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Paris Club Fraud: How Buhari attempted to destroy my political career – Saraki



Paris Club Fraud: Buhari weaponised legal system to persecute me – Saraki

Former Nigeria senate president, Bukola Saraki, has said the Paris Club Fraud allegations leveled against him was an attempt to soil his political career and tarnish his reputation by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

The former lawmaker made this claim known while reacting to the supreme court verdict overturning a federal court judgement that said Melrose General Services should forfeit N1,222,384,857.84 to the federal government.

Saraki on his X account (formerly Twitter) on Friday described the case as a “proxy war” that used Melrose “as a mere pawn” to “victimise and persecute” him.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had on April 27, 2018 secured a judgment for the final forfeiture of N1.5 billion which Melrose General Services Limited, obtained from the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) through false claims.

The firm, unsatisfied with the verdict, challenged the judgment of the court of appeal ordering the forfeiture of the money to Nigeria’s government.

The supreme court panel led by Justice Akomaye Agim (SC 1519/2019) set aside the verdicts of the lower courts and ruled in favour of Melrose General Services on Friday.

“As much as this case was between the EFCC and Melrose General Services Limited, it was a proxy war, with Melrose serving as a mere pawn in a larger scheme to victimise and persecute me. It was always clear that this case was a thinly veiled attempt by the Buhari administration to weaponise the legal system for political gain,” Saraki said.

“The allegations of “Paris Club Fraud” were nothing more than a smokescreen designed to weaken the institution of my office, undermine my political career, and tarnish my reputation through spurious accusations similar to the Code of Conduct Tribunal, which also acquitted me of all charges,” the two-time Kwara governor added.

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Commending the judiciary for their diligence in ensuring that justice prevailed, Saraki thanked Melrose’s legal team for their tireless efforts in bringing the case to a just conclusion.

“Moving forward, we all have to canvas for fairness in the fight against corruption. We should see this verdict as an inspiration to champion the rule of law, promote democracy and its institutions, and tolerate divergent views,” Saraki said.



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Resign now! Tinubu directs BPP boss to step down



Easter: Governors, senators beg Nigerians, say hardship over soon

President Bola Tinubu has directed the Director-General/Chief Executive Officer of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Mr. Mamman Ahmadu, to resign.

According to a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, the move is part of a broader effort to reorganise the public procurement system and enhance its efficiency and transparency.

The statement further said Ahmadu is expected to hand over to the most senior officer in the Bureau, pending the appointment of a new Director-General.

“President Bola Tinubu has directed the resignation of Mr. Mamman Ahmadu from office as the Director-General/Chief Executive Officer of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).

“This is part of a larger reorganization effort in the public procurement system to reposition the agency for greater efficiency and transparency.

“The Director-General is to hand over to the most senior officer in the Bureau, pending the appointment of a new Director-General.

“The President thanks Mr. Ahmadu for his services and wishes him success in his future endeavours,” the statement reads.



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Olubadan: At last, Olakulehin makes public appearance amid controversy over health status [VIDEO]



The Olubadan-designate, Owolabi Akinloye Olakulehin, has made a public appearance amid controversy over his health status.

The Olubadan-designate, Owolabi Akinloye Olakulehin, has made a public appearance amid controversy over his health status.

Olakulehin, who hailed from Okugbaja lineage in Ita Baale area of Ibadan, had earlier been nominated and appointed as the 43rd Olubadan by the Olubadan-in-Council at the meeting presided by the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Rasidi Adewolu Ladoja on Friday, 12th April, 2024.

Correspondent reports that Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde had on Saturday said that Olakulehin would ascend the throne as the 43rd Olubadan of Ibadan when he is strong enough to complete the processes for his installation.

Makinde made the statement at the burial ceremony organised by the state government in honour of the 42nd Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Mahood Olalekan Balogun.

A few days after Makinde’s comments, Olakulehin made a public appearance.

It was gathered that the Olubadan-designate inspected the newly built Olubadan Palace on Thursday.

Olakulehin was conducted around the new palace by the President-General of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes, Chief Ajeniyi Ajewole, and other prominent Ibadan indigenes.

Olakulehin, while speaking during the event, said he was happy to inspect the new palace.

He said, “I am highly delighted to be among the living to inspect this project. So, we have to thank God. Ibadan people need to appreciate God for this.”

Ajewole, while speaking, maintained that the inspection became necessary to let the whole world know that the Olubadan-designate is physically fit.

“Given the magnitude of the Olubadan’s role in Ibadan society and the importance of his position to the well-being of the people, it is essential that he be in good health to carry out his duties effectively,” he said

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Parliamentary system, single-term Presidency signpost hard choices before Nigerians



Parliamentary System, Single-Term Presidency Signpost Hard Choices Before Nigerians

After the return to the old national anthem, which is now ironically the “new national anthem,” Nigerians face additional significant decisions.

