President Buhari Appoints Ahmed Abubakar As NIA DG

Buhari Pledges Support For Niger Delta, Signs Petroleum University Bill
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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Mr Ahmed Abubakar as the substantive Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, who announced this on Wednesday in a statement signed by him, said the appointment takes immediate effect.

READ ALSO: Buhari Sacks Babachir Lawal, NIA DG, Appoints New SGF

Until his appointment as NIA DG, Abubakar, a retired career Foreign Service officer, was serving as the Senior Special Assistant to the President (SSAP) on Foreign Affairs/International Relations.

He had also briefly served as Senior Adviser at the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), with headquarters in Ndjamena, Chad, before his appointment as SSAP.

According to the Presidency, the new NIA boss had extensive experience working with the United Nations in peace support operations, mediation process, preventive diplomacy and good offices, as well as the promotion of good governance and respect for the rule of law and human rights.

Abubakar holds a B.A degree in French Language and Literature, and an M.A degree in Francophone Maghrebian Literature, both from Bayero University, Kano.

His appointment comes more than eight months after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) discovered about N13billion in an apartment in Ikoyi area of Lagos State.

The money was allegedly linked to the former Director General of the NIA, Mr Ayodele Oke, who was later suspended by the President in April 2017.

President Buhari had set up a three-man panel headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to investigate the allegations of corruption levelled against him and the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Babachir Lawal.

The former SFG Lawal was also said to have violated the law and due process in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE).

After going through the panel’s report, the President consequently sacked both men on October 30, 2017, saying nobody would be shielded from prosecution if found to be culpable the anti-corruption war.

Two days later, the EFCC summoned Mr Oke and his wife, Folashade, in furtherance of its investigative activities to unravel the circumstances surrounding the $43.45 million cash recovered by its operatives.

However, an attempt to arrest Oke by the EFCC was thwarted by some security operatives from the NIA and DSS.

Stop DSS, NIA From Obstructing Justice, SERAP Tells Buhari

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has condemned the standoff between the officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the State Security Service, (SSS), and National Intelligence Agency, (NIA) on Tuesday.

The group described the clash as counter-productive to the fight against corruption by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

SERAP asked “the government of President Buhari to urgently instruct the leadership of the SSS and NIA to allow anti-corruption agencies to carry out their mandate without any interference whatsoever.”

Officials of the EFCC and those of the NIA as well as the DSS were on Tuesday involved in a face-off in Abuja. This occurred when operatives of the EFCC attempted to arrest former head of the NIA, Mr Ayo Oke, and the DSS, Ita Ekpeyong but the attempt was frustrated by armed officials of the two security agencies.

SERAP on Wednesday, in a statement signed by its deputy director, Timothy Adewale said the action of the DSS preventing the arrest of the former bosses, “is patently contrary to Nigerian law and international standards such as the UN Convention against Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party.

“Nothing more fundamentally undermines public confidence in the fight against grand corruption and trust in government than to see state security agencies paid for by public funds apparently aiding and abetting those suspected of engaging in corruption to escape justice.”

They, therefore, called on President Buhari to stop the SSS and NIA from obstructing justice, adding that this will make it clear that under Buhari’s watch, those accused of corruption would not be allowed to circumvent the law no matter their status in the society.

Senate To Probe DSS, NIA, EFCC Standoff

Senate Approves Electronic Voting For Elections
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The Senate is to probe the standoff between the Directorate of States Service (DSS), National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) operatives in Abuja.

The Upper Chamber set up an Ad-hoc Committee to investigate the matter.

The Senate’s action follows a Point of Order from Senator Dino Melaye, calling the attention of lawmakers to the standoff between the security agencies, describing it as a calamity and a recipe for national disaster.

READ ALSO: DSS-EFCC Standoff: Nobody Is Above The Law, Says Magu

However Deputy Minority Whip, Senator Biodun Olujimi is displeased at what she describes as President Buhari’s inability to take control of the activities of the three security agencies which report to him.

But Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan is defending the President, arguing that President Buhari is in full control of the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

It will be recalled that the EFCC agents on Wednesday, November 21st, clashed with DSS and NIA operatives when security operatives from the EFCC attempted to arrest the former DSS DG Ita Ekpenyong and the Former, NIA DG.

