Quit As Petroleum Minister, PDP Tells Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to quit his role as the Minister of Petroleum “to save Nigerians the trauma of sleeping in fuel stations” in order to get fuel.

The party made the call in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Sunday, insisting that “the failure of the Buhari Presidency to resolve its inflicted unabated fuel crisis, which has brought untold hardship to Nigerians” is unpardonable.

READ ALSOFuel Scarcity: Buhari Vows To Stop Those Behind ‘Collective Blackmail’ Of Nigerians

“We call on President Buhari to quit this all-important Ministry of Petroleum Resources and allow competent hands to save our people from the anguish and pains they have been subjected to in the last few months,” it said.

Many Nigerians have struggled to get fuel in recent months after the nation was hit by fuel scarcity late in 2017. While fuel queues have disappeared in several parts of the country, many people still have difficulty getting petrol and are forced to buy the product above the official price of N145 per litre.

As the Minister of Petroleum, the PDP said President Buhari must directly accept responsibility “for the manifest failure in the oil sector, even as his government should be held responsible for the exacerbated economic and security situation in the country under its watch”.

To turn the situation around, the opposition party wants the President to appoint “competent hands” to manage the affairs to the ministry.

At the height of the fuel scarcity, some Nigerians had called on the President to quit his role as Petroleum Minister. Some others debated the legality or otherwise of the President’s decision to occupy the position.

For the PDP, if the President “had heed wise counsel from well-meaning Nigerians, since last year, to quit office as the Minister of Petroleum and allow a more competent and knowledgeable person to run the ministry, the situation would not have degenerated to excruciating pains Nigerians suffer today”.

The party also accused the Presidency of unapologetically failing to fix a national problem, which it promised to resolve within one week in December, saying it has no solution but intends to continue to hold the nation to ransom.

Arguing that “poor coordination, inefficiency and reported heavy sleazes in the petroleum sector”, under the direct supervision of the President, raises a lot of issues which require urgent action, the PDP said the President has failed to take decisive steps.

“Rather, the sector has been delivered to an APC cabal, whose mission, particularly, the desperate re-election bid, largely account for the biting fuel situation and the economic misery Nigerians suffer today,” it said.

But in his New Year broadcast on Janaury 1, President Buhari had vowed to the root of the fuel scarcity which he said was a “collective blackmail of all Nigerians.”

 

He had acknowledged that the Christmas and New Year holidays didn’t go well with many in the face of the lingering fuel crisis.

The President, however, decried that: “Some of our compatriots chose this period to inflict severe hardship on us all by creating unnecessary fuel scarcity across the country.”

Buhari Became Petroleum Minister By Fiat – Lawyer

A legal practitioner, Mr Emmanuel Anene, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of breaching the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by imposing himself as the Minister for Petroleum Resources.

Mr Anene said, “The administration brought in the Whistle-Blowing policy, but had failed in putting it through the National Assembly for approval,” while appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Friday.

“The government said they are fighting corruption. Any offence involving dishonesty (is corruption). Nepotism is corruption; favouritism is corruption. If you ambush due process of law that is corruption if you arm-twist the system for your own selfish gain that is corruption.

“Mr President made himself the Minister of Petroleum by fiat. He did not submit himself to the NASS for clearance that is a breach of the constitutional provision. When we come on board, we heard of the Dasuki-gate. Today, Dasuki is being prosecuted; he has taken his bail to the Supreme Court (ordinary bail).

The lawyer questioned the government’s seriousness in fighting corruption while wondering why Dasuki’s bail lingered for two years.

“Government is pretending that they are fighting corruption. Supreme court, Court of Appeal and even the lower courts have repeatedly ruled that you should not use bail as a punishment.

“If the government is serious about prosecuting Dasuki, why will it take it them two years to determine the bail of Dasuki?” he questioned.

On the yet-to-be-released a report on the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Babachir Lawal, he added, “Look at the corruption involving the SGF, they set up a committee when we have the EFCC, ICPC, Police. A committee was set up to investigate SGF, up till now; there is no report of that committee.

