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The Nation

Okonjo-Iweala under probe for €3.6m vehicles deal

FCC to quiz ex-Service Chiefs in new phase of arms cash investigation

Another round of investigations into the $2.1billion arms deals is to begin tomorrow, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) sources said yesterday.

Top on the agenda is how the Dr. Goodluck Jonathan Administration bought €3,654,121million vehicles for the Republic of Niger in October 2013 and April 2014.

The cash was withdrawn from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) account in two installments of €1, 401,869 and €2,252,252.25,

The commission is also seeking to verify whether or not the vehicles were bought and under diplomatic or bilateral security cooperation.

The EFCC is to find out from the Republic of Niger if there was such assistance from Nigeria.

The agency plans to quiz some more public figures, including former Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, some former Service Chiefs and serving military officers in connection with the $2.1billion arms deals.


Labour Protest Fails to Disrupt Power Supply

The nationwide protest organised monday by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) against the recent increase in electricity tariffs did not disrupt power supply, as the police and other security agencies deployed in the offices of electricity distribution companies (Discos) and power installations in the country ensured that the protest was peaceful.

This was just as the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, said monday that the federal government and other stakeholders in the electricity value chain must do everything to protect the current stability in the electricity supply industry, which he described as comforting.

The minister, who spoke monday in Lagos when he presided over the second sectoral meeting of CEOs of the Discos, generation companies (Gencos), Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Niger Delta Power Holding Company, Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET), as well as other agencies in the power sector, restated that the current tariff regime, which was designed to last for 10 years, would start decreasing after the second year.


Supremacy RATING: Benin palace takes on Alake of Egbaland

The Palace of the Oba of Benin has stoked controversy over the supremacy of Obas in the South West, saying it was not true that the Benin monarch was the third in the ranking of kings in the region as declared by the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo.

The Esogban of Benin and Odionwere of the Kingdom (traditional head), Chief David Edebiri, yesterday, said the Alake of Egbaland, goofed when he said the Oba of Benin was third in the hierarchy of Obas.

He explained that the Ooni of Ife was a son of the Oba of Benin, adding that the stool of the Oba of Benin could not be compared with that of any Yoruba King.

Esogban, third in command in the palace of the Oba of Benin, said: “We wanted to discard this report as something that was not necessary at all. We do not see how the Alake of Egbaland suddenly woke up to think that the Oba of Benin is also a Yoruba Oba.

“There is no basis for such classification; Oba of Benin has nothing to do with the Yoruba Obas. It is simply unnecessary, unless they simply want to stir up an unnecessary controversy.

“We are not in Yorubaland. To be frank, it is because many of them are not willing to come up with the truth, the word Oba is alien to Yoruba monarchy; it is not part of their title from time immemorial.

“For instance, the one they call the Oba of Lagos, these are recent adaptations. In the 50s, there was no Oba of Lagos, what we had was the Eleko of Eko. That is the title of the King there. In Ibadan, you have the Olu Ibadan. You come to Abeokuta, you have the Alake of Egba land. You come to Oyo, you have the Alaafin of Oyo. In Ilesha, you have the Owa-Obokun of IIesha. So no Yoruba monarch had as part of his titles the word Oba except the Oba of Benin.

“That word Oba is indigenous to Benin. It is only in recent times you find everybody bearing Oba. When the Western Regional conference of traditional rulers took place in Benin City in 1942, go and check the attendance, there was no other monarch in the whole of the Western Region then that bore the title of Oba, except the Oba of Benin.


Court renews arrest warrant against Tompolo

Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos yesterday renewed the bench warrant issued against a former Niger Delta militant, Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo.

The judge, by the decision, ordered security agencies in Nigeria to compel Tompolo’s appearance in court on February 19. Justice Buba renewed the order while ruling on an application challenging substituted service of a 40-count criminal charge on the accused.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had filed a 40 count charge against Tompolo s nine others on January 11.

