Boko Haram: $9bn lost to insurgency in Northeast – Panel

The Presidential Committee on North-East Initiative has said that about $9bn has been lost to the destructive activities of the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.

The committee also said that a strategic framework would be inaugurated soon by President Muhammadu Buhari in line with his determination to rebuild the North-East.

The Vice-Chairman of the PCNI, Alhaji Tijani Tumsah, said this on Thursday in Abuja, while briefing journalists on the outcome of its inaugural meeting.

According to him, the focus of the meeting was to discuss the mandate given to the PCNI to fashion out a way that would be most direct in terms of the delivery of that mandate, analyse the enormity of the task and fulfil the presidential mandate to give succour to the people of the North-East.

He however said the committee was not given the mandate to investigate and prosecute the people who allegedly participated in the diversion of relief items meant for the victims of insurgency in the Internally Displaced Persons’ camps.

Tumsah said, “We are not investigating anybody; there are people who are investigating such diversions. I’m glad you mentioned the Senate, the House of Representatives, police and the EFCC. Our mandate, going forward, is to provide a strategic framework for the implementation of all interventions going into the North-East in terms of humanitarian works, resettlement and eventual rebuilding of the North-East.

“In terms of cost, there is an immediate, short-term and long-term view. The entire rebuilding of the North-East, of course, will keep changing. But we do know that a substantial amount of resources estimated at $9bn have been lost to insurgency

“We are going to channel this strategic framework through a document that we have developed, that is going to be launched very soon. It is the plan of President Muhammadu Buhari to rebuild the North-East. That is the strategic implementation going forward.”

Speaking on the money meant for the rebuilding of the North-East, Tumsah said it was donated for a particular purpose – rehabilitation of the victims of terrorism.

Another member of the committee representing the Senate, Ali Ndume, said members of the committee were representatives of the North-East caucus, because of the peculiarities and the objectives for which the PCNI was set up.

Arms scandal: Panel submits final report, indicts top FG officials.

After 14 months of painstaking work, the Presidential Committee on the Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement in the Nigerian Armed Forces (2007-2015) has submitted its final report to President Muhammadu Buhari.

It was gathered from highly placed sources that Buhari received the final report at the presidential villa on Sunday from the Air Vice Marshal J.O.N Ode (rtd)- led panel.

It was authoritatively gathered that the report, a copy of which was made available to the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd), indicted some influential officials of the administration.

Also indicted in the report, according to sources, are former ministers of defence, senior military officers, a permanent secretary and top officials of the Ministry of Defence.

A former Chief of Army Staff, an erstwhile Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI) and some former service chiefs were indicted in the final report.

Some firms, which executed contracts with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and the Ministry of Defence, were also recommended for prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for various infractions.

The probe cut across the Ministry of Defence, Nigerian Army (NA), Nigerian Navy (NN), and Nigerian Air Force (NAF).

One of the sources, who spoke on the final report, said: “I can reveal to you that the 13-man panel, which was set up in August last year, submitted its report to the C-in-C on Sunday.

“A copy of the report was given to the NSA, having regard to the fact that he inaugurated the panel.

“The report is very weighty, as it indicted and recommended for further investigation, a very officials in the current government, a former minister, who was very influential in the last administration, and a permanent secretary.

“Some top officials of a strategic ministry were also indicted and recommended for further probe by the EFCC.”

The source added that recommendations were made for the recovery of huge sums of money from individuals and firms indicted. It was learnt that some top government officials were indicted for “sharing” money meant for procurement of equipment among themselves.

The arms panel established that the procurement processes were arbitrarily carried out and generally characterised by irregularities and fraud. A highly placed source said the panel had interrogated some of the indicted officials, serving and retired officers, and some contractors. The Federal Government is expected to release the final report any moment from now.

Three months after he assumed office last year, Buhari had inaugurated a 13-man panel to probe procurement of arms and related military contracts, between 2007 and 2015.

