SERAP Sues Buhari, Wants Court To Declare ‘Plan To Monitor WhatsApp Messages Illegal’

A photo combination of SERAP and President Muhammadu Buhari

 

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari.

The group is asking the court to “declare illegal and unconstitutional the plan by the administration to track, intercept and monitor WhatsApp messages, phone calls, and text messages of Nigerians and other people, as it severely threatens and violates the right to the preservation of privacy.”

The suit followed the proposal in the Supplementary Appropriation Act signed in July 2021 to spend N4.87bn to monitor private calls and messages. The amount is part of the N895.8bn supplementary budget approved by the National Assembly.

In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1240/2021 filed last Friday at the Federal High Court in Abuja, SERAP is seeking: “an order of perpetual injunction restraining President Buhari and any other authority, persons or group of persons from unlawfully monitoring the WhatsApp messages, phone calls and text messages of Nigerians and other people.”

SERAP is also seeking “a declaration that any monitoring of WhatsApp messages, phone calls and text messages is oppressive and draconian, as it threatens and violates sections 37 and 39 of Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended]; Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights; and Articles 17 and 19 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Nigeria is a state party.”

READ ALSO: Abducted Emir Of Bungudu Regains Freedom

According to the group, the plan to monitor WhatsApp messages, phone calls and text messages is an arbitrary interference by the administration into respect for family and private life, the home, and correspondence.

“The Buhari administration has legal obligations to protect Nigerians and other people against arbitrary interference and violations of their human rights. Monitoring of WhatsApp messages, phone calls and text messages would grant free rein to government agencies to conduct mass surveillance of communications of people,” it said.

“The mere threat of mass surveillance, even when secret, coupled with the lack of remedy, can constitute an interference with human rights, including the rights to privacy, freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association.

“Privacy and expression are intertwined in the digital age, with online privacy serving as a gateway to secure exercise of the freedom of opinion and expression. Therefore, targets of surveillance would suffer interference with their rights to privacy and freedom of opinion and expression whether the effort to monitor is successful or not.”

Joined in the suit as respondents are the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) and the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed.

The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare and Kehinde Oyewumi, read in part: “The powers to conduct arbitrary, abusive or unlawful surveillance of communications may also be used to target political figures and activists, journalists and others in the discharge of their lawful activities.”

“Any spending of public funds should stay within the limits of constitutional responsibilities, and oath of office by public officers, as well as comply with Chapter 2 of the Nigerian Constitution relating to fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy.

“The lack of any safeguards against discriminatory decision-making, and access to an effective remedy shows the grave threats the purported plan poses to constitutionally and internationally recognized human rights.

“Section 37 of the Nigerian Constitution and Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provide for the right to freedom from arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy and correspondence, communications and private data.

“Section 39 of the Nigerian Constitution and Article 19 of the Covenant also guarantee the right of everyone to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers and through any media.

“The UN General Assembly has condemned unlawful or arbitrary surveillance and interception of communications as ‘highly intrusive acts’ that interfere with fundamental human rights (see General Assembly resolutions 68/167 and 71/199).

“Interference with privacy through targeted surveillance is designed to repress the exercise of the right to freedom of expression. Surveillance of journalists, activists, opposition figures, critics and others simply exercising their right to freedom of expression – would lead to violations of other human rights.

“Targeted surveillance creates incentives for self-censorship and directly undermines the ability of journalists and human rights defenders to conduct investigations and build and maintain relationships with sources of information.”

SERAP is also seeking the following reliefs:

A declaration that monitoring of WhatsApp messages, phone calls and text messages of Nigerians and other people is inconsistent with the principles of legality, necessity, and proportionality and amounts to threat and infringement on the rights to private and family life, access to correspondence, and freedom of expression and the press guaranteed under sections 37 and 39 of Nigeria Constitution, 1999; Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and Articles 17 and 19 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

A declaration that the act of the Defendants budgeting N4.87bn of public money to monitor WhatsApp messages, phone calls and text messages of Nigerians and other people is unlawful and a violation of the rights to private and family life, access to correspondence, and freedom of expression and the press.

An order setting aside the budget line of N4.87bn to monitor WhatsApp messages, phone calls and text messages of Nigerians and other people for being inconsistent and incompatible with constitutional provisions, and international human rights treaties.

An order mandating the 1st Respondent to redirect public funds in the sum of N4.87bn budgeted to monitor WhatsApp messages, phone calls and text messages of Nigerians and other people to improve the working conditions of healthcare practitioners and improve public healthcare facilities across Nigeria.

