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Tag Archives: Yemi Osinbajo

Your actions can break up the country, Afenifere warns FG

Afenifere, pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, says the federal government is “doing all kinds of things that can divide the country”.

Yinka Odumakin, Afenifere spokesman, said this while responding to a comment Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo made on the unity of the country.

Osinbajo had asked those seeking the dissolution of Nigeria to look at the case of Sudan which broke up yet the problems still linger.

In a statement on Wednesday, Yinka Odumakin, Afenifere spokesman, said the actions taken by the federal government “make the break-up inevitable.”

Odumakin wondered why the government declared the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) a terrorist group.

“The president said yesterday that Abiola would have solved ethnic and religious problems in Nigeria, why are they not solving it. Why are they doing all kinds of things that can divide the country?,” he said.

“So if a break-up is not the solution but all the actions they are taking make the break-up inevitable. The Fulani people are doing so many things in the country, they are not doing anything against them. You are doing many things that can break up the country and yet you are saying break-up is not the solution.

“What kind of sermon are they preaching? If they are declaring Shites group as terrorists, what act of terrorism have they done, whereas those who are perpetrating terror in Nigeria you are giving them money.

“The Afenifere has never set out to ask for the break up of Nigeria, as a matter of fact, we don’t like it . It is those who are pursuing the policy of not making Nigerians good neighbors to themselves, those who regard some Nigerians as masters and some as slaves, those who discriminate and pursuing policy of discrimination, those who don’t provide employment for the millions of able-bodied Nigerians, even though, there are opportunities to do so, that could break up the country

“Some Nigerians who have the opportunity to utilise the resource to develop Nigeria and fail to do so. It is these people directly or indirectly, who are breaking this country up.”

Osinbajo visits family of slain Channels reporter in Kaduna

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo paid a condolence visit to the family of Precious Owolabi, slain reporter of Channels Television.

Owolabi was killed during a clash between members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and the police on Monday.

Until his death, he was a member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

According to NAN, Osinbajo visited Owolabi’s family in Zaria, Kaduna state, urging them to “take heart”, adding that the loss of the corps member would never be forgotten.

Speaking with journalists, Shu’aibu Ibrahim, NYSC director-general, said the visit of Osinbajo is an indication that the government cares.

“Actually, last Monday was a very sad day for the NYSC family and for the vice-president to come on behalf of the president on condolence with the family is an indication that the federal government really cares for the NYSC,” he said.

“And the welfare of the NYSC is paramount to the federal government, we appreciate it and I can assure you that we have learnt a lesson from what had happened.

“As you can see, the corps members are very proud of the Federal Government for the President to come to this house, this indicated that Precious Owolabi is a hero, he died in the service of our country.”

Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, accompanied Osinbajo during the visit.

 

SimmonCoopers debunks Punch’s allegation of involvement in tax fraud

SimmonsCoopers Partners, the law firm  alleged by Punch Newspapers to have been linked to a N100 billion tax evasion scandal involving Alpha Beta Consulting Limited, has refuted the allegations and given the newspaper 72 hours to retract the publication.

The law firm, which had Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as partner until he assumed office, threatened to take legal action for defamation and malicious falsehood, if the said retraction was not made.

On July 13, 2019, the Saturday edition of the Punch Newspapers has published a headline story titled “Osinbajo’s firm linked to company fingered in alleged N100bn Alpha Beta scam”,where it alleged that SimmonsCoopers Partners, the law partnership firm formerly headed by Prof Yemi Osinbajo SAN, before he was elected the Vice President of Nigeria, served as Company Secretary to Alpha Beta Consulting Ltd.

However, in a press released signed by the Managing Partner of SimmonsCoopers Partners, Mr. Dapo Akinosun, on Thursday, the law firm refuted the story of Punch newspapers, stating that it is not involved, in any shape or form, neither does it have a link with, the alleged tax evasion, money laundering, nor corruption claims alleged against any of the corporations identified in the Publication.

He further stated that the firm has never been retained by Ocean Trust Limited to offer secretarial services as alleged by Punch Newspapers. “As is custom with filings as Company Secretary, there is no acceptance letter by the firm consenting to the purported appointment, or any other filing undertaken by the firm as Company Secretary at the registry of the Corporate Affairs Commission”, he said.

Akinosun acknowledged Prof. Osinbajo (GCON) as a “one time senior partner” of the law firm who resigned from the firm upon his election as Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, in line with international best practices. “SimmonsCooper Partners is a product of the combination of her members’ intellectual capital, industry and integrity garnered for several years. We are proud that Professor Osinbajo continues to epitomize these values even in public service”.

Below is the full text of the release:

“SimmonsCooper Partners’ (“the Firm”) attention has been drawn to certain allegations, assertions and other false accusations made against her in the front page of the Punch Newspapers of July 13th 2019, titled “Osinbajo’s firm linked to company fingered in alleged N100bn Alpha Beta scam” (“the Publication”);

For the record, SimmonsCooper Partners refutes all the false allegations imputed against the firm, her members and persons currently or previously associated with the firm. The Publication singled out, not only SimmonsCooper Partners, but also Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) (GCON), a onetime senior partner and member of the firm, for public opprobrium;

The Publication contains untrue and highly defamatory statements towards the firm, some of which contain malicious falsehood.  In doing so, defamatory statements are being communicated to millions of people throughout the world, diminishing the firm’s reputation and that of various individuals who have worked at, and continue to work, at SimmonsCooper Partners;

SimmonsCooper Partners states that it is not involved, in any shape or form, neither does it have a link with, the alleged tax evasion, money laundering, nor corruption claims alleged against any of the corporations identified in the Publication. For the avoidance of doubt, SimmonsCooper Partners has never retained a physical or correspondent address at “B5 Falomo Shopping Complex, South West Ikoyi, Victoria Island”. This address is copiously portrayed in the published CAC Form 2.1, purportedly, as proof of the linkage between the firm and the subject matter of the allegations, whereas, a cursory inquiry by Punch could have shown that this address is neither the firm’s registered address nor its principal office. The firm categorically states that it has never been retained by Ocean Trust Limited to offer secretarial services as alleged by Punch Newspapers or at all. As is custom with filings as Company Secretary, there is no acceptance letter by the firm consenting to the purported appointment, or any other filing undertaken by the firm as Company Secretary at the registry of the Corporate Affairs Commission;

