The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has appointed Yemi Akinwonmi as its acting National Chairman.
This was disclosed by the party’s spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan after a closed-door meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) in Abuja on Thursday.
“A motion was moved and Elder Yemi Akinwonmi was unanimously approved as the Acting Chairman of our great party,” Ologbondiyan said.
“It is interesting for you to know that this is in line with the provisions of our Constitution. The party is fully back on stream. We are sailing properly and our Board of Trustees meeting is going on.
“Tomorrow, we are going to also have a caucus meeting and the National Working Committee will also meet tomorrow preparatory to the National Executive Council meeting which will be held on Saturday.”
While reacting to the recent crisis that has rocked the party recently, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar described the situation as normal.
He, however, said what makes the PDP different is its ability to resolve the crisis and prepare for the challenges ahead.
“If you have an internal crisis in your house, department, village, everywhere, it is normal. But what makes you different is your ability to resolve that crisis.
“We have proved to Nigerians that we have that ability to resolve our internal crisis and therefore the crises that are facing this country from banditry to kidnapping; we have that capacity to resolve all those crises.”
Akinwonmi’s appointment came three days after a High Court in Rivers State granted an interim order restraining Mr Uche Secondus from parading or acting as the PDP National Chairman.
Justice Okogbule Gbasam of the Degema Division of the Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt gave the order on Monday.
Before his appointment, Akinwonmi was the Deputy National Chairman (South) of the main opposition party.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) belongs to all Nigerians and not to anybody.
This is according to the EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, who stated this on Monday while receiving members of a civil society organization, Civil Society Coalition for Transparency and Good Governance at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja.
While calling on all Nigerians to embrace the fight against corruption, Bawa said the anti-graft agency cannot win the war alone.
“EFCC belongs to all Nigerians and it is not for anybody,” he was quoted as saying via a statement issued by the commission’s spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren.
Anti-graft War: EFCC Needs All Nigerians on Board – Bawa
The Executive Chairman of the EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa has stressed the need for all Nigerians to embrace the fight against corruption…
“We realised long ago that the work of the EFCC is not something that can be done alone. Civil Society Organizations and Individuals are all stakeholders because Nigeria is the only country we have.”
Bawa also assured that the EFCC will partner with civil society organizations to ensure that “the mandate of the Commission and what we stand for, which is ensuring good governance, is imbibed and the country is rid of corruption.”
Speaking also, the Vice President of CSCTGG, Nse Victor Udeh, lamented the negative impact of corruption on the country.
He said if the country had functional health, education, aviation, road and other infrastructure, “We will have less to worry about,” adding that “apart from scarce resources, corruption is responsible for the failure of public infrastructures.”
“We as civil society are offering ourselves as those who will continue to project the message of ‘say no to corruption’ in whatever form,” he assured.
“As I am talking to you, a total of four persons have been arrested and are being questioned to know their level of involvement in the incident.
“It will also interest you to know that out of the four, one is now late and that occurred immediately we received information that someone suspected to be involved in the kidnap and subsequent killing of the LGA Chairman was seen in a particular location in the bush,” Missal added.
The police spokesman said when officers were deployed for the mission, they discovered that the villagers mobilized too and went after him, descended on the deceased and beat him to stupor.
He explained that the suspect however could not survive the injury he sustained from the mobs.
The ex-governor who headed the Presidential Advisory Committee for the Elimination of Drug Abuse said the revamping will be done in line with the recommendations of the committee.
While noting that the number of people involved in the drug abuse in the country has surpassed 15 million Nigerians, he warned that the agency will deal with all those involved in drug and substance abuse in the country.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has won all the chairmanship and councillorship seats in the just concluded local government elections in Kogi State.
Chairman of the Kogi State Independent Electoral Commission (KOSIEC), Mr Mammam Eri, disclosed this on Sunday in Lokoja, the state capital.
While officially declaring the results of the election, he noted that the candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) swept to victory in all polls for the 21 chairmanship and 239 councillorship seats in the state.
“The State Independent Electoral Commission has received all results as released from the 239 wards and the 21 Local Government Areas of the state,” Eri said.
He added, “The Kogi State Independent Electoral Commission has, therefore, ratified and adopted these results.”
Apart from the APC, other political parties that participated in the election included the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Social Democratic Party (SDP).
The KOSIEC chairman stated that Joseph Salami of the APC polled 70,815 votes to defeat his PDP rival, Ibrahim Yakubu, who scored 2,216 votes in the chairmanship election for Adavi LGA.
