Reps Order Halt Of Refineries Privatization

The House of Representatives Committee on Privatization and Commercialization has directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to stop its planned privatization of the nation’s refineries or joint investment ventures with some multinationals.

The committee’s chairman, Hon. Ahmed Yerima (APC, Bauchi), who gave the order yesterday in Abuja during an interactive session with the managements of the NNPC and Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) on the planned privatization of three  refineries in the country, said the process was in breach of relevant laws.

Earlier in his submission, the group executive director, Refineries, at the NNPC, Mr Anibor Kragba, had said the NNPC had no powers to privatize any of its refineries and that they were only seeking funds to get the refineries back to work.

Kragba, who represented the minister of state for petroleum resources and group managing director of the corporation, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, said they decided to put up some publications in certain national dailies on the matter in an effort to have joint investment ventures with interested companies.

For his part, the acting director-general, BPE, Mr Vincent Akpotarie, said the refineries that were privatized had been reversed in 2007, but that there were moves towards the end of the former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration for fresh privatization of the refineries, which failed.

He added that the BPE was worried about joint venture agreements because of past experience where such ventures failed.

The committee chairman however said: “I think there’s a clear violation of the law in seeking investments based on what the BPE DG said.”

Credit: Leadership

We Will Halt Money Bag Politics In PDP- Secondus

The National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, has said the present National Working Committee (NWC) of the party is pursuing an agenda to revolutionise the party so that the idea of money-bag politicians dictating things in the party will be eliminated.

Secondus who spoke on Tuesday while receiving the head of International Republican Institute (IRI) in his office at the party’s national secretariat, Abuja, also urged the new Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, to ensure free and fair conduct of the Kogi and Bayelsa States governorship elections.

Speaking on some of the reforms being introduced in the PDP, Secondus said the era of automatic ticket for aspirants vying for elective positions is over.

“Our intention is to make our primaries zero expensive, so that nobody will induce anybody. My agenda is to revolutionise the party so that the idea of money bag controlling the party will be eliminated. We want every member to participate in the party activities by paying their dues. Through this, we can eliminate the class syndrome and bring the party to the people. The party belong to all and should not be in the hands of few money bag. The party must be returned to the people,” he said.

Credit: ThisDay

Reps Halt NNPC, NLNG Probe

A mild drama played out at the first plenary session of the House of Representatives yesterday as a motion to investigate the alleged non-remittance of funds by Ministries, Department and Agencies was stifled by members of the parliament elected on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

A motion listed on the Order Paper as fifth motion of the day and sponsored by Chike Okafor (All Progressives Congress Imo State) alleged that Federal Government agencies in recent years have mismanaged issues of  tax remittance and engaged in unapproved spending of funds which should have been paid into the Federation Account.

Okafor was stopped in his tracks not long after he began reading by two  PDP members who raised point of order based on  argument that the section of the 1999 constitution which he premised his motion was faulty.

Speaker Yakubu Dogara had called on Okafor to move his motion and lead the debate on it. In the motion, Okafor sought to bring  to the attention of the parliament the allegations that the sum of $4 billion was paid as taxes and dividends by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNGL) between 2009 and 2014 without the sum reflecting in the account of the government during the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

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Kano State Formulating Legislation To Halt Divorces

The Kano State has expressed concern at the breakdown of marriages in the region.

State governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, said as such, his administration would enact a law that will address such incidents.

He stated this during a meeting with Hisbah Guards, Vigilante Groups, Vehicles Inspection Officers (VIOs) and Civil Society Organizations at Coronation Hall in Government House.

The governor directed the state Hisbah Board to discuss the issue with Islamic scholars and other contemporary Islamic students with a view to advising government on how the law would be implemented from an Islamic perspective.

Ganduje lamented the increase of divorce cases in the state as worrisome and noted that government would take appropriate action to stop the menace. The governor appreciated the effort of Hisbah Guards in institutionalising Islamic tenets in the state and assured that his government would continue supporting them to work effectively.

Commander General, Hisbah Guards, Malam Aminu Daurawa, said over the years, the board had reconciled 20000 disputes, remarried 4 900 widows and facilitated 2 300 converts to Islam.

This has been recorded in the four years of his leadership.

Credit: CAJ News

Group Asks Court To Halt Buhari’s Inauguration

A group, Advocacy for Societal Rights Advancement and Development Initiative,   has instituted a fresh suit before the Federal High Court in Abuja seeking to stop the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, from swearing the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday.

The suit filed on Tuesday is also seeking an order nullifying the certificate of return issued to Buhari by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The plaintiff hinged the suit on the allegation that Buhari did not qualify to contest the presidential election on the grounds that he gave false information about his academic qualification to INEC. Between January and February 2015 there were about 10 cases instituted by various plaintiffs challenging Buhari’s eligibility to stand for the poll on the grounds of his academic qualification controversy. But after he won, the cases were withdrawn.

