and many businesses encouraged employees to stay home.

Speaking from a summit in Brazil, Chinese President Xi Jinping said “continuous radical violent activities in Hong Kong seriously trample [on] rule of law and the social order, [and] seriously disturb Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability.”

Beijing firmly supports Hong Kong’s leader, the police and the courts “in severely punishing the violent criminals,” he said in rare comments on the situation.

According to Chinese state media, Xi called ending the turmoil Hong Kong’s most pressing task.

But with no end to the protests in sight, Asia’s financial capital is struggling. The territory of 7.5 million has fallen into a recession as tourists stay away and high-end shopping malls are transformed into battlegrounds between riot police and protesters.

After clashes with police moved from the streets to the outskirts of academic institutions earlier this week, unleashing some of the fiercest battles in six months of unrest, student demonstrators barricaded themselves inside their university campuses.

Behind the walls of the fortress-like campuses, students have stockpiled Molotov cocktails, swords and arrows as they seek to safeguard their academic sanctuaries.

Several universities have suspended classes for the duration of the semester, and allowed an exodus of international students.

In the city’s Central business district, lunchtime flash mobs have brought white collar workers out to the streets to erect roadblocks and face off with police, even as the clashes have become increasingly violent.

In the face of a deepening crisis, Hong Kong’s embattled Chief Executive Carrie Lam has doubled down on her insistence that there will be no capitulating to the protesters’ demands. Earlier this week, she called it “wishful thinking” that the government would yield to the “escalating violence.”

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US Speaker says impeachment testimony shows ‘bribery’ case against Trump

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US Speaker says impeachment testimony shows ‘bribery’ case against Trump

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that testimony from two U.S. diplomats in the Democrats’ first public impeachment hearing on Wednesday uncovered “evidence of bribery” against President Donald Trump.

“The bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into the elections. That’s bribery,” Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters at her weekly news conference in the Capitol.

Pelosi said that the testimony shows Trump made a “clear attempt” to give himself an advantage in the 2020 election, jeopardizing national security and the U.S. election in violation of his oath of office, reports abcnews.

“We haven’t even made a decision to impeach,” Pelosi said when asked whether an article of impeachment would be crafted around the charge of bribery. “That’s what the inquiry is about. When the committees decide that, they will decide what the articles are. But I am saying that what the president has admitted to and said it’s perfect, I say it’s perfectly wrong. It’s bribery.”

The Democrats’ shifting focus to the allegation of bribery in recent days appears to be no accident. Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution states: “The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Asked whether Wednesday’s hearing moved the needle for Democrats as they mull impeachment, Pelosi insisted the inquiry is “not about politics.”

“It’s not about anything political. It’s about patriotism. It’s about honoring our oaths of office and to uphold the constitution, and the constitution spells out what our responsibilities and what our penalties are,” Pelosi said.

“I do believe the truth will set us free and so the truth coming from the president’s own appointee, the president’s own appointee, describing bribery and threatening, in the course of it, threatening the identity of the whistle-blower, is just shameful behaviour.”

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Kogi, Bayelsa guber polls: APC begs for votes

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Kogi, Bayelsa guber polls: APC begs for votes

Ahead of Saturday’s governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has begged the electorate to vote for its candidates in the polls.

In particular, the chairman, Kogi State APC Campaign Council, Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna, yesterday knelt down in Lokoja, the state capital, begging the electorate to forgive Governor Yahaya Bello and re-elect him in the Saturday election.

El-Rufai, who mounted the podium during the grand finale campaign for the APC at the Confluence Stadium in Lokoja, pleaded with the people to forgive Governor Bello on account of his young age, for his real and perceived past wrongs and return him for a second term on the platform of the APC on November 16.

According to him, young persons are susceptible to mistakes.

His words: “Many people say Yahaya Bello is young; that he has fought many people. For every one that the governor has offended, I’m asking all of you to forgive him. He is young; he is supposed to make mistakes.

