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Politics / CCB Denies Report Of Missing Tinubu’s Case File
« on: March 10, 2021, 10:23:05 AM »
Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) has dismissed as baseless, reports that its officials are jittery over the alleged disappearance of records relating to former governor of Lagos State and All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Senator Bola Tinubu.
CCB dismissed the report in its reaction to a publication in an online medium that there was tension in the office over missing Tinubu’s assets declaration form and case file from the vault.

The report claimed that the bureau started searching for the file when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) wrote to request the documents.

The publication, which accused officials of the CCB of complicity in the alleged disappearance of the records, read that the situation could frustrate an ongoing corruption investigation into Tinubu’s assets by the EFCC.

But a source in CCB denied any tension in the office. He also explained that the so-called case file is no longer relevant in CCB since the charges against the APC chieftain were sent to the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) in 2007.

Tinubu was arraigned before the CCT in November 2007 for allegedly operating foreign bank accounts.

However, the three-man panel of the tribunal dismissed the case at Tinubu’s second appearance on the ground that “there was no significant basis to proceed against the defendant as the charges were defective and shoddy.”

The CCB source, who pleaded anonymity, said: “When Senator Tinubu was the governor of Lagos State, he had issue with his assets declaration and was arraigned before CCT but for some reasons known to him alone, nothing meaningful came out of the trial.

“And once we have charged the case to the tribunal, we don’t go back to it except if, maybe, there is an appeal. But there was no appeal from the Federal Government.

“The file did not come back to us because I went through the archive to see the petition of the file and found the case was charged to the CCT. So, if anybody is interested in the case file, he should go to CCT.”

Describing the move to get Tinubu’s case file as political, the source further attributed the development to the 2023 political race.

“I think the whole thing is because of his presidential ambition and they are trying to just make him calm. The case has long exceeded the appeal time. They can’t appeal that judgment but based on some constitutional provisions, fresh charges can be raised against him.

“The file is not even with us. It is already at the tribunal and if in the event they decide to bring up issues based on some fresh facts, it means we just have to start the entire case from the beginning based on what they are planning,” he said.

When asked if the file could be retrieved from the CCT, the source stated that in such circumstances, the bureau could only establish a new file and bring up his asset declaration form.

On the alleged tension, the source said: “There is no tension at the CCB. The board will be meeting tomorrow. You know we had some issues a few weeks ago on Senator Godswill Akpabio and the situation was tensed. It does not have anything to do with Tinubu.

“The truth of the matter is that I will not be completely wrong if I say there is some background play that is yet to come out clear if the information I have is correct. I also think they are trying to use the new man in EFCC to bring up some things against Tinubu.

“But they may not be able to make any meaningful headway unless they go through the issues of assets declaration. According to the constitution, such matters are not time-bound.

“It means we could still come up with fresh charges against him, a secure conviction against him, and have him banned from office for the next 25 years.”

Another source from CCB punctured the report, saying all records relating to assets declaration and other vital documents are electronically saved and could be retrieved whenever they are needed.

The source said the purveyors of the “malicious” report were ignorant of the collaboration between the CCB and EFCC in the fight against corruption.


Politics / Malami: Over ₦527 Billion Ibori Loot Still Being Expected
« on: March 10, 2021, 08:36:33 AM »
The Federal Government says over £100m (N527bn), allegedly stolen by a former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori, and his associates is still being expected.

The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), said this on Channels Television’s Politics Today’ programme on Tuesday.

Malami, who is also the Minister of Justice, said apart from the Ibori loot, $100m traced to the late Head of State, Gen Sani Abacha, was also being expected.

He said, “As it is we have succeeded in recovering £4.2m from the UK. We are still pursuing other assets even as it relates to the Ibori assets.

“The quantum of the amount involved was within the region of over £100m (N2.2bn) and it is out of it that we have succeeded in recovering a fraction of £4.2m and we are still pursuing an additional sum within the region of £100m (N527bn) and that will be a function of conviction and subsequent recovery process.”

The AGF said the money would not be handed over to the Delta State Government because the crime that led to the diversion of the funds was a federal one.

He further argued that one of the conditions for the UK repatriating the Ibori loot was that the money must be tied to certain federal projects which include the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the Abuja-Kano rail and the Second Niger Bridge and a Memorandum of Understanding had been signed between both parties.

However, human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), described Malami’s position as faulty.

Falana said funds stolen from the Bayelsa State Government years ago were returned to the state government.

He said this was what also happened in the case of Joshua Dariye, a former Governor of Plateau State who was convicted for diverting state funds.

The senior advocate said giving the Ibori loot to the Federal Government was at variance with Section 162 of the constitution.

Falana said, “The £4.2m does not belong to the Federal Government. The money confiscated from Governor Joshua Dariye in the United Kingdom was recovered by the Federal Government, repatriated to Nigeria and returned to the Plateau State Government.

