Special Report on Nigeria Today

FG explains plea to banks not to sack workers – Udo Udoma; 2 ex-Ministers in EFCC net over $115m Diezani cash; Niger Delta Militants’ attacks push oil price to $51; Bombing threats: Osinbajo meets South-South govs, service chiefs & others; 2013 Apo killings: ECOWAS court imposes $3.3m fine on Nigeria; Killing of woman in Kano: Northern govs, Ohanaeze, Okorocha, APC chairman meet; Stephen Keshi is dead; CAF Commiserates With NFF On Stephen Keshi’s Death; CCT adjourns Saraki’s trial to June 15; I was joking about Decree 2 – CCT Chairman; Senate summons Chris Ngige over threat to banks . . .

Udoma Udo-Udoma. Minister of Budget & National Planning

FG explains plea to banks not to sack workers – Udo Udoma 

The Federal Government on Wednesday said its recent appeal to banks not to sack workers was based on the conviction that by the time the economy picks up, the banks would need the workers again.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, said this while answering questions after briefing State House correspondents of the outcome of the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

Udoma was joined at the briefing by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

He said the government was convinced that the economy would still pick up and the banks would need the workers again.

He said, “With regards to the plea to the private sector (not to sack workers), it is because we know that by the time the economy picks up, they will need those people again.

“We know the economy is going to pick up and we are confident about that. That is because of our plan, the plan was conceived because we knew that this was the trajectory we will move into.

Niger Delta militants

Niger Delta Militants’ attacks push oil price to $51

The spate of attacks on oil installations and pipelines by the Niger Delta-based militants have pushed the oil price to $51 per barrel, the highest in 8 months. Oil prices jumped to the highest level in eight months on Wednesday due to ongoing supply disruptions in Nigeria and strong Chinese oil demand data.

Oil Industry data had shown a larger-than-expected drop in US crude inventories on Tuesday, indicating an easing of the supply glut, and a weak dollar which also boosted prices. Global benchmark Brent crude futures rose to the highest level since October 12, up 32 cents at $51.76 a barrel at early trading. It earlier touched $51.83 a barrel.

US crude futures climbed 20 cents to $50.56 a barrel, after reaching $50.67 earlier, also an eight-month high. “The market sentiment is positive; the trend and the momentum points to further gains,” said Carsten Fritsch, commodities analyst at Commerzbank. Supply disruptions caused by a string of attacks by the Niger Delta Avengers has brought Nigeria’s production to the lowest in 20 years.

On Tuesday, Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum, said output had dropped to below 1.3m bpd from 2.2 million bpd at the start of the year.

Osinbajo . VP meets south-south govs over bombings in Niger Delta

Bombing threats: Osinbajo meets South-South govs, service chiefs & others

Apparently moved by the threats of Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force, JNDLF, to bomb major government buildings in Abuja starting midnight today, the Federal Government, yesterday, called for an emergency security meeting.

The meeting, which appeared to be a strategic one, had in attendance the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo – presiding; governors of oil producing states; service chiefs; Minister of Defence, Dan Ali; Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu;  Special Adviser to the President on Amnesty Programme, Gen. Paul Boroh, among others. The meeting came on a day the main co-ordinator of attacks on Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and Chevron Nigeria Limited, CNL, oil and gas installations in Delta State was paraded by the Navy.

Briefing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State said they took briefings of the situation in the Niger Delta by the security chiefs and Minister of State for Petroleum. He said the meeting particularly noted the unhealthy developments in Delta and Bayelsa states, saying a solution was underway. The governor, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, also revealed that there would be a stand-down of military action in the zone.

ECOWAS Court Judges

2013 Apo killings: ECOWAS court imposes $3.3m fine on Nigeria

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) court has fined Nigeria $3.3m for the September 2013 killing of eight citizens at Apo district in Abuja. The regional court ordered the country to pay a compensatory damage of $200,000 to each of the family of the deceased citizens and $150,000 to each of those wounded. The tragic incident occurred after a combined team of soldiers and operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) carried out a raid on an uncompleted building at Apo.