“The recent one, $25bn awarded by NNPC, an agency in the Ministry of petroleum. Now the question is, $25bn is Nine trillion naira, well over Nigerian budget. Where will NNPC fund that contract? What is the purpose of that contact?”

Agbakoba Challenges Buhari’s Legality As Petroleum Minister

DSS, arrest, judges, AgbakobaA former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr Olisa Agbakoba, has challenged the constitutionality of President Muhammadu Buhari to hold office as the Minister for Petroleum Resources.

The Commander-in-Chief had in September, 2015 chosen Cabinet Ministers, after which their names were forwarded to the Senate for confirmation. He, however, named himself in charge of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

But in his originating summons, a copy of which was made available to Channels Television in Lagos on Monday, Mr Agbakoba listed the Minister of Justice/Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami as defendant before a Federal High Court in Abuja.

The lawyer argued that the President was not fit to occupy his position as Petroleum Minister, while still being the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in view of Sections 138 and 147(2) of the constitution.

“By virtue of Section 138 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which disqualifies the President of Nigeria from holding any other executive office or paid employment, can the Nigerian President simultaneously serve as Minister of Petroleum Resources, which is an executive office?

“By virtue of Section147 (2) of the 1999 Constitution, if the President is not disqualified, can the President hold the office of Minister of Petroleum Resources, without confirmation by the Senate of the National Assembly,” he questioned.

Although no date has yet been fixed for hearing, the lawyer is hopeful that the court of competent jurisdiction would seek a declaration that Section 138 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria disqualifies the President from holding the office of Minister of Petroleum Resources, which is an executive office.

Mr Agbakoba, who is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, wants the court upon hearing of his application, to order the President to vacate the office as the Minister of Petroleum Resources.

Buhari’s Emergence As Petroleum Minister Helped Promote Corruption, Says Richards

Mr. Richards

The Executive Director of Corruption Observatory, Mr. Ivie Richards has condemned in strong terms, the position of President Muhammadu Buhari as Minister for Petroleum Resources, stressing it promotes corruption.

Mr. Richards made this known while speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, in Lagos on Thursday.

He said, “I quarrel seriously and I condemn in its entirety the fact that a sitting President doubles as the Minister for Petroleum. That has helped this rot a great deal and the right things need to be done.

“Again, that is another aberration. In that report, Kachikwu said that he is the Chairman of the board, but he is not the Minister for Petroleum.

“Minister is supposed to be the Chairman of the board. If you watch closely between the lines, you will see the insinuation that the tender board of the NNPC got some approvals from the President.

“What my real interest is here is to invite the organized civil societies, at least those concerned with good governance, to drag the tender board of the NNPC, its governing board, to court to let Nigerians know of all that is happening behind the curtains.

The CO’s boss further noted that if the allegation is proven true that President Buhari gave approval for procurement to NNPC’s board, it is more than enough ground to impeach the nation’s Commander-in-Chief.

“But my major interest and focus would be, ‘Is it true that at any time, the President gave approval tacitly to this procurement, direct approval to the Tender board of the NNPC?’ If that is true, to me, that is an impeachable offence.

“If you look at the case in Brazil, South Korea, for we know leaders have been shown the door. They are not as grievous as this. So I would want this nation, organized civil societies to properly unravel what happened between the Tender board of the NNPC and Mr. President,” he stressed.

JTF Kills Five Militants In Rivers State

Army, Militants, JTF, RiversThe Nigerian Army says it is making progress in the Niger Delta as it reveals that the Joint Task Force has killed five militants in Rivers State.

This is coming barely 24 hours after the military announced that it has begun mopping up of arms in the Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.

The militants were killed during an exchange of gun fire with the troops, and a cache of arms and ammunition recovered from them.

The troops intercepted the hoodlums after they had kidnapped an unidentified person before the gun battle ensued.

A statement by the Army spokesman, Colonel Sani Usman, stated that the exercise would continue this weekend in the 82 Division and part of the Two Division of the Nigerian Army.

