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House of Representatives, Monday, summoned the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emiefele for an explanation over N32. 5 billion said to have been paid to two companies, Messrs GSCL Consulting and Biz Plus without formal documentation.

Others summoned also were the Auditor General for the Federation, the Accountant General of the Federation, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Managing Directors of Exxon Mobil and Nigeria Agip Oil Company.

The summons was handed down by the chairman of the Ad-hoc committee of the House providing the alleged loss of 48 million barrels of crude oil worth over 2 billion dollars, Hon. Mark Gbillah at its resumed hearing.

Also summoned were Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) over unremitted 1.67 billion dollars just as the former Attorney General of the Federation, AGF Abubakar Malami (SAN) was also resummoned by the committee.

According to Gbillah, available records revealed that CBN paid N16.5 billion each to the two companies on the same day contrary to Malami’s earlier submission that he didn’t know about the payment.

He said: “Because of lack of response to the committee invitations, summon had to be issued by the House to the Managing Director of Nigeria Agip Oil Company, Minister of Foreign Affairs, SNEPCO and SPDC, Auditor General for the Federation, Central Bank Governor because of their lack of appearance to issues requested by the House, GSCL Consulting Limited and Bizplus with regard to payment of N16. 5 billion on the same day.

“So clerk you do a letter to AGF to avail us the detail of the approval for the engagement of the legal team and the related companies to carry out this investigation and provide us details of that legal team.

“In the letter, you request that the former AGF, former DG NIMASA also provide information on the status of this investigation and they will be invited in line with the submission of the report.”

Gbillah also expressed displeasure with the representative of Shell Petroleum Development Company who identified himself as Igo Weli for lack of proper supervision.

Responding to an earlier remark by the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Bashir Yusuf Jamoh who appeared before the committee about a $1.7 billion judgement sum still outstanding for the Nigerian government to claim from a company that was found guilty of making false declaration about the crude oil taken away from the country, Gbillah said the money belonged to the Nigerian people.

“There exists about 9 other cases with regard to the alleged theft of Nigerian crude. This issue is not in our imagination.

“There is a formal legal judgement on this issue and there are cases still pending with regard to Nigerian crude. I call on the Tinubu administration, relevant stakeholders and the anti-graft agencies to realize that Nigerians are waiting for an explanation regarding why the $1.7 billion has not been recovered from Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept with regard to the judgement against them since 2020.

“This is money that belongs to all Nigerians and we expect that it should be appropriately accounted for”, he said.

Speaking with newsmen thereafter, the NIMASA DG further said that the agency was monitoring all the cases in court.

He said “In 2013, when the revenue profile was low, NIMASA was directed from the Attorney General’s office to coordinate two technical teams to source data on the actual lifting of crude oil and the last destination point to see if there are any discrepancies.

“We discovered some discrepancies and worked with the legal team to look into the findings. From the findings, the legal team again discovered ten companies liable of under declaration.

“We instituted cases against those companies. Most of the cases are still in court. We won one of those cases and a directive was given by the court that $ 1.7 billion dollars be paid to the government.

“NIMASA and the Attorney General’s office continued to monitor the team of lawyers and in January this year, I wrote to them requesting for an update on the cases in court. What we discovered is that some cases on appeal and for such cases, the legal team is working on that, while still following up on the ones still at the lower court.

“These cases are not instituted in Nigeria, but the destination where the criminal acts were committed.

“The straight answer is that these cases are still in court and we have those that have not reached the stage of appeal yet. It is not only NIMASA and the Attorney General’s office that is interested in this matter. The EFCC is also interested because I know that they have been going about to investigate and make sure that the companies involved are brought to book”, he said.

The National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, has replied to the suit brought against it by the Governor of Enugu State, Peter Mbah, over his controversial discharge certificate.

They submitted to the court documentary proof affirming its stand that it did not issue the certificate in Mbah’s possession.

The NYSC’s deposition at the Federal High Court, Abuja, made by its Assistant Director in the Corps Certification Department, Mrs. Rhoda Dawa, revealed that the discharge certificate that Governor Mbah claimed was issued to him did not emanate from the NYSC.

