Buhari Asks States To Clear Workers’ Outstanding Salaries With Paris Club Debt Refund

President Muhammadu Buhari has called on state governors to use at least 25 per cent of the refunds made to them from excess deductions for external debt service of Nigeria’s Paris Club debt to clear outstanding workers’ entitlements.

A statement by his media aide, Mr. Garba Shehu revealed that the president approved N552.74bn to be paid in batches to all the states, which were entitled to the refund.

They are, however, expected to get 25 per cent of their approved sums in the first instance before this week ends. About 33 states are affected.

Shehu said that the refunds arose from claims by the states that they had been overcharged in deductions for external debt service between 1995 and 2002.

He said, in a directive through the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, the president said the issue of workers’ benefits, particularly salaries and pensions, must not be allowed to continue and should be handled with urgency.

The statement read: “When he assumed office last year, the president declared an emergency on unpaid salaries, following the discovery that 27 out of the 36 states had fallen behind in payments to their workers, in some cases for up to a year.

“Following this, a bailout loan was issued to the states twice, with a first batch of about N300 billion given to them in 2015 in the form of soft loans.

“The administration also got the Debt Management Office to restructure their commercial loans of over N660 billion and extended the life span of the loans.

“Because this did not succeed in pulling many of the states out of distress, the federal government this year gave out a further N90 billion to 22 states as yet another bailout under very stringent conditions.

“President Buhari is of the opinion that the payment of salaries and pensions must be given priority to save both serving and retired workers and their families from distress.”

A recent report by BudgIT showed that of the 36 states in the country, only Lagos, Rivers and Enugu, were capable of meeting their obligation to their workers.

Credit: thisdaylive

Strike: Senate Asks Saraki To Mediate Between FG & ASUU

The Nigerian Senate has mandated its President, Bukola Saraki, to personally lead the intervention towards resolving the brewing industrial crisis between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.

The Senate resolved to muster efforts at stopping a protracted ASUU strike on Tuesday, barely 24 hours after the Union announced one-week warning strike, starting tomorrow.

The Senate resolution followed a motion on “matter of urgent national importance” with regards to the planned ASUU industrial action by Jibrin Barau (APC-Kano).

The warning strike, ASUU said, is over the failure of the Federal Government to implement terms of the 2009 and 2013 agreements.

“Many aspects of the 2013 MoU and the 2009 agreement with the Federal Government have either been unimplemented or despairingly handled,” ASUU President, Biodun Ogunyemi, said at the University of Abuja on Monday.

“The agreements are: Payments of staff entitlements since December 2015, funding of universities for revitalisation, pension, TSA and university autonomy and renegotiation of 2009 Agreement.”

Backing ASUU in his motion, Mr. Barau argued that ASUU was agitating for smooth running of Nigerian public universities and staff welfare which basically formed the terms of the agreements perfunctorily implemented – or not implemented at all – by the Federal Government.

In his contribution, Danjuma Goje (APC-Gombe), lamented plights of students of public universities whenever lecturers embark on strike, thereby calling for avoidance of ASUU strike.

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Guy Buys A Girl Drink, Texts Her & Asks For The Money Back Weeks Later

A British college student, Abby Fenton, met Liam–a guy who bought her a drink on a night out.

Now Liam, texts Abby weeks–not even a day or two–but weeks later, asking her to give him back the money he used to buy her a drink… Whet?!

“Hi hope u don’t mind love but can you transfer me back £6.50.” He said in the text. Abby on the other hand didn’t even know who the text was from, and said, “Who’s this hahahah”

Liam then responded saying, “Liam from the Viper rooms a few weeks ago. I bought yer a drink? Can I have my money back for it. Will give u sort code and account no. Thanks.” ..No he didn’t.. LOL!

I’m so done Roommates! I need to understand what prompted Liam to ask for his money back after all this time. Maybe because they clearly hadn’t spoken seeing as she didn’t even know who was texting her? Whatever the case may be, what are your thoughts on this? Was it okay to do that?