“When you are young, you make mistakes. Please, I am kneeling down on my knees to beg you. Please, forgive whatever wrong he has done to you. He cares about the people of Kogi State. He has brought progress to this state; he has brought young people and women into government.

“He has cleared salary arrears that he inherited from previous governments. You must all come out to support him. I beg you all. Let us make history. Let us not dishonour the memory of Prince Abubakar Audu by allowing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to return to Lugard House – the Government House. We must work for the unity and progress of Kogi,” he said.

El-Rufai said the campaign train had come not only to re-elect Yahaya Bello, but to bury PDP once and for all. He stated that the four years’ achievement of Bello has surpassed the 13 years of the PDP in Kogi state.

“That is why we must all come to together and finally burry the PDP in Kogi State. We are going to do them “murus” (in Hausa dialect, meaning, total finishing of the opposition party in the state),” he added.

He appealed to the electorate to also vote for Senator Smart Adeyemi and not to repeat the mistakes of the past by voting Senator Dino Melaye.

“You all have the choice to choose between foolishness and goodness,” he said.

On his part, National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole urged the people of the Kogi West to join in kicking the “Rascal” out of the Senate.

Another drama took place when the wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, invited the governor to come back to the podium and clear the air over the issue of non-payment of salary.

Bello, in response, said: “Your excellency, I can assure you that my administration has cleared all salary arrears owed workers in the state.”

The governor, who stated that he was already smelling victory, vowed that any thug deployed to the state to foment trouble in the Saturday election, will not go back to their home safe.

Addressing the gathering, Bello appealed to the people to uphold the unity so far achieved in the state, and speak with one voice by returning him as governor on November 16.

“We have been able to unite Kogi State. What we have now is Kogi Agenda, not ethnic agenda. Ethnicity has brought Nigeria to its knees. But today in Kogi, the Igalas, the Okuns and Ebiras are brothers.

“I want Mr. President to return to meet a new dawn in Kogi State that his son has been re-elected the governor of Kogi State,” he said.

But the PDP said the public apology by El-Rufai, was an acknowledgement that Bello does not deserve a second term in office.

The party in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, also observed that Edo State deputy governor, Philip Shuaibu, agreed that Governor Bello misused the opportunity given to him to lead the state.

“Unfortunately, the apology is coming too late in the day and cannot be accepted by the people of Kogi State, whose lives, Yahaya Bello had turned into a living hell in the last four year.

“Moreover, Yahaya Bello openly confirmed that he is irredeemable as he stood without any sign of remorse while El-Rufai and the Edo State deputy governor begged the unimpressed scanty crowd.

“Governor El-Rufai and the APC ought to have counselled Bello at the time he was busy suppressing, insulting, abusing and making life unbearable for the people of Kogi State as if there will not be a day of reckoning.

“The irreversible fact is that the day of reckoning has come. The people of Kogi State have moved beyond Yahaya Bello and the APC,” PDP said.

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NNPC secures $1.16m U.S. grant for 1,350MW power plant

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NNPC secures $1.16m U.S. grant for 1,350MW power plant

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) have concluded arrangement to sign a $1.16 million grant as part funding for the NNPC-Abuja Independent Power Project (IPP).

The corporation disclosed this in a statement by Mr. Samson Makoji, Acting spokesman for NNPC, in Abuja yesterday.

He said that the arrangement was the outcome of a business meeting between the Management of NNPC and the USTDA at the NNPC Towers.

Makoji noted that both parties agreed to close out the deal on December 1, adding that the IPP was modeled to generate 1,350 megawatts of electricity to alleviate the power challenge in the country.

The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari, said that the plan by the corporation to build the 1,350MW power plant in Abuja was part of the national strategy to monetize the abundant natural gas resources in the country.

He added that the USDTA grant was to complement the ongoing feed project in order to make the Abuja IPP initiative more bankable for strategic investors’ participation.

“As a state-owned oil company and enabler organisation, we know that our investment in the Abuja 1,350mw IPP will increase energy supply level with great impact on the nation’s economy.