The documents submitted by the NYSC to the Court include the alleged forged certificate Mbah submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, a photocopy of the original copy of the certificate that was to be issued to Mbah, a date sheet showing where discharged corps members signed for their certificates, another data sheet with the names of unclaimed certificates, official circulars authorising the destruction of unclaimed certificates, photographs of the incineration of the unclaimed discharge certificates, samples of the NYSC discharge certificates during the period the Governor was supposed to have performed his compulsory national service, Police and Directorate of State Services letters of investigation, among others.

In his court filings, Governor Mbah claimed that he completed his national youth service and was issued a discharge certificate.

Recall that the Governor had taken the NYSC to Court, claiming N20 billion for what he described as conspiracy, deceit, and misrepresentation of facts.

Besides N20 billion damages, Mbah also wants the Court to declare that he participated in the NYSC scheme for one calendar year via a call-up letter numbered FRN/2001/800351 with the Lagos code LA/01/1532.

He also argued that the declaration must state that he was issued a certificate of national service numbered A808297 upon completing his service year in 2003.

However, the NYSC, in its deposition, insisted that the Enugu State governor did not complete his service year and that the body did not issue the certificate of discharge he paraded.

To buttress its claim, the NYSC filed as evidence, the data sheet where Mbah was to have signed and collected his discharge certificate, averring that while the certificate presented by the Enugu governor bears the serial number A808297, the one prepared for him, but which he did not collect, bore the serial number, 673517.

In what looks like forensic evidence, the NYSC referred to the calligraphic writing on Mbah’s certificate and stated that the writing style on the Governor’s certificate differed from the one on all other certificates issued to discharged corps members during his batch.

Explaining that the corps directorate hired one person for the calligraphic writings on all certificates, it insisted that there was no way Mbah’s own could be different from those of other corps members that passed out during the same period.

The NYSC also stated that contrary to Mbah’s claim that his probable date of discharge was September 15, 2002, his probable date of discharge upon completing his programme at the Nigerian Law School was September 15, 2003.

It was further averred that the NYSC did not issue Peter Mbah any discharge certificate because he did not complete his service year, even when he was mobilised for the same, and that the discharge certificate prepared for him was later returned to the NYSC headquarters, along with other unclaimed certificates, after which it was destroyed along with other unclaimed certificates, in the presence of security operatives.

“The 1” Respondent’s (NYSC) National Directorate Headquarters issued the Certificates for the Members of the Service Corps in Lagos State, including the Certificate of the Applicant, using a Certificate Issuance Register. The register indicated the basic data of the Members of the Service Corps, including their State Code, name, Call-Up Number, and Certificate Number in serial form. A copy of the relevant page of the Certificate Issuance Register at the National Directorate Headquarters, showing the Applicant in asterisks with Certificate Number 673517, is attached herewith and marked as Exhibit ‘NYSC 5’.

“Following the 1″ Respondent’s Top Management’s directive on August 18 2021, all the outdated, unused, and cancelled Certificates of National Service and Certificates of Exemption, Certificates of absconded Members of the Service Corps, including the Applicant’s Certificate Number A673517 which he was not available to collect, have been disposed of by incineration,” the NYSC said in its deposition.

Violence Marred Presidential Election In Rivers – Witness

A witness called by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the last presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, Ibrahim Hamza has told the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) that the candidate of the Labour Party (LP) did not win in Nasarawa State.

Hamza, who said he acted as PDP’s State Collation Agent (SCA) during the election, claimed that Obi would not have won his state if the election was free and fair.

The witness, who claimed to have signed the result sheet under duress, confirmed that by the scores allocated to parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Obi won the state.

“I am not happy with the result. I don’t want the court to accept this result. Labour Party cannot come first in Nasarawa State. That is impossible. We have the authentic result. It is with the National Collation Agent (of the PDP),” the witness said.

