Secret Employment: Senate Summons Federal Civil Service Boss

The Senate on Wednesday invited the Chairman, Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) Mrs Joan Ayo, to brief it over increasing allegations of secret employment by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the country.
 
The upper chamber said that it is worried over the unending allegations that MDAs were clandestinely carrying out employments without due process.
 
Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs said that the decision to invite the FCSC boss was taken after its oversight visit to the headquarters of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) in Abuja.
 
Acting Executive Chairman of FCC, Shettima Bukar Abba, was said to have lamented that government agencies have failed in their responsibilities to comply with the federal character principles. 
 
Abba was also said to have disclosed that efforts by the FCC to get the FCSC to comply with the federal character principle as well as discourage secret employment in government agencies were being frustrated by denial of the FCSC boss.
 
Abba was said to have added that MDAs skew projects in the budget based on regional sentiments against an even distribution of projects as required by the principle of federal character. 
 
The FCC boss was said to have told Senators that the unfortunate development, which was fast becoming a norm, was severally challenged in the past by the FCC, but to no avail.
 
He appealed for the support of the National Assembly, “because the commission needs its protection against erring government agencies.” 
 
Abba said: “There is an issue I need to draw your attention to as well. Distribution of projects in the annual budget ought to be in compliance with the federal character principle. So far, you find that this has not been the case as it is skewed to favour one part at the expense of another.
 
“As legislators, I think you should watch out for this by ensuring that projects are not skewed to favour a particular section of the country.
 
“Also, I must add that in order to realise this, lawmakers should protect us (FCC) against MDAs in ensuring that the principle of federal character is maintained in drafting budget proposals.
 
“If they (MDAs) bring out their budget, their proposals must be balanced. They put in areas not based on the needs of people but based on sentiments. These are some of the issues we want your support on, since we believe it is what will keep this country together.” 
 
Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Character, Senator Tijjani Yahaya Kaura, in his ruling noted that following concerns raised by the Acting Chairman FCC, it became a necessary invite the FCSC boss to brief the Senate on the issues raised by FCC boss.
 
He noted that the FCSC boss should also be expected to throw light on her alleged failure to adhere to the provisions of federal character principles. 
 
The Zamfara North Senatorial District assured the FCC of the Senate’s support saying, “It is because of our directive for submission of nominal rolls that is why government agencies are now rushing to you (FCC). We want to assure you that the National Assembly will stand by you and give you all the necessary support to succeed.” 

Senate Summons Labour Minister Over Unemployment

The senate yesterday summoned the minister of Labour and productivity, Dr Chris Ngige to appear before it  to provide insight into government’s road map towards tackling the alarming unemployment rate in the country and consequently review and reinforcing the blueprint.

This followed a motion by Sen Duro Faseyi (PDP Ekiti North) on the intolerable upswing of unemployment in Nigeria.

The senate said that it was worried that the economic recession which has hit the country would multiply the level of unemployment in the country as more companies have already started downsizing in order to cut cost , which according to them would compound the unemployment situation in the country.

It urged government to declare a state of emergency on unemployment with a view to confronting the challenge squarely.

The senate also directed government ministries and agencies and parastaltals , particularly the security outfits to enlist more Nigerian youths as s measure towards enhancing security around the country as well as ease unemployment.

It further directed the senate committee on labour and productivity to organise a one day retreat to dicuss the issue of unemployment with a view of addressing the challenge.

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$15m Scandal: EFCC Summons Patience Jonathan’s Security Aides

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has summoned some officials of the Department of State Services, who were attached to Dame Patience Jonathan, the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, for interrogation.

It was learnt on Friday that the invitation was part of investigations into the $15m frozen in four company accounts, which Patience had laid claim to.

Sources in the EFCC told said that a letter had been written to the DSS, requesting that the officials be allowed to honour the anti-graft agency’s invitation.

A detective told said that the commission had evidence that the DSS officials had, on several occasions, deposited money into some of the accounts in Skye Bank between 2013 and 2015.

The source said, “The $15m, which we have frozen in the four company accounts was not paid into the accounts at once. The money was paid into the accounts over a two-year period.

