Buhari Sacks Christian Pilgrims Commission Boss
President Muhammadu Buhari, has approved the sack of Mr. John Kennedy Opara as the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission. The announcement came barely two hours after Opara attended the third session of the 9th synod of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), with the theme, ‘The poverty of riches’ in Abuja.
A statement by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir David Lawal said, the decision was with effect from Thursday, May 19, 2016. Buhari, however, thanked him for his invaluable services to the nation and wishes him well in his future endeavours.
Court dismisses Tarfa’s bid to stall trial
At the commencement of proceedings on Friday, a Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere on Friday refused to stay proceedings in a suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Ricky Tarfa. Justice A. A. Akintoye rejected Tarfa’s application filed through his counsel, Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN), seeking to restrain the court from hearing a 27-count charge against him, until the Court of Appeal decides an appeal on the matter.
The EFCC arraigned Tarfa on March 10 for allegedly offering a N5.3million gratification to a judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa, in order to compromise the judge. The commission alleged that Tarfa transferred the money in several tranches to the judge and that the offence was contrary to Section 64 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, No.11, 2011. The charge also included allegations of wilful obstruction of authorised EFCC officials, refusal to declare assets and making false information.
EFCC Moves Fani-Kayode to Lagos
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has moved the former minister of aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode to Lagos.
Speaking to newsmen, Fani-Kayode’s special assistant on media, Jude Ndukwe said that no reason was given by the anti-graft agency for the former minister’s transfer.
“They just want to stress him, take him away from his family in order to break him. We do not know why he was moved, we just want to believe it is one of the antics of the EFCC to just harass him and keep him away from as many of his relatives and associates as possible, ” Ndukwe reports.
Apologize to Nigerians on Chibok girls, group tells Jonathan & Fayose
A Civil Society Organization, Africa Arise for Change Network, has asked ex-president Goodluck Jonathan and Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, to apologize to Nigerians for not believing that over 200 girls were kidnapped from their school in Chibok, Borno State, in 2014.
Jonathan and Fayose, both of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had said the girls’ abduction was a hoax designed by the then opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) to destabilize the government.
The group blamed the long captivity of the girls on the failure of Jonathan’s government to take immediate action after the girls were abducted from their school.
Addressing journalists in Abuja on Friday, the National Coordinator of the group, Nkechi Odoma, commended the present administration and the military for the sustained onslaught on the insurgents and the rescue of two Chibok girls.
She expressed confidence that the military would rescue more Chibok girls from their Boko Haram captors in the days ahead.
Buhari Gives Navy Marching Orders to Stop Vandals in Niger Delta
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Chief of Naval Staff to reorganise and strengthen the military Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta to deal effectively with the resurgence of militancy and the sabotage of oil installations.
A statement issued in Abuja on Friday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, said Buhari gave the assurance at a meeting with the Global Director (Upstream) of the Royal Dutch Shell Group, Mr. Andrew Brown.
The president assured oil companies operating in the Niger Delta that the Federal Government was taking all necessary actions to protect strategic assets in the region from vandals and criminals.
The president told Brown that the operations of the JTF were also being enhanced with increased support and cooperation from the United States and Europe in the areas of training, intelligence, equipment and logistics.
“We have to be very serious with the situation in the Niger Delta because it threatens the national economy. I assure you that everything possible will be done to protect personnel and oil assets in the region,” Buhari said.
Militants blow up Escravos pipeline in Delta
Niger Delta militants have blown a section of the Escravos gas trunkline behind salvation city, near Ogbe-Ijoh in Warri South West local government area of Delta state.
A source disclosed that the incident happened in the early hours of Friday.
The source described the attack as a “big blow” to gas production in the country, revealing that the facility belongs to phase two of the Escravos-Lagos gas pipeline owned by the Nigerian Gas Company Limited (NGC).
Efforts made to confirm the development from Isa Ado, spokesman of operation Pulio Shield, the joint task force (JTF) in the Niger Delta, did not yield any result, as he refused to answer calls on his mobile telephone.
Escravos Lagos pipeline recorded an attack in February, resulting in the shortage of 3,132 megawatts (Mw) of electricity, and difficulties for operators of power generation plants.
It also affected the gas supply through the gas pipeline from Olero Creek.
The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), a new militant group, has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks in the region.
Lagos Court jails ex-NIMASA boss, Omatseye for five years
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has sentenced a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration Safety Agency, Mr. Raymond Omatseye, to five years in prison for a N1.5bn contract scam.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had arraigned for engaging in contract splitting and bid rigging estimated at over N1.5bn while he was the DG of NIMASA.
The offence, according to the EFCC, contravened Section 58(4) (d) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007.
Omatseye was also charged with money laundering contrary to Sections 14(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004.