The army explained that the operations in the riverine environment was to check criminal activities such as kidnapping, militancy and piracy among others.

The Commander of “Operation Delta Safe”, Major General Joseph Irabor, had told journalists in Yenogoa, Bayelsa State that the military would not relent in its determination to rid the Niger Delta of illegal arms.

This latest killing of five militants and one kidnapper occurred in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital this weekend and is considered a major breakthrough by the Nigerian military.

However, there are reports that the Federal Government is ready to dialogue with the Niger Delta militants, to resolve the crisis in the region.

The Petroleum Minister, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said at the weekend that over $40 billion have been spent in the Niger Delta in the past 12 years without any significant results.

West African Petroleum Ministers Decry Attacks On Gas Pipelines

Petroleum, GasThe Committee of Petroleum Ministers from Nigeria, Ghana, Togo and the Republic of Benin says the activities of vandals in the Niger Delta have cut down the volume of gas supplies in the West African sub-region.

The oil ministers made the remarks on Tuesday at a regional meeting in Abuja to discuss recent developments that have affected the implementation of the West African Gas Pipeline Project.

According to them, attacks on oil installations have impacted negatively on the objectives for embarking on the project.

fuel scarcity
Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, lamented that the activities of vandals in the southern region constituted part of the problems that need to be addressed, as it has affected gas supply to members in recent times.

Other members of the committee who spoke in French language also identified non-payment of bills for gas supplied as another challenge to be addressed.

Meanwhile, the Ghanaian Minister of Petroleum, Mr Armah-Koffi Buah, told journalists after the meeting that the recent cut in gas supply has led to loss of jobs among members.

Nigeria is the major supplier of gas in the project which was established during the military era in Nigeria to provide gas to member states including Ghana, Togo and Benin Republic.

The meeting of petroleum ministers from the region was organised to discuss solutions to problems that have affected the implementation of the project.

Corruption Allegations: SERAP Calls On UK Govt. To Extradite Alison-Madueke

SERAP, Alison-Madueke, Petroleum Minister, CorruptionCivil society group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on the UK authorities to “extradite Nigeria’s former Petroleum Minister, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke to face charges of corruption and money laundering.

Coming ahead of the International Anticorruption Summit in the UK, SERAP says the charges she is currently facing in UK court do not sufficiently capture the gravity of her alleged crimes, and the increasing allegations of corruption against her in Nigeria.

The request followed announcement during the week by the Central Bank of Nigeria that it was carrying out special investigations into the roles played by banks in certain financial transactions, especially the 23 billion Naira reportedly shared to officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by officials of the former President Goodluck Jonathan administration to influence the outcome of the last general elections.

According the SERAP Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, “The anticorruption summit in London provides an important opportunity for the UK government to support the ongoing fight against corruption in Nigeria, and to send a powerful message that the UK will not provide sanctuary or condone impunity for corrupt public officials.”

The statement reads: “As a state party to the UN Convention against Corruption, the UK government can use the convention as a basis for the extradition of Mrs Alison-Madueke back to Nigeria.

“We urge the Nigerian authorities to without delay submit a request to the UK authorities for the extradition of Mrs Alison-Madueke, explicitly making the point that Nigeria will guarantee her a due process-trial.

“If the UK refuses extradition request, Nigeria should consider submitting the matter for arbitration and if this cannot resolve the case, refer it to the International Court of Justice for adjudication. The Nigerian authorities should also consider filing a civil action against Mrs Alison-Madueke in the UK court.

“By sending Mrs Alison-Madueke back to her country, the UK will be sending a message that high-level official corruption will not go unpunished no matter where the suspected perpetrator hides and thus contribute to the fight against impunity for grand corruption. The UK indeed has an obligation to extradite Mrs Alison-Madueke through international cooperation and collaboration in good faith with Nigeria.

