Tag Archives: local

We have no custody of Chibok Girls – Chief of Defence staff.

Advertisements

The girls were forced from their dormitories onto trucks and driven into the bush.

Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Lucky Irabor, says no escaped Chibok Girl is currently in the custody of Nigeria’s military.

Advertisements

Major General Irabor who on Sunday led other Service Chiefs on an operational visit to the Headquarters, Command and Control Centre of Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri, the Borno State Capital, told newsmen that contrary to claims making the rounds, there are no new set of escaped Chibok girls in the army’s custody.

The CDS, however, said “we desire that the rest of the Chibok Girls receive their liberty and if our operations have helped these ones to escape, if it yielded such results, then we are glad. ”

The Military Chief said more is being done to strengthen the efforts of the army, with the hope that they will yield desired results.

Advertisements

Daring escapes
On April 14, 2014, Boko Haram gunmen seize 276 girls aged between 12 and 17 from the Government Girls Secondary School in the remote town of Chibok in Borno state.

Major General Lucky Irabor

Since the attack in 2014, Boko Haram has continued to kidnap and lay claims to the kidnapping of several girls and women within the region.

While some girls were rescued by troops in 2016, others have reportedly escaped over the years, with the latest report coming barely two days before the service chiefs’ operational visit to Borno.

Fifty-seven managed to flee in a daring escape.

Advertisements

Though it is not yet clear how many of the remaining missing girls have managed to escape, reports, however, suggest that some more girls escaped and have been reunited with their families.

The military says it is not aware of any escape and have no girls in their custody, but hopes that the operations being carried out at the moment will see that more Nigerians within the den of the insurgents will regain their freedom.

Advertisements

#Newsworthy

Probe N4.4bn missing fund – Reps to Lawan, Gbajabiamila

Advertisements

The National Assembly Management Account also reveals that N673,081,242.14 was spent between April and October 2017 without any documents.

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the Senate President Dr Ahmad Lawan, and Speaker of House of Representatives Mr Femi Gbajabiamila to urgently probe allegations that N4.4 billion of public money budgeted for the National Assembly is missing, misappropriated, diverted or stolen, as documented in three audited reports by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation.

In an open letter dated January 30 and signed by SERAP’s Deputy Director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “By exercising strong and effective leadership in this matter, the National Assembly can show Nigerians that the legislative body is a proper and accountable watchdog that represents and protects the public interest, and is able to hold both itself and the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to account in the management of public resources.”

The agency believes that if the matter is not satisfactorily addressed, the allegations would undermine public confidence in the ability of the National Assembly to exercise its constitutional and oversight responsibilities to prevent and combat corruption, and to ensure the public interest, transparency and accountability in the management of public resources.

Advertisements

SERAP also expressed concerns that the allegations of corruption, mismanagement and misappropriation of public funds amount to fundamental breaches of the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 [as amended] and the country’s international obligations, including under the UN Convention against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption.

The letter, read in part: “Any failure to promptly, thoroughly and independently investigate these serious allegations, prosecute suspected perpetrators, and recover missing public funds and assets would undermine public trust in the ability of the leadership of the National Assembly to ensure probity, transparency and accountability in the management of public funds.”

“The Auditor-General noted in his 2015 report that the National Assembly account was spent N8,800,000.00 as unauthorised overdraft, contrary to Financial Regulations 710. The National Assembly also reportedly spent N115,947,016.00 without any documents. Another N158,193,066.00 spent as cash advances to 17 staff between January and June 2015 is yet to be retired.”

“The Senate reportedly spent N186,866,183.42 to organise Senate Retreat and Pre-Valedictory Session for the 7th Senate, although the money was meant to pay vehicle loan. The Senate also reportedly spent N15,964,193.63 as bank charges between July and December, 2015, contrary to Financial Regulations 734.”

Advertisements

“The House of Representatives also reportedly spent N624,377,503.30 to buy 48 Utility Vehicles. However, 14 vehicles were not supplied. The House also failed to make the 34 vehicles supplied available for verification. Similarly, the House spent N499,666,666.00 as cash advances to staff to carry out various assignments but has failed to retire the money.”