The Publication seems designed to damage the reputation of SimmonsCooper Partners and its past and current members rather than have any fair comment basis. The Publication was a false statement of fact, intentionally published in print and on the Internet, to millions of people within Nigeria and around the world. The malicious intent is demonstrated by the fact that a public search at the Corporate Affairs Commission shows that Ocean Trust Limited has a subsisting company secretary that had been appointed since 2011, which fact was curiously left out by the Punch Newspapers in the Publication. We believe that the Punch Newspaper’s admission to “rush to press” with the Publication, was motivated by malice and calculated to cause harm to the firm and its past and current members;

Further, the imputation that offering professional services to a company, by itself, creates an association with alleged wrongdoing, is neither customary nor reasonable. We are certain that Punch Newspapers has external legal advisers who will not be taken to be privy to, or actors in, the defamation alleged herein, or indeed in other matters of liability that may arise in the course of running Punch’s business. Offering professional services, by itself, cannot be characterized as wrongdoing. The insinuation that the firm, its past and current members are somehow associated with alleged tax evasion, corruption, the suppression of investigation and obstruction of justice is not only unjustifiable and unreasonable, but also malicious in intent. Without more, the Publication has definitely held the firm up to scorn, ridicule, disgrace, and contempt in the minds of the readers of the Publication;

SimmonsCooper Partners, today, is a product of the combination of her members’ intellectual capital, industry and integrity garnered for several years. We are proud that Professor Osinbajo continues to epitomise these values even in public service. In line with international best practices, upon his election as Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Osinbajo resigned his membership of the firm;

 

The firm is aggrieved by the wanton, mischievous and most unprofessional manner in which the Punch Newspapers has published the defamatory statements in the Publication. SimmonsCooper Partners intends to seek redress to the fullest extent available in law and has requested the Punch Newspapers to do all of the following:

  • remove from publication in their entirety the defamatory publication and all online threads to prevent further harm to the Firm’s business;
  • produce an apology and a declaration that the allegations referred to are false and defamatory and cause such apology and declaration to be published in each of the forums which have given or could give reason for our complaint (such apology to be approved by us prior to publication);
  • provide details of the number of online posts made, together with website addresses;
  • make proposals for the payment to us of damages for the harm caused to our reputation; and
  • undertake to actively monitor and delete any newly published defamatory content relating to the Firm.

 

If the defamatory Publication and threads are not permanently removed and the above undertakings are not complied within the stipulated period, SimmonsCooper Partners reserves the right to undertake further action as appropriate”.

Osinbajo’s firm linked to company fingered in alleged N100bn Alpha Beta scam

 

A company in which Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has a stake, Simmons Coopers Partners, has been linked to another firm, Ocean Trust Limited, which was fingered in an alleged N100bn scam involving Alpha Beta Consulting Limited and Alpha Beta LP.

Ocean Trust Limited, which was accused of being a conduit for diversion and laundering of funds by Alpha Beta, listed the law firm of Simmons Coopers as its company secretary, documents exclusively obtained from the Corporate Affairs Commission by Saturday Punch showed.

Simmons Coopers was listed as a company in which Prof Yemi Osinbajo (now Vice-President) had a stake in his asset declaration form in 2015, according to the statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

In a petition submitted to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in July 2018, Dapo Apara, the erstwhile managing director of Alpha Beta, had alleged that Alpha Beta owed the Federal Government N100bn in unpaid taxes spanning over 10 years, adding that the firm usually laundered funds through another firm, Ocean Trust Limited.

He alleged that the firm was being protected by powerful politicians.

The petition by Apara’s lawyer, Adetunji Adegboyega, read in part, “Over the years, the company (Alpha Beta) has been protected and shielded by some powerful politicians and people in the society which made them to always boast of being untouchable.

“But our client, feeling the need not to keep quiet again and strengthened by his belief in the fact that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is keen on fighting corruption which has been the bane of our country, is of the firm view that it is time to expose and open the can of worms called Alpha Beta Consulting.

“Our client is of the firm belief that it is time for the commission to step in and conduct a holistic investigation into the activities of Alpha Beta Consulting Limited and Alpha Beta LLP with a view to uncovering the massive corruption, money laundering, tax evasion, etc., going on in the company.

“Kindly note that one of the companies being used to perpetrate money laundering by the company is still another company named Ocean Trust Limited.”

Osinbajo’s reaction

When contacted on the relationship between Osinbajo’s firm, Simmons Coopers and Ocean Trust, the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President on Media, Mr Laolu Akande, said he would not comment on the matter unless he was shown the document indicating Simmons Coopers was Ocean Trust’s company secretary.

But, a source close to Osinbajo claimed that “the Vice President has since 2014 left the firm. There is no interest there anymore.”

The source added, “And I think you should talk to the EFCC about its own decisions. It does not make sense that the EFCC will say it is not prosecuting or, as you say, investigating or probing (the allegations) because of what you claimed.”

However, Osinbajo in 2015 listed Simmons Coopers as one of his companies in his asset declaration form.

Where is Ocean Trust?

Saturday Punch, which investigated Ocean Trust Limited for three months, conducted a search at the Corporate Affairs Commission.

It was noted during a CAC search that the firm was registered with number 419706 on January 5, 2011, and is located at 684, Idowu Taylor Street, Victoria Island, Lagos and had Gboyega Iyiola and Kunle Akinniyi as shareholders at the inception both of whom relinquished their shares two days later on January 7, 2011.

One of documents exclusively obtained from the Corporate Affairs Commission
Incidentally, the property where Ocean Trust Limited is located shares the same address with the office of former Governor Bola Tinubu of Lagos State known as ‘Freedom House’.

All efforts to contact Ocean Trust Limited proved futile as investigations by Saturday Punch showed that the company might no longer be in operation.

