APC’s Legal Adviser Steps Aside Over Bribery Allegation

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) National Legal Adviser, Muiz Banire (SAN), has stepped aside to answer questions concerning his alleged bribing of a judge at the National Industrial Court of Nigeria.

In a letter dated November 8, 2016 which he reportedly addressed to the party leadership, he said he was not only shocked but “extremely disturbed” by media reports claiming he paid a judge N500,000.

Banire insisted he had voluntarily submitted himself to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for questioning.Several attempts by The Guardian to get Banire to confirm the authorship of the letter yesterday in Abuja, however, failed as his mobile phone was switched off, and text message was not replied.

His decision to step down came less than 24 hours after he issued a statement denying the bribery allegations. He claimed the money he offered the judge was a gift and not a bribe.




#EdoDecides: INEC Denies Allegation Of Ballot Box Snatching, Gunshots

The Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) has denied report of ballot box snatching and gunshots in some polling centres during the Edo governorship election on Wednesday.

Gov. Adams Oshiomhole had earlier said he received a report that some thugs allegedly snatched ballot boxes at Opoji in Esan North-East Local Government Area during the election.

Oshiomhole also alleged that the suspected snatchers shot sporadically before taking away the ballot boxes.

Credit: NAN

Mahmood Yakubu Reacts To Allegation Of ‘Inconclusive’ Elections

The Independent National Election Commission, (INEC) has dismissed insinuations that all elections conducted since the assumption of office of the current chairman of the commission, Mahmood Yakubu, have been inconclusive.

The commission said it conducted 139 elections which were concluded.

The reaction was contained in a press statement signed and issued Tuesday by the acting secretary to the commission, Musa Adamu, in response to a statement credited to the outgoing president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Augustine Alegeh.

Mr. Alegeh reportedly made the remarks at the opening of the Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, on Sunday, 21st August 2016.

“Mr. Alegeh was reported to have rebuked the Commission for having conducted one hundred and thirty six (136) inconclusive elections in the past one year under the watch of Professor Mahmood Yakubu,” the statement said.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) seldom takes issues with members of the public. But the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) is a highly distinguished and respected and respected person.

Besides, he represents a knowledgeable and influential constituency. His pronouncements are therefore weighty and could pass for the gospel truth.”

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Army Debunks Militants Allegation On Plot To Topple Buhari’s Govt

Authorities of the Nigerian Army have said allegation by a militant group claiming that a coup plot to remove the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari were the handiwork of mischief makers since there was nothing like that in the offing.

A statement titled ‘Warning to Mischief Makers; Nobody is Planning Any Coup’ and signed by Col Sani Usman said, “The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to another campaign of calumny and distraction by faceless criminal gang of economic saboteurs that hide under the aegis of Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force (JNDLF) alleging that some officers of the Nigerian Army approached them for support to overthrow our duly elected present democratic government.

“This is baseless and most unfortunate allegation that existed in the warped minds of the originators of such weighty allegation. The Nigerian Army wish to state that this is not true and hereby distanced itself from this weighty allegation.

“We also see this speculation as a dangerous distraction to our effort in fighting insurgency and other criminal elements in the country.

“The Nigerian Army would like to send a strong and an unequivocal warning to those speculating a coup by the Nigerian Army (NA) against the Government to desist forthwith. “We would like state in clear terms that that we are a product of democracy and a focused professional institution and would have nothing to do with such abomination and heinous crime.

“We wish to state further that the NA is the greatest beneficiary of democracy and therefore cannot ever contemplate any anti-democratic misadventure, certainly not under the command of the present Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai.

“Rather, we see this type of dangerous speculation as a declaration of war to destabilize the present government by these unscrupulous elements.

“The Nigerian Army is investigating those behind the dangerous insinuation in order to unravel the real motive behind it.

“We would like to reiterate our unalloyed loyalty to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and defence of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“We would also like to reaffirm our unconditional support and obedience to civil authority. “We wish to further assure Nigerians and indeed all peace loving people that the Nigerian Army and indeed its personnel will never be involved in such terrible misadventure.

“We wish to further add that no matter how long it takes, we would track and find out those behind these insinuations and bring them to justice.

Credit: Vanguard


Sex Scandal: Accused Lawmakers Deny Allegation, Insist On Proof

The House of Representatives on Tuesday, mandated its committees on Ethics and Privileges and Foreign Affairs to investigate alleged sexual misconduct against three of its members.

