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Daily Archives: December 2, 2019

Fantastic! Trump praises Nigerian-born artist who drew his portrait

President Donald Trump has expressed delight at his portrait drawn by a Nigerian-born artist, creative_doks.

The artist had tweeted the American president’s portrait via his Twitter handle @Doks_Art on Sunday.

The artist did not hide his ambition: “This is my second portrait of President Trump. This time, I really want him to see it,” he confessed.










Explaining the details, the artist said the portrait was done in ballpoint, and that he spent about 70 hours to complete it.

The size is 24×21 inches, he added; and then begged his Twitter followers to retweet his tweet until it catches the attention of the American president.

On Monday, the tweet caught the attention of the president, who commended it, also via a tweet;and advised the artist to never give up his dream.

President Donald had tweeted:

Donald J. Trump


Not only did I see it @Doks_Art, I think it is fantastic. You are a wonderful artist, never give up your dream! 


This is my second portrait of President Trump. This time I really want him to see it. All done in ballpoint, took up to 70hours, ’24×21′ inches.
Please RT till the president sees this🙏🏽@realDonaldTrump @DonaldJTrumpJr @POTUS

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Alleged N424.3m tax evasion: Contractor urges FIRS to investigate oil firm

The Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) has been charged to investigate an allegation of tax evasion by an oil company, Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited (HEOSL), running into several millions of naira.

Sounding the alarm in a petition addressed to the Chairman of the FIRS, a service-provider company to HEOSL, Eraskorp Nigeria Limited, alleged that the oil company had been deducting with-holding taxes meant for the company since 2017 to 2019, but had failed to remit same to the FIRS.

According to the petition, signed by a Director in Eraskorp, Richard Ogugu, a total sum of N169,986,341.55 and USD $706,680.00 had been deducted by HEOSL between 20th Jan, 2018 and 27th Mar, 2019 from the company’s paid, it however added that the oil company had since refused make prove of payments to the FIRS available to it.

Eraskorp, according to the petition, did a facility protection contract for HEOSL between January 2018 and March 2019, on the OML 30 facilities in Delta state, adding that it complied with statutory demands that it remits it’s with-holding taxes, which it did by allowing the oil company to deduct the taxes at source, with the understanding that same would be remitted to the federal government’s coffers through the FIRS.

It, however lamented that the failure of HEOSL to remit the taxes it had deduct from its payments at source, had impeded its chances of obtaining its tax clearance certificate, which is making it difficult for it to continue in business.

“Eraskorp Nigeria Limited had a facilities protection contract with HEOSL covering OML 30 between 2017 and 2019. In line with the statutory requirement that withholding tax is deducted at source, HEOSL deducted same from all payments made to us under the contract, but failed to remit same on our behalf to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

“It might interest you to note that the outstanding withholding taxes of N169, 986,341.55 (One Hundred and Sixty Nine Million, Nine Hundred and Eighty Six Thousand, Three Hundred and Forty One Naira, Fifty Five Kobo) and USD $706,680.00 (Seven Hundred and Six Thousand, Six Hundred and Eighty Dollars) deducted from our paid invoices between 20th Jan, 2018 and 27th Mar, 2019 are yet to be remitted on our behalf to FIRS by HEOSL.

“We have made several demands that they furnish us with the evidence of payments in our favour but all our efforts have been unfruitful. Please see attached the schedule of invoices upon which the deductions were made.

“Due to the failure of HEOSL to remit the said withholding taxes on our behalf, we have been unable to obtain our current tax clearance certificate which is a required document to conduct our business.

“In view of the foregoing, we urge you to most respectfully investigate our claims as contained in this petition as a matter of urgency, as the non-payment has caused us severe hardship, including our inability to participate on tenders. We thank you for your kind attention and do accept the assurance of our highest regards.

However, responding to the allegation in a telephone chat with The Nation on Monday admitted that the company had issues with its with-holding tax records, but also noted that the matter was already being sorted out with revenue authorities, adding that an agreeable term had been reached with revenue authorities to defray the alleged anomaly.