Also, attempts to speak with its management turned out to be a wild goose chase.

When one of our correspondents visited the company’s address at the Freedom House, Plot 684, Idowu Taylor Street, a fair-complexioned lady, who said she was an employee of Ocean Trust Limited, told Saturday Punch that the company was no longer located there.

When asked if it was true that the firm was being used to launder funds for Alpha Beta, the lady, who refused to identify herself, asked our correspondent to send an email which she would forward to her boss.

Over three weeks after one of our correspondents sent her an email, a response was still being awaited as of the time of filing this report on Friday.

A visit to Ocean Trust’s second listed address at 42 Norman Williams Avenue, Ikoyi, Lagos yielded no positive result as the compound looked deserted having been overtaken by weeds.

Saturday Punch met with a lady, who simply gave her name as Blessing, and confirmed that the place was being used by Ocean Trust. She, however, said she could not speak on any issue as the place was only a correspondence office.

After a brief chat, she gave one of our reporters a phone number that she claimed belonged to an accountant with Ocean Trust.

When Saturday Punch called the number, a man who picked the phone said he was not a staff member of the company.

After one of our correspondents told Blessing that the ‘accountant’ denied working for Ocean Trust, she referred him to the head office on 9 Grace Anjous Street, Lekki Phase I to make an enquiry.

When one of our correspondents got to the address, a male receptionist initially confirmed that the office belonged to Ocean Trust.

However, after an introduction as a journalist, he retracted his statement and said the premises belonged to Paragon Holdings and only delivered correspondences to Ocean Trust.

He said, “Ocean Trust is not one of our partners; they used to use here to receive correspondences, but they no longer come here.

“They are not our partners again. Here, we only deal with their files, both physical and electronic.”

While questioning the receptionist on why he had earlier admitted that the place belonged to Ocean Trust, another man emerged from one of the offices in the building and said Ocean Trust was no longer in existence.

He said, “To the best of my knowledge, Ocean Trust is not functioning. We only receive correspondences for them, but in terms of business, they stopped existing before the end of the (former Lagos State Governor Babatunde) Fashola’s administration. We don’t even know who they are. They’ve folded up since.”

EFCC yet to take action

One year after Apara’s petition, the EFCC has yet to take any action on the matter.

The EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, had said in February that the petitioner should send a reminder as the petition could not be traced.

In a recent chat with Saturday Punch  on why the commission had refused to respond to media inquiries for over a month, the EFCC spokesman asked one of our correspondents to give him more time to react.

Efforts made thereafter to get a response from the EFCC did not yield result.

As of Friday when this report was being filed, Orilade had yet to respond.

Apara, who accused the firm of tax evasion to the tune of N100bn, also told Saturday Punch that the EFCC had yet to contact him a year after the petition had been submitted.

“I have still not been contacted by the EFCC,” he said in response to an inquiry.

Alpha Beta controversies

Alpha Beta Consulting was awarded a contract by the Tinubu-led government after a recommendation by a committee comprising the then attorney-general of Lagos State, Prof Osinbajo (now the Vice-President); Mr Wale Edun, the then commissioner for finance; and a former commissioner for economic planning and budget, Yemi Cardoso.

The firm was subsequently given exclusive rights to collect taxes on behalf of Lagos State and was believed to receive about 10 per cent commission from the revenue it collected for the state.

However, pro-transparency groups and opposition politicians have constantly alleged that Tinubu owns Alpha Beta.

In 2012, a Lagos-based medical doctor, Dominic Adegbola, filed a Freedom of Information request to state authorities, seeking detailed information on all Alpha Beta contracts with Lagos State since 1999.

But the state’s Attorney-General then, Ade Ipaye, (now Osinbajo’s chief of staff), rejected the request, insisting that the FoI was a federal law that did not apply to the states.

However, in November 2017, a state judge ruled that the FoI was applicable to Lagos State. The judge said the law was duly enacted by the National Assembly and did not require domestication to take effect in states.

When one of our correspondents visited the office of Alpha Beta at the Lagos Water Corporation Building, Ijora Causeway, Lagos, the company’s Head of Corporate Support Services and General Counsel, Mr Omogbemi Adelagun, said the matter was already in court and, therefore, he could not comment on the issue.

“If the matter had not been taken to court, we would have been able to react to it. So, right now, we cannot say anything until the court rules on the case,” he said.

Alpha Beta LLP had, however, said in an advertorial in response to the allegations levelled against it by its former MD that the accusations were illogical and false.

The advertorial read in part, “Alpha Beta has been visibly engaged by the Lagos State Government since 2002 as a forensic, internal control and enhancement adviser. In working with the state, Alpha Beta helped develop the state’s centralised transaction platforms, the precursor to the present-day Treasury Single Account.”

The firm said at the time it entered into the contract with Lagos State, the state was taking in the sum of N600m in internally generated revenue per month but things had since changed for the better.

Meanwhile, the Alpha Beta’s former managing director, Apara, has approached a Federal High Court, Abuja, “directing an investigation to be made by the Corporate Affairs Commission into the conduct of Alpha Beta Consulting Limited.”

Apara, who said he had been and remained a director of the firm since its incorporation, with control of 30 per cent of its shares value, also alleged that the financial records of the company filed with the CAC and tax authorities did not reflect the actual profits of the company or of its directors.

He alleged among others in the suit that he and shareholders of the company were being owed their remunerations.

Also praying for the takeover of the management of the company by an appointee of the court, the suit urged the court “to appoint a receiver or a receiver manager of the property of Alpha Beta Consulting Limited.”

The suit, couched as a “petition” and brought under the Companies Proceedings Rules and Order 5 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2009, was filed on November 9, 2018 and marked FHC/ABJ/PET/2018.

When contacted on the telephone, a former Senior Partner at Simmons Coopers, Babatunde Irukera, said he had never heard of Ocean Trust Limited and wondered how Simmons Coopers could have served as its company secretary.

Irukera, who is now the Executive Secretary, Consumer Protection Council and had served as managing partner at Simmons Coopers during the time in question, directed our correspondent to another partner, Victoria Alonge.

