Nigerian HEADLINES TODAY

EFCC may be preparing to prosecute Patience Jonathan; Buhari suspends his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari; Senate to seize CCB/CCT from President; EFCC grants Reuben Abati bail; How we moved N1.2Billion in Ghana-must-go bags for Fayose’s ally — Star witness; Aisha Buhari makes u-turn, drums support for husband; Buhari, don’t ignore calls for Biafra – Soludo; ExxonMobil discovers one billion oil barrels in Nigeria; Justice Ademola pulls out of case involving DSS; FG gives breakdown of the $29.96bn proposed loan; Chevron, Mobil, Other IOCs Sack 3,000 Workers; 9 major adjustments senate made to CCB/CCT Act . . .

EFCC

EFCC may be preparing to prosecute Patience Jonathan . . .

Indications emerged on Friday that the EFFC may have set up a team of investigators to gather stark evidence for a possible prosecution of Nigeria’s former First Lady and the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Dame Patience Jonathan. Sources say the EFCC was intensifying moves to gather evidence against the former First Lady popularly called “Pepe”

The source said that the anti-graft agency has directed its investigative unit to fish out all or nearly all the ‘illegally acquired’ real estates including palatial houses and hotels located in Abuja, Yenagoa, Port Harcourt or elsewhere, and other realty acquired by “Pepe” through an egregiously corrupt enrichment regime when her husband occupied Aso Rock.

The EFCC agents are to mark such houses and property as part of preparations for the prosecution of the former First Lady. This new EFCC move may not be unconnected with rumors and protestations that ensued, that the EFCC had halted the investigation into the activities of the former First Lady because of the anticipated backlash from her supporters from Bayelsa and Rivers states.

EFCC . EFCC boss, Magu & Patience Jonathan

Photos L-R: EFCC Chairman Ibrahim Magu & Ex-First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan.

It will be recalled that the EFCC had stumbled on evidence during an investigation into the corrupt acts of one of the aides of former President Goodluck Jonathan, and proceeded to trace $5m domiciled in Skye Bank Plc to the personal account of Mrs. Jonathan during investigations unrelated to her, and got the accounts frozen last month. The commission froze the accounts of four companies traced to the Special Adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic Affairs, Waripamowei Dudafa.

Buhari suspends his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari; Senate to seize CCB/CCT from President; EFCC grants Reuben Abati bail; How we moved N1.2Billion in Ghana-must-go bags for Fayose’s ally — Star witness; Aisha Buhari makes u-turn, drums support for husband; Buhari, don’t ignore calls for Biafra – Soludo; ExxonMobil discovers one billion oil barrels in Nigeria; Justice Ademola pulls out of case involving DSS; FG gives breakdown of the $29.96bn proposed loan; Chevron, Mobil, Other IOCs Sack 3,000 Workers; 9 major adjustments senate made to CCB/CCT Act . . .

Buhari suspends his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari

Buhari & Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari buhari. suspended

The Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Alhaji Abba Kyari (photo: right), who is under investigation by the Special Investigation Panel of the Nigerian Police Force over bribery allegations was on Thursday suspended by President Buhari (photo: left).

It will be recalled that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the Nigerian telecoms regulator had slammed a $5 billion fine on the South African-based telecoms giant, MTN, for failing to disconnect subscribers with unregistered phone lines bought before January 2012.

Following MTN Nigeria’s  bid to fight the huge fine imposition, firstly through the courts and later through diplomatic channels, Sahara Reporters published a report on 20th September 2016, stating that officials of MTN gave a bribe of N500million to Alhaji Abba Kyari, to intervene and use his closeness to President Buhari, to influence the federal government to give MTN a safe landing.

The presidency has not come out with a contrary position on Alhaji Kyari’s predicament as at the time of publishing this report.

Senate to seize CCB/CCT from President

Senate . red chamber screening PMB's ministerial nominees

The senate on Thursday passed the controversial amendment to the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act (CCB/CCT). The thrust of the senate bill is to relocate the power to exercise authority over the Bureau from the President to the National Assembly.

It was an emotional session in which senators spoke on top of their voices – shouting in the process – in plenary session. Senate Leader Mohammed Ali Ndume moved that the consideration of the report of the Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions Committee, which considered the bill, should be suspended.

Senator Barnabas Gemade (Benue North East) seconded the motion. Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, who presided, put the motion to voice vote. It was defeated twice. But some senators insisted that the consideration of the report should be suspended to allow them take a second look at the provisions of the bill.

