Senate meets behind closed-doors as Customs boss fails to show up; Three dead as suicide blasts rock migrant camp; CCT Trial: Drama as Saraki’s lawyer engage in shouting match with adverse counsel; ’Buhari, we’re sorry, our elders misled us’ – Igbo students; Senate declares customs boss Hameed Ali unfit for public office, calls for resignation; Court rules on bail application by Nnamdi Kanu & others April 25; Adeosun wants lawmakers to cut CBN governor’s powers; Senate to investigate Saraki & Melaye over forgery; Suspected kidnappers of German Archeologists arrested in Kaduna – DSS; Alleged N400m fraud: Olisa Metuh asks court to suspend trial; Senate approves $500m Eurobond to fund 2016 budget deficit; PDP asks Supreme Court to strike out Markafi PDP faction’s appeal; 5 years after, court to give Judgment on Miss Osokogu’s murder tomorrow . . .
Senate meets behind closed-doors as Customs boss fails to show up
The Comptroller-General of Nigerian Customs Service Hameed Ali on Wednesday failed to appear before the Senate. The senate had asked Ali to appear before it at 10 a.m. on Wednesday in Customs uniform to explain the rationale for directing that vehicle owners should pay duty on their cars. Prompted by Ali’s seeming disrespect by refusing to appear before the senate as directed, senators at exactly 10.32 a.m. went into a closed-door session to assess the situation. The senators had on Thursday, turned back Ali for not appearing in uniform, and rescheduled his appearance to Wednesday, with instructions that he should appear in Comptroller-General of Customs uniform.
Three dead as suicide blasts rock migrant camp
Suicide bombings rocked an IDP camp in northeastern Nigeria on Wednesday, killing at least three people and wounding 20, officials said. The bombings triggered fires which burned down tents in the Muna IDP camp on the outskirts of Maiduguri, camp coordinator Tijjani Lumani told AFP. “There were four explosions inside the camp. The bombers struck at different locations around 4:30 am. A total of five suicide bombers, all male adults, were involved in the incidents, killing three persons,” Abdulkadir Ibrahim of the National Emergency Management Agency in the region told AFP. He said 20 people were wounded and taken to hospital. The police said 4 people were killed and 8 injured. Muna camp is home to tens of thousands of IDPs.
CCT Trial: Drama as Saraki’s lawyer engage in shouting match with adverse counsel
Paul Erokoro, counsel to Senate President Bukola Saraki, and Rotimi Jacobs, representing the federal government, engaged in a shouting match over a self-confessed attempt by the defense counsel to mislead the prosecution witness during cross-examination (during Saraki’s CCT trial). Mr. Erokoro asked the witness, Samuel Madojemu, to specify when he visited the property located at No 15 and 15B MacDonald Street, in Ikoyi, Lagos, which allegedly belongs to Saraki. The lawyer subsequently reframed and twisted the question to which Mr. Jacobs objected, affirming that the defense was trying to confuse his witness and praying the court to protect him from harassment and intimidation by the defense. Erokoro, in response, screamed at Mr. Jacobs. “I am entitled to confuse and mislead the witness, that is why I am here and to show the court that the witness is not truthful.”
‘Buhari, we’re sorry, our elders misled us’ – Igbo students
A group of youths on the platform of Ohaneze Ndigbo Students Forum has declared their loyalty for President Muhammadu Buhari. The Igbo students who trooped into Abuja from various higher institutions in the country apologized to the President, saying Igbo leaders misled them into antagonizing the Buhari administration. President of the group, Osisioma Osikenyi Igwe, while addressing the students at the Unity Fountain in Abuja said Igbo students and youths have come to the inevitable conclusion to embrace change collectively. According to Igwe, “We have chosen to become part of the change agents, by impressing on our people to sight the bright future Nigeria offers every ethnic nationality, most especially Igbo nation under the God-fearing and de-tribalized leader, President Muhammadu Buhari . . . “ (photo: Nigerianeye)
Senate declares customs boss Hameed Ali unfit for public office, calls for resignation
The Senate on Wednesday afternoon declared the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Hameed Ali, unfit to hold any public office in Nigeria and called for his immediate resignation. Hameed Ali failed to appear before the senate today due to a pending court case on whether he should wear the Customs uniform to appear before senators. Senators also condemned the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami, for writing the Senate, advising it not to consider Hameed Ali’s appearance today due to the court case.
Court rules on bail application by Nnamdi Kanu & others April 25
Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has fixed April 25 for ruling on bail application filed by the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu and three others. The court also reserved April for varying on its earlier ruling on protection of witnesses in the matter through the use of screen. The judge had earlier maintained that the ruling on bail application would not stop trial, which has to go on simultaneously. the prosecution counsel, S.M. Labaran, opposed the application, informing the court of a counter-affidavit filed against the defendants’ bail application. He said the defendants should blame regular interruption of trial by the defendants for their continued detention. He asked the court therefore to refuse the application for bail.
