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EFCC denies Malabu case bribery allegations, considers appeal

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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 refuted news making the rounds that one of its prosecutors was offered a bribe over the Malabu OPL 245 fraud case leading to the dismissal of the charges against a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Bello Adoke, and others by a Federal Capital Territory High Court.

The anti-graft agency disclosed that it has com­menced a review of devel­opments around the Malabu OPL 245 fraud case, includ­ing the dismissal of the charges against Bello Adoke and others by the Court in Abuja.

The review, the EFCC hinted, would entail explora­tion of the option of appeal and possible change of coun­sel in view of the Commis­sion’s dissatisfaction with the handling of the case by Offem Uket.

Speaking on the alleged bribing of its official, the EFCC says, its intention to review or appeal the case “has no nexus whatsoever to the spew of speculations im­puting compromise by par­ties to the charge, currently making the rounds in some sections of the media.”

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Recall that after the de­cision of the Abuja High Court upholding the no-case submission of the defendants in the criminal case, a cer­tain online news outfit had spewed the narrative suggest­ing that the EFCC accused its prosecutor of compromise by prominent lawyers connect­ed to the case.

In denying the narrative of compromise, the anti-cor­ruption agency further said, “EFCC is not obliged to em­brace such narratives as it neither accused any of the parties of any unsavoury conduct nor made any con­clusive statements about any investigation on the matter.”

The agency also dubbed allegations of compromise as “effusions of mischief makers” and urged the gen­eral public to await its next course of actions.

The clarification by the anti-crime agency was made by a statement posted on its website and its social media handles.

 

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Tinubu inaugurates 25.735 km Ogbia-Nembe road in Bayelsa

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Tinubu appeals to governors’ for unity of purpose to ‘make Nigeria greater’

As part of the activities to mark the first anniversary of his administration in office, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has inaugurated the 25.735 km Ogbia-Nembe road with seven bridges connecting 14 communities in Ogbia and Nembe local government areas of Bayelsa State.

The project was conceived and completed by the Federal Government through the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in collaboration with the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and joint ventures as well as the Bayelsa state government which donated N3bn when the project was allegedly stalled for six years.

The inauguration was a great milestone and a big relief for the benefitting communities in the state that had been waiting for the completion of the road that was first initiated in 1940 but work commenced in 2005 during former President Olusegun Obasanjo administration when the then Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Ndutimi Alaibe, initiated it.

The benefitting communities include Ogbia, Emakalakala, Akipelai, Etiama, Nembe Bassambiri and Ogbolomabiri, among others.

The president, represented by the Minister of Niger Delta Development, Abubakar Momoh, at the opening, expressed regret for being unable to attend due to international engagements.

Stressing the significance of the project, Tinubu stated: “This important road will alleviate many issues and hardships in the region by facilitating the free movement of goods and services. This is a project everyone would want to be associated with.

“The NDDC deserves a lot of commendation for this accomplishment. This demonstrates Mr. President’s commitment through the release of funds for the timely completion of the project.

“This project is a clear example of what good partnerships can achieve. I call on other international oil companies (IOCs) to follow suit. Chevron, for instance, has undertaken similar projects in the region, and I urge them to complement the NDDC’s efforts so that we can witness more success stories like this.”

He also acknowledged the role of the National Assembly in the project, noting that “for the NDDC to initiate this project in partnership with Shell, the National Assembly must be commended for their support.”

Regarding the call by Alaibe for the Federal Government to remove the NDDC from the single treasury account, the President said the government had moved beyond that because the Presidency had directed the NDDC to capture all legacy projects in the nine states of the region.

He said in the 2024 budget, a special arrangement would be put in place to execute the region’s projects.

He thanked Shell for partnering with the NDDC, stressing that the huge project which gulped over N30bn would have been difficult for any single entity to achieve alone.

“I encourage the IOCs and the governors of the nine states to collaborate with the NDDC to accomplish more. It is my honour and privilege to open this project,” Tinubu said.

In his opening remarks, the Managing Director of the NDDC, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, described the completion of the project as a significant milestone, particularly for the Ogbia and Nembe people.

He called on all stakeholders to cooperate with the Commission in its efforts to develop the Niger Delta region.

Also, the Chairman of the NDDC Governing Board, Mr. Ehiedu Ebie, remarked, “It was a great day for Niger Deltans.

“This impactful project underscores the potential for collaboration with SPDC and other IOCs such as Shell.

He also stressed the importance of continuity, noting that the project began during the tenure of Timi Alaibe as the MD/CEO of the commission.

“As a board, we strengthened the public-private partnership department, and our efforts are coming to light,” Ebie stated

Also speaking, Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri described as unfair, deliberate efforts being made in some quarters to undermine the significant contributions of the state government towards the completion of the 25.7km road project.

Diri, represented by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, stressed that no story about the project would be complete without a mention of the role the state government played.

He pointed out that it was necessary to correct the wrong impression that the state government did not contribute to the execution of the road project.