The late citizens, whom the DSS had claimed were insurgents, were later found to be commercial motorcycle operators who were taking refuge in the building. Those killed were Nura Abdullahi , Ashiru Musa, Abdullahi Manmman, Buhari Ibrahim, Suleiman Ibrahim, Ahmadu Musa, Nasir Adamu and Musa Yobe. Those who sustained wounds were Muttaka Abubakar, Sani Abdulrahman, Nuhu Ibrahim, Ibrahim Mohammed,  Ibrahim Aliyu , Yahaya Bello, Abubakar Auwal, Yusuf Abubakar, Ibrahim Bala, Murtala Salihu and Sanni Usman.

A non-governmental organisation (NGO), The Incorporated Trustees of Fiscal and Civil Right Enlightenment Foundation, had on behalf of the deceased taken Nigeria, the army and the DSS to the regional court to challenge the legality of the killings.

In the judgement of the court delivered by Justice Friday Chijioke Nwoke, Nigeria was found liable of brutal killing of defenceless citizens contrary to the provisions of the local and international law on the fundamental rights of citizens to life. A panel of three justices led by Nwoke condemned the killings as barbaric, illegal and unconstitutional and a breach of the fundamental rights of the deceased. The court rejected the plea by Nigeria that its security agents killed the deceased in an attempt to defend themselves, adding that there was no evidence that any of the deceased carried arms.

Ohanaeze Ndigbo logo

Killing of woman in Kano: Northern govs, Ohanaeze, Okorocha, APC chairman meet

Governor Rochas Okorocha, his Kaduna and Bauchi States’ counterparts, Mallam Nasir El Rufai and Alhaji Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, and the National Chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Oyegun, met yesterday, with leaders of Ohaneze Ndi-Igbo led by its President-General, Chief Gary Igariway in Owerri.

Vanguard gathered that the discussions centred mainly on the beheaded Igbo woman in Kano State, the issue of herdsmen and the unity of the country. All of them harped on the need for the government and all patriotic Nigerians to see those behind these unlawful acts as criminals and common enemies of the nation and her people.

Oyegun . APC National Chairman

In his contribution, Governor Nasir El Rufai said that “the Northern governors totally condemn the murder of the Igbo woman in Kano, stressing that the matter should be treated as a case of murder, while those responsible must be brought to face the wrath of the law”. Continuing, El Rufai said:  “We will not accept a situation where people, either Christians or Muslims, hide under the umbrella of religion to commit crime.

If someone had insulted God, the person should be left for God to take care of. I have advised the Kano governor to publicly deal with the people involved to serve as a deterrent to others.”

Stephen Keshi

Stephen Keshi is dead

Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, former Super Eagles Coach and one time defender of the Super Eagles is dead. Keshi who was 54 years old died at the early morning hours of today, Wednesday, in Benin City.

Ademola Olajire, an Assistant Director of Communications in the Nigeria Football Federation, said that Keshi  died after he was rushed to an hospital in Benin after complaining of his legs. He said that Keshi had problems with his legs and that he could not stand for long.

The Nigerian football icon Stephen Okechukwu Keshi had died suddenly. The former international football player and coach had lost his wife of 33 years, Kate, last year after a prolonged battle with cancer.

CAF. president Issa Hayatou

CAF Commiserates With NFF On Stephen Keshi’s Death

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) president, Issa Hayatou, on Wednesday expressed their condolences with the president of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, and Nigerians on the death of former Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi.

Hayatou in a statement on CAF website expressed his “dismay” and “immense sadness” at the death of the former Eagles’ captain and Nigeria’s coach, saying:

“’His other enviable record was being the only African trainer to have steered a team to the Second Round of the FIFA World Cup, with Nigeria at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. He had achieved the same feat as a player with the Super Eagles at the country’s maiden participation at the Mundial in 1994, in USA.

The CAF president conveyed the condolences on his own behalf, the CAF Executive Committee and African football family on the demise of Keshi, who was a jewel to his family, friends and the Nigerian football family, who are badly affected. This is a man, who was twice winner of the Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria; in 1994 as captain and in 2013 as a coach, with the latter earning him the distinction of Coach of the Year at the Glo-CAF Awards,”

Saraki . Saraki at the CCT, Thursday Nov 5, 2015. His lawyers walked out on the CCT

CCT adjourns Saraki’s trial to June 15

The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) sitting in Abuja, yesterday, adjourned hearing on the 16-count charge against the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, till June 15. The Justice Danladi Umar-led panel adjourned the case for Saraki’s defence to further cross-examine the star witness, Mr. Michael Wetkas.

