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Osun election: ADC candidate, Akinbade votes

The candidate of the African Democratic Congress in the Osun governorship election, Fatai Akinbade, has voted.

He voted at 10:35am at Ward 3, Unit 123, Ogbagba, Ola-Oluwa Local Government Area in Osun State.

Akinbade is contesting the governorship seat alongside candidates like Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party, Iyiola Omisore of the Social Democratic Party, Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress, and Adeoti Moshood of Action Democratic Party.

 

JUST IN: PDP agent arrested for vote-buying in Osun

An agent of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been arrested for alleged vote-buying at ward 1, unit 1, Obada Ede local government area of the state.

The agent whose identity was not disclosed was said to have brought out money openly, forcing security operatives at the unit ti pick him up.

Ademola Adeleke, candidate of the PDP in the election is from the local government.

There have been allegations of inducement of voters by members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the PDP in the state.

More to follow…

NNPC denies ‘hidden’ funds in banks

The Management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC on Friday debunked media reports alleging that the Nigerian Police recovered $470.5 million and N8 billion NNPC funds hidden in commercial banks.

The NNPC in a release by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, explained that the allegation was not only misplaced but equally misleading.

While confirming that a few commercial banks are yet to complete remittance of US dollar deposits to the Treasury Single Account (TSA), he stated unequivocally that the Corporation had no funds hidden in any commercial bank as the Presidency, the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, (AGF) and the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) were fully aware of, and received periodic status reports on balances yet to be remitted to TSA by commercial banks.

According to him, following TSA implementation, the Corporation had made a report to the Presidency on the failure of some commercial banks to complete transfer of US dollar deposits and a Presidential directive was issued for the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure that the funds were completely transferred to the Corporation’s Treasury Single Account in US dollars.

Most of the commercial banks have since complied with the Presidential directive and completed transfer to the Corporation’s Treasury Single Account in US dollars, including the reported $470.5 million.

On the purported recovery of N8 billion by the Nigeria Police Force, the Corporation is not aware of any change in the subsisting Presidential directive to the effect that all of the US dollar balances must be transferred to NNPC’s CBN Treasury Single Account in US dollars. In addition, no such funds have been deposited into the Corporation’s CBN Treasury Single Account.

Consequently, NNPC’s record of the US dollar funds still yet to be transferred by a few commercial banks cannot reflect the said recovery.

While the Central Bank of Nigeria executes the Presidential directive to ensure complete transfer of US dollar funds to the Corporation’s CBN Treasury Single Account, it is pertinent to reiterate our earlier position that NNPC will resist every attempt to subject these funds, which have been in the full view of Government, to five percent whistle blowing fees as this would be unreasonable and a sheer waste of public funds.

The NNPC noted that as an entity with fiduciary responsibility to the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, its commitment to transparency and accountability remains unwavering.

Lancaster University honours Valentine Ozigbo, MD/CEO Transcorp Hotels

The Managing Director/Chief Executive, Transcorp Hotels Plc, Mr. Valentine Ozigbo, was on Friday conferred the award of a Distinguished Alumni of the Lancaster University. The award was conferred on him at a special convocation ceremony of the university held at its Ghana Campus.

The University’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mark Smith, who spoke during the event, praised Ozigbo for his laudable achievements recorded over the years since he graduated from the university.

He said, “Your extraordinary achievements in both the banking and luxury hospitality industries are impressive, as is your passion for promoting youth empowerment through initiatives such as youth leadership forums.

“This award is therefore to appreciate these achievements as we believe that your contribution to your field will be an inspiration to current Lancaster University students and their parents,” he noted.

Ozigbo who expressed delight over the honour accorded to him by his alma mater, commended the ideals of the school, which according to him contributed immensely towards molding him to the heights he had achieved till date.

He said, “My studies at Lancaster University laid a solid foundation in my life for the progress I achieved, because soon after my graduation, I started off with then Standard Trust Bank (which became United Bank for Africa), and was charged with the responsibilities that had global outlook in nature, including managing investment banking clients, embassies and multilaterals and later on global expansion.