This followed a motion brought under Order six, Rules two and 22 of the House Standing Orders by one of the accused, Rep. Mark Gbillah (APC, Benue).

In the motion, Gbillah described the action of the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwhistle, in petitioning the house, as a move to tarnish the image of the lawmakers and the hallowed chamber. He said that no such incident occurred as reported by the ambassador, and insisted that the envoy should provide proof to support his allegation.

Gbillah, who was accused with Samuel Ikon (PDP, Akwa Ibom) and Mohammed Gololo (APC, Bauchi) of the crime, said that none of them was interrogated by U.S. authorities over the allegation.

He said that there was, therefore, the need not to draw conclusion on the matter until it had been properly investigated.

The motion was unanimously adopted through a voice vote.

However, Rep. Nnena Elendu-Ukeje, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, cautioned that the matter should be taken with utmost seriousness so as not to jeopardise Nigeria-U.S. relationship.

In his remarks, the Speaker of the house, Mr Yakubu Dogara, urged Nigerians to tread with caution on the matter until the persons involved were proven guilty.

He therefore referred the matter to the relevant committees “to be handled in line with international best practice’’.

Credit: Guardian

Obanikoro Addresses $2.1bn Arms Deal Allegation, Welcomes Extradition Process

Following the raid by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the Ikoyi, Lagos, residence of former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, last Tuesday, the former minister has dismissed the allegations of his involvement in the $2.1 billion arms deal, adding that they were based solely on rumours.

Obanikoro who had earlier responded to the raid by the commission, during which his cars and valuables were carted away by the agency, through his media aide Jonathan Eze, however decided to address the incident himself.

In a series of posts on his Facebook page yesterday, he said the raid by the EFCC was based purely on rumours of his supposed involvement in the $2.1 billion arms deal and the National Security Adviser’s imprest account.
He said: “Suggestions of an EFCC investigation have dwelt solely in the realm of rumour, over which I have sued several media organisations.

“The rumour before was that of the $2.7 billion (sic) arms issue, now they say it is NSA imprest account. Let them make the documents public.

“EFCC has never officially made public any investigation of my record in government at any time before this illegal invasion of my house.”

While stressing that the rumours of a plan to extradite him from the United States were lies, he however said he would welcome an extradition process, as it would expose government’s shenanigans.

“Rumours of extradition are also lies. False allegations cannot stand up to any decent legal inquiry in a civilised system such as in the US.

“The allegations are lies, not backed by fact or evidence but a burning desire to obliterate the opposition and keep Nigerians distracted.

“The illegal invasion of my house and @realFFK (Femi Fani Kayode) and several others in detention, gives me no confidence in government’s willingness to do justice,” Obanikoro stated.

He added: “I welcome an extradition process as it will expose the shenanigans going on with their fraudulently fictitious fight against ‘corruption’.

“Since EFCC opted to make this a media trial/circus, let them make public any document linking me or any of my children to any financial scam.”
“I cannot submit myself to such a glaring witch hunt, injustice and charade; but I will fight it legally with God and a clear conscience on my side.”

Condemning the raid on his home during the Ramadam fast, he said: “To put one’s family and dependents through such trauma of illegal invasion, in this holy month of Ramadan is an unfair reward for service.

“I put close to two decades into public service, in opposition and in government, all with an unblemished record and a clear conscience.

“The aim of government is to distract the people from their woes. Such tactics have been tried before, in Nigeria and elsewhere, they failed.

“If hounding Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members will solve Nigeria’s economic woes then we welcome it. This is a rather woeful attempt to distract from those woes.

“If the harassment of PDP members will help government to deliver good governance, many of us would submit ourselves willingly to martyrdom.

“But unfortunately, harassing PDP leaders is not in any way equal to the delivery of good governance, no matter who applauds such illegality.

“The illegal invasion without EFCC invitation, notice of investigation or a court order is also a mockery of the intelligence of Nigerians.

“The illegal invasion and raid is a mockery of justice, an expression of disdain towards the judicial system and a terribly bad precedence
“Such invasion and raid of my house without prior invitation from EFCC to me or any court order towards this, signals a return to despotism.

“Furthermore, no court ordered a raid on my house or seizure of my belongings. Any such move is illegal and will be fought against legally.

