FG, States Received N3.88tn From FAAC In Six Months

EFCC Discovers 49m Naira At Kaduna Airport

 

 

The Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) on Tuesday said it shared N3.879 trillion to the Federal Government, States, local government areas, and other statutory recipients in the first half of 2020.

In a statement by the committee’s Director, Communications and Advocacy, Orji Ogbonnaya, the Federal Government received a total of N1.53 trillion while the states got N1.29 trillion and the 774 local government areas received N771.34 billion.

Mr Orji stated that the figures, based on the latest edition of the quarterly review of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), were very volatile.

Giving a further breakdown, Mr Orji explained that the N1.53trillion received by the FG in H1 2020 was 4.28% lower than the N1.599 trillion it got in the first half of 2019 and 7.36% lower than the N1.652 trillion it received in the first half of 2018.

Similarly, he stated that it was the same “for states, a total of N1.298 trillion was disbursed in the first half of 2020. This was 2.8% lower than the N1.35 trillion disbursed in the first half of 2019, and 5.6% lower than the N1.375 trillion disbursed in the first half of 2020.

“For local government areas, the 2020 first half disbursements were 2.64% and 3.04% lower than the corresponding disbursements for 2019 and 2018 respectively.”

READ ALSO: Justify The Necessity For Electricity Tariff Increase, Organised Private Sector Tells FG

Mr Orji pointed out that the total FAAC disbursements in the second quarter of 2020 were slightly lower than the N1.945 trillion disbursed in the first quarter of 2020. This aligned with the projections made in the previous issue of the NEITI Quarterly Review which projected lower FAAC disbursement in the second quarter.

He added that the NEITI report attributed the 0.55% decrease in Q2 2020 to a couple of factors, namely: “rebound in oil prices in the second quarter as a result of ease of lockdowns by countries across the world and the adjustment of the official exchange rate by the CBN from N307/$1 to N360/$1 in March resulting in higher naira disbursements.

“Disbursements were very volatile in the first half of 2020, compared to 2018 and 2019. Unlike 2018 and 2019 where aggregate disbursements increased and decreased in successive months, in 2020 they fell for two straight months, increased in one month, and then decreased for two straight months,” he stated.

The NEITI spokesman also disclosed that from January to May 2020, actual government revenue was N1.62 trillion, representing “62% of the expected pro-rata revenue of N2.62 trillion from the revised budget”. That also explained a shortfall of 38% in government revenue for the first five months of the year. As oil prices continue to rise, and with the increased pace of economic activities, NEITI projects that “Government revenue will perform better in the second half of 2020, with the possibility of shortfalls in revenue compared to budgeted figures.”

He stressed that the net FAAC disbursements and deductions for states for the first half of 2020 had wide disparities.

“Total net disbursements received by Delta State (N100.81 billion) were higher than the combined total net disbursements of N99.47 billion received by six states – Osun, Cross River, Plateau, Ogun, Gombe, and Ekiti.

“Also, the combined total net disbursements of N321.29 billion received by the four highest receiving states of Delta, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, and Bayelsa were higher than the combined total net disbursements of N314.08 billion received by 16 states – Osun, Cross River, Plateau, Ogun, Gombe, Ekiti,  Zamfara, Kwara, Nassarawa, Ebonyi, Taraba, Benue, Adamawa, Ondo, Bauchi, and Abia”. While Lagos State had the highest deductions, Yobe State had the lowest,” he stated.

Protest Rocks Ibadan Over Hike In Fuel Price, Electricity Tariff

 

More reactions have trailed the recent increase in petrol and electricity tariff across the country, as students and civil society groups, on Tuesday, embarked on a peaceful protest in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

The students under the umbrella of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS), condemned the recent increases, stating that it is not in the best interest of Nigerians.

Armed with placards carrying various inscriptions expressing their frustration at the increment, the protesters urged the Federal Government to revert the policies in the best interest of the country.

Students protest increases in petrol price and electricity tariff in Ibadan, Oyo State capital on Tuesday, September 8, 2020

 

The protesters marched through Bodija and environs and ended the procession at the Federal Secretariat, where they addressed the press on the reason behind their agitation.

“We say no to fuel hike, we say no to increment in electricity tariff and other increments that affect Nigerian students and the masses.

“We have over 200 polytechnic campuses in Nigeria that are at home and angry that schools are closed,” a representative of polytechnic students, Olalere Opatunji, told Channels Television.

READ ALSO: Organised Labour Suspends Planned Protest In Rivers State

According to the Chairman, Joint Campus Committee of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Mayowa Opakunle, students are the end-recipient of the increases and particularly, those who are into little businesses to earn a living.

“We are putting it to the Federal Government to put in place, the total reversal of the electricity tariff bill and the increase in premium motor spirit.

“We students are the end recipients, the majority of us are affected because we do small scale businesses to put ourselves in school and so many things we do to make sure we work and not become hoodlums,” he stated.

 

Mr Opakunle said that if a total reversal of these policies is not done soon, students across the country will shut down the economy.

“They should look into the total reversal of these policies that are against our survival and should consider us first before any action is taken. If eventually nothing is done, then we have a total shutdown of the economy.”