Before the final report,the panel had turned in two interim reports, which indicted serving and retired military officers. Before the final report, the 13-man panel had released two interim reports, wherein it indicted a former NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd); former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (rtd); former Chiefs of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Azubike Ihejirika (rtd), and Lt.- Gen. Kenneth Minimah (rtd); and ex-Chiefs of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal M.D Umar (rtd), and Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (rtd).Other serving and retired senior officers earlier indicted were: Maj.- Gen. E.R. Chioba (rtd), AVM I.A. Balogun (rtd), AVM A.G. Tsakr (rtd), AVM A.G. Idowu (rtd), AVM A.M. Mamu, AVM O.T. Oguntoyinbo, AVM T. Omenyi, AVM J.B. Adigun and AVM R.A. Ojuawo. Also indicted were: AVM J.A. Kayode-Beckley, Air Cdre S.A. Yushau (rtd), Air Cdre A.O. Ogunjobi, Air Cdre GMD Gwani, Air Cdre S.O. Makinde, Air Cdre A.Y. Lassa, Col. N. Ashinze and Lt Col. M.S. Dasuki (Rtd). Many contractors, former ministers and government officials are facing prosecution in respect of the arms scandal. The panel had said at the time that:

“The procurement processes were arbitrarily carried out and generally characterised by irregularities and fraud. “In many cases, the procured items failed to meet the purposes they were procured for, especially the counter insurgency efforts in the North-East.

“A major procurement activity undertaken by ONSA for NAF was that concerning the contracts awarded to Societe D’ Equipment Internationaux (SEI) Nig Ltd. between January 2014 and February 2015, NAF awarded 10 contracts totalling $930,500,690 to SEI Nig. Ltd. “Letters of award and End User Certificates for all the contracts issued by NAF and ONSA respectively did not reflect the contract sums.

Rather, these were only found in the vendor’s invoices, all dated 19 March 2015.” A statement by presidential spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, had said the Ode-led panel “comes against the background of the myriad of challenges that the Nigerian Armed Forces have faced in the course of ongoing counter-insurgency operations in the North-East, including the apparent deficit in military platforms with its attendant negative effects of troops’ morale.

“The committee will specifically investigate allegations of non-adherence to correct equipment procurement procedures and the exclusion of relevant logistics branches from arms procurement under past administrations, which, very often resulted in the acquisition of sub-standard and unserviceable equipment.”

Zaria Killings: Senate Panel To Meet Zakzaky, Buratai

Members of the Senate adhoc committee on Zaria killings would meet with the leader of the  Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Tukur Buratai.
The Senate had on Wednesday set up a 16-man committee with Senator Ahmed Lawan (APC Yobe North) as chairman with the mandate of investigating the killings.
It was gathered that members of committee after their maiden meeting resolved to meet with all parties especially the army chief and the Islamic scholar.
A source closed to the committee said the two personalities would be quizzed on the roles they played in the fracas.  “The committee would hear from Buratai, Zakzaky and his key followers on the issue. A date has not been fixed for this but the committee is working to round up their assignment in two weeks,” the source said.
The source said the committee members, have been barred from speaking on the matter, “going by the sensitive of matter, the members of the panel have been barred from speaking on the matter.”
Efforts to get the reaction of the chairman of the committee yielded no result as he neither picked nor replied to the SMS sent to his mobile phone.
Senators on the committee include Shaaba Lafiagi, Jonah Jang, George Akume, Jeremiah Useni, Monsurat Sunmonu, Shehu Sani, David Umaru, Godswill Akpabio, Abu Ibrahim, Stella Oduha, Bayero Nafada among others.
Credit: DailyTrust

Saraki’s Case: CJN To Set Up Fresh Supreme Court Panel

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, is set to set up a fresh panel that will hear the appeal filed by Senate President Bukola Saraki, challenging the jurisdiction and competence of the charges by the Code of Conduct Tribunal over alleged false asset declaration preferred against him.