In Dekina LGA, PDP’s Agagu Samuel gathered 4,464 votes to come second behind Shuaibu Isiaka of the APC who garnered 103,607 polls.
Other LGAs where the elections held were Ajaokuta, Ankpa, Bassa, Ibaji, Idah, Igalamela-Odolu, Ijumu, Kabba-Bunu, Koton Karfe, Lokoja, Ofu, Ogori-Magongo, Okehi, Okene, Olamaboro, Omala, Yagba East, and Yagba West.
Moses David who contested the Mopa-Muro LGA chairmanship election on the APC platform polled 6,248 votes to beat Oludoyin Michael of the PDP who scored 110 votes.
Before the results were declared, Eri commended the people of the state for conducting themselves in a peaceful manner while the elections took place.
He also thanked the political actors and other stakeholders in state, including the security agencies and media for their support to ensure the elections were successfully conducted.
The former Chairman of the Benue State Primary Education Board, Mr Augustine Dzever, has been arraigned over an alleged illegal transfer of N104.9 million belonging to the board to another account.
Dzever is being prosecuted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on a 9-count charge.
ICPC in a statement by its spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, said Dzever was charged before Hon. Justice S. A. Itodo of the Benue State High Court, sitting in Makurdi.
The commission is accusing the former SUBEB chairman of transferring N140, 878, 378 from the personnel account to the overhead account of the board.
ICPC’s counsel, Bako Along, informed the court that Dzever committed the offence in 2005 that is “contrary to and punishable under Section 22(5) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.”
“The court also heard that the accused person, Dzever, had in 2005 allegedly transferred the sum of N24, 477, 918. 98 from the personnel account to the overhead account of the Board, thereby contravening Section 22(5) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
“Other allegations levelled against the accused include that he transferred the sums of N2, 477, 918. 00 and N20, 000, 000 on different occasions from the personnel account of the board to the overhead account,” the statement read in part.
In his ruling, the presiding judge, Honourable Itodo granted the accused person bail on self-recognition and the sum of N1 million.
This follows Dzever’s plea of not being guilty when the charges were read to him.
The matter was however adjourned to June 24 for his trial.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who led an active, reformist tenure as African Union chair, on Sunday passed the baton to Egypt, seen as more likely to focus on security issues than expanding the powers of the body.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will officially take over the post of ceremonial head of the AU which rotates between the five regions of the continent at the start of the two-day summit in Addis Ababa.
The meeting got underway after a ceremony inaugurating a commemorative statue of the late Ethiopian emperor Haileselassie I at the AU headquarters, in honour of his role in the formation of the continental body.
While multiple crises on the continent will be on the agenda of heads of state from the 55 member nations, the summit will also focus on institutional reforms and the establishment of a continent-wide free trade zone.
The Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) was agreed by 44 nations in March 2018, but only 19 countries have ratified the agreement, with 22 needed for it to come into effect.
The single market is a flagship of the AU’s “Agenda 2063” programme, conceived as a strategic framework for socioeconomic transformation.
Cairo is backing the initiative, but analysts say it will be less likely to focus on the financial and administrative reforms pushed by Kagame.
Sisi is however expected to focus more on security, peacekeeping and post-war reconstruction, issues closely tied to the AU’s 2019 theme of “Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons”.
“Egypt has an interest in Africa, they want to strengthen their position on the African continent and they don’t want to be seen as a country only focused on the Arab world,” said Liesl Louw-Vaudran, an analyst at the Institute for Security Studies.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Saturday that peaceful elections in DR Congo, Mali and Madagascar, as well as peace deals in South Sudan and the Central African Republic and the truce between Ethiopia and Eritrea, were signs of a “wind of hope” on the continent.
Resisting AU power
Kagame, who has been leading institutional reforms since 2016, pushed for a continent-wide import tax to fund the AU and reduce its dependence on external donors, who still pay for more than half the institution’s annual budget.
But member states have resisted this along with reform of the AU Commission, its executive organ. In November 2018, most states rejected a proposal to give the head of the AU Commission the power to name deputies and commissioners.
Like other regional heavyweights Nigeria and South Africa, Egypt is not keen on a powerful AU, an African diplomat told AFP.
This is especially because Cairo has “never forgotten” its suspension in 2013 after Egypt’s army deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, who in 2012 became the country’s first democratically elected president, the diplomat said.