When asked if the said National Collation Agent was still alive, the witness said he did not know.

The witness said he signed a clean copy of the result sheet, which he claimed was later mutilated after he had signed, alleging that all the cancellations in the result sheet occurred after he had signed.

Hamza, who was testifying as the 10th petitioners’ witness (PW10) said these while being cross-examined by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), lawyer to President Bola Tinubu.

He told the court that, although he did not know the percentage of votes that Atiku scored in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), he was satisfied that the PDP candidate met all the constitutional requirements and provisions to be returned as the winner of the presidential election.

Under cross-examination by lawyer to INEC, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN), Hamza said he voted during the election after being duly accredited by INEC officials. He said election results were duly computed, but we’re not uploaded electronically as required.

The witness, who said his party had agents in all the polling units across the state, said: “It was at the point of uploading that the system failed. It happended, not only in my polling units, but also in others around the state.”

Under cross-examination by lawyer to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adeniyi Akintola (SAN)

Hamza, who said he was not present at all the polling units during the election, told the court that he visited about 50 to 60 polling units in four wards.

Another witness, Abraham David (PW9), while being cross-examined by lawyer to INEC, Abdullahi Aliyu (SAN) said although Atiku scored 15percent of the votes in the FCT, he is entitled to be returned as winner, because even Tinubu who did not score 25percent in the FCT was declared the President.

David, who said he acted as PDP’s Collation Agent at the FCT, said his party had agents in all polling units who informed him about what happened in those polling units.

The witness, under cross-examination by Olujinmi, said although he claimed, in his statement, that INEC collated unlawful votes, he failed to include the figure of the votes he claimed were unlawfully collated in his statement.

David, who also claimed that INEC officials did not perform their constitutional responsibilities during the election, said he could not identify the said officials by name.

PW 8, Mohammed Madaki, who said it was the law that a candidate who did not score 25percent in the FCT cannot be declared President, noted that since Atiku did not score 25percent in the FCT he was not entitled to be declared President.

Under cross-examination by Aliyu, the witness said he did not witness all the cases of malpractices he claimed in his statement, but that his party’s agents at the polling units witnessed what transpired.

While being cross-examined by lawyer to the APC, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), Madaki said he has lived in the Abuja for about 35 years and that the FCT was the same as other states in the country.

Madaki, who claimed to have written his statement by himself was however unable tell the meaning of the word: “conscientiously,” which was used in the statement.

When asked by Fagbemi to tell the court the meaning of conscientiously, Madaki said: “I can’t remember.”

Former Minister of Transportation, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, who featured as PW 7 said he acted as PDP’s State Collation Agent in Rivers State during the election.

Sekibo said he voted after he was duly accredited, noting that although his state has over 6000 polling units, he visited about 20.

Under cross-examination by Mahmoud, the witness said although he claimed, in his statement, that people were prevented from voting in eight LGAs, he was not present at all the LGAs, but only got information from his party’s agents.

Sekibo said results were not uploaded as required in the polling units he visited and was also told that similar incident occured in other polling units across the state.

When asked to identify the alleged agents of Tinubu and the APC he claimed caused the disturbance that made it impossible for people to vote, Sekibo said he did not know them by name. He said he concluded based on the way the people acted.

Under cross-examination by Fagbemi, Sekibo admitted nit including in his statement the figure allocated to the PDP as its score for the election.

He said the agents of his party, who were assigned to all the polling units are still alive.

Further hearing in the petition has been fixed for 9 am on Tuesday.

Following the hike in transport fare, occasioned by fuel subsidy removal, the Kwara State government has reduced the working days to three days per week.

The state’s Head of Service, Mrs Susan Oluwole announced the palliative in a statement on Monday.

The statement signed by Oluwole’s press secretary, Murtala Atoyebi reads: “The Kwara State Government has taken temporary measures to ease the burden of public workers in the State following the astronomical hike in transport fare.

“The State Head of Service, Mrs Susan Modupe Oluwole announced today that the State Governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has directed that the work days be reduced from five days to three days per week for every worker.