“The money confiscated from Governor DSP Alamieyesigha in the UK was recovered by the Federal Government, repatriated to Nigeria and remitted to the Account of Bayelsa State Government.

“Since what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander the sum of £4.2m confiscated from Governor James Ibori in the United Kingdom and recovered by the Federal Government has to be remitted to the Account of the Delta State Government.”

He said the memorandum of understanding signed by the representatives of the British Government and the Federal Government cannot supersede the constitution which has prohibited any form of discrimination in the country.


The Oghara Development Union, ODU, Lagos Branch, on Tuesday, called on the Federal Government to insist that every single penny that has been forfeited by Chief James Ibori’s associates in the London trial, should be returned to Nigeria.

Ibori is from Oghara town in the Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State. The union in a statement by its General Secretary, Chief Sunday Agbofodoh, said the federal government to insist that three buildings seized by the United Kingdom government through Court order be repatriated to Nigeria.

Backing its claim with documents, the Union said the UK government lied as it did not return the full money forfeited by three women who were associated in the London case which amounted to £6.2 million pounds and not £4.2 million pounds as claimed by the UK government.

The statement reads: “The Oghara Development Union stands squarely with Chief Ibori in maintaining his innocence, and so without conceding that Ibori was guilty as charged, and specifying that the forfeited houses were not bought with illicit funds, we nevertheless call on Nigeria to insist that the full worth of the three buildings seized through a court order, be repatriated to Nigeria.”

Reacting to a story that broke online Tuesday March 9, that Britain and Nigeria had signed an “MOU on the £4.2 million” forfeited by the three women associates of the Ibori London case, the union said as the United Kingdom claimed to be acting without ulterior motives on Nigeria’s behalf, that all the monies forfeited should be returned to Nigeria.
The union said it has followed the case diligently and knows that the sum the women forfeited was £6.2 million and not £4.2 million. It said Nigeria should oppose UK’s hypocrisy and insist that the entire sum be returned to Nigeria, or UK would have been engaged in witch-hunting Ibori for profit, by withholding Two Million Pounds Sterling.

“Nigeria should also demand for the interest on the £6.2 million since 2012 because the money would not have sat idly in the bank without attracting interest”. The ODU said that all assets linked to Ibori were purchased using funds lawfully and properly obtained and some were bought before Ibori became Governor. Ibori’s businesses and the monies that accrued to them were not hidden from the London and Nigerian “persecutors”.

The London Police filed in court a paper which showed that one of Ibori’s companies, Mer Engineering, was earning over $7 million annually. The London house linked to the First Lady of Delta state when Ibori was Governor, the Hampstead property is owned by a family trust. The property was purchased by the company, MER engineering, which shareholding was held by his family trust. MER had obtained facility loan from NNB, a Nigerian bank.

The value of this property at the time of its purchase was £2.1 million, which was covered by the NNB facility of well over £3 million meant for working capital and financing of assets. The second property belonged to Miss Udoamaka Okoronkwo, and was purchased for £249, 000 through mortgage. Miss Udoamaka is a successful business woman as can be seen from the facility letter dated 19 December 2005 from a bank in favour of her company, Sagicon Nig, Ltd for N121 million (£1.5 million).
The third property, very modest, belonged to Ibori’s sister, a U.K resident, which she purchased for £140, 000. Her husband is a former Federal Permanent Secretary. The Union which said it has been following the case diligently said it is unjust for the UK government to give a false impression that Ibori had no money by the time he became governor of Delta state in 1999.

It said MER Engineering (Nig Ltd), one of Ibori’s companies was established in 1992, seven years before he became governor of Delta state.

The ODU said: “As a court ordered that the buildings be forfeited, however unjust that order is, all the monies realised MUST return to Nigeria. It is on record that Ibori was a successful businessman before he became a Governor in May 1999, involved in oil logistics (Upstream) and trading (Downstream). One of his companies, MER Engineering (Nig Ltd), was established in 1992, seven years before he became Governor. He was publisher of a national newspaper called “Diet”, now called “Daily Independent”.

Also Ibori had a consultancy job with the Federal Government, with a tripartite agreement between him, the FG and the law firm Washington Christian of USA from which he earned between US$ 3 million to US$ 5 million annually, after successfully reaching the specified goals.
“His bank statements with the Bank of Austria, the Citibank, Barclays Bank and the Meryl Lynch for those years will also show that he had substantial wealth of his own before he held public office for the first time in May 1999. For instance, on March 11, 1998, his Bank of Austria account contained $557,100.00”.

“His Citibank account contained even more; over $1.5 million dollars in 1998. In fact, the Nigerian and UK persecutors (instead of prosecutors) knew that Ibori was already a Citibank Gold and Private Bank Member and a Gold Card member of the British Airways before he became Governor. But they chose the rags to riches publicity stunt to justify their persecution of Ibori for political reasons. It is well-known that before Ibori became Governor, he self-funded his entire political campaigns – with all the party candidates in 1999”.