“Traditionally, leaders of big powers have not really helped the position of AU chairperson, as they don’t want an AU which is too strong or too intrusive,” said Elissa Jobson of the International Crisis Group.
“The AU and the AU commission are only as strong as its members want them to be. Unlike the EU, African countries have not transferred some of their sovereignty to the AU.”
Kagame suffered a crushing blow from the AU after expressing “serious doubts” about the results of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s recent presidential election, which was officially won by Felix Tshisekedi.
While also disputed by the Catholic church, the results were validated by DRC’s constitutional court and saluted by continental heavyweights South Africa, Kenya and Egypt.
“This whole thing was an embarrassment for the AU, it showed the limitations of what the AU chairperson can do,” said Jobson.
Amnesty International expressed fears that Egypt’s chairmanship could undermine human rights mechanisms in the AU.
“During his time in power President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has demonstrated a shocking contempt for human rights. Under his leadership the country has undergone a catastrophic decline in rights and freedoms,” said Najia Bounaim, Amnesty’s North Africa Campaigns Director.
Mitsubishi Motors executives ousted Carlos Ghosn as chairman on Monday following his shock arrest for alleged financial misconduct, capping a stunning fall from grace for the tycoon credited with saving the scandal-hit Japanese firm.
The move follows Ghosn’s sacking as chairman of Nissan as he faces questioning in a Tokyo detention center over claims he under-reported his salary to the tune of $44 million over several years.
The firm’s CEO Osamu Masuko told reporters it was “heartbreaking” to propose ousting Ghosn but in the end, it was a unanimous decision.
The 64-year-old Brazil-born Ghosn rode to Mitsubishi Motors’ rescue in 2016 when the firm was battered by a fuel efficiency cheating scandal, tying it to his Nissan-Renault alliance and turning its fortunes around.
Together, the three-way alliance is the world’s top-selling car group, with some 10.6 million vehicles rolling off the production line. It employs around 450,000 people worldwide.
But the future of the tie-up is now uncertain as the talismanic Ghosn was seen as the glue binding together a fractious Franco-Japanese alliance with headquarters 10,000 kilometers (6,000 miles) apart.
“We (have) had two years of the alliance and there were positive parts… and parts that needed to be revised a little from Mitsubishi Motors’ point of view,” said Masuko.
A seven-person Nissan board decided unanimously on Thursday to jettison the once-revered leader “based on the copious amount and compelling nature of the evidence of misconduct presented”, said a company spokesman.
Meanwhile, further claims continued to leak out in the Japanese media of Ghosn’s alleged misconduct.
Officially, prosecutors are looking into allegations that he conspired with another executive, American Greg Kelly, to understate his income by around five billion yen ($44 million) between June 2011 and June 2015.
But the Asahi Shimbun said authorities are planning to re-arrest him on charges of understating his income by a further three billion yen — for a total of $71 million — for the following three fiscal years.
Under Japanese law, suspects can face additional arrest warrants, which can result in heavier penalties. The current allegations could see Ghosn facing 10 years behind bars and/or a 10-million-yen fine.
Separately, Kyodo has reported that Nissan paid $100,000 annually since 2002 to Ghosn’s sister for a non-existent “advisory” role.
And the Mainichi Shimbun reported on Monday that Ghosn used Nissan’s corporate money to pay a donation to his daughter’s university and also charged family trips to the company.
Both Ghosn and Kelly have reportedly denied the allegations.
Nissan’s current CEO Hiroto Saikawa told staff on Monday he was “shocked” at his former mentor’s alleged misconduct.
At a 45-minute meeting attended by hundreds of staff at the firm’s Yokohama HQ and broadcast internally to other sites, Saikawa stressed that the scandal should not affect day-to-day operations.
Saikawa, who rose through the Nissan ranks under Ghosn’s wing, has already spoken of his “great resentment and dismay” at the allegations.
According to Japanese media, Nissan formed a “secret” cell within the firm to look into the alleged financial misdeeds.
Executives accelerated the probe amid concerns Ghosn was working on a fully-fledged merger between Nissan and Renault, Kyodo News said without naming its sources.
Renault is the dominant partner in the alliance, holding 43 percent of the shares in Nissan, but the Japanese firm outsells its French counterpart — sparking concern in Tokyo about the balance of power.
Renault, which is 15-percent owned by the French state, has decided to stick by Ghosn for now, appointing Thierry Bollore as interim boss while the current CEO and chairman is “incapacitated”.