And for such further order or orders that the court may deem fit to make in the circumstances.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

Buhari Approves N13.3bn For Take-Off Of Community Policing Initiative


 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday approved N13.3 billion for the take-off of the Community Policing initiative as part of efforts to boost security nationwide.

Buhari disclosed this in Abuja at the opening of a two-day Mid-Term Ministerial Performance Review Retreat to assess progress made towards the achievement of the nine key priorities of his administration.

“We have also approved the sum of N13.3 billion for the take-off of the Community Policing initiative across the country, as part of measures adopted to consolidate efforts aimed at enhancing security nationwide,” he said.

“As part of the efforts towards strengthening our national security, we have increased investments in arms, weapons and other necessary equipment; expanded the National Command and Control Centre to nineteen states of the Federation; and established a Nigerian Police Trust Fund, which will significantly improve funding for the Nigeria Police Force.”

President Muhammadu Buhari delivers a speech during the Two-Day Mid-Term Ministerial Performance Review Retreat in the State House, Abuja on October 11, 2021. Bayo Omoboriowo/State House
President Muhammadu Buhari delivers a speech during the Two-Day Mid-Term Ministerial Performance Review Retreat in the State House, Abuja on October 11, 2021. Bayo Omoboriowo/State House

 

According to him, the Ministry of Defence has been instructed to create a modest military-industrial complex for the local production of weapons to meet some of the requirements of the country’s armed forces.

READ ALSO: 2nd Niger-Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway To Be Completed Before 2023 – Buhari

While noting that the establishment of the industrial complex would address Nigeria’s over-dependence on other countries for military equipment and logistics, the project is being implemented under the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), a military department responsible for arms manufacture.

On other efforts to strengthen national security, Buhari said it was gratifying to note that Nigeria had received six A-29 Super Tucano aircraft.

He said the propeller-driven aircraft are being used for training, surveillance and attack by the military.

The President also spoke on his administration’s efforts in improving the nation’s power sector, noting that the implementation of a ‘Willing Buyer-Willing Seller’ Policy has opened up opportunities for increased delivery of electricity to underserved homes and industries.

He expressed the hope that the execution of critical projects through the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme, will result in achieving the national goal of improved power supply by 2025.

To Say Buhari’s Govt Is A Complete Failure Is False, Says Adesina


 

Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, has defended the current administration, saying it is not a complete failure.

Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Adesina said those who branded President Buhari as a failure are wrong, insisting that his principal, who swept to power on three cardinal promises –fixing insecurity, tackling corruption and fixing the economy – has fulfilled his core promises to Nigerians.

“Yes, there are certain areas where the delivery is high, higher than in some other areas. But for anybody to say it is a complete failure, that will not be true,” he said on Monday.

“In some areas, you may not have performed well as in others. There are three main promises and then it was expanded to those nine priority areas.”

The presidential spokesman while assessing the achievements of the Federal Government, said security has improved unlike what was obtainable in the past.

Adesina explained that the current administration met an insecure country in 2015.

While noting that insurgency was Nigeria’s main security challenge then, he regretted that other challenges like banditry, kidnapping, cultism among others later came on board.

He described the situation as worrisome, adding that the Federal Government is seriously working hard to nip the various security challenges in the bud.

“We met an insecure country; we went at it and there was some stability. After a while, it exploded again and became hydra-headed.

“Insurgency was the main problem then. Banditry, kidnapping, cultism [later] came in and all sorts of things. The issue is that security is a big elephant in the room,” he added.

Nigeria has been experiencing a series of security threats ranging from terrorism, banditry, militancy, cultism among others.

The country has been battling terrorism for more than a decade which has killed 36,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands in the northeast.

The Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) split from the jihadist group Boko Haram in 2016 and has since become a dominant threat in Nigeria, attacking troops and bases while killing and kidnapping passengers at bogus checkpoints.

On March 1, jihadist fighters burnt down a United Nations humanitarian compound in the town of Dikwa after dislodging troops, killing six civilians.

Nigeria’s jihadist violence has spread to neighbouring Chad, Cameroon and Niger, prompting a regional military coalition to fight the insurgents.

Jonathan, Buhari Hold Closed-Door Meeting In Abuja

File Photo: Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday received his predecessor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, in his office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The former president came into Aso Rock at about 4pm but it is  unclear what the duo discussed as Jonathan did not speak to journalists after the meeting.