It was learnt on Wednesday that the CJNwas set to disband the Justice John Fabiyi-led five-member panel which on November 12, 2015, granted an order of a stay of proceedings in the Senate President’s trial before the CCT.

Credit: Punch

Army Raises Panel To Investigate Involvement Of Personnale In Elections

The Nigerian Army has set up a five-man panel to investigate the alleged involvement of some soldiers and officers during the governorship elections in some states during the 2014 and 2015 elections.

President of the panel and the General Officer of the 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Maj. Gen. Adeniyi Oyebade, who inaugurated the panel at the headquarters of the division on Monday in Kaduna, said the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, insituted the panel based on weighty allegations against some army officers and soldiers during the elections.

“The last general elections conducted in March 2015 elicited criticism in some quarters, especially from the Nigerian Army personnel during both the gubernatorial and presidential elections,” Oyebade said.

According to him, “These allegations were centred on the gubernatorial elections conducted in some states such as Ekiti, Osun, Rivers and Akwa-Ibom to mention a few.”

Credit: ThisDay

I Was Never Invited By Panel On Arms Purchase– Dasuki

The former National Security Adviser (NSA) Colonel Sambo Dasuki, has denied ever receiving any invitation letter to appear before a committee set up by the current administration to investigate procurement processes relating to any arms transaction by the last administration, under which he served.

Colonel Dasuki told an online publication, Premium Times that the DSS is determined to re-arrest him without any court warrant or fresh charges.

He said that his current travails started on Tuesday after Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court ordered his passport returned to him to enable him go abroad for medical treatment.

He added that he received “intelligence” that an order was given to the operatives to effect his arrest at the airport.

As a result, he failed to leave on Wednesday as arranged.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Nigerian Army Sets Up Panel To Probe General Over 2014 Ekiti, Osun Guber Polls

The Nigerian Army on Tuesday set up “a high powered” Board of Inquiry to investigate alleged malpractices and involvement of its personnel in the 2014 Ekiti and Osun States governorship elections.

In February, SaharaReporters posted audio recordings and transcript of meetings of some leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, with some army officers on how to use the military to rig the gubernatorial elections in Ekiti and Osun States in 2014.

“The audio recordings and affidavit were provided by Sagir Koli, a Captain in the 32nd Artillery Brigade stationed in Ekiti State, who has since fled the country for fear of retaliation.

“Capt. Koli recorded the conversation on 20th June 2014 when he was asked to accompany his Commanding Officer, Brigadier General Aliyu Momoh, to the meeting. The venue was Spotless Hotel in Ado-Ekiti,” said the website.

Since the exposé, there had been calls by the then opposition APC and civil society organisation for the federal government to investigate the matter and prosecute the actors.

But the spokesman of the Nigerian Army, Sani Usman, said on Tuesday that the board would investigate the alleged unprofessional and unethical conduct of some Nigerian Army personnel during the two elections.

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Anti-Corruption Panel In Secret Meeting With ICPC

The Itse Sagay-led Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption has met with top officials of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, ICPC.

A source at the ICPC, who pleaded not to be named, said Mr. Sagay and other members of the presidential panel arrived the commission at about 12 noon Tuesday.

The panel immediately went into a closed-door meeting with the ICPC team led by the chairman, Ekpo Nta.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on August 10 constituted the panel to advise his administration on how to successfully tackle corruption and reform the criminal justice system.

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Arms Deals Panel Begins Sitting In Abuja

The 13-man investigative committee set up to probe the procurement of hardware and ammunition in the Armed Forces has started its sitting.

The committee has been meeting in the office of the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd.), a source in the Presidency said.

The source said, “I can confirm to you that the committee members have started meeting. They even started meeting before their appointments were announced. This is because they do not need any confirmation or any formal inauguration.

 “Available information showed that members are getting the needed assistance and support from interested parties.

“It is the government’s belief that a lot of ground would be covered by the committee in its desire to ascertain what went wrong in the past as far as the procurement of arms is concerned.”