£6.50 amounts to just about $8.50, and I gotta know–fellas, are you texting a girl weeks after you meet her to run you that $8.50? Ladies, are you giving it back!?

Abby took a poll on Twitter asking if she should’ve given the money back.


Guy Buys A Girl Drink–Texts Her & Ask’s For The Money Back Weeks Later

Group Asks EFCC To Investigate Buratai Over Alleged ?Purchase Of Properties In Dubai

An anti-graft coalition, the Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, over alleged diversion of funds to purchase properties in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

In a petition forwarded to the anti-graft commission and signed by the group’s chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, the group said such act was a violation of the law of public service.

According to the group, ?if the revelation is found to be true, based on evidence adduced by a newspaper, then the actions of the COAS is a great disservice, an act of sabotage against the Nigerian State and a violation of the law prohibiting public officer from investing or participating in any other business safe for farming.

Taking a cue from a publication of June 24, 2016, by Sahara Reporters, an online newspaper, the group said the newspaper revealed how the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Buratai and his two wives were alleged joint owners of a Dubai Property that was paid for in one transaction.

“The funds for the said properties were alleged to have come from a vehicle contract scam, executed while Mr. Buratai was the Director of Procurement at the Army Headquarters. “Our correspondents discovered that the Nigerian Army had awarded an apparently bogus contract for the supply of vehicles and motorcycles for the use of troops involved in an anti-terrorism offensive in Nigeria’s beleaguered northeastern zone”.

According to the publication, “The allegation that General Buratai might have pilfered funds meant for the purchase of military vehicles has sparked outrage among soldiers and officers, especially those from the northeastern part of the country. Two military sources disclosed that irate officers had petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari, urging him to order an investigation into the contract scam”.

“In the petition, exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters, the aggrieved soldiers and officers, under the umbrella of Concerned Soldiers and Officers from the North East, had accused the COAS of executing the contract through a proxy. According to the petitioners, the proxy’s name is Usman Gamawa, founder of Baggash Investment Limited. The petition stated that, rather than supply new vehicles, as contained the contract awarded, Mr. Baggash allegedly purchased second-hand vehicles and motorcycles from Niger Republic.

“On arrival in Nigeria, the vehicles were said to have been refurbished at Mogadishu Cantonment under the supervision of Staff Sergeant Dadan Garba. SaharaReporters said some of the vehicles and motorcycles had since broken down.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

Kogi APC Stalwart Asks Bello To Resign

Credit: NationalMirror

Melaye Asks Senators To Patronise Made In Nigeria Girls

The debate on the motion on the need to patronise made in Nigeria goods took a new dimension when Senator Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi Central) asked his colleagues to patronise made in Nigeria girls.

Melaye had while contributing to the motion sponsored by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP, Abia South) said the campaign should not be limited to goods alone.

He later said: “ With due apology to my Comrade Governor of Edo State, we must start to campaign for made in Nigeria girls. It is time for my colleagues to start patronising made in Nigeria women.”

It was after he stated this that the Senate President Bukola Saraki interrupted and said that motion was clear enough.

Earlier while moving the motion, Abaribe said until Nigeria adopted a “pro-made in Nigeria” procurement policy, made in Nigeria would continue to lag behind both in competition and acceptability.

Credit: dailytrust

Army Asks EFCC To Investigate 12 Officers

The Nigerian Army has forwarded the names of 12 officers to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for investigation.

A statement by a spokesman for the Army, Colonel Sani Usman, said three serving and one retired Major Generals, three Brigadier Generals, four Colonels and one Lieutenant Colonel were in the list.

The Army stated that at the end of the Commission’s investigations those found culpable would be tried by a military Court Martial.

No reason was given for the submission of the officers’ names to the anti-graft agency, but the agency has of late heightened the fight against corruption, taking top government officials of the past administration to court for money laundering and other related charges.

