FG Pledges Full Support For AFRIMA As Nigeria Hosts 2019 Edition

Kajura Attack: FG Sends Security Operatives After Killers Of Nigerian, Briton
File: Mr Lai Mohammed addresses a press conference in Abuja.

The Federal Government has promised its full support for the successful hosting of the 2019 All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA), as the country prepares to host the glamorous event in Lagos 20-23 November 2019, with the theme: ”Feel Africa”.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the promise in a statement in Lagos on Sunday.

”When you look at the All Africa Music Awards, it’s one of the biggest awards for the music industry in Africa, and what government has done in the past is to provide the enabling environment for the awards to take place.

READ ALSO: Complete List Of Winners At The Headies 2019

”We provided support services for AFRIMA, we gave them the backing they need and I think it’s on record that the AFRIMA editions that have been held in Nigeria have been among the most successful.

”This year again, we are ready to partner AFRIMA professionally, give them the maximum support such as effective media coverage and also help them in reaching out to other critical stakeholders,” the Minister said.

He said part of the reasons why Nigeria has successfully hosted the music awards is because the country has relaxed its visa regime, with the visa on arrival policy, thus making it easier for people to come in.

AFRIMA, which was first held in 2014, was established in collaboration with the African Union (AU) to reward and celebrate musical talents and creativity in Africa as well as to promote African Cultural Heritage.

FG Does Not Play Politics With Security – Lai Mohammed

A file photo of Mr Lai Mohammed.

 

 

The Federal Government affirmed the commitment of the Muhammadu Buhari administration to tackling security challenges in the country without bias.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, stated this on Tuesday at a special town hall meeting on security in Katsina State.

According to him, the event is unique because it is the first time governors from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will be panellists at such meeting since its commencement in 2016.

“This is first, a testimony to the fact that this Federal Government does not play politics with the security and welfare of citizens,” the minister said.

He added, “Secondly, (it is) a reflection of the patriotism, commitment, and nationalism of the governors, irrespective of their party affiliations. I congratulate all of us for being part of this historic outing.”

READ ALSO: Troops Rescue Another Four Abducted Students In Kaduna

 

No Peace, No Development

Mr Mohammed noted that the government was not unaware of the recent criminal attacks on communities in the North-West.

According to him, cases of banditry, kidnapping and cattle rustling seem to have worsened in the region until recently.

He reminded the meeting that one of the cardinal programmes of the present administration was to tackle insecurity across the country.

The minister said, “Whether it is Boko Haram, banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling or armed robbery, the administration has faced the challenges posed by insecurity with grit and determination.

“The Federal Government is unrelenting in tackling these challenges because without peace and security, there can be no development.”

“Here in the North-West, the security challenges – banditry, cattle rustling, and kidnapping – have been unique and daunting.

“The deadly attacks that claimed lives and destroyed property were daily making headline news all over the country,” he lamented.

Mr Mohammed decried that the situation became so bad in some of the states in the region that many felt they were intractable.

He was, however, thankful that the efforts of the Federal Government, as well as the determination and innovative efforts of the governments of the affected states,  have been a remarkable improvement.

The minister said peace and security were gradually returning to the worst-hit states while progress that has been made in combating banditry, cattle rustling, and kidnapping.

He explained that it has become imperative for the government at the federal and state levels to provide a platform for the governors of the front-line states to highlight the successes they have achieved in their various states in tackling cases of insecurity.

Mr Mohammed was hopeful that at the end of the meeting, the efforts of the governors of the affected states of Katsina, Sokoto, and Zamfara, as well as the contributions of the Federal Government would be well-documented.

Those present included Governors Aminu Masari (Katsina), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), and Bello Matawalle (Zamfara), as well as the Ministers of Defence and Interior, Major General Bashir Magashi and Mr Rauf Aregbesola, respectively.