“However, we have evidence that it was DSS officials attached to Jonathan’s wife that deposited the money. We have gathered bank documents and we have invited them for interrogation.”

When asked why Patience had not been invited by the EFCC, even after she had openly laid claim to the money and dared the anti-graft agency to invite her for questioning, another source told our correspondent that it was because the commission was trying to build a solid case.

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Ambassadorial List: Senate Summons SGF, Foreign Affairs Minister

The Senate on Wednesday summoned the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, and the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geofrey Onyeama, over the lopsided list of 47 career diplomats sent to the red chamber about two weeks ago.

They alleged that some states were excluded from the list whereas some states had up to three nominees.

Apart from this, the senators also explained that there were specific petitions against some nominees, who were said to have been picked ahead of their senior colleagues from their states of origin.

The Chief Whip, Olusola Adeyeye, cited the case of two directors on level 17, from the same state who were dropped for a junior officer.

He said, “The two of them are in fact, already on level 17 and in making the recommendations many who are junior to them in experience and in status have been elevated above them. They therefore want some intervention from the chamber to be sure that correct process is followed.

“They also said that there are those who have served the republic meritoriously who did not get passed because of whatever might be the internal politics of the ministry.

“So, I plead that relevant committee and this chamber would take a second look at this prayer.

“We should direct that the minister for foreign affairs, and the SGF to appear before the committee on foreign affairs to explain the omissions and irregularities and the processes by which some of these names came about.”

Credit: Punch

Senate Summons AGF Over Saraki, Ekweremadu’s Forgery Case

The Senate on Tuesday, summoned the Attorney-General of the Federation, who is also the Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, over the planned prosecution of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, for allegedly forging the Senate Standing Order 2015.

The senate took the decision following a motion moved by the Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Dino Melaye, who relied on order 14 and 52, to demand the approval of his colleagues for his two prayers including  the invitation of the AGF and the genuineness of the rule book.

The senate therefore, approved the two prayers through voice votes while Ekweremadu who presided over the session, asked the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, to summon Malami, within 48 hours and interrogate him on the issue.

Credit: Punch

Oil Swap Probe: House Committee Summons Alison-Madueke

The House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee investigating the Refined Product Exchange Agreement/Crude Oil Swap between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation/Petroleum Pipelines Marketing Companies (NNPC/PPMC) has summoned the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, to explain her role in the award of contracts worth $24billion without valid agreements signed with the befitting companies.

Three former Group Managing Directors (GMDs) of the NNPC, Mr. Austin Oniwon, Mr. Andrew Yakubu and Mr. Joseph Dawha, who appeared before the committee last week, indicted the former minister, accusing her of extending the oil swap contracts for Duke Oil Company Incorporated and Trafigura B.V, without valid agreements.

The contracts for both firms had expired in October 2011, but they had continued to lift crude without formal contract extension for 20 months, lifting crude worth $24billion.

The contracts were formalised in December 2014 and backdated to cover the period from when they earlier expired.

The Chairman of the ad hoc committee, Hon. Zakari Mohammed (Kwara APC) in a telephone interview with THISDAY disclosed that the former minister would be invited by the committee.

“The former oil minister’s invitation will definitely go to her tomorrow (Monday). We are going to invite her, because contracts expired for 20 months, there was no renewal of contract, but the GMDs wrote to her, and she, on her own, approved the contracts,” he said.

It remains unclear how the former minister would be expected to honour the invitation following reports of her arrest in the United Kingdom, where her passport was also seized as part of her bail conditions.

Mohammed however explained that her not being able to appear is not a matter for the commitee, which has to have it on record that she was informed “that we need her attention…if we are now saying she will not show up, that is a matter of speculation.”

The lawmaker however debunked insinuations that the probe was targeted at the former minister, insisting that the House is determined to avoid a repeat of the sort of happenings that have been revealed in the course of the oil swap deals investigation.

“We need to know where she got her authority from, especially knowing fully well that the threshold of a minister is N100million, and these transactions were above N100million, so they ought to have gone the Federal Executive Council. These are the issues under which context we would invite her,” Mohammed added.