“Let me reiterate clearly; I have never received any invitation from EFCC over any issue up till date. This invasion therefore is premature.

“In 16 years of democracy, we thought we had conquered despotism for good in Nigeria but in one year, this government has brought it back.

“The invasion and raid of my residence yesterday (Tuesday) by agents of the state is a sad throwback to a tyrannical past that is better forgotten.”

While addressing Nigerians, he said: “Nigerians must remain steadfast in condemning the nepotism like ethnic divisions and economic illiteracy that have characterised this government.
“Pursuing Obanikoro, hounding (Alison) Madueke, detaining FFK and (Sambo) Dasuki will not distract the people from the failure of government to deliver on its own promises.

“This is a government determined to outdo the abysmal and ignominious economic records of December 31, 1983 to August 27, 1985 that ended in shame.

“This is a government that promotes ethnic divisions, distracts from issues, political persecution and official gangsterism from high places.

“I also remain unshaken in my belief that truth will prevail over falsehood, as ever before, no matter how exciting the falsehood may sound.

“I remain confident in my ultimate vindication and urge EFCC to make public any investigation so far conducted without any invitation to me.

“I commit myself, my family, my allies, and my friends into the hands of the Almighty God to whom all of us will give account one day.”

Credit: Thisday

Saraki Replies Obasanjo Over Corruption Allegation

The senate president, Bukola Saraki, has reacted to a letter from former President Olusegun Obasanjo, to Mr. Saraki and the speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, in which Mr. Obasanjo accused the National Assembly of corruption, greed, impunity and lawlessness.

Mr. Obasanjo’s letter, published  on Wednesday, said most members of the 469-member National Assembly were receiving constituency allowances without maintaining constituency offices as the law requires of them.

The former leader said he was distressed by the massive corruption and lawlessness at the National Assembly and other arms and tiers of government.

In Mr. Saraki’s statement, obtained from his media office on Thursday, the senate president assured that the Senate under his leadership was committed to good governance, transparency, accountability, due process and responsiveness to the economic reality of our nation.

“It is for this reason that the legislative chamber has introduced bold and progressive reforms in the management of the finances of the National Assembly,” he said.

He also said he was canvassing making the National Assembly budget open to the public.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Buhari’s Aide, Ita Enang, Reacts To Switched Budget Allegation

The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly (Senate), Ita Enang, says he will not respond to an allegation by the Senate that he doctored the 2016 budget presented by President Muhammadu Buhari in December.

He described the matter as “sensitive”.

Mr. Enang, who is a former senator, said he would not comment on the development. He said the matter was between “two of my bosses”, in reference to the presidency and the National Assembly.

“I do not want to comment on the matter at the moment,” Mr. Enang said. “It is a very sensitive matter involving two of my bosses – the National Assembly and Presidency. I don’t want to talk about them.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

Ribadu Releases Statement On Dasuki Money Scandal

former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Nuhu Ribadu, has denied receiving any money from the embattled former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

In a statement Tuesday, Mr. Ribadu said those trying to discreetly plant a story against him in the media should come forward with documentary evidence to suggest that he collected money from Mr. Dasuki or had made some refunds to government.

“My attention has been drawn to insinuations in certain quarters of my purported repayment of some monies I was allegedly given by the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd),” Mr. Ribadu said.

“For the record, let me categorically state that I had nothing to do with the former NSA while he was in office. I cannot remember meeting him at anytime while he held sway.

“It is therefore shocking for me to be accused of receiving something from someone I never had any relationship with, not to talk of refunding money he gave me.”

Mr. Dasuki is currently facing prosecution for his alleged involvement in a $2.1billion arms fraud when he was the NSA.

Mr. Ribadu said he did not receive any money from the former NSA either directly or through a proxy.

“There is therefore no reason for me to make any refund,” he said.

“Also, I have not been contacted by any security agency on this matter to warrant any action of that nature on my part.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

APC Replies PDP On Ekweremadu’s Assassination Attempt Allegation

All Progressives Congress (APC) has reacted angrily to the allegation from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the party was behind an alleged assassination attempt on deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu. The party described it as induced hallucination.

The PDP had, through its spokesman, Olisa Metuh, alleged that there was plot to exterminate Ekweremadu and other opposition leaders by the APC, adding that lives of key opposition members were in danger.