“This should put to rest the lies that Ibori was not wealthy before he became Governor of Delta state” the Union said.


A septuagenarian arrested by members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) is not the “wanted Wakili”, according to Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode.

Some members of the OPC in Oyo State had, on Sunday, razed a Fulani settlement at Kajola in Ibarapa area of Oyo State before arresting the elderly blind man.

In the process, Daily Trust gathered Wakili’s daughter-n-law was killed.

In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Fani-Kayode said the old man arrested is not the prime suspect.

His tweet read, “One Isikilu Wakili, a foreign terrorist who operates in the Ibarapa area, is the most notorious, dangerous and bloodthirsty terrorist in the South-West today. He killed even more people yesterday. He is even worse than Abu and the old man that is in police custody in Ibadan.

“The Isikilu Wakili that is still at large is the leading mafia don and he is a brutal and cold-blooded rapist and killer. He has brought torment and carnage to the people of the South-West. I call on my friend and brother, Sunday Igboho to support & and assist the Nigeria Police Force and intelligence agencies to find him, fish him out and bring him to justice.

“This must be done within the law and it must be done with power and precision. Now is the time to free the people of Ibarapa and the SW of his wickedness and barbarity. Now is the time to do what ought to have been done long ago. I trust our security forces to do the right thing. The old man that they have in custody is not the real Mcoy. Isikilu is the real Mcoy and he is still out there killing our people. Only our security forces with the total support and commitment of Sunday Igboho, the local community and the gallant and fearless sons and daughters of Oduduwa can save the day. And save the day they must!” he said.


Agriculture / 4 Benin Republic Ministers Meet Nigerian Rice Farmers
« on: March 10, 2021, 08:25:46 AM »
Four ministers from the Republic of Benin along with other officials are in Nigeria for talks with Nigerian rice farmers under the aegis of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) to fine-tune a memorandum of understanding.

The ministers were Alimatau Shadiya, Minister of Industry and Trade, Cossi Gaston Dossouhoui, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Samon Seidou Adambi, Minister of Mine and Water Resources and Romuald Wadagni, Minister of Finance and the Economy and head of the delegation.

Mr Wadagni stated that because of the new vision of cooperation between the two countries, President Patrice Talon decided to send four ministers to Nigeria to chart the way forward for a robust cooperation on rice production.

“We want to put in place a partnership between the rice producers of Nigeria, and the rice producers in the Republic of Benin,” he said.

Earlier, the national president of RIFAN, Alhaji Aminu Goronyo, who led a delegation to the Benin Republic president in Cotonou, last week, said the Abuja meeting would look at the technical areas for learning and the way forward.

He said “the team was in Nigeria to see what we are doing right under the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme launched by President Muhammadu Buhari which made Nigeria today to record huge success in the rice revolution.”

In a related development, Benin Republic has approached President Muhammadu Buhari to seek Nigeria’s help for rice production.

The country sent in a delegation of officials who met with the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday to tap from Nigeria’s experience in reviving rice production.

The delegation was led by the country’s Minister of Agriculture, Gaston Cossi Dossouhoui. They were led to the Villa by Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu and the Nigerian Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed.

Bagudu later told reporters that the delegation and the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria met with Gambari to advance ongoing talks between both countries on how to replicate Nigeria’s rice farming programme in Benin Republic.

“This is partnership within the framework of ECOWAS agreement and the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement and our brotherly relationship between President Muhammadu Buhari and President Patrice Tallon who have the safe vision that we can be greater together,” he said.


Politics / Buhari: Nigeria’s Unity Is Non-Negotiable
« on: March 05, 2021, 08:18:13 AM »
President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated his conviction in the indivisibility of Nigeria.

He reaffirmed the country’s unity is non-negotiable.

The President restated his conviction to Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello on Thursday during a visit to brief him of progress so far made in resolving the north/south food blockage crisis.

The Governor, who called on Buhari in the company of the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, also said the President also expressed concerns over the issue of insecurity in the country.

Governor Bello had been at the forefront of efforts to resolve the ethnic misunderstanding between northern traders, under the aegis of Amalgamated Union of Food and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AFUCDN) and their southwestern compatriots, which led to a blockade of food items and livestock from entering the south.

However, the Governor, as well as other notable Nigerians, including former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, negotiated a truce on Wednesday, leading to restoration of movement of food and livestock to the south.

According to him, while reacting to the agreement and the peace process, Buhari had commended the efforts put into reaching peace.

“Mr. President expressed concern over the insecurity in the land. As the commander in chief, he has assured everyone of us based on his security meeting yesterday, that Nigeria is going to be secured, safe and prosperous and I believe in him 100 percent.

“He urged everyone of us to continue to go about our lawful businesses in the country, that Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable, that Nigeria must be united, peaceful and that Nigeria must be prosperous,” he said.

