Connect with us

News

Subsidy removal: Governors back FG as NLC threatens strike

Published

on

The Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) yesterday endorsed the Federal Government’s decision to remove petrol subsidy.

This came on a day the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) threatened to call out workers on strike from Wednesday if subsidy removal was not reversed immediately.

Support for government on the subsidy also came yesterday from a former national planning minister Prof Abubakar Suleiman and an ex-vice president of the NLC, Comrade Isa Aremu.

But the PGF, which met with President Bola Tinubu yesterday, condemned petrol retailers for hiking prices of their old stock soon after the President’s inaugural speech on Monday.

Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma, who doubles as Chairman of the PGF, told reporters at the end of the meeting with Tinubu that the petrol subsidy was no longer sustainable as the country had been borrowing money to pay for it.

He said: “What Mr. President did during the inauguration, he did not direct that subsidy should be removed. We already agreed as a government and in the National Economic Council that subsidising petroleum products is no longer sustainable, because for the past two years, we have been borrowing to subsidise, and in various meetings I, for instance, have asked questions: who are the exact beneficiaries of this subsidy? And I’m sure you, from the media, may not know the exact beneficiaries and there’s none of us here who can vouch for the integrity of implementation programme of the petroleum subsidy allocation.

“It has gotten to a point that it is either that which is no longer sustainable is managed or there will be no Nigeria, and all of us are committed to the success and unity of the country and the last appropriation, which is law, made provision for subsidy up till June.

READ ALSO  50 reps write Tinubu, demand release of Nnamdi Kanu

“The President, who was only sworn-in a few days ago, has not prepared any budget, and he’s under oath to respect the laws of the land, and one of these laws is the 2023 Appropriations Acts.

“So by June this year, it is very clear that there is no provision for any money to be used to subsidise petroleum products. What he did from the address, because I went home two days, took that address, went through that address and saw that what the President mentioned passively was petroleum subsidy is no longer fashionable and cannot be sustained and we, members of National Economic Council, chaired by former Vice President Osinbajo, agreed also to the extent that the former government had concluded arrangements to take loan from the World Bank, that will be used as palliative to be sent to the people of Nigeria, as a measure to cushion the harsh weather or inconveniences of the complete removal of the subsidy by government.

“So it is not new and I want you people to help this situation, because collectively, only working together can save the country. I thought that what we should be saying now is, in the absence of subsidising petroleum products, how are we going to make this product available to Nigerians to use?”

On the effects of the subsidy removal, Uzodinma said: “There’ll be new economic realities, and once a new policy comes, there’s usually this panic.

“For instance, from May 29 till today, I’m not aware that any petroleum market has imported any product. All the products in their storage facilities are those already imported, subsidized by government. Why the rush to increase the prices? It is man’s inhumanity to man.

READ ALSO  Wire fraud: Court gives AGF nod to extradite Nigerian to US

“So I think that what we should do is to be our brother’s keepers and learn how to save the firewood we got during the dry season, so we can use it during the rainy season.

“But I think also that as we work towards improving the economy of this country, with the intention of creating prosperity, government will be reasonable enough to look at the reality on ground and address them as appropriate. I have no doubt in my mind that the man who has raised his pump price from N300+ to N500+ is creating panic that there’ll be no product.”

A former national planning minister, Prof Abubakar Suleiman, and an ex-vice president of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Isa Aremu were similarly supportive of the total deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.

Suleiman is the current Director-General of National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) while Aremu is the DG Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS).

They spoke during a lecture entitled “Challenges of democratic governance in Nigeria’s 4th Republic: Setting agenda for the Tinubu administration”, organised by the Faculty of Humanity and Social Sciences, Alh-Hikmah University.

Prof Suleiman, who was the guest lecturer, said Nigeria could not afford to continue to “go back and forth on subsidy removal.”

“Let us face the reality and know where we are going,” he declared.

Continuing, he said: “In Nigeria, fuel subsidy has constituted enormous drain on national resources and foreign reserves.

“I call on Nigerians to be patient as the government resolves the difficulties occasioned by subsidy removal. It is equally important for the government to implement robust measures to cushion the effects, especially on the poor.