Meanwhile, the national coordinator of All Workers Congress and immediate past chairman of Trade Union Congress in Oyo State, Andrew Emelieze, said that the hike is coming at a time when Nigerians are yet to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is now a culture in Nigeria that every month we must increase the pump price of petroleum products, just like we have increased the price of electricity tariff.

“The Nigerian people are just coming out of a pandemic situation where lives have been made miserable for workers; private schools have not been open, hoteliers are not working, marketers have not been able to work this period, and what the President gives us as a gift, is to increase the pump price of petrol illegally.

Mr Emelieze added that: “We are giving until Monday between the NLC, TUC and the Nigerian government, to settle whatsoever they have and revert the price of petroleum products.

“If they don’t do that, Nigerian people are called upon to come out to the street and take their destiny in their hands, that is our resolution,” he stressed.

Organised Labour Suspends Planned Protest In Rivers State

 

Organised labour in Rivers State has suspended its planned protest after reaching an agreement with the state government.

After a meeting which lasted for several hours with the state government on Monday, President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Ayuba Wabba, said that the issues raised have been addressed and the protest scheduled for Tuesday has also been suspended.

The Organised labour made up of NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) raised pending issues with the state government, centred on the new minimum wage, payment of outstanding health workers salaries, unsealing of the NLC secretariat among other concerns.

“Organised labour agreed to immediately suspend the planned protest scheduled for Tuesday 8 September 2020,” Mr Wabba said.

The NLC President noted that the State Government has agreed to pay the approved N30,000 new national minimum wage, after months of unresolved negotiations.

“Parties have agreed to sign the agreement on the implementation of the new national minimum wage and consequential adjustment.”

RELATED: Rivers Govt Warns Organised Labour Against Disobeying Court Order

An official of the Rivers Stae government signing the agreement with the Organised Labour on Monday, September 7, 2020

Unsealing Of NLC Rivers Secretariat

Mr Wabba stated further that the NLC secretariat which was sealed up in February 2020 by the state government will be reopened.

The seal up caused an uproar after security operatives arrived the place and sealed up the premises used by labour unions in the state.

“The NLC secretariat which was sealed for the correction of the structural defect will immediately be unsealed while the government continues with the correction work if any,” The NLC President averred.

Other issues raised, like the remittance of check-off dues, according to the NLC President, will be immediately restored.

“The Rivers State government shall immediately restore the remittance of check-off dues and pay all outstanding arrears to the respective trade unions.

“Rivers State government commits to the payment of salaries withheld from health workers due to the 2017 strike action,” he stated.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: It Costs N400,000 To Treat Each Patient, Says El-Rufai

Mr Wabba added that both parties have also agreed to set up a tripartite committee to discuss and resolve all outstanding labour issues, including the adjustment of pensions in line with the constitution and [payment of pensions and gratuity.

He also stated that the parties have resolved to take steps in ending all ongoing litigations in relation to the dispute in those matters.

The NLC President said that following the agreement, no worker will be victimised based on the roles played in the industrial dispute with the Rivers State Government.

Justify The Necessity For Electricity Tariff Increase, Organised Private Sector Tells FG

EKEDC Restores Power To Ikoyi, Environs After Fire Outbreak
File photo of electricity power lines and equipment

 

The Organised Private Sector of Nigeria (OPSN) has asked the Federal Government to justify the recent increase in electricity tariff which took effect on September 1, 2020.

The OPSN said this at a meeting with the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Infrastructure, Ahmad Zakari, on Friday

A statement by the OPSN on Monday said that the meeting had in attendance, the leadership of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (NASME), and the Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI).

They maintained that the tariff increase is coming at a time when the economy is facing a potentially deep recession and Nigerians are facing increasing hardships, with unemployment rising to over 27% as many factories are facing total closure.

READ ALSO: Ngige Asks Resident Doctors To End Strike, Embrace Dialogue

In response, Mr Zakari said that the increment is necessary due to the fact that the government is having serious financial and revenue challenges which has made it impossible to pay for electricity subsidy.

The Special Adviser stated that over the past five years, subsidy on electricity has skyrocketed from N165 billion in 2015 to over N500 billion in 2019, superseding the Federal Government budgetary allocations to health and education combined.

The statement added that after the discussion between both parties, the meeting agreed that the subsidy situation is unsustainable due to the impact on the electricity industry, but certain conditions need to be created to attract more investment in the sector.

“The subsidy situation is simply unsustainable. And if allowed to continue, the electricity industry will collapse as the government no longer has the fiscal capacity to sustain the increasing subsidy level and at the same time finance the capital investment necessary to extend electricity supply to the over 90 million Nigerians who lack access to electricity.

“It is, therefore, necessary to create conditions that will attract private investment in the industry for which cost-reflective tariff is inevitable.

“It is however imperative that the confidence of electricity consumers must be inspired and they must be assured that the new tariff regime will lead to significant and sustained improvement in the quantity and quality of electricity supply,” the statement added.

The OPSN urged the Federal Government agencies to ensure that the new tariff structure must be “transparent, charges must be fair and consumers must be able to verify that they are paying only for what they consume.”

They asked the FG to compel Distribution Companies (DisCos) to invest in a metering program that will totally eliminate estimated billing and, as well, focus more on the funding of locally made meters by the Central Bank.