He waived off insinuations that he got involved in the peace process just to build a profile for himself against the 2023 presidential election, as he has been said to have mounted his campaigns for the purpose.

He said his intentions and reasons were genuine, adding he was in the peace process on the orders of the President to nip a potentially dangerous situation in the bud and save the country from an unimaginable consequence.

“I am not running away from the fact that numerous teaming youths, Nigerians, women, youths, leaders and followers, various groups are calling me to contest for the presidential election in 2023.

“That is their right, it is within their purview to ask for that or demand that I run as their representative in government today.

“But I have an assignment to carry out, the assignment of ensuring that my state is safe and secured.

“We’re doing that effectively by providing leadership in Kogi State. We’re taking Kogi State from where it used to be in the past, to a more united prosperous, safe and secured Kogi state.

“Today, they’re asking me to replicate the same in the national level that is within their rights. But to say that, when there is another call of an assignment from the Commander-in-Chief on me, to ensure that a little problem that can be solved, should not be allowed to snowball into a larger crisis that would put this country on unknown collision cause, I think I will never hesitate to take up that responsibility, and that I have done successfully to the glory of God and to the satisfaction of majority of Nigerian and Mr. President.”


An unspecified number of soldiers were feared killed as gunmen laid ambush and launched an attack Thursday afternoon on a military outpost in Marina, Safana Local Government Area of Katsina State.

The attack was carried out around 1pm on Thursday, according to eyewitness’ account.

It was not clear the casualties suffered on either side, but some soldiers were feared killed.

The soldiers were said to be returning from a military operation from nearby forests when they were ambushed.

A resident of the area, who spoke under condition of anonymity, said: “Unknown to the soldiers, the bandits had laid ambush in their outpost. The bandits opened fire immediately the soldiers returned to the posts”.

“It is unfortunate because the soldiers were just returning from another operations, where they have made tremendous success, combing the forests for the bandits, only to be waylaid in their base,” he said.

Another resident, however, said two of the bandits were also killed by the army during the gun duel.

Attempts to confirm the incident from the Military or the Police authorities proved abortive.


The Benue State Government has promised a N5 million reward for anyone with useful information that can lead to arrest of killers of Terkula Suswam.

Terkula is the elder brother of Senator Gabriel Suswam, immediate past governor of Benue State.

Although no group has claimed responsibility for the murder of Suswam but there are speculations that he was murdered by late Terwase Agwaza’s gang.

However, the state government says it is ready to pay N5m to anyone who will provide information that will lead to the arrest of the killers.

This was made know during the Benue State Security Council on Thursday.

Resolutions arrived at after a security meeting presided over by the Governor as contained in a report by Terver Akase include:

“Council condemned the gruesome murder of one of Benue’s illustrious sons, Dr. Terkula Suswam. Consequently, Council declared a clampdown on criminal elements in Sankera and other flash points.”

“As follow-up to the last Security Council Meeting which banned the use of motorcycles in Katsina-Ala and Ukum Local Government Areas as well as the curfew imposed on the two local government areas, Council reviewed the situation and extended the curfew to cover Logo LGA where Dr Suswam was killed.”

The curfew in the entire Sankera area will now be in force from 6pm to 6am.

“Council also placed a bounty of N5 million for anyone with information that can lead to the arrest of killers of Dr Terkula Suswam. Council also acknowledged the appreciation of Sankera people regarding the ban on motorcycles.

It further acknowledged the people’s complaints that criminals now use the Toyota car popularly called ‘duck nyash’ to carry out their nefarious activities including the gunmen who killed Dr Terkura Suswam.”

“Consequently, Council resolved to ban the use of the ‘duck nyash’ Toyota vehicle in all parts of Sankera.”

“Council directed security operatives to arrest anyone using the banned car and motorcycle operating within Sankera axis.”

“Council decided that commercial vehicles operating in the entire Sankera must update their papers to authenticate their ownership. Similarly, all commercial vehicles must load in motor parks henceforth.

Council chairmen were also directed to liaise with the National Union of Road Transport Workers, security agencies and vigilante to enforce the directive.”

“To prevent any case of attack on schools in the state, Council took the proactive step of directing the Ministry of Education to sensitize schools on security consciousness. The sensitization is to begin with schools in border communities of the state.”

“Traditional rulers and the local government chairmen were also mandated to ensure adequate sensitization of people to be security conscious.”

“Council also constituted a Committee to monitor the sensitization of schools and the general public.

The committee is headed by the Security Adviser to the Governor and has as members, heads of all security agencies, Commissioner for Education and his team, Special Adviser Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs as well as all the local government chairmen in the state.”


How Presidency Cabal Caged Osinbajo, Tunde Fowler Through EFCC Probes, Plans To Bury Tinubu’s 2023 Ambition - Sahara Reporters

A Presidency cabal has succeeded in caging Vice President Yemi Osinbajo through the probe of a former Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Tunde Fowler – both of whom are godsons to former Lagos State Governor and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu.