Alonge told Saturday PUNCH that she had never heard of Ocean Trust Limited and asked the reporter for more time.

She said Simmons Coopers had checked all its records and had not found Ocean Trust in its books, adding that it had no record with the CAC.

When one of our correspondents dictated the contents of the document linking Simmons Coopers with Ocean Trust, Alonge expressed shock and asked that the document be sent to her.

She, however, maintained that Vice-President Osinbajo was a man of honour and honesty and would never hinder the EFCC from doing its job.

Alonge said, “Simmons Coopers has never had any dealings with Ocean Trust. We are also doing our own investigations. We checked our Abuja records and Ocean Trust is not stated there. This is new to us and it cannot be insinuated that Prof Osinbajo is stopping the EFCC from doing its job.

“For us, there is nothing to hide. As a partner, I should be in a position to know. We are still checking our records and we haven’t found anything.”

The PUNCH

Some kidnapping stories are not true, Osinbajo tells Nigerians in US

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has told Nigerians in the Diaspora that the spate of kidnappings in Nigeria is exaggerated and not entirely new.

This is despite recent travel advisories issued by the United States and the United Kingdom asking its citizens not to visit some states in Nigeria due to the rising insecurity occasioned by kidnapping, banditry, militancy, terrorism and other challenges.

Speaking at a town hall meeting in New York on Sunday evening, Osinbajo said the social media “tends to be hysterical about practically everything”, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

The Vice-President spoke in response to several questions and comments on the security situation back home.

Many members of the audience had taken turns to express concern about the reported spate of killings and kidnapping back home, and wanted to know what the government is doing to address the situation.

He said, “With respect to general kidnapping which we have seen in parts of the country, again, this is not entirely new. In fact, some of the kidnapping stories you read or listen to are simply not true anywhere, some are fuelled by politics.

“There are cases of kidnapping, no question at all about that, but some of the more dramatic stories that you hear are simply not true.

“Every report of kidnapping we receive, we try to verify, and at the end of the day you find out that people just tell all sorts of stories.

Osinbajo said the Federal Government was working with the states to check kidnapping where it was actually taking place, using technology to track the perpetrators.

He said the efforts were already yielding results with several arrests made by security agencies in affected areas.

Osinbajo said the government was capable of addressing the security challenges, assuring Nigerians that the news “will be a lot better very soon”.

Turning to banditry and farmers/herders clashes in the North-west and central, the Vice President described them as “resource conflicts”.

According to him, banditry, especially in Zamfara and Katsina, was more of a fight over the control of mining sites by armed groups.

He said the government was taking several measures, including shutting down the mines, to address the problem.

The Vie-President added, “In the North Central, we have the livestock transformation plan to address the farmers/herders conflict.

“Ultimately, it is ranching that will solve the problem because you cannot have people wandering across the country with their cattle.

“It is not helpful to them, this they know, because ranching is more convenient and profitable.

“So, we are building herd dams in the northern states so that people don’t necessarily come down south in search for water and green pastures for their herds.

“We are also trying to ensure we provide grazing areas before we come to cattle routes.”

Osinbajo said in fairness to herders, the livestock sector had not enjoyed the kind of government’s funding and support accorded farmers over the years.

$900,000 still in bank account as Osinbajo submits assets form

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has submitted his assets declaration forms to the Code of Conduct Bureau ahead of the oath-taking ceremony slated for 29 May and declared ‘no significant change from the assets declared in 2015.

There are no new real properties, shareholding or bank accounts, said the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Research, Legal and Compliance Matters, Dr. Balkisu Saidu who submitted the completed forms to the Chairman of the CCB, Professor Mohammed Isa.

President Muhammadu Buhari had also submitted his asset form.

The two leaders have complied with the requirement of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), that makes assets declaration compulsory before taking the oath of office.

In 2015, Osinbajo declared bank balances of about N94 million and 900,000 United States Dollars.

He also declared 4-bedroom residence at Victoria Garden City, Lagos and a 3-bedroom flat at 2 Mosley Road, Ikoyi; 2-bedroom flat at Redemption Camp along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and a 2-bedroom mortgaged property in Bedford, England.

Others assets declared are his law firm, known as SimmonsCooper, and shareholding in six private companies based in Lagos, including Octogenerium Ltd., Windsor Grant Ltd., Tarapolsa, Vistorion Ltd., Aviva Ltd. and MTN Nigeria.

Confusion as army commander clashes with Borno deputy gov’s security aides

There was a disagreement between soldiers and policemen while Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo was inaugurating some projects in Maiduguri, Borno state capital, on Tuesday.

The vice-president visited Borno to inaugurate some of the projects executed by the outgoing administration of Kashim Shettima.

Among the projects were schools, GSM Center and facilities for displaced children in the state.

However, while Osinbajo, Kashim Shettima, the governor and Usman Durkwa, the deputy governor, were inaugurating a school along Bukumkutu road in the state capital, security operatives attached to them disagreed in public.

Confusion broke out after Mike Alechenu, garrison commander, operation Lafiya Dole, prevented the vehicles attached to Durkwa to join the convoy of other dignitaries.

As the lead vehicle in the convoy of Durkwa attempted to move, Alechenu used a stick to smash its windscreen.

He also used the stick to hit the driver of the white Hilux van conveying security operatives before ordering his men to deflate the tyres of any of the deputy governor’s vehicles that attempted to “move an inch”.

Soldiers were seen attaching knives to their Ak-47 riffles in order to comply with directives of their commander.

Alechennu also threatened to handcuff the aide-de-camp of Durkwa, an assistant superintendent of police (ASP), who had appealed for calm.

“This is a matter of security, you don’t tell me what to do. I’ll bundle and handcuff you if you move an inch from this place,” he warned.

Consequently, junior police officers blocked the road in protest.

“You are here trying to intimidate us when you are running away from your responsibility of fighting Boko Haram,” an angry police officer said.

It took the intervention of some operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) for the situation to be brought under control.

Business giants face blacklisting over N5tr AMCON debts

Institutions and individuals on Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria’s (AMCON’s) debtors’ list are to be blacklisted. They will no longer be allowed to do business with the government henceforth, it was learnt at the weekend.

