Senate Probes Secret Recruitment, Lopsided Appointments In NHIS

The Senate Tuesday commenced investigation into alleged illegal recruitment and lopsided appointments of some management staff of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

The probe also covers NHIS expenditure on trainings and travels.

Management staff of the scheme led by its Executive Secretary, Mr. Usman Yusuf, appeared before the Senate Committee on Health yesterday to answer question bordering on alleged illegal recruitment, lopsided appointments and expenditure on training and travels.

Yusuf told the committee that the new recruits were on “secondment” and not on appointment.

Asked if the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, who was present at the hearing, was aware of the “secondments” in the NHIS, the Executive Secretary answered in the negative.

He said, “No, he (Adewole) is not aware.”

The committee queried the NHIS boss why he spent N150 million on trainings and travels between January and June 2016, while the amount spent for the same purposes between July, August and September was between N2 million and N4 million, and the sum of N412 million was spent for the same purposes in October alone.

The committee noted that it received a petition against the NHIS in which the petitioner claimed that while the number of general managers of NHIS was raised from 23 to 25, their appointments were not in line with the Federal Character principle.

The panelists however declined to disclose the name of the petitioner as well as to provide
a copy of the petition to Yusuf.

The committee said that the petitioner claimed that the North-Central geopolitical zone, which had three representatives, now had five.

The petitioner was also said to have claimed that the North-East, which had three, now has
four while the North-West was raised from six to nine; South-East remained three; South-South dropped from four to three; while South-West reduced from four to one.

Yusuf insisted that, “It will be for the sake of fair hearing that I get a copy of the petition before I respond (to the allegation). I am not aware of any petition and I can only respond to the petition that I can see and read. I need to know what is in the petition and where the petition is coming from.”

Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Senator Lanre Tejuoso, said that Yusuf should be able to state if the figures were correct or not even without seeing the petition or knowing it came from.

The Executive Secretary insisted on seeing the petition before confirming or refuting the allegations.

He said, “I need fair hearing; I need to see a copy of that petition.”

The committee declined to grant the request for the NHIS boss to see a copy of the petition before responding to the allegations

The committee said that since the allegations were against the NHIS and the person of Yusuf, they were not obliged to give out a copy of the petition to the Executive Secretary.
A member of the committee, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, noted the committee would confirm the allegations after going through the nominal roll of the NHIS.
The committee said that the NHIS boss failed to provide its nominal roll, which was the first information it requested from the scheme.

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Senate probes secret recruitment, lopsided appointments in NHIS

Expect large scale probes of judges, others – Presidency

Strong indications emerged Wednesday night that more court judges would soon be picked up by the anti-graft agencies in the country for questioning on allegations of corruption and gratification, Vanguard has learnt.

This is coming on the heels of marching orders by president Muhammadu Buhari to widen the scope of investigations in the judiciary.

But speaking to Vanguard,  a presidency source who craved anonymity said that the president doesn’t have to order the anti-graft institutions such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commissions, EFCC before they could do their statutory assignments.

The source who assured that the president would never interfere in the investigation process however stated that there was no stopping of the probes, stressing that it was going to be a large scale exercise.

The source also confirmed that president Buhari has received the report of the meeting of the National Judicial Council, NJC on the earlier sanctioned judges.

“He doesn’t need to approve anything. The DSS and EFCC are independent. They can do their jobs. But I can tell you that the president won’t interfere with the investigation. That’s the kind of president we have. “There is no stopping of the probes.

This is going to be a large scale thing. Yes, the president has received the report of the earlier meeting from the NJC but not the one they are concluding today. I don’t about it”, the source said.

House Of Reps Probes SSS Raid On Judges’ Homes

The House of Representatives on Tuesday named a committee to investigate weekend’s raid by the State Security Service, SSS, on some judges’ homes across the country.

The motion was tabled by a lawmaker from Rivers State, Chinda Ogundu.

Scores of SSS operatives conducted a night raid of the residences of some judges between Friday and Saturday, accusing the judges of fraud.

The six-state sweep also included Mr. Ogundu’s state of Rivers, where Governor Nyesom Wike foiled an attempt to arrest a judge attached to the Port Harcourt Division of the Federal High Court.

The largely unprecedented operation has continued to generate divergent views amongst Nigerians.

The Senate condemned the raid, but rejected a motion to summon the Director General of SSS, Lawal Daura.

