Nigerian News FRONTPAGE

We complied with Nigerian fund transfer rules – MTN; Amaechi Begged Me To Cancel Fayose’s Election – Justice Ngwuta; Fani-Kayode re-arrested by EFCC; Arms cash: Dasuki’s trials to be conducted in one court; Judges under probe should step aside – NBA; Arrested judges should step aside – Prof. Nwabueze; Senate Passes North East Development Commission Bill; Oba Ewuare II gets staff of office as 40th Oba of Benin; DSS planted ‘huge sums of money’ in my house — Justice Ugwuta; ‘We won’t ask Nigerian judges accused of corruption to step aside’ – NJC to NBA; Nigerian govt apparatuses under threat of corruption – Osinbajo; Chibok girls: Buhari’s daughter faults Ezekwesili over franchise infringement; Court dismisses N500m suit against Olisa Metuh & wife . . .

We complied with Nigerian fund transfer rules – MTN


South African telecoms giant, MTN, said on Friday it did not break Nigeria’s currency transfer rules. MTN denied allegations it illegally repatriated $14 billion in a row with Nigeria’s telecoms regulator Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The Senate last month decided to investigate whether MTN Nigeria unlawfully repatriated $13.92 billion between 2006 and 2016. On Thursday, a senate committee summoned trade minister Okechukwu Elenemah and four Nigerian banks for an “investigative hearing” into the claims.

The NCC claims that MTN did not obtain certificates declaring it had invested foreign currency in Nigeria within a 24 hour deadline stipulated in a 1995 law, and so the repatriation of returns on those investments was illegal.

Nigeria is MTN’s most lucrative market out of the 22 countries the company operates in across Africa, Asia and the Middle East. MTN runs Nigeria’s largest mobile phone network which generates a third of the company’s revenue.

Amaechi Begged Me To Cancel Fayose’s Election – Justice Ngwuta

DSS . Justice Sylvester Ugwuta

Embattled Justice Sylvester Ngwuta of the Supreme Court on Thursday accused the former Governor of Rivers State and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, of begging him in 2013 to set aside the election of Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State.

Justice Ngwuta said this was to allow for a fresh election in which Amaechi’s friend and former Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, was involved. Amaechi has denied the allegation.

Justice Ngwuta is one of the two Supreme Court justices that were arrested and released on bail by the Department of State Services (DSS) over alleged corruption. This will be the second time in one week when Amaechi will be accused of complicity in governorship appeals.

Another embattled judge, Justice Inyang Okoro, had on Tuesday accused Amaechi and the ruling APC of attempting to bribe him to influence Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Abia governorship election appeals. Justice Ngwuta’s allegation was contained in a letter he wrote to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and Chairman, National Judicial Council (NJC), Justice Mahmud Mohammed.

Fani-Kayode re-arrested by EFCC

Fani-Kayode arrested

Nigeria’s former aviation minister and erstwhile Jonathan presidential campaign publicity director, Femi Fani-Kayode, has been rearrested by the EFCC. Fani-Kayode was arrested outside the Federal High Court Ikoyi, Lagos state after he had honored the invitation of the EFCC on Friday.

The EFCC said it was carrying out its functions, claiming that Fani-Kayode had a case to answer over the PDP election funds for the 2015 presidential race to Aso Rock.

Fani-Kayode said he was surprised at the turn of events after he had promised to show up with his lawyer on Monday. He was the Director of Publicity for former President Goodluck Jonathan and PDP’s campaign Organisation before the general election of 2015.

Arms cash: Dasuki’s trials to be conducted in one court

Sambo Dasuki & DSS

The trials of former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd.)on corruption charges before two High Courts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have been streamlined. This followed the transfer of the two charges into one court for quick and effective trial and dispensation.

The Chief Judge of the FCT, Justice Ishaq Bello ordered the transfer of charges before Justice Peter Affem to the court of Justice Baba Yusuf as the only Judge that will now conduct the trial.

Though Sambo Dasuki has been granted bails by all the courts involved in his trials, he has remained in the custody of Department of State Services (DSS) since November 2015.

The movement of the two charges into one court was at the instance of lawyers to the Federal Government and that of all the defendants in the matters.

Judges under probe should step aside – NBA

NBA logo

The Nigerian Bar Association has recommended that those senior judges under criminal investigation should withdraw from further judicial functions or in the alternative be sent on compulsory leave. It said they should remain off duty until their innocence is established or until the conclusion of all judicial or disciplinary proceedings.