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MTN Asks Court To Quash $3.9bn Fine

South African telecoms giant, MTN, has filed a suit at the Federal High Court in Lagos to challenge the $3.9 billion fine imposed on it by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), urging the court to quash the fine.

last October slammed the telecoms firm with a fine of $5.2 billion for failing to disconnect unregistered subscribers. The initial fine was later reduced by 25 per cent to $3.9 billion earlier this month, with a payment deadline set for December 31.

But MTN through its team of lawyers – Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Mr. Tanimola Molajo (SAN), Mr. A.B. Mahmoud (SAN), Dr. Gbolahan Elias (SAN), Mr. Oladipo Okpeseyi (SAN), Prof. Fabian Ajogwu (SAN) and Dr. Oladapo Olanipekun (SAN) – is challenging the powers of NCC to impose such a fine on it.

The telecoms company is arguing that on the basis that NCC, being a regulator, cannot assume all the functions of the state on its own, considering the fact that they made the regulation, prescribed the penalty and imposed the fine payable to the commission and not the federal government.

The firm is also contending that it was not afforded its constitutional right of fair hearing before a court of competent jurisdiction and more importantly, it had not been found guilty of any offence that will warrant it to pay such an outrageous fine.

It is of the view that the sanction imposed on it by NCC was applied within 24 hours of its written submission on the disconnection exercise and the impractical nature of the NCC deadline.

Stating that the deadline of seven days to disconnect 5.2 million subscribers was grossly inadequate and impracticable, the telecoms company said the deadline to disconnect 5.2 million subscribers was unfair and ran contrary to the requirement to give adequate notice to the subscribers and all operators.

Credit: Thisday

Buhari Asks World Leaders To Save Lake Chad

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has called on world leaders to forge a united front to save Lake Chad’s ecosystem from further depletion caused by the adverse effects of climate change.

The Nigerian President made the request at the Leaders Event of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, commonly referred to as COP 21, in Paris.

President Buhari said climate change had continued to pose a threat to Nigeria’s security and development.

He said: “At the sub-regional level, we are saddled with the challenge of the drying up of the Lake Chad Basin, which is resulting in the total wipe out of livelihoods of many communities surrounding this trans-boundary natural resource.

“Regrettably, the world is leaving behind millions of people who depend on the Lake for their survival.

“The Government of Nigeria welcomes the Lake Chad Development and Climate Resilience Plan, and the Lake Chad Basin Commission and international partners for designing this climate-based Plan”.

“In all, the experience of countries sharing the Lake Chad further illustrates the mutual challenge we face today and which must be collectively addressed without further delay”.

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SURE-P: Senate Asks Buhari To Probe Jonathan

Citing  mismanagement of funds, the Senate, yesterday, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to begin immediate probe of his predecessor, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, in his handling of the Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P.

The red chamber said it was imperative that President Buhari ask his predecessor to account for every penny spent during the latter‘s administration on the SURE-P and other poverty alleviation programmes.

This came just as it ruled against the  implementation of the N5,000 monthly stipend to unemployed Nigerian youths as the President promised during his campaign.

The advice to probe Jonathan was sequel to an additional prayer moved by Senator Babajide Christopher Omoworare to Senator Bassey Albert Akpan-sponsored motion, entitled: “Urgent need to curb the soaring rate of unemployment in Nigeria,” which he presented for consideration during yesterday’s plenary.

After the initial recommendations of the motion, Senator Philip Aduda raised an additional prayer, urging the Federal Government to fulfill one of its numerous campaign promises.

“The Federal Government should immediately commence the payment of the N5,000 monthly stipend it promised during the pre-election campaign,” Aduda moved.

The Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, rose and seconded the additional prayer. But Omoworare raised the Senate Standing Order 53(6) to oppose the additional prayer.

Credit: Vanguard

Wike Asks Appeal Court To Set Aside Tribunal’s Judgment Nullifying His Election

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike,  has filed an appeal at the Abuja   Division of the Court of Appeal,  asking the court to set aside the  judgment  of  the Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal  which nullified  his election  on October 24, 2015.