Sixty members of the House of Representatives are rallying prominent Nigerians to support a shift from the current presidential system to a parliamentary system, which they argue is less costly and less cumbersome. In February, these lawmakers sponsored three bills to amend the 1999 Constitution to implement this change by 2031. The bills are: Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1115); Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1116); and Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2024 (HB.1117).

At a press briefing following the presentation of these bills, their spokesman, Abdussamad Dasuki, highlighted the cross-party and regional collaboration behind the proposal.

He argued that the current presidential system, modelled after the United States, still retains characteristics of military rule, making the Nigerian president one of the most powerful in the world.

Dasuki cited high governance costs and excessive executive powers as major flaws of the presidential system.

“No wonder the Nigerian president appears to be one of the most powerful presidents in the world. Over the years, the imperfections of the presidential system of government have become glaring, despite several alterations to the constitution to address the shortcomings of a system that has denied the nation the opportunity to attain its full potential,” Dasuki remarked.

He elaborated on the high cost of governance under the current system, which leaves fewer resources for crucial areas like infrastructure, education and healthcare, thereby hindering national development. The excessive powers vested in executive members, who are appointees and not directly accountable to the people, were also highlighted as a significant issue.

“Our founders, in their wisdom and in a political atmosphere devoid of compulsion, considered the interests of their native peoples and their desire to live together in a country where truth and justice reign, where no man is oppressed, and where all citizens live in peace and plenty. They adopted the parliamentary system of government, which was the governance system of the First Republic. For six years while it was in operation, the system worked for the country,” Dasuki said.

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The lawmakers have initiated broader consultations with key stakeholders in the country, having met with former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Alhaji Aminu Dantata, Professor Ango Abdullahi, and other influential figures who have expressed support for the proposal.

Earlier this week, another group of over 30 members of the House of Representatives proposed a single six-year term for the president and governors, as well as a proposition for two vice presidents, alongside other electoral reforms. The members, under the aegis of ‘Reform Minded Lawmakers’, detailed their proposals in 50 bills presented before the House for amendment.

At a press conference, spokesman Rep. Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere emphasised the urgent need for constitutional and electoral reforms to address Nigeria’s ongoing issues since independence. He highlighted the group’s commitment to reducing governance costs, ensuring equity and combating corruption through legislative instruments.

“We are a group of over 30 reform-minded lawmakers from different political parties committed to ensuring a working Nigeria using legislative instruments within our power. We aim to ensure the reduction of the cost of governance and campaigns; unite our country, ensure a seamless transition, continuity, uninterrupted development, justice, equity, independence of INEC, efficient use of state resources, and tackle nepotism, state capture, and corruption in electoral processes,” Ugochinyere said.

The lawmakers proposed several significant reforms, including the constitutional alteration to provide for the rotation of executive powers among the six geopolitical zones, the recognition of the division of Nigeria into six geopolitical zones, and a single six-year tenure for the president and governors.

These changes aim to reduce government spending, increase efficiency in governance, and provide national stability.

Among the proposed amendments is the creation of two vice presidents’ offices to emerge from the southern and northern parts of Nigeria. The first vice president would be a succession vice president, while the second would be a minister in charge of the economy.

Another proposed amendment is that of financial autonomy and accountability of local government councils by prescribing an independent consolidated local government council account and imposing long-term imprisonment for any misuse of local government funds.

There are also amendments to ensure state governments remit allocations to local government councils within their jurisdiction, with penalties for non-compliance. These, however, may be belated if the federal government succeeds in its suit against the state governments now before the Supreme Court to secure an order granting full autonomy to the local governments.

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Ugochinyere further stressed the necessity of electoral reforms to improve Nigeria’s democratic processes. These include: conducting all elections (presidential, governorship, National Assembly, state houses of assembly and local governments) on the same day; ensuring election results align with the list of accredited voters and the B-VAS machine; and holding INEC officers accountable for declaring false results through civil and criminal actions.

Others are resolving all election-related litigations before the winners are sworn into office and making all election-related documents and materials available to those who participated in elections and who have reason to question the outcomes.

The lawmakers acknowledged the significant challenges facing Nigeria, including economic hardship, insecurity, disunity, weak institutions, corruption and wastage of state resources. They stressed the critical phase Nigeria is in and the importance of their reform efforts for the country’s survival as a political and economic unit.

Experts and civil society organisations (CSOs) have, however, expressed mixed reactions to the proposals.

Dr Abubakar Kyari of the University of Abuja opposes both the return to parliamentary system and the single six-year term, arguing that governance issues stem from implementation rather than system structure.