“Measures that should ease the burden of industrial consumers must be implemented even if as temporary arrangements. This is to enable them to sustain operations and remain competitive without resorting to laying-off employees.

“Such measures as the Eligible Customer Scheme, which has been approved by NERC but has been blocked by Distribution Companies must be allowed to come into play without any further delay,” the OPSN stressed.

The also asked the Federal Government to support industries to remain viable by instructing the CBN to review its recent decision on payments of imports, as well as review the current policy on border closure.

The statement said that the meeting agreed that the OPSN would continue to engage the Government through the Presidency, Ministry of Power, NERC, and other key agencies to continue deliberations and provide feedback on the monitoring of the implementation of the Service-Based Tariff structure.

Nigeria Uploads 150,000 Stolen, Lost Travel Documents To INTERPOL System

A file photo of data capturing exercise by the Nigeria Immigration Service in Abuja.

 

The Federal Government on Monday said it has uploaded about 150,000 stolen and lost travel documents to the INTERPOL Global System (IPSG) in Lyon, France.

This makes Nigeria the first African country and 54th in the world to achieve this exercise.

A statement by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), said that the exercise was carried out by the INTERPOL i-24/7 Desk, a major system supporting arm, manned by Officers of the NIS in Abuja.

The statement was signed by the Service spokesman, Mr Sunday James, on Tuesday.

“The Nigeria Immigration Service INTERPOL i-24/7 Desk a major INTERPOL system supporting  Arm, manned by Officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service at the unit in the Nigeria Immigration Service Headquarters, Abuja has successfully uploaded about 150,000 Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (STLD) to INTERPOL Global System (IPSG) in Lyon, France seamlessly and successfully.

“This integration according to INTERPOL Police Global System (IPSG) is the first in Africa and 54th in the World; by implication, this feat has enabled Nigeria to upload all SLTD to IPSG-Lyon, France through a secure channel,” the statement read in part.

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: Buhari, Osinbajo Attend Day 2 Of Ministerial Performance Review Retreat

The NIS spokesman added that the success was achieved with support from the IPSG, United States National Central Bureau (USNCB) Washington, National Central Bureau (NCB) Abuja, and the NIS team.

He said that the Comptroller General, NIS, Mr. Muhammad Babandede has been updated on the development by the team.

“The Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service Muhammad Babandede MFR was updated in a brief on this development by the team in view of the report received of the success so far recorded and placement of Nigeria as the first (1st) in Africa and 54th in the world by the Interpol Global system Index, confirming the successful integration and uploading of such quantity of Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) among member nations on the Interpol Global System (IPSG).

Mr James maintained that the Nigerian SLTD detection and tracking system domiciled at the NIS Headquarters has successfully yielded results and worth appreciating by Nigerians and the global Community.

He stated that the move by the NIS will reduce the attempts and deliberate acts of identity theft, frauds, and other organised crimes perpetrated globally using Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD).

Ogun Govt Announces Automatic Promotion For Students, Fixes Resumption Date

Wearing face-masks, final year students of Government Secondary School, Zone 3, Abuja, sit in a classroom as they write their West African Examinations Council exams, following the ease of COVID-19 lockdown order on Monday August 17, 2020. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television.
A file photo of students in SS 3, writing their West African Examinations Council exams, following the ease of COVID-19 lockdown order on Monday, August 17, 2020. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

All students except those in tertiary institutions have been given an automatic promotion to the next class by the Ogun State Government which announced September 21 for the reopening of schools in the state for the first term of 2020/2021 session.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Kunle Somorin, made the announcement in a statement on Monday.

This is in addition to the earlier resumption of students in exit classes.

According to Mr Somorin, the State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, approved the reopening of schools for all classes in primary and secondary schools, Technical and Vocational Colleges, and Tertiary Institutions.

He noted that a resumption schedule for public schools has been developed as part of efforts to meet the COVID-19 guidelines.

Students in primary one to three will attend classes from 8.00 am to 11.00 am, while pupils in primary four to six will learn from 12 noon to 3:00 pm.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Increased Petrol Price Cheapest In West Africa, Angry Reactions Unnecessary – Lai Mohammed

In secondary schools, students in JSS 1 to JSS 3 are to attend classes from 8.00 am to 11.00 am and students in senior classes will be in school from mid-day through to 3:00 pm.

However, the CPS noted that technical and vocational colleges will operate their normal school hours of 8.00 am to 2.00 pm, while tertiary institutions are “allowed to commence reopening from 21 September 2020 as may be determined by their respective management.”

The Governor’s spokesman added that private schools are expected to take necessary measures to meet the COVID-19 protocols for physical distancing, among other requirements.

He stated that students between the ages of 3 to 5 will not be resuming in public schools until the next phase of schools’ reopening.

“It should be noted that the government had earlier announced that all students had been given an automatic promotion to the next class, including automatic placement for primary 6 students in public primary schools into JSS1 of public secondary schools.

“However, primary 6 students desirous of placement into the State-owned Boarding Schools will sit for the Common Entrance Examination on Saturday, 12 September 2020,” the statement read in part.

“The hitherto JSS3 students who have now been promoted to SS1 will write their Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in October 2020.”