The charge borders on allegations of conversion and theft to the tune of over N13 billion.

When the case was called yesterday, Festus Keyamo announced appearance as prosecutor for the EFCC while Tayo Oyetibo (SAN) announced appearance as lead counsel for the first accused.

Justice Buba dismissed the application and ordered the attendance in court of Tompolo.


Gov Shettima Faults Senator, Says No Borno LG Under Boko Haram Control

Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima yesterday faulted the senator representing the central constituency of the state, Baba Kaka Garbai, who stated at the weekend, that Boko Haram insurgents still control most parts of the state except three council areas.

The governor, while on a visit to Dalori, a village that was recently attacked by insurgents stated that the senator errred by his unverified statements.

Shettima said he was surprised at Garbai’s comments as he had always known him  to be someone who measured his words and did not speak carelessly.

“Garbai is not the type that even speaks to the media easily, so this is why I am at a loss. I have not been able to get in touch with him yet to get his own side, to hear from him what he actually said but for now, I suspect he must have been misquoted or if he wasn’t misquoted, he must have spoken based on emotional outburst and not anchored on ground realities”.

Shettima praised the military whom he said was winning the war on insurgency.

“In the past, Boko Haram used to come in commando styles to attack, seize, occupy communities and hold residents hostage and then administer territories, that is occupation. We no longer have that in Borno. Boko Haram is occupying none of the 27 local government areas. They have all been liberated.

Daily Trust

Arms deal: EFCC detains Badeh

Former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) retired Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh was yesterday evening detained at the Abuja Head Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Daily Trust gathered that the former Chief of Defence Staff honoured an EFCC invitation to explain acts of financial crimes allegedly perpetrated  while he was both Chief of Air Staff (CAS) and Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).

EFCC sources said Badeh arrived the Abuja head office yesterday evening where operatives of the anti-graft agency commenced quizzing him on alleged involvement in the arms procurement scam in the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

Badeh topped the list of both former and serving military officers recommended for further investigation by a Presidential audit report investigating arms procurement in the military from 2007 to 2015 as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Badeh had appeared before EFCC investigators last week Wednesday.


Arms deal: You must face trial, judge tells Dasuki

Former National Security Adviser [NSA], Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), yesterday lost his battle to stop his trial on charges of alleged diversion of N32 billion arms funds pending before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. Justice Husseini Baba Yusuf dismissed his application because it lacked merit.

In his motion which was argued by his senior counsel, Joseph Daudu [SAN], Dasuki had urged the court to stop the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from prosecuting him on the said charges because the agency was in contempt of a court which granted him bail on December 18, 2015.

He was re-arrested by the agents of the Department of State Services (DSS) on December 29, shortly after perfecting his bail conditions.

In his ruling, Justice Yusuf held there are facts that Dasuki was being held by the DSS and not the EFCC, therefore, the EFCC cannot be said to be in contempt of the court order as alleged by the applicant.

“The law is clear that a contemnor is the one who the order of court is directed at, but refuses to comply with the said order. From the above, it is clear that if an order of court is not directed to a party, such a party or person cannot be liable for contempt.

“Disobedience of court order is a serious offence and any party who disobeys court order should be punished, if not, it would bring the court into ridicule and obstruct the administration of justice and the nation.

“It is clear that after the applicant fulfilled his bail conditions, he was released from prison and if the DSS re-arrested him thereafter, it cannot be said to be disobedience of the order of this court because this court did not make any order stopping the security agencies from re-arresting him.

Daily Times

Wike: How Supreme Court averted bloodbath in Rivers by canceling rerun

The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, disclosed at the weekend that the Supreme Court judgment which cancelled the rerun governorship polls as ordered by the Appeal Court saved the state from a bloodbath that would have ensued during the election. The governor who spoke at a thanksgiving service to mark his victory at the Supreme Court said he would have opted out of the rerun in order to prevent loss of lives that could have trailed the poll. Wike added, “Nothing is impossible with God. Men of God prophesied a few days to the Supreme Court ruling that the judgment will confirm the mandate given to us by the Rivers people. “We won the election clearly as has been confirmed by the Supreme Court.