According to a plan by the Federal Government, an inter-agency collaboration framework that comprises Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and supervised by the office of the Vice President, will block the indebted entities from dealing with the government, which is the biggest player in the economy.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who doubles as the Chairman of the National Economic Council (NEC), dropped the hint, when he hosted some members of the AMCON Board led by its Chairman, Muiz Banire at the State House, Abuja.

Prof Osinbajo said the debtors made it impossible for the corporation to resolve its outstanding N5 trillion debts, thereby holding the entire nation to ransom with their “bad behaviour”.

There are 105 debtors on the AMCON list. They include key players in aviation, power, real estate, oil and gas, as well as other sectors of the economy.

AMCON has recovered over N1 trillion since inception in 2011. Of the recovered funds, cash assets account for 60 per cent and non-cash assets, such as properties and equity securities, account for the balance of 40 per cent. Over the same period, AMCON’s repayment of its indebtedness to the CBN was over N1 trillion.

The vice president plans to invite the AMCON team alongside other MDAs to fine-tune how to ensure that anybody or agency that is a debtor to AMCON faces the wrath of the Federal Government as those who are indebted to the government are direct enemies of both the government and the people.

He said the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari will no longer allow a few individuals who owe AMCON huge sums of money walk freely on the streets. Osinbajo said: “I think the time has come for us (Federal Government) to set some examples with some of these top debtors of AMCON, which I believe will set a good example and serve as deterrent to others.”

Osinbajo, who expressed satisfaction with the performance of the executive management of AMCON under Ahmed Kuru’s watch, promised that the government would support AMCON.

He said that the Corporation would be empowered with the tools to go after the obligors who have remained recalcitrant despite the olive branch extended to them over the years by the debt recovery agency.

Osinbajo said: “I congratulate AMCON for the work done so far having recovered over N1 trillion and counting both in cash and in assets. The work you do as a recovery agency is not something that is particularly easy or encouraging because we all know how Nigeria works. But we are committed to working more closely with your administration to ensure that these monies are recovered from AMCON obligors because it will help our economy and provide the government with more money to continue to improve on the development of infrastructure across the nation.”

Banire said AMCON’s visit was to congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President on their victory at the polls. He highlighted some of the challenges faced by AMCON as a result of the attitudes of some debtors who behave as if they are above the law.

Banire said: “As at end of December, 2018, AMCON’s Assets Under Management (AUM) amounted to about N172.5 billion.

“It is noteworthy to state that out of the total real estate properties, assets available for sale are valued at N62 billion. Of this N62 billion, about 83 per cent comprises bare land and other assets, which may need considerable improvement to convert into income generating assets.

“Your Excellency may recall that in September 2018, following the takeover of Skye Bank Plc. by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), AMCON was again invited to inject a total sum of N898.45 billion as capital, thereby leading to the emergence of another bridged bank named Polaris Bank Limited.

“The intervention in Skye Bank was caused majorly by internal abuse by the operators. As a result of that development, AMCON’s total debt obligation to the CBN is currently in excess of N6 trillion.

“And it is evident that the Federal Government cannot afford to write off this debt in the short term, hence, our moral obligation to pursue obligors and recover the debts owed. But, despite the successes recorded, the corporation has been facing a number of challenges, which include obligors resorting to all manner of tactics to avoid honouring their obligations.

“Whilst some are still enjoying government patronage, others are using the judiciary and adopting legal technicalities to stall recovery, which is why we need a new strategy to enable AMCON meet its mandate before sunset.”

Kuru said he could not wait for the take-off of the inter-agency collaboration promised by Osinbajo as, according to him, such a move would compel all sister agencies to be on the same page in the interest of the country.

The AMCON boss also reminded the vice president that AMCON’s debts sits on the government’s balance sheet with CBN, and failure to recover them may result in serious consequences including recourse to tax payers’ money, which must be avoided.

“He said for an organisation like AMCON with sunset date, all hands must be on deck to provide the support required. According to him, considering the huge portfolio of debt, no obligor must be allowed to go scot free – no matter how highly placed in the society.

Angry villagers block Osinbajo’s convoy in Abuja

Aggrieved protesters blocked the convoy of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo along Umaru Musa Yar’Adua expressway in Abuja on Tuesday morning.

The vice-president was heading to the airport when his convoy ran into a barricade at the Goza village axis of the road.

Residents of Gbagyi village had converged on the spot, which is the major road connecting the airport to the city, to protest the alleged invasion of their land by the military.

The security aides of the vice-president tried to appease the protesters but failed, forcing Osinbajo to alight from his car.

Some of the protesters hailed the vice-president as he approached them.

Osinbajo sued for calm, assuring the protesters that their grievances would be addressed.

Apparently convinced by his intervention, the people allowed his convoy to pass but denied access to other vehicles.

Below are some pictures from the scene:

Osinbajo in midst of the crowd

Security aides of the vice-president taking charge of the situation

Other vehicles affected by the barricade

The vice-president’s convoy leaving the spot

Ndume meets Osinbajo, insists on senate presidency

Ali Ndume, former senate leader and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says he is still eyeing the number one position in the senate.

Ndume, who represents Borno south senatorial district, made this known after meeting with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa in Abuja on Monday.

He arrived at Aso Rock around 3pm before proceeding to Osinbajo’s office for the meeting.

The APC is expected to produce the next crop of national assembly leaders after emerging with the majority lawmakers in the two  the party leadership as well as President Muhammadu Buhari have endorsed Ahmad Lawan as senate president.

But Ndume is still determined to run against Lawan who took over his position as senate leader after the Borno lawmaker fell out with Senate President Bukola Saraki.

At the end of the one-hour meeting with Osinbajo, state house correspondents asked Ndume if he had withdrawn from the race and he asked rhetorically: “Me?”

He declined to comment on the issues discussed with the nation’s number two citizen but said he was still consulting over his bid to head the ninth senate.

“This is not the time to talk now because I am still holding consultation,” he said.