FG Inaugurates NBC Committee To Review Fines On Hate Speeches, Others

 

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has inaugurated the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Reform Implementation Committee to review fines on hate speeches and inciting comments.

Mr. Lai Mohammed in a press briefing on Thursday gave an upward review of fines from N500,000 to N5,000,000 for breaches of these offences.

Read Full Statement Below: 

REMARKS BY THE HONORABLE MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND CULTURE, ALHAJI
LAI MOHAMMED, AT THE INAUGURATION OF THE NATIONAL BROADCASTING
COMMISSION (NBC) REFORM IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE IN LAGOS ON THURSDAY,
OCT. 9TH 2019

Good morning everyone, and welcome to this inauguration.

2. Please permit me to most sincerely thank the lady and gentlemen
whom I have appointed to serve in the National Broadcasting Commission
(NBC) Reform Implementation Committee.

I am most delighted that you all made it here, despite the fairly-short notice. This is a testament to your patriotism, and I thank you all

3. Before I proceed to the reason we are here today, let me give you
a quick background.

Following deliberations at the Federal Executive
Council (FEC) of March 27th, 2019, on the unprofessional and unethical
conduct of some broadcast stations, especially before and during the
last general elections, President Muhammadu Buhari directed me to
institute an inquiry into the conduct of the stations and
report back to the Council.

4. Consequently, I inaugurated a five-member committee on Wednesday,
April 10th 2019 with the following terms of reference:

– Find out to what extent the NBC was able to effectively carry out
its regulatory role before and during the 2019 general elections.
– Recommend measures that could strengthen the NBC’s regulatory role
and make it more effective.

5. The committee submitted its report on April 24th 2019, with 26
recommendations, and I subsequently forwarded the report to Mr.
President, who has since approved them.

6. Highlights of the recommendations approved by Mr. President are as follows:
A) Independence of the NBC from political interference in the
exercise of its regulatory powers, particularly with respect to the
issuance and withdrawal of broadcasting licence.

B) A review of the National Broadcasting Code and extant broadcasting
laws to reflect the following amendments;

– Upward review of fines from N500,000 to N5,000,000 for breaches
relating to hate speeches, inciting comments and indecency.

– Wilful repeat of infractions on three occasions after levying fine
on a station to attract suspension of license.

– Upgrade of breach of political comments relating to hate speeches
and divisive comments to ”Class A” offence in the Broadcasting Code.

– Amendment of the NBC Act to enable NBC license WebTv and radio
stations, including foreign broadcasters beaming signals into Nigeria

C) Recruitment of more monitoring staff for the NBC. At the moment,
there are only about 200 Staff monitoring about 1,000 radio and
television stations.

D) Deployment of adequate monitoring equipment and technologies for the NBC
E) Enhancement of welfare packages of NBC staff to avoid their
compromise in the line of duty

7. We are now at the implementation stage, hence I have appointed
seven ‘wise’ men and woman to design the framework for the
implementation. The members are:

A) Prof. Armstrong Idachaba, Director of Monitoring of the NBC.

B) Sir Godfrey Ohuabunwa, Acting Chairman of the Broadcasting
Organisations of Nigeria (BON).

C) J.K. Ehicheoya, Esq, Director, Legal Services, Federal Ministry of
Information and Culture.

D) Hajia Binta Adamu Bello, Secretary, Association of Local
Governments of Nigeria (ALGON).

E) Mr. Ibrahim Jimoh, Director of Administration, (FRCN).

F) Hon. Agbo Kingsley Ndubuisi, Board Member, (NBC).

G) Mr. Joe Mutah, Chief Press Secretary, Federal Ministry of
Information and Culture

Prof. Idachaba will serve as the Chairman of the Committee, while Mr.
Mutah will be the Secretary.

8. The terms of reference of the committee are as follows:

– To implement the recommendations of the committee on the NBC
reforms as approved by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari.

– To Immediately commence work on all statutory, legal and regulatory
framework for further legislative action on the review of the NBC Act
by the National Assembly.