READ ALSO: Buhari Should Change His Attitude Towards South-East, Says Senator Utazi

Currently, the presidency has yet to disclose the agenda of the meeting. The ex-President had been working as ECOWAS special envoy to Mali, a position that has brought him in more regular contact with President Buhari in recent times.

Buhari Calls For Peace, Stability In Ethiopia

PM Abiy exchanging greetings with President Buhari during the event. Photo: State House.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has sued for peace and stability in Ethiopia, amid the many challenges facing the East African country.

Buhari made the call on Monday at the inauguration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for a second five-year term in office, pledging that Nigeria would continue to support the unity and territorial integrity of Ethiopia.

“We are well aware of the many challenges facing the people of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and we encourage all parties to come together in the interest of the unity, progress and well-being of Ethiopia,” Buhari was quoted as saying via a statement issued by his spokesman, Femi Adesina.

“Your Excellency, you, therefore, have a great opportunity to continue to work for the peace and stability of Ethiopia.”

President Buhari is calling for peace in the East African nation. Photo: State House.

 

The President told the newly-inaugurated Prime Minister that Nigeria, like many countries, was counting on his leadership to unleash the great economic potentials of Ethiopia by expanding investment opportunities, deepening relations and building trust at home and abroad.

He also commended the courage and commitment of the people of Ethiopia to the values and principles of democracy on the elections that brought the 2019 Nobel Peace Laureate back to power.

According to Buhari, the outcome of the elections held in June is a reflection of the desire of the Ethiopian people for transformation through a free, fair and credible electoral process.

 R-L: President of Senegal, Macky Sall; Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed; President of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Guelleh; President of Ethiopia, Sahle-Work Zewde; President Buhari, President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit and Somalian President, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo at the Inauguration of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Addis Ababa on 4th Oct 2021

 

The Nigerian leader noted that Abiy’s victory at the election, clearly affirmed the confidence of the Ethiopian people in his leadership, courage and credentials, adding that it also underscores his years of contributions to the development of Ethiopia’s modern democracy.

While wishing the Prime Minister a successful tenure, the President said he looked forward to more fruitful and robust engagements between the two countries.

The Presidents of Uganda, South Sudan, Djibouti, Senegal, Kenya, Somalia and the Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo attended the event.

Below are more photos from the event: 

APC Govt Committed More Resources To Diversify Economy Than Past Govts – Lawan

President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan (A file photo)

 

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressive Congress (APC) has committed more resources to diversify the economy than any previous administration.

According to Lawan, no past government had invested as much resources, particularly in agriculture as the Buhari government has done.

He made the comments on Saturday at the commissioning of a Poultry Farm Center which the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) established in Gasamu, in Jakusko Local Government Area of Yobe State.

“We have promised to diversify the economy of this country. For more than 50 years, our economy had been dependent on one single commodity and that is oil,” the Senate President was quoted as saying in a statement signed on Sunday by his media aide, Ola Awoniyi.

“Oil does not provide so many employment opportunities. There could be revenues but definitely not the mainstream opportunities in terms of employment. But when you diversify into agriculture, you would have much more people engaged, especially our youths who today are largely unemployed or under-employed.

“So, we are diversifying the economy of Nigeria through agriculture, and we have done so much as a country, as a government, in the last six years or so.

“No previous administration in Nigeria has committed as much fund, resources in agriculture than this administration. And I stand to be contradicted, that if not because of resources that we have put in the agriculture sector, Nigeria would still have been importing the food that we eat.

“But everyone knows that the rice import bill had gone so low, almost to nothing today. We used to spend billions of dollars every year to import rice but we have been producing the rice that we eat.

“Of course, we still have to work to stop the smuggling of rice into Nigeria. But I want to assure you that the APC administration at all levels of government, from the local government to the state and federal government, will continue to work for diversification of the Nigerian economy.

“Only last month, the National Bureau of Statistics released the report that our economy has grown by 5.01 percent in GDP. That is to show that we are making progress. We are not yet there but we will be there by the Grace of God and all indications are there that we will be there.”

Lawan thanked Buhari for giving the approval for the farm. This, he said, was in fulfillment of the promise made by the President on behalf of the APC in 2015, to provide employment opportunities for the youths.

“Presently, 30 youths will be engaged to manage the farm.

“This is only the direct employment on this farm. When you look at the indirect opportunities, when you establish poultry farms across this zone, you would have brought in many youths to manage the poultry farms.