DSS, NIA Operatives Stop EFCC From Arresting Oke, Ekpeyong

Officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and those of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) as well as the Directorate of State Security (DSS) were on Tuesday involved in a face-off in Abuja.

This occurred when operatives of the EFCC attempted to arrest former head of NIA, Mr Ayo Oke, and the DSS, Ita Ekpeyong but the attempt was frustrated by armed officials of the two security agencies.

Ekpeyong served as the head of the DSS from 2010 to 2015. He had been invited by the EFCC for his alleged role in the arms scam involving a former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retired), and other service chiefs who have since been arraigned.

Oke was recently sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari over the N13 billion found in an Ikoyi, Lagos apartment, said to belong to the NIA.

It was gathered that the EFCC operatives had arrived at the official residences of the former heads of the agencies located at numbers 21 and 46, Mamman Nasir Street in Asokoro, Abuja to effect the arrest only to meet resistance by the operatives of the NIA and DSS.

Channels Television crew was not allowed to get close to the scenes of the encounter, but it was gathered that the EFCC had obtained a court warrant to arrest the former NIA and DSS heads.

[PHOTOS] Osinbajo Submits Report On SGF, NIA DG Probe

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has submitted the report on the investigation of the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Babachir Lawal, and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr Ayo Oke.

Professor Osinbajo presented the report to President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday at the State House in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

READ ALSO: Buhari Receives Report On SGF, NIA DG Probe

Professor Osinbajo refused to disclose the recommendations of the committee to reporters, saying only the President can take a decision on the recommendations made.

Buhari Suspends SGF, NIA DG

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Buhari Receives Report On SGF, NIA DG Probe

Buhari Receives Report On SGF, NIA DG Probe

President Muhammadu Buhari has received the report on the investigation into allegations against the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Babachir Lawal, and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr Ayo Oke.

The report was presented to President Buhari at the State House on Wednesday by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

READ ALSO: Buhari Suspends SGF, NIA DG

After the presentation, Professor Osinbajo declined to disclose the recommendations of the committee to State House correspondents.

He, however, said only the President can take a decision on the recommendations made in the report, adding that the committee was fair in its investigation.

The Vice President also declined to give a timeline of how long it would take the President to study the report and take action.

The submission comes four months after the SGF was suspended for allegedly violating the law and due process in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE).

On the other hand, the investigating of the NIA boss is connected to the large amounts of foreign and local currencies discovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in a residential apartment in the Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos.

After the anti-graft agency made the discovery on April 12, the NIA claimed the funds.

This sparked calls for an investigation into why the funds were kept in a private apartment.

On April 20, President Buhari announced the suspension of Ayo Oke, as well as Babachir Lawal who had faced controversy for months with the Senate calling for his removal.

The President also set up a three-man committee comprising the Attorney of Federation and Minister of Justice, National Security Adviser and headed by the Vice President to investigate allegations against them.

Professor Osinbajo had said the committee, which had 14 days to conclude its investigation, would thoroughly carry out its responsibilities.

The committee, however, was unable to submit its report until August 23 due to the President’s absence from the country on a medical vacation.

Osinbajo-led Panel To Submit Report On Monday

Yemi Osinbajo, OndoThe Presidential Committee set up to investigate the allegations against the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Babachir Lawal, and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr Ayodele Oke, will complete its assignment on Wednesday.

President Muhammadu Buhari had established a three-man panel headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, with the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, and the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Munguno (rtd) as members.

Also Read: President Muhammadu Buhari Suspends SGF, NIA DG

They are to probe the alleged involvement of the suspended SGF and the NIA boss in the grass-cutting contract in North-East Nigeria, and the alleged stashing of large amounts of foreign and local currencies in a residential apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos.

A statement from the Vice President’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, disclosed that the committee is scheduled to present its report to President Buhari on Monday, May 8, 2017.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Senate ad hoc committee investigating the suspended SGF told the Upper Chamber on Wednesday that Mr Lawal allegedly spent N530m and not N272m as previously claimed to cut grass in Yobe State only.

Senator Sani noted that the Presidential Initiative on the North-East (PINE) under the office of the SGF flouted the rules of procurement in awarding contracts.

He said Mr Lawal allegedly awarded a consultancy contract to a company he had interest in, adding that most of the contract awards did not go through the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).

SGF, Babachir Lawal Appears Before Osinbajo Panel

Babachir Lawal
Mr Babachir Lawal

The suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Babachir Lawal, has appeared before the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo led three-man investigative committee.