Mr Somorin noted that part of the COVID-19 guidelines issued for reopening of schools is still in effect because the management of the virus has been deliberate in ensuring safety for children while minimising the disruption in the school learning calendar.

Read the full statement below:

The Ogun State Government has announced Monday, 21 September 2020 for the reopening of schools in the state for the first term of 2020/2021 session in addition to the earlier resumption of students in SS3 who are currently writing the West African School Certificate Examination.

In a Press Statement issued in Abeokuta by Kunle Somorin, his Chief Press Secretary, Governor Dapo Abiodun announced that this second phase of the reopening of schools is extended to all classes in primary and secondary schools, Technical and Vocational Colleges, and Tertiary Institutions.  However, as part of the efforts to meet the COVID-19 guidelines for school operations, the school hours are staggered as follows for public schools.

  • Primary 1 to primary ​​​​8.00am    to 11.00am
  • Primary 4 to Primary 6​​​​12.00noon to 3.00pm
  • JSS 1 to JSS3​​​​​8.00am to 11.00am
  • SS1 to SS3​​​​​12.00noon to 3.00pm
  • Technical and Vocational will operate their normal school hours from 8.00 am to 2.00 pm

Early Child Care Development and Education classes i.e 3-5 years of age will not be resuming in public schools until the next phase of schools’ reopening.

  • Private schools are also expected to take necessary measures to meet the COVID-19 protocols for physical distancing, among other requirements.
  • Tertiary institutions are allowed to commence reopening from 21 September 2020 as may be determined by their respective Management.

It should be noted that the government had earlier announced that all students had been given an automatic promotion to the next class, including automatic placement for primary 6 students in public primary schools into JSS1 of public secondary schools.

However, primary 6 students desirous of placement into the State-owned Boarding Schools will sit for the Common Entrance Examination on Saturday, 12 September 2020.

The hitherto JSS3 students who have now been promoted to SS1 will write their Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in October 2020.

The Statement emphasised that the COVID-19 guidelines earlier issued for reopening of schools are still in effect and include:

  • Provision of Sick bays / Isolation rooms in schools.
  • Training and designation of some teachers as first-line responders
  • Use of face masks
  • A regular check of body temperature with infrared thermometers
  • Provision of adequate hand washing facilities and alcohol-based sanitisers for students and teachers;
  • Maintaining physical distancing of 2 meters
  • Decontamination of schools prior to resumption;
  • Suspension of the general assembly.

“Our approach to COVID-19 pandemic management has been deliberate, methodical, focused, inclusive and carefully balanced between life and livelihood and this has manifested in the steps we have adopted to the reopening of schools, ensuring the safety of our children whilst minimising disruption in their education. The guidelines are applicable to all schools in the state whether private or public.

I have directed the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology to provide all public schools with the required items to meet the guidelines and private school owners are enjoined to do the same.

I charge our students to take full benefits of the reopening of the schools for their educational advancement and wish them a very fulfilling 2020/2021 academic year”, the Governor said.

e-signed

Kunle Somorin

Chief Press Secretary to the Governor

Ngige Asks Resident Doctors To End Strike, Embrace Dialogue

A photo combination of the logo of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige

 

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has asked the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), to end the ongoing strike which they kick-started on Monday.

The resident doctors issued a nationwide strike ultimatum to press on eight demands centred on a pay rise, adequate facilities, and better welfare packages.

According to Mr Ngige, in a statement on Monday, the resident doctors should embrace dialogue to resolve outstanding issues with the Federal Government.

The Minister, who listed the efforts by the Federal Government, maintained that six of the demands have already addressed.

“Recall that most of the issues listed in the demands are issues that have been under Conciliation since May 2020 that resulted in their strike in June 2019.

“The NARD leadership in three conciliatory meetings with the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) leadership in attendance can attest that out of the eight (8) demands listed after their Bauchi NEC meeting, the Federal Government via the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) and Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (FMoFB&NP) has already addressed about six of the demands comprehensively and satisfactorily.”

RELATED: Resident Doctors Begin Indefinite Nationwide Strike

Mr Ngige stressed that despite the economic challenges facing the country, and a revenue shortfall, the government has been able to spend N20 billion on health workers between April and June this year.

“Even with the lean resources available due to the COVID-19 effect on oil output and price resulting in low revenue, the Federal Government has addressed the COVID-19 Special Hazard and Inducement Allowances for Medical and Health Workers to the extent that as of today, N20 billion has been expended by the FMoH and FMoF&NP on this allowance for April, May, and June 2020 with very little grey areas of outstanding payments to some Health Workers for June 2020.”

The Minister noted that “the issue of Group Life Insurance for Medical  and Health Workers were also dealt with fully with the Office of the Head of Service passing the records to both NARD and FMoH, to pass on to their medical doctors and other health workers to make appropriate claims when necessary, with the details of the 13 Leading Insurance companies and brokers, an exercise  that cost the Federal Government N9.3 billion as a premium to run from the COVID-19 period of March 2020 to March 2021.”

He stated that the life insurance covers both Health professionals and workers, and all federal civil servants and public servants in federal organisations.

