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Daily Archives: February 5, 2018

4,000 policemen, 3,000 NSCDC officers deployed in Nasarawa ahead of Buhari’s visit

The police have deployed over 4,000 officers and men to Nasarawa ahead of President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to the state on Tuesday.

Bello Ahmed, commissioner of police in the state, disclosed this to reporters in Lafia, the state capital, on Monday.

Ahmed said the command had put up a robust security arrangement with sister agencies to ensure a successful visit of the president.

He said about 3,000 officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and other security agencies would be working in synergy with the police.

Ahmed said security personnel would be positioned in strategic locations, adding that there would be road diversions along the route where the president would inaugurate some projects.

“I appeal to members of the public to be law abiding as they come out massively to welcome the president to the state,” he said.

“I also urge you to cooperate with the security agencies as they discharge their duties.”

During the visit, Buhari is expected to inaugurate some projects embarked upon by the state government.

Among the projects are the Comprehensive Special School for the Physically Challenged in Lafia and headquarters of the State Fire Service, also in Lafia.

Other projects billed for inauguration are Comprehensive Primary Healthcare Centre in Kwandere near Lafia, Muhammadu Buhari International Market, Karu, and the flag-off of construction of cargo airport in Lafia.

Stranded in UK, Nigerian detained over £500,000 bill loses two of four children

A Nigerian mother delivered of quadruplets prematurely in Britain and who has racked up a bill of £500,000 in one of the largest hospitals has lost two of the children.

The 43-year-old, named only as Priscilla, went into labour three months early shortly after landing at Heathrow airport in November.

She had intended to give birth to the babies in Chicago, in the US, where she has family members – but was turned away by border officials upon arrival.

They claimed that although she had a visa, she did not have required documents from a hospital stating that she had the money to pay for the birth.

Priscilla, a healthcare worker, said she was returning to Nigeria via London when she started having contractions.

She was taken to the Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital in west London, part of Imperial College Hospital, where she was delivered of four babies.

One sadly died shortly after birth while another, a girl named Deborah, reportedly passed away on Saturday.

The other two, Elijah and Esther, are still being treated in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care ward.

Staff estimate that the total bill for the highly complex birth and the care of the babies is already more than £500,000.

The cost of treating one baby in neonatal intensive care is £20,000 a week.

When first warned of the high treatment costs by overseas visitor manager Terry Facey, said: “I didn’t plan to come here.

“It’s only money. Money can’t buy life. The last bill I had was £331,000 but – even if I worked every day – I would never earn that much money. My kids are priceless.”

Facey, who has worked at the trust for 12 years trying to collect bills for overseas patients, says: “Those invoices are going to be huge … 20 grand a week for each baby [in intensive care].”

Priscilla is currently staying at a hostel run by a charity and is unable to afford the bill.

Her husband, who is in Nigeria, and cannot go to Britain to help take care of her as he does not have enough money for a visa or the flight.

Priscilla underwent IVF treatment, which has a high risk of multiple births, as she was struggling to conceive naturally due to her age.

She was reportedly told by her doctor to fly to the US to have her babies, as Nigerian hospitals do not have the “facilities to cater for the children”.

JUST IN: Buhari signs executive order prohibiting visas for some foreigners

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed an executive order prohibiting issuance of visas to foreign workers whose skills are readily available in Nigeria.

The executive order, signed on Monday in Abuja, is “to improve local content in public procurement with science, engineering and technology components”.

“The executive order is expected to promote the application of science, technology and innovation towards achieving the nation’s development goals across all sectors of the economy,” Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, announced in a statement.

The executive order is the fifth signed by this administration.

More to follow…

$202m not $44m missing from NIA’s coffers – Reps

A total of $202 million is missing from the coffers of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), a house of representatives committee, has said.

Addressing reporters in Abuja, Aminu Jaji, chairman of the committee on public safety and national security, said the agency is unable to account for the money.

The $44m was reportedly missing the vault of the agency, months after the agency was enmeshed in a financial scandal.

This prompted the lawmakers to mandate the committee to probe the matter and report back to them.