The House also refused to summon Mr. Daura, but said the committee to investigate the circumstance of the raid.

A lawmaker, Mojeed Alabi, suggested that the House should respect the principles of separation of powers and stay away from the matter, but the House approved the motion nonetheless.

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#Rio2016: Senate Probes Dalung, Others

Less than one week after the end of the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil, where Nigeria won only a Bronze Medal in male soccer game, the Senate has revealed plans to probe the roles of the of Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung and the Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC), over the poor performance of the country’s contingent to the global event.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports, Senator Joe Obinna Ogba made the disclosure during an interview with journalists in Abuja yesterday.
Ogba, who was part of the official delegation to Brazil, said a lot of factors ranging from poor funding to logistics, contributed to Nigeria’s abysmal performance at the Olympics Games, saying that the Senate will look into the circumstances when it resumes from recess next month. “My committee intends to invite the NOC to come and brief us on the Olympics. Apart from the late arrival of our athletes’ kits, you can see even our national anthem at the opening ceremony was the wrong one. So, all these, we are going to find out what happened when we resume,” Ogba said.
On the donation of $390,000 to the Dream Team VI by a Japanese plastic surgeon and football enthusiast, Dr. Katsuya Takasu, the lawmaker said it was wrong of the team to receive the money because, its source was unknown.

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NDLEA Probes Pilgrims’ Arrest In Saudi

The Chairman and Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (retd), has ordered investigation into the arrest of three Nigerian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia in connection with substances suspected to be cocaine.

Abdallah  expressed disappointment at the incident, saying a panel, headed by  Director of Operations and General Investigation Mr. Olugbenga Mabo would  probe the incident.

The NDLEA boss said: “Narcotic smuggling is criminal and the involvement of pilgrims is utterly reprehensible. This is unfortunate and we are working hard to get to the root of it. The agency is handling this case with every sense of seriousness and urgency because this action has negatively affected the image of Nigeria. We have also taken measures to intensify the screening of pilgrims yet to depart to Saudi Arabia to prevent a re-currence of the sad incident.”

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NDLEA probes pilgrims’ arrest in Saudi

Senate Committee Expresses Satisfaction With EFCC On Anti-graft Probes

Senate Committee on Financial Crimes Anti-Corruption has commended the strides of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over probes of corrupt persons which has resulted in recovery of looted funds for government in the country.

Chairman of the committee, Senator Chukwuka Utazi gave the commendation yesterday when he led delegation of the committee on a visit to the acting Chairman of the commission, Ibrahim Magu, a release made available to National Mirror by spokesperson of the commission, Wilson Uwujaren, said.

The committee urged Magu to remain steadfast in the fight against corruption in the country. The release quoted Utazi as saying: “We have been monitoring the activities of the commission with keen interest, especially in the area of fund recovery and we are very satisfied.”

The committee assured the commission of its total support and stated that one of its priorities is to ensure that the commission’s headquarters, which has been under construction, is completed soon, in order to give the staff an enabling environment to carry out their duties more effectively.

The committee noted in the release that it understands that the EFCC was short-changed in the 2015 budget, and that it would ensure that its headquarters office is completed, to enable the commission get all it needs to work better, “given the approval of the 2016 budget.

“Utazi also disclosed that the committee would be visiting the zonal offices of the commission to inspect the available infrastructure and ensure that they have the required facilities to work with.

“Responding, Magu thanked the committee members and expressed his willingness to be supervised by the committee. “He added that he was always receptive to information and advice that would assist him and his team in the fight against corruption,” the release stressed.

Credit: NationalMirror

Dambazau Probes Own Ministry From 1999

The Minister of Interior, Lt. General Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau (Rtd) has inaugurated an 11-member Ad-Hoc Committee to examine the operationalization of Public Private Partnership (PPP) and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) entered into by the ministry since 1999.

The Press Secretary to the Minister, Osaigbovo Ehisienmen disclosed this in a statement on Monday.

He quoted Dambazau as saying the move was in furtherance to his determination at promoting the ‘Change’ agenda of the current administration with a view to promoting good governance that is transparent and accountable in the conduct of government business.

“He noted further that the committee is to monitor and review all existing PPP agreements and/or MoUs entered into by the Ministry and her parastatals to ensure parties comply with the terms of agreement, government directives and policies as well as extant laws,” Ehisienmen said.