Last week, the senator rolled out a nine-point agenda which he said he would implement if elected the next senate president.

The senator, in the agenda, promised to make the office of the senate president less attractive by reducing the unnecessary privileges attached to it.

Osinbajo: Buhari focused on prosperity agenda in the next four years

President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in the next four years will address, among other things, the deficiencies in the quality of human resources caused by poor education and healthcare, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said.

Osinbajo spoke on Monday at the University of Lagos(UNILAG) where he delivered the Convocation Lecture ahead of the university’s 50th anniversary

According to him, under Buhari’s administration, Nigeria’s prosperity means a decent existence for all.

“Second, that prosperity so defined will be attained if we are able to address the issues of extreme poverty, productivity, corruption, the rule of law and the deficiencies in the quality of human resources caused by poor education and healthcare.

“We must have a robust enough healthcare system that ensures that the average person is in good health, an educational system that guarantees education capable of preparing children for the opportunities and challenges of a knowledge economy.

“in planning the path to prosperity, we also took into account the age-old weaknesses of the Nigerian economy and the illusion of prosperity that frequently distorts our understanding of the actual fragility of our economy”.

On the way forward, the vice president said from the onset it was clear to the Federal Government that it needed to devise an economic plan that prioritised the basic issues with Nigeria’s economy.

He said that Nigeria needed to prioritise the building of infrastructure especially rail, roads, power and ports; productivity as it diversified from oil and gas.

Osinbajo said that more would be done in the fight against public sector corruption and developing a new educational curriculum that emphasises Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths.

“Others include; adopting a new approach to resourcing healthcare; putting in place a social investment programme that deals with issues of extreme poverty and unemployment. Our Economic Recovery and Growth Plan effectively addressed these issues. “

On the progress made so far, Osinbajo said the Buhari administration believed that creating an environment for productivity investment in hard and soft infrastructure was crucial.

He assured Nigerians that with the integrity of President Buhari and the commitment of his administration, Nigeria would not derail from its current path to prosperity.
Osinbajo said that if the administration stuck to its agenda in the next two years, Nigerians would see the most significant improvements, in the power sector.

“Industrial Infrastructure is a major component of our economic transformation plan. Project MINE (Made in Nigeria for Export) is the major plank of our industrial policy.

” The idea is to build Special Economic Zones which accommodate industries for local manufacture of goods for which Nigeria has a comparative advantage. These include cotton, garments, leatherware among others, ” he said.

Shortly before delivering the Convocation lecture, Osinbajo unveiled the Mascot for the 26th NUGA games and inaugurated some projects executed by the University.

Some of the projects include the newly constructed Container Building for the University Technology Hub, the Academic Publishing Centre Building, the Faculty of Engineering Lecture Theatre, and the remodelled University Medical Centre.

Osinbajo: How 50 UK police officers assisted ACN to recover 4 states from PDP in 2007

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says a team of 63 fingerprint experts, including 50 from the UK police, worked to help the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) reclaim some states that were allegedly rigged by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2007.

He listed the states as Osun, Ekiti, Ondo and Edo. Only Ondo that was not under the control of ACN then but Bola Tinubu, then the leader of ACN, had used his influence in assisting Olusegun Mimiko, a former governor of Ondo, to take the state from the PDP.

Mimiko belonged to the Labour party at the time. He later defected to the PDP.

Speaking at the 11th colloquium of Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the vice-president said Tinubu told him that they needed to prove that there was case of over voting.

“In 2007, when our party, then ACN, was rigged out of elections in Osun, Ekiti, Ondo and in Edo state. He invited me to his residence at bourdillion and he said the only way we can possibly reclaim the states that was taken away from us is going through the courts.
He said the only is by proving that there was multiple voting. Meaning that a few people singlehandedly thumb-printed ballot papers, dumped them into ballot boxes and they were counted in favour of the opposition, the PDP,” he said.

“He said the only we can do this – he said ‘I don’t know how you will do this’ – but some how proving that their is evidence that this is what happened.

“I said ‘Asiwaju, nobody has ever proven that in an electoral case’ and I said what is even more is that there are over a million ballot papers, how can we prove it? He said that was his view and I should look for a way of sorting this out.

“So I went to to the UK and met with possibly the most experienced [expert] in the entire UK. When I told the enormity of the problem, he laughed and almost fell off his chair. He said in all his experience as a finger print expert he has not done up to 4000 prints and you are now saying I should come and do 1.3 million finger prints. That was a Thursday and he called me back on Monday and he said let’s talk again about this. And we did, and somehow we found a away.

“We used a bit of technology. Most importantly we were able to get finger print experts. In the end, we hired 63 finger print experts, 50 of them were from the UK police. Asiwaju had to persuade the authorities to release them all together 63 police men – they were working for almost six months.

“We were able to put together a strong forensic case that showed that that the places that were defeated it was on account of multiple voting. To cut the long long story short, one by one, we were able to get the states taken from us.”

Yakasai: APC might field Tinubu or Osinbajo in 2023

Tanko Yakasai, elder statesman and political adviser in the second Republic, says the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) might field Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo or Bola Tinubu, a national leader of APC, in 2023.

Speaking with The Interview, Yakasai said the region played a key role in the emergence of Buhari in 2019.

On the possibility of the APC fielding a presidential candidate from the south-east in 2013, Yakasai said the region will be sidelined for the south-west.

“The current calculation is that the vice-president is from the Southwest. Clearly, there is an unwritten understanding that when Buhari finishes, the Vice President will likely be the next presidential candidate of the APC,” he said.

“The Vice President is a Yoruba man. Even if it is not Osinbajo, somebody from there, probably Tinubu, will likely emerge as the candidate of the party.

“And with the performance of the party in the southeast, I don’t see any possibility that the party will think of giving its candidacy to the southeast as against the support it earned from the southwest.

“Apart from voting, don’t forget that there were some material support which APC enjoyed from the Southwest.”

Defending his choice of Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the elections, the elder statesman  said he supported Atiku because of his experience in governance and business.

Yakasai was asked: “You supported former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the PDP at the just concluded election. Do you believe the eventual winner, Muhammadu Buhari, won fair and square?”