“I haven’t got all the facts to hand and I probably need may be about fifteen minutes to speak our finance person to get the latest, but what I can tell you is that there were some issues raised about our with-holding tax by the revenue so we had to go sort that out with the EFCC and our tax consultants and we entered a payment plan to clear the with-holding tax over a period of months.

“We captured a plan that is acceptable with the authorities. The settlement has been agreed with the revenue and it can be discharged over an agreed period of time,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu visits slain LASTMA officer’s family, vows to prosecute perpetrators


Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Monday issued a strong warning to those bent on attacking law enforcement agents.

Harsh punishment, Sanwo-Olu vowed, awaits anyone who attacks men of the State’s law enforcement agencies in the line of duty.

The Governor sent the warning on Monday at the residence of the late Ola Ganiyu Oyeshina – the slain officer of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), who died last Saturday after an attack on him by two trailer drivers in Sifax-Iganmu area of Apapa.

The late Oyeshina, 33, hailed from Osun State. He was said to be an orphan.

Sanwo-Olu led a delegation comprising his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, and members of the State Executive Council, on a condolence visit to the late Oyeshina’s family house on Oni Street in Surulere.

The Governor described the attack on the LASTMA officer as “mindless and callous”, saying the Government would “thoroughly prosecute” the arrested culprits to send a clear signal to those taking penchant in attacking law enforcement agents in the line of duty.

He wondered why some members of the public would take pride in brutalising those working to make the society better and safe. He vowed to make Lagos inhabitable for those inclined to disobey the State’s traffic laws.

He said: “This is a very sad development. We have lost a fine officer and gentleman, who was a victim of unnecessary attack in the line of duty. It is sad that our society has got to a level where people that commit their lives lawfully to helping us to live in a better society become victims of mindless brutality.

“As a Government, we are sending a strong signal to say enough is enough. In the last 48 hours, there has been heavy brutality on LASTMA officers while carrying out tasks assigned to them by the Government. We will not stop implementing our laws. We will do everything to ensure the perpetrators of this evil act are brought to book and get harsh punishment.”

The Governor advised residents to be law-abiding and engage security operatives with respect. He said the death of the LASTMA officer would not deter the State’s officials in carrying out their statutory duties.

Sanwo-Olu and his deputy personally met with the victim’s aged foster parents, Pa Oyewole Fashola and Mrs. Muslimat Fashola, and the rest of the family members.

Mrs. Fashola, who raised the deceased since he was 10 years old, said the death of late Oyeshina had put the family in shame, pleading with the Governor punish the perpetrators.

She thanked the Governor and his entourage for visiting the family, describing the gesture as act of responsibility.

Commissioner for Special Duties, Hon. Wale Ahmed, led a short prayer session held for the deceased at his family house.

Navy Capt Labinjo gets N10m bail after one year in underground cell

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday granted N10m bail to a naval captain, Dada Labinjo, said to have been in a naval underground detention for over a year.

Justice Muslim Hassan ordered Labinjo to produce one surety who must own a landed property in Lagos and must show evidence of three-year tax payment.

However, the judge ordered that Labinjo be released to his lawyer, Jerry Omoregie, pending when he would meet the bail conditions within 15 days.

The lawyer was directed to submit his Certificate of Call to Bar to the court’s registrar as a guarantee that he would produce his client for trial.

The bail followed Labinjo’s arraignment alongside others on two counts of dealing in petroleum products without lawful authority.

Among the other defendants was Labinjo’s wife, Bola Labinjo, a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission told the court that the defendants conspired among themselves between August and October 2018 to deal in Automobile Gas Oil (diesel), without the appropriate licence.

According to the EFCC, the defendants committed the offence “within the Nigerian maritime domain and the Gulf of Guinea.”

The prosecution said they acted contrary to sections 3(6) and 1((19)(a)(b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap. M17 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Revised Edition) 2004, and were liable to be punished under Section 1(17) of the same Act.

But they pleaded not guilty.

The other defendants were admitted to bail in terms similar to Labinjo’s.

El-Rufai signs N259bn Kaduna budget for 2020 into law

Nasir el Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, has signed the state’s 2020 budget of N259.25 billion into law.

Hadiza Balarabe, deputy governor of the state, had submitted the draft budget of N257.9 billion to the state assembly on October 15 but it was later increased to N259.25 billion.