“Gasamu, because of this project, is now going to be prominent in the Nigerian map. And this is something that is very important for us as a community here.

“If someone will come from Kano. If someone will come from Imo. If someone will come from Akwa Ibom to buy chicks here, to go and grow them and sell them to make money, why can’t we in this community do the same?

“That means we should be able to have poultry farms coming up across this zone particularly in Jakusko Local Government.

“This is one of the immediate benefits and I will urge our people not to lose the opportunity. I want to seize this opportunity also to appeal to NALDA that we want the capacity to go beyond 250,000 per annum. I want to assure you that our people will exhaust the 250,000 and they will need more,” Lawan said.

The Executive Secretary of NALDA, Hon. Paul Ikonne said the farm center was established on the mandate of President Buhari in order to empower the youths and get the country closer to achieving food security.

“Mr President has directed NALDA to make agriculture attractive for our youths and for NALDA to produce what we are to eat and for Nigerians to eat what we produce.

“So, we are here today for the commissioning of this 30,000-bird capacity which is specially made to produce Noiler (a hybrid of broilers and cockerels).

“This center is like a reproduction centre that will be producing our locally improved birds that will be distributed across the country,” Hon Ikonne said.

He said the farm had the capacity of generating 850 eggs daily and N1.1 million daily from the sales of birds only.

Ikonne said the birds also had an incubator centre in order to produce day-olds that would be used to establish or sent to other poultry houses across the country.

He said the revenue projection for the farm center, with capacity for up to 250,000 birds, would generate not less than N400 million annually.

“NALDA Integrated farm estates are meant to empower the community, to develop the land within the community, empower the youths, create employment and reduce hunger in our land.

“So, communities within the country are expected to donate land. Mr President has directed NALDA to establish Integrated Farm Estates in all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria. So, these lands are developed for the immediate communities and for the empowerment of the communities,” he said.

Reps Minority Faults Buhari’s UNGA Speech, Says Terrorists ‘Emboldened Under His Watch’

A photo combination of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Reps Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu.

 

The minority caucus in the House of Representatives has faulted President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent speech at the United Nations General Assembly, claiming Boko Haram terrorists were emboldened under his watch.

In a statement, Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, said the caucus had extensively reviewed the President’s address at the 76th session of the UNGA, noting that it is in “complete disagreement with the ugly reality of the failures of his administration, as well as the economic, security and social ruins that have confronted the nation under his watch”.

Elumelu said the caucus was “alarmed by President Buhari’s report to UNGA that terrorists have been so weakened in Nigeria that they are now preying on soft targets, when in reality, insurgents have become so emboldened under his watch”.

According to the statement issued on Saturday, the insurgents are now attacking military formations, kidnapping and killing the nation’s gallant officers while overrunning communities and murdering our citizens without restraint.

As representatives of the people, the Minority caucus expressed regret that  President Buhari’s speech did not reflect on the kidnapping and killing of students in Nigeria.

The opposition lawmakers argue that Buhari did not reflect the closure of schools and crippling of education in some parts of the country, where normal life has been destroyed by terrorists, neither did it show any empathy towards the victims of terrorism attacks.

READ ALSOPresident Buhari Addresses World Leaders At UN General Assembly

‘No Personal Commitment’

A screengrab taken on September 24, 2021, shows President Muhammadu Buhari addressing world leaders at the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA76) in New York, the United States.

 

“Our caucus is worried that in reflecting on violent conflicts, Mr. President’s address conveyed no personal commitments that can guarantee an end to poor and undemocratic governance, human rights abuses, poverty, ignorance, injustice and inequalities, that are prevalent under his watch, even after identifying such as the causes of conflicts,” Elumelu said.

“Also, the minority caucus is shocked by the claims in Mr. President’s speech that his administration “built” isolation centers and emergency hospital wards, ‘all over the country’ ‘in record time’ in the fight against COVID-19; a claim that is in conflict with the infrastructural reality in the country.

“Moreover, our caucus is worried that Mr. President’s speech did not portray any decisive road map towards economic recovery and food security; had no personal commitment to end corruption in his administration; had no personal commitment to end borrowing or show a clear-cut plan to repay the huge debt being accumulated by his administration.”

On the 2023 general elections in the country, the opposition accused the President of lacking what it described as the definite personal commitments towards credible electoral process.

The Minority caucus therefore asked President Buhari to always cross check the content given to him by his handlers so as to ensure that his position, especially on the world stage, captures the reality as well as aspiration prevalent in the country.