Credit: Thisday

EFCC Summons More NAMA Officials Over Alleged N5b Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has summoned three more staffers of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) to appear before it in Abuja today in furtherance of the investigation it launched into the finances and expenditures of the aviation agency.

The newly summoned members of staff are the agency’s Director of Finance, Mrs. Clara Aliche, the ICT General Manager, Mr. Ajiribido Bolarinwa, and the Project Manager, Mrs. Felicia Agaubata.

A source within NAMA, who confirmed this to The Guardian in Lagos yesterday, explained that the EFCC issued the fresh summon after examining some of the vouchers and other related documents it took from NAMA during its unscheduled visit to the agency last Friday. The anti-graft agency had, during the visit, demanded the Director of Finance, Aliche, who was not around, and left an invitation order for her to appear before it in Abuja.

This latest invitation, though could not be confirmed by NAMA’s General Manager, Public Affairs, Mrs. Olajumoke Aduke Adetona when The Guardian asked her to react to the information, was not denied by her when she said “ I don’t have information, I can’t confirm (about what is going on in the EFCC), I was not even around when the EFCC came last week.”

Credit: Guardian

Iran Summons Nigerian Ambassador To Protest Shi’ite Clashes In The North

Iran has summoned the Nigerian Charge d’Affaires in Tehran to protest against deadly clashes between Shia Muslims in the country’s north and the army.

Iran’s foreign ministry called the violence between the military and followers of the Shia Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) “unacceptable”, the official ISNA news agency reported on Tuesday.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif had earlier contacted his Nigerian counterpart Geoffrey Onyeama to express his “deep concern” about Saturday’s events in the city of Zaria.

ISNA said at least 12 people were killed, with both sides blaming each other.

The Nigerian military said one of its convoys was attacked by followers of Ibrahim Zakzaky, the leader of the IMN.

“The sect numbering hundreds carrying dangerous weapons, barricaded the roads with bonfires, heavy stones and tyres,” an army statement said.

“The troops responsible for the safety and security of the Chief of Army Staff, on hearing explosions and firing, were left with no choice than to defend him and the convoy at all cost.”

Credit: Aljazeera

PDP Summons Leadership Meeting To Fight Back Tribunal Rulings

Considering the election tribunal rulings in Rivers State that sacked Nyesom Wike as Governor of Rivers State, ordering for a re run election and that of Akwa Ibom State; the People’s Democratic Party is putting itself together to fight back and regain their mandate.

The party has summoned a leadership meeting to fight back the tribunal rulings.

Information about the meeting is still sketchy but will be reported as soon as it has been gathered.

Senate Summons Ministry Of Health, NUC, Others

The senate yesterday issued sweeping summons to the Federal Ministry of Health, the National Universities (NUC) and other agencies to address lawmakers on the plight of new medical doctors awaiting residency.

The senate also urged the federal government acredited health institutions for the training of house officers to enforce the utilisation of the full quote.

Other agencies invited are the Provost of Colleges of Medicine, the Nigerian Medical Council (NMC) and the Chief Medical Directors (CMDs) of federal and state medical institutions.

This was sequel to a motion sponsored by Senator Mao Ohuabunwa representing Abia North senatorial district.

Leading the debate ,he said the that malaria alone is responsible for 20 per cent of annual deaths in Nigeria with pregnant women and children as the worst affected.

He also said that Pneumonia and other lower respiratory tract diseases are responsible for 19 per cent of all deaths in Nigeria, while Nigeria is the second largest group of people living with HIV with a death rate of 3.1 per cent in 2015.

“Over 140 people everyday in Nigeria die from pregnancy and prenatal related consequences even after recovery.

“Our nation is not doing enough to improve the health statistics and the death rates in our country even by African standards. These can be relevant to how we have addressed the important conditions and timeliness of the training of new doctors who can begin to take new responsibilities.

“The result has been a frustrated class of locum doctors working as contract doctors under very harsh and tedious conditions that encourage quackery,” he said.