Similarly, Mr Ngige said that the Federal Government also appropriated the sum of N4 billion from the Special Intervention COVID-19 N500 billion 2020 Appropriation, for funding of Medical Residency Training and with intent to do the same in the ongoing 2021 Budget to be submitted to NASS for consideration. He added that the N4 billion has been processed for payment.

“Other issues like the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital right between NARD and the authorities were addressed while old issues not related to the COVID-19 period and issues of State Governments not addressing the Consequential Minimum Wage Adjustments, and low patronage of Residency programme are work in progress.”

The Minister asked the union not to throw caution to the wind by ignoring the case before the National Industrial Court.

He stated that the interlocutory injunction against further strike actions by NARD, which was gotten by the Citizens Advocacy for Social Rights (CASER) and Association of Women in Trading and Agriculture (AWITA) is still valid and the union should respect the Country’s Laws and withdraw the September 7 strike ultimatum.

Meanwhile, the Minister fixed Wednesday, September 9 to reconvene the ongoing conciliation meeting between NARD, the Federal Ministry of Health, and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning.

Magu’s Lawyers Ask Presidential Panel To Recall Witnesses In Corruption Probe

BREAKING: Police Promote EFCC Boss Magu, 17 Others
A file photo of the suspended acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu.

 

The suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has asked the Justice Ayo Salami-led investigative presidential panel, to recall the witnesses who testified against him in his absence at the ongoing corruption probe.

In a letter dated September 4 and addressed to the Chairman of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry, through his counsel, Wahab Shittu, Mr Magu said that the request to recall several witnesses was in the interest of fair hearing.

According to the letter, the suspended EFCC boss is the subject matter in the investigation which was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari in July.

Mr Magu is being investigated by the panel over allegations of abuse of office and mismanagement of Federal Government recovered assets from May 2015 to May 2020, among others while he was acting chairman of the EFCC.

READ ALSO: Magu Writes Probe Panel, Asks For AGF To Be Summoned

His lawyers also urged the panel to investigate, verify and review the recommendations of the Presidential Committee on the audit of recovered assets, as it relates to the EFCC and the role the suspended anti-graft agency’s boss allegedly played in the mismanagement of the recovered assets.

They also asked the panel to investigate the abuse of office and non-compliance with official directives alleged committed by Mr Magu.

The lawyers stated that based on the concerns raised, Mr Magu was entitled to participate in the entire proceedings and an opportunity to cross-examine all the witnesses.

Read the full letter below:

4th September 2020.

The Chairman,

Judicial Commission of Inquiry

For The Investigation of Mr Ibrahim MAGU

The Ag. Chairman of the EFCC

For Alleged Abuse of Office And Mismanagement of

Federal Government Recovered Assets and Finances

From MAY 2015 TO MAY 2020

My Lord and Gentlemen,

RECALL OF WITNESSES WHO TESTIFIED IN OUR CLIENT’S ABSENCE  IN THE INTEREST OF FAIR HEARING.

We remain counsel of choice to Mr Ibrahim Magu, the suspended Acting Chairman of the ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION (EFCC) hereinafter referred to as “Our Client” and on whose behalf and specific instructions as we write as follows;

We write to humbly request, in the interest of fair hearing, for the recall of several witnesses who appeared and testified before this judicial commission of inquiry at the time our client was not allowed to participate in the proceedings and cross-examine such witnesses in these proceedings.

The above request is premised on the fact that our client based on the instrument constituting this panel signed by the President on 3rd of July 2020 is the subject matter of these inquiries, to wit;

“INSTRUMENT CONSTITUTING A JUDICIAL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY FOR THE INVESTIGATION OF MR. MAGU IBRAHIM, THE AG. CHAIRMAN OF THE EFCC FOR ALLEGED ABUSE OF OFFICE AND MISMANAGEMENT OF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RECOVERED ASSETS AND FINANCES FROM MAY 2015 TO MAY 2020”

This request has become necessary and compelling in view of the extensive scope of the terms of reference as follows;

The judicial commission shall inquire into-

  1. Investigate, verify, and review the recommendations of the Presidential Committee on audit of recovered assets as it relates to the EFCC, with a view to ascertaining the complicity or otherwise of the Ag. Chairman, Ibrahim Magu in the mismanagement of the assets recovered by the commission;
  2. Identify avenues through which the recovered assets are dissipated and seized, recovered, forfeited (interim and final) assets are valued, managed disposed, or mismanaged with a view to ascertaining compliance or otherwise with extant laws, regulations processes, and procedures\
  3. Review the existing procedures on the management of the seized, recovered, and forfeited assets (interim and final) and proffer standard Operational procedures for the management of seized, recovered, and forfeited assets;
  4. To determine whether movable or immovable assets including funds or cash recovered during his tenure, whether locally in Nigeria or abroad are being kept safely in a manner as to preserve their original value;
  5. Identify the location of all movable or immovable assets, funds, or cash that are under interim or final forfeiture based on administrative or orders of the courts;
  6. Identify the Bank accounts to which recovered funds or cash were paid into and whether generated interest from the recovered funds or cash were properly accounted for;
  7. Whether all the assets could be properly accounted for by the Ag. Chairman and take measures to;
  8. Confirm if any, of the assets has been diverted to the benefit of the Ag. Chairman, his family, relation, friends or favored staff; and
  9. Recovered any of such diverted assets, funds or cash, if any and recommend, if the funds should be returned back to the EFCC or appropriate government agency, entities or individuals.