– To immediately assess and propose equipment, materials and
training needed to make the NBC a modern and well-positioned regulator.

– To liaise with relevant agencies to ensure the provision of the
manpower needs of the Commission to enable it to function optimally.

– To work out the modalities for a competitive and reasonable
salaries, wages and other welfare needs of the staff of the Commission.

– To establish necessary protocols for the establishment or
appointment of professionals or technocrats (non-partisan personality)
to run the agency, and appointment into the board of the NBC.

– To immediately establish and publicize a new sanctioning, fines
and penalty regime that is in line with international best practice,
promote professionalism and serve as a deterrent to the erring.

practitioners against misconduct, especially hate speech, violence and
the spread of fake news.

– To establish and publish a new regulation for the licensing of Web
and Internet broadcasters/International broadcasters in Nigeria.

– And finally to end all forms of monopoly detrimental to the actualization of the immense potential of the broadcast industry

The Committee has six weeks to submit its report

9. I have no doubt that this Committee, which comprises
highly-experienced professionals and administrators will carry out a
a thorough job that will re-position the NBC as an effective and
efficient regulator

10. Once again, I thank you all for accepting to serve on this
Committee and I wish you successful deliberations

$9.6bn Fine: FG Insists P&ID Deal Is ‘Sham’, Confident Of ‘Fair Hearing’

 

 

The Nigerian Government has insisted that the Process and Industrial Development Limited (P&ID) contract is fraudulent, following the recent development in the case.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, stated this at a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

“The Federal Government now has unconditional permission to appeal against the decision of the Commercial Court recognising and converting the $9.6 billion arbitration award in favour of P&ID to a domestic judgment,” he told reporters.

READ ALSO: Court Orders Forfeiture Of P&ID Assets To FG

A London court had in mid-August granted P&ID the right to seek Nigerian government assets worth $9.6 billion over an aborted gas project.

The court awarded the penalty in an arbitration decision over a failed deal to build a gas processing plant in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.

However, the decision of the court did not go well with the Muhammadu Buhari administration which said the contract was initially designed to fail.

On September 19, A Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the Process and Industrial Development Limited (P&ID) to wind up operations in Nigeria and forfeit its properties to the Federal Government.

While the government continues its bid to overturn the judgement of the London court, the government sent a delegation to the United Kingdom last week.

The team comprised two ministers, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as well as heads of the Nigeria Police Force and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

 

Nigeria Granted Permission

Briefing journalists on the outcome of the visit by the government delegation, Mr Mohammed noted that they recorded a huge success.

According to him, the government won a leave of the commercial court to appeal the judgment which P&ID had vehemently resisted.

“It was indeed a huge victory, and P&ID has every reason to be worried that the 9.6 billion US dollars arbitration award to it has a good chance of being overturned,” the minister said.

He added, “The Federal Government looks forward to its day in court in the Court of Appeal, where it is confident that it will receive a fair hearing of its case and that the order permitting enforcement of the arbitral award will be set aside.”

Mr Mohammed said the court granted the government “unconditional permission” to appeal against its own decision.

He also disclosed that the court rejected P&ID’s arguments that there was no basis for any appeal, as the judge admitted that the case was of major importance to the Nigerian government and its people.

The minister insisted that P&ID was a company without a physical address and no known investment anywhere in the world.

The company’s intention, according to him, was set out to dupe Nigeria from day one with the help of those he described as unpatriotic, corrupt and greedy Nigerians.

Read the full text of the minister at the press briefing below:

BEING THE TEXT OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE BY THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND CULTURE, ALHAJI LAI MOHAMMED, ON THE FG DELEGATION’S RECENT TRIP TO LONDON AND THE LONDON COMMERCIAL COURT RULING ON THE P&ID ISSUE….IN ABUJA ON WEDNESDAY 2 OCTOBER 2019

Good afternoon gentlemen. As you are aware, a high-powered Federal Government delegation was in London the whole of this past week. The team comprises the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami; Minister of Information and Culture counterpart, that is my humble self; Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria Godwin Emefiele; Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu; Assistant Inspector-General of Police Ibrahim Lamorde and EFCC Acting Chairman Ibrahim Magu.

