Gambia: Adama Barrow To Declare Himself President

The Gambia’s President-elect, Adama Barrow, has told the BBC he will declare himself president on 18 January despite incumbent Yahya Jammeh’s rejection of the election result.

He said his team was preparing for his inauguration and he urged Mr Jammeh to respect the will of the electorate.

The election commission declared Mr Barrow winner of the 1 December poll.

Mr Jammeh has launched court action to annul the result after initially accepting defeat.

His security forces have seized control of the election commission’s headquarters in the capital, Banjul.

The Gambia has not had a smooth transfer of power since independence from Britain in 1965.

Mr Jammeh first seized power in a coup in 1994, and many of his critics have been jailed or forced into exile.

Mr Barrow, a property developer who was the candidate of a coalition of seven opposition parties, defeated him by four percentage points.

In the interview with the BBC’s Umaru Fofana, Mr Barrow said Mr Jammeh’s move to annul the election had come as a surprise.

Mr Jammeh had phoned to congratulate him soon after the election and had stated that “our system is the best” and “nobody can rig” the elections, Mr Barrow said.

He ruled out a recount or re-run of the election: “We are not supporting anything as at now. Our position is very very clear. I’m president-elect. We advise the president to cooperate.”

Asked about his inauguration, Mr Barrow said: “We have a team that is working on our inauguration. We are working on it; on the 18th, I’m the legal president of this country.”

Read More: BBC

CBN Orders Bank Workers To Declare Assets

The Central Bank of Nigeria has ordered workers in all the 19 Deposit Money Banks in the country to declare their assets. The  move analysts say looks like the Federal Government is beginning to expand its ongoing anti-corruption crusade to the private sector, especially the banking industry.

The directive, which came in a letter through the Banking Supervision Department of the CBN to all the 19 commercial banks in the country about four weeks ago, gave bank officials only one week to complete the assets declaration process, sources close to the DMBs said.

As of Thursday, investigation by our correspondent revealed that all the staff members of Ecobank Nigeria, First City Monument Bank Limited and Fidelity Bank Plc had complied with the directive.

Top officials of Ecobank, Fidelity Bank and FCMB, among others, confirmed the development. The workers said there was a directive from their management asking them to comply within one week.

Narrating his experience, a top official of one of the tier-1 banks, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, said, “All our staff members, from the most junior to the most senior, were asked to declare their assets through a court affidavit. It was handled by the company’s lawyer.

“We were asked to declare all our assets, including developed and undeveloped parcels of land, properties, houses in Nigeria and outside Nigeria etc. We were asked to also declare everything, including power generators at home. We complied within one week.”

Top bank executives said the move by the apex bank was not unconnected to the Federal Government’s plans to extend its anti-corruption crusade to the private sector.

It was also gathered that fear had descended on bank workers, especially top officials whose assets were beyond their means.

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Kaduna Indigenes Declare War Against Religious Extremism

Kaduna indigenes under the aegis of Kaduna State Citizens for Peace (KSCP), Tuesday, held a mass rally in the state metropolis, condemning religious extremism in the country.

This came as constitutional lawyer, Mr Femi Falana had last week, written the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to arraign military personnel involved in the clash with Shi’ites, last year.

According to them, any attempt to persecute Nigerian soldiers when the same Shi’ite members are still roaming the streets is to confirm insinuations in some quarters that the Islamic Movement of Nigeria has succeeded in instituting a government in Nigeria.

In a statement by its National President, Richard Augustine, the KSCP said the activities of the Shi’ites members in the state has not been friendly adding that very soon, their “Armies” might freely carry out actions on Nigerians unhindered. According to Augustine, the Shi’ite group embarked on a protest to the state government House but security operatives succeeded in blocking them along the Kashim Ibrahim House an indication that they are building up again, accusing outsiders of empowering them.

“In fact security operatives are stopping them from going to the government house for a protest but the leaders are discussing with a detachment of both Police and Civil Defence Operatives along the Kashim Ibrahim house,” the group said. He said the sufferings of previous religious crises are still being borne by the citizens of Kaduna, adding,

“We still suffer today even several years after fanatics destroyed our state. Whenever Kaduna is about to recover, they will again spill blood. Each time the population starts uniting, they will find division. Whenever we want to return to living as one, they find problems for us. We have to end this and that is what must happen”. Augustine noted with emphasis that it was planned that the Shi’ite problem in Zaria comes to other parts of Kaduna state.