READ ALSO  Probe of Emefiele’s N30tn Ways and Means loan not abandoned – Senate

“I am convinced that in the long run, the funds saved from the subsidy, which hitherto benefited only a few, can be channeled to development projects and interventions to the advantage of millions of Nigerians.

“The impact that private refineries like Dangote Refineries and the smaller modular refineries will have on local market supply in the short to medium term will be a critical factor in the ability of the administration to sustain the subsidy removal policy since the government refineries will not be able to bridge the gap.”

News

Court acquits former Lagos Speaker Ikuforiji, aide of money laundering charges

Published

on

A Federal High Court in Lagos has discharged and acquitted former Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker, Adeyemi Ikuforiji of a 54-count money laundering charge.

Ikuforiji was acquitted alongside his former personal assistant, Oyebode Atoyebi.

The charges date back to March 1, 2012, when the defendants were initially arraigned before Justice Okechukwu Okeke.

They faced a 20-count indictment related to the alleged misappropriation and laundering of ₦338.8 million.

Court Acquits Senator Konbowei Of Alleged Certificate Forgery

The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Apo has acquitted Senator Benson Friday Konbowei (Bayelsa Central), of the
Konbowei, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was brought before the court on March 26 on a three-count charge, one of which accused him of forging an exemption certificate of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

Benson has been apprehended over alleged certificate forgery.

Naija News recalls that Konbowei was first arrested in September 2022 by a team of tactical officers from the office of the Inspector-General of the Nigeria Police Force.

Benson was said to have defeated his opponent, Moses Cleopas, by polling 110 votes to emerge as the party’s standard bearer during the PDP primaries.

Cleopas, however, did not agree with the processes before and during the primaries.

The politician dragged Benson before the Federal High Court in Yenagoa, accusing him of submitting forged documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Source: Naija news

READ ALSO  Tinubu appoints Tunji Bello as consumer protection commission CEO
Continue Reading

News

50 reps write Tinubu, demand release of Nnamdi Kanu

Published

on

At least, 50 members of the house of representatives have asked President Bola Tinubu to order the release of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

In a letter addressed to Tinubu, the legislators, who identified themselves as Concerned Federal Lawmakers for Peace and Security in the South-East, asked the president to direct Lateef Fagbemi, attorney-general of the federation, to invoke section 174 of the 1999 constitution to release Kanu.

The aforementioned section confers on the attorney-general of the federation the power to discontinue at any stage, before judgement is delivered, any such criminal proceedings instituted or undertaken by him or any other authority or person.

In recent months, there have been frequent calls for Kanu’s release, particularly from stakeholders from the south-east.

The IPOB leader has been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) since he was extradited from Kenya in June 2021.

The south-east region has witnessed an uptick in the activities of gunmen who violently enforce a sit-at-home order on Mondays to demand Kanu’s release.

‘KANU’S RELEASE WILL ADDRESS INSECURITY IN SOUTH-EAST’

In the letter, the legislators said the release of Kanu is a political solution that will end the rising insecurity in the south-east.

“Your Excellency, We are concerned Members of the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with a strong belief and trust that the RENEWED HOPE agenda of His Excellency and the various positive reforms would be seen and felt by all,” the letter reads.

READ ALSO  Tinubu appoints Tunji Bello as consumer protection commission CEO

“It is at the backdrop of the foregoing that we the undersigned hereby beseech Your Excellency to direct the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN to invoke his powers of nolle prosequi under the provisions of Section 174(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended) and Section 107(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 and cause the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from detention and discontinue his trial which we collectively believe is long overdue and would be instrumental in opening the door for much-needed conversations surrounding peace reformation and inclusivity as well as addressing the issues that led to the agitations, especially at this time Nigeria is going through several Constitutional reforms.

“Your Excellency, we resolutely believe that this singular act can serve as a pivotal gesture towards national unity as it would address some of the Political, Security and Economic concerns in the region. It would encourage stakeholders from the Southeast to engage more actively in the national discussions on the Renewed Hope Agenda, thereby promoting inclusivity and addressing long-standing grievances.

“This we belief will also help in dismantling the apparatus of violence and restiveness that has plagued the region, allowing for a focus on economic growth and development. Also, it is coming at a time the nation-state is under enormous pressures, including but not limited to unemployment, insecurity, hunger and poverty, thereby deescalating tension from all sides.”