EFCC grants Reuben Abati bail

Abati . Reuben Abati & EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has granted bail to the former Special Adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Media, Dr. Reuben Abati.

As part of his bail conditions offered by the anti-graft agency, Dr. Abati was to drop his international passport to the agency and produce a surety of a Nigerian citizen not below level 16 in the federal civil service.

The former presidential spokesman was arrested last Monday on allegations that he received N50m from the embattled former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.).

How we moved N1.2Billion in Ghana-must-go bags for Fayose’s ally — Star witness

Fayose & Zenith Bank

A star witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Oluseye Sunday Alade, Thursday, narrated before the Federal High Court in Abuja, how he helped an ally to Governor Ayodele Fayose, Mr. Abiodun Agbele, to move about N1.2billion, prior to the 2015 general election.

Mr. Alade, who is the Branch head of Zenith Bank in Akure, said the fund which was moved in two tranches, was stuffed inside Ghana-must-go bags. The witness said he was among the team that evacuated the money to the bank with a bullion van after it was flown to the Akure airport in a medium sized aircraft by Senator Musliu Obanikoro.

The star witness, Mr. Alade, said:

“The driver that drove the bullion van on that cash pick-up engagement was Olaolu Omotosho. I do not know the registration number of the aircraft but the colour is metallic grey. I was able to recognise Senator Musliu Obanikoro since the appearance resemble his picture that I used to see on the television or newspaper, but I cannot recognise the third person that came out of the aircraft with him. The cash was packed inside several sacks popularly referred to as Ghana-must-go sack. The aircraft that brought the second tranche of the cash was of a smaller size when compared with the aircraft that brought the first tranche. The sacks were many and as such I cannot remember the number”.

The bank official, who is the first prosecution witness, PW-1, was led in evidence by EFCC lawyer, Mr. Wahab Shittu.

Aisha Buhari makes u-turn, drums support for husband

Aisha Buhari distributing relief items in Borno

Photo: First Lady Aisha Buhari (2nd left) & Gov. Kashim Shettima of Borno state (1st left) in Benisheik – one of the towns liberated from Boko Haram in Borno State – to flag off the distribution of relief items to displaced rural women.

Nigeria’s First Lady, Aisha Buhari has made a u-turn following her controversial BBC Hausa Service interview where she said she will not support her husband in the 2019 presidential election – among other statements. However Mrs Buhari on Thursday reassured Nigerians that she was committed to the success of her husband’s administration.

In her first public comment since the furore ignited by her criticism of her husband’s administration in the BBC interview Mrs. Buhari said she was relieved that the Buhari administration had started to fulfill some of the promises the president made during the electioneering campaigns.

Mrs. Buhari spoke when she paid a visit to Benisheik, one of the liberated towns of Borno State, to flag off the distribution of relief items to displaced rural women. She made the gesture under the Get Involved initiative, a sub-component of her pet project, Future Assured.

Buhari, don’t ignore calls for Biafra – Soludo 

soludo

The former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, has advised the Federal Government to free Nnamdi Kanu as a first step of resolving the agitation for a Biafra State. Soludo, who reviewed a Book, titled “The Politics of Biafra and The Future of Nigeria” written by former House of Representatives member, Hon. Chudi Offodile, said keeping Kanu in prison would not do Nigeria any good as a nation.

“Kanu threw a bait and Nigeria accepted it. I think he is a most popular political prisoner today and should be released; he may be a subject of the next political campaign. He may be like the late Obafemi Awolowo, who came out of prison after being charged for treason and embraced by all ” Soludo explained.

ExxonMobil discovers one billion oil barrels in Nigeria

ExxonMobil . logo

United States-based oil giant ExxonMobil on Thursday said it had discovered up to one billion barrels of oil on the Owowo field offshore of Nigeria’s coastal waters. The oil major and the largest oil company in the world said it was “a significant discovery with a potential recoverable resource of between 500 million and one billion barrels”.

ExxonMobil said the Owowo-3 well, which was spud on September 23, encountered about 460 feet (140 meters) of oil-bearing sandstone reservoir. Owowo-3 extends the resource discovered by the Owowo-2 well, which encountered about 515 feet (157 meters) of oil-bearing sandstone reservoir, ExxonMobil said in a statement on its website.

The President, ExxonMobil Exploration Company, Stephen Greenlee, said, “We are encouraged by the results and will work with our partners and the government on future development plans.” The company said Owowo-3 was safely drilled to 10,410 feet (3,173 meters) in 1,890 feet (576 meters) of water.