Credit: Vanguard

NLC To Declare National Warning Strike Over Electricity Tariff

The Nigeria Labour Congress says it will declare a one-day national warning strike over the refusal of the Federal Government to reduce the electricity tariff.

NLC President Ayuba Wabba said this while addressing newsmen during the Central Working Committee meeting of the congress on Wednesday in Abuja.

On January 29, the NLC led the picketing of electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) nationwide, the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, and the National Assembly.

The action, aimed at getting the Federal Government to reverse the 45 per cent tariff hike did not yield the desired result.

Wabba insisted that the tariff increase was “illegal, unfair, unjustifiable and an exploitation of the already exploited Nigerians.

“The privatisation of the power sector was done in bad faith and it has become obvious that the investors did not have the capacity to improve power generation and supply in the country.

“The CWC will agree on a day to embark on the strike, because several actions promised by the Federal Government to checkmate the tariff increment have not been implemented.”

He also noted that the current fuel scarcity in the country had brought untold hardship to workers and Nigerians as a whole.

“We must, however, make the point that spells of scarcity will not be acceptable to Labour and other Nigerians because the human and economic costs are unimaginable.

“We have been patient with this government but this persistent scarcity and suffering of our people will no longer be tolerated.”

The NLC president also frowned at the failure of the government to constitute the board of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency.

He said that no individual had the right to fix the prices of petroleum products.

“We demand the constitution of the board of NNPC and PPPRA. The latter is a 26-man board vested with powers of regulating prices of petroleum products. Today, it is a one-man show.”

On the economy, Wabba noted that Nigerians were groaning under harsh economic conditions.

He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to take urgent steps to implement the budget.

“Government must consult more widely and come up with an enduring solution, Wabba said.”

Credit: Sun

Panama Papers: Why I Failed To Declare My Wife’s Assets- Saraki

Last September the CCB slammed false asset declaration charges on Mr. Saraki, accusing the Senate President, among other things, of failure to declare his assets in full.

Under the code of conduct law, a public office holder is required to declare his own assets, those of his wife as well as assets in the names of his children below the age of 18.

The Senate President maintained that he did not fail to declare assets belonging to his wife in secret offshore territories, adding that he, in his different asset declarations, included properties owned individually by himself and his wife.

“The property in question forms part of Dr Saraki’s wife’s family asset,” Mr. Saraki said. “It is public knowledge that Mrs. Saraki comes from a family of independent means and wealth with numerous and varied assets acquired over decades in family estates and investments

“Furthermore, the law only requires a public officer to declare both his own assets and those held by his spouse and his children under 18 years of age. The law does not require a public officer to declare assets held by the spouse’s family.

“It is not expected by the law that a public officer should declare such assets held in the spouse’s family estate. Indeed, the Code of Conduct form does not make provision for declaration of spouse’s family assets,” he stated.

Indeed, Toyin Saraki hails from the rich and famous Ojora family of Lagos. She married Bukola Saraki in 1991.

The hidden properties in offshore territories the Senate President failed to declare were acquired in 2004 and 2011 respectively.

They are not part of the Ojora’s family estate and were not acquired through inheritance.

They are owned by Mrs. Saraki, as shown in the offshore documents obtained by this newspaper.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Faleke Urges Tribunal To Declare Him Winner Of Kogi Gubernatorial

The running mate to the Abubakar Audu, James Faleke, has called on the state Election Petition Tribunal to declare him the validly elected governor of Kogi State.
Mr. Faleke made the call on Monday while being led in evidence at the tribunal in Abuja by his counsel, Wole Olanipekun.
“I confirm to all the documents that were tendered this morning to be the ones I refer to in my petition.
“I will like to adopt the documents in my witness statement on oath and as my evidence in the petition.
“I want the tribunal to accept my petition and grant my reliefs as stated in paragraph 27 of my witness statement on oath and declare me as the winner,” Mr. Faleke said.
When asked during cross-examination by the counsel to the 1st respondent, the Independent National Electoral Commission, if he was still a member of the All Progressive Congress, he said ‘yes’.
According to Mr. Faleke, “I am not aware that the 2nd respondent, Gov. Yahaya Bello, is a member of the APC. All I know is that the 2nd respondent campaigned and worked for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Credit: NAN