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CDS Summons Commanders On Boko Haram Deadline

Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, General Gabriel Olonisakin, yesterday summoned all Field Commanders as well as Principal Staff Officers, PSOs and senior officers at the Defence Headquarters, DHQ, to review efforts towards achieving the presidential directive to end Boko Haram in three months.

A statement through the Director of Defence Information, DDI, Colonel Rabe Abubakar, said that the CDS also unveiled his vision for the armed forces, while commending the field commanders and troops for sustaining the momentum in the fight to crush Boko Haram insurgents in the North East.

The CDS, according to the DDI, said “all hands must be on deck to ensure that the presidential directive of ending terrorism very shortly is achieved.”

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Judicial Commission Summons Ex-Commissioner

The Judicial Commission of Inquiry investigating the Chibuike Amaechi administration in Rivers has summoned a former Commissioner for Agriculture, Emmanuel Chinda.

NAN reports that Chinda and 12 Presidents of Cooperative Societies are to appear before the commission on Wednesday.

The Secretary of the Commission, Mrs Queen Godwill, said this in a statement in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.

She said that those summoned were needed to give evidence as well as produce relevant documents on the disbursement of the N4billion Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Funds.

Read More: NAN

Senate Summons NNPC Over Oil Refineries

The Nigerian Senate has summoned the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to examine the conditions of the nation’s four refineries.

The decision was taken following a motion urging the Senate to act in respect of incessant fuel tanker tragedies on Nigeria’s highways. The motion was introduced by Gbenga Ashafa representing Lagos East senatorial district.

He recalled that there had been repeated fuel tankers crashes in the past weeks. “Within the space of one week, four fuel tankers accidents that occurred in two major cities in Nigeria that claimed lives and destroying properties.

“The first incident which claimed over 70 lives at Upper Iweka Onitsha and Iyana-Ipaja, Lagos,” the lawmaker said.

Mr. Ashafa said if the refineries were functional, all the tragedies would have been avoided. “If our refineries were functional, all the tankers in Nigeria would not have businesses coming to Lagos to lift fuel as refineries in port-Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna would have taken care of that,” he said.

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Court Summons NDLEA Boss Over Siege To Kashamu’s Lagos Residence

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, ordered the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke, SAN, and the chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Mr Ahmadu Giade to appear before it today, over the siege laid to the Lagos residence of Senator-elect for Ogun East senatorial zone, Prince Buruji Kashamu.

Trial judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba, in a short ruling, after Kashamu’s counsel had complained to the court of the occupation of the Senator-elect’s residence, said: “It is hereby ordered as follows:

In view of the urgent nature of this matter and in the light of subsisting judgment and court orders, instead of hearing an ex-parte application, the respondents are ordered to be put on notice to appear in court on 26/5/2015 at 12noon to be heard.

“And in view of the substantive judgement and court orders, time be and is hereby abridged for the respondents to appear,” the judge added. Meanwhile, the NDLEA said it was doing all within its constitutional power to ensure that Kashamu submits himself, adding that its officials would remain there until he appeared in court.

Kashamu is said to be wanted in the United States of America for alleged drug related crime had refused to be arrested at his Lagos residence, where operatives of the NDLEA had laid siege since Saturday, insisting that he would only submit to NDLEA upon being shown a warrant order for his arrest. NDLEA, insisted that Kashamu was on house arrest pending his scheduled appearance in court on Monday (yesterday).

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Senate Summons Okonjo-Iweala, Allison-Madueke, NNPC Over Fuel Scarcity

The Joint Senate Committees on Petroleum Resources (Upstream and Downstream) on Friday ordered the Minister of Finance/Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and her counterpart in the Petroleum Resources Ministry, Mrs. Deziani Allison-Madueke, to appear before it on Monday next week over the lingering fuel crisis in the country.

Also summoned along with the two ministers are the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation; Managing Director, Petroleum Pricing and Regulatory Agency; and the Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources.

Representatives of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria; Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria and the National Association of Road Transport Owners, are also expected to answer questions from the senators at the National Assembly Complex by 10:00am.