“We believe that effective prosecution in Nigeria is feasible, and this will bring justice closer to Nigerians who are direct victims of corruption. Extraditing Mrs Alison-Madueke back to Nigeria is equally important for allowing easier access to witnesses, evidence, victims of corruption; creating a deep connection between Nigerians and the impact of the trial; and empowering victims of corruption.”

“SERAP believes that there is probable cause that Mrs Alison-Madueke participated in the extraditable acts involving some banks in Nigeria, whether directly or indirectly. The allegations of corruption against her are strong enough for Prime Minister David Cameron to facilitate an extradition proceeding.

“The UK shouldn’t be a country of refuge for corrupt officials if it is to avoid a miscarriage of justice in high-level corruption cases. But if Mrs Alison-Madueke is not extradited, the UK will have a responsibility to amend her charges to include the fresh allegations against her and to try her on the merits under the UK laws as if she had committed the crimes there.

“Mr Cameron risks missing an ‘open goal’ unless he shows that the UK is unreservedly committed to seeking justice for victims of corruption, and international cooperation in the fight against corruption by urgently facilitating the extradition of Mrs Alison-Madueke to Nigeria so that she can explain her role in the continuing disclosure of allegations of corruption and money laundering involving several Nigerian banks which allegedly took place during her time in office as petroleum minister.

“SERAP is also concerned that UK banks continue to accept millions of pounds from corrupt Nigerian politicians. Without the complicity of these banks, it would be much harder for corrupt politicians including from Nigeria to loot public funds or accept bribes.

“Therefore, in order to meet the requirements of the UN Convention against Corruption, Mr Cameron will need to do more to reform and crack down on his country’s financial institutions that continue to provide safe havens for corrupt funds from Nigeria with almost absolute impunity.

“It’s also important for Mr Cameron to work towards improving judicial cooperation between Nigeria and the UK if stolen assets stashed in the UK are to be fully repatriated and if he is not to send a message that corrupt suspects can get away with their crimes without consequences.”

No Plans To Sell Refineries, Kachikwu Tells Nigerians

Ibe Kachikwu - RefineriesThe Federal Government has no plans to sell Nigeria’s refineries to private owners, an official has said.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, during an official visit to the Port Harcourt refinery in Alesa Eleme in Rivers State.

“We are not inviting foreign partners to take over the refineries, we do not have the funds.

“Even now that they are working, they are probably working at about 60 per cent or below capacity (and) we need to upgrade these refineries, get them to a level where they are doing at least 90 per cent performance (and) it requires money,” he said.

The Minister revealed that the total investment for the process was in excess of $700 million, lamenting that the government does not have such fund.

Speaking in company of some senior officials of the NNPC on Saturday in Nigeria’s southern region, he hinted reporters that he was on a tour of the nation’s refining facilities.

Mr Kachikwu explained that the call for foreign partners was to get technical support to upgrade Nigeria’s capacity to achieve consumer quota and export in the course of time.

“What we’ve now done is to find a very creative way (for which we should be praised actually) of bringing in investors who will come in and work with our team here who have the skills, to reactivate and upgrade facilities in these refineries and to help us provide technical support,” he said.

The Petroleum Minister also told reporters that the Federal Government had also changed the refining modules such that refineries pay for their crude with the payment credited to the Federation Account.

He commissioned the crude line into the tank of the refining company, disclosing that the target was to get the country’s refineries up and running at full capacity.

While some Nigerians hoped the refineries run at optimum capacity, the Minister believed that with the right strategy, importation of petroleum products would gradually fade away.

I Am Attention Walking On The Street, Charly Boy Says

Charly Boy Oputa
Charly Boy Oputa says he has managed to remain in the scene even at abover 60 years

A Nigerian singer, songwriter, television presenter, publisher, producer, one of Nigeria’s most controversial entertainers and a onetime president of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria, Charly Boy Oputa (Charles Chukwuemeka Oputa) has described himself as “attention walking on the street”.

On a Channels Television’s programme, Rubbin’ Minds, on Sunday Charly Boy told Ebuka that he had no intention to let people forget him.