The lawmakers said Omoyele Sowore and Sunday Igboho, who were accused of treason felony, got their charges dropped by the federal government, adding that the same should be extended to Kanu.

READ ALSO  Court acquits former Lagos Speaker Ikuforiji, aide of money laundering charges

“It is, therefore, our conviction that fixing the challenges in the south-east would go a long way in changing the narrative and showcase your commitment to upholding the principle of Rule of Law , Justice and Fairness, which are the bedrock of our democracy. It would also set a precedent for addressing issues through dialogue rather than prolonged political cum judicial persecution and brass show of executive lawlessness,” the lawmakers said.

“We, therefore implore your excellency to adopt this approach and save the south-east and pave way for a national conversation to restore, safeguard and better the resources and economic activities in the south-east. The primary responsibility of the government is the protection of lives and property. Facilitating the release of Nnamdi Kanu would demonstrate a commitment to upholding the principles of justice and fairness, which are the bedrock of our democracy.”

The lawmakers who signed the letter included Obi Aguocha (Abia), Ikenga Ugochinyere (Imo), Aliyu Mustapha (Kaduna), Midala Balami (Borno), Afam Ogene (Anambra), Abiante Awaji-Inombek (Rivers), Dominic Okafor (Anambra), Etanabene Benedict (Delta), Shehu Dalhatu (Katsina), Chinedu Emeka Martins (Imo), Matthew Nwogu (Imo), Muhammed Buba Jagere (Yobe), Peter Aniekwe (Anambra), Koki Sagir (Kano), Amobi Oga (Abia), Gwacham Chinwe (Anambra), Uchenna Okonkwo (Anambra), Abdulmaleek Danga (Kogi), and Osi Nkemkama (Ebonyi),

Others were Mark Useni (Taraba), Alexander Mascot (Abia), Philip Agbese (Benue), Ginger Onwusibe Obinna (Abia), Zakari Nyampa (Adamawa), Jamo Aminu (Katsina), and Emeka Idu Obiajulu (Anambra), Nnabuife Chinwe Clara(Anambra), Ukodhiko Jonathan (Delta), Akingbaso Olarewaju (Ondo), Lilian Obiageli Orogbu (Anambra), Marcus Onobu (Edo), Chinedu Obika (FCT), Billy Osawaru (Edo), Ojuawo Rufus Adeniyi (Ekiti), Okoli Ngozi Lawrence (Delta), Ezechi Nnamdi (Delta), Alozie Munachim Ikechi (Abia), Nkwonta Chris (Abia), Nnamchi Paul Sunday (Enugu), Obetta Mark Chidi (Enugu), Tochi Okere Chinedu (Imo), Uguru Emmanuel (Ebonyi), Joseph Nwaobasi (Ebonyi), Onwugbu Befford Anayo (Enugu), Atu Chimaobi Sam (Enugu), Sunday Cyriacus Umeha (Enugu), and Anthony Adepoju (Oyo).

READ ALSO  50 reps write Tinubu, demand release of Nnamdi Kanu

Source The Cable

Continue Reading

News

Probe of Emefiele’s N30tn Ways and Means loan not abandoned – Senate

Published

on

Probe of Emefiele’s N30tn Ways and Means loan not abandoned – Senate

Senator Isah Jibrin, Chairman of the Senate panel investigating the N30tn Ways and Means loans secured from the Godwin Emefiele-led Central Bank of Nigeria by the Federal Government, has confirmed that the probe is ongoing and has not been abandoned.

Senator Jibrin clarified to our correspondent that reports of an abandoned probe are entirely false.

On Tuesday, February 20, the Senate resolved to investigate the N30tn loan, citing that the alleged reckless spending of the overdraft from the CBN largely contributed to the current food and security crises in the country.

After its inauguration, the panel identified 13 infractions in the process of obtaining the loan from the CBN. Responding to a media report, Senator Jibrin emphasised that the figures under investigation are not in dispute, as the Ways and Means advances given to former President Muhammadu Buhari by Emefiele are already public knowledge.