If there was a rerun, I wouldn’t have contested because there would have been a bloodbath. I resolved not to be part of anything that would bring about bloodbath”, he added. Besides, according to the governor, the implication of the Supreme Court judgment is that all the elections of his party members in the state and National Assembly which were nullified by the Appeal Court would be reversed by the people. He pointed out that the failure of the “evil plotters” meant that Rivers people would return all the legislators, whose elections were nullified by the Appeal Court adding that he would not have contested a governorship rerun if the Supreme Court had failed to uphold his election.


EFCC probes Okonjo-Iweala, Allison-Madueke, oil sector

WIDENING its campaign against corruption, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has started an investigation into the petroleum sector and the role of former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke. Also being investigated is former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Besides, a Federal Capital Territory (FCT ) High Court yesterday refused to discharge former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki from the corruption charges brought against him by the EFCC.

The Acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu who revealed the probe of Allison-Madueke and Okonjo-Iweala spoke at the 2016 budget defence session with the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes yesterday .

He said:  “We are investigating the former ministers, Diezani Allison-Madueke and Okonjo-Iweala, as well as the petroleum sector”, in response to a question by one of the committee members.


Sanusi faults CBN on naira exchange rate

The Emir of Kano and immediate past Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Muhammadu Sanusi II, has described the monetary policy regime of the CBN as wrong.

Sanusi was quoted by Financial Times as saying that President Muhammadu Buhari risked exacerbating the country’s economic woes and undermining his government’s achievements on security and corruption by endorsing exchange rate policies that were doomed to fail.

He said he was disappointed to see Buhari’s strong security and anti-corruption efforts overshadowed by a monetary policy regime with “very obvious drawbacks that far outweigh its dubious benefits.”

The CBN, with Buhari’s public endorsement, last year imposed tight capital controls and pegged the naira at an official rate currently 35 per cent stronger than the black market rate. The policies sparked capital flight and hurt Nigeria’s reputation as a frontier market investment destination.

“Unfortunately, because the exchange rate is right out there in front now, monetary policy is being seen as the barometer for broader economic thinking,” Sanusi was quoted to have said in an interview at his palace, adding, “It is sad that on this one policy, you get it so wrong that you risk taking away attention from everything else you are doing.”

The country’s economic woes are now being exacerbated, Sanusi argued, with the currency peg and restrictions in the foreign exchange market creating “a lot of speculative and precautionary demand.”

Exporters and investors “are holding on to foreign currency, as no one would sell at the rate the government is setting,” while “the government does not have the reserves to keep the exchange rate at its official level in the market,” he said.

New Telegraph

Nigeria mulls licensing of Facebook, others

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) may soon commence a licensing regime through a regulatory framework for the over-the–top (OTT) players on Nigeria’s telecoms market, New Telegraph has exclusively gathered. Findings already showed that OTT players such as Google, Facebook, WhatAapp, Viber, Blackberry Messenger (BBM) and WeChat, among others, are prime target in the impending regulation.

OTT services are services carried over the networks, delivering value to customers, but without any carrier service provider being involved in planning, selling, provisioning or servicing them; thereby implying that traditional telcos cannot directly earn revenue from such services.

The development is as a sequel to a latest report released by the NCC’s Department of Policy, Competition and Economy analysts, which examines the evolution and development of OTT incursion into the telecoms mobile market and their apparent threats to the operation of traditional telephone networks such as MTN, Glo, Airtel, Etisalat and Visafone, among others.

In the report entitled: “An overview of provision of over-the-top (OTT) services,” NCC listed OTT services to include services such as Internet Protocol (IP) telephony, live streaming and other social media applications.

NND | Today Papers Online: Nigeria


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