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Presidency lobbies Senate for Magu’s confirmation

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Presidency lobbies Senate  for Magu’s confirmation

 

…alleges extortion of agencies, boards by lawmakers

Buhari orders security agencies to crush bandits

 

 

There are indications that President Muhammadu Buhari will re-nominate Ibrahim Magu to be confirmed as substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

This was even as the Presidency accused the members of the National Assembly of making monetary demands from the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government in the course of carrying out their oversight functions.

The Presidency, therefore, called on the leadership of the Senate to call to order, some of its standing committees allegedly involved in these indecorous extortions.

President Buhari had, during the 8th Senate, nominated Magu at two different times between 2016 and 2017 for confirmation in that capacity, but rejected by the Senate on account of unfavourable security report.

The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), made the request for Magu’s confirmation if re-nominated during a courtesy visit on the Senate leadership.

Sagay said that the country needed Magu in substantive capacity as EFCC chairman in the ongoing war against corruption.

According to him, Magu has performed creditably well as acting chairman of the anti-graft agency based on records on ground within the last four years and should be considered for substantive capacity.

He said: “In sustaining the ongoing war against corruption in the country, we wish to appeal to the Senate to consider the speedy confirmation of the acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, who has done magnificent work so far in the years of being in that position and who will be a good companion to the legislature in achieving the aims of anti-corruption in this country.”

He also called for the passage of certain anti-corruption bills like the Special Criminal Court, and other similar bills, which would help the anti-corruption war and ensure that the fight was successfully done with speed and energy.

The PACAC Chairman, however, shocked the lawmakers during the visit when he confronted them that some standing committees of the Senate were extorting government agencies under the guise of oversight functions.

“We also want to bring before the Senate, some of the criticisms of the public in the area of oversight. There is this constant complain that members of committees demand some form of gratifications before they would visit a place or write anything favourable about the MDAs.

“We appeal to the leadership to look into it and ensure that the oversight work of the Senate does not involve anything that will be described as extortion,” he said.

He also cautioned the Senate leadership, and by extension, the National Assembly, to look into the issue of constituency projects in saving their image.

His words: “This issue of constituency projects has been a controversial one. I don’t want to express any opinion. All I want to plead is that you look into it and ensure that it is something of benefit to the constituents and constituencies of this country and not a subject of controversy anymore.”

In his response, the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, said that as far as confirmation of Magu was concerned, a re-nomination would have to be done by the Presidency in line with the rules of the National Assembly.

According to him, the same rules and procedures also apply to anti-corruption bills being requested to be considered and passed as they will have to be re- presented for that purpose.

“You have talked about passage of anti-corruption bills, you have come to the right place, but you will also do your work.

“This is a new Senate. Going by our rules and I believe that goes for the House of Representatives too, any issue that was not concluded in the last National Assembly, will have to start all over again.

“So, as far as we are concerned, those bills will have to come again and start to go through the process from the very beginning. We are ready, in fact, we are in a haste if those bills are ready for us to start working on them.

“On the confirmation of acting chairman of EFCC, there is no request before this Senate now for such confirmation. This is a new Senate and therefore, until there is a request to this Senate, there is nothing the Senate can do.

“And I want to assure you that any request that comes from Mr. President is a request that will make Nigeria a better place in terms of appointments or legislation and the Senate will act expeditiously to ensure that we play our part in the confirmation or passing of legislation appropriately.

“As for oversight, as far as I know, I am not a receipt of any complaint and I have been in this National Assembly for 21 years. But Mr. Chairman, if any committee asks for anything from any MDA, that is not appropriate, the law is there to take its full course.

“We believe that no committee or member of the National Assembly will go out of his way to ask for anything before undertaking an oversight,” he said.

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Soyinka, Jega task FG on anti-graft war

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Soyinka, Jega task FG on anti-graft war

Until the murders of a former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, the late Chief Bola Ige, and other high-profile individuals were resolved, the fight against corruption in the country may remain a “futile” exercise.
This was the position of Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, at the United Nations Anti-corruption Day, which held Monday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The late AGF was assassinated in his home in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on December 23, 2001.
This was a former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, tasked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on the need to show that there were no sacred cows in the ongoing anti-graft war.
In his estimation, Ige and others were victims of “forces of corruption”.
“What has happened to the investigation of such high profile murders of Chief Bola Ige and others?
“If we do not resolve them, fighting corruption would be futile because they were murdered not because of political rivalry but by forces of corruption,” Soyinka said.
Speaking on the re-arrest of the Convener of #RevolutionNow Movement, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, the renowned playright underscored the sanctity of free speech, stressing that the “wark” against corruption, signify the “long walk to freedom”.
He said: “If I say revolution now, am I going to be thrown into prison because those in charge are afraid of the word revolution?
“Let the walk today between the citadel of anti-corruption and the seat of the executive arm of government be the long walk to freedom. What we are doing now is revolution somewhere or the other.”
Also speaking, Jega stressed the urgency in revvying-up the  fight against corruption by anti-graft agencies.