Investigation into the Abuse of Office and Non-Compliance with Official Directives

To investigate and report on the existence or otherwise of dereliction of duty and abuse of processes and procedures against the Ag. Chairman as it relates to his conduct on the following matters:

  1. Investigation of P&ID and determine what happened when the case was first referred to him in 2016 and high profile local and international cases inclusive of the case of Dieziani Alison Madueke and others;
  2. Complaints by the UK National Crime Agency (NCA) in London;
  3. Complaint of non-compliance with Court Orders;
  4. Complaint of non-compliance with procurement and financial management laws; and
  5. Non-compliance with presidential and Ministerial directives.
  6. Audit the Account of EFCC as a Legal Entity in with public service Rules, EFCC Act and other Extant Laws: Audit the Assets and Finances of the EFCC as a legal entity from 2015-2020, with a view to ascertaining compliance or otherwise with procurement procedures of the EFCC in line with the provisions of the procurement Act.
  7. Investigation into personal Enrichment with the Assets Recovered: (a) to investigate and report on corruption and money laundering allegations involving the Ag. Chairman and Bureau De Change operators, as well as some of his associates; as per the intelligence report and petitions. (b) Work with any other persons, organization or corporate entity to achieve the objectives of the Terms of Reference and make any other observation and recommendations as may be necessary.
  8. Recommendations

Make appropriate recommendations concerning each person, authority and organization investigated by the Judicial Commission and what Judicial or administrative measures, if any, should be taken to recover all misappropriated funds and assets.”

Based on the foregoing, our client is entitled to participate in the entirety of the proceedings including afforded the opportunity to cross-examine all witnesses in these proceedings.

We will also humbly request guidance on specific procedure, schedule, and timeline earmarked for the defence to enable our client adequately prepare and call relevant and material witnesses/documentary evidence ahead of his defence in the proceedings.

This information will enable our client inform the panel ahead of proceedings of the material witnesses to be invited for purposes of our client’s defence.

We look forward to your usual and kind cooperation in the above regard.

Please accept our best professional regards.

 

Wahab Shittu (ESQ)

W.K SHITTU & CO

 

 

Nigeria’s COVID-19 Cases Exceed 55,000 Mark

Moderna's COVID-19 Vaccine Set For Final Trial Stage After 'Promising' Results
In this file photo taken on May 18, 2020, a syringe is pictured on an illustration representation of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus in Paris. The Paris prosecutor’s office said on July 10, 2020, that it was investigating “massive fraud” across France by people falsely claiming temporary wage assistance for employees laid off during the coronavirus lockdown.
JOEL SAGET / AFP

 

Nigeria has recorded over 55,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, according to a late-night tweet from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) which was released on Sunday.

The health agency revealed that the country’s daily confirmed cases on Sunday stood at 100 with three deaths recorded, moving the tally to 55,005 till date.

The country has so far discharged 43,013 patients from its isolation centres across the country.

 

READ ALSO: FG Says N30.5bn Spent In Response To COVID-19 Between April And July

It showed that the new cases were reported in 10 States, with Lagos recording 39 cases, followed by the FCT – 22, Kaduna – 19, Oyo with seven cases.

Ebonyi had six new cases, with Edo recording three, while Katsina, Ekiti, Bauchi and Nasarawa, all had one case reported.

So far, the NCDC stated that the country has a total of 10,935 active cases, with 1,057 lives claimed by the virus.

UK Hits About 3,000 In 24 Hours

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom registered almost 3,000 new coronavirus cases over 24 hours, a level not seen since late May, health ministry figures showed Sunday.

A handout photograph released by the UK Parliament shows Britain’s main opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer (R) listening as Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) in the House of Commons in London on September 2, 2020. Britain on Wednesday rejected criticism that it was abandoning the world’s poorest at a time of global crises by closing down its overseas development ministry, insisting it stood by its hefty aid commitments.

 

The government said two more people had died after testing positive over the past 28 days, bringing the overall UK toll to 41,551, Europe’s highest. In addition, 2,988 new cases were recorded, significantly higher than the 1,813 registered Saturday.

“The rise in the number of cases that we have seen today is concerning,” said Health Secretary Matt Hancock as Britain digested the highest number of daily cases since 2,959 on May 23.

Hancock said the latest sufferers are predominantly young people but cautioned against behaviour that might allow a spread to the elderly.

Hancock said it was “important that people don’t allow this illness to infect their grandparents and to lead to the sort of problems that we saw earlier in the year” when the health system battled to contain the virus as the toll inexorably rose.

The concern is that increased transmission generally heightens the risk that the virus could get passed on to the elderly and people with underlying health problems.

France Raises High Alerts

In France, authorities have placed seven more departments covering major cities such as Lille, Strasbourg and Dijon on high alert as increases in Covid-19 infections accelerate, the government said Sunday.

Of France’s 101 mainland and overseas departments, 28 are now considered “red zones” where authorities will be able to impose exceptional measures to slow the number of new coronavirus cases.