The Committee, given six weeks to complete its assignment, has Mrs. Morayo Alimi (Director, Planning, Research and Statistics) as its chairperson and Mr. Bola Odugbesan, Esq, (Legal Adviser in the Ministry) as secretary.

Credit: dailytrust

EFCC Probes Special Forces’ Training In Belarus, Others

It was gathered that the current probe of the EFCC focused not only on the amount of money spent on the procurement of arms for the military but also on personnel training outside the country.

A security source said on Monday that the EFCC Task Force was probing the training of Special Forces in some Eastern European countries.

It was learnt that the operatives were probing how funds, earmarked for the training of 750 Special Forces in Belarus and other Eastern European countries, were spent.

The security operatives, who were trained specifically to raise an elite force against the Boko Haram menace, were drawn from the Nigerian Police, the Department of State Services, the Nigerian Army, the Air Force and the Navy.

The Special Forces, who went for the training in September 2014, arrived in the country in December, 2014 and were immediately deployed in the operational areas of the North-East in March, 2015.

It was gathered that the select security personnel were trained in counter- terrorism, counter-insurgency, handling of rocket propelled grenades, machine guns and other weapons.

The source said one of the officials of the ONSA under the former NSA, was among some personnel of the office being interrogated in relation to the ongoing probe into arms procurement under former President Goodluck Jonathan.

It was learnt that the EFCC Task Force sent out letters to the affected personnel and commenced arresting them penultimate week.

The source said some of the suspects had been in detention of the EFCC for nine days.

Credit: Punch

NASS Probes Uncover $15bn Oil Fraud

The National Assembly has conducted 18 legislative probes into sundry cases of crude theft, pipeline vandalisation, misappropriation, Joint Venture agreements, missing crude revenue in Nigeria’s corruption-tainted oil and gas sector from 1999-2014.

According to the outcomes of the selected major probes in the oil sector, about $15bn was lost to fraud while a whopping $6.8bn subsidy was unaccounted for. The period also witnessed the alleged missing N500bn SURE-P claims for oil subsidy for a period of time.

Also, about $16bn was unaccounted for in the power sector while about N2trillion was unremitted by the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

This information is contained in a recently released study by the National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS). The study made public on October 20 contains a detailed report of 82 key probes and investigative public hearings undertaken by the National Assembly since inception.

Credit: Leadership

Again, FIFA Probes Amos Adamu

Former Executive Committee member, Nigeria’s Amos Adamu, who recently served a three-year ban from al football related activities for soliciting money for votes in the run of the 2018 and 2020 World Cup hosting rights polls, is once again the subject of a probe by FIFA’s Ethics Committee.

The new probe, according to reports in Western media, will determine if Adamu was involved in activities that breached FIFA’s code of ethics.

The report is not specific on the particular rules breached by Adamu, but it says the 62-year-old Nigerian, who was a member of FIFA’s executive committee for four years until 2010, could face fresh sanctions if fund culpable.

Credit: ngrguardiannews

EFCC Probes Centenary City Project

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has commenced investigation into a petition alleging corruption in the Centenary City Project initiated by the administration of former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.

The anti-graft agency, Tuesday, invited the petitioners, who are operating under the aegis of Nigerian Unemployed Youth Vanguard, NUYV, to furnish it with information that would help it nail some top government officials in the previous administra-tion, who were said to have used the project as a conduit pipe to siphon public funds.

The initiative of the past government was meant to be a monument to commemorate Nigeria’s 100 years of nationhood.

Meanwhile, the petitioners, led by their National Coordinator, Mr. Solomon Adodo, while briefing newsmen after their meeting with EFCC investigators, said they were satisfied that those involved in the alleged fraud would be punished accordingly.

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ICPC Probes Amaechi, Kwankwaso, Chime, Shema

The independent Corrupt Practices and other offences Commission (ICPC) has commenced investigations of four former governors following petition against them.

The four governors are former governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers, Sullivan Chime of Enugu, Ibrahim Shema of Katsina and Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano.

Already four teams have been raised to visit the states to check the books of the states to establish the allegations against the governors.

Read More: vanguardngr

NDLEA Probes Arik Attendant Caught With N105m Cocaine

NDLEA’s operatives on Tuesday night stormed the headquarters of Arik Air in Ikeja Lagos following the arrest in London of a crew member of the airline for allegedly being in possession of cocaine.