NBA President, Abubakar Mahmoud SAN, stated this on Thursday during the valedictory court session in honor of retiring Justice Sotonye Denton West of the Court of Appeal. This NBA position is coming at a time when the Federal Government has given the go-ahead for the prosecution of the judges who have been under investigation.

The affected Judges are Justices Sylvester Ngwuta and John Okoro of the Supreme Court, the suspended Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Ilorin Division, Justice Mohammed Tsamiya; Justice Kabiru Auta of the Kano State High Court and Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja. Others arrested were a former Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice I. A. Umezulike, and Muazu Pindiga of the Federal High Court, Gombe Division.

The rest are Justices Bashir Sukola and Ladan Manir of the Kaduna State High Court.

Arrested judges should step aside – Prof. Nwabueze

Prof. Ben Nwabueze

Renowned constitutional lawyer, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, has advised the judges arrested by the DSS on allegations of corruption to step aside until the allegations leveled against them are resolved. He also blamed the makeup of the National Judicial Commission (NJC) for the rot in the judiciary, saying it is not the appropriate body for the functions assigned to it.

Backing the call made by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) that judges whose houses were recently invaded by the Department of State Security Services (DSS) and currently facing allegations of corruption should step aside until their cases are sorted out, Nwabueze said: “If I were one of the judges, I will not feel comfortable sitting on the throne of justice.

“I will feel most uncomfortable and embarrassed.

“I will step aside until investigations are carried out and I am vindicated. That is why I agree entirely with the position taken by the NBA. Let them step aside.

“But, unfortunately, it may turn out in the end that they are innocent.” Asked what he would have done differently with regard to the allegations against the judges, Nwabueze said he would not have used the DSS to handle the matter, adding that what the agency has done amounts to usurping the duties of the police.

Senate Passes North East Development Commission Bill

Amaechi . Senate screening of Rotimi Amaechi

The Senate on Thursday passed the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) Bill, which empowers the federal government to set up an independent commission to fast-track the rehabilitation and development of the North-east region devastated by the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency.

The Senate however widened the commission’s area of coverage by including Kano and Plateau states on the list of states to benefit from its operations and activities alongside Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, and Taraba states.

The decision followed an amendment put forward by Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano Central) during the clause-by-clause consideration of the Bill, that given the fact that the two states were also hit by terrorist attacks by the Boko Haram insurgents, it was only proper that they are included as beneficiaries of the interventionist commission.

Recall that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) also has Abia and Ondo states, which are not located in the Niger Delta region as members of the NEDC. Constitutionally, President Muhammad Buhari will assent to the bill to become law.

Oba Ewuare II gets staff of office as 40th Oba of Benin

Oba of Benin Coronation. Oba Ewuare II

Photo: Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole (2nd left) presenting the Staff of Office to His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II after his coronation on Thursday.

Crown Prince Eheneden Erediauwa was crowned Oba Ewuare II of the Benin Kingdom on Thursday. The coronation of the first son of the late Oba of Benin made Oba Ewuare II the 40th Oba of Benin. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the colorful ceremony.

Former Crown Prince Eheneden Erediauwa, received his staff of office as Oba Ewuare II. Oba Ewuare was crowned at about on Thursday at the Usama Palace by the Usama N’ Ihinron otherwise known as the Edion headed by Chief Oliha. After Oba Ewuare II was crowned, he used a white handkerchief to cover his mouth as it is customary, before Chief Ihama presented him to the gathering.

He was presented to the people at the Usama Palace but the name was kept secret until it was announced shortly before he got the staff of office from Governor Adams Oshiomhole, who along with Governor-elect Godwin Obaseki, paid the traditional homage to the newly installed Benin Monarch, by kneeling down and raising their right hands up.

DSS planted ‘huge sums of money’ in my house — Justice Ngwuta

DSS . Justice Sylvester Ugwuta

Supreme Court Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, whose house was invaded by the DSS has written to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Mahmud Mohammed, accusing the Nigerian secret police of ‘planting huge sums of money in different currencies’ in his house.

The letter,  dated 18th October, 2016 was titled ‘invasion of my house in the night, planting of huge sums of money in different currencies, purported recovery of the money, carting away of my documents and other valuable items and my subsequent abduction by masked operatives of the DSS between Friday, October 7th and Saturday, October 8th, 2016’.