According to him, the Bayelsa State Government under former Governor Seriake Dickson disbursed N3 billion to the contractor, Setraco, in 2013 to restart the NDDC/Shell joint venture project after it was stalled for about six years due to funding challenges.

Diri, however, commended the NDDC, SPDC and their development partners for delivering on the project to open up the state.

He called on the NDDC, Shell and other well-meaning corporate giants to collaborate with his administration in completing the ongoing Akaba-Okodi Road, Nembe-Brass Road, Ekeremor-Agge Road, and the Opume-Okoroba Road among others.

Top-ranking senators, led by Senate Committee Chairman on Niger Delta, Senator Ekpenyong Asuquo, stressed the need for continuity in administration, citing Lagos State as an example of sustained development initiated by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

“If the NDDC continues from where they left off, they will lead the region and align with the 10th Senate. As you continue in the spirit of continuity, you will rise in the annals of time. I urge the IOCs to continue partnering with the NDDC to develop the region,” Senator Asuquo said.

Source: The Nation

 

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Kano Emirate tussle: Northern youths urge Tinubu, int’l bodies to intervene

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President Bola Tinubu has relieved Prof. Aliyu Jauro and Dr. Adeniyi Aremu of their appointments as director-general of the National

The Northern Youth Assembly, Majalisar Matasan Arewa, has written to President Bola Tinubu, bringing his attention to the recent tension in Kano State.

The youth assembly raised concerns about certain individuals within Tinubu’s administration, who might be trying to incite disorder in the State.

The letter, dated May 25, 2024, was also sent to the United Nations Office in Abuja, the European Union Embassy, Economic Community of West African State, ECOWAS, in Abuja, the US Embassy in Abuja, the British High Commission in Abuja, the US Congress, and the European Union.

Signed by the President and the Secretary General, Dr. Ali Idris and Dr. Garba Abdulhafiz, respectively, the letter expressed worries about the recent changes to Kano State’s emirate law, which some are exploiting to create unrest.

They warned that any federal interference could lead to unrest.

“As representatives of the Northern Youth Assembly, with chapters in the Nineteen Northern States and Abuja, we feel compelled to inform you of the developments regarding the Kano Emirate,” the letter stated.

They emphasized Nigeria’s federal structure, which grants state assemblies the authority to legislate for their states’ welfare, citing the 2019 amendment to Kano’s Emirate Councils Laws and the recent repeal of the same law by the current assembly.

The youths also accused certain officials, including National Security Adviser Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, of plotting to forcibly reinstate the ousted Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, using federal security forces under the guise of a court order.

“This blatant encroachment on constitutional democratic practices undermines sub-national authority and constitutes interference in their constitutional powers,” they said.

The youths warned that such actions could damage Tinubu’s reputation as a democrat and provoke unrest among Kano’s 20 million residents, potentially affecting the entire Northern region.

“We urge you to maintain peace and respect democratic institutions, as any attempt to disrupt Kano’s stability could reflect poorly on your administration and invite animosity from the people of Kano and Northern Nigeria,” the letter concluded.

 

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Hajj 2024: Sanwo-Olu resolves BTA differentials for pilgrims

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Full List: Sanwo-Olu orders indefinite closure of markets in Lagos

 governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has approved the payment of the $100 shortfall in the Basic Travel Allowance (BTA) of intending pilgrims.

Some intending pilgrims had protested alleged irregularities in the BTA after they were given $400 BTA as against the $500 announced by the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON).

NAHCON had used the N1,252.01 to $1 exchange rate to calculate hajj fares and subsequent $500 BTA to each pilgrim, but the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) released BTA at N1,530.86 to $1, which gave each pilgrim $415 instead of $500

Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ibrahim Layode, while addressing reporters during the departure of the fifth and final batch of 256 pilgrims, said Governor Sanwo-Olu approved payment of the $100 shortfall for each pilgrim pending the resolution of the matter by NAHCON and CBN.

Layode hailed Sanwo-Olu for the timely intervention and kindheartedness which, according to him, would help to ease the affairs of pilgrims.

The commissioner assured the pilgrims that the governor would keep his promise of paying for their sacrificial rams, Ihram clothes, and Ziyyarah (visitation) to historical sites both in Makkah and Madinah.

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Layode also admonished them to be cautious of their conduct in the holy land, and avoid anything that could bring the state and county to disrepute.

The airlifting of pilgrims started on May 17, with 425 pilgrims. The second batch of 425 pilgrims was airlifted on May 18, the third batch of 428 pilgrims was airlifted on May 22, and the fourth batch of 312 was airlifted on May 24.

 

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Kano crisis: Atiku says Tinubu’s action breaches constitution

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Atiku accuses Tinubu of awarding Lagos-Calabar coastal highway contract to his ally

A former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, has said that the action of the Federal Government in deploying soldiers in Kano in the tussle over the throne of the ancient city is an upset to the peace and security of the state, and also in breach of the 1999 Constitution as Amended.