This to them, is because such addresses ought to serve as an unblemished working document for interventions and solutions at various levels of governance.

Buhari Appoints New EFCC Board Members

File photo of President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed new members to the board of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

This was disclosed in a letter read by Senate President Ahmad Lawan on Tuesday.

The President appointed George Abang as secretary of the board.

Other appointees include Lukman Mohammed, Kola Adeshina and Mohammed Yahaya.

The nominations are in accordance with the Act establishing the anti-graft agency and the appointments are subject to the ratification of the Senate.

“In accordance with the provision of Section 2 (1) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) (Establishment) Act 2004, I hereby forward for confirmation by the Senate the under listed nominees as Board Members of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,” Buhari said.

“The nominees’ CVs are attached herewith. While hoping that the Senate will consider and confirm the nominees in the usual expeditious manner please accept, Distinguished Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

Apart from the new appointments, the issue of the President’s fresh loan request came up before the Senate.

The upper chamber of the National Assembly referred the fresh request by President Buhari to borrow $4billion and 710 million pounds to its committee on Local and Foreign Loans.

The committee is expected to report back to the Senate next week.

Last week, President Buhari wrote to the National Assembly, seeking approval to borrow the sum of $4,054,476,863 billion and €710 million.

The President had explained that owing to “emerging needs”, there is a need to raise more funds for some “critical projects”.

This is not the first time President Buhari is writing to the National Assembly to request approval for external loans this year.

In May, he requested the sum of N2.343 trillion which according to him, was meant to part-finance the budget deficit of N5.602 trillion in the 2021 budget.

Buhari Approves Health Reform Committee, Names Osinbajo Chairman

President Muhammadu Buhari with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at a virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in Abuja on September 1, 2021.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the creation of a Health Sector Reform Committee to partner with state governments and the FCT administration on how to develop the nation’s health sector.

The committee, to be chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, would undertake a review of all healthcare reforms adopted in the past two decades as well as lessons learnt, and factor them into the development of the new health sector reform programme.

Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement issued on Monday, noting that the committee would function for a period of six months.

Members of the committee will include private and public sector health care management professionals, development partners, representatives from the National Assembly, as well as the Nigeria Governors Forum among others.

“The committee will undertake a review of all healthcare reforms adopted in the past two decades and lessons learnt and factor them into the development of the new health sector reform programme,” the statement said.

“The committee which is set up for a period of six months under the chairmanship of Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has members drawn from private and public sector health care management professionals, development partners, representatives from the National Assembly, as well as the Nigeria Governors Forum among others.”

READ ALSO: Ifedayo Adetifa Replaces Ihekweazu As NCDC Director-General

The members include Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa; the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire; Director General of the Bureau for Public Enterprises, Alex Okoh; a Professor in Infectious Disease Epidemiology at University College London and Director of the UCL Institute for Global Health, Prof Ibrahim Abubakar among others.

According to Shehu, the setting up of the committee is sequel to a health sector diagnostic review report developed by a consultant, Vesta Healthcare Partners and the Federal Ministry of Health.

Vesta Healthcare Partners and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are to serve as resources persons and have observer roles in the committee.

Meanwhile, the President Buhari has also approved the appointment of Dr Ifedayo Adetifa as the new Director-General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Adetifa replaces former NCDC Chief, Chikwe Ihekweazu, who recently got a new job as the Assistant Director-General of Health Emergency Intelligence at the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Drugs Worth Over ₦100bn Seized, 1,630 Criminals Jailed – NDLEA Chairman

 

Since January 2021, drugs worth over ₦100billion have been seized and about 1,630 criminals arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

This is according to NDLEA Chairman, General Buba Marwa.

Addressing journalists on Friday after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Gen Marwa who gave a brief of milestones attained since he became head of the NDLEA, said it is sad how low the nation had coped as regards the illegal use of drug.

“Nigeria has 10.6million cannabis users, this is the highest in the world, isn’t it sad?” the NDLEA Chairman asked rhetorically.

READ ALSO: 402 Cybercrime Suspects Arrested In Lekki In Three Months – EFCC

While noting that the cash accruing from the seizures has been sent to the Central Bank, the former military administrator believed a nation with such a high record of drug use should not be contemplating the legalisation of marijuana.

The NDLEA boss explained that scientists are yet to develop a way to make the Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) level in cannabis, drop to zero, and as such the recreational drug is still very harmful to health.

“It’s a danger to society and we must never allow its legalization,” Mr Marwa argued, adding that “this is something we need to kill.”