The panel chair stated, “We received some preliminary documents and decided to delve deeper after our interface with the CBN governor, Olayemi Cardoso, the Minister of Finance, some CBN directors, and others. Following leads from our interface, we realized the need for a detailed, step-by-step breakdown of how the money was spent.

“We have written to the Accountant-General requesting additional documents on the Ways and Means loan, and we believe the delay is due to efforts to compile accurate information to avoid misleading us and Nigerians,” he added.

Senator Jibrin reiterated, “We have not gone into limbo; we only needed additional documents from the Accountant-General’s office to continue the interface. The amount under probe is N30tn. I don’t know why people are spreading falsehood to achieve a selfish purpose.”

READ ALSO  Probe of Emefiele’s N30tn Ways and Means loan not abandoned – Senate

He added that although the committee has elapsed the time frame given to it, but the delay was necessary to get the job done.

He said, ” The committee was given a time frame that has elapsed but we cannot because of that submit a job done haphazardly. We have written reminders to the Accountant General Office and once we have the document, we move to the next phase of the probe.”

The PUNCH reports that during the Ninth Assembly, President Buhari, in a letter dated December 20, 2022, requested the restructuring of the accumulated N22.7 trillion Ways and Means loans, alongside an additional N1 trillion primarily for funding the N819.5 billion 2022 supplementary budget, totaling N23.7 trillion.

In his request, President Buhari explained, “The Ways and Means are advances from the Central Bank of Nigeria to the federal government for emergency funding due to delayed fiscal deficits. As of December 19, 2022, the balance of Ways and Means was N22.7 trillion.

“I have approved the securitization of these balances under the following terms: Amount, N23.7 trillion; Tenure, 40 years; Moratorium on principal repayment, three years; Interest rate, 9 per cent. Your concurrence and approval are sought to allow for the implementation of the same.”

After the Ahmad-Lawan-led Ninth Senate passed the N23.7 trillion, the Tenth Senate, on December 30, 2023, also approved the securitization of the outstanding debit balance of N7.3 trillion of the Ways and Means Advance in the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federal Government.

Source: The Punch

Continue Reading

News

Wire fraud: Court gives AGF nod to extradite Nigerian to US

Published

on

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has authorised the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to extradite one Samuel Olasunkanmi Abiodun to the United States of America (USA) to face trial for alleged wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Both offences carry a maximum jail term of 20 years.

Justice Akintayo Aluko gave the order on June 14, 2024, following the AGF’s application filed and argued by Kehinde Adesola Fagbemi of the Federal Ministry of Justice.

Specifically, the federal government prayed for the surrender/extradition of Abiodun, the respondent, to face two counts:

“Wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code (U.S.C), and Section 1343, carrying a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

Abiodun was also charged with “Conspiracy to commit money laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code (U.S.C), and Section 1956 (h), carrying a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years”.

Abiodun, through his counsel, Demola Adekoya denied the allegations, and challenged, among others, the court’s power to order his extradition.

But, evaluating the evidence against him, Justice Aluko found that the Federal Government provided sufficient evidence to show that Abiodun had a case to answer in America.

He reasoned that the respondent misconceived the issues of the Treaty between Nigeria and the United States authorising the court to grant an extradition request.

Justice Aluko held: “Leveraging on the decision of the apex court, the extradition Treaty between the United States of America and Great Britain signed in London on 22 December 1931 is recognized as binding on Nigeria and enforceable in the instant case.

READ ALSO  50 reps write Tinubu, demand release of Nnamdi Kanu

“Against the background of the foregoing, the sole issue in this judgment is resolved in favour of the Applicant against the Respondent.

“To this end, there is merit and substance in the instant application. Judgment is entered for the Applicant in the following terms:

“The application of the Hon. Attorney General of the Federation for the surrender and extradition of the Respondent, Samuel Olasunkanmi Abiodun to the United States of America is hereby granted.

“The Respondent is further committed to prison custody and shall remain in the facility of the Nigerian Correctional Service to await the decision of the Hon. Attorney-General of the Federation for his surrender to the United States of America for the purpose of facing his trial.