But while addressing reporters during the weekend, Jaji said the committee discovered that the actual money unaccounted for in the agency is $202 million.

He said the committee found out that the $44 million said to be missing was actually “moved to a different location”.

He added that the lawmakers also discovered that the government of former President Goodluck Jonathan NIA gave $289 million — which was not appropriated for by the national assembly — to the agency.

“The NIA got the money for ‘intervention’ from the past administration. For whatever reason, the past DG, Ayo Oke failed to disclose to the present administration that we have this amount of money,” he said.

“Even the national security adviser, said it was when our committee began its investigation, they got the information that the NIA got $289 million.

“You know we had a meeting with the NSA, we later discovered since last week in our meeting with the past acting DG NIA that the $44 million is not missing.

“For now, I can categorically tell you the money is not missing. They only moved the money from one agency to another place pending when all the issues surrounding the agency is resolved.

“If you remember, there was this $44 million which is among the $289 million approved to the then director-general, that is Ayo Oke.

“Just April last year, they discovered $43 million in Ikoyi. He tried to say that the $44 million and $43 million are part of the $289 million.

“But for us, we are still working to see where the remaining $202 million was placed. We only know about the $43 million now, the one discovered in Ikoyi and the $44 million in their vault.”

Jaji said the committee intends to unravel where the $289 million is, “not the $43 million nor the $44 million but the entire amount”.

“For me, the money ($202 million) is still missing. If you subtract $43 million and $44 million from $289 million, then where is the balance?” he asked, adding: “That’s why we are where we are today. That is why we have to intensify our investigation.”

Nigerian bank cardholders to be blocked from international transactions

Nigerians may no longer be able to carry out international transactions usung credit cards issued by Nigerian banks as the Egmont Group is considering expelling the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) because of governance issues.

A major consequence of the expulsion will be the blacklisting of Nigeria in international finance.

This could affect use of MasterCard and Visa credit and debit cards by Nigerians.

It could also affect the international rating of Nigerian financial institutions, restricting their access to some big-ticket international transactions.

Nigeria will also no longer be able to benefit from financial intelligence shared by the other member countries, including the US and the UK.

Also to be affected is the country’s ability to recover stolen funds abroad.

TheCable understands that the expulsion is part of the agenda of Egmont’ working group and heads of FIU meeting between March 2 and March 7, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The group, comprising 153 countries, mandates its members to establish a financial intelligence unit that serves as a national centre for the receipt and analysis of (1) suspicious transaction reports; and (2) other information relevant to money laundering, associated predicate offences and financing of terrorism, and for the dissemination of the results of that analysis.

All advanced countries are members of the group, which is an initiative of the American government.

The group had suspended Nigeria, in July 2017 citing interference of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the workings of the NFIU.

The body had asked Nigeria to amend the law establishing the NFIU to make it autonomous.

It also accused the NFIU of failing to protect “confidential information, specifically related to the status of suspicious transaction report (STR) details and information derived from international exchanges”.

“The heads of FIU made a decision, by consensus, to suspend the membership status of the NFIU, Nigeria, following repeated failures on the part of the FIU to address concerns regarding the protection of confidential information, specifically related to the status of suspicious transaction report (STR) details and information derived from international exchanges, as well as concerns on the legal basis and clarity of the NFIU’s independence from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The measure will remain in force until immediate corrective actions are implemented,” Egmont group had said at the time.

The senate had passed the bill granting the NFIU autonomy few days after its suspension.

In December, Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the EFCC, said NFIU had been separated from the EFCC.

He said from January 1, 2018, NFIU, would begin to operate as an independent organisation.

“We have allowed NFIU to go. They are operationally autonomy independent of EFCC,” he had said.

But what Magu has not been implemented, it was learnt.

Nigeria’s admittance into the group in 2007 is considered to be one of the biggest achievements of the President Olusegun Obasanjo administration.

The membership ensured the removal of Nigerian banks from the blacklist of international finance.

The blacklisting had prevented the banks from engaging in correspondent banking with foreign institutions and also denied Nigerians access to foreign credit cards.