He replied: “No, I do not. Quite alright, I supported Atiku because I don’t believe that Buhari has the capacity and the competence to handle the Nigerian problem.”

On the issue of the leadership of the 9th senate, Yakasai said it would not favour theAll Progressives Congress (APC) to insist on Ahmed Lawan.

Lawan, senate majority leader, has been given the blessings of the APC to succeed Bukola Saraki as the leader of the red chamber.

Yakasai said he expected the ruling party to have learnt from its mistakes.

He argued that the lawmakers should be allowed to who will lead them, and not a person imposed on them.

“Well, they have been touting this idea for a long time. Remember when the current Senate was convened after the 2015 election, they wanted Ahmad Lawan to be the Senate president,” he said.

“It was the rupture in the party that led a chunk of party senators to team up with PDP senators to get Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu as president and deputy president of the Senate.

“What I am surprised about, I thought what happened to them in the last dispensation would have been a lesson for them to allow legislators to decide who should be their leaders.

“I worked with National Assembly for four years. I know the mindset of members of the National Assembly. They believe that they have their own mandate separate from the mandate of the President.”

BREAKING: Osinbajo meets Kukah, Abdusalami in Aso Villa

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah, a former military Head of State, Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar, and other members of the National Peace Committee are currently in a meeting with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, The PUNCH understands.

Our correspondent learnt that the members of the committee ended their meeting with the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, around 8pm and headed to the Presidential Villa where another meeting began with Osinbajo.

The meeting, it was learnt, is aimed at toning down the war of words between the APC and the PDP following the announcement of the result of the Presidential election.

While Atiku has rejected the result describing it as a sham, the APC, most especially its National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole,  has been lambasting Atiku, describing him as a sore loser.

The peace committee, it was learnt, was asking both parties to abide by the accord they signed during the build up to the elections.

Banky W defeats APC at Osinbajo’s polling unit

Popular musician turned politician, Bankole Wellington, of the Modern Democratic Party, garnered 186 votes at the polling unit at the Victoria Garden City, Lagos, defeating the All Progressives Congress which got 167 votes.

It was the same polling unit where Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, and his wife, Dolapo, cast their votes earlier on Saturday.

Wellington, who goes by the stage name Banky W, took the second position at the polling unit as the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Omotesho Bakare, had the highest number of votes which was 244.

Banky W, who is the candidate of the MDP, is a first-timer in politics and is contesting against Babajide Obanikoro, the first son of a former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro of the APC and Bakare of the PDP.

JUST IN: Why Osinbajo’s helicopter crashed – AIB

The Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, has released the preliminary report of the helicopter accident involving the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

The Commissioner, AIB, Mr. Akin Olateru, on Wednesday said the investigation was still ongoing but that among other causal factors, the crew lost visual contact with the ground at landing due to a “brownout.”

According to him, brownout is caused by landing in a dry, sandy environment.

“Caverton Helicopters Limited did not conduct site survey of the landing field prior to the flight and did not carry out safety and risk assessment,” he said.

A helicopter conveying the Vice President to a campaign rally in Kogi State had crash landed in Kabba on February 2.

Nobody died or sustained injury in the crash.

Ogun violence: Amosun kicks as APC threatens to punish him after polls

The All Progressives Congress has vowed to punish the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, for allegedly instigating thugs that attacked the leaders of the party, including the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, at the presidential rally in Abeokuta on Monday.

The crowd at the rally pelted Oshiomhole with stones and water sachets when he introduced Dapo Abiodun as the governorship candidate of the APC in Ogun State.

Other leaders of the party, including Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, were booed at the campaign, which was marred by violence involving the APC and the Allied Peoples Movement’s supporters.

The spokesman for the APC Caretaker Committee in the state, Mr Tunde Oladunjoye, had on Monday alleged that the hoodlums who disrupted the rally were sponsored by Amosun.

Expressing regrets at the disruption of the campaign, the APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, in a statement on Tuesday said those responsible for the “premeditated attacks” would be dealt with.

The party said the sanction would be delayed till after the elections.

The statement said, “This is one act of indiscipline too many. The APC will not condone acts of indiscipline, indiscretion and anti-party activities from any party member no matter how highly placed.

“The party will review this gross misconduct of deliberately positioning thugs to attack and embarrass the President and the party leadership. The party will take a decision on this matter immediately after the elections.

“It must be stated that party supremacy and discipline, according to our constitution, are not matters of choice but binding principles which must be adhered to by all party members.

“The APC is a party known for discipline, justice, fairness and equality hence any plan to destroy what this party stands for would be rejected. No single person will be allowed to put his personal and selfish interest ahead of the wishes of the people of Ogun State and elsewhere.”

The APC said the decision of the National Working Committee on post-primaries remained unbendable.

“Post-primaries, the decision of the National Working Committee to uphold the wishes of party members is unbendable. Therefore, whatever means being presently deployed by persons intending to undermine the wishes of the people for personal gains will not be tolerated.

“We urge our teeming party supporters and members not to be disturbed by Monday’s condemnable incident. We urge all to continue trooping out en masse for our remaining campaigns and vote massively for all and only the APC candidates in the forthcoming general elections,” the statement added.

Although Issa-Onilu did not mention the governor’s name in the statement, the Publicity Secretary of the pro-Amosun APC faction in the state, Wole Elegbede, when contacted on the telephone, described the threat by the national leaders of the party as a media trial and jungle justice.

Elegbede, who spoke with one of our correspondents,said, “It is common for the National Working Committee of the party to subject members of the APC in Ogun State to media trial and jungle justice.”

He added, “The dissolution of the APC executive in the state was done without inviting us to face any disciplinary committee in accordance with the constitution of the party. They just announced the dissolution in the media. That is nothing but media trial and jungle justice. They have started again. This issue of disciplining the governor of Ogun State will end up the same way. We believe that it will end up the same way: Jungle justice and media trial.”

He also blamed the national leadership for the protests and the disruption of the rally.