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Millions of Nigerians not bothered about Sowore’s rearrest —Presidency

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Millions of Nigerians not bothered about Sowore’s rearrest —Presidency

The Presidency has said that millions of Nigerians are not bothered about the rearrest of SaharaReporters Publisher, Omoyele Sowore, at the Federal High Court in Abuja last Friday.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said this during Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Monday.
Adesina was asked to react to the outrage that greeted the violent rearrest of Sowore.
He said the Presidency stands by the claim of the Department of State Services (DSS) that the video circulating did not reflect what actually transpired in court.
The President’s spokesman added: “I don’t particularly agree with you when you say a lot of Nigerians (are not happy), you know that all this noise has been coming from less than 100,000 Nigerians. And the noise will be so loud that you think it is the whole country.
“It is a country of 198 million people. When just 100,000 are making noise in the social and traditional media, you would think the whole country is in an uproar. There are millions and millions of people who are not bothered.
“There are millions of people who know what the issues are. So, you cannot just seek the opinion of a local minority and then conclude that the country is in an uproar.”

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We can’t trust our security forces, if we allow corruption to ruin our institutions – ICPC

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We can’t trust our security forces, if we allow corruption to ruin our institutions – ICPC

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has stated that corruption is the fastest route to the destruction of the nation’s institutions.
Citing examples of the effects of corruption on institutions, the ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, in his message Monday at the 2019 United Nations International Anti-Corruption Day, noted that “when a country’s institutions are weakened by corruption for instance, its security forces would not be trusted, its borders would become porous, criminality will fester and its insecurity may be internationalized.”
He, however, warned that the days of impunity were over in Nigeria and that all corrupt persons must be ready to face the consequences of their actions.
His words: “As we explore the option of collaboration and cooperation in the fight against corruption, we shall intensify activities to detect and investigate acts of corruption, embezzlement of public funds and abuse of office. The days of impunity are over. The warning must be given, loud and clear, that the corrupt will be dealt with firmly, and with the degree of ruthlessness that the law permits.”

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Kwara: Ahmed’s administration left N100bn debt, says AbdulRazaq

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Kwara: Ahmed’s administration left N100bn debt, says AbdulRazaq

Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has disclosed that the immediate past administration incurred a debt of about N100 billion as against the N30 billion it handed over to his administration.
AbdulRazaq, who disclosed this on Monday in Ilorin, the state capital, during a rally commemorating the United Nation’s Anti Corruption Day,  commended the EFCC for preventing the removal of about N4 billion from the treasury of the state by the immediate past administration at its twilight.
The governor noted that corruption is a cankerworm that affects all and sundry and the fight against it should be embraced by every member of the society, if there would be meaningful progress and development in Kwara state and Nigeria as a whole.
He said: “The anti corruption laws should not be seen as punitive but an effort to guide the people to do the right thing.
“Corruption is a cankerworm that is detrimental and it drastically retards socioeconomic growth and development of the people, the state and the nation.”
He, however, promised that his administration would effectively collaborate with the anti graft agency so as to make the state better.

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Ganduje appoints Sanusi Chairman Kano Council of Emirs

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Ganduje appoints Sanusi Chairman Kano Council of Emirs

Kano Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has appointed the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, Chairman of the state’s Emirate Council of Chiefs.

Ganduje said he did this going by the powers conferred on him in Sections 4 (2) (g) and Section 5((1) (2) of the Kano State Emirate Councils Law 2019.

Also Four First Class Emirs of Bichi, Rano, Karaye and Gaya, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, Alhaji Dr Tafida Abubakar (Autan Bawo), Alhaji Dr Ibrahim Abubakar II and Alhaji Ibrahim Abdulkadir, are appointed as automatic members of the Council, as enshrined in the state’s Emirate Council Law.

According to a press release signed by Mr Abba Anwar, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor and made available to newsmen on Monday, the governor stated that Section 4(2) names other members as Secretary to the State Government, Commissioner for Local Governments, five Chairmen of local government councils one each from the local government council where the Emir’s palace is situated.

Section 5(1), (2) of the law provides that, the Chairmanship of the state Council of Chiefs shall be rotational among the five Emirs of the Emirates and the sequence of which is to be determined by the governor and the chairman shall serve for a period of two years only.

The appointment is with effect from Monday, December 9.

Governor Ganduje urged all the Council members to utilize the opportunity to serve the people in the state and to strengthen the Emirates and the traditional system of administration in the state in advising the state government, more particularly on security matters

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Sowore: Coalition threatens mass action after 14-day ultimatum

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Sowore: Coalition threatens mass action after 14-day ultimatum

Coalition of Civil Society Organisations has threatened to mobilise Nigerians for a mass action against the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government after the expiration of a14-day ultimatum it issued for the release of Omoyele Sowore and others illegally detained by the Department of State Services (DSS).