A statement issued in Abuja by the Chairmen of the two committees, Senators Emmanuel Paulker (Upstream) and Magnus Abe (Downstream), explained that the invitation of the public officers and groups was as a result of the assignment given to them by the senate.

The statement explained that the Deputy Senate Majority Leader, Senator Abdul Ningi, had on Thursday drew the attention of the Senate to the lingering fuel scarcity in the country and the untold hardship on the generality of Nigerians.

It added that Ningi had also urged the federal parliament to look into the matter with a view to finding the causes and lasting solution to the problem.

It stated that it was in view of the development that the Senate directed its committees on Downstream Petroleum sector and Petroleum Resources (Upstream), to investigate the matter and brief the Upper Chamber about their findings, next Tuesday.

The Joint Committee said the invitation extended to the affected individuals, agencies and groups was therefore necessary in order to obtain adequate information that would be needed to write their report for submission to the whole house.

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PDP’s Disciplinary Committee Summons Former Deputy Governor, Seven Others

The Bayelsa State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has summoned a former acting governor of the state, Werinipre Seibarugu and seven others to appear before a disciplinary committee set by the party’s leadership.

The committee was set up to review cases of anti-party activities levelled against members of the party during the just concluded general elections.

Other leaders of the party summoned to appear before the committee was a former Chairman, Ekeremor Local Government, Robinson Etolor and the personal assistant to incumbent Senator Emmanuel Paulker, Osomkime Blankson.

Others are  Leghemo Kaizer, Stephen Kayama, Ebikapadei Dibiya, Hon. I. E Brigidi and Benimor Conliff Fiebai.

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Rivers Assembly Suspends 3 LGC Chairmen, Summons 9 Commissioners

The Rivers State House of Assembly has summoned 9 commissioners and four heads of government parastatals for questioning tomorrow, May 12, 2015 over the state of the economy of Rivers, just as it suspended 3 LG Caretaker committee Chairmen in the state.

Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Leyii Kwane who presided over the Assembly ordered for their summon. The deputy leader of the Assembly, Nname Ehwor raised the motion on the state of the Economy of Rivers State before the House and supported by the Assembly members.

The motion listed the 9 commissioners as those of Finance, Agriculture, Power, Health, Tourism , Information and commissioner for budget. Others include Commissioners for Works , Transport, Accountant General of Rivers State, Chairman, Board of Internal Revenue , Chairman Rivers State Assembly Service Commission and the Chairman Secondary Schools Management Board.

In another development, the Rivers State House of Assembly also suspended three local Government Caretaker Committee chairmen including those of Khana local Government, Asari Toru local government and Ahoada East local Government for alleged insecurity and financial recklessness.

The state Assembly, in line with the motion on Insecurity and Financial Mismanagement by the Chairmen of Asari-Toru, Ahoada-East and Khana Local Governments presented by the Deputy leader of the House, Nname Ehwor suspended the three LG CTC chairmen and ordered them to hand over to the Head of Local Government of their councils.

Deputy Speaker of the Assembly who spoke with newsmen after the sitting said the Assembly’s action was part of their oversight function, hence everyone in the state is feeling the pains of the economy of the state. He said it is not meant to witch-hunt anyone in the state.

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Election Postponement: Senate Summons Service Chiefs

The Senate has summoned the nation’s service chiefs to explain the reasons security agencies were unavailable to provide security during the originally scheduled dates of elections.

The Senate Minority Leader, George Akume, moved the motion that the service chiefs be invited for questioning after the INEC chairman said he could not answer some questions put to him.

The lawmaker representing Kwara central, Bukola Saraki, while speaking to reporters after the plenary, said it is necessary for the service chiefs to be summoned because there were only a handful of questions that Mr. Jega could answer. Mr. Saraki said security issues relating to the elections could not be answered until the service chiefs are present.

“So we are still back to that issue of security,” Mr. Saraki said. “I think that further emphasizes what we were saying yesterday, that the Senate and the National Assembly still need to invite the service chiefs to give us assurance.

“He (Mr. Jega) said categorically that he cannot answer that question that we need to have the Service Chiefs to answer that question.

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