Justice Ngwuta said that ‘I was speechless when I saw them bringing out huge bundles of different currencies from the bags that had contained only magazine papers and old clothes and some were empty. Some were contained in multi-colored plastic bags which they tore and discarded. They put the money in different bags and brief cases and then proceeded to count a large amount of N5, N10, N20 and N50 notes which was the change I returned each time I went to shop over the years. They kept waking me up to ask how I came about the small denomination of naira notes. No one asked me any question about the huge sums of money they put in the bags’

‘We won’t ask Nigerian judges accused of corruption to step aside’ – NJC to NBA

NJC . National Judicial Council, NJC building, Abuja

Photo: National Judicial Council (NJC) building within the Supreme Court complex in Aso Villa, Asokoro, Abuja.

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has said that it will not ask the judges accused of corrupt practices to step down as it has no powers to do so. The NJC stated this on Friday in response to the demand by the President of the Nigeria Bar Association, Abubakar Mahmoud, that the seven judges arrested for corruption last week be asked to step down pending when they are cleared or found guilty in court.

In its response signed by its acting director of information, Soji Oye, the NJC said Mr. Mahmoud’s advice “is unacceptable to the NJC; as it breaches the 2014 Revised Judicial Discipline Regulations formulated by NJC pursuant to Section 160 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.

The NJC also said Mr. Mahmoud was present when it took an earlier position condemning the raid of the judges’ homes by the State Security Service (SSS) a fortnight ago.


Nigerian govt apparatuses under threat of corruption – Osinbajo 

Osinbajo . VP Osinbajo (R) & founder Afe Babalola University Ado Ekiti

Photo: Nigeria’s Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (R) & ABUAD founder & Chancellor, Chief Afe Babalola SAN

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo made the declaration, in an address delivered at the 7th Founders Day and 4th convocation Ceremony of Afe Babalola University of Ado Ekiti(ABUAD). According to him,higher institutions, such as ABUAD are great places to be used, in a national re-orientation programme being contemplated to fight the menace.

Prof. Osinbajo said none of the arms of government is immune from the scourge of corruption. He however said the Buhari government is ready to combat it, right from the school level. The Federal Government on Friday said a new strategy would be employed to fight the dangerous dimension that corruption appears to be assuming in the country.

“You will please recall that President Muhammadu Buhari, had himself warned on several occasions that if we don’t fight corruption, corruption will fight us . . .” Prof. Osinbajo alluded to the federal government’s ‘new strategy’ to be employed in order to fight the dangerous dimension that corruption appears to be assuming in the country. He didn’t mention the strategy.

Chibok girls: Buhari’s daughter faults Ezekwesili over franchise infringement

Buhari . Hadiza Buhari Bello, PMB's daughter

Photo: President Muhammadu Buhari’s daughter, Hadiza Buhari-Bello

Hadiza Buhari-Bello, one of the daughters of President Muhammadu Buhari, has faulted a statement credited to a former Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, that she is using her Africa Support and Empowerment Initiative to infringe on the franchise of Bring Back Our Girls group. Buhari-Bello in a statement she jointly signed with AFRISEI Secretary, Don Uche, on Friday said her organisation was a responsible body that would never engage in illegal activities by stealing someone else’s franchise.

She explained that contrary to Ezekwesili’s allegation, her organisation did not need to lean on the BBOG to be of service to the Chibok Girls and therefore had no reason “to steal anything from BBOG or use its name to achieve any advantage.” The President’s daughter explained that her organisation has its own defined objectives and that it didn’t need to steal anybody’s ideas to operate in line with its own objectives.

She said the organisation was duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission and issued certificate of incorporation on July 14, 2016. While praising the activities of the BBOG to raise and sustain awareness about the plight of the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls, the President’s daughter said her organisation had broader objectives beyond the Chibok girls


Court dismisses N500m suit against Olisa Metuh & wife

Metuh . Olisa Metuh & wife Kanayo

Photo R-L: Olisa Metuh & wife Kanayo Metuh in a court premises

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Maitama, Abuja has dismissed a N500 million suit brought against former PDP spokesman, Olisa Metuh, his wife, Kanayo and one of their security aides, Oche Gambo.

In a judgment on Thursday, Justice Folashade Ojo held that the plaintiffs – the management of an Abuja-based private school – British Nigerian Academy (formerly attended by Metuh’s son, Derrick) and two of its staff – Kola Pele (Vice Principal) and Hamzat Maftau (a teacher) failed to prove their case against the defendants.

The plaintiffs had sued Metuh and others for allegedly forcing themselves into the school premises on February 19, 2011 and assaulting two of the school’s staff, who confiscated Derrick’s mobile telephone.

© 2016 Nigerian News Desk

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