“Most of the things that you read are all engineered by me. If I don’t do that, you will soon forget me and I intend not to be forgotten.

“I don’t look at them as unconventional. The people out there do that. For me, it is a very normal thing and because I understand your mind-set… take for instance my rings they are just rings to me but a lot of people will read a lot of meaning into it.

“I just paint all this pictures and you can make what you like of it.

“I play it up because people are busy eating it up,” he said.

On a leaked photograph of another entertainer, dancer and television presenter, Denrele Edun and himself kissing, he said it was leaked with Denrele’s consent.

He further said it was leaked by his people on purpose but did not say if he gave them a go ahead to leak the image.

“Sometimes you can agree to something, but when the heat comes up, whether you can take it or nor is a different matter,” he said.

On current political situation in Nigeria, Charly Boy said: “I am going ahead to give hope to young people not to despair

“This government is all about fighting corruption. We have been surviving on corruption money for the past 50 years. A lot has happened and a lot has gone bad and it is not something that could be fixed in a year or two.

“What I am not sure of is if he has the right kind cabinet to solve our problem. People that are dedicated.

“I have met a few people and the Petroleum Minister is one of them.

“We have been seeing queues for many years and this is not the first time and it is not going to happen in one year.

“He is a perfect gentleman who always meant what he says and says what he means. For me that is a good take away.

“If Fashola is allowed to do his work and if they stop all these petty tribal politics that is going on, he will do well”.

The entertainer also praised his father for his upbringing, saying that the principles he grew up with had made me who he was.

DPR Dispenses Free Petrol In Abuja

DPR Dispenses Free FuelOfficials of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) and operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS), have distributed free fuel to motorists in the nations capital, Abuja, as punishment for hoarding petroleum products.



The monitoring team visited service stations around the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to ensure compliance with the official pump price of 87 Naira and to ensure marketers do not hoard the product.

Officials on Wednesday, said that the exercise was part of efforts to reduce the lingering fuel queues that had slowed down economic activities in the past weeks.

Since the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, ordered free distribution of petrol to motorists in any petrol station found to be hoarding petroleum products, some service stations have been penalised in Abuja.

A service station in Kubua, a satellite town in Abuja was caught in the act and the agencies dispensed petrol to motorists free of charge.

Apart from selling above the official pump price of 87 Naira, on Tuesday, government monitoring team also accused its management of hoarding the product.

Although, the officials said that they were instructed not to speak to reporters, eyewitnesses, who purchased fuel from the station, said it sold above pump price before it started hoarding the product.

Meanwhile, officials of the DPR said that such disciplinary measures would continue.

Queues have remained at different service stations in different states, despite several promises from the government to end the scarcity.

On Wednesday, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation said the refinery in Kaduna had started a daily supply of 3.2 million litres of petrol, a volume it hopes will ease the current crisis of petrol scarcity.

Omokore Visits EFCC

OmokoreThe Chairman of Atlantic Energy, Mr Olajide Omokore, has been explaining his encounter with the EFCC.

He told Channels Television that he visited the EFCC office in Abuja on his own volition and that he was not arrested or picked up by the commission’s agents.

He explained that during his long conversation, he was not told of any charges related to corruption or money laundering.

Reuters News Agency had reported that Mr Omokore was arrested for charges related to corruption and money laundering.

UK Court Seizes Diezani’s Money

DiezaniBritain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has obtained permission from the Westminster Magistrate’s Court on Marylebone Road, London to temporarily seize 27,000 pounds that is about $41,000 from former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke.

An Administrative Officer at Westminster Magistrates’ Court said that the NCA had applied to the court for an order to seize various sums of money in relation to Alison-Madueke and two other women for up to six months.

No details were given on the link between the three women.

Earlier reports on Monday suggested that the former minister had appeared in court, but this turned out to be incorrect.

Mrs. Alison-Madueke also failed to appear at the Charing Cross Police Station where she was expected to report on Monday according to reports from Friday night when she was granted bail.