EFCC files charges against Stallion Motors over N1.27bn PDP ‘donation’

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed charges at the  Federal Capital Territory High Court against Stallion Motors Limited and its Managing Director, Hapreet Singh, for allegedly offering a gratification of N1.275 billion to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2015 polls.

A former National Security Adviser, Mr. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and ex-Minister of Finance Mr. Bashir Yuguda allegedly collected the money for the party.

The two suspects will face a four-count charge bordering on alleged bribery and gratification.

The bribe cash was, however, suspected to be “assistance” to PDP for 2015 general election.

The EFCC also suspected that the payment was an inducement to facilitate payment by the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA) for a contract for the supply of some 700 trucks and 50 buses.

But the PDP, in a letter to EFCC, denied receiving such a gratification from Stallion Motors.

The development has made the anti-graft agency to probe the whereabouts of the cash.

According to investigation by the anti-graft agency, the bribe sum was routed through a Bureau De Change, Jabbama Ada Global Ventures Limited.

The owner of the said BDC, SalisuGarus, admitted on oath that he received the cash on behalf of Yuguda.

He said based on Yuguda’s instruction, he handed over the dollar equivalent of the cash to the ex-Minister’s son, Safinu.

A top source said: “We have filed charges against Stallion and its MDHapreet Singh in the High Court of Federal Capital Territory.

“Stallion between December 2014 and February 2015 paid the sum of N1.275billion to Dasuki ostensibly to assist in the 2015 general election campaign of the People’s Democratic Party.

“The MD of Stallion (Singh) allegedly claimed that the PDP, through Yuguda and Dasuki, demanded for donation to assist the party prosecute its campaign in the 2015 general election.

“The fund was paid to Jabbama Ada Global Ventures Limited, a Bureau de Change (BDC). Salisu Garus, who is the owner of the BDC, claimed he received the funds on behalf of Bashir Yuguda, a former Minister of State for Finance, at whose instruction the money was changed into dollars and handed over to his son, Safinu Bashir Yuguda.

“When the former minister was invited for questioning, he admitted receiving the money from his son but, added that he “handed the entire sum to Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).”

“The former NSA, the source disclosed, claimed that a former minister directed him to contact the owners of Stallion Motors because they had promised to make contributions to the election campaign of the PDP.

He consequently mandated Yuguda to collect the money.”

But the EFCC said it was suspecting that the payment was an inducement to facilitate payment for the supply of some 700 trucks and buses.

The contract was awarded by the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA).

The source added: “Detectives suspected that the bribe was allegedly paid by the auto marketing firm to induce payment of a contract by the Office of National Security Adviser under Mr. Sambo Dasuki for the supply of 700 Stallion carrier trucks and 50 buses.”

Though the value of the contract is not stated, military sources disclosed that the vehicles were not on the priority list of the Federal Government’s need at the time.

But only 50 of the vehicles were allegedly supplied by the company and while payment was still ‘hanging’, the company donated the N1.275billion to the PDP.

“This suspicion was more or less confirmed as the PDP, in a January 26, 2018 letter to the EFCC and signed by Prince Tunji Adeyemo, its Acting National Director of Finance, denied having any relationship with Stallion Nigeria Limited.

“The party had at no time requested and or solicited for any fund as donation towards the 2014/2015 general electioneering campaign or for any other purpose whatsoever from Stallion Nigeria Limited,”Adeyemo said.

A source in the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan gave insights into how the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) came about the contract.

The source said: “Stallion is a Nigerian company and it was among those local firms into vehicles manufacturing in the country.

“The auto policy of the government was to patronise the local companies like the case with the patronage of Innoson Motors.

“The contract was never consummated and that was at the peak of Boko Haram attacks when the government needed all the facilities and military vehicles to prosecute the war.

“Don’t forget that they bought Volkswagen and there was a problem with it. But members of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) solved it.”

Maina files N10bn suit against Magu, EFCC

Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman of the Presidential Taskforce on Pension Reform, has filed a N10 billion suit against Ibrahim Magu, chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the agency.