 

A man has a PCR test for the novel coronavirus at a medical laboratory in Paris amids the Covid-19 pandemic on September 4, 2020.
Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP

The move comes as France reported a record of nearly 9,000 daily cases on Friday and a further 8,550 cases in the past 24 hours on Saturday when the nationwide test positivity rate increased to 4.7 percent.

Paris and the Bouches-du-Rhone department encompassing the southeastern city of Lyon were the first to be placed on high alert by the government on August 14 after infection rates began to climb.

That prompted local officials to require face masks in all public spaces to slow the virus’s spread, in hope of avoiding a spike in cases that could again overwhelm hospitals as autumn approaches.

Edo Election: PDP Completes Wards Campaign, Thanks Supporters For Their Patience

Edo PDP Governorship candidate and incumbent Governor, Godwin Obaseki addresses the people of Etsako-Central during the party’s campaign on August 10, 2020.

 

The Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it has completed its campaign ahead of the September 19, 2020 election, after touring all the 192 wards of the state.

A statement by the party’s state Chairman, Tony Aziegbemi, said that since the approval and composition of the campaign council five weeks ago, presenting its governorship candidate, Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Phillip Shaibu, to the citizens of the state, has been an awesome experience for the party.

Mr Aziegbemi added that the love shown by the supporters of the party and its candidates has shown their preference ahead of the election.

READ ALSO: Edo Election: We Will Bury Oshiomhole Politically, Says Obaseki

The PDP Chairman urged the security agencies to step up their efforts and ensure that the voters get a free, fair, credible, and peaceful election.

Read Full Statement:

We made it…

Members of the state work committee here present, gentlemen and ladies of the press. We give God Almighty, the omnipotent, all-powerful, all-knowing God, all the glory and praise for a successful ward to ward tour of the state. On behalf of the State Working Committee, I welcome you to this press conference.

You will recall that I approved the composition of the Edo state campaign council five weeks ago, with the sole mandate of taking our message of excellent performance and the need for continuity to all the 192 wards of the state. The campaign council immediately swung into action with our candidate HE Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki and his deputy, Comrade Phillip Shaibu, the king of the youths. It was an awesome experience. It was electrifying. Edo State citizens came out in their numbers to catch a glimpse of our candidate and to hear our message. We are indeed humbled by this show of love and support for our candidate. We promise we will not take this for granted.

We went about our campaign with peace and love. Unfortunately, we have to put it on record that the APC made feeble attempts to disrupt our campaigns. We have cataloged, as you can see on the board to my right, the senseless attacks on our party members and their properties. We challenge the APC, or any other party for that matter, to show such evidence of their members being attacked. Gentlemen and ladies of the press, it will amaze you to know that not one person has been arrested for these senseless attacks on our members. If not for the strong appeal from our Governor, HE Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, you can imagine what would have become of our state if retaliation was carried out by our members. Let me warn the APC – that our patience is not ELASTIC. I call on the Commissioner of Police, CP Johnson Kokumo, to rise up to the occasion. His efforts thus far leave much to be desired. I call on all the other security agencies to step up their efforts before the elections, especially on the day of the election, 19th of September 2020. They should justify the salaries they earn from taxpayers’ money.

On behalf of the State Working Committee and the entire membership of the PDP in Edo State, I thank His Excellency and our candidate, HE Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, his Deputy, Comrade Phillip Shaibu, in whom we have implicit confidence, the Chairman of the Campaign Council, Chief Dan Orbih, the Director-General, Osarodion Ogie, the Deputy Director-General, Gideon Ikhine, the Senatorial coordinators and their deputies, for discharging the assignments given to them by the party, most honourably and efficiently. We owe you a world of gratitude. We also, with a humble heart, thank our members and indeed Edo citizens, for trooping out in their hundreds of thousands to catch a glimpse of our candidate and to hear our message. We also thank the security agencies for their professionalism. We also thank all the drivers in our convoy, caterers, musicians, and everyone who took part one way or the other to make this five-week ward to ward tour a memorable one.

Edo people have clearly shown their preference for the PDP and its candidate during the forthcoming September 19th, 2020 election. From multiple opinion polls conducted by independent bodies and organizations, the PDP has the support of 80% of the electorate while all other parties have 20%. Flowing from the above, we hereby demand, in the strongest terms possible, that INEC and the security agencies carry out their statutory responsibilities based on the oath of office they swore to, which is to be NEUTRAL.

However, anyone who deviates from this sacred oath, which he or she willingly swore to, knows that we will ensure that the most extreme hand of the law is meted out to them. Please note that anyone who deprives any human being from constituting their fundamental human rights is just as bad as enslaving or killing them and as such do not deserve anything less from the law.

We call on the parents of all the ad-hoc staff that will be engaged in this election, to call their wards to order. Edo people deserve a free, fair, credible, and peaceful election, and nobody, whether in the security agencies or in INEC will be allowed to subvert the will of the people. We will follow the process from A to Z from multiple angles, and if you are caught doing the wrong thing, be assured that as a party that believes in and promotes the right for people to freely express their choice, we will be waiting and ensuring that law affects the fullest possible punishment.

Once again thank you so much for coming and I wish you a happy Sunday.