SaharaReporters gathered that the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) is central to the caging of the Vice President, Osinbajo; the former FIRS chairman’s probe by the Economic and Financial Crimes and Commission, and the investigation recently initiated against Tinubu.

Malami, it was learnt, is eyeing the 2023 presidency.

SaharaReporters learnt that the probe of Tinubu is to force the APC leader to abandon his 2023 presidential ambition for the “candidate anointed” by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Fowler’s probe began in November 2020, when he was arrested by the EFCC over alleged massive fraud in the FIRS.

Top sources in the presidency revealed that the cabal would intensify the probe of Tinubu to force him to abandon the presidential race before the end of 2021.

SaharaReporters had reported on March 1 that Malami’s bid for the Presidency would rely heavily on funds from the EFCC under the new chairmanship, Abdulrasheed Bawa, who was positioned to “deal with” political enemies ahead of 2023.

Sources however said revelations made by Fowler during his interrogation, which linked Tinubu to alleged fraudulent activities and Alpha Beta Consulting, gave the people after him the kind of information they needed to perfect their plans.

Alpha Beta Consulting was awarded a contract by the Tinubu-led government after a recommendation by a committee comprising Prof Osinbajo, while he was the attorney-general of Lagos State; Mr Wale Edun, the then state commissioner for finance; and a former commissioner for economic planning and budget, Yemi Cardoso.

The firm was subsequently given exclusive rights to collect taxes on behalf of Lagos State and was believed to receive about 10 percent commission from the revenue it collected for the state.

“Tinubu’s case came from revelations from Fowler. Fowler was originally arrested over an attempt by the cabal to cage Osinbajo completely. There were allegations that Osinbajo did some deals with Fowler. Fowler started revealing how money was being shipped to Tinubu and Alpha Beta.

“While shaking up Fowler, he confessed that he took from the Federal Inland Revenue Service N12 billion for himself," a top source privy to the investigation told SaharaReporters.

A petition submitted to the EFCC in July 2018 by Dapo Apara, the former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Alpha Beta, had alleged that Alpha Beta owed the Nigerian government N100 billion in unpaid taxes spanning over 10 years.

He alleged that the firm was being protected by powerful politicians and that it laundered funds through another firm, Ocean Trust Limited.

The petition by Apara’s lawyer, Adetunji Adegboyega, read in part, “Over the years, the company (Alpha Beta) has been protected and shielded by some powerful politicians and people in the society which made them to always boast of being untouchable."

Alpha Beta is allegedly owned by Tinubu.

The source said, "Of course, Apara’s petition also sealed Tinubu’s fate. They want Tinubu to abandon the presidency before the end of 2021.

“Malami’s house in Gwarimpa has become a Mecca for politicians. They want to get Tinubu out of the way."

The EFCC was reported earlier this week to have written to the Code of Conduct Bureau requesting copies of Tinubu’s Asset Declaration form.

A copy of the request letter had revealed that the investigation into Tinubu began last year after the removal of erstwhile Chairman, Ibrahim Magu.

The letter marked CR/3000/EFCC/LS/Vol4/322, dated November 6, 2020, had been signed by the then Lagos zonal head, Abdulrasheed Bawa, who is now the Chairman of the EFCC.

“In view of the above, you are kindly requested to furnish the commission with the outstanding requested information of Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu. This request is made pursuant to Section 38(1) and (2) of the EFCC Act 2004,” the letter partly read.

SaharaReporters had on February 24 reported that Tinubu indeed has court cases around massive frauds hanging on his neck.

One of them was uncovered in 2018 when Alpa Beta was caught at the centre of N100 billion fraud, tax evasion, and money laundering, based on the petition written by Apara.

Also according to Apara’s petition to the EFCC, Alpha Beta “has become an avenue for official corruption of government officials, a conduit pipe for a massive money-laundering scheme, tax evasion, among other vices.”

In the petition, sent on his behalf by Adetunji Adegboyega ESG, his solicitors, Apara had said, “Over the years the company is being protected and shielded by some powerful politicians and people in the society which made them to always boast of being untouchable, but our client, feeling the need not to keep quiet again and strengthened by his belief in the fact that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is keen on fighting corruption, which has been the bane of our country, is of the firm belief that it’s time to expose and open the can of worms called Alphabeta Consulting.”

Alpha Beta first became known when it was appointed as a consultant to the Lagos State Government, arguably its first client, under the tenure of Babatunde Fowler as the Chief Executive Officer/Executive Chairman of the Lagos State Board of Internal Revenue from 2005 to 2014.

The company had got the appointment when Tinubu was Governor of Lagos State. The speculation, which has yet to be dissipated since then, is that Tinubu completely owns or is a major shareholder in the company.

In the same vein, the state has also never denied claims that the company takes about 10 percent of the internally generated revenue of Lagos, estimated in 2016 to be about N40 billion every month.