Read More: punchng

19 Defence/ Service Chiefs, 8 Former Defence Ministers, Others To Face Arms Deals Panel

The arms purchase probe panel will examine contracts executed during the administrations of no fewer than 19 former military chiefs. They are five Chiefs of Defence Staff, 14 Service Chiefs; four National Security Advisers (NSAs) and eight former Ministers of Defence.

Some of the officers, according to sources, have started making moves to have access to “vital records”.

It was also learnt that five Israelis, who played major roles in arms procurement for the military in the last six years, are to be invited by the committee, whose members were named on Monday after President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive.

The Israelis reportedly left the country on the eve of the general elections, following signs that Buhari might win the poll.

The government has directed that tight security be provided for members of the panel.

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Buhari Sets Up Panel To Probe Weapon Procurement Since 2007

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the National Security Adviser to convene an investigative committee on the procurement of hardware and munitions in the Armed Forces from 2007 till now, a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has said.

According to the statement, the investigative committee’s mandate is to identify irregularities and make recommendations for streamlining the procurement process in the Armed Forces.

Accordingly, the National Security Adviser has constituted the Investigative Committee as follows:

AVM J.O.N. Ode (rtd.) – President

R/Adm J.A. Aikhomu (rtd.) – Member

R/Adm E. Ogbor (rtd.) – Member

Brig Gen L. Adekagun (rtd.) – Member

Brig Gen M. Aminu-Kano (rtd.) – Member

Brig Gen N. Rimtip (rtd.) – Member

Cdre T.D. Ikoli – Member

Air Cdre U. Mohammed (rtd.) – Member

Air Cdre I. Shafi’i – Member

Col A.A. Ariyibi – Member

Gp Capt C.A. Oriaku (rtd.) – Member

Mr. Ibrahim Magu (EFCC) – Member

Brig Gen Y.I. Shalangwa – Secretary

The presidential statement added, “The establishment of the investigative committee is in keeping with President Buhari’s determination to stamp out corruption and irregularities in Nigeria’s public service.

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Panel Uncovers 991 Sanitation Ghost Workers

A total number of 991 ghost sanitation workers have been uncovered by a committee set up by Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, to screen 2,620 sanitation workers in the state.

The committee also discovered that some former commissioners and serving directors were involved in fraudulent inflation of the number of sanitation workers to feed fat on their stipend.

Reports gathered that suspicion of public funds being siphoned by some officials in the state prompted government to commence verification exercise in order to ascertain the exact number of the sanitation staff.

The committee, headed by the state commissioner for Water Resources, Usman Riruwai, also discovered dead staff and children on the sanitation workers’ payroll.

A credible source in the committee said apart from 991 ghost workers, 402 existing street cleaners never reported to work for over year.

The source, who preferred anonymity, said the screening exercise would save the state government “at least N12 million”, noting that those who accused government of sacking workers would now see the rationale behind the decision.

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UNILAG Sets Up Panel Over Lecturer’s Rape Scandal

Authorities of the University of Lagos have set up a four-man investigative team to look into the alleged rape scandal rocking the institution.

The Head of the Information Unit of the university, Mr. Olagoke Oke, made this known to our correspondent on Tuesday.

According to him, the Dean of Student Affairs, Prof. G.O. Babawale, is the head of the panel, while the Secretary is O. Olasunmade of the Quality Assurance & Servicom Unit of the university.

Other members are an Associate Prof. of Law, Dr. A. Sanni, and a lecturer in the Department of Creative Arts, Dr. A. Layiowola.

The terms of reference of the panel, Oke said, included investigating the remote and immediate causes of the matter and the involvement of the Faculty of Business Administration/Distance Learning Institute.

The panel, according to him, has three weeks to complete its assignment.

A 42-year-old lecturer, Dr. Akin Baruwa, reportedly raped an 18-year-old admission seeker (name withheld) in the school on July 23, 2015.

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