He said, “The APC, Ogun State chapter under the leadership of Chief Derin Adebiyi, will not like to reply anyone. But what happened involved the APC supporters in the state. Some supporters are aggrieved over the emergence of Dapo Abiodun as the governorship candidate, while some like it.

“But our APC supporters are happy with President Muhammadu Buhari and are ready to vote for him in the forthcoming election.

“As you can see, all the APC supporters agree to vote for Buhari, What really happened could be traced to the emergence of Dapo Abiodun as the governorship candidate.”

When asked whether his faction of the APC was happy with the development or not, he said, “No dedicated member of the party will be happy at such development. What happened was caused by the leadership at the national level.

“What happened was not planned by anybody. It was not planned by the governor, and it was just a spontaneous reaction from aggrieved members who do not like the emergence of Dapo Abiodun.”

Meanwhile, the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has called on electorate in the state to ignore Amosun’s comment that they should not vote for APC’s candidates except President Buhari.

Osinbajo, who did not mention Amosun’s name, described those who promote other parties while still claiming to be members of the APC as “bad cutlasses.”

The Vice-President spoke in Yoruba language during a town hall meeting held at the palace of the Ebunmawe of Ago Iwoye in Ijebu North Local Government Area, Oba Abdulrazak Adenugba.

Osinbajo also reiterated same while speaking with some traders at Olabisi Onabanjo Market, Ota Osun in Ijebu Ode.

The town hall meeting was held on the sidelines of a door-to- door presidential campaign held in Ogun East Senatorial District.

The Vice-President later solicited votes from the residents of Ijebu, explaining that only the APC meant well for the people.

Osinbajo said, “Vote for the APC alone in all the elective offices because, we don’t know of those who are meddling or promoting another party because any one caught in such act can be described as a bad cutlass.

“Vote for the APC alone in all elective offices, Remember that ‘ Oju kan ladani , ada toba loju meji tidii adakada’ (a cutlass has only one sharp edge. Anything short of that makes such a cutlass a bad one).

“You need to vote for the APC because, even, the most hardened enemy of President Muhammadu Buhari knows that he is not a thief nor is he corrupt. And secondly, you have to vote for us because of the many things that we have in store for you.”

Those things, he said, included “the N -Power scheme which presently has a capacity of 500 in this area and this will be increased to 1,500 when we win the coming election.”

“Another is the ‘tradermoni’ and market money scheme which is targeted at empowering traders and whenever you pay back the money given to you, another will be given to you.

“Another is employment for the youth which is as well very important among others.”

The PUNCH

 

Unusual weather caused Osinbajo’s chopper crash – Caverton

The helicopter which conveyed Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo from Abuja to Kabba in Kogi state, crash-landed as a result of unusual weather conditions.

Caverton Helicopters, owners of the aircraft, said this in a statement issued on Saturday.

Osinbajo was on a campaign trip to Kogi when the chopper crash-landed in Kabba. There were no injuries recorded during the incident.

The vice-president came out unhurt and immediately continued his business in the state, receiving a warm welcome from residents as he was driven through the town.

Josiah Choms, Caverton managing director, said investigation into the incident has commenced.

“An Augusta AW139 Helicopter, under management by Caverton Helicopters was involved in a mishap on landing in Kabba, Kogi State around 3pm today (2nd February 2019) as a result of unusual weather conditions,” he said.

“There were no injuries to the passengers or crew on board and they were all quickly and safely evacuated.

“The relevant authorities have been duly informed and an investigation into the incident has commenced. We will, of course, support the authorities as required.:

In a statement, the media team of the vice-president also confirmed that investigation was underway.

Lalolu Akande, media aide of the vice-president, said Stephen Ocheni, minister of state for labour, senior presidential aides, security officials and the crew were on board the ill-fated aircraft.

“We are grateful to God for His protection and safety, and we thank the crew and security personnel for their prompt response and service. We are also grateful for the tremendous expressions of concern and affection, as well as prayers from all,” he said in a statement.

“As is procedural, a full investigation into the causes of the incident would be conducted by aviation authorities.”

The crash was the second the vice-president was involved in within eight months.

Next Level continues, says Osinbajo after surviving second air crash in eight months

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says the Next Level engagements will continue, despite surviving an air crash in Kogi state on Saturday.

The accident is the second air mishap the vice-president will survive in eight months, after surviving the first in June 2018.

The professor of law and pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) returned all glory to God for keeping him and his team safe.

“All thanks and glory to God, the chopper we boarded today from Abuja just crash landed in Kabba, Kogi State, and the entire crew plus myself are all safe,” Osinbajo said.

“We are continuing with our Next Level Engagements and plans for Kogi State.”

On June 7, 2018, the chopper conveying the vice-president from the Nigeria Customs Command and Staff College, Gwagwalada, Abuja, was forced to land few seconds after take off.

At the time, Laolu Akande, VP’s senior special assistant, explained that the vice-president avoided using his chopper from Gwagwalada where he had gone for an official assignment back to the Presidential Villa due to “technical reasons.”

He said the vice-president returned to the Presidential Villa by road and continued with his schedule.

“VP Osinbajo attended the graduation ceremony of Nigeria Customs Senior Course in Gwagwalada today (Thursday June 7, 2018),” he had tweeted.

“On his way back, it was decided, for technical reasons, not to fly the chopper that had brought him to the venue. He drove back to the Presidential Villa and continued his schedule.”

Osinbajo has continued his campaign in Kogi state, following the accident.

BREAKING: Osinbajo’s helicopter crash-lands in Kogi (video)

The chopper carrying Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and members of his team crash-landed in Kabba, Kogi state.

This was disclosed by Laolu Akande, senior special assistant to the vice-president on media and publicity.

The vice-president is safe.

“VP Osinbajo’s Chopper crash lands in Kabba, but he and the entire crew safe. He is continuing with his engagements and plans for the day in Kogi State,” Akande said via Twitter.

More to follow

 

Breaking news Vice President Yemi Osinbajos helicopter crashes in Kogi, all occupants are safe. He is continuing with his engagements and plans for the day in Kogi State.

Posted by Biyora Online TV on Saturday, February 2, 2019