“She explained that the measure was to relieve the state workers of the hardship being experienced as a result of the fuel subsidy removal announced by the Federal Government.

“Mrs Oluwole directed all Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the State to immediately work out a format indicating the alternating work days for each worker under them.

“The Head of Service however, warned the workers not to abuse the magnanimity of the Governor, stressing that the regular monitoring of MDAs by her office would be intensified to ensure strict compliance.”

The 16 abducted church worshippers who remained in captivity in Kaduna State, were released by their abductors on Sunday, after a Muslim community paid money and bought a motorcycle for the bandits.

It could be recalled that 40 worshippers were abducted by bandits at Bege Baptist Church, Madala near Buruku in Chikun local government area of Kaduna state during a Sunday service on May 7, 2023.

Some had managed to escape and returned home leaving the remaining 16 in the hands of the bandits.

Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Kaduna State, Rev John Joseph Hayab, told journalists in Kaduna on Monday that they were full of gratitude to the Muslim community in the area, who assisted before the captives regained freedom.

According to him, “the Muslim community where the worshippers were abducted contributed money and bought a motorcycle as part of ransom required for the release of their Christian brothers and sisters in captivity.”

“This goes to show good, caring and sincere neighbours that practically showed concern to the plight of their brothers and sisters that were abducted and their sincere wish that they return home to live together with them in peace and harmony.”

“The exemplary life shown by the Muslim community in Madala should be emulated by all in other parts of the state for a united and peaceful coexistence that is needed for the overall development of the state,” he said.

“The Muslim community has shown that one does not need to be educated before doing the needful. Nigerians from all walks of life should be their brothers keepers in order to eliminate all forms of insecurity in every part of the country,” he said.

The 16 freed worshippers have reunited with their families while those with injuries were in hospital receiving treatment.

Mrs Oluremi Tinubu, the wife of President Bola Tinibu, Monday in Abuja, assumed office as Nigeria’s First Lady.

Mrs Tinubu who arrived at the First Lady’s wing was accompanied by her security aides.

The first lady on arrival, was received by the Permanent Secretary of the State House, Mr Tijjani Umar and other Heads of Units in the First Lady’s Office.

Mrs Tinubu was therefore guided on a tour of offices within the First Lady’s wing, comprising the Administrative, ICT, Catering, Media and Protocol Units.

Mrs Tinubu was born on Sept. 21, 1960, to Itsekiri’s mother and Yoruba’s father.

She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from the University of Ife and has undertaken several courses in some higher institutions.

She served as the wife of the Lagos State Governor between 1999 and 2007 and thereafter was elected Senator representing Lagos Central in the Senate.

Mrs Tinubu executed many philanthropic activities to alleviate the plight of vulnerable people in her Constituency.

A suit filed by Festus Keyamo, SAN, seeking investigation of former vice president and 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, for alleged corruption has been dismissed by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

Keyamo, a former campaign spokesperson for President Bola Tinubu, had accused Atiku of using ‘Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs)’ to corruptly enrich himself while he was vice president of Nigeria between 1999 and 2007.

The former Minister of State for Labour relied on an affidavit allegedly deposed to by Atiku’s former media aide, Michael Achimugu, against his former boss in filing his suit.

He wanted the court to compel anti-corruption agencies in the country to investigate Atiku for his alleged corrupt activities.

But Keyamo, in statement by his lawyer on Monday, revealed why his case was dismissed and vowed to appeal it.

“Earlier today, a Federal High Court in Abuja dismissed the case filed by Festus Keyamo, SAN, CON, against the candidate of the PDP in the last Presidential Election, Alhaji ATIKU Abubakar over the SPV saga principally because the court was of the opinion that the law-enforcement agencies were not given enough time to commence investigations before the suit was filed, amongst other sundry reasons,” Keyamo’s lawyer, John Ainetor, said.

“Our client respectfully disagrees with the reasons for the said decision because the law-enforcement agencies did not indicate their willingness to commence investigations, even if they were given more time. We want to establish a legal principle that the society cannot wait as infinitum for law-enforcement agencies to do their statutory duties.