“I am not convinced by the reasons advanced by the canvassers of this particular position. They have mentioned the issue of cost. I think the issue of cost is just a matter of the implementers and not the system. No matter what system of government is operated, as long as there are no checks and balances, or as long as there are no deliberate attempts to ensure that officials of government do not turn the public treasury into their own personal treasury, there will be profligacy and unnecessary spending of resources,” Kyari said.

He further critiqued the idea of returning to regionalism, questioning how the regions of 1960–1966 could be relevant today. He also argued that the current geopolitical zones do not reflect present realities and that any such move would be impractical.

His position on the parliamentary system of government reiterated that earlier espoused by Professor Auwalu Yadudu, a renowned constitutional lawyer.

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In an earlier interview with Daily Trust, Yadudu said with the current situation in Nigeria, a return to the parliamentary system of government may become a recipe for inertia and chaos.

“You simply don’t know what exactly the parliamentary system will throw out for you, because I can imagine the kind of instability, political inertia, and even the total chaos in the country if you were to go for parliamentary system of government, which is so prone to instability, and given our ethnic, religious and geopolitical differences, I don’t see people really minding their business and allowing the system to work for five years,” he said.

On his part, Mallam Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, Executive Director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), spoke on the need for democratic, transparent and inclusive power rotation at both federal and state levels.

He warned against federal overreach into state affairs, as exemplified by the Kano State emirate crisis, which he argued undermined state rights.

“In addition to the rotational presidency and governorship positions, Nigerians are demanding that a five-year single term be adopted to create political stability and inclusion for now,” Rafsanjani said.

Also, Comrade Ibrahim Zikirullahi, Executive Director of Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED), called for caution and vigilance regarding the proposed bills, questioning the motives behind their initiation.

While supporting some aspects, such as the single tenure and financial autonomy for local governments, he raised concerns about expanding bureaucracy with the introduction of two vice presidents and the implications for the electoral cycle.

“Conducting two different elections for the legislative and executive arms will not only erode the gains from reducing the election cycle for the president and governors by two years but will further increase the overall cost of elections,” Zikirullahi noted.

Thus, while the proposed constitutional and electoral reforms by Nigerian lawmakers aim to address critical governance and political issues, they have sparked significant debate among experts and civil society. The discussions and consultations continue as Nigeria navigates these complex political reforms, with the potential for a substantial impact on the country’s future.

Source: Dailytrust


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Don’t leave politics for politicians alone – VP, Shettima to Nigerians



10th Senate: I was misinterpreted by agent of division, says Shettima

Vice-President Kashim Shettima has called on Nigerians not to leave politics to politicians alone, asking for a synergy between the government and business leaders.

The Vice President said the partnership is necessary to propel Nigeria’s economic growth and prosperity.

He said open dialogue, shared insights, and collaborative work between the public and private sectors were panacea to developing solutions tailored towards Nigeria’s realities.

The Vice president made the call at the Heirs Holdings Group Directors’ Annual Summit Dinner in Abuja, on Friday, and called for synergy between the political class and economic stakeholders, noting that the two spheres are not opposites but complementary forces vital for national stability and progress.

“Politics is too important to be left to the politicians, and enterprises that define our economic destination are too important to be left to the businessmen alone to develop,” he said.

While aligning with President Bola Tinubu’s economic agenda, Shettima urged conglomerates to serve as pipelines for the administration’s practical economic vision, departing from cosmetic reforms of the past.

“Collaboration between the public and private sectors is the ingredients of a thriving economy. We must engage in open dialogue and share insights and work together to crop solutions that are peculiar to our realities. Whether it is tackling unemployment, reducing poverty, or enhancing education and healthcare, our partnership must aspire to drive sustainable development and create a safe future for all Nigerians,” he added.

Source: Daily post


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Controversial DSTV owners, Multichoice has N31.6 billion with liquidated Heritage Bank



Multichoice Group, owners of DSTV, had an account balance of N31.6 billion with Heritage Bank, before the bank’s liquidation.

Multichoice Group, owners of DSTV, had an account balance of N31.6 billion with Heritage Bank, before the bank’s liquidation.

According to the group’s annual report for FY 2024, Multichoice had a deposit of N33.7 billion (488 million South African Rands) with the bank as of the 2024 fiscal year end on March 31, 2024.

However, that balance was subsequently reduced to N31.6 billion (ZAR 400 million) due to cash remittances before the bank’s liquidation on June 3, 2024.

The significant deposit raises concerns for the group, as the sum far exceeds the N5 million maximum payout guaranteed by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Commission (NDIC).

However, according to Multichoice’s annual report, the group will engage the liquidator (NDIC) to “ensure a reasonable outcome is achieved”.