The court process was still on when on October 27, 2020, hoodlums burnt relevant documents during the riotous violence that followed the peaceful #EndSARS protest in the state.

The court papers donating charges brought against Tinubu, his tax consultancy firm, Alpha Beta Consulting, by the former MD of the firm, Apara, were burnt according to claims by Tade Ipadeola, Apara’s lawyer.

“Everything in Igbosere High Court got burnt, including the registrar’s copy of our application. In fact, the whole building was burnt to ashes. So, we will have to file again. The registry has been moved to Ikeja.

“We may have to file the case afresh at the Ikeja High Court but we have not yet been instructed to do so,” he had said on October 27, 2020.

Apara had claimed in the documents that Tinubu, suspiciously diverted N22,360,000,000 and $4,396,063 from the firm’s account to that of Vintage Press Ltd, publisher of The Nation Newspaper.


Politics / COVID-19: Governors, Deputies To Be Vaccinated On March 9th
« on: March 05, 2021, 08:05:50 AM »
Governors of the 36 States of the Federation on the platform of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) have resolved to take the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, publicly next week Tuesday, March 9.

This was one of the decisions taken at their emergency meeting to discuss the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines in the country.

In the meeting were the the chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, Director-General , Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu and Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib as well as medical experts who play advisory roles for the NGF on the pandemic.

The chairman of NGF and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, who read out the communique, said the governors assured on the security of vaccines but insisted on ensuring the efficacy of the vaccines, pledging advocacy so that all of their peoples would be covered.

State governors commit to work with the FG to ensure required cold Chain set up, trained personnel and security of the vaccine roll out are in place.

The Governors encouraged citizens to use the e-registeration portal on the NPHCDA website – to register.

Mustapha told the governors that 3,924,000 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines (part of the 16 million does of the AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX facility arrangement) arrived on Tuesday.

He assured that the vaccine is researched to be safe for persons 18 years and above.

He said NAFDEC was conducting test to confirm vaccine is safe for roll out.
He explained that government leadership and frontline health workers to receive vaccines first starting March 6th 2020 with the President and the Vice President.


Politics / Lagos, CIG Motors Sign Agreement To Produce Brand New Cars
« on: March 05, 2021, 08:04:09 AM »
Lagos govt, Chinese firm sign agreement to produce brand new cars

The Lagos State government has formally sealed a Joint Venture Agreement with CIG Motors Limited for the establishment of a vehicle assembly plant in the state.

Establishment of the vehicle assembly plant in Lagos was part of the bilateral agreements reached by the state government and Chinese Investors’ Community when the governor visited the Asian country in November, 2019.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said the establishment of the plant was in furtherance of his administration’s economic growth blueprint, stressing that the Joint Venture Agreement would revive industrialisation, drive up skilled youth employment, and create wealth, boost tourism, and encourage technology sharing, adaptation, and advancement.

“As we formally sign the Joint Venture Agreement for the establishment of Motor Assembly Plant, Lagosians should expect a roll-out of vehicles from this plant within the next 18 months,” the governor said.

“I urge other stakeholders and private investors to collaborate with us to sustain the scheme. We have the political and administrative will to ensure business survives in Lagos.”

The governor also unveiled a new e-hailing taxi scheme, ‘Lagos Ride’ with pilot fleet of 1,000 units of brand new Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs).

IBILE Holdings Limited, a state-owned corporation, will be driving the two investment agreements on behalf of the Lagos State Government.

Mr Sanwo-Olu said the new ride-hailing taxi was a social intervention programme initiated with an objective to create jobs and economic opportunities for residents of the State.

He said the “Lagos Ride” scheme was in fulfilment of his administration’s desire to give residents a better choice in road transportation by offering a safe, efficient and modern cab model in line with policy thrust of his Government’s T.H.E.M.E.S agenda.

he governor said the taxi scheme, which is expected to fully take-off in the next six months, had been structured along a profitability model and designed to be self-sustaining for expansion and growth.

“I am elated to unveil the Lagos State Taxi Scheme, which is another innovative policy of this administration targeted at making life easier for Lagosians, improving mobility and creating a seamless multi-modal transportation system,” said Mr Sanwo-Olu.

“The scheme, which is to be known as ‘Lagos Ride,’ is in fulfilment of our desire to give Lagos residents better transportation choices. The modern ride-hailing service is one of the State Government’s socio-economic intervention programmes, which will be professionally managed in line with global best practices.

“Our social intervention programmes are tailored towards the eradication of poverty, provision of jobs and other employment opportunities as well as the provision of basic necessities, that make good governance our people’s reality.

“A major attribute of a modern megacity is a world-class transportation system with inter-connected services and mobility choices for the citizens. The task of bequeathing a safe, efficient, quick, and modern public transportation system is a key thrust of our administration’s development agenda. We are guided by the need for an equitable transportation system with mobility choices for our people.”