France’s economy minister Bruno Le Maire has urged the Japanese firm to share “quickly” whatever evidence it has gathered and stressed Ghosn will stay at the helm of Renault “until there are tangible charges.”
However, Le Maire has said he did not believe in a “conspiracy theory” amid talk of a so-called “palace coup” within Nissan to prevent Ghosn merging the firm with Renault.
The difficulty now will be to find a replacement to lead the three-way alliance, whose statutes require Renault to appoint the CEO and Nissan to choose the deputy.
A source close to the case in Paris told AFP: “The reality is that they are already looking for a replacement. Not to do so would be irresponsible. It needs to be someone palatable to the Japanese and the French.”
Investors appeared to be recovering from the initial shock of the arrest, which sent shares in all three firms tumbling.
At the Tokyo close, Nissan was up nearly two percent and Mitsubishi Motors enjoyed an even sharper bump — up more than three percent just ahead of the board meeting.
The Federal Government has directed the Chairman of the Special Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla to desist from carrying out any operation in his capacity as head of the panel.
In a letter addressed to the panel’s chairman dated November 1st, 2017 with file number HAGF/SH/2017/VOL/1/60 and signed by the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami it states that this was based on the strength that Obono-Obla’s actions of late have run contrary to the enabling act establishing it.
The letter also notes that the activities of the panel have contravened established administrative procedures and protocols in the nation’s civil service structure, insisting his immediate and strict compliance with the directives.
Obla is also instructed to henceforth seek clearance from the AGF before granting any media interview or making press releases on official matters, while he is directed to promptly provide a detailed up-to-date report on the activities of the panel to the Minister for onward transmission to the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
Malami’s letter titled, Re: Directive In Respect of Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, Chairman of The Special Investigation Panel on The Recovery of Public Property emanates from an earlier one sent to him by the Vice President.
It read thus that, “I have received a letter Ref. SH/OVP/DCOS/FMJ/0424 dated 20th October, 2017 in respect of the above subject from the Office of the Vice President.
“In the said letter, the Vice President expressed his concerns on the activities of the Special Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property which runs contrary to the enabling Act establishing it. He also noted that the activities of the Panel run foul or contrary to established administrative procedures and protocols in the Federal Civil Service structure.
“In view of the foregoing coupled with the directives contained in the letter under reference, you are hereby directed to refrain from any further action or taking any step in your capacity as the Chairman of the Special Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property with immediate effect until directed otherwise by His Excellency, the Vice President.
“While you are to await further instructions in respect of the Panel’s mandate, you are hereby directed to promptly provide a detailed up-to-date report on the activities of the Panel to the undersigned for onward transmission to the Vice President.
“Furthermore, you are required to henceforth seek clearance from the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice before granting any media interview or making press releases on official matters.
“While appealing for immediate and strict compliance with the contents of this letter, please, accept the assurances of my warm regards and best wishes,” the letter concluded.
The National Judicial Council (NJC) has replaced a former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, as the head of the Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trial Monitoring Committee (COTRIMCO).
The Director of Information of the NJC, Mr Soji Oye, said on Tuesday that Salami was replaced by a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Suleiman Galadima.
Galadima replaces Ayo Salami, retired president of the court of appeal, who earlier rejected the appointment for personal reasons.
Mr Oye in the statement said Galadima and other members of the committee would be inaugurated at the Supreme Court by 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 1.
The statement read, “The National Judicial Council under the chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Walter Nkanu Onnoghen, GCON, has picked a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Honourable Justice Mr Suleiman Galadima, CFR, as the new chairman of the Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trial Monitoring Committee,” the statement read.
“He is to replace Honourable Justice Mr Ayo Salami (retired) who excused himself from the committee as the chairman, after initially accepting to serve.
“The committee will be inaugurated tomorrow, Wednesday, November 1st, 2017 by Honourable Justice Mr Onnoghen, at the Council’s Conference Hall by 2:00 p.m.”
Honourable Justice Mr Galadima, CFR, was born October 1946 in Nasarawa State. He attended Government College Keffi where he obtained the West Africa School Certificate in 1965 before he proceeded to Ahmadu Bello University where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Law in 1977 and was called to the Bar after he graduated from the Nigerian Law School in 1978.
He later received a master’s degree in Law from the University of Jos in 1985.
He joined the Anambra State Judiciary as Magistrate on July 1988 and in 1990, he was appointed as Attorney General and the Commissioner for Justice, Plateau state. On May 1991, he became the High Court Judge of Plateau State. At the creation of Nasarawa State in 1996, he was appointed as its pioneer Chief Judge of the State.