What the NDIC is doing
In a press release dated June 3, 2024, the NDIC announced the liquidation of Heritage Bank. The statement specified that depositors with funds exceeding N5 million will receive a liquidation dividend, contingent upon realising the bank’s assets and recovering its outstanding debts.

In line with this step of selling the bank’s assets, the NDIC has announced a public bidding process for the sale of Heritage Bank assets.

The NDIC through a newspaper advert on June 13, 2024, noted,

“The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation in the exercise of its rights as Liquidator of failed Deposit Money Banks hereby invites interested members of the general public to buy the assets (landed property and chattels) of defunct Heritage Banks through public competitive bidding.”

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Multichoice and Heritage Bank had strong ties in the past, as the bank was a sponsor of the group’s endeavours, such as Big Brother Naija and the Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards (AMVCA).

Multichoice Nigeria’s financial troubles
In its FY 2024 annual report, Multichoice Group reported a repatriation of $184 million from Nigeria, representing a 39.4% increase from the $132 million from the previous fiscal year.

However, the group’s remittances from Nigeria drove down its cash balances to $39 million, from $104 million as of FYE 2023.

Multichoice Group also incurred significant losses on its cash repatriations from the Nigerian market due to exchange rate instabilities.

During the fiscal year, Multichoice incurred losses of about ZAR 1.064 billion on cash remittances, due to the translation differences between the official and parallel exchange rate.

The group’s flagship product, DSTV reported an 18% decline in active subscribers in Nigeria, as Nigeria’s contribution to the group’s revenue excluding South Africa, dropped to 35%, from 44% as of FYE 2022.

Multichoice’s betting business, BetKing Nigeria, reported a 37% growth in online users in FY 2024, with its revenue growing by 26% in Naira. However, in USD, BetKing reported a revenue of $147 million, marking a 26% decline from FY 2023.

During the fiscal year ending March 31, 2024, DSTV increased its subscription fee twice in Nigeria. According to the group, the reason was to “track inflation that exceeded 30%”. However, due to its price increases, Multichoice Nigeria has been in the eye of the storm in Nigeria.

On April 29, 2024, the Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal (CCPT) sitting in Abuja restrained Multichoice Nigeria from increasing the subscription of DStv and GOtv in a ruling on a motion filed by Mr. Festus Onifade.

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However, in a subsequent ruling on May 7, Multichoice Nigeria challenged the jurisdiction of the tribunal in restraining it from a price increase.

Then on June 7, 2024, the tribunal fined Multichoice Nigeria N150 million for challenging its jurisdiction to rule on the motion, while ordering the company to give Nigerians, a one-month free subscription.


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‘Innoson Motors not sincere’- Assembly drags locally made vehicles firm



The Abia House of Assembly has threatened to terminate its contract with Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing Ltd for allegedly failing to

The Abia House of Assembly has threatened to terminate its contract with Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing Ltd for allegedly failing to fulfil its agreement to produce vehicles for all the lawmakers.

The Speaker of the House, Rt Hon. Emmanuel Emeruwa announced this on Thursday in Umuahia during a media interaction marking the one-year anniversary of the 8th Assembly.

Emeruwa expressed regret that members had not received their vehicles a year after their inauguration. He noted that the preference for Innoson vehicles was driven by Governor Alex Otti’s initiative to promote local products. Emeruwa stated that Innoson had received full payment to produce the vehicles but had failed more than 10 times to deliver them.

He stated, “So far, Innoson has not been able to produce or perform its own side of the agreement. At this point, we are on the verge of terminating that contract and asking for our money back if he doesn’t perform within the next 15 days. This house is very serious about it and they cannot continue pacifying us after one year,”

Presenting the one-year scorecard of the 8th Assembly, the Speaker announced that five out of 15 bills had been passed into law. He highlighted that the House had also made 40 resolutions, received 46 petitions, and handled 55 motions.

He emphasized the Assembly’s high level of activity, expressing confidence that even more would be accomplished by this time next year. The Speaker also noted the peaceful nature of the 8th Assembly and its positive relationship with the Executive.

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The government of Abia state entered a partnership with Innoson Motors where it purchased most of the vehicles used by the state’s government officials- a move aimed at promoting local production in the auto industry.

The partnership led the Governor of Abia state, Dr. Alex Otti to ask the Chairman of the company to establish another vehicle manufacturing plant in the state.

Innoson vehicles usually generate the bulk of their revenue from contracts to governments and corporate organisations rather than B2C.

The company since the administration of President Buhari has enjoyed significant federal government support through purchases of vehicles for Ministries and government agencies. Even the military is not left out as the Army has made notable purchases from the company.

The company has also made international sales with other sovereign governments in Africa with the purchase by the government of Sierra Leone a notable example.


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