“The Attorney General of the Federation of Nigeria shall ensure and see to it that special arrangements are put in place for the Respondent’s fair trial and defence under the Laws of the Requesting country (USA) to the extent that the Respondent is not prejudiced on account of his race, religion, nationality and to ensure that his trial shall be limited to the extradition offence provable by the facts on which his surrender is granted devoid of any superficial sentiments considerations.”

According to a certified true copy of the judgment seen by our correspondent, the respondent denied the Applicant’s allegations while claiming that he lived all his life in Nigeria and that he had never travelled to the US.

He claimed neither had any business/romantic relationship with anyone in the US nor did he commit any offence either in Nigeria or in the US

READ ALSO  Tinubu appoints Tunji Bello as consumer protection commission CEO

He added that he did not co-conspire with anyone to commit money laundering or deal in wire fraud against one J. S., a student at the Kutztown University within the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (now deceased as claimed by the Applicant).

The respondent said that he did not use Snapchat or have a persona of “ALICE_D013” allegedly used to demand money from J.S. and that he had never been tried or convicted by any Court in Nigeria for the offence being alleged against him.

Furthermore, he claimed that he was just a victim of persecution for being a friend to someone tagged as “a friend from WhatsApp” while conducting a lawful business operated by a registered cryptocurrency platform called Binance with which he is lawfully registered.

Source: The Nation

Continue Reading

News

Two ex-bankers in EFCC net over alleged theft of dead customer’s N4.2m

Published

on

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arrested two former staff of Union Bank in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, over the alleged theft of N4,199,500 belonging to a deceased customer of the bank.

A statement by EFCC spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, on Saturday in Abuja said the suspects, Idah Ogoh and Agbo Okwute were arrested on Friday in Makurdi.

Oyewale said their arrest followed a petition against them by the bank on fraudulent debits on the account of a deceased customer, Emmanuel Azer Agenna.

According to him, their dealings were uncovered when the family of the deceased approached the bank for the balance on the account of the deceased for probate processing.

According to him, the family disputed the balance given to them by the bank and subsequently sent a complaint to the bank regarding unauthorised debits on the account.

He added that based on their complaints, the bank carried out an internal investigation and its findings revealed that a debit card was procured on the deceased’s customer account on May 10, 2023.

He said that the debit card was procured by Ifah Ogoh, one of the bank’s Sales and Service associates which was authorised by the bank on the same date.

“Further findings by the bank showed that the procured card by Ogoh was handed over to another Sales and Service associate, Agbo Okwute, who eventually delivered the card to an accomplice for transfer and withdrawal of funds from the account of the deceased.

READ ALSO  Crude price hike: Dangote alleges IOCs frustrating refinery

“Several withdrawals were allegedly made by the suspects through the accomplice. The suspects would be charged in court as soon as investigations are concluded,” he said.

Source: Daily Post

Continue Reading

News

Employment Scam: EFCC arrests syndicate promising people jobs in NCC, NNPC, others

Published

on

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ola Olukoyede, on Tuesday, said the Commission has discovered

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested a syndicate of fake State House staff in Abuja for alleged criminal conspiracy, false representation and employment scam.

Its spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, said this in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.

Mr Oyewale said operatives of the commission arrested the suspects separately following an investigation of petitions by victims, who were promised jobs in various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

He said the suspects had promised the victims jobs as “Director-General” at the Ministry of Communication, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited, NNPCL, Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, and other ministries.

The spokesman listed the suspects to include Augustine Umogboi, who claimed to be a former staff of the State House and Eleojo Idakwo, a fake staff of the Ministry of Information in the Registry Unit.

Others are Kingsley Onuh, who also claimed to have just concluded his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Omata Sunday and Eljayon Nigeria Limited, one of the companies whose bank account they were using to get money from their victims.

“Besides, they had different account numbers of different banks through which they were receiving the money amounting to N22,350,000 from different victims.

“Umogboi was arrested on June 16, Idakwo was arrested on April 30, 2024, while Onuh was arrested on April 3,” he said.

He said that the victims narrated their bitter experience in a series of petitions written to the EFCC, adding that, “the suspects have given useful information to the EFCC and will be charged to court upon conclusion of investigation.”

READ ALSO  Wire fraud: Court gives AGF nod to extradite Nigerian to US

Source: Premium times

Continue Reading

Top Stories