The team set off to achieve three main objectives which, even to the greatest optimist, seemed an uphill task at the time:

(a) – Change the narrative, especially on the international stage, on the entire P&ID issue, more so in the run-up to the 26 Sept 2019 court hearing on the case.

(b) – Apply for leave of the commercial court to appeal the judgement that recognised the humongous and unprecedented arbitration award.

(c) – Seek a stay of execution on the UK judgment that recognised the approximately 9.6 billion-dollar arbitration award to P&ID over a botched, 20-year gas deal with Nigeria.

  1. Gentlemen, without being immodest, I can say categorically that we achieved all three objectives. First, we took London by storm, taking our case to international media outlets and Think Tanks like

AP, AFP, Reuters, Bloomberg, BBC, Financial Times, The Economist, The African Confidential, Royal African Society and the Red Lions Chambers, a leading Barrister’s Chambers in London, among others. We also met a group of experts and stakeholders. Our message was simple:

P&ID, a company without a physical address and no known investment anywhere in the world, set out to dupe Nigeria from day one, with the connivance of unpatriotic, corrupt and greedy Nigerians. The entire Gas Supply Processing Agreement (GSPA), which P&ID entered into with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, is nothing but a fraudulent, contraption with no chance, or expectation, of success.

  1. We then said that the unprecedented 9.6 billion dollars in arbitration award to P&ID constitutes an unreasonable reward to a company that has done nothing more than to engage in fraud and economic sabotage. This runs contrary to the course of justice and is capable of bringing harm and hardship to Nigeria, and indeed the wider region.
  2. Why did we say so? Because of the following:

(a) – A contract of this magnitude cannot be valid until it has been vetted by the Office of the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and taken to the Federal Executive Council for approval.

None of these was done. The sham contract was also signed in contravention of the Bureau of Public Procurement Act and the Infrastructural Regulatory Commission Procurement Act.

(b) – While the MoU for the project was signed in 2009 by P&ID Nigeria Limited and the Nigerian government (Ministry of Petroleum Resources), a ‘trick’ clause dubiously inserted in the MoU was curiously activated that allowed British Virgin Island (BVI)-registered P&ID to replace the original contractual party, P&ID Nigeria Limited, to sign the contract on Jan. 11 2010. P&ID, incorporated in BVI, is a shell company that has no history of any business except the phantom GSPA in Nigeria. Please note that there is no Board resolution approving the assignment of the contractual interest to P&ID BVI.

(c) – P&ID never kick-started the construction of the project facility, despite its claim to have invested $40 million in Nigeria. It also never acquired any land to build the gas processing plant.

(d) – There is no proof of any financial commitment by P&ID toward the execution and implementation of its own obligation as stipulated in the 2010 agreement. Similarly, the Central Bank of Nigeria confirmed there is no trace of any funds brought into Nigeria by P&ID.

(e) – Two Directors of P&ID Nigeria have been convicted of charges of money laundering and economic sabotage. They are Mohammed Kuchazi, a Director of P&ID BVI, and Adamu Usman, a Director of P&ID Nigeria.

(f) – Suspicious payments were made to Mrs. Grace Taiga, the Legal Director in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources. Mrs Taiga was supposed to ensure that the interest of the country was adequately protected.

Of course, the payment, transferred in three tranches, could only have been made in appreciation of the ‘good deed’ done to P&ID by Mrs Taiga. Also, billions of Naira in suspicious cash transfers were made by P&ID. Investigations continue into these transfers.

(g) – According to the contract, the gas for the project was expected to come from OML 67 operated by ExxonMobil and OML 123 operated by Addax. But none of the two companies was even aware of the agreement.