“Therefore, the USTDA grant is timely to make it a bankable project that would attract foreign direct investment into the country,” he said.

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Minister, telcos bicker over voicemails on mobile lines

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Minister, telcos bicker over voicemails on mobile lines
  • Pantami: Stop defrauding subscribers
  • Operators: Service is not a fraud

 

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, has, again, ordered telecoms operators to stop automatic activation of voicemails on mobile lines.

The minister said the order became imperative as his attention was “drawn to the latest trend of financial exploitation by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in the country, through the automatic activation of the Voicemail Service on their platforms.”

However, the telcos said the allegation of fraud could not have arisen with voicemail service as it is optional for subscribers and not automatic as being insinuated.

Nonetheless, the minister said he has issued a “broad policy” directive to the sector regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to immediately ensure that issues regarding automatic voicemails are addressed on all existing phone lines, and the subscribers given the option of accessing the service via an activation code.

“The voicemail service should be accessed at the discretion of the subscriber and not by default. The minister finds it worrisome and totally unacceptable that telecoms subscribers incur financial charges, for a service they are compelled to use by default. Voicemail is not a popular service among mobile phone users in Nigeria, coupled with the language challenge among rural dwellers, who mostly do not understand the language deployed by these networks,” Pantami said in a statement released yesterday.

Reacting to the minister’s latest directive, second in two weeks, the telecoms operators under the aegis of Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, (ALTON), said voicemail (VM) is a value-added service enjoyed by only those who opt-in for it.

Chairman of the Association, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, said: “The current practice on some networks is that once you call and the recipient doesn’t pick, you get a voice prompt saying that the subscriber is not available and asking you to record a voice message ‘after the tone’.

“VM is a value added service and it is provisioned for those who expressly request for it. It may be recalled that MNOs reintroduced the VM facility to discourage people who “flash” continuously because flashing wastes network resources and also degrades quality of service (QoS) reporting.

“For the avoidance of doubt, you as a consumer are not billed anything, but if you delay, you may be charged for a few seconds, or for the time it takes you to record the message. The recipient of the voicemail does not get charged for listening, it is free.”

ALTON also noted that the issue of voicemail is not in any way a policy issue to warrant intervention of the minister.

“This is not a major ‘policy issue’ within the meaning of Section 23 and 24 of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) which empowers the minister to formulate ‘general policy for the communications sector, after consultations organised by the NCC’. It is a mere operational/consumer protection issue which the ministry can simply call NCC’s attention to.

“This is purely consumer related issues that the minister refers to as a major policy issue and it also amounts to unnecessary interference by the minister contrary to Section 25 subsections 1 & 2 of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003,” Adebayo said.

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Don’t harass voters, Buhari warns Army, Police

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Don’t harass voters, Buhari warns Army, Police

President Muhammadu Buhari has warned security agencies, including the Army and Police involved in this Saturday’s Bayelsa and Kogi governorship elections, against harassment of voters.

The President said law enforcement officials must ensure that citizens are allowed to vote without harassment and intimidation.

Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, in a statement yesterday, said “any attempt to steal or hijack ballots must be stopped using all legal means.

“In all democratic elections, there are bound to be winners and losers and the elections in Bayelsa and Kogi will not be different. All candidates should be ready to accept the outcomes and wherever they are dissatisfied, they should follow the due process of the law in seeking redress. There must not be a resort to self-help.”

The President further said: “I call on voters in Bayelsa and Kogi states to exercise their franchise in a peaceful and orderly manner and in line with the law in all situations.”

“The President wished the two states and their people a safe and credible exercise as they vote in these historic and suspenseful elections.”

Shehu said: “Since the ban on campaigns was lifted a few weeks ago, their citizens have been called to attend political rallies… that sadly, have so far recorded not a few uninspiring incidents of violence and of intemperate use of language.

“President Buhari has made a strong demand for exemplary conduct of non-partisanship on the part of election and law enforcement officials in the two states. All must carry out their functions with fairness and transparency; without let or hindrance and without fear or favour.”

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