Buhari’s Ministers Should Publicly Declare Assets, Activists Demand

One of Nigeria’s foremost anti-corruption coalitions, the Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), has challenged all the 36 ministers in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet, to publicly declare their assets in the light of the ongoing war against corruption

In a statement Sunday, the coalition said through its chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, that by publicly declaring their assets, the ministers would be demonstrating their readiness to complement the president’s zero tolerance for corruption and promise  of  a transparent government.

According to CSNAC, President Buhari and his vice, Yemi Osinbajo, “have laid a good precedence by keeping in line with Section 140 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), by declaring their assets publicly.

“This was also in fulfilment of their campaign promise of running a transparent government as well as eradicating corruption in the country.

“Public declaration of assets usually aids the assessment of public officers and will help in monitoring of public office holders and ultimately reveal those who corruptly enriched themselves while in office, paving way for proper punishment and sanctions against them.

“As public officers it is expected that the ministers should also declare their assets in line with this administration’s quest to run a transparent and corrupt free government. With the President and his Vice having shown a great example by declaring their assets, the ministers should also follow suit without further delay. The President, in his ‘my covenant with Nigerians’, promised to ‘encourage’ his ministers to publicly declare their assets. The President is hereby reminded of his promise and called to act appropriately.

“CSNAC therefore calls on all ministers to publicly declare their assets as a matter of priority. By so doing, they will have shown their readiness to complement the President’s zero tolerance for corruption and promise in the actualisation of a transparent and corrupt free Nigeria.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

Declare Wada As Winner Of Kogi Election, PDP Tells INEC

The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare its candidate, Governor Idris Wada, as the winner of the November 21 governorship election in Kogi State.

The party is also seeking the exclusion of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the supplementary election slated for December 5. The INEC had declared the election inconclusive following the cancellation of the poll in 91 units across 18 local government areas in the state.

The party’s position was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of its national caucus meeting held in Abuja Wednesday night.

The communiqué, signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, insisted that with the death of the APC’s candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu , during the election, the APC has legally “crashed out” of the race.

Credit: Nation

Reps Ask FG To Declare Emergency On Unemployment

House of Representatives, yesterday, asked the Federal government to declare a state of emergency on unemployment in the country.

The lawmakers also asked the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, to move in immediately, and tighten the noose on foreigners to ensure they are not taking jobs meant for Nigerians in various organizations.

The motion, which was brought to the plenary by House Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, and 78 others, also sought legislative interventions in the ongoing unemployment crisis in Nigeria.

The lawmakers noted that the unemployment crisis in the country has reached such an alarming rate as to be of serious concern to all, as various reports put Nigeria’s unemployment rate now at 24 per cent.

They said apart from the reports, there were glaring evidence of joblessness in all states of the federation.

The Reps said there is an inextricable nexus between unemployment, corruption, crime, poverty and insecurity.

They expressed concern that if this tide is not arrested, it would portend great danger to the welfare of the citizenry as enshrined in sections 14 and 16 of the 1999 constitution.

Credit: NationalMirror

Reps Want WHO To Declare Emergency On Snake Bite

House of Representatives yesterday called on the World Health Organisation, WHO, the Federal Ministry of Health and relevant government agencies to declare a global emergency on snake bite.

The House further urged the 36 state governments and 774 local governments to sensitize the citizenry about snake bites, train medical staff, encourage the use of hand gloves and train boots as well as promote the use of pesticides and insecticides in farmlands and vulnerable areas.

This resolution followed a motion sponsored by Hon Timothy Golu and 4 others on the subject matter on the floor of the House. The lawmaker lamented the rate of snake bites in Pankshin/Kanke/Kanam Federal Constituency of Plateau State, which he said had claimed many lives and threatening the socio-economic activities.

Credit: NigerianPilot

Nigerian Workers Demand Amaechi, Fashola, Others Declare Their Assets Publicly

Nigerian workers on Thursday urged the National Assembly to ensure that all ministerial nominees declare their asset publicly before confirmation.