(h) – And finally, for such a supposedly important project, there was no budgetary provision for the implementation of the GSPA in the budget of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources in 2010, and P&ID did not obtain the necessary licence to deal in petroleum products from the Department of Petroleum Resources as stipulated by extant laws.

The firm also neither filed tax returns nor paid VAT to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) as required by law.

  1. Our message reverberated around the world, with over 150 articles published by major media outlets outside Nigeria within a week alone, according to the preliminary report on the top-tier international coverage, and went a long way in countering the distortion by P&ID and changing the narrative on the whole issue globally.
  2. We also succeeded in our quest for a stay of execution, pending the determination of an application to the Court of Appeal (Our application for leave to appeal the judgement was successful, as I said earlier).
  3. Now, let me go further to explain the judgement which was facilitated by the retained international legal Firm of Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP, retained by the Federal Government in this case:

(a) The Federal Government now has an unconditional permission to appeal against the decision of the Commercial Court recognising and converting the 9.6 billion US dollars arbitration award in favour of P&ID to a domestic judgment. The Nigerian government won a leave of the commercial court to appeal the judgment which P&ID had vehemently resisted.

The court granted the Federal government unconditional permission to appeal against its own decision, and the court rejected P&ID’s arguments that there was no basis for any appeal. On the contrary, the judge expressly recognised that the case was of major importance to the Government and people of Nigeria, and that the Federal Government had a serious case to present to the Court of Appeal that his decision was wrong.

All but one of the six proposed grounds of appeal by the Nigerian government were all allowed by the Commercial Court. This is a huge success.

(b) The judge also granted the Federal government a stay of any enforcement proceedings pending the determination of any appeal. He accepted the Federal Government’s evidence as to the weak financial status of P&ID and the fact that it was nothing more than an offshore company with no established business, staff or assets other than the arbitral award that it was trying to enforce and that it would be unable to repay the proceeds of any enforcement if the Court of Appeal overturned his decision granting leave to enforce the award.

The judge also recognised that the ownership of P&ID was opaque, and that a vulture fund stands behind it which had engaged lawyers determined to pursue a strategy including the temporary seizure of assets, regardless of state immunity claims.

The Federal Government is pleased that the Judge fairly recognised the merits of its arguments and the true nature of P&ID and its strategy, and that he granted permission to appeal against his own decision and a stay pending appeal.

The Federal Government looks forward to its day in court in the Court of Appeal, where it is confident that it will receive a fair hearing of its case and that the order permitting enforcement of the arbitral award will be set aside.

Conditions Imposed by the Courts for the Stay of Execution includes:

(i) The Federal Government shall pay the sum of 200 million US dollars into the Court Funds Office within 60 days of the date of this order.

(ii) The Federal Government shall make a payment in the sum of 250,000 GBP, representing P&ID’s solicitors advance costs, within a period 14 working days.

  1. CONCLUSION

(a) Gentlemen, I have gone the extra mile to summarize our week-long activities in London as well as the judgement of the London-based Commercial Court on the arbitration award of 9.6 billion US dollars to P&ID in order to put the record straight and knock the bottom off the argument by P&ID and its cohorts that we did not score a big victory in London last week. It was indeed a huge victory, and P&ID has every reason to be worried that the 9.6 billion US dollars arbitration award to it has a good chance of being overturned.

The Federal Government has a good chance of being successful in its impending appeal, otherwise the Commercial Court would not have allowed the appeal.

(b) Please note, gentlemen, that Nigeria will be able to demand for a refund of the 250,000 GBP payment to P&ID where the government wins on the appeal. This fact is being hidden by those who have been spinning the London judgment in their own favour.

(c) On the 200 million US dollars payment as a condition for the granting of the stay of execution, Nigeria has instructed its lawyers to seek the leave of the Court of Appeal to appeal against that payment.