El-Rufai said N184.1bn (71%) was earmarked for capital expenditure while N75.14 billion is for recurrent expenditure.

Capital expenditure on education and health constitute N75.44bn of the entire N184.1bn capital budget, while capital spending on infrastructure and housing will take N68.5bn

The governor described the budget as “reinforcing the government’s governance agenda to build human capital and promote equal opportunity”.

He said his administration has successfully aligned the fiscal and calendar years in the state for five consecutive years.

The governor commended the state house of assembly for cooperating with the executive arm of government to realise the administration’s policies and programmes.

He described the assembly as “the most productive in the history of the state”, saying that they had passed over 80 bills into law.

He also commended Aminu Shagali, speaker of the house, for working across party lines to improve the fortunes of the state.

He also thanked the deputy governor for working tirelessly to produce the draft budget estimates and for presenting the document to the assembly.

El-Rufai said his deputy is “the first woman and indeed the first deputy governor to present a draft budget in the history of the country.”

Court orders forfeiture of two houses belonging to Saraki in Kwara

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday secured an order of the Federal High Court in Lagos for the forfeiture of two houses in Ilorin, Kwara State belonging to a former Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

The EFCC told the court it uncovered monumental fraud perpetrated in the treasury of the Kwara State Government between 2003 and 2011, when Saraki was the governor of the state.

Saraki has denied the allegations and insisted he was a victim of an on going with hunt by the Buhari administration.

However, based on an ex parte application filed by the EFCC pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act No. 14, 2006, Justice Rilwan Aikawa ordered the temporary forfeiture of Saraki’s two properties designated as Plots No. 10 and No. 11 Abdulkadir Road, GRA, Ilorin, Kwara State.

An operative of the EFCC, Olamide Sadiq, said in an affidavit filed in support of the ex parte application that the move for the forfeiture of the houses followed the findings of the EFCC after investigation and “the report of a committee set up to review sales of Kwara State Government during the reign of the Governor of Kwara State in the year 2003 and 2011.”

He said the EFCC also received “a damning intelligence report, showing monumental fraud perpetrated in the treasury of the Kwara State Government between 2003 and 2011.”

Sadiq said, “Whilst the investigation was ongoing several fraudulent transactions were discovered.

“I know for a fact and verily believe that our investigation has revealed the following mind-boggling findings, among others:

“That between 2003 and 2011, Dr Olubukola Abubakar Saraki was the Executive Governor of Kwara State.

“That whilst he held the aforementioned position, the common pattern was that after payment of monthly allocation by the Federal Government to the Kwara State Government, a cumulative sum of not less than N100m will be deposited into the Kwara Government House account.

“That upon the payment of the said N100m, same will, in turn, be withdrawn in cash by one Mr Afeez Yusuf from the Kwara State Government House, Ilorin’s account in bits and brought to the Government House.”

The EFCC said it believed that Saraki developed the two properties with proceeds of unlawful activities.

Counsel for the commission, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, urged Justice Aikawa to order their temporary forfeiture to the Federal Government.

After granting the order as prayed, Justice Aikawa directed the EFCC to publish the temporary forfeiture order in a national newspaper and adjourned till December 17 for anyone interested in the properties to appear before him to show cause why the properties should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

No regrets siting transportation varsity in Daura – Amaechi

The Minister for Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, has said that he has no regrets siting the transportation university in Daura.

Amaechi said this at the commissioning of the Transportation University in Daura, Katsina State on Monday.

“When we sited the factory at Kajola, there was no noise, nobody debated about it, nobody abused us for it unlike the site for the university.

“Daura is in Nigeria, it is not in any other part of the world. It is not in Niger Republic, Biafra or Mali, it is in Nigeria. So, what is wrong in siting the university of transportation in Daura?

“I have no regret siting this university where I have sited it, it is not because I want to get any gain,” Amaechi said.

According to him, the establishment of the university was an attempt to respond to the question of how Nigeria will maintain infrastructure in the country.

He said, “It is my attempt at responding to the question of how to maintain and manage all the infrastructure we are building and realise that education is key.

“I engaged the companies, the first engagement was when they were constructing Lagos-Ibadan.