In a notice of appeal dated November  3, 2015 and filed same day by his lawyer,  Mr. Emmanuel Ukala (SAN), the governor raised 26 grounds of appeal upon which he sought to set aside the tribunal judgment.

The governor is challenging the entire judgment.

He joined the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate in Rivers State, Dr. Dakuku Peterside and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as respondents.

He asked the court to allow the appeal and to make an order setting aside the judgment/decision of the  Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal.

He further urged the Court of Appeal to make an “order striking  out or dismissing the petition filed on May 3, 2015 by Peterside and the APC.”

Credit: ThisDay

IDPs Camp Bombing: Senate Asks Security Agencies To Hunt For Perpetrators

The Senate has asked security agencies in Nigeria to intensify the hunt for the perpetrators of the bomb attacks in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Yola and Madagali town.

In a motion on Tuesday, a federal lawmaker, Senator Ahmadu Abubakar, said terrorism in northern Nigeria had caused a humanitarian crisis, making Nigeria the country with the largest population of IDPs in Africa and one of the largest in the world.

On Friday September 11, 2015, suspected members of the Boko Haram terrorist group struck the camp for Internally Displaced Persons in Yola and Madagali in Adamawa State, killing several people.

The Senate also condemned the suicide bomb attack at a Jambutu Jummat Mosque also in Yola, Adamawa State which killed 40 people and injured over one hundred.

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UK Formally Asks Nigeria For Legal Assistance On Alison-Madueke

The British Government has formally asked the Nigerian Government to assist it with its investigations into the activities of the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke when she held sway over the oil and gas sector between 2010 and 2015 and have requested details of transactions relating to the investigations in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the National Petroleum Development Corporation (NPDC).

The former minister was arrested by the British National Crime Agency (NCA) alongside four other people in London last Friday, but was granted bail after over five hours of questioning on Friday and Monday. It emerged yesterday that most of the investigations so far centre around gifts-in-kind  allegedly received by the former minister especially in the payments for rental  accommodation in a London Flat in St John’s Wood area of London said to be occupied by the former minister, and several payments  said to be for luxury cars while the then minister was in London by a number of oil traders who had contracts with Nigerian petroleum entities under her watch.
NCA said investigations on the former minister were commenced in 2013 by the British authorities under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) and transferred to it earlier this year.

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Bereaved Family Forgives Roof, Asks Him To Repent

Relatives of the nine black community leaders shot down during a Bible study session confronted the shooting suspect on Friday during his initial court hearing, and spoke of love.

“I forgive you, my family forgives you,” said Anthony Thompson. “We would like you to take this opportunity to repent. … Do that and you’ll be better off than you are right now.”

Dylan Storm Roof, who faces nine counts of murder, appeared by video from the county jail, looking sombre in a striped jumpsuit and speaking only briefly in response to the judge’s questions.

Roof was ordered held on $1m bond on the weapons charge pending another hearing by another judge on the murder charges.

Felecia Sanders survived the Wednesday night attack by pretending to be dead, but lost her son Tywanza. She also spoke from the judge’s courtroom, where Roof’s image appeared on a television screen.

“We welcomed you on Wednesday night in our Bible study with open arms. You have killed some of the most beautifulest (sic) people that I know. Every fiber in my body hurts … and I’ll never be the same,” Sanders told Roof.

“Tywanza was my hero,” Sanders said, but even she showed some kindness as she confronted the man accused of killing her son. “As we said in Bible study, we enjoyed you, but may God have mercy on you.”

Roof looked sad and bowed his head slightly, but showed no other emotion as the relatives spoke.

Their remarkable comments seemed in keeping with a spirit evident on the streets of Charleston on Friday, where people built a memorial and planned a vigil to repudiate whatever a gunman would hope to accomplish by attacking the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the nation’s most important African-American sanctuaries.

Credit: AP

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.