(d) As I said in my press conference of Monday, 26 August 2019, Nigerians should remain assured that the Federal Government is taking all necessary steps to strongly avail itself of all defences customarily afforded to sovereign states under the United Kingdom Sovereign Immunity Act to fight and upturn any enforcement of the award.

In the words of Mr. President at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in New York last week, “We are giving notice to international criminal groups by the vigorous prosecution of the P&ID scam attempting to cheat Nigeria of billions of dollars.”

(e) The Federal Government has succeeded in changing the false narrative being peddled by P&ID both within and outside Nigeria by putting across strong evidence that the company is nothing but a fraud.

(f) Please permit me to thank the Nigerian media for its largely objective and patriotic reportage of this whole issue, despite the attempts by the desperate P&ID to muddy the waters.

(g) Finally, and this is the most important point: For those who may still not understand the gravity of the judgement of the Commercial Court in London last week, let me say this: Had we lost our quest for a stay of execution and application to appeal in London last week, P&ID would by now be attempting to seize our assets all over the world. Remember they boasted, before the judgment, that they have started compiling a list of our assets which they will attach. But now, that’s an empty boast, thanks to the successes recorded in the court of law and the court of public opinion last week.

  1. I thank you, gentlemen, for your kind attention.

FG Delegation In UK Over $9.6bn P&ID Case

 

A Federal Government delegation led by the Attorney-General of the Federation Abubakar Malami, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria Godwin Emefiele, is currently in the United Kingdom to meet with some international media over the $9.6 billion case involving the Process and Industrial Development Limited (P&ID).

The meeting follows the award of the fine of $9.6 billion against Nigeria by a British Court following a botched oil deal with the company.

Others members of the delegation include the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; the Inspector General of Police, Abubakar Adamu; AIG Ibrahim Lamorde and the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu.

Tribunal’s Verdict: PDP Asks Lai Mohammed, Others Not To Celebrate Yet

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, to be cautious in celebrating the judgment of the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.

In a statement on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said the “gloating” of those celebrating the verdict would be short-lived.

Mr Mohammed had asked the PDP to tender an apology to Nigerians for distracting the Muhammadu Buhari administration with an election petition, rather than appealing the Tribunal’s judgement.

READ ALSO: PDP, Atiku Should Apologise To Nigerians, Instead of Appealing – Lai Mohammed

Reacting to the minister’s comment, the PDP insisted that the judgment was “a direct miscarriage of justice” which would not stand at the Supreme Court.

The opposition party stressed that it has enough evidence against President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC), to win at the apex court.

“The PDP notes that those celebrating this attempt to corrupt our justice system as well as the brazen approval of a clear case of perjury are directly telling Nigerians something about their conscience and character.

“Our party is not surprised that Lai Mohammed, speaking for the Buhari administration, came short of calling for the arrest and prosecution of opposition members for coming before the Appeal Court, a situation which exposed their belief that they own the court and can determine the position of the judiciary on any matter.

“Notwithstanding, the PDP holds that Nigerians have seen the ‘several errors’ in the judgment delivered by the Appeal Court and have turned the verdict to a butt of jokes in public space,” the statement read.

The PDP asked the minister to tell Nigerians if his law degree was awarded to him on the basis of a sworn affidavit and pictures of his classmates, or whether his call to the bar at the Nigerian Law School was based on the presentation of pictures and affidavit.

It said that Mr Mohammed’s statement has heightened apprehension among Nigerians about alleged manipulations of process by the APC and the present administration.

According to the party, this is the reason the PDP stands with Nigerians in heading to the Supreme Court to uphold justice in the matter and salvage the nation from the drift towards impunity.

“In the meantime, the PDP counsels Lai Mohammed to redeem his image by offering explanations to Nigerians on his alleged role in the N2.5 billion National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) fraud before casting aspersion on others,” the statement added.