“They were not so keen at spending their funds to build a university in Nigeria until I refused to sign the contract for the Lagos to Ibadan railway.

“I insisted that I will only sign if three things were done.

“The first thing is to take our children to China and train them by giving them a first degree in railway technology.

“Today as I speak, 60 of our children are in their second year and we thank CCECC and 90 are on their way to China this week, making it 150.

“The second is that, if we must sign the purchase of locomotives in China, they must build a factory where we can construct coaches, locomotives and wagon and today at Kajola that factory is being constructed.

“Finally, I insisted on the university of transportation and today we are here for the groundbreaking of the university and for all we are grateful to CCECC and the Chinese government. (sic).”

The Minister commended the Governor of Katsina for the speed with which he donated the land for the project.

He said the land which is about 413 hectares was donated by the Katsina government and it has promised to increase it.


ICPC queries N5.6bn constituency projects budgets of justice, foreign affairs

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says it will probe the allocation of N5.6 billion to the ministries of foreign affairs and justice for the execution of zonal intervention projects.

The anti-graft agency said while N2.7 billion was allocated to the ministry of justice, N2.9 billion was allocated to the ministry of foreign affairs for constituency projects.

Speaking at a media roundtable in Abuja, Bolaji Owasanoye, ICPC chairman, said the alleged allocations showed some of the anomalies surrounding the implementation of constituency projects across the country.

He said projects designed to bring development to rural communities in the country have been included in the budgets of non-relevant ministries and agencies.

“What is constituency project doing in Foreign Affairs? We will ask questions with this kind of allocation,” Rasheedat Okoduwa, ICPC spokesperson, quoted the chairman as saying in a statement.

He said only about 60 percent of the constituency projects have been completed and that a lot of them were executed in shoddy ways “due to poor technical designs, impositions and other sundry irregularities”.

Owasanoye asked for the handover of zonal intervention projects to local government authorities upon completion for effective maintenance and sustainability of the projects.

“If somebody had nominated a project and succeeded in getting the project to the community, it is not the duty of the person to maintain it,” he said.

“Communities need to understand that it was public funds that were used. They need to take ownership. We recommend that the project needs to be handed over to the local government for the community to take over.”

Also speaking at the event, Garba Abari, director-general of National Orientation Agency (NOA), said the involvement of communities in the planning and execution of constituency projects will remove the issues of corruption and abuse.

Abari said this will ensure that the contractors do not use substandard materials for the projects.

Kano govt transmits fresh bill on creation of four new emirates

The Kano State executive council has transmitted to the state house of assembly, a bill for the creation of four additional emirates.

In a statement on Monday, Muhammad Garba, commissioner for information, said the bill endorsed the establishment of Rano, Gaya, Bichi and Karaye emirates.

He said the council had forwarded the bill to the state assembly for “necessary action”.

A high court in the state had earlier sacked the four new emirs appointed by Abdullahi Ganduje, the governor. They are: Aminu Ado Bayero (Bichi), Ibrahim Gaya (Gaya), Tafida Ila (Rano), and Ibrahim Abukakar (Karaye).

Usman Na’Abba, the presiding judge, held that the creation of four new emirates did not follow due process. He said the state assembly violated the provision of section 101 of the 1999 constitution while creating the emirates.

But Garba said the bill was amended in public interest following the court judgment. He added that the emirates pre-dated Kano in ancient times, while the effort to revive them during the second republic was short-lived.

He said while the council has discussed the “age-long clamour” for the establishment of additional emirates in the state with a view to bringing more development to the people of the new emirates.
Garba said the exercise was also informed by the need to bring the traditional institution closer to the people in addition to facilitating speedy socio-economic development and security in the state.

The council called on the state assembly to expedite action on the passage of the bill.
Garba had earlier said Ganduje administration would continue treating those sacked as first-class monarchs.
The creation of the emirates was believed to have been targetted at Muhammadu Sanusi, emir of Kano, for reportedly opposing the reelection of Abdullahi Ganduje, the governor.

PSC loses out as court upholds IGP’s power to recruit

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed the suit filed by the Police Service Commission (PSC), challenging the power of Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police, to recruit 10,000 police officers.