On December 9, 1998, he was appointed to the Court of Appeal and on August 2010, he was appointed to the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
He retired on October 10, 2016, at the mandatory retirement age of 70 years.
Galadima is famous for his leading judgement in Shina Oketaolegun Vs. State, SC. 334A/2012, wherein he held that the Court of Appeal correctly reviewed the evidence led by both the prosecution and the defence in which he agreed that the evidence of one credible witness can justify the conviction.
The newly set up Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trial Monitoring Committee which will be inaugurated tomorrow, November 1, is made up of the following:
The Committee is made up of:
Hon. Justice Suleiman Galadima, CFR
Hon. Justice Kashim Zannah (OFR),
Chief Judge, Borno State
Hon. Justice P.O. Nnadi,
Chief Judge, Imo State
Hon. Justice Marsahal Umukoro,
Chief Judge Delta State
Hon. Justice M. L. Abimbola,
Chief Judge, Oyo State
Mr. A.B Mahmoud OON, SAN,
President, Nigerian Bar Association,
Chief Wole Olanipekun OFR SAN,
Former NBA President
Mr. Olisa Agbakoba OON SAN,
Mr. J.B Daudu SAN,
Mr. Augustine Alegeh SAN,
Dr. Garba Tetengi SAN,
Mrs. R.I Inga
Mrs. Hajara Yusuf
Representative, Ministry of Justice
Alhaji Kabiru Alkali Mohammed, mni
Representative, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).
A former Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Prof Tunde Adeniran, has reiterated his commitment to ensuring a sound victory in the forthcoming Presidential election if elected National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
He made this known while appearing on Channels Television’s Hard Copy on Friday, where he spoke on the corruption drive of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
He said, “The anti-corruption thing to me, is largely a farce because of the framework of it, you have to deal with the institutions first, and then deal with some specific areas.
“I have no doubt in my mind that we are going to shed it. We have Senator Ahmed Makarfi, what he is doing; he is demonstrating a high degree of transparency. That is sending signals, not just to the members, also to the nation to show that this is a new PDP emerging.
“The type of corruption they were talking about at that time was quite appalling because when you look at quite a number of things, you will see people disregarding rules, regulations, sabotage and make sure that things do not go the way they should go.”
Although the PDP Chief admitted that his party was shocked following the recent corruption allegations against some of its members, he however was quick to say it was a deliberated ploy by the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government to ‘witch-hunt’ the party.
He added, “As a party, we have been shocked. As an individual, I have been shocked by some of those things, but these are allegations. We have not seen someone who has been really convicted and say, ‘Look, this is as a result of due diligence, justice following the normal process.’
“As far as we are concerned, both personally and the party, we believe that corruption should be stamped out from the society, from this country. But then when you are doing it, you have to do it judiciously. You have to be equitable in what you are doing”.
The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress in Ondo State, Mr Isaacs Kekemeke, has been suspended by the executive committee members of the party.
Addressing journalists on the suspension, the Publicity Secretary of APC in Ondo State, Mr Abayomi Adesanya, said the executive committee of the party unanimously suspended Mr Kekemeke.
He said the allegations that led to the chairman’s suspension include gross abuse of office, financial impropriety, negligence and dereliction of duty as well as anti-party activities.
Mr Adesanya added that a three-man panel has been set up to investigate the Chairman and the other party members that were indicted based on the allegations.
The suspended APC chairman, however, told journalists in Akure, the state capital, that he had not been notified of his suspension and that he only read about it on the social media.
He expressed shock at the action, saying he wished he could walk away and have nothing to do with those behind the suspension.
He, however, said numerous leaders of the party have urged him to stay and stand for the party.
Kekemeke, who blamed the action on his detractors, said their plan was to take over the party and use it the way they like in subsequent congresses and primaries.
He said although he was not interested in the position of the Chairman, he would not allow some people to rubbish the party, insisting that he would stand for the generality of the party members who had been sidelined.
The APC Chieftain also said he owed nobody an apology for having his own preference concerning who should fly the party’s flag in the last governorship election in the state.
He added that despite his preference, he did not manipulate the election or jeopardise anybody’s chances.
Kekemeke also said that no formal report had been made to the national leadership of the party on his purported suspension from office, saying the constitution of the party would be used to channel any complaints first to the zonal executive committee and subsequently to the national executive committee of the party.