The adjournment came on a day the CCT chairman, Justice Umar warned Saraki against using delay tactics to frustrate his trial. Shortly before the defence Saraki’s lawyer, Mr. Paul Usoro, SAN, began to cross-examine the witness, yesterday, Justice Umar, said there was need for him to make some points clear to the defendant.

He said it was imperative for him to warn the defendant that he would face the full consequences of the charges against him, despite whatever delay tactics he chose to employ in the course of the trial. “I am not happy at the delay tactics by the defence counsel. And I must say this thing out that this delay tactics will not reduce the consequences the defendant will meet from this tribunal at the end of the trial,” the CCT boss stated.

CCT Chairman . Judge Danladi Umar

I was joking about Decree 2 – CCT Chairman

Danladi Umar, chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), on Wednesday, said that he was only joking when he said that Decree 2 should be brought back to deal with erring journalists. Jugde Umar said this through Ibraheem Alhassan, spokesman of the CCT, in a statement.

Decree 2, a repressive law against the press, was promulgated in 1984 by the Muhammadu Buhari military government.

Alhassan, in the statement, also said that the CCT chairman was only “teasing” the media.

He said: “We  wish to correct an impression created from the remarks made by the honorable chairman during Tuesday’s sitting, while cautioning media practitioners against misrepresentation of what transpired in the court, where he teasingly said, ‘if I have my way I would have bring decree 2 to take care of erring journalists.’

“The statement by the chairman was made out of joke, not to intimidate any of my esteem colleagues from observing their statutory functions as mandated by the Constitution of federal republic of Nigeria, as anchored in liberal democratic society like ours.

NIGER REPORTERS . Dr. Chris Ngige

Senate summons Chris Ngige over threat to banks

The senate has summoned Chris Ngige, minister of labour and employment, over his threat to withdraw the license of any bank that retrenches its staff. Rafiu Ibrahim, chairman senate committee on banking, insurance and other financial institutions, hinted the decision of the senate in a point of order he raised on the matter on the floor of the senate on Wednesday.

“The minister of labour made a statement threatening banks to stop retrenchment of staff. Banking being a very sensitive industry, any misguided statement can have a throwback on the industry; it can create a run on the banks,” he said.

“As the chairman of the senate committee on banking and finance, we want to invite the minister, the central bank and the banks to know if they are talking about retrenchment and what will happen. “We want to know the basis of the directive and the basis of the threat.”

Diezani Alison Madueke. Corruption

2 ex-Ministers in EFCC net over $115m Diezani cash

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Monday grilled two former ministers of the Jonathan administration, Mohammed Wakil, Minister of Power and Abdu Bulama, Minister of Science and Technology, over the $115 million public fund allegedly deployed for the 2015 general election by former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

Both were according to online portal, Premium Times PDP campaign coordinators for Borno and Yobe states respectively during the last presidential election. A source at the anti-graft agency quoted Mr. Bulama as saying:

“Former Minister of Finance Nenadi Usman, called and informed me to go and collect money in Fidelity Bank. A five-man committee was set up to coordinate the campaign activities in Yobe State and we received N450m. “The money was disbursed based on a template we received from Abuja and we shared it among the three senatorial zones in the state.”

“the money was shared according to zones. For Zone A, Abba –Gana Tata collected the sum of over N85, 100,000.00, while Dr Mamu collected N73, 510.000.00 on behalf of Mohammed Hassan Dambu and zone C received N70, 470.000.00, through Alhaji Hassan Ibn Jaks for Dr Yarima Ngama. ‘’The Borno Coordinator, former Minister Wakil, also confirmed he received N450 million,’’

“Nicholas Msheliya, Peter Biye, Hon. Kudla Satumaria, Ibrahim Birma, all from southern Borno received the sum of N112, 340.000.00. Equally Kangar, through Dr. Kulima A.A received N88, 620.000.00, while Mohammad Baba Kachalla, Hon. Kaamuna Khadi, Hon. Zarma Mustapha and Hon. Abdulrahman Tarab received the sum of N140,860.000.00.” The two ministers are currently in the custody of EFCC in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, as investigation continues.

NND

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