“The House of Representatives also reportedly paid N70,560,000.00 as overtime and ‘special’ allowances to officials who are not legislative aides between November and December 2015 without any authority.”

Advertisements

“The National Assembly Service Commission reportedly failed to remit N30,130,794.10 deducted from the salaries of the Executive Chairman and the Commissioners as car loan.”

“The National Assembly Budget and Research Office reportedly spent N66,303,411.70 as out-of-pocket expenses without any documents. The National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies paid N246,256,060.51 by cheques, despite the prohibition of payments by cheque by the Federal Government, except in extreme cases, and contrary to Financial Regulation 631.”

“According to the Auditor-General Report for 2017, the House of Representatives reportedly spent ₦95,212,250.00 without due process and without any documents. The National Assembly Management Account also reveals that N673,081,242.14 was spent between April and October 2017 without any documents. The Auditor-General reported that the funds may have been misappropriated.”

Advertisements

“The Senate Account also reportedly shows that ₦1,364,816,397.95 was spent on store items without any documents to show for the spending. The Auditor-General stated that his office was denied access to the store and to the Senate’s records.”

“The National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies also reportedly failed to remit ₦2,181,696.50 from contract of goods and services. The Institute also paid ₦67,296,478.00 without any payment vouchers.”

“We would be grateful if you would indicate the measures being taken to address the allegations and to implement the proposed recommendations, within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel the leadership of the National Assembly to implement these recommendations in the public interest, and to promote transparency and accountability in the National Assembly.”

“The Auditor-General also noted in his 2018 report that the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies failed to remit N577,634,638,20 due from contracts and supplies, even though the deductions were made. However, the Institute claimed that it was the National Assembly that was required to remit the money, as it is the body that maintains the account on behalf of the Institute.”

Advertisements

“Our requests are brought in the public interest, and in keeping with the requirements of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended], the country’s international obligations including under the UN Convention against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption. Nigeria has ratified both treaties.”

The letter is copied to Mr Abubakar Malami SAN, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice; Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC); and Mr Mohammed Abba, Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Advertisements

#Newsworthy

Gov’t reopens third mainland bridge.

Advertisements

The bridge, which is going through series of repairs, was partially shut on July 24, 2020 for another round of rehabilitation works.

The Federal Controller of Works, Lagos, Mr Olukayode Popoola, on Sunday, said that the total shutdown of the Third Mainland Bridge would be lifted at midnight of Jan. 31, 24 hours ahead of schedule.

Advertisements

Popoola told NoRM‘s known Media on the telephone that the contractor was able to complete the repair works on the bridge on Saturday, hence the lifting of the total closure at midnight.

“The casting of the expansion joints was completed on Saturday. Therefore, the Third Mainland Bridge will be opened by 12 midnight of Jan. 31.

Advertisements

“Motorists can start plying the bridge as from 12 midnight,” he said.

While thanking road users for their understanding, Popoola said that the reopening had been communicated to the Lagos State government and all relevant agencies to ensure seamless traffic on the highway.

Recall with NoRM that Popoola had, on Jan. 27, announced a three-day total shutdown of the bridge from the midnight of Friday to midnight of Monday, Feb. 1 to allow for replacement of three expansion joints.

Advertisements

The repair, expected to last six months, was extended by one month due to the #EndSARS protests in Lagos, thus extending the completion date from January to February.

The construction was initially divided into two phases of three months on each carriageway, starting with the Oworonsoki-bound carriageway whose completion dragged to four months.

Traffic was partially diverted on a stretch of 3.5 kilometres where construction is ongoing between Adeniji Adeniji ramp and Ebute-Meta, while different time belts were allotted for traffic diversions on the bridge.

The 11.8-kilometre bridge is the longest of the three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the Mainland.

Advertisements

The bridge starts from Oworonshoki, which is linked to the Apapa-Oshodi expressway and the Lagos-Ibadan expressway and ends at the Adeniji Adele interchange on Lagos Island.

Constructed in 1990, the bridge was adjudged the longest in Africa until 1996 when the Oct. 6 Bridge in Cairo, Egypt, was completed.

Advertisements

#Newsworthy

Voice of Nigeria DG laud Buhari’s internal democracy promotion

Advertisements

The VON boss praised the President for upholding the internal democracy and hence, bidding goodbye to imposition of candidates in APC.