The Arik crew member, identified by the anti-narcotics agency as Chika Egwu Udensi, was arrested on Monday night by operatives of the United Kingdom Border Force with 20 kilogrammes of cocaine in London.

The NDLEA agents were said to have searched Udensi’s latest Range Rover parked on the airline’s premises.  Spokesman for the agency, Mitchel Ofoyeju, confirmed the visit by the NDLEA’s operatives.

Read More: punchng

President Buhari Probes Military

There is tension in the Armed Forces as President Muhammadu Buhari may have ordered the military hierarchy to account for the number of weapons purchased to fight Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East.

The President was also said to have ordered the Military High Command to make available records of total amount of money it received from the Federal Government to curb insurgency.

Top military sources who spoke with Daily Sun, revealed that these and many other decisions were taken after Mr. President met with the service chiefs comprising the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-General Kenneth Minimah, Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin, Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Adesola Amosu, and the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Solomon Arase.

The sources who did not want to be mentioned, said the President may have taken the decision due to grumbling in the military by some personnel, who felt that their bosses and their colleagues occupying strategic position had taken advantage of the counter-terrorism operations to enrich themselves.

Read More: sunnewsonline

FG Probes N3.8trn Missing Oil Funds

A panel of four governors was, yesterday, constituted to probe the affairs of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, following revelations that the corporation withheld N3.8 trillion of the N8.1 trillion generated from oil receipts.

The committee comprising governors of Gombe, Edo, Akwa Ibom and Kaduna states is also to unravel circumstances of the disappearance of another $2.1 billion which was allegedly unilaterally withdrawn by the Goodluck Jonathan administration in the last six months of its tenure.

The revelations came at the end of the inaugural meeting of the new National Economic Council, NEC, in Abuja, yesterday.

Just before the NEC meeting got underway, a senior official of the Goodluck Jonathan administration gave reasons why it passed over an empty treasury to the new government.

Prof. Sylvester Monye, who served as special adviser on monitoring and evaluation to President Jonathan, in an interview, also cautioned the new administration’s officials against sustaining the language of opposition while in office, saying that their continuing propaganda could negatively impact on the sound economic indicators transferred by Dr. Jonathan.

Read More: vanguardngr

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.

Read More: vanguardngr

Wike Seeks Buhari’s Support To Probe Amaechi

Governor Nyesom Wike yesterday commenced probe of the administration of his predecessor, Chibuike Amaechi as he constituted a seven man Judicial Commission of Inquiry headed by Justice George Omereji to investigate alleged sale of some state assets as well as the projects for which funds were allegedly released but not executed.

The Judicial Commission of Inquiry which has 23 terms of reference has one month to turn in its report.

Wike’s action was coming against the backdrop of claims by Amaechi’s former Deputy, Tele Ikuru that the former administration under which he served was the most corrupt in the state.

Ikuru alleged that his former boss allegedly spent N812 million to furnish his private residence.

The former deputy governor spoke at Government House, Port Harcourt yesterday while handing over the final report of the transition committee he chaired adding that the former government also spent N4.96 billion on the proposed Justice Adolphus Karibi Whyte Hospital with no structures on the ground.

Read More: vanguardngr

Zamfara Assembly Probes Majority Leader For Allegedly Fighting Driver Over Woman

The Zamfara House of Assembly on Friday directed its Ethics and Privileges Committee to investigate the fight between its majority leader and the governor’s chief driver over a woman.

This followed a “call to order” letter by the state Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Lawali Kaura, and read on the floor of the house under “matters of urgent public importance”.

The Clerk of the House, Isa Bayero, read the letter which urged the lawmakers to investigate the Monday, May 4 brawl to save the state and the party from embarrassment.

The Speaker, Sanusi Rikiji, directed the committee to summon all parties involved, including the woman, security agents, eyewitnesses and other relevant bodies.

Mr. Rikiji warned that any invitee who failed to appear before the committee, headed by the Chief Whip, Abdulmumini Isa, would be treated as a law breaker. The committee is expected to submit its report on June 27.

The majority leader, Salisu Musa (Tsafe North) was involved in an open fight with the governor’s chief driver, Idris Garba. The woman operates a restaurant in Gusau, The majority leader had told journalists that he had “business’’ with the lady for some time now. Mr. Musa said during the fight, the driver tried to bite off his fingers but for the timely intervention of the police. The matter generated mixed feelings among people of the state.

Credit: NAN