In the fresh suit filed by its lawyer, Mr. Philip Ekpo, the group alleged that Buhari did not meet the qualification enshrined in the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act to stand for the March 28, 2015 presidential election.

Buhari, INEC, the CJN are the 1st to the 3rd respondents in the suit respectively.

The plaintiff is seeking an order of interim injunction restraining the CJN “or any person acting in his capacity” from swearing in Buhari as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on May 29, 2015 or any other date thereof pending the determination of the motion on notice.

The plaintiff seeks among other orders, “A declaration that the 3rd defendant be stopped from swearing in the 1st defendant as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as the issue of perjury involving the 1st defendant has not been resolved.

“An order restraining the 3rd defendant or any person appointed for such purpose from swearing in the 1st defendant as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on May 29, 2015 or any future dates whatsoever for giving false information to the 2nd respondent on oath.

“An order annulling the Certificate of Return given to the 1st defendant by the 2nd defendant.”

The grounds canvassed by the plaintiff read, “The 1st respondent (Buhari) gave false information in the affidavit he presented to the 2nd respondent (INEC) and on the strength of which he contested and purportedly won the presidential election which was conducted by the 2nd respondent on March 28, 2015.

“The 1st respondent deposed to an affidavit dated November 24, 2014 that his West African School Leaving Certificate is in the custody of the Secretary to the Military Board.

“The Nigerian Army on January 20, 2015, said that in the personal file of the 1st respondent with the Nigerian Army, they do not have the original copy of his West African School Leaving Certificate nor does the Nigerian Army have the Certified True Copy of his WASC results neither do they have a photocopy of the said result.

“The 1st respondent has not met the qualifications enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Electoral Act, Cap E6, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2010 (as amended) to have contested the position of President of Nigeria at the 2015 general elections.

“That the authority conferred by Section 140 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) on the 3rd respondent to administer oath of office to any person who will occupy the office of the President of Nigeria cannot be exercised in respect of the 1st respondent who has not fulfilled the requirements of the same constitution and the Electoral Act as it relates to his eligibility to occupy the office of President of Nigeria.”

The case has not been assigned to any judge.

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Borno Appeals To UN To Halt Boko Haram Crisis

The Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has appealed to the United Nations to intercede in the emerging humanitarian crisis the Boko Haram insurgency has brought in West and Central Africa.

The Chairman of the organisation, Alhaji Grema Terab, said the Boko Haram crisis was assuming “different dangerous dimension” by the day as shown by the recent extradition of about 15 000 locals from Niger. “Today it is Niger that is sending Nigerians parking, tomorrow it may be Chad or Cameroon or any other country in the sub region,” Terab said

He added that the situation call for urgent attention first from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), then the African Union and perhaps the United Nations.

Terab said Borno State alone have borne the brunt of building a new camp for 4 248 indigenes of the state evacuated to Maiduguri.

He lamented that with the creation of the new camp for those evacuated from Niger, the state has 21 camps with over 120 000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), insisting that this had created a heavy financial burden on the state government with several millions of Naira going into the running of the camps.

“As it stands today Borno state government has expended several billions of Naira on the problems thrown at it by the Boko Haram crisis and this has put at a standstill so many other things. We need the assistance of not only the federal government but the United Nations to come out of this quagmire which has put everything in the state at a near standstill.”

Terab added, “It was a pity that the state who have had to bear the burden of 1,5 million internally displaced persons overdrawing the facilities in Maiduguri, has to do it almost alone without appreciable assistance coming from the Nigerian government and international agencies.”

The Boko Haram terror has claimed the lives of more than 13 000 people and displaced about 2 million over the years.

Credit: CAJ News

Nigerian Government Calls Halt to U.S. Training for Army

The U.S. is cutting short a training program for Nigerian soldiers following a request by the West African nation’s government less than a month after Washington said it refused to sell the country Cobra attack helicopters.

“At the request of the Nigerian government, the United States will discontinue its training of a Nigerian Army battalion,” the U.S. Embassy in the capital, Abuja, said in an e-mailed statement. The program was designed to help Nigeria battle the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.

The U.S. turned down the helicopter request “due to concerns about Nigeria’s ability to use and maintain this type of helicopter in its effort against Boko Haram and ongoing concerns about the Nigerian military’s protection of civilians when conducting military operations,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in Washington on Nov. 12.

Nigeria’s military, under the leadership of President Goodluck Jonathan, is struggling to deal with intensifying attacks by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.The insurgents have killed more than 13,000 people since 2009, according to Jonathan. Suspected Boko Haram members carried out two attacks on cities in Nigeria’s northeast today, killing at least five people.

“We regret premature termination of this training, as it was to be the first in a larger planned project that would have trained additional units with the goal of helping the Nigerian Army build capacity to counter Boko Haram,” the embassy said.

Credit: bloomberg.com