Cannabis legalisation

According to the NDLEA Chairman, legalization of cannabis is something that the legislature will never agree to because the lawmakers know the implications of such an action.

“We can never support legalisation and I don’t see how the National Assembly will pass the act because I know 90 percent or more of the honourables and distinguished members in the National Assembly know the implications of their legislation.

“They dare not go back to their constituencies if anyone signs the legislation because we are seeing the implications on the ground, the youths, the families all being destroyed because of cannabis and drugs,” Mr Marwa emphasised.

Debates regarding a proposed legalization of cannabis in Nigeria have from time to time been brought to the fore especially since President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Gen. Marwa as NDLEA Chairman earlier in the year.

The retired brigadier general who was a former Military Administrator of Lagos State has since taking office, stood his grounds against the legalisation of marijuana.

In opposing the demands for the approval of cannabis in Nigeria, Marwa would always argue that the nation cannot afford to mortgage the lives of the citizens for financial gains.

For the NDLEA Chairman, the agency will continue to burn down marijuana farms and prosecute whoever is caught doing the business.

‘I Am Anxious For Your Success’: Buhari Endorses Uba For Anambra Election

President Muhammadu Buhari presents APC flag to the party’s candidate in Anambra State, Senator Andy Uba in Abuja on August 31, 2021. Credit: State House

 

Ahead of the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State, President Muhammadu Buhari has received the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Andy Uba.

The President said he is anxious for the party’s success in the election.

“I am happy to formally welcome you. I certainly wish you the best of luck. I’m anxious for your success, and will closely follow,” Buhari was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his spokesman, Femi Adesina.

President Buhari met Uba on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja along with APC Caretaker and Convention Planning Committee and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni.

Five other governors were also present at the meeting.

READ ALSO: Politicians Use Judiciary As Platform For Supremacy Tussle – Ogunye

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Senator Uba said he was surprised at the endorsement of President Buhari.

Uba noted that the President said he has been looking forward to seeing him as the party’s candidate and would closely monitor the situation with the hope that Anambra would be an APC state.

He said there have been meetings between the Uba family and the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma to straighten grey areas.

“Well, we have been talking with the governor of Imo, can tell you that we have had meetings; we’ve agreed on what am I going to do? That’s why I said, there are many things you can say he agreed on what we’re going to do. So let the Governor explain to you what you’ve done,” he said.

“Well, if you talk about being divided, we are not divided. And I will tell you for sure that we are not divided. At the end, everybody will see that we are not divided. We’re going to win Anambra state,  APC will win Anambra states under me.”

While affirming to have a cordial relationship with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, Uba said his family is not divided.

On his part, Governor Uzodinma maintained that the APC is united with a single sense of purpose of winning the upcoming governorship election in November.

 

See photos below:

 

Buhari Announces ₦287bn NNPC Profit After Tax For 2020

A photo released by the State House on August 16, 2021 showing President Muhammadu Buhari signing the Petroleum Industry Bill into law. Bayo Omoboriowo/State House
President Muhammadu Buhari signing the Petroleum Industry Bill into law. (File Photo)

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has announced the declaration of a Profit after Tax (PAT) of N287billion in the year 2020 by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

According to a communique by his special media aide, Femi Adesina, the President’s announcement is in fulfillment of an earlier pledge by the Federal Government to publicly declare the financial position of the NNPC.

Adesina’s statement notes that Buhari has disclosed a Net Profit, making it the first time in the 44-year history of the establishment.

According to the President, who doubles as Minister for Petroleum Resources, “I am pleased to announce the declaration of Profit after Tax of Two Hundred and Eighty-Seven Billion Naira (N287 Billion) in Year 2020 by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

This is sequel to the completion of the statutory Annual Audit exercise for Year 2020.

Read Also: Nigeria’s GDP Records 5% Growth For Second Quarter

“The NNPC losses were reduced from N803 Billion in year 2018 to N1.7 Billion in year 2019 and the eventual declaration of Net Profit in Year 2020 for the first time in its 44-year history.

“This development is consistent with this administration’s commitment to ensuring prudent management of resources and maximization of value for the Nigerian people from their natural resources.

“I have further directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to timely publish the Audited Financial statements in line with the requirements of the law and as follow up to our commitment to ensuring transparency and accountability by public institutions.”

President Buhari congratulated the Board, Management and Staff of the Corporation, adding that he looks forward to greater value creation for the Nigerian people.