Among the 21 persons nominated as ministers by President Muhammadu Buhari are former Lagos State governor, Raji Fashola, ex-Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, and spokesperson of the ruling APC, Lai Mohammed.

The workers, members of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, stated this in a joint statement by the union’s president, Boboi , and General Secretary, Musa Lawal.

The TUC said that the declaration would be in the public interest.

The labour union said the public declaration of asset was necessary following “worrisome” allegations of fraud against some ex-ministers and officials.

“There is need to verify the financial and material status of each nominee before they are allowed to assume such high offices,” the workers said.

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Pressure On Buhari, Others To Declare Liabilities

By declaring their assets, leaving out the liabilities, federal, state and local government officials might not have fulfilled all constitutional righteousness.

President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had, upon assumption of office, tendered the required documents containing information about their assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) for scrutiny and promised to make the contents public, as pledged during the 2015 presidential election campaigns.

However, an elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, and some legal practitioners are arguing that if the figures reeled out last week are representative of the contents of the documents the two leaders lodged with the CCB, they might have come short of fulfilling the provision of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

Section 140, sub-section 1 of the 1999 Constitution as amended states: “A person elected to the office of President shall not begin to perform the functions of that office until he has declared his assets and liabilities as prescribed in this Constitution and he has taken and subscribed to the Oath of Allegiance and the oath of office prescribed in the Seventh Schedule to this Constitution.”

Read More: ngrguardiannews

Declare Your Assets, Ekiti APC Tasks Fayose

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State has urged Governor Ayodele Fayose to declare his assets 10 months after its earlier call on the governor to follow his predecessor, Governor Kayode Fayemi, who publicly declared his assets to the applause of Ekiti people.

Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, in a statement said that the call became imperative against the background of earlier calls for the governor to declare his assets, failure of which had fueled speculations that state resources were allegedly being channeled towards private enterprises outside the state by the governor.

“The governor must seize the opportunity of declaring his assets to douse speculations of his alleged funneling of the state resources to his private enterprises abroad…”

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Some Governors Yet To Declare Assets- CCB

The Code of Conduct Bureau has expressed worry over the delay by some state governors to declare their assets, one month after assuming office.

“The people we are having problem with now are some governors, but I cannot be categorical in terms of statistics except I confirm.” Chairman of CCB, Mr. Sam Saba, said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.

He said, “The governors are not even supposed to start work as political office holders until they declare their assets. It is provided in Section 185 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

“It reads that; a person elected to the office of a governor of a state shall not begin to perform the function of that office until he has declared his assets and liabilities.”

Saba said that in spite of the fact that the section made assets declaration prelude to taking oath of office, some governors took over office without declaring their assets because of ignorance.

“It is not like they are not willing to declare, but because of the erroneous impression that they have up to three months within which to declare their assets and liabilities.

“But the issue is that they are supposed to have declared before being sworn in as governors,” he added.


Jonathan, You Must Declare Your Assets- AU

The African Union has declared that President Goodluck Jonathan together with all other African leaders must as a matter of compulsion publicly declare their assets due to the high level and many cases of corruption and money laundering attached to them.

When the issue surfaced during his third Presidential media chat in 2014, Mr. Jonathan criticised those calling for the declaration, and said leaders should be allowed to determine whether or not the decision to make their assets public agreed with their personal principles. The president emphasised his disapproval by infamously declaring that he did not give “a damn” about publicly declaring his assets. “The issue of public asset declaration is a matter of personal principle. That is the way I see it, and I don’t give a damn about it, even if you criticise me from heaven,” the president said.

Worried by the high rate at which resource-rich African countries lose huge revenues through corruption, illegal transfers of profits and money laundering abroad, the African Union, AU, has asked President Goodluck Jonathan and other African leaders to openly declare their assets and subject their wealth to public scrutiny.

A report on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa, compiled by an AU panel led by former South African President Thabo Mbeki, said Africa loses an estimated $60billion (about N10.08trillion) annually through such transfers. The report was presented Sunday at a summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The report has stirred massive concerns in Nigeria, which is said to account for over $40.9billion (about N6.87trillion), or 68 per cent of the total figure.

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