Reacting to the allegation, APC Acting National Publicity Secretary, Timi Frank, said it was unfortunate that the PDP resorted to cheap blackmail, adding that the party was yet to purge itself of ‘its cheap and manipulative strategies which only helped it to the doldrums that it is in today.”

He also pointed out that it was bemusing and canny of PDP to adopt such cheap and strange propaganda in its attempt to taint the change mantra the APC has sworn to betroth to the nation.

The APC further chided the opposition party for adopting its past known strategy for cheap political gains knowing full well that the APC, unlike the PDP, is known for adherence of the rule of law and respect for the sanctity of life.

Frank urged Nigerians to disregard PDP’s latest propaganda, adding that it was funny that an alleged assassination attempt would be carried out on the country’s number three citizen without any security report, with the police vehemently denying such occurrence even when the SSS and the police formed part of the deputy Senate President’s security detail.

Credit: Sun

Pastor Chris Okotie Responds To Emeka Ike’s Marriage Crisis Allegation

Pastor of the Household of God Church, Lagos, Chris Okotie, has described an allegation levelled against him by Nollywood actor, Emeka Ike, that he is responsible for the crisis rocking his marriage, as rubbish.

Ike had, in a statement on Thursday, accused Okotie of stalling efforts he is making to save his marriage with Suzanne.

Trouble started in Ike’s home recently, when the wife accused him of assaulting her. While the actor has repeatedly denied this, the woman is said to have filed for a divorce in a Lagos court.

Ike alleged that instead of Okotie, who he claimed to have admitted Suzanne to his church, to intervene in the matter, he was encouraging her to pursue the case.

He also claimed that the pastor gave the woman N500,000 to hire a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

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Buhari Responds To ‘Lopsided Appointments’ Allegation By Southern Leaders

The presidency faulted the Southern Nigeria Peoples Assembly (SNPA) leaders’ position on selective appointments and war against corruption, saying the conclusions are by no means original.

According to a statement from Mr. Femi Adesina, the special adviser to the President (Media and Publicity), “they are rehash of the same hackneyed phrases used by those in the opposition to government.

“The time used at the meeting would have been better spent if original ideas had been put forward to advance the change process going on in the country. But…it’s only those who live in denial of it that would be marooned in the past. The Buhari administration will not be distracted. Discerning Nigerians know the truth.”

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FG Probes Amnesty International’s Allegation Against Military

The Federal Government has constituted an investigation into the allegations leveled against the Nigerian military by the Amnesty International. This is contained in a statement issued by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Bulus Lolo and made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja. Lolo, in the statement, described the allegations leveled against the military as “serious”.

“Due to the magnitude of the allegations, the President Buhari-led government is looking into the report with a view to establishing the fact of the matter. “The government has, therefore, instituted an investigation and assures that there will be no cover-up,” he said.

The permanent secretary also said that the military, conscious of its constitutional mandate, had undertaken an ongoing investigation into the allegations of wrongdoing by its personnel.

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Investigate N600m Bribe Allegation Offered To REC In Rivers, APC Asks Jega

The All Progressives Congress in Rivers State has appealed to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, to investigate the Commission’s Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in the State, Mrs. Gesila Khan. The APC is making the appeal over allegations that Khan received a N600 million bribe from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state.

Chairman of the APC in Rivers State, Davies Ibiamu Ikeanya at a media briefing argued that the investigation would help INEC determine the level of rot Khan had superintended as INEC boss in Rivers State.

The party argued that the allegation alone was sufficient to disqualify the REC, Gesila Khan from holding such a sensitive public office, or, in fact, any other office of trust.

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Defence Hqrts Accuses Amnesty International For Misleading Allegations

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) said allegations by Amnesty International that military top brass were warned of Boko Haram’s attack on Baga and Monguno but failed to take action, were misleading, unfair and distractive.

This is contained in a statement issued by Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, Director of Defence Information in Abuja on Wednesday.

Amnesty International on Wednesday claimed that Nigeria’s military top brass were warned of brutal Boko Haram attacks on the northeast towns of Baga and Monguno but failed to take action.

The statement said the conclusions by Amnesty International were misleading and could have been avoided if it had made meaningful efforts to verify the inciting allegations.

“Whatever be the intention, the allegations, at best can only constitute a distractive and misleading commentary or interpretation of the terrorists’ activities,” it said.

Credit: NAN