“So, the fact that this was a top international University and the specialized discipline I majored in, among others, contributed to the decision to work in these international areas. I excelled in each of these areas because Lancaster University exposed and prepared me well. Therefore, I give credit to Lancaster University for my modest achievements,” he said.

Ozigbo, a Chevening Scholar, graduated in 2004 from the Lancaster University Management School England with an outstanding Masters Degree in Finance, with Distinction. He also holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Accounting (1994), emerging the best Student in the faculty, and Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Banking and Finance (2000), both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

He is a fellow of many professional bodies, notably Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.

Since leaving Lancaster University in 2004, Mr. Ozigbo has achieved a lot in both professional, personal and community life. He spent a total of 17 years in the banking industry rising to the level of General Manager before transitioning to the hospitality industry where he led the positive transformation of Transcorp Hotels Plc for over 7 years, winning many awards locally, regionally and globally, including Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality CEO of the Year Award (presented at a global event in Spain).

 Ozigbo is also known for his youth empowerment works. Apart from leading the effort, with another friend of his in donating books from Lancaster University to the University of Nigeria, where they first graduated from, he has been involved in a number of mentorship, youth empowerment and community development initiatives.

N1.7bn ‘fraud’: You must face trial, judge tells First Nation MD

Mojisola Dada, a judge of Ikeja special offences court, has ordered Kayode Odukoya, managing director of First Nation Airways, to face trial over alleged N1.7 billion theft charge proffered against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Odukoya is facing a four-count charge of forgery, use of false document, perjury and stealing.

Olawale Akoni, defence counsel, had prayed for an order of the court striking out the charge for want of jurisdiction.

The defendant, in the application, said the EFCC charge contravened the provisions of sections 249, 252 and 77 of the administration of criminal justice law (ACJL), no. 10 of 2011.

Opposing the application, the anti-graft agency urged the court to dismiss Odukoya’s application on the ground that it lacked merit and was an abuse of process of court.

Dada, in a ruling on Friday, dismissed the objection seeking to quash the charges.

“The totality of the preliminary objection fails and is hereby dismissed,” she said.

“The proper parties are before the court and the application is a time wasting device.”

Following the ruling, Zainab Ettu, prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, informed the court that nine prosecuting witnesses were to testify against the airline boss.

“We will be asking the court for trial dates,” Ettu said.

The judge fixed November 7, 8 and 9 for the trial.

Odukoya’s operating licence has since been suspended by the aviation authorities.

‘I don’t believe foreigners are involved in Nigeria’s killings’ – French envoy contradicts Buhari

Denys Gauer, outgoing French ambassador to Nigeria, says he does not believe that foreigners are involved in the killings across the country.

The French’s envoy position contradicts that of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari had said that the killings are as a result of the influx of mercenaries from the Sahel region.

“It has always been there, but now made worse by the influx of armed gunmen from the Sahel region into different parts of the West African sub-region,” the president had said when Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury, visited him in London back in April.

But speaking with journalists on Friday in Abuja, Gauer said impunity is encouraging the killings in the country and those responsible must be punished.

The envoy spoke to journalists in commemoration of the 2018 French National Day.

“The reason for the killings is demography; some people are fighting for land, so there must be direct policy to develop agriculture and animal husbandry,” he said.

“I think impunity is encouraging the killings and those responsible must be punished. I don’t believe foreigners are involved in the killings.

“The second is justice. When there is that kind of killing, there must be proper prosecution and perpetrators must be properly sentenced. If that does not happen then, it cannot end.”

David Bamigboye, first military governor of Kwara, dies at 78

The first military governor of Kwara State, Brig.-Gen. David Bamigboye (rtd),  is dead.

The younger brother to the deceased, Col. Theophilus Bamigboye (rtd),  confirmed the death on Friday.

He said the former military governor died on Friday during a brief illness in Lagos.

The deceased was born on December 7, 1940, and was the  military governor of Kwara between May 1967  and  July 1975.

He was credited with establishing  the Kwara State Polytechnic in 1972.