Under the taxi scheme, Mr Sanwo-Olu said the Cooperative Society in the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment would give operators brand new SUVs for a period of four years, during which they would pay a monthly installment. At the end of the credit tenure, the operators will have the opportunity to fully own the cars.

The governor said the scheme would offer operators flexible repayment plan and affordable savings for vehicles’ maintenance.

The Commissioner for Transportation, Frederic Oladehinde, said the e-hailing taxi scheme was initiated, following the approval of IBILE Holding Limited’s proposal in the August 31, 2020 State’s Executive Council meeting.

He said the Assembly Plant and the taxi scheme would boost socio-economic activities and support the development of ancillary enterprises in transportation sector.

The Chair of CIG Motors Company Limited, Diana Chen, pledged the full commitment of the automobile firm to the agreement.

Ms Chen, who is also the Vice Chair of China-Africa Business Council (CABC), disclosed that the automobile firm would sponsor 50 students for a two-year engineering training in a vocational school in China to strengthen its partnership with the Lagos Government.

She said: “My teams are ready to work with 100 percent effort to build GAC MOTORS in Nigeria in the highest level of a brand. This international Joint Venture Project will soon bloom up in the Chinese business communities both in Nigeria and China.

“I assure you that we will use this partnership as a best example tointroduce and promote a Greater Lagos where greater opportunities abound.”

The highpoint of the event was the signing of the partnership agreements by the Managing Director of IBILE Holding Limited, Abiodun Amokomowo, and the Vice Chair of CIG Motors Company Limited, Linus Idahosa, in the presence of the Governor, Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat, and Lagos Attorney General, Moyosore Onigbanjo.


Politics / Reps To Investigate Abandoned Projects In Nigeria
« on: March 05, 2021, 08:02:48 AM »
The House of Representatives has vowed to track all abandoned projects in the country to ensure their completion.

Rep. Makki Abubakar, Chairman of the house ad hoc committee on abandoned projects said this in Abuja on Thursday.

‘The committee was set-up to investigate executed, funded and repeated capital projects in the Appropriation Act,” he said.

He said that there were many abandoned projects in the annual budgets scattered across the country.

Abubakar said that the committee would engage the services of consultants to help in tracking and aggregating all abandoned projects in the country.

Rep. Francis Ottah Agbo (PDP-Benue) a member of the committee observed that there were many duplicated projects in the country.

According to him, the sad aspect of the whole issue is that the reports from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are different from what is on ground.

He said that the committee will ensure that such projects were identified and completed through parliamentary interventions.


Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has commended President Muhammadu Buhari over his directive to security agents to shoot anyone illegally bearing AK47 rifle.

The Governor gave the commendation today at the Benue Peoples House Makurdi when the Chairman Governing Board, Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, Professor Adamu Kyuka paid him a courtesy visit.

Governor Ortom stated that the President’s order would reduce the level of criminality, banditary and militia herders' attacks on Benue communities as well as other parts of the country.

According to the Governor, the order would also make the communities safer for displaced farmers to return to their ancestral homes.

"I wish to commend Mr. President for his recent order against those bearing AK47 rifles. This I am sure will reduce the high rate of criminality, banditary and militia herdsmen attacks on our farming communities," the Governor stated.

He noted that President Buhari had done the right thing by listening to the calls he and other concerned Nigerians made on the need for the Federal Government to act faster and decisively to save the country from degenerating to a state of anarchy.

“I don't only criticise, I also commend where necessary. And I want to say shame on those psychopaths who were bashing me for writing to Mr. President because he has finally heeded my advice," the Governor noted.

Governor Ortom said Nigeria belongs to all its citizens and only justice and equity anchored on the rule of law could guarantee the unity and stability of the country.


A significant number of African countries might not make a decisive leap to renewables this decade
By The Conversation
The narratives of “leapfrogging” to new technologies are pervasive when it comes to development in Africa. One example is skipping cord phones and landlines to advance directly from limited phone coverage to wide mobile phone usage.

Another that’s frequently discussed is Africa’s potential for a quick transition to renewable energy.

This is important both from a climate change and an economic development perspective. Providing affordable clean energy is big on the UN Sustainable Development Agenda (Goal 7).

Several drivers could prepare the way to Africa’s energy transition. Renewables are becoming increasingly competitive, with their costs rapidly declining both globally and in Africa.

The prices of batteries to balance intermittent supply from renewables are also declining steeply. The average market price of lithium-ion battery packs has fallen to US$137 per kWh installed in 2020. This is a 89 per cent decline since 2010.

This downward trend in technology costs is coupled with Africa’s renewable energy abundance. The continent has 40 per cent of the world’s solar resources. And renewables are flexible in scale. For example, solar can power both industrial demand at a gigawatt scale as well as a small mini-grid in a remote village.