“The suit was designed to prompt the agencies to show their READINESS to investigate. We are immediately filing an appeal against the said decision to the Court of Appeal as the struggle on this issue continues.”

Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has described leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress as mercenaries of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Peter Obi.

Fani-Kayode said this on Monday in a statement he personally signed.

He stated, “The leadership of the NLC did not threaten to go on strike during the politically-motivated, unconstitutional and illegal cash confiscation and money deprivation policy that resulted in the suffering, hunger, destruction, death, hardship, depression, frustration, madness and despair of millions of our people.

“Instead they are threatening to go on strike over the implementation of a well-thought out and credible policy on oil subsidy which the Nigerian people endorsed by voting for a President who promised to remove it and which;

“…though initially tough, will inevitably and eventually result in the restoration and resurrection of our economy and ensure that we have the necessary funds and resources for massive infrastructural development.

“Is this not strange and is it not a reflection of the insincerity, double standards and hypocrisy of the leadership of the Labour Congress?

“Does it not prove the fact they are acting out a script and that they are nothing more than a pack of implacable adversaries, insidious subversives and opportunistic mercenaries who are in the hands and power of Peter Obi?

“If Peter orders them to jump they will ask, “Bwana, how high?” Yet the truth is that whether the NLC likes it or not the oil subsidy MUST and WILL go.

“That is the only way to save our country from the fiscal challenges, rot and deterioration that it has suffered over the last 15 years and put us back on the right track for national development,” he said.

A former Head of Service of the Federation, Stephen Oronsaye, has been discharged and acquitted of the N2 billion fraud charge filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Oronsaye was in 2015 arraigned alongside the Managing Director of Frederick Hamilton Global Services Limited, Osarenkhoe Afe on allegations of corruption.

They were accused of using two companies – Frederick Hamilton Global Services Limited, and Xangee Technologies Limited – for dubious biometrics enrolment in the N2 billion fraud.

However, during the ruling on Monday, the court discharged and acquitted Oronsaye of the charges levelled against him by the anti-graft agency.

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja in his judgment held that the prosecution failed to provide enough evidence to warrant a conviction.

The court held that no credible evidence was presented by the 21 witnesses called by the EFCC.

The Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, has denied endorsing former Abia governor, Sen.Orji Uzor Kalu as its preferred candidate for the Senate Presidency of the 10th National Assembly.

Alhaji Musa Saidu, a member of the forum said this in a statement on Monday in Abuja.

Saidu was reacting to a statement created to Alhaji Yerima Shettima, the leader of the Arewa Youth Conservative Forum, AYCF, claiming that the ACF had endorsed Kalu for the position.

“I want to say without fear of contradiction, that the ACF has no youth wing and there was no time that we sat to make Shettima the AYCF leader.

“The whole thing is false.

“The ACF has not endorsed Kalu as the next Senate President, because we have our own ways of doing things.

“It is shocking to hear Shettima asking Sen. Abdulaziz Yari to step down for Kalu in the race for Senate Presidency,” he said.

Saidu, also the leader of the Arewa Community in Southern Nigeria, said that the ACF would have preferred that the position be zoned to the North because of its contribution to the victory of President Bola Tinubu in the Feb. 25 election.

“The North contributed the highest votes for Tinubu in the presidential election, so we can’t just endorse candidates from other zones for the Senate Presidency.

“How can we work for Tinubu to become president and then turn around to start campaigning for other zones to become Senate President.

“In fact the Vice-President slot given to the North is just like a spare tyre, everybody in Nigeria knows that the position has no much value.

“Since the North West gave Tinubu the highest votes, then it should be given the Senate Presidency, the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives is too small for the zone,” he said.

Saidu added: ”It is a payback time for the North, so it should be given the Senate Presidency of the 10th National Assembly.

“For fairness and justice, the North should be considered for the Senate Presidency and Sen. Abdulaziz Yari should be endorsed for the position.”

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