FG abolishes payment of overstay fees by Nigerians with dual citizenship

The Federal Government has directed the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to, with immediate effect, put an end to the payment of fines by Nigerians holding dual citizenship at the nation’s International Airports.

Interior Minister, Lt.- Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd), stated this in a statement by Dr Mohammed Umar, Permanent Secretary of the ministry, in Abuja.
Umar said that the minister stated this in his office in Abuja.

Dambazau, in the statement, said that the directive was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s resolve to make movement easy for Nigerians with dual citizenship to come into their fatherland unhindered.

The statement quoted the minister as saying that ” as a new government policy, on no account should any Nigerian traveller holding dual citizenship pay fine for so-called overstay”.

The statement said that the minister restated that it was a crime to ask or pay any money in that regard.

Dambazau stressed that under the new policy, “citizens with dual nationality should only present both traveling documents of their countries of nationality to the immigration officials upon arrival and departure, regardless of whichever they are using to travel”.

He emphasised that the NIS should ensure immediate compliance with the new government directives as government would sanction any Immigration official found collecting such fines henceforth.

The statement said the minister further directed that Nigerians with dual citizenship should report any Immigration official who imposed such charges on them to the appropriate authorities.

Ambode directs Public Works Corporation to fix Lagos roads in four weeks

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has directed the state Public Works Corporation to fix potholes on major and inner roads across the state within the next four weeks.
Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr Ade Akinsanya, said this on Friday, during an inspection of the ongoing Pen Cinema bridge in Agege area of the state.

Akinsanya said the repairs would bring relief and succour to the generality of the residents.

He said that due to the torrential rainfall witnessed in the last few weeks, repair works on many roads in the state were suspended.

The commissioner, however, said that with the rains subsiding, there was need to intensify efforts in completing ongoing repair works and making roads better across the state.

“The operation fix the pothole will last for about three to four weeks,” he said.

Akinsanya, therefore, appealed to residents and motorists to cooperate by following traffic diversions put in place to ensure the early and smooth completion of the repair works.

Reviewing ongoing projects in the state, he said that the state government was committed to the completion of the over 70 projects going on across the state.

He said that the Pen Cinema Bridge, which is at 60 per cent stage, would be completed by the first quarter of 2019, while the Oshodi/International Airport Road would be delivered by December this year.

The commissioner thanked residents for their patience and sued for continued cooperation as the projects progress.

“Whatever time we have lost on these projects as a result of the rain, pace will be accelerated,” he said.

The commissioner and his team also inspected ongoing Oshodi/International Airport Road project.

Osun election: INEC clarifies ban on phone usage, warns against vote-buying

Less than 24 hours to the governorship election in Osun State, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, has warned politicians not to misinterpret the commission’s electoral rules for their selfish aims.

Agbaje was reacting to the allegations that the commission had placed a total ban on the usage of mobile phones and cameras at polling units

Speaking on Friday at a press conference at the commission’s office in Osogbo, the state capital, the REC said it was not true that the commission had asked voters not to come to polling units with their phones.

He clarified that the commission only asked voters not to hold their phones inside the voting cubicle, in a bid to curb vote-buying, a phenomenon that has marred elections in the past.

He said, “It is important to once again clear the air on some baseless allegations being peddled around by some critical stakeholders, such as the banning of phones and other cameras at the polling unit; giving out of uncollected Permanent Voter Cards to a certain political party; preparing the Smart Card Readers to favour a particular political party; and that INEC will be biased during the election.

The allegations are not true. They are figments of the imaginations of those that made them, as they have not been able to substantiate them as I speak to you. INEC did not place a ban on phones and other camera devices at the polling units.

“What INEC said is that voters should not carry their phones or other camera devices into the voting cubicles where the voter will mark the ballot so as to safeguard the secrecy of the ballot.

“Voters are free to come with their phones and other camera devices; what we are saying is that at the cubicle where they will be casting their votes, they can’t be allowed to go in with anything except the voting materials.”

Agbaje also warned politicians and voters against vote-buying, and vote-selling, saying the commission was ready to unleash the full wrath of the law on anyone found doing so.