PDP, Atiku Should Apologise To Nigerians, Instead of Appealing – Lai Mohammed

 

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has
asked the PDP and its presidential candidate in the last elections to
apologise to Nigerians for “willfully distracting” the Buhari
Administration with an election petition.

Mr Lai Mohammed said instead of appealing the ruling of Wednesday’s Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, the opposition party should be apologizing to Nigerians for trying to distract the present government.

In a statement issued in St Petersburg, Russian Federation, on Thursday, the Minister said while the PDP and its candidate reserve the right to pursue their petition to the highest level, they will be better served by dropping their toga of
desperation and realizing that there is a limit to tomfoolery.

READ ALSO: Tribunal Judgement: We Are Now Vindicated – Buhari

”Nigerians are tired of this orchestrated distraction, and will rather wish that the opposition, having lost at the polls and in court, will now join hands with the government to move Nigeria to the next level.

”This is more so that the judgement validating the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari was unanimous that the petition lacked merit, that the petitioners failed to prove any of the grounds upon which their case was anchored and that President Buhari is eminently qualified to contest the poll,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed said instead of casting aspersion on the judiciary with their poorly-framed reaction to the ruling of the Tribunal, the PDP and its candidate should be thanking their stars that they are not being prosecuted for coming to court with a fraudulently-obtained evidence.

”It is intriguing that a party that trumpets the rule of law at every turn will present, in open court, evidence it claimed to have obtained by hacking into a supposed INEC server. Don’t they realize this is a criminal act for which they are liable? Instead of threatening to head to the Supreme Court, driven more by ego than commonsense, they should be sorry for allowing desperation to overwhelm their sense of reasoning. Enough is enough,” he said.

The Minister commended the Tribunal for not only doing justice to the case but for explaining, in painstaking details that lasted hours, how it arrived at its judgement.

”We also thank Nigerians, who voted massively to re-elect President Buhari, for their continued support,” he said

Xenophobia: Nigeria Is Recalling Its High Commissioner To South Africa – Lai Mohammed

 

 

The Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed says the Federal Government is recalling the country’s high commissioner to South Africa.

He mentioned this today at a press conference at the nation’s capital Abuja where he reiterated the government’s commitment to protecting Nigerians abroad.

He however pleaded with Nigerians to remain calm and stop attacking South African businesses across the nation.

READ ALSO: South Africa Shuts Embassy In Nigeria For Fear Of Attack

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Consul General to South Africa Mr Goodwin Adama says the Commission is yet to receive any form of communication or recall on the matter.

He says rather, they are expecting the envoy deployed to South Africa by the President.

Xenophobia: Don’t Attack South African Businesses, Nigerian Govt Urges Citizens

(File) Mr Lai Mohammed addressing reporters in Abuja.

 

 

The Federal Government has called on its citizens not to attack South African companies operating in Nigeria, in retaliation for the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, made this call in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He described as deeply disturbing the reports that some Nigerians, angered by the xenophobic attacks in South Africa, have started attacking South African companies in the country.

READ ALSO: Presidency Postpones FEC Meeting, Gives Reasons

Mr Mohammed said targeting South African companies in Nigeria for attack was, for Nigerians, a classic case of “cutting off your nose to spite your face”.

He explained that this was because the investors in such companies, especially MTN and Shoprite, were Nigerians.

The minister noted that the majority of the workers in the South African companies operating in Nigeria were also Nigerians.

According to him, this means that it is Nigerian workers who will be hardest hit if such companies are forced to shut down for fear of attacks.

Mr Mohammed, however, gave assurance that the Federal Government was already taking decisive measures to put an end to the persistent xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in South Africa.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has dispatched a Special Envoy to convey to his South African counterpart, President Cyril Ramaphosa, his concerns and also interact with his South African counterpart on the situation,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his media aide, Segun Adeyemi.

He added, “Also, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, acting on the instruction of Mr President, has summoned the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria to get a brief on the situation; express Nigeria’s displeasure over the treatment of her citizens; and secure assurance of the safety of their lives and property.”