In his ruling on Monday, Inyang Ekwo, the presiding judge, held that the suit lacked merit.

The PSC had taken the police to court over the recruitment of 10,000 constables. Joined as defendants in the suit were the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), minister of police affairs and Abubakar Malami, attorney general of the federation (AGF).

The IGP and the commission have been at loggerheads over the recruitment of 10,000 constables into the force.

The crisis festered as the two parties could not agree on who has the mandate to carry out the exercise.

The commission prayed the court for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants from “appointing, recruiting or attempting to appoint or recruit by any means whatsoever any person into any office by the NPF pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”

PSC had submitted that none of the respondents is authorised by law to play any role “in the appointment, promotion, dismissal or exercise of disciplinary measures over persons holding or aspiring to hold offices in the Nigeria Police Force”.

Kanu Agabi, counsel representing PSC, in his argument, said there was no distinction between recruitment and appointment as claimed by the AGF’s counsel.

He added that there is no constitutional backing that empowers the IGP to recruit police officers.

Anthony Joshua floors sparring partners, sends them home

Ahead of his clash with Andy Ruiz, Anthony Joshua has reportedly floored his sparring partners and sent them home early.

Daily Mail reports that American heavyweight boxer, Timothy Moten, who has been in camp with Joshua for the past three months said this.

Moten is one of Joshua’s chief sparring partners ahead of the weekend’s showdown.

He said, “There have been guys here, I don’t want to say any names, but I’ve seen guys come into camp, get blown away and get sent home that same week.

“He’s dropped a few of his sparring partners and he’s rocked a lot.

“Joshua is by far the hardest hitter I’ve been in the ring with.”

Moten also believes that losing to Ruiz has woken up the ‘monster’ in Joshua.

“I think he may have needed that wake-up call. He needed to get that hunger back and I’m telling you, it’s there again,” the American says.

AJ, as he is popularly called has been in training as he bids to reclaim the WBA, WBO and IBF belts he lost to Ruiz back in June at Madison Square Garden, New York.

Anthony Joshua will face Andy Ruiz in the ring on Saturday, December 7.

Inmates electrocuted at Ikoyi Prison

Some inmates at Ikoyi Prison, now known as Ikoyi Custodial Centre, have been electrocuted.

TheCable understands that the incident took place on Monday morning. It is unclear the number of inmates who were affected but there are reports that while five inmates lost their lives, 10 sustained injuries in the incident.

Rauf Aregbesola, minister of interior, has ordered a probe of the incident.

In a statement issued by ‪Jane Osuji, press secretary to the minister, Aregbesola said update on the development would be shared “in a few hours”.

“The attention of the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has been drawn to an electrocution incident at the Ikoyi Medium Security Prison in Lagos,” the statement read.

“The Minister has directed a quick investigation into the root cause and the ministry will in the next few hours share a comprehensive update on the incidence.

“While we commiserate with the victims of the incidence, the minister has ordered immediate medical attention for those affected.”

South African police officer jailed 30 years for killing Nigerian

Austin Luciano Reynold, a South African police constable who was found guilty of the murder of Ebuka Okoli, a Nigerian, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

The court sentenced Reynold on Monday, three days after he was pronounced guilty of all four charges preferred against him — one charge of murder and three charges of robbery.

Twenty-four-year-old Reynold was accused of killing Okoli, a native of Anambra state, in Durban, a coastal city in Kwa Zulu-Natal province in South Africa, in 2018.

The officer shot Okoli at close range and robbed him during an unauthorised raid on the community where Okoli resided.

Reynold’s accomplice in the raid, Brinley Pallo testified against him while giving his testimony before Shyam Gyanda, the presiding judge, on Friday.

Reacting to the news of the conviction earlier, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairman/CEO of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), expressed relief, saying justice has been served.

“We are glad that justice has been done,” she said.

“We had always stated that there have to be consequences for actions. We are glad that this case finally came to an end and South Africa has demonstrated the political will to deal with xenophobia.”

She asked Nigerians in South Africa to adhere to President Muhammadu Buhari’s admonition to be on their best behaviour where ever they are.

She also said Nigeria and South Africa will work towards a united Africa and bring to justice perpetrators of violence irrespective of their nationality.