Noble Reporters Media gathers that the Nationwide APC Membership Revalidation would kick-off simultaneously on Tuesday nationwide.

Advertisements

He said: “One salutes President Buhari for promoting the doctrine of internal democracy, hence bidding goodbye to imposition of candidates in the APC during primary elections.

“I am glad that the President gave life oxygen to Section 7 (viii) of the APC constitution, which states interalia, ‘To promote and uphold the practice of internal democracy at all levels of the party’s organisation.

“Taking cognizance of upholding this core tenet of democracy and repositioning our great party, the President proclaimed that, `No more crowning from Abuja downward. Let the people know this and appreciate it that they are in charge of their constituencies and they are in charge of the party.

Advertisements

“Without any incentive, they must come out and defend the party at any level so that we, you and the party will feel secure and comfortable because the old-time of putting hands in the pocket is over because the money is no longer available’’.

Okechukwu further said that Buhari, as the foremost leader of APC, has undoubtedly raised the Red-Flag to ubiquitous ‘Food is Ready Politicians (FRPs)’ in Abuja, and surreptitiously reap offices meant for hardworking party members.

According to him, to avoid the huge loss inflicted on our great party by the crass imposition of candidates in the 2018 primary elections, we must avoid the Red-Flag of undue endorsement of candidates.

The VON D-G said: “For the avoidance of doubt, if not for crass imposition of candidates in our party in 2018, the stocks of our sister political party, the PDP, could have crashed badly.

Advertisements

“Imposition in APC elevated the fortunes of PDP, that today, they can afford to bandy fake news, make noise, fail to pay the bailout funds and subvert eloquent policies of the President like the Social Investment Programmes, and Executive Order 10’’.

Okechukwu called on APC leadership at all levels to strictly adhere to the President’s Red-Flag proclamation that the party style and structure should no longer operate from Abuja downwards but from the ward level upwards.

Advertisements

#Newsworthy

Condemn and Criminalise foreign Rice trade – RPAN pleads Gov’t

Advertisements

Ekwelem cautioned if the government did not take decisive action on smuggled rice, all the mills in the country would collapse and lead to many jobs losses.

The Rice Processors Association of Nigeria (RPAN) has appealed to the Federal Government to criminalise the sales of foreign rice in the country.

The Director General of the association, Mr Andy Ekwelem stated this while addressing newsmen in Abuja on Saturday over the influx of smuggled rice into the country.

Advertisements

He stated that rice value chain sub sector had engaged about 13 million Nigerians on direct employment.

He added that the number of people that would lose their jobs to the activities of smugglers would be much especially in this trying period.

Advertisements

He said that the government tackled the menace of rice smuggling but with the reopening of borders by the Federal Government, the markets were flooded with foreign rice again.

“We have said it many times on the need for government to criminalise sales of foreign rice in the markets and supermarkets. Rice is number one on the list of prohibited products in which CBN placed forex restriction.

“It is assumed that any rice you see in this country now, in the markets, shops and even in your homes that is not Nigeria made rice, it is smuggled into the country.

Advertisements

“The country is losing revenue because these smugglers are not paying the right duties to bring the rice into the country and this ugly development is killing our economy.

“We want a law that will empower law enforcement agencies to go to markets and shops to arrest anyone found with foreign rice because their action amounts to economic sabotage.

“When that is done, people will be discouraged from buying from these people that smuggled rice into the country. We need to take drastic measures against smugglers as well as those selling the products,” Ekwelem said.

The director general lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for his giant stride in the rice production, adding that there were only six Integrated Rice Mills in the country before 2015 and had risen to about 60.

Advertisements

According to him, about N3.4 trillion has been invested in the enrire rice value chain production across the country.

He added that the gains made in the sub sector in the last few years were possible through the support and interventions of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

He said addressing this challenge of smuggling was paramount so that all these efforts, commitments and resources put in the rice value chain sub sector would not be a waste.

He noted that most of the mills in the country were now working at half capacity because there were no offtakers for the products they produced for Nigerian markets.

Advertisements

Ekwelem however appealed to Nigeria Customs Service to step up in manning borders to curb the activities of smugglers.