But our recently published study shows that, within this decade, there is currently limited evidence for a quick transition to renewables in Africa. Though the study predicts overall generation to more than double, solar and wind are likely to account for less than 10 per cent of the electricity mix in 2030. According to our estimates, the share of generation based on fossil fuels, especially natural gas, will decline only slightly.

These results were predicted by a machine-learning model we built using a state-of-the-art algorithm for predictive analytics. First, we trained the model to examine drivers behind the successful commissioning of past projects.

Then, we applied the model to a pipeline of 2,500 planned power plants across 54 African countries to estimate whether these planned plants would be successfully realised.

What drives successful power plant commissioning
Our analysis examined the importance of different project characteristics and country-level development indicators for the successful realisation of power plants. We found that the factors relating to project design are especially pertinent.

For instance, smaller project sizes, government or well-designed independent power producer (IPP) ownership structure, and the participation of development finance institutions all have a positive effect on a project.

Technology type also plays an important role. For example, gas and oil power plants have historically had better success chances than most renewable energy projects, with the exception of more recent solar power plants. Countries’ favourable governance and socio-economic outcomes may also help but appear to be of relatively lower importance.

Our research highlighted large and critical regional as well as national variations.

First, there were significant geographical disparities in the chances of successful commissioning of planned projects. Some countries and regions are planning generation projects that combine more of the success factors mentioned above than others. We predict 91 per cent of the planned capacity in North Africa will be successfully commissioned. This decreases to 78%, 76% and 71% for Southern, West and East Africa, respectively, and drops to only 52% for Central Africa.

Such differences can similarly be strong within a region. For instance, in East Africa, the pipelines in Madagascar and South Sudan are predicted to have a success chance of below 30 per cent. Ethiopia’s pipeline on the other hand, which comprises a large share of East Africa’s planned capacity, has a predicted success rate of 85%.

Second, there are spatial differences in the share of non-hydro renewables in the generation mix. For example, while non-hydro renewables are predicted to account for 3% and 6% in all newly added generation in Central and West Africa, respectively, this number increases to 19% and 25% in Southern and East Africa.

A well-designed independent power producer ownership structure, and the participation of development finance institutions, have a positive effect on the project’s successful implementation. shutterstock/ LieselK
A well-designed independent power producer ownership structure, and the participation of development finance institutions, have a positive effect on the project’s successful implementation. shutterstock/ LieselK
Third, the predicted pace of the transition to renewables might also vary by country. South Africa is a notable example. Traditionally heavily reliant on fossil fuels, the country is predicted to account for roughly 40 per cent of all new solar generation commissioned on the continent by 2030, aided by its Renewable Energy IPP Procurement Programme.

Economic risks and benefits
The results of our study suggest that as things currently stand, a significant number of African countries might not make a decisive leap to renewables this decade. This implies that countries might lock their economies into a future of relatively carbon-intensive power generation.

Power stations usually operate for decades, locking in capital. This makes the switch from fossil-fuel plants, once built, more challenging and costly than to attract investments into new renewable energy projects.

In view of the cost reductions of clean technologies, continued investments in fossil-fuel plants face risks of asset stranding. This is when assets can no longer earn a return, given market and regulatory changes brought about by the climate change agenda.

Therefore, it seems worth closely considering the economic rationale for relying on fossil-fuel-based generation, paying close attention to country-specific endowments and development needs. If clean energy is to power Africa’s growing energy demand, considerably more renewable energy projects will have to be planned and their success chances should be improved.


Politics / Sheikh Gumi: If Coup Plotters Are Pardoned, Why Not Bandits
« on: March 05, 2021, 07:56:17 AM »
RENOWNED northern Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, said if government could pardon coup plotters that committed treasonable felony, there was nothing wrong extending the same gesture to bandits.

The Islamic cleric, while responding to the Christian Association of Nigeria in Kaduna on Thursday, said there was need to forgive bandits for the country to have peace.

Gumi added, “Even those that instigated civil war, the civil war that millions of people died, were pardoned. I see no reason why we cannot accept their (bandits) repentance and give them amnesty.”

Gumi added that he never betrayed soldiers of Christian faith before the bandits when he visited them.

He noted that he was misunderstood by CAN because the video that went viral about his discussion with the bandits was distorted and the actual message was manipulated.

Gumi said, “You ask why do we give them amnesty but they told us specifically that they are ready to drop their arms and they don’t want to be pursued with legal actions after they repented.

“If the country could pardon coup plotters who committed treasonable offences in the era of military administration, the bandits can as well enjoy similar forgiveness even better under democratic rule.

“These people in the bush, who have taken arms; they are criminals. I wonder who is not a criminal. Since Nigeria forgave coup plotters, forgave those that killed. Even those that instigated civil war; civil war that millions of people died, I see no reason why we cannot accept their repentance.

Since that is the bottleneck and it is only the Federal Government that can give them that leverage. Strangely, we found out that they are victims too. They were victims of profiling. So many of them were arrested and punished just for looking like herdsmen.”


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