$9.6bn Fine: Osinbajo Meets With Lai Mohammed, Zainab Ahmed, Other Ministers

Osinbajo Heads Audit Committee For FG Policies, Programmes And Projects
A file photo of Professor Yemi Osinbajo

 

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has met with the Minister of Finance, Budget and National planning Minister, Zainab Ahmed; Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed and the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Silva at the State House.

The meeting was focused on the latest development surrounding the 9.6 billion dollar judgment debt against Nigeria by a British court was over a botched gas contract.

READ ALSO: Road Diversion Commences For Lagos-Ibadan Expressway Reconstruction

Others in attendance are the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Festus Keyamo; Group Managing Director of NNPC, Melee Kyari.

Also the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.

FG To Licence Online Radio, TV Stations – Lai Mohammed

A file photo of the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed.

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved wide-ranging reforms in the broadcasting industry, including the licencing of online radio and television stations.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed this on Friday when he received members of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) on a courtesy visit in Abuja.

Responding to a request made by BON for the review of the Broadcasting Code, he said, “I just want to use this opportunity to inform you that Mr President has actually already approved a review of the Broadcast Code that is going to take care of many of the issues you have already raised here.”

“In particular, the President has approved that WebTVs and radio stations, including foreign broadcasters beaming signals into Nigeria, will be licensed because we must bring sanity into this industry.

“Mr President has also approved a wide range of reforms in the industry which, at the appropriate platform, I will let you know,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his media aide, Segun Adeyemi.

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The minister promised to carry along members of BON in the review of the Broadcasting Code, added that the Buhari administration was committed to free media.

He stated, “I have said it on many platforms that this administration is not about to gag the press. No! But we will appeal to the press to please self-regulate for the sake of this country and also for the sake of the industry itself.”

Mr Mohammed also appealed to BON to partner with the government in the promotion of peaceful co-existence and cohesion in order to engender progress and national development.

He said, “Today if anybody listens to what is being said on some radio or television stations, you will think that this country is at war or that Christians actually cannot live with Muslims, or that there is a dichotomy between the North and the South.

“I think we need to appeal to you to use your platforms for the unity and cohesion of the country.”

In his remarks, the acting Chairman of BON, Godfrey Ohuabunwa, commended the minister on his re-appointment by the President.

He also pledged the readiness of the broadcasting body to key into the government’s agenda, especially the fight against fake news.

My Grandson Asked Me Why I’m Called ‘Liar’ Mohammed


Former Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Tuesday, told the Senate that his seven-year-old grandson asked him for an explanation why he is called ‘liar Mohammed’ on social media.

Mr Mohammed, who is a minister-nominee for a second term, during screening at the Senate, said he didn’t take the name seriously because it is what is used to describe him on social media.

He called on the Senate to ignore the name ‘Liar Mohammed’, stressing that the name on his Curriculum Vitae is his correct name.

“Mr President, there is only one small issue, I want to draw your attention to my name in my CV, it’s about my name as it appears on my CV, it’s my correct name, which is Lai Mohammed.

“Please don’t believe what they say on social media, they call me all sorts of names there. I used to ignore it until one day when my 7-year old grandson called me and said grandpa, tell me the truth, why do they call you Liar Mohammed?

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He added that his response to the question was that those behind the name are ‘bad guys’.

“I looked at him, what do you say to a 7-year-old son, how do you explain politics to him?

“So, I said no, don’t mind them, they are the bad guys. He said you mean like Joker? I had no idea what he meant, but I said yes.

“Later I found out that the name (Joker) is the name of their cartoon bad guys.”

Meanwhile, Senator Ibikunle Amosun requested that the minister-nominee takes a bow, owing to his capability to perform after proving himself across the board

He overwhelming got the HI’s from the floor when senate president, Ahmed Lawan called out those in support of him to take a bow.

However, no response was heard against him taking a bow.