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Daily Archives: November 4, 2019

Border closure: Goods coming into Nigeria must have 30% local input – FG

The Federal Government has said that goods coming into the country must have 30 per cent local input.

The government also stated that ECOWAS countries must respect rules of origin, vowing that Nigeria will no longer tolerate repackaging of imported goods.

These were some of the conditions handed down to ECOWAS countries clamouring the re-opening of the land borders which were shut over smuggling of rice, guns and other contrabands into Nigeria from the neighbouring countries.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama said this during the meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Temporary Partial Closure of Land Borders held at the ministry on Monday.

He maintained that goods imported for the Nigerian market must be escorted directly from the port of member states directly to the borders.

With Buhari as petroleum minister, there are no more oil billionaires —Nuhu Ribadu

The former chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Nuhu Ribadu has admonished Gombe State commissioner designates, Special Assistants, and Permanent Secretaries to make a personal commitment not to tamper with public funds.

Ribadu stated this on Monday at the commencement of a two-day retreat for commissioner designates, Special Assistants, and Permanent Secretaries, where he delivered a keynote presentation on anti-corruption and good governance.

He said corruption is the cause of Nigeria’s underdevelopment, lack of power and poverty.

He noted that since President Muhammadu Buhari became the substantive minister of petroleum, corruption has been reduced to the barest minimum in the petroleum sector.

“Make a personal vow not to steal public funds. You can’t stop corruption in the police when the civil service is still corrupt. Stop corruption and see what will happen in the society. Corruption erodes trust in leadership. A leader with soiled hands has no moral right to question his subordinates.

“For you, all this is, is a stepping stone. You must not fall for the banana peel thereby denting yourself. EFCC, NFIU are capable and they can see you. They have the infrastructure to track every single penny stolen from the government. Things have changed, and the world has changed, so let us also change.

“Since President Buhari took over as the minister of petroleum. I have not seen people become billionaires from oil business because there is a leader who is not corrupt ” he said.

Also speaking at the event, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha said that for Gombe State government to succeed in internal security, it must work closely with traditional institutions.

Mustapha said, “Let me urge the government of Gombe State to work closely with traditional institutions for the purpose of entrenching the policies of Federal government in the area of community policing. We must return to it if we have the desire to protect our communities”.

Obono-Obla carried out 50 illegal investigation – Malami

Okoi Obono-Obla, former chairman of the Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), has been accused of carrying out illegal investigations while he held the office.

This accusation was made in a report by Abubakar Malami, the attorney-general of the federation (AGF), submitted to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

Upon his sack in August, Malami was asked to take over the office, and look into several petitions raised against him.

According to The Nation, Malami, in his report, alleged that two cases were officially referred to the SPIP, but Obono-Obla went ahead to investigate 50 cases without authorisation.

“Contrary to the fact that the Panel is an investigative panel by its enabling law, which lacks prosecutorial powers, Mr. Obla has unlawfully engaged lawyers to file charges against suspects without any recourse to the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation,” the letter read.

“Your Excellency may recall the unauthorised investigation of several judges, initiated by Mr. Obla through the issuance of notices to them to declare their assets, an obligation which these Honourable Judges had hitherto complied with through the authorised agency – the Code of Conduct Bureau.

“This impudent and embarrassing action incurred the disapproval of Your Excellency, the Vice President and the subsequent suspension of the Chairman, Mr. Obla in 2017 via the State House letter Ref No. SH/OVP/DCOS/FMJ/0424 dated 20 October 2017 ‘Annexure L’ and further necessitated my office writing to the Honourable Judges to recall the said notices.

“This singular act by the Chairman of the Panel could easily have been misconstrued as a form of intimidation and interference by the Executive on the Judiciary, contrary to the principles of separation of power.

“It is evident from the present petitions and several other petitions that the Chairman of the Panel has not in any form complied with the enabling law of the Panel as communicated to him, reneged with the directives of the Presidency with grave and audacious impunity. Indeed, none of the investigations appear to have been authorised by the Presidency, a clear contravention of the Panel’s enabling law.”

The probe of alleged wrongdoings in the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) led to Obono-Obla’s sack.

On Sunday, he wrote to Buhari, accusing Osinbajo’s office of persecuting him for being loyal to the president.

Obono-Obla had gone into hiding since the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) declared him wanted.

Appeal Court sacks APC Reps majority leader

The Court of Appeal sitting in Kaduna has nullified the election of Alhassan Doguwa, the house of representatives majority leader from Kano state.

At its sitting on Monday, the court ruled that the election that produced Doguwa, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was marred by irregularities.

It ordered that a fresh poll be conducted in the Tudunwada/Doguwa federal constituency,

Yusha’u Salisu, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the election, had gone to the election petition tribunal to challenge Doguwa’s victory on the grounds of alleged irregularities.

The tribunal, however, dismissed his petition after ruling that he failed to prove the allegations against the APC lawmaker’s election.

But in an unanimous judgement, the court of appeal set aside the tribunal’s judgement and held that there were indeed irregularities in the poll.