While the Coalition noted that last week’s invasion of the Federal High Court in Abuja by DSS operatives and re-arrest of Sowore was the highest level of abuse of executive powers, it also stated that the country would slide fully into anarchy if nothing was done to curb the excesses of the government.

Yemi Adamolerun of EiE Nigeria, in the address she read on behalf of the Coalition at a press conference in Abuja on Monday, said that the ultimatum was necessary to put an urgent check on the government before democracy in Nigeria would be completely truncated by power drunk politicians.

Details later…

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One killed, others missing in New Zealand volcano eruption

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One killed, others missing in New Zealand volcano eruption

One person was killed after a volcano erupted on White Island off the coast of New Zealand and an undetermined number of people were injured or missing, authorities said Monday.

John Tims, deputy commissioner of the national police, said at a news conference that there are “likely to be more” deaths. Search and rescue operations have been stalled because “at this stage, it is too dangerous for police and rescue services to go to the island.”

Boats, ships and emergency aircraft in the area had removed 23 people from the island, many of them with burn injuries, he said. About 50 people were believed to have been in the area at the time of the eruption, he said.

Jonathon Fishman, a spokesman for Royal Caribbean Cruises, told NBC News that multiple guests aboard the ship Ovation of the Seas were touring the island, which in quieter times is a tourist attraction popular with birdwatchers. He had no further immediate information, adding: “Please keep all those affected in your prayers.”

GeoNet, the government earthquake agency, said the country’s most active cone volcano, Whakaari White Island, in the Bay of Plenty about 30 miles off the northeast New Zealand coast, erupted at about 2:11 p.m. Monday.

“We are aware that people were on the island immediately before the eruption and we express our concern for their safety,” GeoNet said in a statement. It said that the eruption was a “short-lived” event generating an ash plume 12,000 feet into the sky but that ash fall appeared to be confined to the island.

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Finnish minister Sanna Marin, 34, to become world’s youngest PM

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Finnish minister Sanna Marin, 34, to become world’s youngest PM

Sanna Marin, aged 34, will become the world’s youngest prime minister as head of a women-led coalition government in Finland.

The transportation minister was picked by her Social Democratic party to take charge after PM Antti Rinne quit. She is expected to be sworn in this week.

She will lead a centre-left coalition of five parties all headed by women, reports the BBC.

Rinne stepped down after losing the confidence of a coalition member over his handling of a postal strike.

When she takes office, Ms Marin will be the world’s youngest sitting prime minister. New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern is 39, while Ukrainian premier Oleksiy Honcharuk is 35.

“We have a lot of work to do to rebuild trust,” Ms Marin, who won the vote by a narrow margin, told reporters.

She brushed away questions about her age, saying: “I have never thought about my age or gender, I think of the reasons I got into politics and those things for which we have won the trust of the electorate.”

Ms Marin will be the third-ever female prime minister in the Nordic country. The Social Democrats emerged as the largest party in elections held in April, and so can appoint the prime minister who leads the coalition government.

According to Finnish broadcaster YLE, Sanne Marin was raised by a single mother and was the first person in her family to go to university.

Finland currently holds the European Union’s rotating presidency.

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Buhari likens Sowore to Boko Haram terrorists

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Buhari likens Sowore to Boko Haram terrorists

P

resident Muhammadu Buhari has likened the activities of the convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore, to Boko Haram terrorists operating in North-East part of the country.

 

The President stated this in reaction to criticisms that have trailed the re-arrest of the convener of Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, at the Federal High Court, Abuja by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).

 

While the fighting between government forces and Boko Haram insurgents since 2009 in the North-East has led to death of several people and displacement of millions, Sowore recently called for a revolution against the government of President Buhari.

 

Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, in a statement yesterday, explained that the criticism which followed the re-arrest of Sowore and Bakare inside the court premises is unnecessary.

 

DSS operatives were reported to have chased away a presiding judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu and assaulted journalists in their bid to arrest the duo of Sowore and Bakare in Abuja on Friday.

 

 

Reacting to the condemnation of the Buhari government over the re-arrest which happened inside the court premises, Shehu said Sowore remains a person of interest to the DSS.

 

“Again, it is no surprise that he (Sowore) should be a person of interest to the DSS. Nigeria is already dealing with an insurgency that has left millions of people displaced and desperate in the North-Eastern region of our country.

 

 

“The Boko Haram militants, who are behind the violence, also fancy themselves to be fighting for some sort of revolution.