The Owowo field spans portions of the contract areas of Oil Prospecting License 223 and Oil Mining License 139. The well was drilled by ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria (Deepwater Ventures) Limited and proved additional resource in deeper reservoirs.

Nigerianeye

Justice Ademola pulls out of case involving DSS

DSS . Justice Adeniyi Ademola

Justice Adeniyi Ademola, one of the judges arrested by DSS has withdrawn from a case involving the secret police. At the mention of the case against one Haruna Abbas and two others, Ademola said it would unfair for him to continue with it.

Justice Ademola announced that he would return the case file to Justice Ibrahim Auta, the chief judge of the federal high court, for reassignment. He said:

“The matter was here last on June 13, and it involves the DSS; I don’t want to handle any of its matters anymore. In the interest of fair hearing, I think I will move the file to another court because it will not be fair to me and to DSS. So, I will return the file to the chief judge to reassign. The case file is hereby returned to the chief judge for reassignment to another judge on personal grounds”.

However, Abass, one of the accused, prayed the judge not to withdraw from the case. He said he and his co-accused would prefer to be tried by Ademola.

FG gives breakdown of the $29.96bn proposed loan

Nigerian Presidential Seal

The Nigerian Government plans to borrow $29.96 billion from the World Bank, African Development Bank (ADB), and Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) – within the next three years. The other international financial agencies it plans to borrow the money from are Islamic Development Bank (IDB), (the major shareholder of the Jaiz Bank Plc) and China EximBank.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun gave details of the loan in Abuja on Thursday in a statement by her Special Adviser, Mr Festus Akanbi. President Muhammadu Buhari had on Tuesday forwarded a request to the National Assembly to approve external borrowing plan of $29.96 billion to execute key infrastructure across the country between 2016 and 2018.

Buhari said the borrowings will target projects across all sectors with special emphasis on infrastructure, agriculture, health, education, water supply, growth and employment generation; poverty reduction through social safety net programs, governance and financial management $18.3 billion on infrastructure development; $14.6 billion to federal projects; $3.7 billion to state projects; $4.8 billion to Mambila Hydro Electric Power Project; $1.6 billion to Abuja Mass Rail Transit project, phase two; $3.5 billion to the Railway Modernization Coastal Project from Calabar to Port Harcourt-Onne Deep Sea Port segment; $2.4 billion to the Lagos-Kano Railway Modernization project; $1.3 billion to Lagos-Ibadan road; $1.1 billion to the Kano-Kaduna road; $4.5 billion to acquire Euro bonds; $3.5 billion to the Federal Government budget support; $2.2 billion to education and health projects at state and federal levels; $1.2 billion dollars set aside for agriculture; $200 million to economic management and statistics.

NAN

Chevron, Mobil, Other IOCs Sack 3,000 Workers

Oil . Chevron & ExxonMobil

The workforce in Nigeria’s oil industry has been depleted by 3,000 employees following the sack of personnel by firms in the industry, two oil unions have said. The mass sacks, it was gathered, resulted from the economic recession in the country. Some of the companies that laid off their staff are Chevron, ExxonMobil, Pan Ocean, Sapiem, and Hercules Oil and Gas Ltd.

The two major unions in the oil and gas sector, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), which confirmed the development yesterday, threatened to go on strike over the sacking of their members.

The unions yesterday issued a 21-day ultimatum to the federal government calling for a halt to the sacking of their members by international oil companies in Nigeria.

9 major adjustments senate made to CCB/CCT Act

Senate . Red Chamber

The senate passed the Code of Conduct amendment bill, 2016 (CCB/CCT Act).

Here are nine major adjustments made by the senators in plenary to the CCB/CCT Act:

1.Tenure of CCB Chairman altered from serving until 70years to ONLY one term of five years, renewable by only one term. Entry age left at 50

2. Relocating the power to exercise authority over the CCB from President to the National Assembly.

3. Extending powers of AGF to prosecute to private legal practitioners to enable CCB to prosecute it’s cases.

4. National Assembly (no longer President) will now have the powers to confer any additional powers (if need be) on CCB.

5. A minimum of 3 out of 5 members of the CCT must sit at all times to be deemed to have formed a quorum.

6. All nominated CCT members are now to be subject to screening and confirmation by the Senate.

7.To enable cases of exception under the CCB Act to be handled by the National Assembly instead of the President.

8. Provisions of Evidence Act (2011) are now to apply to the CCT where crime is an issue.

9. Accused persons concerned in a case before CCB shall be given opportunity to make a written admission of any breach or non-compliance and where such written admission is made, there shall be no reference to the CCT.

© 2016 Nigerian News Desk
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