In performing their constitutional duties of law making, Mr Abubakar said, the Kano State House of Assembly passed the amended Kano State Emirate Council (Repeal) Bill 2024 in consonance with the provision of Section 4 of the Constitution 1999 as Amended whereas the Governor of Kano State, Abba Yusuf subsequently signed into law the said bill.

Mr Abubakar said the law therefore repealed the 2019 version which balkanized the ancient Kano Emirate into five.

“The foregoing circumstances happened within the confines of the law and in compliance with the powers conferred on the Governor as provided by Section 5(2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended; and also in consultation with the Kingmakers of Kano, reappointed Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (also known as Muhammadu Sanusi II) as the 16th Emir of Kano State and accordingly handed him a letter of appointment.

“It is surprising that in the early hours of today, exactly at about 5:30 am the former Emir of Kano, His Majesty Aminu Ado Bayero backed by Federal might made their way into the Nasarawa Palace of the Kano Emirate while the reappointed Emir, Muhammadu Sanusi II was at the Gidan Dabo, which is the main residence of the Emir of Kano.

“In this wise, the former Emir could not have made his way into the Nasarawa Palace without the support of the Federal Government having done so with the support of the Army and other security personnel in his company. The deployment of soldiers in extra constitutional matters such as this undermines the integrity of the Nigerian military.

“We need to remind the Tinubu administration that Kano State is known for peace and harmony spanning thousands of years and any attempt to destablise the peace of the Land of Commerce shall be resisted. Recall that Muhammadu Sanusi II was dethroned on 9th March, 2020 dethroned, Kano forged on in peace without any fracas.

“We wish to state unequivocally that if for any reason, law and order breaks down in Kano State, particularly Kano Municipal, the Federal Government should be held responsible as the act of providing security cover to the former Emir, Aminu Ado Bayero to come back to Kano is an invitation to anarchy,” the former vice president said.

Source: Daily nigeria

 

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Tinubu kick off inauguration of Lagos-Calabar highway, others

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Ahead of the first anniversary of his administration on 29 May, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu today departed Abuja for Lagos

Ahead of the first anniversary of his administration on 29 May, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu today departed Abuja for Lagos to begin a commissioning spree of projects completed under his administration.

In Lagos on Sunday, the President will inaugurate the concrete-paved road to the nation’s major ports in Apapa and Tin Can Island. The reconstructed road which began under the Muhammadu Buhari Administration was financed by the Dangote Group, using its tax credits.

On the same day, President Tinubu will formally inaugurate, by virtual means, the refurbished Third Mainland Bridge, which has drawn public acclaim for its excellent finishing and aesthetic furnishing. He will also commission, virtually, the rehabilitation of 330 roads and bridges across the country.

The highpoint of the President’s engagements on Sunday will be the inauguration of the iconic Lagos-Calabar Superhighway, estimated to cost about N15 trillion. Work has begun on the legacy project that will connect nine coastal states, with Section Two already awarded to Hitech Construction Limited.

President Tinubu will return to Abuja on Tuesday to begin another round of commissioning. He will first inaugurate the Southern Parkway, which the Nyesom Wike-led FCT Administration named after him.

On Wednesday, the President will attend the National Assembly Dialogue Series, after which he will unveil the National Assembly Complex, named after him.

President Tinubu will leave the National Assembly to relaunch the commercialisation of Abuja Light Rail, also known as Abuja Metro. He will symbolically join a train ride to the city centre.

The Abuja Metro was completed in 2018 by the Buhari Administration. It was put into commercial use up till 2020. But with the onset of COVID-19, the train service was abandoned. Vandals descended on the facility, putting it out of use.

FCT Minister Wike, after spending $15 million and building access roads to the various stations, has refurbished it for commercial service.

After the train ride, President Tinubu will also inaugurate the Wuye Flyover-Link Bridge and the Defence Intelligence Agency Headquarters.

On Friday 31 May, President Tinubu will commission the NASENI-Portland Compressed Natural Gas(CNG) Reverse Engineering Centre at Utako.

 

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Tanker explodes on Lagos-Ibadan expressway

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An Iveco truck loaded with petrol exploded along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway on Saturday.

According to sources, the truck, with no registration number, crashed at about 6:57 a.m. around Ago Igbala, Ibafo area axis of the highway.

The crash was said to have caused a traffic backlog between the scene and Arepo on the outward Lagos section of the expressway.

Confirming the incident, the spokesman of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Ogun State Command, Florence Okpe, ascribed the cause of the crash to reckless driving and loss of control by the tanker driver.

Okpe noted that the accident involved five male adults and recorded no casualties or injuries.

She said, “The crash occurred at 06:57 a.m. this morning on Lagos-Ibadan expressway around Ago Igbala, Ibafo area of Ogun State.

“A total of 05 persons were involved, all male adults, and fortunately no deaths were recorded nor were there any injuries.

“The vehicle involved was an Iveco truck with no registration number on it. The suspected cause of the lone crash was speed and the vehicle lost control and crashed. The tanker was loaded with fuel and no casualties were recorded.”

Okpe noted that a rescue operation has been initiated, but traffic managers are still managing the traffic situation caused by the crash.

 

 

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