 

“Nigerians do not need another spate of lawlessness and loss of lives all in the name of ‘revolution’, especially not one that is orchestrated by a man who makes his home in faraway New York – and who can easily disappear and leave behind whatever instability he intends to cause, to wit, Nnamdi Kanu. This is a matter for the DSS, acting under its powers,” the presidential aide stressed.

 

The Presidential spokesman said no government around the world will allow anybody to openly call for destabilisation in the country and do nothing.

 

Shehu said: “No government will allow anybody to openly call for destabilization in the country and do nothing.

 

 

“Sowore called for a revolution to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nigeria.

 

“He did so on television, and from a privileged position as the owner of a widely read digital newspaper run from the United States of America.

 

“He founded an organisation, Revolution Now, to launch, in their own words, “Days of Rage”, with the publicised purpose of fomenting mass civil unrest and the elected administration’s overthrow.”

 

According to the presidential spokesman, the DSS does not necessarily need the permission of the Presidency in all cases to carry out its essential responsibilities that are laid down in the Nigerian Constitution.

 

The Presidency explained that: “The DSS does not necessarily need the permission of the Presidency in all cases to carry out its essential responsibilities that are laid down in the Nigerian Constitution – which was the foundation for the restoration of democracy in our country in 1999.

 

 

“Mr. Sowore is no ordinary citizen expressing his views freely on social media and the internet. He was a presidential candidate himself, who ran – and lost – as the flag bearer of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the February 23 presidential election.

 

 

“Nigeria’s democracy was a long time in the making, and was achieved after decades of often harsh, military-led overthrows of government: the kind of situation Sowore was advocating.

 

 

“To believe in and desire armed revolution is not normal amongst ‘human rights activists’, as Sowore has been incorrectly described.”

Meanwhile, the US Department of State has expressed concerns over the re-arrest of Sowore.

 

 

In a tweet on Saturday, the United States reminded the Nigerian Government that respect for rule of law, freedom and judicial independence are key elements of democracy.

 

 

“We are deeply concerned that Sowore has been re-detained in Nigeria, shortly after a court ordered he be released on bail. Respect for rule of law, judicial independence, political and media freedom, and due process are key tenets of democracy,” the US Department of State said.

 

 

 

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Sowore: HURIWA tackles Presidency, DSS

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Sowore: HURIWA tackles Presidency, DSS

H

uman Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), yesterday, flayed the Presidency and the Department of State Services (DSS) over the re-arrest of the publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, inside the courtroom.

The advocacy group described the incident as “outrageous and primitive” and called for the dismissal of the Director-General of DSS, Alhaji Yusuf Bichi.

 

 

In a statement jointly signed by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, the group also frowned at the attempt made by the DSS spokesperson to exculpate his agency “from the abominable defecation of the Temple of Justice.”

 

 

It said: “This invasion of the Federal High Court, just like the invasion of the National Assembly by 100 hooded armed security forces of the DSS and the invasion of the residences of Justices of the nation’s Supreme Court and Federal High Court, are symptomatic of the increasing desire of the administration to institute arbitrariness and anarchy and then to elevate impunity and official lawlessness to a state policy which will culminate in the ultimate collapse of constitutional democracy and the emergence of full dictatorship.”

 

 

HURIWA’s statement came against the backdrop of claim by the DSS spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, that Sowore acted a well-rehearsed script to give the world the impression that its agents arrested him inside a courtroom.

According to the rights group, there is no justifiable reason for an institution created by statute to actively invade the sacred sanctum of the Federal High Court and employ brute force to arbitrarily re-arrest two Nigerian citizens who were already on bail granted to them by a competent court of law.

 

 

It insisted that the half-baked efforts by reactionary forces aligned to the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to explain away the weighty issues connected with the invasion of the courtroom of Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu “makes the government appear to be totally cut off from reality.”

 

 

HURIWA added: “This attempt to paint black what is white and to deny an event recorded on video and circulated all over the world will present the government as a bunch of people who are in the business of canonizing falsehoods and adopting naked lies as the hallmarks of the current administration.

 

“This is a serious disservice to the Nigerian State and these crude tendencies will harm the international image of the country for a long time to come.”

 

The group declared that the action of the DSS operatives cannot possibly find any rational, empirical and constitutional support since it “amounted to a gross disrespect for the sanctity of the judiciary.”

 

 

“It is comical and irrational that the spokesman for the President of a constitutional democracy in the 21st Century can be seen arguing that a citizen who has already been granted bail by the court of competent jurisdiction can be rearrested over very nebulous and incoherent reasons that find no justification in law and for which same reasons framed as criminal charges are already before the court of law and during which pendency the presiding judge, Her Lordship Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, had graciously exercised her constitution power of discretion and granted bail to the accused, thereby rendering his second arrest as an exercise in erection of double jeopardy,” it said.

 

The group, however, urged President Buhari to desist from abusing his powers and office, saying “political power is transient.”

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