It also held that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) erred to have omitted other parties while declaring the final results of the election.

It subsequently ordered the commission to conduct a fresh poll in the constituency within 90 days.

Doguwa’s loss comes days after an appellate court also nullified the election of another top APC lawmaker in the lower legislative chamber.

The court sacked Jibrin Abdulmumin on the grounds that the final result contained in Form EC (8)E was mutilat

Buhari signs PSC bill into law

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the bill seeking to amend the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin production sharing contract (DOIBPSC) Act into law.

The bill seeks to amend the act by reviewing the sharing formula to accrue more benefits to the federal government.

Nigeria is projected to earn an additional income of $1.4 billion annually from international oil companies operating in the country if the bill seeking to amend a particular section of the act is passed into law.

Buhari signed the much anticipated law from his residence in the UK where he is on a private visit.

Writing via his Twitter handle, he described the new law as “a landmark moment for Nigeria”.

Although Nigeria signed the first set of PSCs in 1993, while the DOIBPSC was enacted in 1999, failure to review the PSC act has reportedly caused the country to lose about $28 billion.

The amendment of section 16 of the production sharing contract act would generate at least $500 million as additional revenue for the federal government in 2020, and an estimated $1.4 billion as from 2021.

In a separate statement, the presidency quoted Buhari as saying with the new law, Nigeria will now receive its “fair, rightful and equitable share of income from our own natural resources for the first time since 2003″

“All this time Nigeria has failed to secure its equitable share of the proceeds of oil production, for all attempts to amend the law on the distribution of income have failed. That is, until today,” he said.

“Rapid reductions in the cost of exploration, extraction and maintenance of oil fields had occurred over these 25 years, at the same time as sales prices have risen.

“A combination of complicity by Nigerian politicians and feet-dragging by oil companies has, for more than a quarter-century, conspired to keep taxes to the barest minimum above $20 per barrel – even as now the price is some three times the value.

“Today this changes. For the first time under our amended law, 200 million Nigerians will start to receive a fair return on the surfeit of resources of our lands. Increased income will allow for new hospitals, schools, infrastructure and jobs.”

The president added that the amendment signals the beginning of beneficial relationship with oil company partners: “one that benefits all – starting with the Nigerian people”.


Sowore rejects Apostle Suleman’s surety offer

The legal team of Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore, has rejected a possible offer by President, Omega Fire Ministries Worldwide, Apostle Johnson Suleman, to stand surety for the detained activist.

Suleman had in a tweet on Monday expressed concerns that though Sowore had hurt many people in the past — including Suleman himself — he is of the opinion that Sowore should not be allowed to “rot where he is.”

However, one of Sowore’s lawyers, Inibehe Effiong, said  that Suleman was not eligible to stand surety for the detained activist.

Effiong said the court was clear that the surety must be resident in Abuja.

He further stated that the cleric had been involved in a public spat with Sowore and therefore, there was conflict of interest.

The lawyer said the challenge Sowore had was that the Federal Government had seriously politicised the matter thereby discouraging people from standing surety for his client.

Effiong, however, said he was confident that the activist would meet his bail conditions soon.

He said, “His (Suleman’s) offer cannot be considered let alone accepted. The man who is making the offer is on record of having had a public altercation with Sowore. So, there will be no basis for Sowore to consider it.

“The court stated that the surety must be resident in Abuja and the last time I checked, he was not resident in Abuja. So, I am not sure he is eligible to stand surety for him. So there is no way Sowore can accept such an offer.

“So, we are turning it down and we are not even considering it. The way the Federal Government politicised the matter, made it difficult for the bail conditions to be met. But we are in the process of perfecting the bail.”

Sowore had in a report published through his platform, accused Suleman of engaging in extra-marital affairs with a woman known as Stephanie Otobo.

The activist, who is the Convener of #RevolutionNow, was arrested by the Department of State Services on August 2, 2019, for allegedly trying to overthrow the President Muhammadu Buhari government.

The activist, who was the Presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, has remained in the custody of the DSS ever since.

Kidnapping is a business impossible to end, says Wike

Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers state, says it is impossible to put an end to kidnapping in the country because it has become a business.

Wike said this on Monday when received a delegation of Rotary International District 9141 in his office in Port Harcourt.

The governor said the menace is “negatively affecting all states of the federation”, adding that “it cannot be totally eradicated”.

“It is now impossible to stop kidnapping in Nigeria. It is now a business. It has been commercialised,” he said.

“It is now a major business. Everyone must partner with the government to ensure that we reduce it to the barest minimum. But it cannot be totally eradicated.

“Look at what is happening across the country. Kidnapping has taken over all states. When it started here, it was politicised. But today, it is negatively affecting all states of the federation.

“A few days ago, a court of appeal judge was kidnapped in Benin. Before that, a federal high court judge was kidnapped. All of us must work together to stop this scourge.”

The governor asked citizens to mindful of their environment and take measures to secure their themselves and their family from kidnappers.