In the suit filed before a high court in Lafia, Nasarawa state, Maina accused Magu of granting press interviews which are “slanderous, untrue and malicious”.

In the writ of summons, James Onyilo, Maina’s counsel asked the court for a declaration that the interview granted in November and December are defamatory to with slanderous, untrue, injurious and intended to lower the reputation and integrity of the plaintiff.

He also asked the court to order the defendants to retract and publish an unreserved apology to the plaintiff in at least three daily newspapers within seven days from the day of the judgement.

He as‎ked the court to restrain the EFCC head from making comments considered defamatory of the plaintiff.

Maina also asked for an order directing the defendants to pay jointly the sum of N10billion ‎as damages for the publications.

In the statement of claim, Onyilo said, “the 1st defendant. (Magu) who has a personal score and vendetta to settle with the plaintiff using the instrumentality of the 2nd defendant‎ (EFCC), maliciously embarked on a campaign of calumny against the plaintiff.

“The plaintiff avers that on the 30th of November 2017, the 1st defendant in the cause of a press interview aired different news report as well as on Internet medium of the various news media agencies made.

“The following statement, ‘it is terrible, as a result of Maina’s action, so many people, so many of our fathers and mothers who render service to this country had premature death, so many people had died…..he has been a civil servant, an assistant director. You people should stop celebrating criminals’…

“In a related development, on the 14th of December, 2017, the 1st defendant‎ was captured on air during another press interview at the International Airport, Abuja, where he further made the following statement, “we are working very hard to get the criminal who stole pension money and decided to go into hiding because you people are the ones covering him, we will surely get the criminal and bring him to justice”.

Herdsmen from all parts of Nigeria should relocate to Kano, says Ganduje

Governor of Kano state, Abdullahi Ganduje has called on herdsmen across the country to relocate to Kano.

Speaking during the monitoring of the state’s vaccination of over one million cattle and other animals at Kadawa Artificial Insemination Centre in the Garum Malam local government area of Kano, Ganduje said had vast grazing land to accommodate herdsmen and their cattle.

The governor said the vaccination was initiated to keep animals healthy and improve the economy of the state.

He said as part of the government’s commitment to encouraging herdsmen in the state, his administration had been providing facilities that would accommodate the herdsmen and their cattle to discourage them from moving to other states in search of grazing land.

“Fulani herdsmen of Kano origin do not move out of Kano to other states because we have enough grazing land, ranches and traditional stock route,” he said.

“They don’t have any reason to move out of the state. We take care of them and we accord them the respect and dignity they deserve.

“I am inviting herdsmen from all parts of Nigeria to relocate to Kano because we have enough facilities to accommodate them. We have grazing land in Rogo, Gaya, Kura, Tudun Wada, Ungogo and other places, where facilities have been provided to accommodate the herdsmen and their cattle.”

The governor revealed that his administration was in collaboration with the federal government and foreign agencies to convert the Falgore Game Reserve into a modern grazing land.

“Falgore Game Reserve can take care of millions of herdsmen and their cattle in Nigeria. The location has been designed to accommodate schools, human and animal clinics, markets, recreational centres and other social amenities that would provide the herdsmen enough comfort to take care of their animals and transact their business without any hindrance,” he said.

“These killings must stop. We cannot afford to continue to witness these senseless killings in the name of Fulani herdsmen and farmers clash over lack of grazing land when we have a place like the Falgore Game Reserve, which is being underutilised.”


IGP orders arrest of IBB’s spokesman

Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris has ordered the arrest of the controversial spokesman of former Military President Ibrahim Babangida should he fail to turn himself up within 24 hours.

Afegua is wanted for ” issuing a fake statement.”

Afegbua in the purported statement quoted the former military ruler as saying President Muhammadu Buhari should not seek reelection.

But the former president denied it and issued another one which he personally signed.

But Afegbua insisted on the one he issued as the authentic.

A government source, who does not want his name in print, confirmed that the IGP had ordered Afegbua’s arrest within24 hours.