The panel, set up to investigate the allegations of violation of law and due process made against Mr Lawal in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North-East (PINE), is equally investigating the suspended Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr Ayo Oke.

Also Read: Osinbajo Panel Vows Thorough Probe Of SGF, NIA Boss

Mr Oke, who was grilled on Monday for over 10 hours by the panel, is under probe over the discovery of large amounts of foreign and local currencies by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in a residential apartment in Ikoyi area of Lagos.

Also Read: EFCC Discovers Huge Sums Of Money In Ikoyi Apartment

The meeting between the panel and the SGF began on Tuesday at 1:00PM and ended at about 3:30PM, after the Vice President received members of the Bangladesh Military delegation at the State House, Abuja.

Other members of the committee are National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami.

Also Read: Buhari Suspends SGF, NIA DG

The committee is expected to submit its report to President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, May 3.

FG’s Anti-Corruption War, A Tool To Cripple Opposition Parties – Fayose

The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has accused the Federal Government of using the anti-corruption war as a tool to cripple the opposition political parties.

Governor Fayose was reacting to the cash discovery at an apartment in Osborne towers in Ikoyi, Lagos state, by the Economic and Financial Crimes, Commission (EFCC).

The governor questioned the recovery, while urging the government to declare the owner of the money.

“If the President is not aware, the EFCC is not aware, the NSE is not aware, then there is more to it. I want to enjoin Nigerians to let us continue to ask questions; this drama is becoming one too many.

“Again up till today, the EFCC is yet to tell Nigerian the identity of the owner of the shop, and Nigerians are asking whether or not the LEGICO shopping Plaza, Ahmadu Bello Way Victoria Island Lagos, is not owned by anyone and the owner of the Plaza won’t be able to  identify his or her tenants. We would keep our fingers crossed because we cannot be fooled forever,” the governor said.

Obiano Set To Transform Awka To World Class City

AwkaAnambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, has given the task of creating a world class city like the Dubai Model City to the Nigerian Institute of Architects, NIA, Anambra State chapter.

They will, in partnership with the Awka Capital Territory Development Authority, ACTDA, develop an effective urban master plan for the Awka Capital Territory, in addition to building high class and modern architectural structures to add to the beauty of the state.

Speaking to members of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, Anambra State chapter, who visited him at the Governor’s Lodge, Awka, Governor Obiano charged them to be more innovative in their drawings and designs.

The Governor harped on building an orderly and sanitized environment as well as finding the best way to manage environmental waste.

He tasked the NIA members to find solutions that will ensure orderliness and environmental sanitation that would propel sustainable development.

He also asked that they develop a system that would help control land use and institute compliance with space standards and approved designs.

Responding, the State Chairman of NIA, Peter Okpala, commended the Governor for his outstanding commitment towards transforming the Awka Capital Territory.

He also lauded him for ensuring that while transformation was going on, priority was also given to the safety of the lives and property of the people through the Governor’s handling of the problem of building collapse which erupted in the early days of his administration.

Lafarge Africa Plc Supports Architects In Nigeria

lafarge has pledge support for nigeria's developmentLafarge Africa Plc has promised continual support for architects by helping them achieve their quota to the nation’s development, through its products and expertise.

Group Managing Director of Lafarge Africa Plc, Mr Guillaume Roux, who spoke at a conference organised by the Nigeria Institute of Architects (NIA) in Abuja, said that the company is also partnering with key government agencies to achieve the needed infrastructural needs of the country.

Mr Guillaume expressed the commitment of the company to add value to end users of its products.

According to him, building a better Nigeria through its products, remains top on its priorities.

It was the first lecture series organised by members of the NIA which brought together experts in the field to the nation’s capital, to listen to prominent speakers on how to contribute their quota to the nation’s development, using their expertise.

With its presence in over 20 African countries and a record of 34% cement sales in the continent, the country MD of Lafarge Plc gave an analysis of progress made in End User Solutions, using professional bodies like the NIA

The former Nigeria Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme and the President of the NIA, Waheed Brimmo, gave insights on how architects and the incoming administration can address the infrastructural gaps in the country.

While Nigeria remains a major market for Lafarge Africa Plc, it promises to continue to work with professional groups in the country to bring about the needed development in the country’s construction sector.