Former Commissioner accuses Ribadu of politicizing his assignments

A former commissioner of the Ekiti State Civil Service Commission and a public affairs analyst, Sanya Adesua on Tuesday said Nigeria boggled another opportunity to re-focus positively on the oil and gas industry which is the mainstay of the economy.

The ex-commissioner, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said he wondered why despite many reports from sundry committees, the Nuhu Ribadu report should be enmeshed in controversy.

Mr Adesua further said he wondered why the report was leaked before it was handed over to the Federal Government, insisting that it could be because the panel intended to hide some information from the public.

Watch complete interview for more details.

EFCC arraigns 5 over illegal storage of diesel

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday arraigned five suspects before a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on four counts including conspiracy to store one hundred and eighty five( 185) Metric Tons of automotive gas oil, (also called diesel) without appropriate license.

The suspects: Captain Odeghe Andrew, Engineer Ebinum Alex, Jelili Lateef (still at large), Sunday Buluku (still at large) and Monday Osasuwa (still at large) were arraigned before Justice James Tsoho.

One of the charge reads: “That you Captain Odeghe Andrew, Engineer Ebinum Alex, Jelili Lateef, Sunday Bukulu, Monday Osasuwa, on or about 31st May, 2012 at Lagos within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, being the Master-in-Command and crew of the vessel MT. Floris conspired to store aboard the said vessel One Hundred and Eighty Five (185) Metric Tons of automotive gas oil without appropriate license under section 1 of the Petroleum Act, Cap. P9 Laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2004 and thereby committed an offences punishable under section 6 of the Petroleum Act, Cap. P9, Laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2004”.

When the charges were read to them, the suspects pleaded not guilty.
Prosecution counsel, Ben Ubi, informed the court that the EFCC was ready to proceed to trial. However, the defence counsel, Victor Opare, informed the court that he had filed an application for bail and prayed the court to hear the application. The judge obliged.

He argued that the offence for which his clients were docked is bail able and urged the court to consider the plight of one of the accused persons, Captain Andrew who has some health issues, in granting them bail. This claim of ill health was contested by Mr Ubi who demanded proofs from the defence.

Justice Tsoho, after listening to their arguments, admitted the accused persons to bail in the sum of N200 million and one surety in like sum.
The surety must be a resident of Lagos and have a property in the metropolis. He must also be ready to provide original documents of the property and the title verified by the EFCC. In addition, the surety must provide evidence of three years tax payments.

Justice Tsoho adjourned the case to January 22, 2013 and ordered that the accused persons be remanded in Ikoyi prison.

Exxon Mobil detects oil spill in Akwa Ibom

Exxon Mobil Corp. said it has detected an oil spill along the shoreline of Nigeria’s oil-rich southern delta.

Exxon Mobil spokesman Nigel Cookey-Gam said in an email statement on Wednesday that the spill was spotted near Ibeno in Akwa Ibom where the U.S. oil company’s local subsidiary has the  base of its operations.

Sack Petroleum Minister now, Protesters at NNPC headquarters tells Jonathan

Members of the Civil Society Organisations on Thursday gathered at the Headquarters of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in Abuja to protest what they have tagged ‘End Impunity Now’.

The Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke

The spokesperson of End Impunity Now campaign and convener of the protest, Jaiye Gaskia said the group wants the federal government to take necessary steps to end the corruption in the downstream sector.

The protesters claimed that they will continue their protests in different parts of the country and will submit a petition to the EFCC. They also called on Nigerians to be more politically active.

Mr Gaskia said the protest was to demand the removal of the Petroleum Minister by the president or her resignation as alternative, over her perceived involvement in the fuel subsidy fraud. They are also demanding the full implementation of the subsidy probe report.
Furthermore, the protesters are asking the government to address the security situation in the country and the incessant hike in electricity tariff.

The protesters were however faced with resistance from over 30 armed policemen who refused to allow them access to the premises and who asked them to get a permit from the Abuja Police Command before they can hold the protest.

The protesters however argued that there is an existing law which allows Nigerians organise protests without police permit.
As at the time of publishing this report, the protesters have been dispersed.

NNPC REACTION

However, the acting spokesperson of NNPC, Fidel Pepple in a telephone interview said “the NNPC has reinforced its commitment to ensuring the values of transparency and accountability and has nothing to hide. The corporation will be available at all times for public scrutiny of its records.”

Mr Pepple observed that the protesters have exercised their fundamental human rights to peaceful demonstration.