Adeosun wants lawmakers to cut CBN governor’s powers
Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun on Tuesday asked for power reduction on the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). She blamed the disconnect between Federal Government’s monetary and fiscal policies on CBN boss’ powers. She requested the National Assembly to slash the legal instrument empowering the CBN boss and make room for checks and balances. Adeosun made the call Tue Mar 21 while receiving House of Representatives Tactical Committee on Recession. She said it amounted to excesses for CBN boss to decide and act on financial matters without recourse to the minister of finance, who is constitutionally required to supervise financial policies, programs and activities of the Federal Government.
Senate to investigate Saraki & Melaye over forgery
Photo: Saraki & Melaya visit IBB in early March, 2017
The Senate on Tuesday ordered that Senate President Bukola Saraki and Sen. Dino Melaye be investigated over allegations of forgery. The senate directed its Ethics and Privileges Committee to investigate Saraki and Melaye to ascertain whether or not the former imported a car with fake Customs papers and if the latter forged a certificate of the Ahmadu Bello University as accused. Senate Leader Ali Ndume had raised a motion drawing the attention to media reports on alleged seizure of a car belonging to Saraki and Melaye’s certificate scandal. Observing that the two allegations had made the Senate a subject of public condemnation, Ndume requested that the allegations against the two lawmakers be investigated to ensure that there was no abuse of legislative privileges by them.
Suspected kidnappers of German Archeologists arrested in Kaduna — DSS
The Department of Security Services (DSS) has arrested two suspected kidnappers of the two German Archelologists, Dr Peter Breuning and Johannes Brehinger on March 13 in Kaduna State. The suspects are: Ibrahim Sule and Bello Shehu. Breuning and Brehinger were kidnapped on Feb.22 this year at Pahkogo in Kagarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State. A statement issued by a spokesman of the DSS in Abuja on Wednesday, Mr Tony Opuiyo, said the suspects were being questioned to establish other possible members of the kidnap network in Nigeria.
Alleged N400m fraud: Olisa Metuh asks court to suspend trial
Former PDP spokesman Olisah Metuh has asked the Federal High Court, Abuja, to suspend hearing in his matter pending a decision of the Supreme Court on his no-case submission appeal. Metuh filed an application in the Supreme Court, appealing the decision of the trial court and the appeal court dismissing his no-case submission. Counsel to Metuh, Onyeachi Ikpeazu (SAN), who moved the application, said the adjournment was in order to await the ruling of the Supreme Court. He said that the court has started hearing the appeal and would deliver its ruling on June 9. Ikpeazu submitted that since the Supreme Court had already started hearing the appeal, the lower court could not share jurisdiction on the same matter with the Supreme Court. He described the application as a simple application, relying on Section 6, subsection 6(a) of the Constitution.
Senate approves $500m Eurobond to fund 2016 budget deficit
The Senate on Wednesday approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for $500 million Eurobond in the International Capital Market to fund the 2016 Budget deficit. The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who acted on behalf of the President, had on March 15, written to the Senate to approve the amount to fund the deficit. Consequently, the lawmakers unanimously approved the president’s request. After the approval, Na’Allah commended the senators for approving the fund for the deficit defray. I thank my colleagues for this rare show of understanding and exhibition of cooperation for this government in its determination to touch the life of average Nigerians,” he said. (NAN)
PDP asks Supreme Court to strike out Markafi PDP faction’s appeal
The national leadership of the PDP has asked the Supreme Court to strike out the appeal instituted by the Markafi PDP faction. In a motion filed on Wednesday at the registry of the apex court by Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) and Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), the PDP said it has not authorized anyone to appeal the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Appeal Nos: CA/PH/349/2016 delivered on 17th February, 2017. The party said its alter ego – the National Working Committee and National Executive Committee, led by Sen. Ali Modu Sherrif (PDP Chairman) and Prof. Wale Oladipo (PDP Secretary) – did not authorize the filing of Appeal No: SC/133/2017 in the name of the Peoples Democratic Party.
5 years after, court to give Judgment on Miss Osokogu’s murder tomorrow
Over four years after the murder of postgraduate student, Cynthia Udoka Osokogu (daughter of a retired general), in a hotel in FESTAC Town, a Lagos High Court will on Wednesday March 23 give judgement in the trial of four accused over the incident. Justice Olabisi Akinlade of a Lagos High Court, Igbosere, had on January 12, during the adoption of the final written addresses by all the counsels in the case, fixed the date to deliver judgement. Miss Osokogu was allegedly lured to Lagos by her Facebook lover and murdered on July 22, 2012, at Cosmilla Hotel, Lakeview Estate, Festac Town. The four accused charged with the murder of the postgraduate student are: Okwumo Nwabufo, 33; Olisaeloka Ezike, 23; Orji Osita, 33, and Ezike Nonso, 25.