Dr. Tony Aziegbemi

Chairman PDP EDO STATE CHAPTER

P&ID: FG Yet To Pay $200m Bond To UK Court, Says Malami

 

The Federal Government has revealed that the bank guarantee of $200 million placed with a United Kingdom court to secure a stay on asset seizures of up to $9 billion related to the case against an Irish firm, Process, and Industrial Development (P&ID), has not been paid.

P&ID, a firm based in the British Virgin Islands, won a $6.6 billion arbitration award against the Nigerian government after the 2010 gas project collapsed.

The award accrued interest since 2013 and is now worth more than $9 billion.

According to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who spoke on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, the Federal Government has filed an application for the variation of the order by a high court in London.

He maintained that the ruling which would have converted the arbitration award and see P&ID seize the government assets has been appealed, including the ruling for conditional lodgement of the said amount.

“Nigeria has not paid and we filed an application for the variation of the order to allow us perhaps to consider the possibility of posting a bank guarantee against posting cash deposit.

“The order for the deposit for such amount of money and the appeal component is being considered at the superior court of record, but one thing I want to place on record is that Nigeria has not paid the amount in contention and has challenged the order as it relates to the posting of cash deposits,” Mr. Malami stated.

RELATED: P&ID Case: Investigation Shows That $301m Was Used For Under-Hand Dealings – Malami

The Justice Minister also stressed that the Federal Government has succeeded in putting up a case that the conditional lodgement of such amount should now be reviewed, a move he said, is being considered at the appellate level.

Stressing further, Mr Malami gave insight on what the Federal Government has done to ensure that such errors are not committed in subsequent deals.

Mr Malami said that a repeat of that will not occur in the Buhari-led Federal Government, as moves to tighten the processes have been developed and will be implemented henceforth.

“The first thing that has been done is to ensure that there are consequences for wrongdoing and those elements in respect of which investigations have been concluded, were charged, arraigned before the court and convicted.

“As well, we have taken steps to tighten our processes with particular reference to ensuring that things are done rightly; if a company is coming to establish a project in Nigeria, relevant associated permits and approvals must be obtained.

“If certain structures are being placed, there must be evidence of land acquisition, if an agreement is needed involving the government and its interest, that agreement must be allowed to pass through the process of vetting in the office of the Attorney General by the relevant departments and then if indeed the draft agreement is okayed, it has to pass through the Federal Executive Council for consideration, deliberation, and eventual approval before committing the government in the process,” the justice minister added.

The AGF also clarified that the Federal Government has secured a three-leg victory in the P&ID case and there is no iota of truth that the moves in response to overturn the judgment are slow.

Nigeria on September 3, secured a landmark victory in its pursuit to overturn a $10 billion judgment awarded against it in a case against P&ID in a failed gas deal in 2010.

P&ID Case: Investigation Shows That $301m Was Used For Under-Hand Dealings – Malami

 

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has said that ongoing investigation has revealed that about $301 million was given as under-hand dealings to some persons in a bid to hide the illegality of the Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID) gas supply and processing deal.

The Federal Government, during the administration of Late President Umaru Yar’adua in 2010, signed a contract with P&ID to build a gas supply and processing plant in Calabar, Cross River State capital, a contract the President Muhammadu Buhari government has said is a result of fraud and corruption.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, Mr Malami stated that the latest ruling of a court in the United Kingdom, overturning a $10 billion judgement awarded against it, is a result of the progress made from the investigation.

Mr Malami stated that some principal characters that were investigated have been arraigned and there have been certain convictions recorded.

He added that within the government employ, some retired staff have been alleged to benefit from the deal and the investigation will reveal their level of involvement.

“As much as I wouldn’t want to be pre-emptive, the fact still remains that at the local level, some of the principal characters were being investigated, and some were not only investigated but were arraigned and then there were certain convictions recorded.

“Within the official cycles of government, some have retired, and they are being alleged to have been involved in under-hand dealing as it relates to within the region of $301 million.

“The investigation has re-affirmed the fact that there were certain under-hand dealings to the tune of $301 million,” Mr Malami stressed.

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The Justice Minister added that the Federal Government is still carrying out more investigations beyond the shores of the country because further findings show that the contract which was signed in 2010, did not follow due diligence.

“There were arraignments, there were convictions and indeed, monies were established to change hands as a basis for inducement that eventually resulted into compromises on processes, compromises on the procedure and then, failure on the part of the officials of government to do the needful in terms of ensuring that the interest of the nation is protected.

“The due diligence relating to P&ID was not adequately undertaken as at the time of signing the agreement, but arising from the investigation, we have taken time to conduct and expand our investigative capacity to other jurisdiction inclusive of the US and there is nothing establishing greater financial strength capacity on the part of P&ID right from the onset either in Nigeria and the Virgin Island.”

Giving a further breakdown of the contract, Mr Malami maintained that the agreement was not allowed to pass through the office of the Attorney General, while associated approvals and permits were not obtained from the Federal Executive Council and the Department of Petroleum Resources.

He stated that the arbitral proceeding claiming that Nigeria should pay P&ID $6.6 billion as damages, as well as pre- and post-judgment interest at 7 percent, amounting to $9.6b judgment plus interest, is a result of fraud and corruption.