The director general said the association was committed to standard in rice production, adding that all members are committed to maintaining it.

Advertisements

#Newsworthy

LG office on fire, burnt court records into ashes


Fire on Saturday razed Bende Customary Court and some office blocks at the Bende Local Government Area of Abia State.

The office blocks house the Agriculture Department, Board of Internal Revenue Unit, Examination Development Commission, National Population Unit, and many others.

Lamenting over the inferno, the Local Government Chairman, Dr. Hagler Okorie, noted that the damage by the fire will cost millions of naira to rebuild, including records of court proceedings and exhibits among others.


He expressed his gratitude that no life was lost and ordered the council staff to clear bushes around their offices and residential quarters.

He also advised the staff to switch of electrical appliances when they are not in use or when leaving the office to forestall a recurrence.

Furthermore, Dr. Okorie called on the federal and state governments to urgently intervene by assisting the LGA to rebuild the damaged structures so as “to restore normal official functions of the court and the council”.

The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained as of the time of filing this report.


#Newsworthy…

Kirikasamma LGA Jigawa bans men and women Union in night club.


The Kirikasamma Local Government Area in Jigawa state, has enacted a law banning men and women from meeting in any part of the local government at night.

The leader of the local government’s councillors, Sa’idu Marma, who spoke to newsmen after the law was enacted in a ceremony attended by Imams, said it became important to enact the law following growing complaints from parents about incidences of out of wedlock pregnancies allegedly due to the night meetings and discussion between members of the opposite sex in the area. According to him, fornication and unwanted pregnancy among girls is a major challenge bedeviling the council area.

Also speaking, the information officer of the local government area, Sanusi Doro, told newsmen that henceforth, members of the opposite sex (even lovers) found violating the law would be sentenced to six months in prison with an option of N50,000 fine. According to Doro, true lovers can only meet during the day to discuss.

The new law in the Jigawa council area comes days after Kano State banned members of the opposite sex from boarding the same commercial tricycles.


#Newsworthy…

How policing in our localities can ensure effective security – Donald Duke.


A former Governor of Cross River, Donald Duke, says local policing is the only way to ensure effective security in the country.Duke made the suggestion on Friday at a public lecture organised by the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star in Calabar, Cross River.


The theme was: “Servant Leadership, the Might of Meekness.’’He described policing as “a very local thing which requires a lot of intelligence and knowing the people who you work with.’’


According to him, anything that is central must be localised.“If you send someone from Edo to come and become the Commissioner of Police in Cross River and the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) is from a different state, how do you expect him to understand the peculiarities of the people?


“The failure of the military administration in Nigeria was posting someone from Sokoto to be an administrator in Cross River. It will take him a long time to understand the nuances of the people of the locality,’’ he said.On concept of a servant leader, Duke said there was no better example than Christ who came from on high.


The former governor said Christ went through the humbling process of birth, growth and understanding human frailties and strengths in order to lead them back to his father.He said that a leader must understand and love the people.


“It is love that gives you the passion to keep going regardless of the challenges.“If you are a leader whose entire outlook is for the betterment of his or her people, they will still look up to you even when you are not in the position of authority.


“We must demand loyalty from our leaders because they come to us, demand our votes and immediately they become leaders, they become tigers.“Loyalty is a two-way thing; it starts from the top and comes down to the bottom and when it gets to the bottom, what you get back is reciprocity,’’ Duke said.


Also speaking, the Nigerian High Commissioner to Uganda, Dr Nya Asuquo, noted the differences between prosperous and backward countries.Asuquo noted that natural resources alone did not guarantee the prosperity of a nation but visionary leadership transformed people’s destiny.


He said that a leader must not only know where he is going but must have the ability to inspire people to go with him.“Leadership goes beyond occupying an office of authority but being able to motivate the people with words and actions.“It is important to state that the supreme quality of leadership is having an unquestionable integrity because without it, no real success is possible,’’ he said.In his remarks, the Deputy Governor-elect of Bayelsa, Sen. Degi Eremienyo, said the most effective instrumentality for change was to imbibe the spirit of servant leadership reinforced with meekness and humanity.


#Newsworthy…